Strike

Going to bed betimes last night we waked betimes, and from our people’s being forced to take the key to go out to light a candle, I was very angry and begun to find fault with my wife for not commanding her servants as she ought. Thereupon she giving me some cross answer I did strike her over her left eye such a blow as the poor wretch did cry out and was in great pain, but yet her spirit was such as to endeavour to bite and scratch me. But I cogging with her made her leave crying, and sent for butter and parsley, and friends presently one with another, and I up, vexed at my heart to think what I had done, for she was forced to lay a poultice or something to her eye all day, and is black, and the people of the house observed it.
But I was forced to rise, and up and with Sir J. Minnes to White Hall, and there we waited on the Duke. And among other things Mr. Coventry took occasion to vindicate himself before the Duke and us, being all there, about the choosing of Taylor for Harwich. Upon which the Duke did clear him, and did tell us that he did expect, that, after he had named a man, none of us shall then oppose or find fault with the man; but if we had anything to say, we ought to say it before he had chose him. Sir G. Carteret thought himself concerned, and endeavoured to clear himself: and by and by Sir W. Batten did speak, knowing himself guilty, and did confess, that being pressed by the Council he did say what he did, that he was accounted a fanatique; but did not know that at that time he had been appointed by his Royal Highness. To which the Duke [replied] that it was impossible but he must know that he had appointed him; and so it did appear that the Duke did mean all this while Sir W. Batten. So by and by we parted, and Mr. Coventry did privately tell me that he did this day take this occasion to mention the business to give the Duke an opportunity of speaking his mind to Sir W. Batten in this business, of which I was heartily glad.
Thence home, and not finding Bagwell’s wife as I expected, I to the ‘Change and there walked up and down, and then home, and she being come I bid her go and stay at Mooregate for me, and after going up to my wife (whose eye is very bad, but she is in very good temper to me), and after dinner I to the place and walked round the fields again and again, but not finding her I to the ‘Change, and there found her waiting for me and took her away, and to an alehouse, and there I made much of her, and then away thence and to another and endeavoured to caress her, but ‘elle ne voulait pas’, which did vex me, but I think it was chiefly not having a good easy place to do it upon. So we broke up and parted and I to the office, where we sat hiring of ships an hour or two, and then to my office, and thence (with Captain Taylor home to my house) to give him instructions and some notice of what to his great satisfaction had happened to-day. Which I do because I hope his coming into this office will a little cross Sir W. Batten and may do me good. He gone, I to supper with my wife, very pleasant, and then a little to my office and to bed. My mind, God forgive me, too much running upon what I can ‘ferais avec la femme de Bagwell demain’, having promised to go to Deptford and ‘a aller a sa maison avec son mari’ when I come thither.

we go out on strike
left eye as poor as a cog
heart forced to sing an impossible part
ear a well for the mad
the no-good hips

what faction lit up the mind


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 19 December 1664.

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