Touched

Called up by Captain Cocke (who was last night put into great trouble upon his boy’s being rather worse than better, upon which he removed him out of his house to his stable), who told me that to my comfort his boy was now as well as ever he was in his life.
So I up, and after being trimmed, the first time I have been touched by a barber these twelvemonths, I think, and more, went to Sir J. Minnes’s, where I find all out of order still, they having not seen one another till by and by Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten met, to go into my Lord Bruncker’s coach, and so we four to Lambeth, and thence to the Duke of Albemarle, to inform him what we have done as to the fleete, which is very little, and to receive his direction. But, Lord! what a sad time it is to see no boats upon the River; and grass grows all up and down White Hall court, and nobody but poor wretches in the streets! And, which is worst of all, the Duke showed us the number of the plague this week, brought in the last night from the Lord Mayor; that it is encreased about 600 more than the last, which is quite contrary to all our hopes and expectations, from the coldness of the late season. For the whole general number is 8,297, and of them the plague 7,165; which is more in the whole by above 50, than the biggest Bill yet; which is very grievous to us all.
I find here a design in my Lord Bruncker and Captain Cocke to have had my Lord Bruncker chosen as one of us to have been sent aboard one of the East Indiamen, and Captain Cocke as a merchant to be joined with him, and Sir J. Minnes for the other, and Sir G. Smith to be joined with him. But I did order it so that my Lord Bruncker and Sir J. Minnes were ordered, but I did stop the merchants to be added, which would have been a most pernicious thing to the King I am sure. In this I did, I think, a very good office, though I cannot acquit myself from some envy of mine in the business to have the profitable business done by another hand while I lay wholly imployed in the trouble of the office.
Thence back again by my Lord’s coach to my Lord Bruncker’s house, where I find my Lady Batten, who is become very great with Mrs. Williams (my Lord Bruncker’s whore), and there we dined and were mighty merry.
After dinner I to the office there to write letters, to fit myself for a journey to-morrow to Nonsuch to the Exchequer by appointment.
That being done I to Sir J. Minnes where I find Sir W. Batten and his Lady gone home to Walthamstow in great snuffe as to Sir J. Minnes, but yet with some necessity, hearing that a mayde-servant of theirs is taken ill. Here I staid and resolved of my going in my Lord Bruncker’s coach which he would have me to take, though himself cannot go with me as he intended, and so to my last night’s lodging to bed very weary.

I have been touched in a coach
on a boat
in the street

how numb I am to it
that pernicious hand

the whore fit for no one
that he would have me be


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 20 September 1665.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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