Rosebush

(Valentine’s day). Up early and to Sir W. Batten’s, but would not go in till I asked whether they that opened the door was a man or a woman, and Mingo, who was there, answered a woman, which, with his tone, made me laugh.
So up I went and took Mrs. Martha for my Valentine (which I do only for complacency), and Sir W. Batten he go in the same manner to my wife, and so we were very merry.
About 10 o’clock we, with a great deal of company, went down by our barge to Deptford, and there only went to see how forward Mr. Pett’s yacht is; and so all into the barge again, and so to Woolwich, on board the Rose-bush, Captain Brown’s ship, that is brother-in-law to Sir W. Batten, where we had a very fine dinner, dressed on shore, and great mirth and all things successfull; the first time I ever carried my wife a-ship-board, as also my boy Wayneman, who hath all this day been called young Pepys, as Sir W. Pen’s boy young Pen.
So home by barge again; good weather, but pretty cold. I to my study, and began to make up my accounts for my Lord, which I intend to end tomorrow.
To bed.
The talk of the town now is, who the King is like to have for his Queen: and whether Lent shall be kept with the strictness of the King’s proclamation; which it is thought cannot be, because of the poor, who cannot buy fish. And also the great preparation for the King’s crowning is now much thought upon and talked of.

Great company
is the rosebush,
hip to fine-dressed hip
like a queen, with
the strictness of the poor
who cannot buy a crown.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 14 February 1660/61.

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