Carnivalesque

Called up about five in the morning, and my Lord up, and took leave, a little after six, very kindly of me and the whole company. Then I in, and my wife up and to visit my Lady Slaving in her bed, and there sat three hours, with Lady Jemimah with us, talking and laughing, and by and by my Lady Carteret comes, and she and I to talke, I glad to please her in discourse of Sir G. Carteret, that all will do well with him, and she is much pleased, he having had great annoyance and fears about his well doing, and I fear hath doubted that I have not been a friend to him, but cries out against my Lady Castlemaine, that makes the King neglect his business and seems much to fear that all will go to wracke, and I fear with great reason; exclaims against the Duke of Albemarle, and more the Duchesse for a filthy woman, as indeed she is.
Here staid till 9 o’clock almost, and then took coach with so much love and kindnesse from my Lady Carteret, Lady Jemimah, and Lady Slaving, that it joys my heart, and when I consider the manner of my going hither, with a coach and four horses and servants and a woman with us, and coming hither being so much made of, and used with that state, and then going to Windsor and being shewn all that we were there, and had wherewith to give every body something for their pains, and then going home, and all in fine weather and no fears nor cares upon me, I do thinke myself obliged to thinke myself happy, and do look upon myself at this time in the happiest occasion a man can be, and whereas we take pains in expectation of future comfort and ease, I have taught myself to reflect upon myself at present as happy, and enjoy myself in that consideration, and not only please myself with thoughts of future wealth and forget the pleasure we at present enjoy.
So took coach and to Windsor, to the Garter, and thither sent for Dr. Childe; who come to us, and carried us to St. George’s Chappell; and there placed us among the Knights’ stalls (and pretty the observation, that no man, but a woman may sit in a Knight’s place, where any brass-plates are set); and hither come cushions to us, and a young singing-boy to bring us a copy of the anthem to be sung. And here, for our sakes, had this anthem and the great service sung extraordinary, only to entertain us. It is a noble place indeed, and a good Quire of voices. Great bowing by all the people, the poor Knights particularly, to the Alter. After prayers, we to see the plate of the chappell, and the robes of Knights, and a man to shew us the banners of the several Knights in being, which hang up over the stalls. And so to other discourse very pretty, about the Order. Was shewn where the late [King] is buried, and King Henry the Eighth, and my Lady [Jane] Seymour. This being done, to the King’s house, and to observe the neatness and contrivance of the house and gates: it is the most romantique castle that is in the world. But, Lord! the prospect that is in the balcone in the Queene’s lodgings, and the terrace and walk, are strange things to consider, being the best in the world, sure.
Infinitely satisfied I and my wife with all this, she being in all points mightily pleased too, which added to my pleasure; and so giving a great deal of money to this and that man and woman, we to our taverne, and there dined, the Doctor with us; and so took coach and away to Eton, the Doctor with me.
Before we went to Chappell this morning, Kate Joyce, in a stage-coach going toward London, called to me. I went to her and saluted her, but could not get her to stay with us, having company.
At Eton I left my wife in the coach, and he and I to the College, and there find all mighty fine. The school good, and the custom pretty of boys cutting their names in the struts of the window when they go to Cambridge, by which many a one hath lived to see himself Provost and Fellow, that had his name in the window standing. To the Hall, and there find the boys’ verses, “De Peste;” it being their custom to make verses at Shrove-tide. I read several, and very good ones they were, and better, I think, than ever I made when I was a boy, and in rolls as long and longer than the whole Hall, by much. Here is a picture of Venice hung up given, and a monument made of Sir H. Wotton’s giving it to the College.
Thence to the porter’s, in the absence of the butler, and did drink of the College beer, which is very good; and went into the back fields to see the scholars play. And so to the chappell, and there saw, among other things, Sir H. Wotton’s stone with this Epitaph
Hic facet primus hujus sententiae Author:— Disputandi pruritus fit ecclesiae scabies.
But unfortunately the word “Author” was wrong writ, and now so basely altered that it disgraces the stone.
Thence took leave of the Doctor, and so took coach, and finely, but sleepy, away home, and got thither about eight at night, and after a little at my office, I to bed.
And an houre after, was waked with my wife’s quarrelling with Mercer, at which I was angry, and my wife and I fell out. But with much ado to sleep again, I beginning to practise more temper, and to give her her way.

if I make filth and love
from that horse the body

I think myself obliged
to think myself happy

and not forget the winds that come
only to entertain us

a choir of voices buried
in one infinite chapel

a window is better than an absence
which disgraces the stone

awake I was angry
to sleep is to give way


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 February 1666.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.