Bleeding edge

Up betimes, and by water with Sir R. Ford (who is going to Parliament) to Westminster; and there landing at the New Exchange stairs, I to Sir W. Coventry: and there he read over to me the Prince’s and the Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives; wherein they are very severe against him and our Office. But W. Coventry do contemn them; only that their persons and qualities are great, and so I do perceive is afeard of them, though he will not confess it. But he do say that, if he can get out of these briars, he will never trouble himself with Princes nor Dukes again. He finds several things in their Narratives, which are both inconsistent and foolish, as well as untrue, especially as to what the Duke of Albemarle avers of his knowing of the enemy’s being abroad sooner than he says it, which W. Coventry will shew him his own letter against him, for I confess I do see so much, that, were I but well possessed of what I should have in the world, I think I could willingly retreat, and trouble myself no more with it.
Thence home, and there met Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to the Excise Office to see what tallies are paying, and thence back to the Old Exchange, by the way talking of news, and he owning Sir W. Coventry, in his opinion, to be one of the worthiest men in the nation, as I do really think he is. He tells me he do think really that they will cut off my Lord Chancellor’s head, the Chancellor at this day showing as much pride as is possible to those few that venture their fortunes by coming to see him; and that the Duke of York is troubled much, knowing that those that fling down the Chancellor cannot stop there, but will do something to him, to prevent his having it in his power hereafter to avenge himself and father-in-law upon them. And this Sir H. Cholmly fears may be by divorcing the Queen and getting another, or declaring the Duke of Monmouth legitimate; which God forbid! He tells me he do verily believe that there will come in an impeachment of High Treason against my Lord of Ormond; among other things, for ordering the quartering of soldiers in Ireland on free quarters; which, it seems, is High Treason in that country, and was one of the things that lost the Lord Strafford his head, and the law is not yet repealed; which, he says, was a mighty oversight of him not to have it repealed, which he might with ease have done, or have justified himself by an Act.
From the Exchange I took a coach, and went to Turlington, the great spectacle-maker, for advice, who dissuades me from using old spectacles, but rather young ones, and do tell me that nothing can wrong my eyes more than for me to use reading-glasses, which do magnify much.
Thence home, and there dined, and then abroad and left my wife and Willett at her tailor’s, and I to White Hall, where the Commissioners of the Treasury do not sit, and therefore I to Westminster to the Hall, and there meeting with Col. Reames I did very cheaply by him get copies of the Prince’s and Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives, which they did deliver the other day to the House, of which I am mighty glad, both for my present information and for my future satisfaction. So back by coach, and took up my wife, and away home, and there in my chamber all the evening among my papers and my accounts of Tangier to my great satisfaction, and so to supper and to bed.

upstairs
they are very severe

an office of briars
inconsistent as the news

they cut off my head
to prevent me from using old eyes

at a meeting
on my future there

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 4 November 1667.

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