Alterity

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes by coach to St. James’s, and there did our business with the Duke, who tells us more and more signs of a Dutch warr, and how we must presently set out a fleete for Guinny, for the Dutch are doing so, and there I believe the warr will begin. Thence home with him again, in our way he talking of his cures abroad, while he was with the King as a doctor, and above all men the pox. And among others, Sir J. Denham he told me he had cured, after it was come to an ulcer all over his face, to a miracle.
To the Coffee-house I, and so to the ‘Change a little, and then home to dinner with Creed, whom I met at the Coffee-house, and after dinner by coach set him down at the Temple, and I and my wife to Mr. Blagrave’s. They being none of them at home; I to the Hall, leaving her there, and thence to the Trumpett, whither came Mrs. Lane, and there begins a sad story how her husband, as I feared, proves not worth a farthing, and that she is with child and undone, if I do not get him a place. I had my pleasure here of her, and she, like an impudent jade, depends upon my kindness to her husband, but I will have no more to do with her, let her brew as she has baked, seeing she would not take my counsel about Hawly. After drinking we parted, and I to Blagrave’s, and there discoursed with Mrs. Blagrave about her kinswoman, who it seems is sickly even to frantiqueness sometimes, and among other things chiefly from love and melancholy upon the death of her servant, insomuch that she telling us all most simply and innocently I fear she will not be able to come to us with any pleasure, which I am sorry for, for I think she would have pleased us very well. In comes he, and so to sing a song and his niece with us, but she sings very meanly. So through the Hall and thence by coach home, calling by the way at Charing Crosse, and there saw the great Dutchman that is come over, under whose arm I went with my hat on, and could not reach higher than his eye-browes with the tip of my fingers, reaching as high as I could. He is a comely and well-made man, and his wife a very little, but pretty comely Dutch woman. It is true, he wears pretty high-heeled shoes, but not very high, and do generally wear a turbant, which makes him show yet taller than really he is, though he is very tall, as I have said before. Home to my office, and then to supper, and then to my office again late, and so home to bed, my wife and I troubled that we do not speed better in this business of her woman.

I believe in the face
a miracle of change and inner child

like a grave that’s able to sing
under a hat and eyebrows


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 August 1664.

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