Employed

Up, and was presented by Burton, one of our smith’s wives, with a very noble cake, which I presently resolved to have my wife go with to-day, and some wine, and house-warme my Betty Michell, which she readily resolved to do. So I to the office and sat all the morning, where little to do but answer people about want of money; so that there is little service done the King by us, and great disquiet to ourselves; I am sure there is to me very much, for I do not enjoy myself as I would and should do in my employment if my pains could do the King better service, and with the peace that we used to do it.
At noon to dinner, and from dinner my wife and my brother, and W. Hewer and Barker away to Betty Michell’s, to Shadwell, and I to my office, where I took in Mrs. Bagwell and did what I would with her, and so she went away, and I all the afternoon till almost night there, and then, my wife being come back, I took her and set her at her brother’s, who is very sicke, and I to White Hall, and there all alone a pretty while with Sir W. Coventry at his chamber. I find him very melancholy under the same considerations of the King’s service that I am. He confesses with me he expects all will be undone, and all ruined; he complains and sees perfectly what I with grief do, and said it first himself to me that all discipline is lost in the fleete, no order nor no command, and concurs with me that it is necessary we do again and again represent all things more and more plainly to the Duke of York, for a guard to ourselves hereafter when things shall come to be worse. He says the House goes on slowly in finding of money, and that the discontented party do say they have not done with us, for they will have a further bout with us as to our accounts, and they are exceedingly well instructed where to hit us. I left him with a thousand sad reflections upon the times, and the state of the King’s matters, and so away, and took up my wife and home, where a little at the office, and then home to supper, and talk with my wife (with whom I have much comfort) and my brother, and so to bed.

with little to do but answer
a little king

I do not enjoy my employment
in the service of service

I see what grief we come to
in our reflections


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 1 November 1666.

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