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Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and this morning Sir W. Pen went to Chatham to look after the ships now going out thence, and particularly that wherein the Duke and himself go. He took Sir G. Ascue with him, whom, I believe, he hath brought into play. At noon to the ‘Change and thence home, where I found my aunt James and the two she joyces. They dined and were merry with us. Thence after dinner to a play, to see “The Generall;” which is so dull and so ill-acted, that I think it is the worst I ever saw or heard in all my days. I happened to sit near to Sir Charles Sidly; who I find a very witty man, and he did at every line take notice of the dullness of the poet and badness of the action, that most pertinently; which I was mightily taken with; and among others where by Altemire’s command Clarimont, the Generall, is commanded to rescue his Rivall, whom she loved, Lucidor, he, after a great deal of demurre, broke out; “Well, I’le save my Rivall and make her confess, that I deserve, while he do but possesse.” “Why, what, pox,” says Sir Charles Sydly, “would he have him have more, or what is there more to be had of a woman than the possessing her?”
Thence-setting all them at home, I home with my wife and Mercer, vexed at my losing my time and above 20s. in money, and neglecting my business to see so bad a play. To-morrow they told us should be acted, or the day after, a new play, called “The Parson’s Dreame,” acted all by women.
So to my office, and there did business; and so home to supper and to bed.

with no play or wit
at every line the dull poet
is all love-and-confess

what ox would have more
what is there above one
in so bad a dream


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 4 October 1664.

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