Up, and then fell into discourse, my wife and I to Ashwell, and much against my will I am fain to express a willingness to Ashwell that she should go from us, and yet in my mind I am glad of it, to ease me of the charge. So she is to go to her father this day. And leaving my wife and her talking highly, I went away by coach with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, and there attended of course the Duke. And so to White Hall, where I met Mr. Moore, and he tells me with great sorrow of my lord’s being debauched he fears by this woman at Chelsey, which I am troubled at, and resolve to speak to him of it if I can seasonably.
Thence home, where I dined, and after dinner comes our old mayde Susan to look for a gorgett that she says she has lost by leaving it here, and by many circumstances it being clear to me that Hannah, our present cook-mayde, not only has it, but had it on upon her necke when Susan came in, and shifted it off presently upon her coming in, I did charge her so home with it (having a mind to have her gone from us), that in a huff she told us she would be gone to-night if I would pay her her wages, which I was glad and my wife of, and so fetched her her wages, and though I am doubtful that she may convey some things away with her clothes, my wife searching them, yet we are glad of her being so gone, and so she went away in a quarter of an hour’s time. Being much amused at this to have never a maid but Ashwell, that we do not intend to keep, nor a boy, and my wife and I being left for an hour, till my brother came in, alone in the house, I grew very melancholy, and so my brother being come in I went forth to Mrs. Holden’s, to whom I formerly spoke about a girle to come to me instead of a boy, and the like I did to Mrs. Standing and also to my brother Tom, whom I found at an alehouse in Popinjay ally drinking, and I standing with him at the gate of the ally, Ashwell came by, and so I left Tom and went almost home with her, talking of her going away. I find that she is willing to go, and told her (though behind my back my wife has told her that it was more my desire than hers that she should go, which was not well), that seeing my wife and she could not agree I did choose rather (was she my sister) have her gone, it would be better for us and for her too. To which she willing agreed, and will not tell me anything but that she do believe that my wife would have some body there that might not be so liable to give me information of things as she takes her to be. But, however, I must labour to prevent all that.
I parted with her near home, agreeing to take no notice of my coming along with her, and so by and by came home after her.
Where I find a sad distracted house, which troubles me. However, to supper and prayers and to bed. And while we were getting to bed my wife began to discourse to her, and plainly asked whether she had got a place or no. And the other answered that she could go if we would to one of our own office, to which we agreed if she would. She thereupon said no; she would not go to any but where she might teach children, because of keeping herself in use of what things she had learned, which she do not here nor will there, but only dressing. By which I perceive the wench is cunning, but one very fit for such a place, and accomplished to be woman to any lady in the land. So quietly to sleep, it being a cold night.
But till my house is settled, I do not see that I can mind my business of the office, which grieves me to the heart. But I hope all will over in a little time, and I hope to the best. This day at Mrs. Holden’s I found my new low crowned beaver according to the present fashion made, and will be sent home to-morrow.
ash for my wages
my being much alone
like any art that children learn
the only business
of the heart will in time be
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 August 1663.