Graveyard shift

Lay long in bed, indeed too long, divers people and the officers staying for me. My cozen Thomas Pepys the executor being below, and I went to him and stated reckonings about our debt, for his payments of money to my uncle Thomas heretofore by the Captain’s orders. I did not pay him but will soon do it if I can.
To the office and there all the morning, where Sir W. Pen, like a coxcomb, was so ready to cross me in a motion I made unawares for the entering a man at Chatham into the works, wherein I was vexed to see his spleene, but glad to understand it, and that it was in no greater a matter, I being not at all concerned here.
To the ‘Change and did several businesses there and so home with Mr. Moore to dinner, my wife having dined, with Mr. Hollyard with her to-day, he being come to advise her about her hollow sore place.
After dinner Mr. Moore and I discoursing of my Lord’s negligence in attendance at Court, and the discourse the world makes of it, with the too great reason that I believe there is for it; I resolved and took coach to his lodgings, thinking to speak with my Lord about it without more ado. Here I met Mr. Howe, and he and I largely about it, and he very soberly acquainted me how things are with my Lord, that my Lord do not do anything like himself, but follows his folly, and spends his time either at cards at Court with the ladies, when he is there at all, or else at Chelsy with the slut to his great disgrace, and indeed I do see and believe that my Lord do apprehend that he do grow less too at Court.
Anon my Lord do come in, and I begun to fall in discourse with him, but my heart did misgive me that my Lord would not take it well, and then found him not in a humour to talk, and so after a few ordinary words, my Lord not talking in the manner as he uses to do; I took leave, and spent some time with W. Howe again, and told him how I could not do what I had so great a mind and resolution to do, but that I thought it would be as well to do it in writing, which he approves of, and so I took leave of him, and by coach home, my mind being full of it, and in pain concerning it. So to my office busy very late, the nights running on faster than one thinks, and so to supper and to bed.

we pay for the morning
in unaware work

day is a hollow dance
the world makes

my heart give me
a few ordinary words

but do it in writing
the nights run faster than ink


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 12 November 1663.

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