Rimbaud, 1880

This morning I paid Sir W. Batten 40l., which I have owed him this half year, having borrowed it of him.
Then to the office all the morning, so dined at home, and after dinner comes my uncle Thomas, with whom I had some high words of difference, but ended quietly, though I fear I shall do no good by fair means upon him.
Thence my wife and I by coach, first to see my little picture that is a drawing, and thence to the Opera, and there saw “Romeo and Juliet,” the first time it was ever acted; but it is a play of itself the worst that ever I heard in my life, and the worst acted that ever I saw these people do, and I am resolved to go no more to see the first time of acting, for they were all of them out more or less. Thence home, and after supper and wrote by the post, I settled to what I had long intended, to cast up my accounts with myself, and after much pains to do it and great fear, I do find that I am 500l. in money beforehand in the world, which I was afraid I was not, but I find that I had spent above 250l. this last half year, which troubles me much, but by God’s blessing I am resolved to take up, having furnished myself with all things for a great while, and to-morrow to think upon some rules and obligations upon myself to walk by.
So with my mind eased of a great deal of trouble, though with no great content to find myself above 100l. worse now than I was half a year ago, I went to bed.

I have borrowed some quiet—
the first in my life—and am
resolved to go. I settle
my accounts with myself
and fear in hand,
furnish my mind with a tent.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 March 1661/62, in response to an article from the New York Times.

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