Soporific

Up and to White Hall, to the Duke of Albemarle, who I find at Secretary Bennet’s, there being now no other great Statesman, I think, but my Lord Chancellor, in towne. I received several commands from them; among others, to provide some bread and cheese for the garrison at Guernsey, which they promised to see me paid for.
So to the ‘Change, and home to dinner. In the afternoon I down to Woolwich and after me my wife and Mercer, whom I led to Mr. Sheldon’s to see his house, and I find it a very pretty place for them to be at. So I back again, walking both forward and backward, and left my wife to come by water. I straight to White Hall, late, to Secretary Bennet’s to give him an account of the business I received from him to-day, and there staid weary and sleepy till past 12 at night. Then writ my mind to him, and so back by water and in the dark and against tide shot the bridge, groping with their pole for the way, which troubled me before I got through. So home, about one or two o’clock in the morning, my family at a great losse what was become of me. To supper, and to bed.
Thus this book of two years ends. Myself and family in good health, consisting of myself and wife, Mercer, her woman, Mary, Alice, and Susan our maids, and Tom my boy. In a sickly time of the plague growing on. Having upon my hands the troublesome care of the Treasury of Tangier, with great sums drawn upon me, and nothing to pay them with: also the business of the office great. Consideration of removing my wife to Woolwich; she lately busy in learning to paint, with great pleasure and successe. All other things well; especially a new interest I am making, by a match in hand between the eldest son of Sir G. Carteret, and my Lady Jemimah Montage. The Duke of Yorke gone down to the fleete, but all suppose not with intent to stay there, as it is not fit, all men conceive, he should.

white bread for dinner
in the house of sleep

my mind groping for the way
through the book in my hands

some great raw nothing
moving within me


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 30 June 1665.

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