Ballad of a bastard

Up by break of day, and then to my vials a while, and so to Sir W. Warren’s by agreement, and after talking and eating something with him, he and I down by water to Woolwich, and there I did several businesses, and had good discourse, and thence walked to Greenwich; in my way a little boy overtook us with a fine cupp turned out of Lignum Vitae, which the poor child confessed was made in the King’s yard by his father, a turner there, and that he do often do it, and that I might have one, and God knows what, which I shall examine. Thence to Sir W. Warren’s again, and there drew up a contract for masts which he is to sell us, and so home to dinner, finding my poor wife busy.
I, after dinner, to the office, and then to White Hall, to Sir G. Carteret’s, but did not speak with him, and so to Westminster Hall, God forgive me, thinking to meet Mrs. Lane, but she was not there, but here I met with Ned Pickering, with whom I walked 3 or 4 hours till evening, he telling me the whole business of my Lord’s folly with this Mrs. Becke, at Chelsey, of all which I am ashamed to see my Lord so grossly play the beast and fool, to the flinging off of all honour, friends, servants, and every thing and person that is good, and only will have his private lust undisturbed with this common whore his sitting up night after night alone, suffering nobody to come to them, and all the day too, casting off Pickering, basely reproaching him with his small estate, which yet is a good one, and other poor courses to obtain privacy beneath his honour, and with his carrying her abroad and playing on his lute under her window, and forty other poor sordid things, which I am grieved to hear; but believe it to no purpose for me to meddle with it, but let him go on till God Almighty and his own conscience and thoughts of his lady and family do it. So after long discourse, to my full satisfaction but great trouble, I home by water and at my office late, and so to supper to my poor wife, and so to bed, being troubled to think that I shall be forced to go to Brampton the next Court, next week.

poor child of God
knows what war

poor beast flinging off friends
and everything that is good

poor wind
and poor sordid water

poor wife forced
to go to court


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 September 1663.

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