Benighted

(Lord’s day). Up betimes and down to the Old Swan, there called on Michell and his wife, which in her night linen appeared as pretty almost as ever to my thinking I saw woman. Here I drank some burnt brandy. They shewed me their house, which, poor people, they have built, and is very pretty. I invited them to dine with me, and so away to White Hall to Sir W. Coventry, with whom I have not been alone a good while, and very kind he is, and tells me how the business is now ordered by order of council for my Lord Bruncker to assist Sir J. Minnes in all matters of accounts relating to the Treasurer, and Sir W. Pen in all matters relating to the victuallers’ and pursers’ accounts, which I am very glad of, and the more for that I think it will not do me any hurt at all. Other discourse, much especially about the heat the House was in yesterday about the ill management of the Navy, which I was sorry to hear; though I think they were well answered, both by Sir G. Carteret and [Sir] W. Coventry, as he informs me the substance of their speeches. Having done with him, home mightily satisfied with my being with him, and coming home I to church, and there, beyond expectation, find our seat, and all the church crammed, by twice as many people as used to be: and to my great joy find Mr. Frampton in the pulpit; so to my great joy I hear him preach, and I think the best sermon, for goodness and oratory, without affectation or study, that ever I heard in my life. The truth is, he preaches the most like an apostle that ever I heard man; and it was much the best time that ever I spent in my life at church. His text, Ecclesiastes xi., verse 8th — the words, “But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.”
He done, I home, and there Michell and his wife, and we dined and mighty merry, I mightily taken more and more with her. After dinner I with my brother away by water to White Hall, and there walked in the Parke, and a little to my Lord Chancellor’s, where the King and Cabinet met, and there met Mr. Brisband, with whom good discourse, to White Hall towards night, and there he did lend me “The Third Advice to a Paynter,” a bitter satyre upon the service of the Duke of Albemarle the last year. I took it home with me, and will copy it, having the former, being also mightily pleased with it.
So after reading it, I to Sir W. Pen to discourse a little with him about the business of our prizes, and so home to supper and to bed.

night pretty as a burnt church
beyond all oratory
preaches like Ecclesiastes

the days of darkness shall be many
all that cometh is vanity

and I take water
and a bitter little sin to bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 20 January 1667.

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