(Shrove Tuesday). I left my wife in bed, being indisposed by reason of ceux-la, and I to Mrs. Turner’s, who I found busy with The. and Joyce making of things ready for fritters, so to Mr. Crew’s and there delivered Cotgrave’s Dictionary to my Lady Jemimah, and then with Mr. Moore to my coz Tom Pepys, but he being out of town I spoke with his lady, though not of the business I went about, which was to borrow 1000l. for my Lord.
Back to Mrs. Turner’s, where several friends, all strangers to me but Mr. Armiger, dined. Very merry and the best fritters that ever I eat in my life. After that looked out at window; saw the flinging at cocks.
Then Mrs. The. and I, and a gentleman that dined there and his daughter, a perfect handsome young and very tall lady that lately came out of the country, and Mr. Thatcher the Virginall Maister to Bishopsgate Street, and there saw the new Harpsicon made for Mrs. The. We offered 12l., they demanded 14l.. The Master not being at home, we could make no bargain, so parted for to-night. So all by coach to my house, where I found my Valentine with my wife, and here they drank, and then went away. Then I sat and talked with my Valentine and my wife a good while, and then saw her home, and went to Sir W. Batten to the Dolphin, where Mr. Newborne, &c., were, and there after a quart or two of wine, we home, and I went to bed—where (God forgive me) I did please myself by strength of fancy with the young country Segnora that was at dinner with us today.
I left my wife for a dictionary.
It spoke as 1000 strangers to me,
and if I saw hand and hatch
I saw harpsicon—a bargain,
a batten, a bed where
I please my
self, strength, segnora…
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 26 February 1660/61.