Antoinette

Up betimes, and my wife being ready, and her mayd Besse and the girl, I carried them by coach and set them all down in Covent Garden and there left them, and I to my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, but he not being up, I to the Duke’s chamber, and there by and by to his closett, where since his lady was ill, a little red bed of velvet is brought for him to lie alone, which is a very pretty one. After doing business here, I to my Lord’s again, and there spoke with him, and he seems now almost friends again as he used to be. Here meeting Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, he told me among other Court newes, how the Queene is very well again, and the King lay with her on Saturday night last; and that she speaks now very pretty English, and makes her sense out now and then with pretty phrazes: as among others this is mightily cried up; that, meaning to say that she did not like such a horse so well as the rest, he being too prancing and full of tricks, she said he did make too much vanity. Thence to the Tennis Court, after I had spent a little time in Westminster Hall, thinking to have met with Mrs. Lane, but I could not and am glad of it, and there saw the King play at Tennis and others: but to see how the King’s play was extolled without any cause at all, was a loathsome sight, though sometimes, indeed, he did play very well and deserved to be commended; but such open flattery is beastly. Afterwards to St. James’s Parke, being unwilling to go to spend money at the ordinary, and there spent an hour or two, it being a pleasant day, seeing people play at Pell Mell; where it pleased me mightily to hear a gallant, lately come from France, swear at one of his companions for suffering his man (a spruce blade) to be so saucy as to strike a ball while his master was playing on the Mall. Thence took coach at White Hall and took up my wife, who is mighty sad to think of her father, who is going into Germany against the Turkes; but what will become of her brother I know not. He is so idle, and out of all capacity, I think, to earn his bread.
Home and at my office till 12 at night making my solemn vowes for the next year, which I trust in the Lord I shall keep, but I fear I have a little too severely bound myself in some things and in too many, for I fear I may forget some. But however, I know the worst, and shall by the blessing of God observe to perform or pay my forfeits punctually. So home and to bed with my mind at rest.

her own garden left her
to her red bed of velvet

the queen pretty as a horse
and full of time

the sight of a blade is sad
to the idle bread


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 4 January 1663/64.

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