Self-preservation

Lay very long in bed for fear of my pain, and then rose and went to stool (after my wife’s way, who by all means would have me sit long and upright) very well, and being ready to the office. From thence I was called by and by to my wife, she not being well. So to her, and found her in great pain of those. So by and by to my office again, and then abroad to look out a cradle to burn charcoal in at my office, and I found one to my mind in Newgate Market, and so meeting Hoby’s man in the street, I spoke to him to serve it in to the office for the King. So home to dinner, and after talk with my wife, she in bed and pain all day, I to my office most of the evening, and then home to my wife. This day Mrs. Russell did give my wife a very fine St. George, in alabaster, which will set out my wife’s closett mightily.
This evening at the office, after I had wrote my day’s passages, there came to me my cozen Angier of Cambridge, poor man, making his moan, and obtained of me that I would send his son to sea as a Reformado, which I will take care to do. But to see how apt every man is to forget friendship in time of adversity. How glad was I when he was gone, for fear he should ask me to be bond for him, or to borrow money of me.

who would sit in a cradle
burn coal in the street
or talk with an alabaster sage

a poor man making his moan
would send his son to sea

but see how apt every man is
to forget time


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

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