Stenographer to the powerful

Met at the Office all the morning, and at noon to the ’Change, and there met with Langford and Mr. Franke, the landlord of my father’s house in Fleet Streete, and are come to an arbitration what my father shall give him to be freed of his lease and building the house again. Walked up and down the ’Change, and discoursed with Sir John Bankes, who thinks this prorogation will please all but the Parliament itself, which will, if ever they meet, be vexed at Buckingham, who yet governs all. He says the Nonconformists are glad of it, and, he believes, will get the upperhand in a little time, for the King must trust to them or nobody; and he thinks the King will be forced to it. He says that Sir D. Gawden is mightily troubled at Pen’s being put upon him, by the Duke of York, and that he believes he will get clear of it, which, though it will trouble me to have Pen still at the Office, yet I shall think D. Gawden do well in it, and what I would advise him to, because I love him. So home to dinner, and then with my wife alone abroad, with our new horses, the beautifullest almost that ever I saw, and the first time they ever carried her, and me but once; but we are mighty proud of them. To her tailor’s, and so to the ’Change, and laid out three or four pounds in lace, for her and me; and so home, and there I up to my Lord Brouncker, at his lodgings, and sat with him an hour, on purpose to talk over the wretched state of this Office at present, according to the present hands it is made up of; wherein he do fully concur with me, and that it is our part not only to prepare for defending it and ourselves, against the consequences of it, but to take the best ways we can, to make it known to the Duke of York; for, till Sir J. Minnes be removed, and a sufficient man brought into W. Pen’s place, when he is gone, it is impossible for this Office ever to support itself. So home, and to supper and to bed.

he who will conform
will get bled
will get clear ink

I would advise him to love
the beautifulest hands
not the pen

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 23 December 1668.

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