Walt Whitman, over-protective parent

This morning I went early to the Comptroller’s and so with him by coach to Whitehall, to wait upon Mr. Coventry to give him an account of what we have done, which having done, I went away to wait upon my Lady; but coming to her lodgings I find that she is gone this morning to Chatham by coach, thinking to meet me there, which did trouble me exceedingly, and I did not know what to do, being loth to follow her, and yet could not imagine what she would do when she found me not there. In this trouble, I went to take a walk in Westminster Hall and by chance met with Mr. Child, who went forth with my Lady to-day, but his horse being bad, he come back again, which then did trouble me more, so that I did resolve to go to her; and so by boat home and put on my boots, and so over to Southwarke to the posthouse, and there took horse and guide to Dartford and thence to Rochester (I having good horses and good way, come thither about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o’clock and I set forth after two), where I found my Lady and her daughter Jem., and Mrs. Browne and five servants, all at a great loss, not finding me here, but at my coming she was overjoyed. The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown, and how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well and she him. In fine we supped merry and so to bed, there coming several of the Charles’s men to see me before, I got to bed. The page lay with me.

I went early, but find he is gone. I did not know what to do, being loath to follow, and yet—
a child went forth
on an unknown page.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 January 1660/61.

Leave a Reply