Solo

(Lord’s day). Up, and while I staid for the barber, tried to compose a duo of counterpoint, and I think it will do very well, it being by Mr. Berckenshaw’s rule. By and by by appointment comes Mr. Povy’s coach, and, more than I expected, him himself, to fetch me to Brainford: so he and I immediately set out, having drunk a draft of mulled sacke; and so rode most nobly, in his most pretty and best contrived charriott in the world, with many new conveniences, his never having till now, within a day or two, been yet finished; our discourse upon Tangier business, want of money, and then of publique miscarriages, nobody minding the publique, but every body himself and his lusts. Anon we come to his house, and there I eat a bit, and so with fresh horses, his noble fine horses, the best confessedly in England, the King having none such, he sent me to Sir Robert Viner’s, whom I met coming just from church, and so after having spent half-an-hour almost looking upon the horses with some gentlemen that were in company, he and I into his garden to discourse of money, but none is to be had, he confessing himself in great straits, and I believe it. Having this answer, and that I could not get better, we fell to publique talke, and to think how the fleete and seamen will be paid, which he protests he do not think it possible to compass, as the world is now: no money got by trade, nor the persons that have it by them in the City to be come at. The Parliament, it seems, have voted the King 1,250,000l. at 50,000l. per month, tax for the war; and voted to assist the King against the Dutch, and all that shall adhere to them; and thanks to be given him for his care of the Duke of Yorke, which last is a very popular vote on the Duke’s behalf. He tells me how the taxes of the last assessment, which should have been in good part gathered, are not yet laid, and that even in part of the City of London; and the Chimny-money comes almost to nothing, nor any thing else looked after. Having done this I parted, my mind not eased by any money, but only that I had done my part to the King’s service. And so in a very pleasant evening back to Mr. Povy’s, and there supped, and after supper to talke and to sing, his man Dutton’s wife singing very pleasantly (a mighty fat woman), and I wrote out one song from her and pricked the tune, both very pretty. But I did never heare one sing with so much pleasure to herself as this lady do, relishing it to her very heart, which was mighty pleasant.

while I tried to compose a duo
in a rain-drunk land
who could it be singing
with so much pleasure
to herself


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 October 1665.

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