Desert rat

Lay long in bed with my wife talking of family matters, and so up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I to talk again about getting of a couple of good mayds and to part with Ashwell, which troubles me for her father’s sake, though I shall be glad to have the charge taken away of keeping a woman. Thence a little to the office, and so abroad with my wife by water to White Hall, and there at my Lord’s lodgings met my Lady Jemimah, with whom we staid a good while. Thence to Mrs. Hunt’s, where I left my wife, and I to walk a little in St. James’s Park, while Mrs. Harper might come home, with whom we came to speak about her kinswoman Jane Gentleman to come and live with us as a chamber mayde, and there met with Mr. Hoole my old acquaintance of Magdalen, and walked with him an hour in the Parke, discoursing chiefly of Sir Samuel Morland, whose lady is gone into France. It seems he buys ground and a farm in the country, and lays out money upon building, and God knows what! so that most of the money he sold his pension of 500l. per annum for, to Sir Arthur Slingsby, is believed is gone. It seems he hath very great promises from the King, and Hoole hath seen some of the King’s letters, under his own hand, to Morland, promising him great things (and among others, the order of the Garter, as Sir Samuel says); but his lady thought it below her to ask any thing at the King’s first coming, believing the King would do it of himself, when as Hoole do really think if he had asked to be Secretary of State at the King’s first coming, he might have had it. And the other day at her going into France, she did speak largely to the King herself, how her husband hath failed of what his Majesty had promised, and she was sure intended him; and the King did promise still, as he is a King and a gentleman, to be as good as his word in a little time, to a tittle: but I never believe it.
Here in the Park I met with Mr. Coventry, where he sent for a letter he had newly writ to me, wherein he had enclosed one from Commissioner Pett complaining of his being defeated in his attempt to suspend two pursers, wherein the manner of his doing it, and complaint of our seeing him (contrary to our promises the other day), deserted, did make us laugh mightily, and was good sport to think how awkwardly he goes about a thing that he has no courage of his own nor mind to do. Mr. Coventry answered it very handsomely, but I perceive Pett has left off his corresponding with me any more.
Thence to fetch my wife from Mrs. Hunt’s, where now he was come in, and we eat and drunk, and so away (their child being at home, a very lively, but not pretty at all), by water to Mrs. Turner’s, and there made a short visit, and so home by coach, and after supper to prayers and to bed, and before going to bed Ashwell began to make her complaint, and by her I do perceive that she has received most base usage from my wife, which my wife sillily denies, but it is impossible the wench could invent words and matter so particularly, against which my wife has nothing to say but flatly to deny, which I am sorry to see, and blows to have past, and high words even at Hinchinbrooke House among my Lady’s people, of which I am mightily ashamed.
I said nothing to either of them, but let them talk till she was gone and left us abed, and then I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief, and so to sleep.

I have an old acquaintance
with the ground

go to the desert to think
awkwardly
sillily

I am low and high
with great sobriety of grief


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 August 1663.

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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.

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