Up, and after doing a little business, down to Deptford with Sir W. Batten, and there left him, and I to Greenwich to the Park, where I hear the King and Duke are come by water this morn from Hampton Court. They asked me several questions. The King mightily pleased with his new buildings there. I followed them to Castle’s ship in building, and there, met Sir W. Batten, and thence to Sir G. Carteret’s, where all the morning with them; they not having any but the Duke of Monmouth, and Sir W. Killigrew, and one gentleman, and a page more. Great variety of talk, and was often led to speak to the King and Duke. By and by they to dinner, and all to dinner and sat down to the King saving myself, which, though I could not in modesty expect, yet, God forgive my pride! I was sorry I was there, that Sir W. Batten should say that he could sit down where I could not, though he had twenty times more reason than I, but this was my pride and folly.
I down and walked with Mr. Castle, who told me the design of Ford and Rider to oppose and do all the hurt they can to Captain Taylor in his new ship “The London,” and how it comes, and that they are a couple of false persons, which I believe, and withal that he himself is a knave too.
He and I by and by to dinner mighty nobly, and the King having dined, he come down, and I went in the barge with him, I sitting at the door. Down to Woolwich (and there I just saw and kissed my wife, and saw some of her painting, which is very curious; and away again to the King) and back again with him in the barge, hearing him and the Duke talk, and seeing and observing their manner of discourse. And God forgive me! though I admire them with all the duty possible, yet the more a man considers and observes them, the less he finds of difference between them and other men, though (blessed be God!) they are both princes of great nobleness and spirits.
The barge put me into another boat that come to our side, Mr. Holder with a bag of gold to the Duke, and so they away and I home to the office. The Duke of Monmouth is the most skittish leaping gallant that ever I saw, always in action, vaulting or leaping, or clambering.
Thence mighty full of the honour of this day, I took coach and to Kate Joyce’s, but she not within, but spoke with Anthony, who tells me he likes well of my proposal for Pall to Harman, but I fear that less than 500l. will not be taken, and that I shall not be able to give, though I did not say so to him. After a little other discourse and the sad news of the death of so many in the parish of the plague, forty last night, the bell always going, I back to the Exchange, where I went up and sat talking with my beauty, Mrs. Batelier, a great while, who is indeed one of the finest women I ever saw in my life. After buying some small matter, I home, and there to the office and saw Sir J. Minnes now come from Portsmouth, I home to set my Journall for these four days in order, they being four days of as great content and honour and pleasure to me as ever I hope to live or desire, or think any body else can live. For methinks if a man would but reflect upon this, and think that all these things are ordered by God Almighty to make me contented, and even this very marriage now on foot is one of the things intended to find me content in, in my life and matter of mirth, methinks it should make one mightily more satisfied in the world than he is. This day poor Robin Shaw at Backewell’s died, and Backewell himself now in Flanders. The King himself asked about Shaw, and being told he was dead, said he was very sorry for it.
The sicknesse is got into our parish this week, and is got, indeed, every where; so that I begin to think of setting things in order, which I pray God enable me to put both as to soul and body.
in the park
they lease new buildings
where the morning grew
they do all the hurt they can
the more a man serves
the less he finds of joy
like the death of so many things
to make me content in my life
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 26 July 1665.