Limits to growth

Up betimes, and out of doors by 6 of the clock, and walked (W. Howe with me) to my Lord Sandwich’s, who did lie the last night at his house in Lincoln’s Inne Fields. It being fine walking in the morning, and the streets full of people again. There I staid, and the house full of people come to take leave of my Lord, who this day goes out of towne upon his embassy towards Spayne. And I was glad to find Sir W. Coventry to come, though I know it is only a piece of courtshipp. I had much discourse with my Lord, he telling me how fully he leaves the King his friend and the large discourse he had with him the other day, and how he desired to have the business of the prizes examined before he went, and that he yielded to it, and it is done as far as it concerns himself to the full, and the Lords Commissioners for prizes did reprehend all the informers in what related to his Lordship, which I am glad of in many respects. But we could not make an end of discourse, so I promised to waite upon [him] on Sunday at Cranborne, and took leave and away hence to Mr. Hales’s with Mr. Hill and two of the Houblons, who come thither to speak with me, and saw my wife’s picture, which pleases me well, but Mr. Hills picture never a whit so well as it did before it was finished, which troubled me, and I begin to doubt the picture of my Lady Peters my wife takes her posture from, and which is an excellent picture, is not of his making, it is so master-like.
I set them down at the ‘Change and I home to the office, and at noon dined at home and to the office again. Anon comes Mrs. Knipp to see my wife, who is gone out, so I fain to entertain her, and took her out by coach to look my wife at Mrs. Pierce’s and Unthanke’s, but find her not. So back again, and then my wife comes home, having been buying of things, and at home I spent all the night talking with this baggage, and teaching her my song of “Beauty retire,” which she sings and makes go most rarely, and a very fine song it seems to be. She also entertained me with repeating many of her own and others’ parts of the play-house, which she do most excellently; and tells me the whole practices of the play-house and players, and is in every respect most excellent company. So I supped, and was merry at home all the evening, and the rather it being my birthday, 33 years, for which God be praised that I am in so good a condition of healthe and estate, and every thing else as I am, beyond expectation, in all. So she to Mrs. Turner’s to lie, and we to bed. Mightily pleased to find myself in condition to have these people come about me and to be able to entertain them, and have the pleasure of their qualities, than which no man can have more in the world.

out of doors and fields
the streets full of full people

out of leaves to speak with
and hills to take posture from

out of parts for God
out of world


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 23 February 1666.

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