Trade-off

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to my poor wife and dined, and then by coach abroad to Mrs. Turner’s where I have not been for many a day, and there I found her and her sister Dike very sad for the death of their brother. After a little common expression of sorrow, Mrs. Turner told me that the trouble she would put me to was, to consult about getting an achievement prepared, scutcheons were done already, to set over the door. So I did go out to Mr. Smith’s, where my brother tells me the scutcheons are made, but he not being within, I went to the Temple, and there spent my time in a Bookseller’s shop, reading in a book of some Embassages into Moscovia, &c., where was very good reading, and then to Mrs. Turner’s, and thither came Smith to me, with whom I did agree for 4l. to make a handsome one, ell square within the frame. After he was gone I sat an houre talking of the suddennesse of his death within 7 days, and how by little and little death came upon him, neither he nor they thinking it would come to that. He died after a day’s raveing, through lightness in his head for want of sleep. His lady did not know of his sickness, nor do they hear yet how she takes it.
Hence home, taking some books by the way in Paul’s Churchyard by coach to my office, where late doing business, and so home to supper and to bed.

sad for the rot of time
in an urn or a hand the sudden
little death

that lightness
for want of a now


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 December 1663.

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