Doubting Thomas

Up betimes and to the office, where all the morning busy, and then at noon home to dinner, and so again to the office awhile, and then abroad to the Excize-Office, where I met Mr. Ball, and did receive the paper I went for; and there fell in talk with him, who, being an old cavalier, do swear and curse at the present state of things, that we should be brought to this, that we must be undone and cannot be saved; that the Parliament is sitting now, and will till midnight, to find how to raise this 300,000l., and he doubts they will not do it so as to be seasonable for the King: but do cry out against our great men at Court; how it is a fine thing for a Secretary of State to dance a jigg, and that it was not so heretofore; and, above all, do curse my Lord of Bristoll, saying the worst news that ever he heard in his life, or that the Devil could ever bring us, was this Lord’s coming to prayers the other day in the House of Lords, by which he is coming about again from being a Papist, which will undo this nation; and he says he ever did say, at the King’s first coming in, that this nation could not be safe while that man was alive. Having done there, I away towards Westminster, but seeing by the coaches the House to be up, I stopped at the ’Change (where, I met Mrs. Turner, and did give her a pair of gloves), and there bought several things for my wife, and so to my bookseller’s, and there looked for Montaigne’s Essays, which I heard by my Lord Arlington and Lord Blaney so much commended, and intend to buy it, but did not now, but home, where at the office did some business, as much as my eyes would give leave, and so home to supper, Mercer with us talking and singing, and so to bed. The House, I hear, have this day concluded upon raising 100,000l. of the 300,000l. by wine, and the rest by a poll-[tax], and have resolved to excuse the Church, in expectation that they will do the more of themselves at this juncture; and I do hear that Sir W. Coventry did make a speech in behalf of the Clergy.

who is sitting now
in this season of dance

was a curse the worst
the devil could ever bring us

was prayer to see by
and give love a look

I buy as much as my eyes do
themselves half clergy

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 March 1668

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