Prospectors

By agreement my Lord Bruncker called me up, and though it was a very foule, windy, and rainy morning, yet down to the waterside we went, but no boat could go, the storme continued so. So my Lord to stay till fairer weather carried me into the Tower to Mr. Hore’s and there we staid talking an houre, but at last we found no boats yet could go, so we to the office, where we met upon an occasion extraordinary of examining abuses of our clerkes in taking money for examining of tickets, but nothing done in it. Thence my Lord and I, the weather being a little fairer, by water to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret’s house, where W. Howe met us, and there we opened the chests, and saw the poor sorry rubys which have caused all this ado to the undoing of W. Howe; though I am not much sorry for it, because of his pride and ill nature. About 200 of these very small stones, and a cod of muske (which it is strange I was not able to smell) is all we could find; so locked them up again, and my Lord and I, the wind being again very furious, so as we durst not go by water, walked to London quite round the bridge, no boat being able to stirre; and, Lord! what a dirty walk we had, and so strong the wind, that in the fields we many times could not carry our bodies against it, but were driven backwards. We went through Horsydowne, where I never was since a little boy, that I went to enquire after my father, whom we did give over for lost coming from Holland. It was dangerous to walk the streets, the bricks and tiles falling from the houses that the whole streets were covered with them; and whole chimneys, nay, whole houses in two or three places, blowed down. But, above all, the pales on London-bridge on both sides were blown away, so that we were fain to stoop very low for fear of blowing off of the bridge. We could see no boats in the Thames afloat, but what were broke loose, and carried through the bridge, it being ebbing water. And the greatest sight of all was, among other parcels of ships driven here and there in clusters together, one was quite overset and lay with her masts all along in the water, and keel above water. So walked home, my Lord away to his house and I to dinner, Mr. Creed being come to towne and to dine with me, though now it was three o’clock. After dinner he and I to our accounts and very troublesome he is and with tricks which I found plainly and was vexed at; while we were together comes Sir G. Downing with Colonell Norwood, Rumball, and Warrupp to visit me. I made them drink good wine and discoursed above alone a good while with Sir G. Downing, who is very troublesome, and then with Colonell Norwood, who hath a great mind to have me concerned with him in everything; which I like, but am shy of adventuring too much, but will thinke of it. They gone, Creed and I to finish the settling his accounts. Thence to the office, where the Houblans and we discoursed upon a rubb which we have for one of the ships I hoped to have got to go out to Tangier for them. They being gone, I to my office-business late, and then home to supper and even sacke for lacke of a little wine, which I was forced to drink against my oathe, but without pleasure.

where we met on occasion
mining abuses for very small stones
locked up in the dirt

the fields could not carry our bodies
lost and dangerous
whole places blown away

or driven here and there
like ships of lack


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 24 January 1666.

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