Good grief

(Lord’s day). Mighty cold, and with my wife to church, where a lazy sermon. Here was my Lady Batten in her mourning at church, but I took no notice of her. At noon comes Michell and his wife to dine with us, and pretty merry. I glad to see her still. After dinner Sir W. Pen and I to White Hall, to speak with Sir W. Coventry; and there, beyond all we looked for, do hear that the Duke of York hath got, and is full of, the small-pox; and so we to his lodgings; and there find most of the family going to St. James’s, and the gallery doors locked up, that nobody might pass to nor fro and a sad house, I am sure. I am sad to consider the effects of his death, if he should miscarry; but Dr. Frazier tells me that he is in as good condition as a man can be in his case. The eruption appeared last night; it seems he was let blood on Friday. Thence, not finding W. Coventry, and going back again home, we met him coming with the Lord Keeper, and so returned and spoke with him in White Hall Garden, two or three turns, advising with him what we should do about Carcasse’s bringing his letter into the Committee of Parliament, and he told us that the counsel he hath too late learned is, to spring nothing in the House, nor offer anything, but just what is drawn out of a man: that this is the best way of dealing with a Parliament, and that he hath paid dear, and knows not how much more he may pay, for not knowing it sooner, when he did unnecessarily produce the Duke of Albemarle’s letter about Chatham, which if demanded would have come out with all the advantages in the world to Sir W. Coventry, but, as he brought it out himself, hath drawn much evil upon him. After some talk of this kind, we back home, and there I to my chamber busy all the evening, and then to supper and to bed, my head running all night upon our businesses in Parliament and what examinations we are likely to go under before they have done with us, which troubles me more than it should a wise man and a man the best able to defend himself, I believe, of our own whole office, or any other, I am apt to think.

mourning comes

with all the small doors
that nobody might pass

a sad house am I

death should erupt
not return us to nothing

is this the best way
not knowing

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 10 November 1667.

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