Up and shaved myself, and then my wife and I by coach out, and I set her down by her father’s, being vexed in my mind and angry with her for the ill-favoured place, among or near the whore houses, that she is forced to come to him. So left her there, and I to Sir Ph. Warwick’s but did not speak with him. Thence to take a turn in St. James’s Park, and meeting with Anth. Joyce walked with him a turn in the Pell Mell and so parted, he St. James’s ward and I out to Whitehall ward, and so to a picture-sellers by the Half Moone in the street over against the Exchange, and there looked over the maps of several cities and did buy two books of cities stitched together cost me 9s. 6d., and when I came home thought of my vowe, and paid 5s. into my poor box for it, hoping in God that I shall forfeit no more in that kind.
Thence, meeting Mr. Moore, and to the Exchange and there found my wife at pretty Doll’s, and thence by coach set her at my uncle Wight’s, to go with my aunt to market once more against Lent, and I to the Coffee-house, and thence to the ‘Change, my chief business being to enquire about the manner of other countries keeping of their masts wet or dry, and got good advice about it, and so home, and alone ate a bad, cold dinner, my people being at their washing all day, and so to the office and all the afternoon upon my letter to Mr. Coventry about keeping of masts, and ended it very well at night and wrote it fair over.
This evening came Mr. Alsopp the King’s brewer, with whom I spent an houre talking and bewailing the posture of things at present; the King led away by half-a-dozen men, that none of his serious servants and friends can come at him. These are Lauderdale, Buckingham, Hamilton, Fitz-Harding (to whom he hath, it seems, given 2,000l. per annum in the best part of the King’s estate); and that that the old Duke of Buckingham could never get of the King. Progers is another, and Sir H. Bennett. He loves not the Queen at all, but is rather sullen to her; and she, by all reports, incapable of children. He is so fond of the Duke of Monmouth, that every body admires it; and he says the Duke hath said, that he would be the death of any man that says the King was not married to his mother though Alsopp says, it is well known that she was a common whore before the King lay with her. But it seems, he says, that the King is mighty kind to these his bastard children; and at this day will go at midnight to my Lady Castlemaine’s nurses, and take the child and dance it in his arms.
That he is not likely to have his tables up again in his house,1 for the crew that are about him will not have him come to common view again, but keep him obscurely among themselves.
He hath this night, it seems, ordered that the Hall (which there is a ball to be in to-night before the King) be guarded, as the Queen-Mother’s is, by his Horse Guards; whereas heretofore they were by the Lord Chamberlain or Steward, and their people. But it is feared they will reduce all to the soldiery, and all other places taken away; and what is worst of all, that he will alter the present militia, and bring all to a flying army.
That my Lord Lauderdale, being Middleton’s enemy, and one that scorns the Chancellor even to open affronts before the King, hath got the whole power of Scotland into his hand; whereas the other day he was in a fair way to have had his whole estate, and honour, and life, voted away from him.
That the King hath done himself all imaginable wrong in the business of my Lord Antrim, in Ireland; who, though he was the head of rebels, yet he by his letter owns to have acted by his father’s and mother’s, and his commissions; but it seems the truth is, he hath obliged himself, upon the clearing of his estate, to settle it upon a daughter of the Queene-Mother’s (by my Lord Germin, I suppose,) in marriage, be it to whom the Queene pleases; which is a sad story. It seems a daughter of the Duke of Lenox’s was, by force, going to be married the other day at Somerset House, to Harry Germin; but she got away and run to the King, and he says he will protect her. She is, it seems, very near akin to the King: Such mad doings there are every day among them!
The rape upon a woman at Turnstile the other day, her husband being bound in his shirt, they both being in bed together, it being night, by two Frenchmen, who did not only lye with her but abused her with a linke, is hushed up for 300l., being the Queen Mother’s servants.
There was a French book in verse, the other day, translated and presented to the Duke of Monmouth in such a high stile, that the Duke of York, he tells me, was mightily offended at it. The Duke of Monmouth’s mother’s brother hath a place at Court; and being a Welchman (I think he told me) will talk very broad of the King’s being married to his sister.
The King did the other day, at the Council, commit my Lord Digby’s chaplin, and steward, and another servant, who went upon the process begun there against their lord, to swear that they saw him at church, end receive the Sacrament as a Protestant, (which, the judges said, was sufficient to prove him such in the eye of the law); the King, I say, did commit them all to the Gate-house, notwithstanding their pleading their dependance upon him, and the faith they owed him as their lord, whose bread they eat. And that the King should say, that he would soon see whether he was King, or Digby.
That the Queene-Mother hath outrun herself in her expences, and is now come to pay very ill, or run in debt; the money being spent that she received for leases.
He believes there is not any money laid up in bank, as I told him some did hope; but he says, from the best informers he can assure me there is no such thing, nor any body that should look after such a thing; and that there is not now above 80,000l. of the Dunkirke money left in stock.
That Oliver in the year when he spent 1,400,000l. in the Navy, did spend in the whole expence of the kingdom 2,600,000l..
That all the Court are mad for a Dutch war; but both he and I did concur, that it was a thing rather to be dreaded than hoped for; unless by the French King’s falling upon Flanders, they and the Dutch should be divided.
That our Embassador had, it is true, an audience; but in the most dishonourable way that could be; for the Princes of the Blood (though invited by our Embassador, which was the greatest absurdity that ever Embassador committed these 400 years) were not there; and so were not said to give place to our King’s Embassador. And that our King did openly say, the other day in the Privy Chamber, that he would not be hectored out of his right and preeminencys by the King of France, as great as he was.
That the Pope is glad to yield to a peace with the French (as the newes-book says), upon the basest terms that ever was.
That the talke which these people about our King, that I named before, have, is to tell him how neither privilege of Parliament nor City is any thing; but his will is all, and ought to be so: and their discourse, it seems, when they are alone, is so base and sordid, that it makes the eares of the very gentlemen of the back–stairs (I think he called them) to tingle to hear it spoke in the King’s hearing; and that must be very bad indeed. That my Lord Digby did send to Lisbon a couple of priests, to search out what they could against the Chancellor concerning the match, as to the point of his knowing before-hand that the Queene was not capable of bearing children; and that something was given her to make her so. But as private as they were, when they came thither they were clapped up prisoners. That my Lord Digby endeavours what he can to bring the business into the House of Commons, hoping there to master the Chancellor, there being many enemies of his there; but I hope the contrary. That whereas the late King did mortgage ‘Clarendon’ to somebody for 20,000l., and this to have given it to the Duke of Albemarle, and he sold it to my Lord Chancellor, whose title of Earldome is fetched from thence; the King hath this day sent his order to the Privy Seale for the payment of this 20,000l. to my Lord Chancellor, to clear the mortgage!
Ireland in a very distracted condition about the hard usage which the Protestants meet with, and the too good which the Catholiques. And from altogether, God knows my heart, I expect nothing but ruine can follow, unless things are better ordered in a little time.
He being gone my wife came and told me how kind my uncle Wight had been to her to-day, and that though she says that all his kindness comes from respect to her she discovers nothing but great civility from him, yet but what she says he otherwise will tell me, but to-day he told her plainly that had she a child it should be his heir, and that should I or she want he would be a good friend to us, and did give my wife instructions to consent to all his wife says at any time, she being a pettish woman, which argues a design I think he has of keeping us in with his wife in order to our good sure, and he declaring her jealous of him that so he dares not come to see my wife as otherwise he would do and will endeavour to do. It looks strange putting all together, but yet I am in hopes he means well. My aunt also is mighty open to my wife and tells her mighty plain how her husband did intend to double her portion to her at his death as a jointure. That he will give presently 100l. to her niece Mary and a good legacy at his death, and it seems did as much to the other sister, which vexed [me] to think that he should bestow so much upon his wife’s friends daily as he do, but it cannot be helped for the time past, and I will endeavour to remedy it for the time to come.
After all this discourse with my wife at my office alone, she home to see how the wash goes on and I to make an end of my work, and so home to supper and to bed.
over the maps of several
that sullen bastard will go at midnight
take the child and dance it
in his arms
guarded by his horse
the soldier is a flying army
in his head
going to be married
so the rape is hushed up
mouths receive the sacrament
would pay for a war
blood on the back stairs
not capable of bearing children
they clap for the chance
to meet death
Erasure poetry derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 22 February 1663/64.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).