Up, my people rising mighty betimes, to fit themselves to go by water; and my boy, he could not sleep, but wakes about four o’clock, and in bed lay playing on his lute till daylight, and, it seems, did the like last night till twelve o’clock.
About eight o’clock, my wife, she and her woman, and Besse and Jane, and W. Hewer and the boy, to the water-side, and there took boat, and by and by I out of doors, to look after the flaggon, to get it ready to carry to Woolwich.
That being not ready, I stepped aside and found out Nellson, he that Whistler buys his bewpers of, and did there buy 5 pieces at their price, and am in hopes thereby to bring them down or buy ourselves all we spend of Nellson at the first hand.
This jobb was greatly to my content, and by and by the flaggon being finished at the burnisher’s, I home, and there fitted myself, and took a hackney-coach I hired, it being a very cold and foule day, to Woolwich, all the way reading in a good book touching the fishery, and that being done, in the book upon the statute of charitable uses, mightily to my satisfaction.
At Woolwich; I there up to the King and Duke, and they liked the plate well. Here I staid above with them while the ship was launched, which was done with great success, and the King did very much like the ship, saying, she had the best bow that ever he saw.
But, Lord! the sorry talke and discourse among the great courtiers round about him, without any reverence in the world, but with so much disorder.
By and by the Queene comes and her Mayds of Honour; one whereof, Mrs. Boynton, and the Duchesse of Buckingham, had been very siclee coming by water in the barge (the water being very rough); but what silly sport they made with them in very common terms, methought, was very poor, and below what people think these great people say and do.
The launching being done, the King and company went down to take barge; and I sent for Mr. Pett, and put the flaggon into the Duke’s hand, and he, in the presence of the King, did give it, Mr. Pett taking it upon his knee. This Mr. Pett is wholly beholding to me for, and he do know and I believe will acknowledge it.
Thence I to Mr. Ackworth, and there eat and drank with Commissioner Pett and his wife, and thence to Shelden’s, where Sir W. Batten and his Lady were. By and by I took coach after I had enquired for my wife or her boat, but found none. Going out of the gate, an ordinary woman prayed me to give her room to London, which I did, but spoke not to her all the way, but read, as long as I could see, my book again.
Dark when we came to London, and a stop of coaches in Southwarke. I staid above half an houre and then ‘light, and finding Sir W. Batten’s coach, heard they were gone into the Beare at the Bridge foot, and thither I to them. Presently the stop is removed, and then going out to find my coach, I could not find it, for it was gone with the rest; so I fair to go through the darke and dirt over the bridge, and my leg fell in a hole broke on the bridge, but, the constable standing there to keep people from it, I was catched up, otherwise I had broke my leg; for which mercy the Lord be praised! So at Fanchurch I found my coach staying for me, and so home, where the little girle hath looked to the house well, but no wife come home, which made me begin to fear [for] her, the water being very rough, and cold and darke. But by and by she and her company come in all well, at which I was glad, though angry.
Thence I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there sat late with him, Sir R. Ford, and Sir John Robinson; the last of whom continues still the same foole he was, crying up what power he has in the City, in knowing their temper, and being able to do what he will with them. It seems the City did last night very freely lend the King 100,000l. without any security but the King’s word, which was very noble. But this loggerhead and Sir R. Ford would make us believe that they did it. Now Sir R. Ford is a cunning man, and makes a foole of the other, and the other believes whatever the other tells him. But, Lord! to think that such a man should be Lieutenant of the Tower, and so great a man as he is, is a strange thing to me.
With them late and then home and with my wife to bed, after supper.
I sleep like a boat
touching the fish
without any thought going
through the dark water
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 26 October 1664.