Rendering unto Caesar

(Lord’s day). Left my wife in bed not well with her moys and I to church, and so home to dinner, and dined alone upon some marrow bones, and had a fine piece of rost beef, but being alone I eat none. So after dinner comes in my brother Tom, and he tells me how he hath seen the father and mother of the girl which my cozen Joyces would have him to have for a wife, and they are much for it, but we are in a great quandary what to do therein, 200l. being but a little money; and I hope, if he continues as he begins, he may look out for one with more.
To church, and before sermon there was a long psalm, and half another sung out while the Sexton gathered what the church would give him for this last year. I gave him 3s., and have the last week given the Clerk 2s., which I set down that I may know what to do the next year, if it please the Lord that I live so long; but the jest was, the Clerk begins the 25th psalm, which hath a proper tune to it, and then the 116th, which cannot be sung with that tune, which seemed very ridiculous.
After church to Sir W. Batten’s, where on purpose I have not been this fortnight, and I am resolved to keep myself more reserved to avoyd the contempt which otherwise I must fall into, and so home and sat and talked and supped with my wife, and so up to prayers and to bed, having wrote a letter this night to Sir J. Mennes in the Downs for his opinion in the business of striking of flags.

With bones for money
I give what I live on—
a tune which cannot be sung.

This void I fall into
and pray to
is in the business of flags.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 January 1661/62.

1 Comment


Leave a Reply