Pearls

To the Wardrobe, and with Mr. Townsend and Moore to the Saracen’s Head to a barrel of oysters, and so Mr. Moore and I to Tom Trice’s, with whom I did first set my hand to answer to a writt of his this tearm. Thence to the Wardrobe to dinner, and there by appointment met my wife, who had by my direction brought some laces for my Lady to choose one for her. And after dinner I went away, and left my wife and ladies together, and all their work was about this lace of hers.
Captain Ferrers and I went together, and he carried me the first time that ever I saw any gaming house, to one, entering into Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, at the end of Bell Yard, where strange the folly of men to lay and lose so much money, and very glad I was to see the manner of a gamester’s life, which I see is very miserable, and poor, and unmanly.
And thence he took me to a dancing school in Fleet Street, where we saw a company of pretty girls dance, but I do not in myself like to have young girls exposed to so much vanity.
So to the Wardrobe, where I found my Lady had agreed upon a lace for my wife of 6l, which I seemed much glad of that it was no more, though in my mind I think it too much, and I pray God keep me so to order myself and my wife’s expenses that no inconvenience in purse or honour follow this my prodigality. So by coach home.

An oyster’s
answer to a tear—
I choose one for
my wife and one,
like so much in
my mind, to keep
to myself.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 11 November 1661.

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