Organs

Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there to the Duke of York, and did our usual business. Having done there, I to St. James’s, to see the organ Mrs. Turner told me of the other night, of my late Lord Aubigney’s; and I took my Lord Bruncker with me, he being acquainted with my present Lord Almoner, Mr. Howard, brother to the Duke of Norfolke; so he and I thither and did see the organ, but I do not like it, it being but a bauble, with a virginall joining to it: so I shall not meddle with it. Here we sat and talked with him a good while, and he seems a good-natured gentleman: here I observed the deske which he hath, [made] to remove, and is fastened to one of the armes of his chayre. I do also observe the counterfeit windows there was, in the form of doors with looking-glasses instead of windows, which makes the room seem both bigger and lighter, I think; and I have some thoughts to have the like in one of my rooms. He discoursed much of the goodness of the musique in Rome, but could not tell me how long musique had been in any perfection in that church, which I would be glad to know. He speaks much of the great buildings that this Pope, whom, in mirth to us, he calls Antichrist, hath done in his time. Having done with the discourse, we away, and my Lord and I walking into the Park back again, I did observe the new buildings: and my Lord, seeing I had a desire to see them, they being the place for the priests and fryers, he took me back to my Lord Almoner; and he took us quite through the whole house and chapel, and the new monastery, showing me most excellent pieces in wax-worke: a crucifix given by a Pope to Mary Queen of Scotts, where a piece of the Cross is; two bits set in the manner of a cross in the foot of the crucifix: several fine pictures, but especially very good prints of holy pictures. I saw the dortoire and the cells of the priests, and we went into one; a very pretty little room, very clean, hung with pictures, set with books. The Priest was in his cell, with his hair clothes to his skin, bare-legged, with a sandall only on, and his little bed without sheets, and no feather bed; but yet, I thought, soft enough. His cord about his middle; but in so good company, living with ease, I thought it a very good life. A pretty library they have. And I was in the refectoire, where every man his napkin, knife, cup of earth, and basin of the same; and a place for one to sit and read while the rest are at meals. And into the kitchen I went, where a good neck of mutton at the fire, and other victuals boiling. I do not think they fared very hard. Their windows all looking into a fine garden and the Park; and mighty pretty rooms all. I wished myself one of the Capuchins. Having seen what we could here, and all with mighty pleasure, so away with the Almoner in his coach, talking merrily about the difference in our religions, to White Hall, and there we left him. I in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, he carried me to the Savoy, and there we parted. I to the Castle Tavern, where was and did come all our company, Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, and our Counsel Sir Ellis Layton, Walt Walker, Dr. Budd, Mr. Holder, and several others, and here we had a bad dinner of our preparing, and did discourse something of our business of our prizes, which was the work of the day. I staid till dinner was over, and there being no use of me I away after dinner without taking leave, and to the New Exchange, there to take up my wife and Mercer, and to Temple Bar to the Ordinary, and had a dish of meat for them, they having not dined, and thence to the King’s house, and there saw “The Humerous Lieutenant,” a silly play, I think; only the Spirit in it that grows very tall, and then sinks again to nothing, having two heads breeding upon one, and then Knipp’s singing, did please us. Here, in a box above, we spied Mrs. Pierce; and, going out, they called us, and so we staid for them; and Knipp took us all in, and brought to us Nelly; a most pretty woman, who acted the great part of Coelia to-day very fine, and did it pretty well: I kissed her, and so did my wife; and a mighty pretty soul she is. We also saw Mrs. Halls which is my little Roman-nose black girl, that is mighty pretty: she is usually called Betty. Knipp made us stay in a box and see the dancing preparatory to to-morrow for “The Goblins,” a play of Suckling’s, not acted these twenty-five years; which was pretty; and so away thence, pleased with this sight also, and specially kissing of Nell. We away, Mr. Pierce and I, on foot to his house, the women by coach. In our way we find the Guards of horse in the street, and hear the occasion to be news that the seamen are in a mutiny, which put me into a great fright; so away with my wife and Mercer home preparing against to-morrow night to have Mrs. Pierce and Knipp and a great deal more company to dance; and, when I come home, hear of no disturbance there of the seamen, but that one of them, being arrested to-day, others do go and rescue him. So to the office a little, and then home to supper, and to my chamber awhile, and then to bed.

organ
unacquainted with organ

like a virgin in the arms
of his chair

counterfeit as a Christ
in wax-work

the holy cells
in his skin soft

as a cup of earth
to the fire of our religion

which grows two heads
in one black box


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 23 January 1667.

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