Sign language

Up, and after my wife had dressed herself very fine in her new laced gown, and very handsome indeed, W. Howe also coming to see us, I carried her by coach to my uncle Wight’s and set her down there, and W. Howe and I to the Coffee-house, where we sat talking about getting of him some place under my Lord of advantage if he should go to sea, and I would be glad to get him secretary and to out Creed if I can, for he is a crafty and false rogue.
Thence a little to the ‘Change, and thence took him to my uncle Wight’s, where dined my father, poor melancholy man, that used to be as full of life as anybody, and also my aunt’s brother, Mr. Sutton, a merchant in Flanders, a very sober, fine man, and Mr. Cole and his lady; but, Lord! how I used to adore that man’s talke, and now methinks he is but an ordinary man, his son a pretty boy indeed, but his nose unhappily awry. Other good company and an indifferent, and but indifferent dinner for so much company, and after dinner got a coach, very dear, it being Easter time and very foul weather, to my Lord’s, and there visited my Lady, and leaving my wife there I and W. Howe to Mr. Pagett’s, and there heard some musique not very good, but only one Dr. Walgrave, an Englishman bred at Rome, who plays the best upon the lute that I ever heard man. Here I also met Mr. Hill the little merchant, and after all was done we sung. I did well enough a Psalm or two of Lawes; he I perceive has good skill and sings well, and a friend of his sings a good base.
Thence late walked with them two as far as my Lord’s, thinking to take up my wife and carry them home, but there being no coach to be got away they went, and I staid a great while, it being very late, about 10 o’clock, before a coach could be got. I found my Lord and ladies and my wife at supper. My Lord seems very kind. But I am apt to think still the worst, and that it is only in show, my wife and Lady being there.
So home, and find my father come to lie at our house; and so supped, and saw him, poor man, to bed, my heart never being fuller of love to him, nor admiration of his prudence and pains heretofore in the world than now, to see how Tom hath carried himself in his trade; and how the poor man hath his thoughts going to provide for his younger children and my mother. But I hope they shall never want. So myself and wife to bed.

my own hands talk about me
as full of life as a grave

kill with them
and they go still
love is the trade they never want


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 12 April 1664.

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