Abstract

Early Sir G. Carteret, both Sir Williams and I on board the Experiment, to dispatch her away, she being to carry things to the Madeiras with the East Indy fleet. Here (Sir W. Pen going to Deptford to send more hands) we staid till noon talking, and eating and drinking a good ham of English bacon, and having put things in very good order home, where I found Jane, my old maid, come out of the country, and I have a mind to have her again.
By and by comes La Belle Pierce to see my wife, and to bring her a pair of peruques of hair, as the fashion now is for ladies to wear; which are pretty, and are of my wife’s own hair, or else I should not endure them. After a good whiles stay, I went to see if any play was acted, and I found none upon the post, it being Passion week. So home again, and took water with them towards Westminster; but as we put off with the boat Griffin came after me to tell me that Sir G. Carteret and the rest were at the office, so I intended to see them through the bridge and come back again, but the tide being against us, when we were almost through we were carried back again with much danger, and Mrs. Pierce was much afeard and frightened. So I carried them to the other side and walked to the Beare, and sent them away, and so back again myself to the office, but finding nobody there I went again to the Old Swan, and thence by water to the New Exchange, and there found them, and thence by coach carried my wife to Bowes to buy something, and while they were there went to Westminster Hall, and there bought Mr. Grant’s book of observations upon the weekly bills of mortality, which appear to me upon first sight to be very pretty.
So back again and took my wife, calling at my brother Tom’s, whom I found full of work, which I am glad of, and thence at the New Exchange and so home, and I to Sir W. Batten’s, and supped there out of pure hunger and to save getting anything ready at home, which is a thing I do not nor shall not use to do.
So home and to bed.

An experiment:
hands talking,
we frighten the bear
back into a book.
The bills of mortality
appear to be full
of pure hunger.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 24 March 1661/62.

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