Monday 16 November 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall, and there at the robe chamber at a Committee for Tangier, where some of us — my Lord Sandwich, Sir W. Coventry, and myself, with another or two — met to debate the business of the Mole, and there drew up reasons for the King’s taking of it into his own hands, and managing of it upon accounts with Sir H. Cholmley. This being done I away to Holborne, about Whetstone’s Park, where I never was in my life before, where I understand by my wife’s discourse that Deb. is gone, which do trouble me mightily that the poor girle should be in a desperate condition forced to go thereabouts, and there not hearing of any such man as Allbon, with whom my wife said she now was, I to the Strand, and there by sending Drumbleby’s boy, my flageolet maker, to Eagle Court, where my wife also by discourse lately let fall that he did lately live, I find that this Dr. Allbon is a kind of poor broken fellow that dare not shew his head nor be known where he is gone, but to Lincoln’s Inn Fields I went to Mr. Povy’s, but missed him, and so hearing only that this Allbon is gone to Fleet Street, I did only call at Martin’s, my bookseller’s, and there bought “Cassandra,” and some other French books for my wife’s closet, and so home, having eat nothing but two pennyworths of oysters, opened for me by a woman in the Strand, while the boy went to and again to inform me about this man, and therefore home and to dinner, and so all the afternoon at the office, and there late busy, and so home to supper, and pretty pleasant with my wife to bed, rested pretty well.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I away to...where I understand by my wife’s discourse that Deb. is gone,"

The plot sickens.

chris  •  Link

How many oysters might one expect for twopence?

sue nicholson  •  Link

According to Liza Picard ("Restoration London", Phoenix Press 1997) you could get a pint of oysters for a shilling (12pence).

Mary  •  Link

So the answer to Chris's question is, "Not very many at all." A small snack to stay the pangs rather than a quick meal.

languagehat  •  Link

Man, he's got it bad. Hard to know whether to laugh or cry, but we've all been there!

Tony Eldridge  •  Link


languagehat  •  Link

I didn't mean "sneaking around on one's wife and trying to find a recently dismissed servant to take advantage of," obviously -- at least I hope it was obvious -- but simply "so much in love/lust that one loses touch with common sense and the requirements of daily life." I suppose there are those who haven't done that either, but it's certainly a common phenomenon.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I love the fleeting image of Sam standing around swallowing newly shucked oysters whilst waiting.These little vignettes of London life add texture and are one element of why this Diary is so compelling all these years on. And there is no other diary like it.

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