Contention

At the office all the morning. At noon to dinner, and presently with my wife abroad, whom and her girle I leave at Unthanke’s, and so to White Hall in expectation of waiting on the Duke of York to-day, but was prevented therein, only at Mr. Wren’s chamber there I hear that the House of Lords did send down the paper which my Lord Chancellor left behind him, directed to the Lords, to be seditious and scandalous; and the Commons have voted that it be burned by the hands of the hangman, and that the King be desired to agree to it. I do hear, also, that they have desired the King to use means to stop his escape out of the nation. Here I also heard Mr. Jermin, who was there in the chamber upon occasion of Sir Thomas Harvy’s telling him of his brother’s having a child, and thereby taking away his hopes (that is, Mr. Jermin’s) of 2000l. a year. He swore, God damn him, he did not desire to have any more wealth than he had in the world, which indeed is a great estate, having all his uncle’s, my Lord St. Alban’s, and my Lord hath all the Queen-Mother’s. But when Sir Thos. Harvy told him that “hereafter you will wish it more;” — “By God,” answers he, “I won’t promise what I shall do hereafter.” Thence into the House, and there spied a pretty woman with spots on her face, well clad, who was enquiring for the guard chamber; I followed her, and there she went up, and turned into the turning towards the chapel, and I after her, and upon the stairs there met her coming up again, and there kissed her twice, and her business was to enquire for Sir Edward Bishop, one of the serjeants at armes. I believe she was a woman of pleasure, but was shy enough to me, and so I saw her go out afterwards, and I took a hackney coach, and away. I to Westminster Hall, and there walked, and thence towards White Hall by coach, and spying Mrs. Burroughs in a shop did stop and ’light and speak to her; and so to White Hall, where I ’light and went and met her coming towards White Hall, but was upon business, and I could not get her to go any whither and so parted, and I home with my wife and girle (my wife not being very well, of a great looseness day and night for these two days). So home, my wife to read to me in Sir R. Cotton’s book of warr, which is excellent reading, and particularly I was mightily pleased this night in what we read about the little profit or honour this kingdom ever gained by the greatest of its conquests abroad in France. This evening come Mr. Mills and sat with us a while, who is mighty kind and good company, and so, he gone, I to supper and to bed. My wife an unquiet night. This day Gilsthrop is buried, who hath made all the late discourse of the great discovery of 65,000l., of which the King hath been wronged.

present as a wren
ear to the scandal of another
goddamn day

o my book of war
is excellent reading
about our quest to be unquiet

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 4 December 1667.

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