Voyages

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes, W. Batten, and W. Pen in the last man’s coach to St. James’s, and thence up to the Duke of York’s chamber, which, as it is now fretted at the top, and the chimney-piece made handsome, is one of the noblest and best-proportioned rooms that ever, I think, I saw in my life, and when ready, into his closet and did our business, where, among other things, we had a proposition of Mr. Pierces, for being continued in pay, or something done for him, in reward of his pains as Chyrurgeon-Generall; forasmuch as Troutbecke, that was never a doctor before, hath got 200l. a year settled on him for nothing but that one voyage with the Duke of Albemarle. The Duke of York and the whole company did shew most particular kindness to Mr. Pierce, every body moving for him, and the Duke himself most, that he is likely to be a very great man, I believe. Here also we had another mention of Carcasses business, and we directed to bring in a report of our opinion of his case, which vexes us that such a rogue shall make us so much trouble. Thence I presently to the Excise Office, and there met the Cofferer and Stephen Fox by agreement, and agreed upon a method for our future payments, and then we three to my Lord Treasurer, who continues still very ill. I had taken my stone with me on purpose, and Sir Philip Warwicke carried it in to him to see, but was not in a condition to talk with me about it, poor man. So I with them to Westminster by coach; the Cofferer telling us odd stories how he was dealt with by the men of the Church at Westminster in taking a lease of them at the King’s coming in, and particularly the devilish covetousness of Dr. Busby. Sir Stephen Fox, in discourse, told him how he is selling some land he hath, which yields him not above three per cent., if so much, and turning it into money, which he can put out at ten per cent.; and, as times go, if they be like to continue, it is the best way for me to keep money going so, for aught I see. I to Westminster Hall, and there took a turn with my old acquaintance Mr. Pechell, whose red nose makes me ashamed to be seen with him, though otherwise a good-natured man. So away, I not finding of Mr. Moore, with whom I should have met and spoke about a letter I this day received from him from my Lord Hinchingbroke, wherein he desires me to help him to 1900l. to pay a bill of exchange of his father’s, which troubles me much, but I will find some way, if I can do it, but not to bring myself in bonds or disbursements for it, whatever comes of it. So home to dinner, where my wife hath ‘ceux la’ upon her and is very ill with them, and so forced to go to bed, and I sat by her a good while, then down to my chamber and made an end of Rycaut’s History of the Turks, which is a very good book. Then to the office, and did some business, and then my wife being pretty well, by coach to little Michell’s, and there saw my poor Betty and her little child, which slept so soundly we could hardly wake it in an hour’s time without hurting it, and they tell me what I did not know, that a child (as this do) will hunt and hunt up and down with its mouth if you touch the cheek of it with your finger’s end for a nipple, and fit its mouth for sucking, but this hath not sucked yet, she having no nipples. Here sat a while, and then my wife and I, it being a most curious clear evening, after some rain to-day, took a most excellent tour by coach to Bow, and there drank and back again, and so a little at the office, and home to read a little, and to supper and bed mightily refreshed with this evening’s tour, but troubled that it hath hindered my doing some business which I would have done at the office. This day the newes is come that the fleete of the Dutch, of about 20 ships, which come upon our coasts upon design to have intercepted our colliers, but by good luck failed, is gone to the Frith, and there lies, perhaps to trouble the Scotch privateers, which have galled them of late very much, it may be more than all our last year’s fleete.

the urge to go on a voyage
body moving with purpose

the devil is in on it
the best way to keep me from myself

whatever comes of history
we could wake without hurting it

hunt for a nipple
in the clear rain


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 3 May 1667.

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