Feast day

(King’s birth-day). Rose early and having made myself fine, and put six spoons and a porringer of silver in my pocket to give away to-day, Sir W. Pen and I took coach, and (the weather and ways being foul) went to Walthamstowe; and being come there heard Mr. Radcliffe, my former school fellow at Paul’s (who is yet a mere boy), preach upon “Nay, let him take all, since my Lord the King is returned,” &c. He reads all, and his sermon very simple, but I looked for new matter. Back to dinner to Sir William Batten’s; and then, after a walk in the fine gardens, we went to Mrs. Browne’s, where Sir W. Pen and I were godfathers, and Mrs. Jordan and Shipman godmothers to her boy. And there, before and after the christening; we were with the woman above in her chamber; but whether we carried ourselves well or ill, I know not; but I was directed by young Mrs. Batten. One passage of a lady that eat wafers with her dog did a little displease me. I did give the midwife 10s. and the nurse 5s. and the maid of the house 2s. But for as much I expected to give the name to the child, but did not (it being called John), I forbore then to give my plate till another time after a little more advice.
All being done, we went to Mrs. Shipman’s, who is a great butter-woman, and I did see there the most of milk and cream, and the cleanest that ever I saw in my life. After we had filled our bellies with cream, we took our leaves and away. In our way, we had great sport to try who should drive fastest, Sir W. Batten’s coach, or Sir W. Pen’s chariott, they having four, and we two horses, and we beat them. But it cost me the spoiling of my clothes and velvet coat with dirt.
Being come home I to bed, and give my breeches to be dried by the fire against to-morrow.

I put six spoons
of silver in my pocket
and looked for dinner
in the garden and on my plate
till a great butter-woman
filled our bellies
with horses and with dirt.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 29 May 1661.

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