Up, and by coach to W. Coventry’s; and there to talk with him a great deal with great content; and so to the Duke of York, having a great mind to speak to him about Tangier; but, when I come to it, his interest for my Lord Middleton is such that I dare not.
So to the Treasury chamber, and then walked home round by the Excise Office, having by private vows last night in prayer to God Almighty cleared my mind for the present of the thoughts of going to Deb. at Greenwich, which I did long after.
I passed by Guildhall, which is almost finished, and saw a poor labourer carried by, I think, dead with a fall, as many there are, I hear.
So home to dinner, and then to the office a little, and so to see my Lord Brouncker, who is a little ill of the gout; and there Madam Williams told me that she heard that my wife was going into France this year, which I did not deny, if I can get time, and I pray God I may. But I wondering how she come to know it, she tells me a woman that my wife spoke to for a maid, did tell her so, and that a lady that desires to go thither would be glad to go in her company. Thence with my wife abroad, with our coach, most pleasant weather; and to Hackney, and into the marshes, where I never was before, and thence round about to Old Ford and Bow; and coming through the latter home, there being some young gentlewomen at a door, and I seeming not to know who they were, my wife’s jealousy told me presently that I knew well enough it was that damned place where Deb. dwelt, which made me swear very angrily that it was false, as it was, and I carried [her] back again to see the place, and it proved not so, so I continued out of humour a good while at it, she being willing to be friends, so I was by and by, saying no more of it. So home, and there met with a letter from Captain Silas Taylor, and, with it, his written copy of a play that he hath wrote, and intends to have acted. — It is called “The Serenade, or Disappointment,” which I will read, not believing he can make any good of that kind. He did once offer to show Harris it, but Harris told him that he would judge by one Act whether it were good or no, which is indeed a foolish saying, and we see them out themselves in the choice of a play after they have read the whole, it being sometimes found not fit to act above three times; nay, and some that have been refused at one house is found a good one at the other. This made Taylor say he would not shew it him, but is angry, and hath carried it to the other house, and he thinks it will be acted there, though he tells me they are not yet agreed upon it. But I will find time to get it read to me, and I did get my wife to begin a little to-night in the garden, but not so much as I could make any judgment of it.
So home to supper and to bed.
I rest on the green
labor of the year
wondering at the marsh
coming through the door
and seeming not to know
who I am
a letter from the elves
in angry ink
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 7 May 1669.