Sunset Boulevard

At the office all the morning, at noon my wife being gone to my coz Snow’s with Dr. Thomas Pepys and my brother Tom to a venison pasty (which proved a pasty of salted pork); by appointment I went with Captain David Lambert to the Exchequer, and from thence by appointment he and I were to meet at a cook’s shop to dine. But before I went to him Captain Cock, a merchant I had not long known, took me to the Sun tavern and gave me a glass of sack, and being a man of great observation and repute, did tell me that he was confident that the Parliament, when it comes the next month to sit again, would bring trouble with it, and enquire how the King had disposed of offices and money, before they will raise more; which, I fear, will bring all things to ruin again. Thence to the Cook’s and there dined with Captain Lambert and his father-in-law, and had much talk of Portugall; from whence he is lately come, and he tells me it is a very poor dirty place; I mean the City and Court of Lisbon; that the King is a very rude and simple fellow; and, for reviling of somebody a little while ago, and calling of him cuckold, was run into … with a sword and had been killed, had he not told them that he was their king. That there are there no glass windows, nor will they have any; which makes sport among our merchants there to talk of an English factor that, being newly come thither, writ into England that glass would be a good commodity to send thither, &c. That the King has his meat sent up by a dozen of lazy guards and in pipkins, sometimes, to his own table; and sometimes nothing but fruits, and, now and then, half a hen. And now that the Infanta is become our Queen, she is come to have a whole hen or goose to her table, which is not ordinary. So home and to look over my papers that concern the difference between Mrs. Goldsborough and us; which cost me much pains, but contented me much after it was done. So at home all the evening and to supper and to bed.

In the glass city there are
no glass windows,
the king is kin to his own nothing
and the queen is a whole table:
so the difference between
gold and evening.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 October 1661.

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