Auld acquaintance

At the office all the morning, and after dinner there again, dispatched first my letters, and then to my accounts, not of the month but of the whole yeare also, and was at it till past twelve at night, it being bitter cold; but yet I was well satisfied with my worke, and, above all, to find myself, by the great blessing of God, worth 1349l., by which, as I have spent very largely, so I have laid up above 500l. this yeare above what I was worth this day twelvemonth. The Lord make me for ever thankful to his holy name for it!
Thence home to eat a little and so to bed. Soon as ever the clock struck one, I kissed my wife in the kitchen by the fireside, wishing her a merry new yeare, observing that I believe I was the first proper wisher of it this year, for I did it as soon as ever the clock struck one.
So ends the old yeare, I bless God, with great joy to me, not only from my having made so good a yeare of profit, as having spent 420l. and laid up 540l. and upwards.
But I bless God I never have been in so good plight as to my health in so very cold weather as this is, nor indeed in any hot weather, these ten years, as I am at this day, and have been these four or five months. But I am at a great losse to know whether it be my hare’s foote, or taking every morning of a pill of turpentine, or my having left off the wearing of a gowne.
My family is, my wife, in good health, and happy with her; her woman Mercer, a pretty, modest, quiett mayde; her chambermayde Besse, her cook mayde Jane, the little girl Susan, and my boy, which I have had about half a yeare, Tom Edwards, which I took from the King’s chappell, and a pretty and loving quiett family I have as any man in England.
My credit in the world and my office grows daily, and I am in good esteeme with everybody, I think.
My troubles of my uncle’s estate pretty well over; but it comes to be but of little profit to us, my father being much supported by my purse.
But great vexations remain upon my father and me from my brother Tom’s death and ill condition, both to our disgrace and discontent, though no great reason for either.
Publique matters are all in a hurry about a Dutch warr. Our preparations great; our provocations against them great; and, after all our presumption, we are now afeard as much of them, as we lately contemned them.
Every thing else in the State quiett, blessed be God! My Lord Sandwich at sea with the fleete at Portsmouth; sending some about to cruise for taking of ships, which we have done to a great number.
This Christmas I judged it fit to look over all my papers and books; and to tear all that I found either boyish or not to be worth keeping, or fit to be seen, if it should please God to take me away suddenly. Among others, I found these two or three notes, which I thought fit to keep.

the whole year as large
as one kiss in the kitchen

the fire is new and hot
and are we happy loving

the little death no reason
for hurry now

we bless with mouth to ear
that sudden note

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 31 December 1664.

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