Guilt trip

Up and in Sir J. Minnes’s coach with him and Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where now the Duke is come again to lodge: and to Mr. Coventry’s little new chamber there. And by and by up to the Duke, who was making himself ready; and there among other discourse young Killigrew did so commend “The Villaine,” a new play made by Tom Porter; and acted only on Saturday at the Duke’s house, as if there never had been any such play come upon the stage. The same yesterday was told me by Captain Ferrers; and this morning afterwards by Dr. Clerke, who saw it. Insomuch that after I had done with the Duke, and thence gone with Commissioner Pett to Mr. Lilly’s, the great painter, who came forth to us; but believing that I come to bespeak a picture, he prevented us by telling us, that he should not be at leisure these three weeks; which methinks is a rare thing. And then to see in what pomp his table was laid for himself to go to dinner; and here, among other pictures, saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine, which is a most blessed picture; and that that I must have a copy of. And having thence gone to my brother’s, where my wife lodged last night, and eat something there, I took her by coach to the Duke’s house, and there was the house full of company: but whether it was in over-expecting or what, I know not, but I was never less pleased with a play in my life. Though there was good singing and dancing, yet no fancy in the play, but something that made it less contenting was my conscience that I ought not to have gone by my vow, and, besides, my business commanded me elsewhere. But, however, as soon as I came home I did pay my crown to the poor’s box, according to my vow, and so no harm as to that is done, but only business lost and money lost, and my old habit of pleasure wakened, which I will keep down the more hereafter, for I thank God these pleasures are not sweet to me now in the very enjoying of them. So by coach home, and after a little business at my office, and seeing Sir W. Pen, who continues ill, I went to bed.
Dunkirk, I am confirmed, is absolutely sold; for which I am very sorry.

am I a villain not to see
a brother
lodged in a box

these pleasures
are not sweet to me now
for which I am sorry


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 20 October 1662.

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