Captive audience

Up and among my workmen, my work going on still very well. So to my office all the morning, and dined again with Sir W. Batten, his Lady being in the country. Among other stories, he told us of the Mayor of Bristoll’s reading a pass with the bottom upwards; and a barber that could not read, that flung a letter in the kennel when one came to desire him to read the superscription, saying, “Do you think I stand here to read letters?” Among my workmen again, pleasing myself all the afternoon there, and so to the office doing business till past 9 at night, and so home and to bed. This afternoon Mrs. Hunt came to see me, and I did give her a Muske Millon. To-day my hogshead of sherry I have sold to Sir W. Batten, and am glad of my money instead of wine.
After I had wrote this at my office (as I have of late altogether done since my wife has been in the country) I went into my house, and Will having been making up books at Deptford with other clerks all day, I did not think he was come home, but was in fear for him, it being very late, what was become of him. But when I came home I found him there at his ease in his study, which vexed me cruelly, that he should no more mind me, but to let me be all alone at the office waiting for him. Whereupon I struck him, and did stay up till 12 o’clock at night chiding him for it, and did in plain terms tell him that I would not be served so, and that I am resolved to look out some boy that I may have the bringing up of after my own mind, and which I do intend to do, for I do find that he has got a taste of liberty since he came to me that he will not leave. Having discharged my mind, I went to bed.

reading to the hogs
as I have done
my books come to taste
of liberty


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 27 August 1662.

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