Very early up, and, hearing that the Duke of York, our Lord High Admiral, would go on board to-day, Mr. Pickering and I took waggon for Scheveling, leaving the child in Mr. Pierces hands, with directions to keep him within doors all day till he heard from me.
But the wind being very high that no boats could get off from shore, we returned to the Hague (having breakfasted with a gentleman of the Duke’s, and Commissioner Pett, sent on purpose to give notice to my Lord of his coming), where I hear that the child is gone to Delfe to see the town. So we all and Mr. Ibbott, the Minister, took a schuit and very much pleased with the manner and conversation of the passengers, where most speak French; went after them, but met them by the way. But however we went forward making no stop. Where when we were come we got a smith’s boy of the town to go along with us, but could speak nothing but Dutch, and he showed us the church where Van Trump lies entombed with a very fine monument. His epitaph concluded thus:— “Tandem Bello Anglico tantum non victor, certe invictus, vivere et vincere desiit.” There is a sea-fight cut in marble, with the smoke, the best expressed that ever I saw in my life.
From thence to the great church, that stands in a fine great market-place, over against the Stadt-house, and there I saw a stately tomb of the old Prince of Orange, of marble and brass; wherein among other rarities there are the angels with their trumpets expressed as it were crying. Here were very fine organs in both the churches. It is a most sweet town, with bridges, and a river in every street.
Observing that in every house of entertainment there hangs in every room a poor-man’s box, and desiring to know the reason thereof, it was told me that it is their custom to confirm all bargains by putting something into the poor people’s box, and that binds as fast as any thing.
We also saw the Guesthouse, where it was very pleasant to see what neat preparation there is for the poor. We saw one poor man a-dying there.
After we had seen all, we light by chance of an English house to drink in, where we were very merry, discoursing of the town and the thing that hangs up in the Stadthouse like a bushel, which I was told is a sort of punishment for some sort of offenders to carry through the streets of the town over his head, which is a great weight. Back by water, where a pretty sober Dutch lass sat reading all the way, and I could not fasten any discourse upon her.
At our landing we met with Commissioner Pett going down to the water-side with Major Harly, who is going upon a dispatch into England.
They having a coach I left the Parson and my boy and went along with Commissioner Pett, Mr. Ackworth and Mr. Dawes his friends, to the Princess Dowager’s house again. Thither also my Lord Fairfax and some other English Lords did come to see it, and my pleasure was increased by seeing of it again. Besides we went into the garden, wherein are gallant nuts better than ever I saw, and a fine Echo under the house in a vault made on purpose with pillars, where I played on my flageolette to great advantage.
Back to the Hague, where not finding Mr. Edward, I was much troubled, but went with the Parson to supper to Commissioner Pett, where we sat late. And among other mirth Mr. Ackworth vyed wives, each endeavouring to set his own wife out to the best advantage, he having as they said an extraordinary handsome wife. But Mr. Dawes could not be got to say anything of his.
After that to our lodging where W. Howe and I exceeding troubled not to know what is become of our young gentleman. So to bed.
child indoors all day
the wind high as a lord
child of smoke
in a stately tomb
among other rarities
in every room
the dying light
like some sort of street
who is going to play
with his own hands
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 18 May 1660.