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Pepys' Diary: The King is greatly vexed

Made way by coach to the Spaniard's Inn in Hampstead. There to speak with some of the King's counsellors away from the hubbub and prying eyes. I learn that the King is greatly displeased with his brother, the former Duke of York. News has come again from the Colonies in America that he stayed many weeks with the Philanderer, Epstein, on his private island.

It is said the the Prince did consort and cavort with young maidens out of the presence of any duenna. It is rumoured that he "did grope for trout in a peculiar river". Whether he did or no, his presence at Court is still denied. Wise heads do say that he will be exiled to America, as was the King's youngest son.

Further afield Russia is still warring with the Slavs. They exchange cannonades every day. The populace have been reduce to living in holes in the ground. Likewise, in the Holy land. The Arabs are held at seige without food or water. A blockade keeps away all possible assistance. The whole land is in turmoil. Some fear that the prophesied Apocalypse as revealed to St John will occur in this year.

What fearful and vexing times we do live in!

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