Robin Hoodlum

(Lord’s day). Walked to St. James’s and Pell Mell, and read over, with Sir W. Coventry, my long letter to the Duke of York, and which the Duke of York hath, from mine, wrote to the Board, wherein he is mightily pleased, and I perceive do put great value upon me, and did talk very openly on all matters of State, and how some people have got the bit into their mouths, meaning the Duke of Buckingham and his party, and would likely run away with all. But what pleased me mightily was to hear the good character he did give of my Lord Falmouth for his generosity, good-nature, desire of public good, and low thoughts of his own wisdom; his employing his interest in the King to do good offices to all people, without any other fault than the freedom he do learn in France of thinking himself obliged to serve his King in his pleasures: and was W. Coventry’s particular friend: and W. Coventry do tell me very odde circumstances about the fatality of his death, which are very strange.
Thence to White Hall to chapel, and heard the anthem, and did dine with the Duke of Albemarle in a dirty manner as ever. All the afternoon, I sauntered up and down the house and Park. And there was a Committee for Tangier met, wherein Lord Middleton would, I think, have found fault with me for want of coles; but I slighted it, and he made nothing of it, but was thought to be drunk; and I see that he hath a mind to find fault with me and Creed, neither of us having yet applied ourselves to him about anything: but do talk of his profits and perquisites taken from him, and garrison reduced, and that it must be increased, and such things, as; I fear, he will be just such another as my Lord Tiviott and the rest, to ruin that place. So I to the Park, and there walk an hour or two; and in the King’s garden, and saw the Queen and ladies walk; and I did steal some apples off the trees; and here did see my Lady Richmond, who is of a noble person as ever I saw, but her face worse than it was considerably by the smallpox: her sister is also very handsome.
Coming into the Park, and the door kept strictly, I had opportunity of handing in the little, pretty, squinting girl of the Duke of York’s house, but did not make acquaintance with her; but let her go, and a little girl that was with her, to walk by themselves.
So to White Hall in the evening, to the Queen’s side, and there met the Duke of York; and he did tell me and W. Coventry, who was with me, how that Lord Anglesey did take notice of our reading his long and sharp letter to the Board; but that it was the better, at least he said so. The Duke of York, I perceive, is earnest in it, and will have good effects of it; telling W. Coventry that it was a letter that might have come from the Commissioners of Accounts, but it was better it should come first from him. I met Lord Brouncker, who, I perceive, and the rest, do smell that it comes from me, but dare not find fault with it; and I am glad of it, it being my glory and defence that I did occasion and write it.
So by water home, and did spend the evening with W. Hewer, telling him how we are all like to be turned out, Lord Brouncker telling me this evening that the Duke of Buckingham did, within few hours, say that he had enough to turn us all out which I am not sorry for at all, for I know the world will judge me to go for company; and my eyes are such as I am not able to do the business of my Office as I used, and would desire to do, while I am in it. So with full content, declaring all our content in being released of my employment, my wife and I to bed, and W. Hewer home, and so all to bed.

open mouths
like offices of Death

talk of profits
taken from us

so I steal some apples
off the trees

hand them out
to any and to all

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 August 1668

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