Up and to my Lord’s and thence to the Duke, and followed him into the Park, where, though the ice was broken and dangerous, yet he would go slide upon his scates, which I did not like, but he slides very well. So back and to his closett, whither my Lord Sandwich comes, and there Mr. Coventry and we three had long discourse together about the matters of the Navy; and, indeed, I find myself more and more obliged to Mr. Coventry, who studies to do me all the right he can in every thing to the Duke.
Thence walked a good while up and down the gallerys; and among others, met with Dr. Clerke, who in discourse tells me, that Sir Charles Barkeley’s greatness is only his being pimp to the King, and to my Lady Castlemaine. And yet for all this, that the King is very kind to the Queen; who, he says, is one of the best women in the world. Strange how the King is bewitched to this pretty Castlemaine.
Thence to my Lord’s, and there with Mr. Creed, Moore, and Howe to the Crown and dined, and thence to Whitehall, where I walked up and down the gallerys, spending my time upon the pictures, till the Duke and the Committee for Tangier met (the Duke not staying with us), where the only matter was to discourse with my Lord Rutherford, who is this day made Governor of Tangier, for I know not what reasons; and my Lord of Peterborough to be called home; which, though it is said it is done with kindness, yet all the world may see it is done otherwise, and I am sorry to see a Catholick Governor sent to command there, where all the rest of the officers almost are such already. But God knows what the reason is! and all may see how slippery places all courtiers stand in.
Thence by coach home, in my way calling upon Sir John Berkenheade, to speak about my assessment of 42l. to the Loyal Sufferers; which, I perceive, I cannot help; but he tells me I have been abused by Sir R. Ford, which I shall hereafter make use of when it shall be fit.
Thence called at the Major-General’s, Sir R. Browne, about my being assessed armes to the militia; but he was abroad; and so driving through the backside of the Shambles in Newgate Market, my coach plucked down two pieces of beef into the dirt, upon which the butchers stopped the horses, and a great rout of people in the street, crying that he had done him 40s. and 5l. worth of hurt; but going down, I saw that he had done little or none; and so I give them a shilling for it and they were well contented, and so home.
And there to my Lady Batten’s to see her, who tells me she hath just now a letter from Sir William, how that he and Sir J. Minnes did very narrowly escape drowning on the road, the waters are so high; but is well. But, Lord! what a hypocrite-like face she made to tell it me.
Thence to Sir W. Pen and sat long with him in discourse, I making myself appear one of greater action and resolution as to publique business than I have hitherto done, at which he listens, but I know is a rogue in his heart and likes not, but I perceive I may hold up my head, and the more the better, I minding of my business as I have done, in which God do and will bless me. So home and with great content to bed, and talk and chat with my wife while I was at supper, to our great pleasure.
in a broken and dangerous world
how kind are the slippery places
all the loyal sufferers
down in the dirt
a great rout of hurt drowning
on the road like a rogue heart
like a better God
to chat with at supper
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 December 1662.