February idyll

Lay very long with my wife in bed talking with great pleasure, and then rose. This morning Mr. Cole, our timber merchant, sent me five couple of ducks. Our maid Susan is very ill, and so the whole trouble of the house lies upon our maid Mary, who do it very contentedly and mighty well, but I am sorry she is forced to it.
Dined upon one couple of ducks to-day, and after dinner my wife and I by coach to Tom’s, and I to the Temple to discourse with my cozen Roger Pepys about my law business, and so back again, it being a monstrous thaw after the long great frost, so that there is no passing but by coach in the streets, and hardly that.
Took my wife home, and I to my office. Find myself pretty well but fearful of cold, and so to my office, where late upon business; Mr. Bland sitting with me, talking of my Lord Windsor’s being come home from Jamaica, unlooked-for; which makes us think that these young Lords are not fit to do any service abroad, though it is said that he could not have his health there, but hath razed a fort of the King of Spain upon Cuba, which is considerable, or said to be so, for his honour. So home to supper and to bed. This day I bought the second part of Dr. Bates’s Elenchus, which reaches to the fall of Richard, and no further, for which I am sorry. This evening my wife had a great mind to choose Valentines against to-morrow, I Mrs. Clerke, or Pierce, she Mr. Hunt or Captain Ferrers, but I would not because of getting charge both to me for mine and to them for her, which did not please her.

a couple of ducks content to eat
in the cold wind

this ache is my Valentine


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 13 February 1662/63.

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