Love questions

… and up again about six (Lord’s day), and being dressed in my velvett coate and plain cravatte took a hackney coach provided ready for me by eight o’clock, and so to my Lord Bruncker’s with all my papers, and there took his coach with four horses and away toward Hampton Court, having a great deale of good discourse with him, particularly about his coming to lie at the office, when I went further in inviting him to than I intended, having not yet considered whether it will be convenient for me or no to have him here so near us, and then of getting Mr. Evelyn or Sir Robert Murray into the Navy in the room of Sir Thomas Harvey. At Brainford I ‘light, having need to shit, and went into an Inne doore that stood open, found the house of office and used it, but saw no people, only after I was in the house, heard a great dogg barke, and so was afeard how I should get safe back again, and therefore drew my sword and scabbard out of my belt to have ready in my hand, but did not need to use it, but got safe into the coach again, but lost my belt by the shift, not missing it till I come to Hampton Court. At the Wicke found Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten at a lodging provided for us by our messenger, and there a good dinner ready. After dinner took coach and to Court, where we find the King, and Duke, and Lords, all in council; so we walked up and down: there being none of the ladies come, and so much the more business I hope will be done. The Council being up, out comes the King, and I kissed his hand, and he grasped me very kindly by the hand. The Duke also, I kissed his, and he mighty kind, and Sir W. Coventry. I found my Lord Sandwich there, poor man! I see with a melancholy face, and suffers his beard to grow on his upper lip more than usual. I took him a little aside to know when I should wait on him, and where: he told me, and that it would be best to meet at his lodgings, without being seen to walk together. Which I liked very well; and, Lord! to see in what difficulty I stand, that I dare not walk with Sir W. Coventry, for fear my Lord or Sir G. Carteret should see me; nor with either of them, for fear Sir W. Coventry should. After changing a few words with Sir W. Coventry, who assures me of his respect and love to me, and his concernment for my health in all this sickness, I went down into one of the Courts, and there met the King and Duke; and the Duke called me to him. And the King come to me of himself, and told me, “Mr. Pepys,” says he, “I do give you thanks for your good service all this year, and I assure you I am very sensible of it.” And the Duke of Yorke did tell me with pleasure, that he had read over my discourse about pursers, and would have it ordered in my way, and so fell from one discourse to another. I walked with them quite out of the Court into the fields, and then back to my Lord Sandwich’s chamber, where I find him very melancholy and not well satisfied, I perceive, with my carriage to Sir G. Carteret, but I did satisfy him and made him confess to me, that I have a very hard game to play; and told me he was sorry to see it, and the inconveniences which likely may fall upon me with him; but, for all that, I am not much afeard, if I can but keepe out of harm’s way in not being found too much concerned in my Lord’s or Sir G. Carteret’s matters, and that I will not be if I can helpe it. He hath got over his business of the prizes, so far as to have a privy seale passed for all that was in his distribution to the officers, which I am heartily glad of; and, for the rest, he must be answerable for what he is proved to have. But for his pardon for anything else, he thinks it not seasonable to aske it, and not usefull to him; because that will not stop a Parliament’s mouth, and for the King, he is sure enough of him. I did aske him whether he was sure of the interest and friendship of any great Ministers of State and he told me, yes. As we were going further, in comes my Lord Mandeville, so we were forced to breake off and I away, and to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, where he not come in but I find Sir W. Pen, and he and I to discourse. I find him very much out of humour, so that I do not think matters go very well with him, and I am glad of it. He and I staying till late, and Sir W. Coventry not coming in (being shut up close all the afternoon with the Duke of Albemarle), we took boat, and by water to Kingston, and so to our lodgings, where a good supper and merry, only I sleepy, and therefore after supper I slunk away from the rest to bed, and lay very well and slept soundly, my mind being in a great delirium between joy for what the King and Duke have said to me and Sir W. Coventry, and trouble for my Lord Sandwich’s concernments, and how hard it will be for me to preserve myself from feeling thereof.

will the missing kiss
grow on his lip
like a difficult word

is love is a hard game to play
or an inconvenience
on the way to sleep

or to my mind
a great delirium
between joy and concern


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 January 1666.

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