A matter of interpretation

Lay long in bed talking among other things of my sister Pall, and my wife of herself is very willing that I should give her 400l. to her portion, and would have her married soon as we could; but this great sicknesse time do make it unfit to send for her up.
I abroad to the office and thence to the Duke of Albemarle, all my way reading a book of Mr. Evelyn’s translating and sending me as a present, about directions for gathering a Library; but the book is above my reach, but his epistle to my Lord Chancellor is a very fine piece. When I come to the Duke it was about the victuallers’ business, to put it into other hands, or more hands, which I do advise in, but I hope to do myself a jobb of work in it. So I walked through Westminster to my old house the Swan, and there did pass some time with Sarah, and so down by water to Deptford and there to my Valentine. Round about and next door on every side is the plague, but I did not value it, but there did what I would ‘con elle’, and so away to Mr. Evelyn’s to discourse of our confounded business of prisoners, and sick and wounded seamen, wherein he and we are so much put out of order. And here he showed me his gardens, which are for variety of evergreens, and hedge of holly, the finest things I ever saw in my life. Thence in his coach to Greenwich, and there to my office, all the way having fine discourse of trees and the nature of vegetables. And so to write letters, I very late to Sir W. Coventry of great concernment, and so to my last night’s lodging, but my wife is gone home to Woolwich.
The Bill, blessed be God! is less this week by 740 of what it was the last week. Being come to my lodging I got something to eat, having eat little all the day, and so to bed, having this night renewed my promises of observing my vowes as I used to do; for I find that, since I left them off, my mind is run a’wool-gathering and my business neglected.

I am translating a library into hands

is time a prison or a garden

are trees letters to the night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 5 October 1665.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.