Natural piety

Up, and met by 6 o’clock in my chamber Mr. Povy (from White Hall) about evening reckonings between him and me, on our Tangier business, and at it hard till toward eight o’clock, and he then carried me in his chariot to White Hall, where by and by my fellow officers met me, and we had a meeting before the Duke. Thence with my Lord Bruncker towards London, and in our way called in Covent Garden, and took in Sir John (formerly Dr.) Baber; who hath this humour that he will not enter into discourse while any stranger is in company, till he be told who he is that seems a stranger to him. This he did declare openly to me, and asked my Lord who I was, giving this reason, that he has been inconvenienced by being too free in discourse till he knew who all the company were. Thence to Guildhall (in our way taking in Dr. Wilkins), and there my Lord and I had full and large discourse with Sir Thomas Player, the Chamberlain of the City (a man I have much heard of for his credit and punctuality in the City, and on that score I had a desire to be made known to him), about the credit of our tallys, which are lodged there for security to such as should lend money thereon to the use of the Navy. And I had great satisfaction therein: and the truth is, I find all our matters of credit to be in an ill condition. Thence, I being in a little haste walked before and to the ‘Change a little and then home, and presently to Trinity house to dinner, where Captain Cox made his Elder Brother’s dinner. But it seemed to me a very poor sorry dinner. I having many things in my head rose, when my belly was full, though the dinner not half done, and home and there to do some business, and by and by out of doors and met Mr. Povy coming to me by appointment, but it being a little too late, I took a little pride in the streete not to go back with him, but prayed him to come another time, and I away to Kate Joyce’s, thinking to have spoke to her husband about Pall’s business, but a stranger, the Welsh Dr. Powell, being there I forebore and went away and so to Hales’s, to see my wife’s picture, which I like mighty well, and there had the pleasure to see how suddenly he draws the Heavens, laying a darke ground and then lightening it when and where he will. Thence to walk all alone in the fields behind Grayes Inne, making an end of reading over my dear “Faber fortunae,” of my Lord Bacon’s, and thence, it growing dark, took two or three wanton turns about the idle places and lanes about Drury Lane, but to no satisfaction, but a great fear of the plague among them, and so anon I walked by invitation to Mrs. Pierces, where I find much good company, that is to say, Mrs. Pierce, my wife, Mrs. Worshipp and her daughter, and Harris the player, and Knipp, and Mercer, and Mrs. Barbary Sheldon, who is come this day to spend a weeke with my wife; and here with musique we danced, and sung and supped, and then to sing and dance till past one in the morning; and much mirthe with Sir Anthony Apsley and one Colonell Sidney, who lodge in the house; and above all, they are mightily taken with Mrs. Knipp. Hence weary and sleepy we broke up, and I and my company homeward by coach and to bed.

who was I being too free
in the city of desire

before having anything in my head
when my belly was it

like the raw ground in fields
wanton with sun and sleep


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 14 March 1666.

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