Graveyard shift

Up, and to my great content visited betimes by Mr. Woolly, my uncle Wight’s cozen, who comes to see what work I have for him about these East India goods, and I do find that this fellow might have been of great use, and hereafter may be of very great use to me, in this trade of prize goods, and glad I am fully of his coming hither. While I dressed myself, and afterwards in walking to Greenwich we did discourse over all the business of the prize goods, and he puts me in hopes I may get some money in what I have done, but not so much as I expected, but that I may hereafter do more. We have laid a design of getting more, and are to talk again of it a few days hence.
To the office, where nobody to meet me, Sir W. Batten being the only man and he gone this day to meet to adjourne the Parliament to Oxford.
Anon by appointment comes one to tell me my Lord Rutherford is come; so I to the King’s Head to him, where I find his lady, a fine young Scotch lady, pretty handsome and plain. My wife also, and Mercer, by and by comes, Creed bringing them; and so presently to dinner and very merry; and after to even our accounts, and I to give him tallys, where he do allow me 100l., of which to my grief the rogue Creed has trepanned me out of 50l.. But I do foresee a way how it may be I may get a greater sum of my Lord to his content by getting him allowance of interest upon his tallys.
That being done, and some musique and other diversions, at last away goes my Lord and Lady, and I sent my wife to visit Mrs. Pierce, and so I to my office, where wrote important letters to the Court, and at night (Creed having clownishly left my wife), I to Mrs. Pierces and brought her and Mrs. Pierce to the King’s Head and there spent a piece upon a supper for her and mighty merry and pretty discourse, she being as pretty as ever, most of our mirth being upon “my Cozen” (meaning my Lord Bruncker’s ugly mistress, whom he calls cozen), and to my trouble she tells me that the fine Mrs. Middleton is noted for carrying about her body a continued sour base smell, that is very offensive, especially if she be a little hot. Here some bad musique to close the night and so away and all of us saw Mrs. Belle Pierce (as pretty as ever she was almost) home, and so walked to Will’s lodging where I used to lie, and there made shift for a bed for Mercer, and mighty pleasantly to bed.
This night I hear that of our two watermen that use to carry our letters, and were well on Saturday last, one is dead, and the other dying sick of the plague. The plague, though decreasing elsewhere, yet being greater about the Tower and thereabouts.

what work I do
is to get some money

but not so much that my pretty hands
come to grief

trepan my head
carrying about bad music

pierce this night
to let the plague out


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 3 October 1665.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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