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Up, and with Mr. Gawden to the Exchequer. By the way, he tells me this day he is to be answered whether he must hold Sheriffe or no; for he would not hold unless he may keep it at his office, which is out of the city (and so my Lord Mayor must come with his sword down, whenever he comes thither), which he do, because he cannot get a house fit for him in the city, or else he will fine for it. Among others that they have in nomination for Sheriffe, one is little Chaplin, who was his servant, and a very young man to undergo that place; but as the city is now, there is no great honour nor joy to be had, in being a public officer. At the Exchequer I looked after my business, and when done went home to the ’Change, and there bought a case of knives for dinner, and a dish of fruit for 5s., and bespoke other things, and then home, and here I find all things in good order, and a good dinner towards. Anon comes Sir W. Batten and his lady, and Mr. Griffith, their ward, and Sir W. Pen and his lady, and Mrs. Lowther, who is grown, either through pride or want of manners, a fool, having not a word to say almost all dinner; and, as a further mark of a beggarly, proud fool, hath a bracelet of diamonds and rubies about her wrist, and a sixpenny necklace about her neck, and not one good rag of clothes upon her back; and Sir John Chichly in their company, and Mrs. Turner. Here I had an extraordinary good and handsome dinner for them, better than any of them deserve or understand, saving Sir John Chichly and Mrs. Turner, and not much mirth, only what I by discourse made, and that against my genius. After dinner I took occasion to break up the company soon as I could, and all parted, Sir W. Batten and I by water to White Hall, there to speak with the Commissioners of the Treasury, who are mighty earnest for our hastening all that may be the paying off of the Seamen, now there is money, and are considering many other things for easing of charge, which I am glad of, but vexed to see that J. Duncomb should be so pressing in it as if none of us had like care with him. Having done there, I by coach to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw part of “The Ungratefull Lovers;” and sat by Beck Marshall, who is very handsome near hand. Here I met Mrs. Turner and my wife as we agreed, and together home, and there my wife and I part of the night at the flageolet, which she plays now any thing upon almost at first sight and in good time. But here come Mr. Moore, and sat and discoursed with me of publique matters: the sum of which is, that he do doubt that there is more at the bottom than the removal of the Chancellor; that is, he do verily believe that the King do resolve to declare the Duke of Monmouth legitimate, and that we shall soon see it. This I do not think the Duke of York will endure without blows; but his poverty, and being lessened by having the Chancellor fallen and [Sir] W. Coventry gone from him, will disable him from being able to do any thing almost, he being himself almost lost in the esteem of people; and will be more and more, unless my Lord Chancellor, who is already begun to be pitied by some people, and to be better thought of than was expected, do recover himself in Parliament. He would seem to fear that this difference about the Crowne (if there be nothing else) will undo us. He do say that, that is very true; that my Lord [Chancellor] did lately make some stop of some grants of 2000l. a-year to my Lord Grandison, which was only in his name, for the use of my Lady Castlemaine’s children; and that this did incense her, and she did speak very scornful words, and sent a scornful message to him about it. He gone, after supper, I to bed, being mightily pleased with my wife’s playing so well upon the flageolet, and I am resolved she shall learn to play upon some instrument, for though her eare be bad, yet I see she will attain any thing to be done by her hand.

this day of the sword
I look after my knives

having not a penny
to pay the sea

like an ungrateful lover
near poverty

who is scornful about
playing a bad hand

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 11 September 1667.

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