The King’s Evil

By water with Mr. Hill towards my Lord’s lodging and so to my Lord. With him to Whitehall, where I left him and went to Mr. Holmes to deliver him the horse of Dixwell’s that had staid there fourteen days at the Bell.
So to my Lord’s lodgings, where Tom Guy came to me, and there staid to see the King touch people for the King’s evil. But he did not come at all, it rayned so; and the poor people were forced to stand all the morning in the rain in the garden. Afterward he touched them in the Banquetting-house.
With my Lord, to my Lord Frezendorfe’s, where he dined to-day. Where he told me that he had obtained a promise of the Clerk of the Acts place for me, at which I was glad.
Met with Mr. Chetwind, and dined with him at Hargrave’s, the Cornchandler, in St. Martin’s Lane, where a good dinner, where he showed me some good pictures, and an instrument he called an Angelique. With him to London, changing all my Dutch money at Backwell’s for English, and then to Cardinal’s Cap, where he and the City Remembrancer who paid for all.
Back to Westminster, where my Lord was, and discoursed with him awhile about his family affairs. So he went away, I home and wrote letters into the country, and to bed.

I went to the well to see
the king touch people
for the king’s evil.
The poor people stand
all morning in the rain,
the wind in the corn
changing all remembrance
into country.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 23 June 1660.

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