Streetwise

Up, and by coach to White Hall, and there in the long Matted Gallery I find Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, and Sir W. Batten — and by and by comes the King to walk there with three or four with him; and soon as he saw us, says he, “Here is the Navy Office,” and there walked twenty turns the length of the gallery, talking, methought, but ordinary talke. By and by came the Duke, and he walked, and at last they went into the Duke’s lodgings. The King staid so long that we could not discourse with the Duke, and so we parted. I heard the Duke say that he was going to wear a perriwigg; and they say the King also will. I never till this day observed that the King is mighty gray.
Thence, meeting with Creed, walked with him to Westminster Hall, and thence by coach took up Mrs. Hunt, and carried her towards my house, and we light at the ‘Change, and sent her to my house, Creed and I to the Coffeehouse, and then to the ‘Change, and so home, and carried a barrel of oysters with us, and so to dinner, and after a good dinner left Mrs. Hunt and my wife making marmalett of quinces, and Creed and I to the perriwigg makers, but it being dark concluded of nothing, and so Creed went away, and I with Sir W. Pen, who spied me in the street, in his coach home.
There found them busy still, and I up to my vyall. Anon, the comfiture being well done, my wife and I took Mrs. Hunt at almost 9 at night by coach and carried Mrs. Hunt home, and did give her a box of sugar and a haunch of venison given me by my Lady the other day. We did not ‘light, but saw her within doors, and straight home, where after supper there happening some discourse where my wife thought she had taken Jane in a lie, she told me of it mighty triumphantly, but I, not seeing reason to conclude it a lie, was vexed, and my wife and I to very high words, wherein I up to my chamber, and she by and by followed me up, and to very bad words from her to me, calling me perfidious and man of no conscience, whatever I pretend to, and I know not what, which troubled me mightily, and though I would allow something to her passion, yet I see again and again that she spoke but somewhat of what she had in her heart. But I tempered myself very well, so as that though we went to bed with discontent she yielded to me and began to be fond, so that being willing myself to peace, we did before we sleep become very good friends, it being past 12 o’clock, and so with good hearts and joy to rest.

I walk the length of the dark street
a busy confiture of doors and high words

where I pretend to know trouble
and pass some heart tempered with sleep


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 November 1663.

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