Anatomy lesson

Lay long in bed. Then up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon (my wife being gone to Westminster) I with my Lord Bruncker by coach as far as the Temple, in the way he telling me that my Lady Denham is at last dead. Some suspect her poisoned, but it will be best known when her body is opened, which will be to-day, she dying yesterday morning. The Duke of York is troubled for her; but hath declared he will never have another public mistress again; which I shall be glad of, and would the King would do the like. He tells me how the Parliament is grown so jealous of the King’s being unfayre to them in the business of the Bill for examining Accounts, Irish Bill, and the business of the Papists, that they will not pass the business for money till they see themselves secure that those Bills will pass; which they do observe the Court to keep off till all the Bills come together, that the King may accept what he pleases, and what he pleases to reject, which will undo all our business and the kingdom too.
He tells me how Mr. Henry Howard, of Norfolke, hath given our Royal Society all his grandfather’s library: which noble gift they value at 1000l.; and gives them accommodation to meet in at his house, Arundell House, they being now disturbed at Gresham College.
Thence ‘lighting at the Temple to the ordinary hard by and eat a bit of meat, and then by coach to fetch my wife from her brother’s, and thence to the Duke’s house, and saw “Macbeth,” which, though I saw it lately, yet appears a most excellent play in all respects, but especially in divertisement, though it be a deep tragedy; which is a strange perfection in a tragedy, it being most proper here, and suitable.
So home, it being the last play now I am to see till a fortnight hence, I being from the last night entered into my vowes for the year coming on.
Here I met with the good newes of Hogg’s bringing in two prizes more to Plymouth, which if they prove but any part of them, I hope, at least, we shall be no losers by them.
So home from the office, to write over fair my vowes for this year, and then to supper, and to bed. In great peace of mind having now done it, and brought myself into order again and a resolution of keeping it, and having entered my journall to this night, so to bed, my eyes failing me with writing.

her dead body is opened
like the king’s business

they see themselves
in a royal library of meat

divertisement though it be deep
is a strange perfection in tragedy


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 January 1667.

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