Aflame

Up and to the office a while, but this day the Parliament meeting only to be adjourned to November (which was done, accordingly), we did not meet, and so I forth to bespeak a case to be made to keep my stone in, which will cost me 25s. Thence I walked to Cheapside, there to see the effect of a fire there this morning, since four o’clock; which I find in the house of Mr. Bois, that married Dr. Fuller’s niece, who are both out of towne, leaving only a mayde and man in towne. It begun in their house, and hath burned much and many houses backward, though none forward; and that in the great uniform pile of buildings in the middle of Cheapside. I am very sorry for them, for the Doctor’s sake. Thence to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner. And thence to Sir W. Batten’s, whither Sir Richard Ford came, the Sheriffe, who hath been at this fire all the while; and he tells me, upon my question, that he and the Mayor were there, as it is their dutys to be, not only to keep the peace, but they have power of commanding the pulling down of any house or houses, to defend the whole City
By and by comes in the Common Cryer of the City to speak with him; and when he was gone, says he, “You may see by this man the constitution of the Magistracy of this City; that this fellow’s place, I dare give him (if he will be true to me) 1000l. for his profits every year, and expect to get 500l. more to myself thereby. When,” says he, “I in myself am forced to spend many times as much.”
By and by came Mr. Coventry, and so we met at the office, to hire ships for Guinny, and that done broke up. I to Sir W. Batten’s, there to discourse with Mrs. Falconer, who hath been with Sir W. Pen this evening, after Mr. Coventry had promised her half what W. Bodham had given him for his place, but Sir W. Pen, though he knows that, and that Mr. Bodham hath said that his place hath cost him 100l. and would 100l. more, yet is he so high against the poor woman that he will not hear to give her a farthing, but it seems do listen after a lease where he expects Mr. Falconer hath put in his daughter’s life, and he is afraid that that is not done, and did tell Mrs. Falconer that he would see it and know what is done therein in spite of her, when, poor wretch, she neither do nor can hinder him the knowing it. Mr. Coventry knows of this business of the lease, and I believe do think of it as well as I. But the poor woman is gone home without any hope, but only Mr. Coventry’s own nobleness.
So I to my office and wrote many letters, and so to supper and to bed.

fire is the backward
uniform of buildings

fire tells me my question
is only a common cry

when you came O falcon
to my bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 20 August 1664.

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