Plowman

(Lord’s day). Up, and being ready, and disappointed of a coach, it breaking a wheel just as it was coming for me, I walked as far as the Temple, it being dirty, and as I went out of my doors my cozen Anthony Joyce met me, and so walked part of the way with me, and it was to see what I would do upon what his wife a little while since did desire, which was to supply him 350l. to enable him to go to build his house again. I (who in my nature am mighty unready to answer no to anything, and thereby wonder that I have suffered no more in my life by my easiness in that kind than I have) answered him that I would do it, and so I will, he offering me good security, and so it being left for me to consider the manner of doing it we parted. Taking coach as I said before at the Temple, I to Charing Cross, and there went into Unthanke’s to have my shoes wiped, dirty with walking, and so to White Hall, where I visited the Vice-Chamberlain, who tells me, and so I find by others, that the business of putting out of some of the Privy-council is over, the King being at last advised to forbear it; for whereas he did design it to make room for some of the House of Commons that are against him, thereby to gratify them, it is believed that it will but so much the more fret the rest that are not provided for, and raise a new stock of enemies by them that are displeased, and so all they think is over: and it goes for a pretty saying of my Lord Anglesey’s up and down the Court, that he should lately say to one of them that are the great promoters of this putting him and others out of the Council, “Well,” says he, “and what are we to look for when we are outed? Will all things be set right in the nation?” The other said that he did believe that many things would be mended: “But,” says my Lord, “will you and the rest of you be contented to be hanged, if you do not redeem all our misfortunes and set all right, if the power be put into your hands?” The other answered, “No, I would not undertake that:” — “Why, then,” says my Lord, “I and the rest of us that you are labouring to put out, will be contented to be hanged, if we do not recover all that is past, if the King will put the power into our hands, and adhere wholly to our advice;” which saying as it was severe, so generally people have so little opinion of those that are likely to be uppermost that they do mightily commend my Lord Anglesey for this saying.
From the Vice-Chamberlain up and down the house till Chapel done, and then did speak with several that I had a mind to, and so intending to go home, my Lady Carteret saw and called me out of her window, and so would have me home with her to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to dinner, and there we met with my Lord Brereton, and several other strangers, to dine there; and I find him a very sober and serious, able man, and was in discourse too hard for the Bishop of Chester, who dined there; and who, above all books lately wrote, commending the matter and style of a late book, called “The Causes of the Decay of Piety,” I do resolve at his great commendation to buy it. Here dined also Sir Philip Howard, a Barkeshire Howard, whom I did once hear swear publickly and loud in the matted gallery that he had not been at a wench in so long a time. He did take occasion to tell me at the table that I have got great ground in the Parliament, by my ready answers to all that was asked me there about the business of Chatham, and they would never let me be out of employment, of which I made little; but was glad to hear him, as well as others, say it. And he did say also, relating to Commissioner Pett, that he did not think that he was guilty of anything like a fault, that he was either able or concerned to amend, but only the not carrying up of the ships higher, he meant; but he said, three or four miles lower down, to Rochester Bridge, which is a strange piece of ignorance in a Member of Parliament at such a time as this, and after so many examinations in the house of this business; and did boldly declare that he did think the fault to lie in my Lord Middleton, who had the power of the place, to secure the boats that were made ready by Pett, and to do anything that he thought fit, and was much, though not altogether in the right, for Spragg, that commanded the river, ought rather to be charged with the want of the boats and the placing of them. After dinner, my Lord Brereton very gentilely went to the organ, and played a verse very handsomely. Thence after dinner away with Sir G. Carteret to White Hall, setting down my Lord Brereton at my Lord Brouncker’s, and there up and down the house, and on the Queen’s side, to see the ladies, and there saw the Duchesse of York, whom few pay the respect they used, I think, to her; but she bears all out, with a very great deal of greatness; that is the truth of it. And so, it growing night, I away home by coach, and there set my wife to read, and then comes Pelling, and he and I to sing a little, and then sup and so to bed.

daybreak and I am ready
to answer no to anything

my shoes dirty with walking
in the fields

I wear the ground
like a strange piece of ignorance

after so many oats
charged with growing

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 January 1668.

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