22 February, in the year of our Lord 2021
Up, and the weather fine, which it hath not been, for of the last few days (which is since Saturday) each hath been foul, with ceaseless rain, and winds so fierce I did think they would claim the roof. Only today was it fine, when I in the garden to clear old leaves and cut some branches, which I did, though for fear of some little pains in my back after it, which last time left me incommoded and my posture crooked. News by the Messenger that a journey I had hoped to make abroad in June with Mr. Jones is to be cancel’d, this for the third time, I think, so we did agree that we should ask that our Deposites, they be returned to us. But though the notion of such a journie might yet have seemed a triumph of optimism over realitie, still the removal of it vexed and desapointed me in equal measure, for it was as tangible a thing as I had, of a value to embrace heartily in the future, and we have little enough of that.
After dinner received a letter, which was a contract for the roll of my being a Vaxinater, though of all the detayles there was in it, which were no less than seven pages, those most imortant were all mis-spelled: which was my name, the date on which I was born and the address where I live. If I can now write the word as I learn it must be spelled, Mrs. Cadwallader’s clerk must the same with the Detayles of my Person.
But the least of it is that it will provide me with a new Purpose, which is a well come thing, since in this time of plague, when I see my friends so seldom and even that to which I looked foreward is thrice denied, there is a danger that my mind will become as confined in my own head as my head in my own house. For it occurred to me a-work in the garden that it is strange and morbid thing how, in the short days of winter, with the weather foul and deprived of the commonality of friendship save thro’ magick screens, recollections of my days at Pauls school from so very long ago have returned unbidden to me, and my memory presents to me, in no order, those such as my time with the Admiralty, my time in the Tower, and my turbulent life with the wife I loved, and yet though all of these should be forgot or put to bed, still they have the power to wake when I am alone, and disturb me. But when I wonder to check at the accuracie of such things, and whether they are not more than tinged with the affects pertaining to solitude and the insecuritie of our times, by reading to confirm the integrity of my person the journalle I wrote as a younger man, it often seems as if I were a different person. It seems that lacking goals and hopes, and motivacions for the future, the mind will pivot and dwell with too much ease on the past, like scales weighing time, out of kilter on the fulcrum of the Present. And I think this imbalance a curse we must strive to evade in these times, lest the uncertaintie of the future inflict upon us the unreliability of the past, and leave us fail in the instant.
After, I contended to myselfe that this is no more than what happens when I prune and ruminate at the same time; so, after, serveyed the garden in a posytive state of mind, which is better for its being less brown, which makes it look green more, and in the end mightily contented for the doing of the jobb and the fulfilment of a purpose, no matter it small. For supper cooked a lime Possit, which I had not cooked before, very fine, and Mr. M. Jones came to share it with me. After, watched a part of a play upon a magick screen, which was Line of Dutie, Act 1, scene IV, in which Mr. Leonard James tonight acted mighty handsome and, I think, better than last I saw him in the part, though with the fickleness of memorie I remembered naught of the plot from before. And so to bed.