Going with the flow

Up very betimes, and so down the river to Deptford to look after some business, being by and by to attend the Duke and Mr. Coventry, and so I was wiling to carry something fresh that I may look as a man minding business, which I have done too much for a great while to forfeit, and is now so great a burden upon my mind night and day that I do not enjoy myself in the world almost. I walked thither, and come back again by water, and so to White Hall, and did our usual business before the Duke, and so to the Exchequer, where the lazy rogues have not yet done my tallys, which vexes me. Thence to Mr. Hales, and paid him for my picture, and Mr. Hill’s, for the first 14l. for the picture, and 25s. for the frame, and for the other 7l. for the picture, it being a copy of his only, and 5s. for the frame; in all, 22l. 10s. I am very well satisfied in my pictures, and so took them in another coach home along with me, and there with great pleasure my wife and I hung them up, and, that being done, to dinner, where Mrs. Barbara Sheldon come to see us and dined with us, and we kept her all the day with us, I going down to Deptford, and, Lord! to see with what itching desire I did endeavour to see Bagwell’s wife, but failed, for which I am glad, only I observe the folly of my mind that cannot refrain from pleasure at a season above all others in my life requisite for me to shew my utmost care in.
I walked both going and coming, spending my time reading of my Civill and Ecclesiastical Law book. Being returned home, I took my wife and Mrs. Barbary and Mercer out by coach and went our Grand Tour, and baited at Islington, and so late home about 11 at night, and so with much pleasure to bed.

the river is my mind
night and day business not yet done

picture a hill
picture a frame for the picture
of my itch
of a life


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 May 1666.

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