Walking dead

(Lord’s day). To church, where we observe the trade of briefs is come now up to so constant a course every Sunday, that we resolve to give no more to them. A good sermon, and then home to dinner, my wife and I all alone.
After dinner Sir Williams both and I by water to Whitehall, where having walked up and down, at last we met with the Duke of York, according to an order sent us yesterday from him, to give him an account where the fault lay in the not sending out of the ships, which we find to be only the wind hath been against them, and so they could not get out of the river. Hence I to Graye’s Inn Walk, all alone, and with great pleasure seeing the fine ladies walk there. Myself humming to myself (which now-a-days is my constant practice since I begun to learn to sing) the trillo, and found by use that it do come upon me. Home very weary and to bed, finding my wife not sick, but yet out of order, that I fear she will come to be sick. This day the Portuguese Embassador came to White Hall to take leave of the King; he being now going to end all with the Queen, and to send her over.
The weather now very fair and pleasant, but very hot. My father gone to Brampton to see my uncle Robert, not knowing whether to find him dead or alive. Myself lately under a great expense of money upon myself in clothes and other things, but I hope to make it up this summer by my having to do in getting things ready to send with the next fleet to the Queen.
Myself in good health, but mighty apt to take cold, so that this hot weather I am fain to wear a cloth before my belly.

I walk alone, seeing
the fine ladies walk,
self humming to self.
My constant fear:
I am dead under my clothes.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 June 1661.

Leave a Reply