Pas de deux

This morning some of the Commissioners of Parliament and Sir W. Batten went to Sir G. Carteret’s office here in town, and paid off the Chesnut. I carried my wife to White Friars and landed her there, and myself to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, where abundance of pardons to seal, but I was much troubled for it because that there are no fees now coming for them to me. Thence Mr. Moore and I alone to the Leg in King Street, and dined together on a neat’s tongue and udder.
From thence by coach to Mr. Crew’s to my Lord, who told me of his going out of town to-morrow to settle the militia in Huntingdonshire, and did desire me to lay up a box of some rich jewels and things that there are in it, which I promised to do. After much free discourse with my Lord, who tells me his mind as to his enlarging his family, &c., and desiring me to look him out a Master of the Horse and other servants, we parted. From thence I walked to Greatorex (he was not within), but there I met with Mr. Jonas Moore, and took him to the Five Bells, and drank a glass of wine and left him. To the Temple, when Sir R. Parkhurst (as was intended the last night) did seal the writings, and is to have the 2000l. told to-morrow.
From, thence by water to Parliament Stairs, and there at an alehouse to Doling (who is suddenly to go into Ireland to venture his fortune); Simonds (who is at a great loss for 200l. present money, which I was loth to let him have, though I could now do it, and do love him and think him honest and sufficient, yet lothness to part with money did dissuade me from it); Luellin (who was very drowsy from a dose that he had got the last night), Mr. Mount and several others, among the rest one Mr. Pierce, an army man, who did make us the best sport for songs and stories in a Scotch tone (which he do very well) that ever I heard in my life. I never knew so good a companion in all my observation.
From thence to the bridge by water, it being a most pleasant moonshine night, with a waterman who did tell such a company of bawdy stories, how once he carried a lady from Putney in such a night as this, and she bade him lie down by her, which he did, and did give her content, and a great deal more roguery.
Home and found my girl knocking at the door (it being 11 o’clock at night), her mistress having sent her out for some trivial business, which did vex me when I came in, and so I took occasion to go up and to bed in a pet.
Before I went forth this morning, one came to me to give me notice that the justices of Middlesex do meet to-morrow at Hicks Hall, and that I as one am desired to be there, but I fear I cannot be there though I much desire it.

We dance
on one leg
and dine together on a tongue.

Who is going to lay up
a box of rich things?
Who is enlarging his horse?

We walk
on glass stairs
to sudden fortune or to love

and make the best stories,
the most pleasant stories—
how on such
a night as this
she and I found some trivial business
and took occasion
to go to bed.

We meet
and desire to be here,
but I fear I cannot
(be here, desire).


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 6 December 1660.

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