Inheritance

Up, and got ready, and eat our breakfast; and then took coach: and the poor, as they did yesterday, did stand at the coach to have something given them, as they do to all great persons; and I did give them something: and the town musique did also come and play: but, Lord! what sad music they made! However, I was pleased with them, being all of us in very good humour, and so through the town, and observed at our College of Magdalene the posts new painted, and understand that the Vice-Chancellor is there this year. And so away for Huntingdon mightily pleased all along the road to remember old stories; and come to Brampton at about noon, and there find my father and sister and brother all well and here laid up our things, and up and down to see the garden with my father, and the house, and do altogether find it very pretty; especially the little parlour and the summerhouses in the garden, only the wall do want greens upon it, and the house is too low-roofed; but that is only because of my coming from a house with higher ceilings. But altogether is very pretty; and I bless God that I am like to have such a pretty place to retire to: and I did walk with my father without doors, and do find a very convenient way of laying out money there in building, which will make a very good seat, and the place deserves it, I think, very well. By and by to dinner, and after dinner I walked up to Hinchingbroke, where my Lady expected me; and there spent all the afternoon with her: the same most excellent, good, discreet lady that ever she was; and, among other things, is mightily pleased with the lady that is like to be her son Hinchingbroke’s wife, which I am mightily glad of. By and by my wife comes with Willet, my wife in her velvett vest, which is mighty fine, and becomes her exceedingly. I am pleased with my Lady Paulina and Anne, who both are grown very proper ladies, and handsome enough. But a thousand questions my Lady asked me, till she could think of no more almost, but walked up and down the house, with me. But I do find, by her, that they are reduced to great straits for money, having been forced to sell her plate, 8 or 900l. worth; and she is now going to sell a suit of her best hangings, of which I could almost wish to buy a piece or two, if the pieces will be broke. But the house is most excellently furnished, and brave rooms and good pictures, so that it do please me infinitely beyond Audley End. Here we staid till night walking and talking and drinking, and with mighty satisfaction my Lady with me alone most of the day talking of my Lord’s bad condition to be kept in Spayne without money and at a great expense, which (as we will save the family) we must labour to remove. Night being come, we took leave with all possible kindness, and so home, and there Mr. Shepley staid with us and supped, and full of good country discourse, and when supper done took his leave, and we all to bed, only I a little troubled that my father tells me that he is troubled that my wife shows my sister no countenance, and, him but very little, but is as a stranger in the house; and I do observe she do carry herself very high; but I perceive there was some great falling out when she was here last, but the reason I have no mind to enquire after, for vexing myself, being desirous to pass my time with as much mirth as I can while I am abroad. So all to bed. My wife and I in the high bed in our chamber, and Willet in the trundle bed, which she desired to lie in, by us.

the poor have given us sad music
and the town new painted
in old stories

all our green ceilings
and God like
a place without doors

a convenient way to reduce
the infinite to money
and kindness

and we only a little troubled
at that stranger in
the high road

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 October 1667.

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