Went to bed between 4 and 5 in the morning with my mind in good temper of satisfaction and slept till about 8, that many people came to speak with me. Among others one came with the best New Year’s gift that ever I had, namely from Mr. Deering, with a bill of exchange drawn upon himself for the payment of 50l. to Mr. Luellin. It being for my use with a letter of compliment. I am not resolved what or how to do in this business, but I conclude it is an extraordinary good new year’s gift, though I do not take the whole, or if I do then give some of it to Luellin. By and by comes Captain Allen and his son Jowles and his wife, who continues pretty still. They would have had me set my hand to a certificate for his loyalty, and I know not what his ability for any employment. But I did not think it fit, but did give them a pleasing denial, and after sitting with me an hour they went away. Several others came to me about business, and then being to dine at my uncle Wight’s I went to the Coffee-house, sending my wife by Will, and there staid talking an hour with Coll. Middleton, and others, and among other things about a very rich widow, young and handsome, of one Sir Nicholas Gold’s, a merchant, lately fallen, and of great courtiers that already look after her: her husband not dead a week yet. She is reckoned worth 80,000l.
Thence to my uncle Wight’s, where Dr. of ——, among others, dined, and his wife, a seeming proud conceited woman, I know not what to make of her, but the Dr’s. discourse did please me very well about the disease of the stone, above all things extolling Turpentine, which he told me how it may be taken in pills with great ease. There was brought to table a hot pie made of a swan I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Howe, but we did not eat any of it. But my wife and I rose from table, pretending business, and went to the Duke’s house, the first play I have been at these six months, according to my last vowe, and here saw the so much cried-up play of “Henry the Eighth;” which, though I went with resolution to like it, is so simple a thing made up of a great many patches, that, besides the shows and processions in it, there is nothing in the world good or well done. Thence mightily dissatisfied back at night to my uncle Wight’s, and supped with them, but against my stomach out of the offence the sight of my aunt’s hands gives me, and ending supper with a mighty laugh, the greatest I have had these many months, at my uncle’s being out in his grace after meat, we rose and broke up, and my wife and I home and to bed, being sleepy since last night.
people speak of my gift
for sitting with the dead
I know the disease of the stone
the hot pie made of a swan
how a rose cried
at the sight of my hands
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 1 January 1663/64.