Listener

Up, and with Mr. Turner by water to White Hall, there to think to enquire when the Duke of York will be in town, in order to Mr. Turner’s going down to Audley End about his place; and here I met in St. James’s Park with one that told us that the Duke of York would be in town to-morrow, and so Turner parted and went home, and I also did stop my intentions of going to the Court, also this day, about securing Mr. Turner’s place of Petty-purveyor to Mr. Hater. So I to my Lord Brouncker’s, thinking to have gone and spoke to him about it, but he is gone out to town till night, and so, meeting a gentleman of my Lord Middleton’s looking for me about the payment of the 1000l. lately ordered to his Lord, in advance of his pay, which shall arise upon his going Governor to Tangier, I did go to his Lord’s lodgings, and there spoke the first time with him, and find him a shrewd man, but a drinking man, I think, as the world says; but a man that hath seen much of the world, and is a Scot. I offered him my service, though I can do him little; but he sends his man home with me, where I made him stay, till I had gone to Sir W. Pen, to bespeak him about Mr. Hater, who, contrary to my fears, did appear very friendly, to my great content; for I was afraid of his appearing for his man Burroughs. But he did not; but did declare to me afterwards his intentions to desire an excuse in his own business, to be eased of the business of the Comptroller, his health not giving him power to stay always in town, but he must go into the country. I did say little to him but compliment, having no leisure to think of his business, or any man’s but my own, and so away and home, where I find Sir H. Cholmly come to town; and is come hither to see me: and he is a man that I love mightily, as being, of a gentleman, the most industrious that ever I saw. He staid with me awhile talking, and telling me his obligations to my Lord Sandwich, which I was glad of; and that the Duke of Buckingham is now chief of all men in this kingdom, which I knew before; and that he do think the Parliament will hardly ever meet again; which is a great many men’s thoughts, and I shall not be sorry for it. He being gone, I with my Lord Middleton’s servant to Mr. Colvill’s, but he was not in town, and so he parted, and I home, and there to dinner, and Mr. Pelling with us; and thence my wife and Mercer, and W. Hewer and Deb., to the King’s playhouse, and I afterwards by water with them, and there we did hear the Eunuch (who, it seems, is a Frenchman, but long bred in Italy) sing, which I seemed to take as new to me, though I saw him on Saturday last, but said nothing of it; but such action and singing I could never have imagined to have heard, and do make good whatever Tom Hill used to tell me. Here we met with Mr. Batelier and his sister, and so they home with us in two coaches, and there at my house staid and supped, and this night my bookseller Shrewsbury comes, and brings my books of Martyrs, and I did pay him for them, and did this night make the young women before supper to open all the volumes for me. So to supper, and after supper to read a ridiculous nonsensical book set out by Will. Pen, for the Quakers; but so full of nothing but nonsense, that I was ashamed to read in it. So they gone, we to bed.

up and down town
thinking about drinking

as the world offered little
but contrary ears

I love the industrious sand
of men’s thoughts

I hear the eunuch sing
such a never-imagined ache

and the martyrs make me open
volumes of shame

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 October 1668.

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