Challenged

Up, and to the office, where all the morning drawing up my narrative of my proceedings and concernments in the buying of prize-goods, which I am to present to the Committee for Accounts; and being come to a resolution to conceal nothing from them, I was at great ease how to draw it up without any inventions or practise to put me to future pain or thoughts how to carry on, and now I only discover what my profit was, and at worst I suppose I can be made but to refund my profit and so let it go. At noon home to dinner, where Mr. Jackson dined with me, and after dinner I (calling at the Excise Office, and setting my wife and Deb. at her tailor’s) did with Mr. Jackson go to find my cozen Roger Pepys, which I did in the Parliament House, where I met him and Sir Thomas Crew and Mr. George Montagu, who are mighty busy how to save my Lord’s name from being in the Report for anything which the Committee is commanded to report to the House of the miscarriages of the late war. I find they drive furiously still in the business of tickets, which is nonsense in itself and cannot come to any thing. Thence with cozen Roger to his lodgings, and there sealed the writings with Jackson, about my sister’s marriage: and here my cozen Roger told me the pleasant passage of a fellow’s bringing a bag of letters to-day, into the lobby of the House, and left them, and withdrew himself without observation. The bag being opened, the letters were found all of one size, and directed with one hand: a letter to most of the Members of the House. The House was acquainted with it, and voted they should be brought in, and one opened by the Speaker; wherein if he found any thing unfit to communicate, to propose a Committee to be chosen for it. The Speaker opening one, found it only a case with a libell in it, printed: a satire most sober and bitter as ever I read; and every letter was the same. So the House fell a-scrambling for them like boys: and my cozen Roger had one directed to him, which he lent me to read. So away, and took up my wife, and setting Jackson down at Fetter Lane end, I to the old Exchange to look Mr. Houblon, but, not finding him, did go home, and there late writing a letter to my Lord Sandwich, and to give passage to a letter of great moment from Mr. Godolphin to him, which I did get speedy passage for by the help of Mr. Houblon, who come late to me, and there directed the letter to Lisbon under cover of his, and here we talked of the times, which look very sad and distracted, and made good mirth at this day’s passage in the House, and so parted; and going to the gate with him, I found his lady and another fine lady sitting an hour together, late at night, in their coach, while he was with me, which is so like my wife, that I was mighty taken with it, though troubled for it. So home to supper and to bed. This day Captain Cocke was with the Commissioners of Accounts to ask more time for his bringing in his answer about the prize goods, and they would not give him 14 days as he asks, but would give only two days, which was very hard, I think, and did trouble me for fear of their severity, though I have prepared my matter so as to defy it.

how to practice what I am

how to save
my nonsense in writing
without libel

bitter as every rambling old letter
to the captain of accounts

Erasure poems derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 February 1668.

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