Slum

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten by coach to St. James’s, but there the Duke being gone out we to my Lord Berkeley’s chamber, Mr. Coventry being there, and among other things there met with a printed copy of the King’s commission for the repair of Paul’s, which is very large, and large power for collecting money, and recovering of all people that had bought or sold formerly any thing belonging to the Church.
And here I find my Lord Mayor of the City set in order before the Archbishopp or any nobleman, though all the greatest officers of state are there.
But yet I do not hear by my Lord Berkeley, who is one of them, that any thing is like to come of it.
Thence back again homewards, and Sir W. Batten and I to the Coffee-house, but no newes, only the plague is very hot still, and encreases among the Dutch.
Home to dinner, and after dinner walked forth, and do what I could I could not keep myself from going through Fleet Lane, but had the sense of safety and honour not to go in, and the rather being a holiday I feared I might meet with some people that might know me.
Thence to Charing Cross, and there called at Unthanke’s to see what I owed, but found nothing, and here being a couple of pretty ladies, lodgers in the kitchen, I staid a little there. Thence to my barber Gervas, who this day buries his child, which it seems was born without a passage behind, so that it never voided any thing in the week or fortnight that it has been born.
Thence to Mr. Reeves, it coming just now in my head to buy a microscope, but he was not within, so I walked all round that end of the town among the loathsome people and houses, but, God be thanked! had no desire to visit any of them. So home, where I met Mr. Lanyon, who tells me Mr. Alsop is past hopes, which will mightily disappoint me in my hopes there, and yet it may be not. I shall think whether it will be safe for me to venture myself or no, and come in as an adventurer.
He gone, Mr. Cole (my old Jack Cole) comes to see and speak with me, and his errand in short to tell me that he is giving over his trade; he can do no good in it, and will turn what he has into money and go to sea, his father being dead and leaving him little, if any thing. This I was sorry to hear, he being a man of good parts, but, I fear, debauched.
I promised him all the friendship I can do him, which will end in little, though I truly mean it, and so I made him stay with me till 11 at night, talking of old school stories, and very pleasing ones, and truly I find that we did spend our time and thoughts then otherwise than I think boys do now, and I think as well as methinks that the best are now. He supped with me, and so away, and I to bed.
And strange to see how we are all divided that were bred so long at school together, and what various fortunes we have run, some good, some bad.

collecting people bought
or sold formerly

the city is anything but new
hot and not safe to go in

but who buries his child
without a void

night has been born
in my microscope

that end of town
among loathsome houses

come see the dead
how we are divided
that were so long together


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 July 1664.

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