Warrior

(Lord’s day). Comes my taylor’s man in the morning, and brings my vest home, and coate to wear with it, and belt, and silver-hilted sword. So I rose and dressed myself, and I like myself mightily in it, and so do my wife. Then, being dressed, to church; and after church pulled my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham into my house to dinner, and Sir J. Minnes he got Mrs. Pegg along with him. I had a good dinner for them, and very merry; and after dinner to the waterside, and so, it being very cold, to White Hall, and was mighty fearfull of an ague, my vest being new and thin, and the coat cut not to meet before upon my breast. Here I waited in the gallery till the Council was up, and among others did speak with Mr. Cooling, my Lord Chamberlain’s secretary, who tells me my Lord Generall is become mighty low in all people’s opinion, and that he hath received several slurs from the King and Duke of York. The people at Court do see the difference between his and the Prince’s management, and my Lord Sandwich’s. That this business which he is put upon of crying out against the Catholiques and turning them out of all employment, will undo him, when he comes to turn-out the officers out of the Army, and this is a thing of his own seeking. That he is grown a drunken sot, and drinks with nobody but Troutbecke, whom nobody else will keep company with. Of whom he told me this story: That once the Duke of Albemarle in his drink taking notice as of a wonder that Nan Hide should ever come to be Duchesse of York, “Nay,” says Troutbecke, “ne’er wonder at that; for if you will give me another bottle of wine, I will tell you as great, if not greater, a miracle.” And what was that, but that our dirty Besse (meaning his Duchesse) should come to be Duchesse of Albemarle? Here we parted, and so by and by the Council rose, and out comes Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry, and they and my Lord Bruncker and I went to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings, there to discourse about some money demanded by Sir W. Warren, and having done that broke up. And Sir G. Carteret and I alone together a while, where he shows a long letter, all in cipher, from my Lord Sandwich to him. The contents he hath not yet found out, but he tells me that my Lord is not sent for home, as several people have enquired after of me. He spoke something reflecting upon me in the business of pursers, that their present bad behaviour is what he did foresee, and had convinced me of, and yet when it come last year to be argued before the Duke of York I turned and said as the rest did. I answered nothing to it, but let it go, and so to other discourse of the ill state of things, of which all people are full of sorrow and observation, and so parted, and then by water, landing in Southwarke, home to the Tower, and so home, and there began to read “Potter’s Discourse upon 666,” which pleases me mightily, and then broke off and to supper and to bed.

silver-hilted sword
like a cold slur
against all seeking

I grow drunk
and drink with nobody
but you

no miracle
that dirt should come
to the rose

lodging in that cipher
the present is what
I foresee


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 November 1666.

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