Open handed

Up, and after doing some business at my office abroad to Lumbard Street, about the getting of a good sum of money, thence home, in preparation for my having some good sum in my hands, for fear of a trouble in the State, that I may not have all I have in the world out of my hands and so be left a beggar. Having put that in a way, I home to the office, and so to the Tower; about shipping of some more pressed men, and that done, away to Broad Streete, to Sir G. Carteret, who is at a pay of tickets all alone, and I believe not less than one thousand people in the streets. But it is a pretty thing to observe that both there and every where else, a man shall see many women now-a-days of mean sort in the streets, but no men; men being so afeard of the press.
I dined with Sir G. Carteret, and after dinner had much discourse about our publique business; and he do seem to fear every day more and more what I do; which is, a general confusion in the State; plainly answering me to the question, who is it that the weight of the warr depends that it is only Sir W. Coventry.
He tells me, too, the Duke of Albemarle is dissatisfied, and that the Duchesse do curse Coventry as the man that betrayed her husband to the sea: though I believe that it is not so.
Thence to Lumbard Streete, and received 2000l., and carried it home: whereof 1000l. in gold. The greatest quantity not only that I ever had of gold, but that ever I saw together, and is not much above half a 100 lb. bag full, but is much weightier. This I do for security sake, and convenience of carriage; though it costs me above 70l. the change of it, at 18 1/2d. per piece.
Being at home, I there met with a letter from Bab Allen, to invite me to be god-father to her boy, with Mrs. Williams, which I consented to, but know not the time when it is to be.
Thence down to the Old Swan, calling at Michell’s, he not being within, and there I did steal a kiss or two of her, and staying a little longer, he come in, and her father, whom I carried to Westminster, my business being thither, and so back again home, and very busy all the evening. At night a song in the garden and to bed.

in my hands the world
of a beggar who is all alone
and no less than one thousand
people in the street

I fear every day more and more
the state answering the question
who is it that the weight
of the war depends on

a man betrayed to the sea
for security’s sake
let me be godfather to a swan
and steal a kiss of the night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 6 July 1666.

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