Urban pastoral

Lay long in bed, which made me, going by coach to St. James’s by appointment to have attended the Duke of Yorke and my Lord Bellasses, lose the hopes of my getting something by the hire of a ship to carry men to Tangier. But, however, according to the order of the Duke this morning, I did go to the ‘Change, and there after great pains did light of a business with Mr. Gifford and Hubland for bringing me as much as I hoped for, which I have at large expressed in my stating the case of the “King’s Fisher,” which is the ship that I have hired, and got the Duke of Yorke’s agreement this afternoon after much pains and not eating a bit of bread till about 4 o’clock. Going home I put in to an ordinary by Temple Barr and there with my boy Tom eat a pullet, and thence home to the office, being still angry with my wife for yesterday’s foolery. After a good while at the office, I with the boy to the Sun behind the Exchange, by agreement with Mr. Young the flag-maker, and there was met by Mr. Hill, Andrews, and Mr. Hubland, a pretty serious man. Here two very pretty savoury dishes and good discourse. After supper a song, or three or four (I having to that purpose carried Lawes’s book), and staying here till 12 o’clock got the watch to light me home, and in a continued discontent to bed. After being in bed, my people come and say there is a great stinke of burning, but no smoake. We called up Sir J. Minnes’s and Sir W. Batten’s people, and Griffin, and the people at the madhouse, but nothing could be found to give occasion to it. At this trouble we were till past three o’clock, and then the stinke ceasing, I to sleep, and my people to bed, and lay very long in the morning.

after great pain
eating a bit of bread in the sun

behind me the savory discourse
of people at the madhouse


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 1 February 1665.

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