(Lord’s day). My wife not being well to go to church I walked with my boy through the City, putting in at several churches, among others at Bishopsgate, and there saw the picture usually put before the King’s book, put up in the church, but very ill painted, though it were a pretty piece to set up in a church. I intended to have seen the Quakers, who, they say, do meet every Lord’s day at the Mouth at Bishopsgate; but I could see none stirring, nor was it fit to aske for the place, so I walked over Moorefields, and thence to Clerkenwell church, and there, as I wished, sat next pew to the fair Butler, who indeed is a most perfect beauty still; and one I do very much admire myself for my choice of her for a beauty, she having the best lower part of her face that ever I saw all days of my life. After church I walked to my Lady Sandwich’s, through my Lord Southampton’s new buildings in the fields behind Gray’s Inn; and, indeed, they are a very great and a noble work. So I dined with my Lady, and the same innocent discourse that we used to have, only after dinner, being alone, she asked me my opinion about Creed, whether he would have a wife or no, and what he was worth, and proposed Mrs. Wright for him, which, she says, she heard he was once inquiring after. She desired I would take a good time and manner of proposing it, and I said I would, though I believed he would love nothing but money, and much was not to be expected there, she said.
So away back to Clerkenwell Church, thinking to have got sight of la belle Boteler again, but failed, and so after church walked all over the fields home, and there my wife was angry with me for not coming home, and for gadding abroad to look after beauties, she told me plainly, so I made all peace, and to supper. This evening came Mrs. Lane (now Martin) with her husband to desire my helpe about a place for him. It seems poor Mr. Daniel is dead of the Victualling Office, a place too good for this puppy to follow him in. But I did give him the best words I could, and so after drinking a glasse of wine sent them going, but with great kindnesse. Go to supper, prayers, and to bed.
I walk through the city
ill-painted though pretty as lace
I walk as I wish for the best
part of my life
I walk through new buildings
in the fields that used to have
I walk an angry road
to look after my dead
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 October 1664.