Charity case

Up pretty betimes, my throat better, and so drest me, and to White Hall to see Sir W. Coventry, returned from Portsmouth, whom I am almost ashamed to see for fear he should have been told how often I have been at plays, but it is better to see him at first than afterward. So walked to the Old Swan and drank at Michell’s, and then to White Hall and over the Park to St. James’s to W. Coventry, where well received, and good discourse. He seems to be sure of a peace; that the King of France do not intend to set out a fleete, for that he do design Flanders. Our Embassadors set out this week. Thence I over the Park to Sir G. Carteret, and after him by coach to the Lord Chancellor’s house, the first time I have been therein; and it is very noble, and brave pictures of the ancient and present nobility, never saw better. Thence with him to London, mighty merry in the way. Thence home, and find the boy out of the house and office, and by and by comes in and hath been to Mercer’s. I did pay his coat for him. Then to my chamber, my wife comes home with linen she hath been buying of. I then to dinner, and then down the river to Greenwich, and the watermen would go no further. So I turned them off, giving them nothing, and walked to Woolwich; there did some business, and met with Captain Cocke and back with him. He tells me our peace is agreed on; we are not to assist the Spanyard against the French for this year, and no restitution, and we are likely to lose Poleroone. I know not whether this be true or no, but I am for peace on any terms. He tells me how the King was vexed the other day for having no paper laid him at the Council-table, as was usual; and Sir Richard Browne did tell his Majesty he would call the person whose work it was to provide it: who being come, did tell his Majesty that he was but a poor man, and was out 400l. or 500l. for it, which was as much as he is worth; and that he cannot provide it any longer without money, having not received a penny since the King’s coming in. So the King spoke to my Lord Chamberlain; and many such mementos the King do now-a-days meet withall, enough to make an ingenuous man mad. I to Deptford, and there scolded with a master for his ship’s not being gone, and so home to the office and did business till my eyes are sore again, and so home to sing, and then to bed, my eyes failing me mightily.

I have been here by chance
I have been ancient and in the way

I pay for my river of nothing
for any how
for no work
with one mad eye


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 22 April 1667.

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