(Lord’s day). Up; and put on my coloured silk suit very fine, and my new periwigg, bought a good while since, but durst not wear, because the plague was in Westminster when I bought it; and it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done, as to periwiggs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire, for fear of the infection, that it had been cut off of the heads of people dead of the plague.
Before church time comes Mr. Hill (Mr. Andrews failing because he was to receive the Sacrament), and to church, where a sorry dull parson, and so home and most excellent company with Mr. Hill and discourse of musique. I took my Lady Pen home, and her daughter Pegg, and merry we were; and after dinner I made my wife show them her pictures, which did mad Pegg Pen, who learns of the same man and cannot do so well. After dinner left them and I by water to Greenwich, where much ado to be suffered to come into the towne because of the sicknesse, for fear I should come from London, till I told them who I was. So up to the church, where at the door I find Captain Cocke in my Lord Brunker’s coach, and he come out and walked with me in the church-yarde till the church was done, talking of the ill government of our Kingdom, nobody setting to heart the business of the Kingdom, but every body minding their particular profit or pleasures, the King himself minding nothing but his ease, and so we let things go to wracke. This arose upon considering what we shall do for money when the fleete comes in, and more if the fleete should not meet with the Dutch, which will put a disgrace upon the King’s actions, so as the Parliament and Kingdom will have the less mind to give more money, besides so bad an account of the last money, we fear, will be given, not half of it being spent, as it ought to be, upon the Navy. Besides, it is said that at this day our Lord Treasurer cannot tell what the profit of Chimney money is, what it comes to per annum, nor looks whether that or any other part of the revenue be duly gathered as it ought; the very money that should pay the City the 200,000l. they lent the King, being all gathered and in the hands of the Receiver and hath been long and yet not brought up to pay the City, whereas we are coming to borrow 4 or 500,000l. more of the City, which will never be lent as is to be feared.
Church being done, my Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I up to the Vestry at the desire of the justices of the Peace, Sir Theo. Biddulph and Sir W. Boreman and Alderman Hooker, in order to the doing something for the keeping of the plague from growing; but Lord! to consider the madness of the people of the town, who will (because they are forbid) come in crowds along with the dead corps to see them buried; but we agreed on some orders for the prevention thereof. Among other stories, one was very passionate, methought, of a complaint brought against a man in the towne for taking a child from London from an infected house. Alderman Hooker told us it was the child of a very able citizen in Gracious Street, a saddler, who had buried all the rest of his children of the plague, and himself and wife now being shut up and in despair of escaping, did desire only to save the life of this little child; and so prevailed to have it received stark-naked into the arms of a friend, who brought it (having put it into new fresh clothes) to Greenwich; where upon hearing the story, we did agree it should be permitted to be received and kept in the towne. Thence with my Lord Bruncker to Captain Cocke’s, where we mighty merry and supped, and very late I by water to Woolwich, in great apprehensions of an ague. Here was my Lord Bruncker’s lady of pleasure, who, I perceive, goes every where with him; and he, I find, is obliged to carry her, and make all the courtship to her that can be.
hair cut off
the heads of dead kings
cannot be gathered as it ought
to pay for keeping the madness
of crowds buried
stories as naked and late
as every court
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 3 September 1665.