Hope against hope

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, then to my office and there waited, thinking to have had Bagwell’s wife come to me about business, that I might have talked with her, but she came not. So I to White Hall by coach with Mr. Andrews, and there I got his contract for the victualling of Tangier signed and sealed by us there, so that all the business is well over, and I hope to have made a good business of it and to receive 100l. by it the next weeke, for which God be praised! Thence to W. Joyce’s and Anthony’s, to invite them to dinner to meet my aunt James at my house, and the rather because they are all to go down to my father the next weeke, and so I would be a little kind to them before they go.
So home, having called upon Doll, our pretty ‘Change woman, for a pair of gloves trimmed with yellow ribbon, to [match the] petticoate my wife bought yesterday, which cost me 20s.; but she is so pretty, that, God forgive me! I could not think it too much — which is a strange slavery that I stand in to beauty, that I value nothing near it.
So going home, and my coach stopping in Newgate Market over against a poulterer’s shop, I took occasion to buy a rabbit, but it proved a deadly old one when I came to eat it, as I did do after an hour being at my office, and after supper again there till past 11 at night. So home, and to bed.
This day Mr. Coventry did tell us how the Duke did receive the Dutch Embassador the other day; by telling him that, whereas they think us in jest, he believes that the Prince (Rupert) which goes in this fleete to Guinny will soon tell them that we are in earnest, and that he himself will do the like here, in the head of the fleete here at home, and that for the meschants, which he told the Duke there were in England, which did hope to do themselves good by the King’s being at warr, says he, the English have ever united all this private difference to attend foraigne, and that Cromwell, notwithstanding the meschants in his time, which were the Cavaliers, did never find them interrupt him in his foraigne businesses, and that he did not doubt but to live to see the Dutch as fearfull of provoking the English, under the government of a King, as he remembers them to have been under that of a Coquin. I writ all this story to my Lord Sandwich tonight into the Downes, it being very good and true, word for word from Mr. Coventry to-day.

hope is a little doll
trimmed with ribbon
a pretty slave

buy a rabbit but like
the head of a king
never find him in a hat


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 6 September 1664.

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