Falconer

I went up and down to Alderman Backwell’s, but his servants not being up, I went home and put on my gray cloth suit and faced white coat, made of one of my wife’s pettycoates, the first time I have had it on, and so in a riding garb back again and spoke with Mr. Shaw at the Alderman’s, who offers me 300l. if my Lord pleases to buy this cloth with, which pleased me well. So to the Wardrobe and got my Lord to order Mr. Creed to imprest so much upon me to be paid by Alderman Backwell.
So with my Lord to Whitehall by water, and he having taken leave of the King, comes to us at his lodgings and from thence goes to the garden stairs and there takes barge, and at the stairs was met by Sir R. Slingsby, who there took his leave of my Lord, and I heard my Lord thank him for his kindness to me, which Sir Robert answered much to my advantage.
I went down with my Lord in the barge to Deptford, and there went on board the Dutch yacht and staid there a good while, W. Howe not being come with my Lord’s things, which made my Lord very angry. By and by he comes and so we set sayle, and anon went to dinner, my Lord and we very merry; and after dinner I went down below and there sang, and took leave of W. Howe, Captain Rolt, and the rest of my friends, then went up and took leave of my Lord, who give me his hand and parted with great respect.
So went and Captain Ferrers with me into our wherry, and my Lord did give five guns, all they had charged, which was the greatest respect my Lord could do me, and of which I was not a little proud. So with a sad and merry heart I left them sailing pleasantly from Erith, hoping to be in the Downs tomorrow early.
We toward London in our boat. Pulled off our stockings and bathed our legs a great while in the river, which I had not done some years before.
By and by we come to Greenwich, and thinking to have gone on the King’s yacht, the King was in her, so we passed by, and at Woolwich went on shore, in the company of Captain Poole of Jamaica and young Mr. Kennersley, and many others, and so to the tavern where we drank a great deal both wine and beer. So we parted hence and went home with Mr. Falconer, who did give us cherrys and good wine. So to boat, and young Poole took us on board the Charity and gave us wine there, with which I had full enough, and so to our wherry again, and there fell asleep till I came almost to the Tower, and there the Captain and I parted, and I home and with wine enough in my head, went to bed.

I put on my gray
riding garb to go up
the garden stairs

and made a hand
with five guns

for the king’s falcon,
who fell asleep
in my head.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 June 1661.

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