Howling wilderness

Up, and met at the office; Sir W. Batten with us, who come from Portsmouth on Monday last, and hath not been with us to see or discourse with us about any business till this day. At noon to dinner, Sir W. Warren with me on boat, and thence I by water, it being a fearfull cold, snowing day to Westminster to White Hall stairs and thence to Sir G. Downing, to whom I brought the happy newes of my having contracted, as we did this day with Sir W. Warren, for a ship’s lading of Norway goods here and another at Harwich to the value of above 3,000l., which is the first that hath been got upon the New Act, and he is overjoyed with it and tells me he will do me all the right to Court about it in the world, and I am glad I have it to write to Sir W. Coventry to-night. He would fain have me come in 200l. to lend upon the Act, but I desire to be excused in doing that, it being to little purpose for us that relate to the King to do it, for the sum gets the King no courtesy nor credit. So I parted from him and walked to Westminster Hall, where Sir W. Warren, who come along with me, staid for me, and there I did see Betty Howlet come after the sicknesse to the Hall. Had not opportunity to salute her, as I desired, but was glad to see her and a very pretty wench she is. Thence back, landing at the Old Swan and taking boat again at Billingsgate, and setting ashore at home; and I, lying down close in my boat, and there, without use of my hand, had great pleasure, and the first time I did make trial of my strength of fancy of that kind without my hand, and had it complete avec la fille que I did see au-jour-dhuy in Westminster-hall. So to my office and there wrote my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, it being a great frost. Newes is come to-day of our Sounde fleete being come, but I do not know what Sir W. Warren hath insured.

snow is the first
new world we howl at

lying down in it
at first without a sound


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 16 December 1665.

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