Child workers

Up betimes and to my office, and thence by coach to New Bridewell to meet with Mr. Poyntz to discourse with him (being Master of the Workhouse there) about making of Bewpers for us. But he was not within; however his clerke did lead me up and down through all the house, and there I did with great pleasure see the many pretty works, and the little children employed, every one to do something, which was a very fine sight, and worthy encouragement. I cast away a crowne among them, and so to the ‘Change and among the Linnen Wholesale Drapers to enquire about Callicos, to see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs, and I think I shall do something therein to good purpose for the King. So to the Coffeehouse, and there fell in discourse with the Secretary of the Virtuosi of Gresham College, and had very fine discourse with him. He tells me of a new invented instrument to be tried before the College anon, and I intend to see it. So to Trinity House, and there I dined among the old dull fellows, and so home and to my office a while, and then comes Mr. Cocker to see me, and I discoursed with him about his writing and ability of sight, and how I shall do to get some glasse or other to helpe my eyes by candlelight; and he tells me he will bring me the helps he hath within a day or two, and shew me what he do.
Thence to the Musique-meeting at the Postoffice, where I was once before. And thither anon come all the Gresham College, and a great deal of noble company: and the new instrument was brought called the Arched Viall, where being tuned with lute-strings, and played on with kees like an organ, a piece of parchment is always kept moving; and the strings, which by the kees are pressed down upon it, are grated in imitation of a bow, by the parchment; and so it is intended to resemble several vyalls played on with one bow, but so basely and harshly, that it will never do. But after three hours’ stay it could not be fixed in tune; and so they were fain to go to some other musique of instruments, which I am grown quite out of love with, and so I, after some good discourse with Mr. Spong, Hill, Grant, and Dr. Whistler, and others by turns, I home to my office and there late, and so home, where I understand my wife has spoke to Jane and ended matters of difference between her and her, and she stays with us, which I am glad of; for her fault is nothing but sleepiness and forgetfulness, otherwise a good-natured, quiet, well-meaning, honest servant, and one that will do as she is bid, so one called upon her and will see her do it.
This morning, by three o’clock, the Prince and King, and Duke with him, went down the River, and the Prince under sail the next tide after, and so is gone from the Hope. God give him better successe than he used to have!
This day Mr. Bland went away hence towards his voyage to Tangier.
This day also I had a letter from an unknown hand that tells me that Jacke Angier, he believes, is dead at Lisbon, for he left him there ill.

children employed
to supply our flags

dull eyes like organ keys
pressed down

that could not be fixed
to whistle

but otherwise quiet
and will do as bid

the river is a letter
from an unknown hand


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 October 1664.

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