Book of Martyrs

Office. Then dined at home, and by chance Mr. Holliard called at dinner time and dined with me, with whom I had great discourse concerning the cure of the King’s evil, which he do deny altogether any effect at all.
In the afternoon I went forth and saw some silver bosses put upon my new Bible, which cost me 6s. 6d. the making, and 7s. 6d. the silver, which, with 9s. 6d. the book, comes in all to 1l. 3s. 6d. From thence with Mr. Cooke that made them, and Mr. Stephens the silversmith to the tavern, and did give them a pint of wine. So to White Hall, where when I came I saw the boats going very thick to Lambeth, and all the stairs to be full of people. I was told the Queen was a-coming; so I got a sculler for sixpence to carry me thither and back again, but I could not get to see the Queen; so come back, and to my Lord’s, where he was come; and I supt with him, he being very merry, telling merry stories of the country mayors, how they entertained the King all the way as he come along; and how the country gentlewomen did hold up their heads to be kissed by the King, not taking his hand to kiss as they should do. I took leave of my Lord and Lady, and so took coach at White Hall and carried Mr. Childe as far as the Strand, and myself got as far as Ludgate by all the bonfires, but with a great deal of trouble; and there the coachman desired that I would release him, for he durst not go further for the fires. So he would have had a shilling or 6d. for bringing of me so far; but I had but 3d. about me and did give him it. In Paul’s church-yard I called at Kirton’s, and there they had got a mass book for me, which I bought and cost me twelve shillings; and, when I came home, sat up late and read in it with great pleasure to my wife, to hear that she was long ago so well acquainted with. So to bed.
I observed this night very few bonfires in the City, not above three in all London, for the Queen’s coming; whereby I guess that (as I believed before) her coming do please but very few.

A great evil I saw:
a book comes
to give stairs to people,
but they hold up their heads
to be kissed, not to kiss.
And so bonfires
desire the book
and read it with pleasure
to that long night, the city.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 2 November 1660.

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