Changeling

This my birthday, 28 years.
This morning Sir W. Batten, Pen, and I did some business, and then I by water to Whitehall, having met Mr. Hartlibb by the way at Alderman Backwell’s. So he did give me a glass of Rhenish wine at the Steeleyard, and so to Whitehall by water. He continues of the same bold impertinent humour that he was always of and will ever be. He told me how my Lord Chancellor had lately got the Duke of York and Duchess, and her woman, my Lord Ossory’s and a Doctor, to make oath before most of the judges of the kingdom, concerning all the circumstances of their marriage. And in fine, it is confessed that they were not fully married till about a month or two before she was brought to bed; but that they were contracted long before, and time enough for the child to be legitimate. But I do not hear that it was put to the judges to determine whether it was so or no.
To my Lord and there spoke to him about his opinion of the Light, the sea-mark that Captain Murford is about, and do offer me an eighth part to concern myself with it, and my Lord do give me some encouragement in it, and I shall go on. I dined herewith Mr. Shepley and Howe. After dinner to Whitehall Chappell with Mr. Child, and there did hear Captain Cooke and his boy make a trial of an Anthem against tomorrow, which was brave musique.
Then by water to Whitefriars to the Play-house, and there saw “The Changeling,” the first time it hath been acted these twenty years, and it takes exceedingly. Besides, I see the gallants do begin to be tyred with the vanity and pride of the theatre actors who are indeed grown very proud and rich.
Then by link home, and there to my book awhile and to bed.
I met to-day with Mr. Townsend, who tells me that the old man is yet alive in whose place in the Wardrobe he hopes to get my father, which I do resolve to put for.
I also met with the Comptroller, who told me how it was easy for us all, the principal officers, and proper for us, to labour to get into the next Parliament; and would have me to ask the Duke’s letter, but I shall not endeavour it because it will spend much money, though I am sure I could well obtain it. This is now 28 years that I am born. And blessed be God, in a state of full content, and great hopes to be a happy man in all respects, both to myself and friends.

My birthday is water in wine,
an impertinent chance.
I do not concern myself with it.
Give me rage
and I shall go on:
I was a changeling.
The man in whose place I troll
was born happy.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 23 February 1660/61.

2 Comments


  1. I have been enjoying this project very much. This one is the best kind of gut-punch.

    Reply

    1. Ah, good to know that worked for you, and that the project is holding your interest so far.

      Reply

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