Up, and Greeting come, and I reckoned with him for his teaching of my wife and me upon the flageolet to this day, and so paid him for having as much as he can teach us. Then to the Office, where we sat upon a particular business all the morning: and my Lord Anglesey with us: who, and my Lord Bruncker, do bring us news how my Lord Chancellor’s seal is to be taken away from him to-day. The thing is so great and sudden to me, that it put me into a very great admiration what should be the meaning of it; and they do not own that they know what it should be: but this is certain, that the King did resolve it on Saturday, and did yesterday send the Duke of Albemarle, the only man fit for those works, to him for his purse: to which the Chancellor answered, that he received it from the King, and would deliver it to the King’s own hand, and so civilly returned the Duke of Albemarle without it; and this morning my Lord Chancellor is to be with the King, to come to an end in the business. After sitting, we rose, and my wife being gone abroad with Mrs. Turner to her washing at the whitster’s, I dined at Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Boreman was, who come from White Hall; who tells us that he saw my Lord Chancellor come in his coach with some of his men, without his Seal, to White Hall to his chamber; and thither the King and Duke of York come and staid together alone, an hour or more: and it is said that the King do say that he will have the Parliament meet, and that it will prevent much trouble by having of him out of their enmity, by his place being taken away; for that all their enmity will be at him. It is said also that my Lord Chancellor answers, that he desires he may be brought to his trial, if he have done any thing to lose his office; and that he will be willing, and is most desirous, to lose that, and his head both together. Upon what terms they parted nobody knows but the Chancellor looked sad, he says. Then in comes Sir Richard Ford, and says he hears that there is nobody more presses to reconcile the King and Chancellor than the Duke of Albemarle and Duke of Buckingham: the latter of which is very strange, not only that he who was so lately his enemy should do it, but that this man, that but the other day was in danger of losing his own head, should so soon come to be a mediator for others: it shows a wise Government. They all say that he is but a poor man, not worth above 3000l. a-year in land; but this I cannot believe: and all do blame him for having built so great a house, till he had got a better estate. Having dined, Sir J. Minnes and I to White Hall, where we could be informed in no more than we were told before, nobody knowing the result of the meeting, but that the matter is suspended. So I walked to the King’s playhouse, there to meet Sir W. Pen, and saw “The Surprizall,” a very mean play, I thought: or else it was because I was out of humour, and but very little company in the house. But there Sir W. Pen and I had a great deal of discourse with Moll; who tells us that Nell is already left by my Lord Buckhurst, and that he makes sport of her, and swears she hath had all she could get of him; and Hart, her great admirer, now hates her; and that she is very poor, and hath lost my Lady Castlemayne, who was her great friend also but she is come to the House, but is neglected by them all.
Thence with Sir W. Pen home, and I to the office, where late about business, and then home to supper, and so to bed.
how great and sudden
is a chance hand
sitting in the sea
a king may lose his office
lose his own head
to the state of play
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 August 1667.