Library fly

Up, and to Westminster, where to the Parliament door, and there spoke with Sir G. Downing, to see what was done yesterday at the Treasury for Tangier, and it proved as good as nothing, so that I do see we shall be brought to great straits for money there. He tells me here that he is passing a Bill to make the Excise and every other part of the King’s Revenue assignable on the Exchequer, which indeed will be a very good thing. This he says with great glee as an act of his, and how poor a thing this was in the beginning, and with what envy he carried it on, and how my Lord Chancellor could never endure him for it since he first begun it. He tells me that the thing the House is just now upon is that of taking away the charter from the Company of Woodmongers, whose frauds, it seems, have been mightily laid before them. He tells me that they are like to fly very high against my Lord Chancellor. Thence I to the House of Lords, and there first saw Dr. Fuller, as Bishop of Lincoln, to sit among the Lords. Here I spoke with the Duke of York and the Duke of Albemarle about Tangier; but methinks both of them do look very coldly one upon another, and their discourse mighty cold, and little to the purpose about our want of money. Thence homeward, and called at Allestry’s, the bookseller, who is bookseller to the Royal Society, and there did buy three or four books, and find great variety of French and foreign books. And so home and to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to a play, and the girl — “Macbeth,” which we still like mightily, though mighty short of the content we used to have when Betterton acted, who is still sick. So home, troubled with the way and to get a coach, and so to supper and to bed. This day, in the Paynted-chamber, I met and walked with Mr. George Montagu, who thinks it may go hard with my Lord Sandwich, but he says the House is offended with Sir W. Coventry much, and that he do endeavour to gain them again in the most precarious manner in all things that is possible.

I sing the house fly
first to sit among the cold
books books books
like a painted lord
in the most precarious manner

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 6 November 1667.

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