Gentrification

(Lord’s day). Up betimes and round about by the streets to my office, and walked in the garden and in my office till my man Will rose, and then sent to tell Sir J. Minnes that I would go with him to Whitehall, which anon we did, in his coach, and to the Chapell, where I heard a good sermon of the Dean of Ely’s, upon returning to the old ways, and a most excellent anthem, with symphonys between, sung by Captain Cooke. Then home with Mr. Fox and his lady; and there dined with them, where much company come to them. Most of our discourse was what ministers are flung out that will not conform: and the care of the Bishop of London that we are here supplied with very good men.
Thence to my Lord’s, where nobody at home but a woman that let me in, and Sarah above, whither I went up to her and played and talked with her and, God forgive me, did feel her; which I am much ashamed of, but I did no more, though I had so much a mind to it that I spent in my breeches. After I had talked an hour or two with her I went and gave Mr. Hunt a short visit, he being at home alone, and thence walked homewards, and meeting Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, he took me into Somersett House; and there carried me into the Queen-Mother’s presence-chamber, where she was with our own Queen sitting on her left hand (whom I did never see before); and though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest, and innocent look, which is pleasing. Here I also saw Madam Castlemaine, and, which pleased me most, Mr. Crofts, the King’s bastard, a most pretty spark of about 15 years old, who, I perceive, do hang much upon my Lady Castlemaine, and is always with her; and, I hear, the Queens both of them are mighty kind to him. By and by in comes the King, and anon the Duke and his Duchess; so that, they being all together, was such a sight as I never could almost have happened to see with so much ease and leisure. They staid till it was dark, and then went away; the King and his Queen, and my Lady Castlemaine and young Crofts, in one coach and the rest in other, coaches. Here were great store of great ladies, but very few handsome.
The King and Queen were very merry; and he would have made the Queen-Mother believe that his Queen was with child, and said that she said so. And the young Queen answered, “You lye;” which was the first English word that I ever heard her say which made the King good sport; and he would have taught her to say in English, “Confess and be hanged.
The company being gone I walked home with great content as I can be in for seeing the greatest rarity, and yet a little troubled that I should see them before my wife’s coming home, I having made a promise that I would not, nor did I do it industriously and by design, but by chance only. To my office, to fit myself for waiting on the Duke to-morrow morning with the rest of our company, and so to my lodgings and to bed.

The streets returning to symphonies,
we are nobody but
we feel more at home

in the presence of a pretty child
taught to say confess
and be hanged
.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 September 1662.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

3 Comments



    1. Thank you! The title was an afterthought, as always with these erasure poems. Would this poem still be as effective without it, I wonder?

      Reply

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