(Ash Wednesday). Up, and after doing a little business at my office I walked, it being a most curious dry and cold morning, to White Hall, and there I went into the Parke, and meeting Sir Ph. Warwicke took a turne with him in the Pell Mall, talking of the melancholy posture of affairs, where every body is snarling one at another, and all things put together looke ominously. This new Act too putting us out of a power of raising money. So that he fears as I do, but is fearfull of enlarging in that discourse of an ill condition in every thing, and the State and all. We appointed another time to meet to talke of the business of the Navy alone seriously, and so parted, and I to White Hall, and there we did our business with the Duke of Yorke, and so parted, and walked to Westminster Hall, where I staid talking with Mrs. Michell and Howlett long and her daughter, which is become a mighty pretty woman, and thence going out of the Hall was called to by Mrs. Martin, so I went to her and bought two bands, and so parted, and by and by met at her chamber, and there did what I would, and so away home and there find Mrs. Knipp, and we dined together, she the pleasantest company in the world. After dinner I did give my wife money to lay out on Knipp, 20s., and I abroad to White Hall to visit Colonell Norwood, and then Sir G. Carteret, with whom I have brought myself right again, and he very open to me; is very melancholy, and matters, I fear, go down with him, but he seems most afeard of a general catastrophe to the whole kingdom, and thinks, as I fear, that all things will come to nothing. Thence to the Palace Yard, to the Swan, and there staid till it was dark, and then to Mrs. Lane’s, and there lent her 5l. upon 4l. 01s. in gold. And then did what I would with her, and I perceive she is come to be very bad, and offers any thing, that it is dangerous to have to do with her, nor will I see [her] any more a good while. Thence by coach home and to the office, where a while, and then betimes to bed by ten o’clock, sooner than I have done many a day.
And thus ends this month, with my mind full of resolution to apply myself better from this time forward to my business than I have done these six or eight days, visibly to my prejudice both in quiett of mind and setting backward of my business, that I cannot give a good account of it as I ought to do.
where everybody is snarling I howl
long and pretty
then go down a hole till dark
where the clock is full forward
my day is quiet and backward
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 28 February 1666.