Up, and to St. James’s to the Duke of York, and thence to White Hall, where we met about office business, and then at noon with Mr. Wren to Lambeth, to dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury; the first time I was ever there and I have long longed for it; where a noble house, and well furnished with good pictures and furniture, and noble attendance in good order, and great deal of company, though an ordinary day; and exceeding great cheer, no where better, or so much, that ever I think I saw, for an ordinary table: and the Bishop mighty kind to me, particularly desiring my company another time, when less company there. Most of the company gone, and I going, I heard by a gentleman of a sermon that was to be there; and so I staid to hear it, thinking it serious, till by and by the gentleman told me it was a mockery, by one Cornet Bolton, a very gentleman-like man, that behind a chair did pray and preach like a Presbyter Scot that ever I heard in my life, with all the possible imitation in grimaces and voice. And his text about the hanging up their harps upon the willows: and a serious good sermon too, exclaiming against Bishops, and crying up of my good Lord Eglinton, a till it made us all burst; but I did wonder to have the Bishop at this time to make himself sport with things of this kind, but I perceive it was shewn him as a rarity; and he took care to have the room-door shut, but there were about twenty gentlemen there, and myself, infinitely pleased with the novelty.
So over to White Hall, to a little Committee of Tangier; and thence walking in the Gallery, I met Sir Thomas Osborne, who, to my great content, did of his own accord fall into discourse with me, with so much professions of value and respect, placing the whole virtue of the Office of the Navy upon me, and that for the Comptroller’s place, no man in England was fit for it but me, when Sir J. Minnes, as he says it is necessary, is removed: but then he knows not what to do for a man in my place; and in discourse, though I have no mind to the other, I did bring in Tom Hater to be the fittest man in the world for it, which he took good notice of. But in the whole I was mightily pleased, reckoning myself now fifty per cent. securer in my place than I did before think myself to be. Thence to Unthanke’s, and there find my wife, but not dressed, which vexed me, because going to the Park, it being a most pleasant day after yesterday’s rain, which lays all the dust, and most people going out thither, which vexed me. So home, sullen; but then my wife and I by water, with my brother, as high as Fulham, talking and singing, and playing the rogue with the Western barge-men, about the women of Woolwich, which mads them, an so back home to supper and to bed.
white fur on the willows
till it all burst into infinite novelty
who knows the world for it
dressed in yesterday’s dust
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 14 May 1669.