Herbivory

Up and to my office, called up by Commissioner Middleton, newly come to town, but staid not with me; so I to my office busy all the morning. Towards noon, by water to Westminster Hall, and there by several hear that the Parliament do resolve to do something to retrench Sir G. Carteret’s great salary; but cannot hear of any thing bad they can lay to his charge. The House did this day order to be engrossed the Bill against importing Irish cattle; a thing, it seems, carried on by the Western Parliament-men, wholly against the sense of most of the rest of the House; who think if you do this, you give the Irish again cause to rebel. Thus plenty on both sides makes us mad. The Committee of the Canary Company of both factions come to me for my Cozen Roger that is of the Committee. Thence with [Sir] W. Coventry when the House rose and [Sir] W. Batten to St. James’s, and there agreed of and signed our paper of extraordinaries, and there left them, and I to Unthanke’s, where Mr. Falconbridge’s girle is, and by and by comes my wife, who likes her well, though I confess I cannot (though she be of my finding out and sings pretty well), because she will be raised from so mean a condition to so high all of a sudden; but she will be much to our profit, more than Mercer, less expense. Here we bespoke anew gowne for her, and to come to us on Friday. She being gone, my wife and I home by coach, and then I presently by water with Mr. Pierce to Westminster Hall, he in the way telling me how the Duke of York and Duke of Albemarle do not agree. The Duke of York is wholly given up to this bitch of Denham. The Duke of Albemarle and Prince Rupert do less agree. So that we are all in pieces, and nobody knows what will be done the next year. The King hath yesterday in Council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes, which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I know not well how; but it is to teach the nobility thrift, and will do good. By and by comes down from the Committee W. Coventry, and I find him troubled at several things happened this afternoon, which vexes me also; our business looking worse and worse, and our worke growing on our hands. Time spending, and no money to set anything in hand with; the end thereof must be speedy ruine. The Dutch insult and have taken off Bruant’s head, which they have not dared to do (though found guilty of the fault he did die for, of something of the Prince of Orange’s faction) till just now, which speaks more confidence in our being worse than before. Alderman Maynell, I hear, is dead. Thence returned in the darke by coach all alone, full of thoughts of the consequences of this ill complexion of affairs, and how to save myself and the little I have, which if I can do, I have cause to bless God that I am so well, and shall be well contented to retreat to Brampton, and spend the rest of my days there. So to my office, and did some business, and finished my Journall with resolutions, if God bless me, to apply myself soberly to settle all matters for myself, and expect the event of all with comfort. So home to supper and to bed.

noon
and the cattle come for the rose

like a sudden rift
growing in a ruin

and have taken
off a head

which speaks dark thoughts
to itself


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 October 1666.

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