Sailor’s wife

I lay long in bed, till Sir Williams both sent me word that we were to wait upon the Duke of York to-day; and that they would have me to meet them at Westminster Hall, at noon: so I rose and went thither; and there I understand that they are gone to Mr. Coventry’s lodgings, in the Old Palace Yard, to dinner (the first time I knew he had any); and there I met them two and Sir G. Carteret, and had a very fine dinner, and good welcome, and discourse; and so, by water, after dinner to White Hall to the Duke, who met us in his closet; and there he did discourse to us the business of Holmes, and did desire of us to know what hath been the common practice about making of forrayne ships to strike sail to us, which they did all do as much as they could; but I could say nothing to it, which I was sorry for. So indeed I was forced to study a lie, and so after we were gone from the Duke, I told Mr. Coventry that I had heard Mr. Selden often say, that he could prove that in Henry the 7th’s time, he did give commission to his captains to make the King of Denmark’s ships to strike to him in the Baltique.
From thence Sir W. Pen and I to the Theatre, but it was so full that we could hardly get any room, so he went up to one of the boxes, and I into the 18d. places, and there saw “Love at first sight,” a play of Mr. Killigrew’s, and the first time that it hath been acted since before the troubles, and great expectation there was, but I found the play to be a poor thing, and so I perceive every body else do. So home, calling at Paul’s Churchyard for a “Mare Clausum,” having it in my mind to write a little matter, what I can gather, about the business of striking sayle, and present it to the Duke, which I now think will be a good way to make myself known. So home and to bed.

A long word: wait.
I understand water
but not ships

or the poor body,
having it in mind to sail
my own bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 29 November 1661.

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