Torn

We met at the office, and after that to dinner at home, and from thence with my wife by water to Catan Sterpin, with whom and her mistress Pye we sat discoursing of Kate’s marriage to Mons. Petit, her mistress and I giving the best advice we could for her to suspend her marriage till Mons. Petit had got some place that may be able to maintain her, and not for him to live upon the portion that she shall bring him. From thence to Mr. Butler’s to see his daughters, the first time that ever we made a visit to them. We found them very pretty, and Coll. Dillon there, a very merry and witty companion, but methinks they live in a gaudy but very poor condition. From thence, my wife and I intending to see Mrs. Blackburne, who had been a day or two again to see my wife, but my wife was not in condition to be seen, but she not being at home my wife went to her mother’s and I to the Privy Seal. At night from the Privy Seal, Mr. Woodson and Mr. Jennings and I to the Sun Tavern till it was late, and from thence to my Lord’s, where my wife was come from Mrs. Blackburne’s to me, and after I had done some business with my Lord, she and I went to Mrs. Hunt’s, who would needs have us to lie at her house to-night, she being with my wife so late at my Lord’s with us, and would not let us go home to-night.
We lay there all night very pleasantly and at ease, I taking my pleasure with my wife in the morning, being the first time after her being eased of her pain.

From wife to mistress
I live on wit, gaudy but poor.
Intending to see my wife, I was not I
but a moth to the sun:
I burn, taking my pleasure
in the morning pain.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 August 1660.

Leave a Reply