Pilgrims’ progress

Lay pretty long in bed. So up and by water to St. James’s, and there attended the Duke with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, and having done our work with him walked to Westminster Hall, and after walking there and talking of business met Mr. Rawlinson and by coach to the ‘Change, where I did some business, and home to dinner, and presently by coach to the King’s Play-house to see “The Labyrinth,” but, coming too soon, walked to my Lord’s to hear how my Lady do, who is pretty well; at least past all fear. There by Captain Ferrers meeting with an opportunity of my Lord’s coach, to carry us to the Parke anon, we directed it to come to the play-house door; and so we walked, my wife and I and Madamoiselle. I paid for her going in, and there saw “The Labyrinth,” the poorest play, methinks, that ever I saw, there being nothing in it but the odd accidents that fell out, by a lady’s being bred up in man’s apparel, and a man in a woman’s. Here was Mrs. Stewart, who is indeed very pretty, but not like my Lady Castlemayne, for all that. Thence in the coach to the Parke, where no pleasure; there being much dust, little company, and one of our horses almost spoiled by falling down, and getting his leg over the pole; but all mended presently, and after riding up and down, home. Set Madamoiselle at home; and we home, and to my office, whither comes Mr. Bland, and pays me the debt he acknowledged he owed me for my service in his business of the Tangier Merchant, twenty pieces of new gold, a pleasant sight. It cheered my heart; and he being gone, I home to supper, and shewed them my wife; and she, poor wretch, would fain have kept them to look on, without any other design but a simple love to them; but I thought it not convenient, and so took them into my own hand. So, after supper, to bed.

past all fear
we come to a labyrinth

nothing in it
but accidents like dust
falling down over all

the land in pieces
without any other design
but love


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 May 1664.

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