Oligarch

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed wrangling with my wife about the charge she puts me to at this time for clothes more than I intended, and very angry we were, but quickly friends again. And so rising and ready I to my office, and there fell upon business, and then to dinner, and then to my office again to my business, and by and by in the afternoon walked forth towards my father’s, but it being church time, walked to St. James’s, to try if I could see the belle Butler, but could not; only saw her sister, who indeed is pretty, with a fine Roman nose. Thence walked through the ducking-pond fields; but they are so altered since my father used to carry us to Islington, to the old man’s, at the King’s Head, to eat cakes and ale (his name was Pitts) that I did not know which was the ducking-pond nor where I was. So through Fleet lane to my father’s, and there met Mr. Moore, and discoursed with him and my father about who should administer for my brother Tom, and I find we shall have trouble in it, but I will clear my hands of it, and what vexed me, my father seemed troubled that I should seem to rely so wholly upon the advice of Mr. Moore, and take nobody else, but I satisfied him, and so home; and in Cheapside, both coming and going, it was full of apprentices, who have been here all this day, and have done violence, I think, to the master of the boys that were put in the pillory yesterday. But, Lord! to see how the train-bands are raised upon this: the drums beating every where as if an enemy were upon them; so much is this city subject to be put into a disarray upon very small occasions. But it was pleasant to hear the boys, and particularly one little one, that I demanded the business. He told me that that had never been done in the city since it was a city, two prentices put in the pillory, and that it ought not to be so.
So I walked home, and then it being fine moonshine with my wife an houre in the garden, talking of her clothes against Easter and about her mayds, Jane being to be gone, and the great dispute whether Besse, whom we both love, should be raised to be chamber-mayde or no. We have both a mind to it, but know not whether we should venture the making her proud and so make a bad chamber-mayde of a very good natured and sufficient cook-mayde.
So to my office a little, and then to supper, prayers and to bed.

I tend to business with old
man’s hands

as full of violence
as a small city

two ices that ought to be moons
in a garden gone bad


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 27 March 1664.

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