Babel

All the morning at the office. At noon Sir W. Batten, Col. Slingsby and I by coach to the Tower, to Sir John Robinson’s, to dinner.
Where great good cheer. High company; among others the Duchess of Albemarle, who is ever a plain homely dowdy.
After dinner, to drink all the afternoon. Towards night the Duchess and ladies went away. Then we set to it again till it was very late. And at last came in Sir William Wale, almost fuddled; and because I was set between him and another, only to keep them from talking and spoiling the company (as we did to others), he fell out with the Lieutenant of the Tower; but with much ado we made him under stand his error, and then all quiet. And so he carried Sir William Batten and I home again in his coach, and so I almost overcome with drink went to bed.
I was much contented to ride in such state into the Tower, and be received among such high company, while Mr. Mount, my Lady Duchess’s gentleman usher, stood waiting at table, whom I ever thought a man so much above me in all respects.
Also to hear the discourse of so many high Cavaliers of things past. It was a great content and joy to me.

Tower of marl, homely
in a chess set.
Fuddled, talking, the others fell.

The tower we made is quiet.
Overcome with drink, I ride in.

The tower stood waiting.
A man respects the discourse
of so many cavaliers.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 8 March 1660/61.

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