To have and to hold

Up and to my office, where all the morning, and Sir J. Minnes and I did a little, and but a little business at the office. So I eat a bit of victuals at home, and so abroad to several places, as my bookseller’s, and then to Thomson the instrument maker’s to bespeak a ruler for my pocket for timber, &c., which I believe he will do to my mind. So to the Temple, Wardrobe, and lastly to Westminster Hall, where I expected some bands made me by Mrs. Lane, and while she went to the starchers for them, I staid at Mrs. Howlett’s, who with her husband were abroad, and only their daughter (which I call my wife) was in the shop, and I took occasion to buy a pair of gloves to talk to her, and I find her a pretty spoken girl, and will prove a mighty handsome wench. I could love her very well.
By and by Mrs. Lane comes, and my bands not being done she and I posted and met at the Crown in the Palace Yard, where we eat a chicken I sent for, and drank, and were mighty merry, and I had my full liberty of towzing her and doing what I would, but the last thing of all; for I felt as much as I would and made her feel my thing also, and put the end of it to her breast and by and by to her very belly — of which I am heartily ashamed. But I do resolve never to do more so.
But, Lord! to see what a mind she has to a husband, and how she showed me her hands to tell her her fortune, and every thing that she asked ended always whom and when she was to marry. And I pleased her so well, saying as I know she would have me, and then she would say that she had been with all the artists in town, and they always told her the same things, as that she should live long, and rich, and have a good husband, but few children, and a great fit of sickness, and 20 other things, which she says she has always been told by others.
Here I staid late before my bands were done, and then they came, and so I by water to the Temple, and thence walked home, all in a sweat with my tumbling of her and walking, and so a little supper and to bed, fearful of having taken cold.

a pair of hands
could love very well

all felt and feel
end and band

how her hands ask
always to marry

always to live
and have 20 other things


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 18 July 1663.

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