Best of enemies

(Lord’s day). Up, though very late abed, yet before day to dress myself to go toward Erith, which I would do by land, it being a horrible cold frost to go by water: so borrowed two horses of Mr. Howell and his friend, and with much ado set out, after my horses being frosted (which I know not what it means to this day), and my boy having lost one of my spurs and stockings, carrying them to the smith’s; but I borrowed a stocking, and so got up, and Mr. Tooker with me, and rode to Erith, and there on board my Lord Bruncker, met Sir W. Warren upon his business, among others, and did a great deale, Sir J. Minnes, as God would have it, not being there to hinder us with his impertinences. Business done, we to dinner very merry, there being there Sir Edmund Pooly, a very worthy gentleman. They are now come to the copper boxes in the prizes, and hope to have ended all this weeke. After dinner took leave, and on shore to Madam Williams, to give her an account of my Lord’s letter to me about Howe, who he has clapped by the heels on suspicion of having the jewells, and she did give me my Lord Bruncker’s examination of the fellow, that declares his having them; and so away, Sir W. Warren riding with me, and the way being very bad, that is, hard and slippery by reason of the frost, so we could not come to past Woolwich till night. However, having a great mind to have gone to the Duke of Albemarle, I endeavoured to have gone farther, but the night come on and no going, so I ‘light and sent my horse by Tooker, and returned on foot to my wife at Woolwich, where I found, as I had directed, a good dinner to be made against to-morrow, and invited guests in the yarde, meaning to be merry, in order to her taking leave, for she intends to come in a day or two to me for altogether. But here, they tell me, one of the houses behind them is infected, and I was fain to stand there a great while, to have their back-door opened, but they could not, having locked them fast, against any passing through, so was forced to pass by them again, close to their sicke beds, which they were removing out of the house, which troubled me; so I made them uninvite their guests, and to resolve of coming all away to me to-morrow, and I walked with a lanthorne, weary as I was, to Greenwich; but it was a fine walke, it being a hard frost, and so to Captain Cocke’s, but he I found had sent for me to come to him to Mrs. Penington’s, and there I went, and we were very merry, and supped, and Cocke being sleepy he went away betimes. I stayed alone talking and playing with her till past midnight, she suffering me whatever ‘ego voulais avec ses mamilles and I had almost led her by discourse to make her tocar mi cosa naked, which ella did presque and did not refuse. Much pleased with her company we parted, and I home to bed at past one, all people being in bed thinking I would have staid out of town all night.

I would borrow a lost god
to hinder me with a hard
and slippery light

I invite guests
meaning to be merry for
I could not be alone

whatever I am is naked
and would have stayed out
all night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 26 November 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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