Among the living

Up betimes and to my office, where I found my brother Tom, who tells me that his mistress’s mother has wrote a letter to Mr. Lull of her full satisfaction about Tom, of which I was glad, and do think the business will take. All this morning we sat at the office, Sir J. Minnes and I. And so dined at home, and among my workmen all the afternoon, and in the evening Tom brought Mr. Lull to me, a friend of his mistress, a serious man, with whom I spoke, and he gives me a good account of her and of their satisfaction in Tom, all which pleases me well. We walked a good while in the garden together, and did give him a glass of wine at my office, and so parted.
So to write letters by the post and news of this to my father concerning Tom, and so home to supper and to my lodgings and to bed.
To-night my barber sent me his man to trim me, who did live in King Street in Westminster lately, and tells me that three or four that I knew in that street, tradesmen, are lately fallen mad, and some of them dead, and the others continue mad. They live all within a door or two one of another.

Rot is rot: full satisfaction
or the afternoon lull
at the office.

So write letters
to the dead and the mad.
They live all within
a door or two.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 20 September 1662. (Post title stolen from Anthrax.)

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