Better nature

To Westminster Hall in the morning with Captain Lambert, and there he did at the Dog give me and some other friends of his, his foy, he being to set sail to-day towards the Streights. Here we had oysters and good wine. Having this morning met in the Hall with Mr. Sanchy, we appointed to meet at the play this afternoon. At noon, at the rising of the House, I met with Sir W. Pen and Major General Massy, who I find by discourse to be a very ingenious man, and among other things a great master in the secresys of powder and fireworks, and another knight to dinner, at the Swan, in the Palace yard, and our meat brought from the Legg; and after dinner Sir W. Pen and I to the Theatre, and there saw “The Country Captain,” a dull play, and that being done, I left him with his Torys and went to the Opera, and saw the last act of “The Bondman,” and there found Mr. Sanchy and Mrs. Mary Archer, sister to the fair Betty, whom I did admire at Cambridge, and thence took them to the Fleece in Covent Garden, there to bid good night to Sir W. Pen who staid for me; but Mr. Sanchy could not by any argument get his lady to trust herself with him into the tavern, which he was much troubled at, and so we returned immediately into the city by coach, and at the Mitre in Cheapside there light and drank, and then set her at her uncle’s in the Old Jewry. And so he and I back again thither, and drank till past 12 at night, till I had drank something too much. He all the while telling me his intention to get a girl who is worth 1000l., and many times we had her sister Betty’s health, whose memory I love. At last parted, and I well home, only had got cold and was hoarse and so to bed.

The dog all afternoon
is master of the yard.
I play with
his trust, troubled
by love as art.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 November 1661.

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