Husbandry

My wife and I by water to Westminster, and after she had seen her father (of whom lately I have heard nothing at all what he does or her mother), she comes to me to my Lord’s lodgings, where she and I staid walking in White Hall garden. And in the Privy-garden saw the finest smocks and linnen petticoats of my Lady Castlemaine’s, laced with rich lace at the bottom, that ever I saw; and did me good to look upon them. So to Wilkinson’s, she and I and Sarah to dinner, where I had a good quarter of lamb and a salat. Here Sarah told me how the King dined at my Lady Castlemaine’s, and supped, every day and night the last week; and that the night that the bonfires were made for joy of the Queen’s arrivall, the King was there; but there was no fire at her door, though at all the rest of the doors almost in the street; which was much observed: and that the King and she did send for a pair of scales and weighed one another; and she, being with child, was said to be heaviest. But she is now a most disconsolate creature, and comes not out of doors, since the King’s going.
But we went to the Theatre to “The French Dancing Master,” and there with much pleasure gazed upon her (Lady Castlemaine); but it troubles us to see her look dejectedly and slighted by people already. The play pleased us very well; but Lacy’s part, the Dancing Master, the best in the world.
Thence to my brother Tom’s, in expectation to have met my father to-night come out of the country, but he is not yet come, but here we found my uncle Fenner and his old wife, whom I had not seen since the wedding dinner, nor care to see her. They being gone, my wife and I went and saw Mrs. Turner, whom we found not well, and her two boys Charles and Will come out of the country, grown very plain boys after three years being under their father’s care in Yorkshire. Thence to Tom’s again, and there supped well, my she cozen Scott being there and my father being not come, we walked home and to bed.

Water comes
to my garden
in the finest coat
laced with rich lace.

And on the night of the fire,
all the doors in the street
dancing with light…

The world is an old wife
not seen since the wedding.
We turn a country into a cot
and not a bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 21 May 1662.

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