Birthday of Desire

The King’s birthday.
Busy all the morning writing letters to London, among the rest one to Mr. Chetwind to give me an account of the fees due to the Herald for the Order of the Garter, which my Lord desires to know.
After dinner got all ready and sent away Mr. Cook to London with a letter and token to my wife.
After that abroad to shore with my Lord (which he offered me of himself, saying that I had a great deal of work to do this month, which was very true).
On shore we took horses, my Lord and Mr. Edward, Mr. Hetly and I, and three or four servants, and had a great deal of pleasure in riding. Among other things my Lord showed me a house that cost a great deal of money, and is built in so barren and inconvenient a place that my Lord calls it the fool’s house.
At last we came upon a very high cliff by the sea-side, and rode under it, we having laid great wagers, I and D. Mathews, that it was not so high as Paul’s; my Lord and Mr. Hetly, that it was. But we riding under it, my Lord made a pretty good measure of it with two sticks, and found it to be not above thirty-five yards high, and Paul’s is reckoned to be about ninety. From thence toward the barge again, and in our way found the people at Deal going to make a bonfire for joy of the day, it being the King’s birthday, and had some guns which they did fire at my Lord’s coming by. For which I did give twenty shillings among them to drink.
While we were on the top of the cliffe, we saw and heard our guns in the fleet go off for the same joy. And it being a pretty fair day we could see above twenty miles into France.
Being returned on board, my Lord called for Mr. Sheply’s book of Paul’s, by which we were confirmed in our wager. After that to supper and then to musique, and so to bed.
The pain that I have got last night by cold is not yet gone, but troubles me at the time of pissing.
This day, it is thought, the King do enter the city of London.

The birthday of desire.
My wife offered me a true horse
and I had great pleasure in riding:
a house built high with two sticks,
a bonfire of guns.
We go off for the same joy
and return for trouble.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 29 May 1660.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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