Myopic

Up, and troubled with Mr. Carcasse’s coming to speak with me, which made me give him occasion to fall into a heat, and he began to be ill-mannered to me, which made me angry. He gone, I to Sir W. Pen about the business of Mrs. Turner’s son to keep his ship in employment, but so false a fellow as Sir W. Pen is I never did nor hope shall ever know again. So to the office, and there did business, till dinnertime, and then home to dinner, wife and I alone, and then down to the Old Swan, and drank with Betty and her husband, but no opportunity para baiser la. So to White Hall to the Council chamber, where I find no Council held till after the holidays. So to Westminster Hall, and there bought a pair of snuffers, and saw Mrs. Howlett after her sickness come to the Hall again. So by coach to the New Exchange and Mercer’s and other places to take up bills for what I owe them, and to Mrs. Pierce, to invite her to dinner with us on Monday, but staid not with her. In the street met with Mr. Sanchy, my old acquaintance at Cambridge, reckoned a great minister here in the City; and by Sir Richard Ford particularly, which I wonder at; for methinks, in his talk, he is but a mean man. I set him down in Holborne, and I to the Old Exchange, and there to Sir Robert Viner’s, and made up my accounts there, to my great content; but I find they do not keep them so regularly as, to be able to do it easily, and truly, and readily, nor would it have been easily stated by any body on my behalf but myself, several things being to be recalled to memory, which nobody else could have done, and therefore it is fully necessary for me to even accounts with these people as often as I can. So to the ’Change, and there met with Mr. James Houblon, but no hopes, as he sees, of peace whatever we pretend, but we shall be abused by the King of France. Then home to the office, and busy late, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Young was talking about the building of the City again; and he told me that those few churches that are to be new built are plainly not chosen with regard to the convenience of the City; they stand a great many in a cluster about Cornhill; but that all of them are either in the gift of the Lord Archbishop, or Bishop of London, or Lord Chancellor, or gift of the City. Thus all things, even to the building of churches, are done in this world! And then he says, which I wonder at, that I should not in all this time see, that Moorefields have houses two stories high in them, and paved streets, the City having let leases for seven years, which he do conclude will be very much to the hindering the building of the City; but it was considered that the streets cannot be passable in London till a whole street be built; and several that had got ground of the City for charity, to build sheds on, had got the trick presently to sell that for 60l., which did not cost them 20l. to put up; and so the City, being very poor in stock, thought it as good to do it themselves, and therefore let leases for seven years of the ground in Moorefields; and a good deal of this money, thus advanced, hath been employed for the enabling them to find some money for Commissioner Taylor, and Sir W. Batten, towards the charge of “The Loyall London,” or else, it is feared, it had never been paid. And Taylor having a bill to pay wherein Alderman Hooker was concerned it was his invention to find out this way of raising money, or else this had not been thought on. So home to supper and to bed. This morning come to me the Collectors for my Pollmoney; for which I paid for my title as Esquire and place of Clerk of Acts, and my head and wife’s, and servants’ and their wages, 40l. 17s; and though this be a great deal, yet it is a shame I should pay no more; that is, that I should not be assessed for my pay, as in the Victualling business and Tangier; and for my money, which, of my own accord, I had determined to charge myself with 1000l. money, till coming to the Vestry, and seeing nobody of our ablest merchants, as Sir Andrew Rickard, to do it, I thought it not decent for me to do it, nor would it be thought wisdom to do it unnecessarily, but vain glory.

hope alone is no holiday
whatever we pretend

building houses two stories high
in the fields

and never raising
a head
to see


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 5 April 1667.

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