Gothic

Called up, though a very rainy morning, by Sir H. Cholmley, and he and I most of the morning together evening of accounts, which I was very glad of. Then he and I out to Sir Robt. Viner’s, at the African house (where I had not been since he come thither); but he was not there; but I did some business with his people, and then to Colvill’s, who, I find, lives now in Lyme Streete, and with the same credit as ever, this fire having not done them any wrong that I hear of at all. Thence he and I together to Westminster Hall, in our way talking of matters and passages of state, the viciousness of the Court; the contempt the King brings himself into thereby; his minding nothing, but doing all things just as his people about him will have it; the Duke of York becoming a slave to this whore Denham, and wholly minds her; that there really was amours between the Duchesse and Sidney; a that there is reason to fear that, as soon as the Parliament have raised this money, the King will see that he hath got all that he can get, and then make up a peace. He tells me, what I wonder at, but that I find it confirmed by Mr. Pierce, whom I met by-and-by in the Hall, that Sir W. Coventry is of the caball with the Duke of York, and Bruncker, with this Denham; which is a shame, and I am sorry for it, and that Sir W. Coventry do make her visits; but yet I hope it is not so. Pierce tells me, that as little agreement as there is between the Prince and Duke of Albemarle, yet they are likely to go to sea again; for the first will not be trusted alone, and nobody will go with him but this Duke of Albemarle. He tells me much how all the commanders of the fleete and officers that are sober men do cry out upon their bad discipline, and the ruine that must follow it if it continue. But that which I wonder most at, it seems their secretaries have been the most exorbitant in their fees to all sorts of the people, that it is not to be believed that they durst do it, so as it is believed they have got 800l. apiece by the very vacancies in the fleete. He tells me that Lady Castlemayne is concluded to be with child again; and that all the people about the King do make no scruple of saying that the King do lie with Mrs. Stewart, who, he says, is a most excellent-natured lady. This day the King begins to put on his vest, and I did see several persons of the House of Lords and Commons too, great courtiers, who are in it; being a long cassocke close to the body, of black cloth, and pinked with white silke under it, and a coat over it, and the legs ruffled with black riband like a pigeon’s leg; and, upon the whole, I wish the King may keep it, for it is a very fine and handsome garment. Walking with Pierce in the Court of Wards out comes Sir W. Coventry, and he and I talked of business. Among others I proposed the making Sir J. Minnes a Commissioner, and make somebody else Comptroller. He tells me it is the thing he hath been thinking of, and hath spoke to the Duke of York of it. He believes it will be done; but that which I fear is that Pen will be Comptroller, which I shall grudge a little. The Duke of Buckingham called him aside and spoke a good while with him. I did presently fear it might be to discourse something of his design to blemish my Lord of Sandwich, in pursuance of the wild motion he made the other day in the House. Sir W. Coventry, when he come to me again, told me that he had wrought a miracle, which was, the convincing the Duke of Buckingham that something — he did not name what — that he had intended to do was not fit to be done, and that the Duke is gone away of that opinion. This makes me verily believe it was something like what I feared.
By and by the House rose, and then we parted, and I with Sir G. Carteret, and walked in the Exchequer Court, discoursing of businesses. Among others, I observing to him how friendly Sir W. Coventry had carried himself to him in these late inquiries, when, if he had borne him any spleen, he could have had what occasion he pleased offered him, he did confess he found the same thing, and would thanke him for it.
I did give him some other advices, and so away with him to his lodgings at White Hall to dinner, where my Lady Carteret is, and mighty kind, both of them, to me. Their son and my Lady Jemimah will be here very speedily. She tells me the ladies are to go into a new fashion shortly, and that is, to wear short coats, above their ancles; which she and I do not like, but conclude this long trayne to be mighty graceful. But she cries out of the vices of the Court, and how they are going to set up plays already; and how, the next day after the late great fast, the Duchesse of York did give the King and Queene a play. Nay, she told me that they have heretofore had plays at Court the very nights before the fast for the death of the late King: She do much cry out upon these things, and that which she believes will undo the whole nation; and I fear so too.
After dinner away home, Mr. Brisband along with me as far as the Temple, and there looked upon a new booke, set out by one Rycault, secretary to my Lord Winchelsea, of the policy and customs of the Turks, which is, it seems, much cried up. But I could not stay, but home, where I find Balty come back, and with him some muster-books, which I am glad of, and hope he will do me credit in his employment. By and by took coach again and carried him home, and my wife to her tailor’s, while I to White Hall to have found out Povy, but miss him and so call in my wife and home again, where at Sir W. Batten’s I met Sir W. Pen, lately come from the fleete at the Nore; and here were many good fellows, among others Sir R. Holmes, who is exceeding kind to me, more than usual, which makes me afeard of him, though I do much wish his friendship. Thereupon, after a little stay, I withdrew, and to the office and awhile, and then home to supper and to my chamber to settle a few papers, and then to bed.
This day the great debate was in Parliament, the manner of raising the 1,800,000l. they voted [the King] on Friday; and at last, after many proposals, one moved that the Chimney-money might be taken from the King, and an equal revenue of something else might be found for the King, and people be enjoyned to buy off this tax of Chimney-money for ever at eight years’ purchase, which will raise present money, as they think, 1,600,000l., and the State be eased of an ill burthen and the King be supplied of something as food or better for his use. The House seems to like this, and put off the debate to to-morrow.

rain and I live together
in one lone body

tell me how sober men cry
or go out in black

coat like a hole
hands in wild motion

it is the fashion to fast
and play at death

and I am too thin to think
of a burden like tomorrow


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 October 1666.

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