Gestation

Up, and by water to the Temple, and thence to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s about my Tangier warrant for tallies, and there met my Lord Bellasses and Creed, and discoursed about our business of money, but we are defeated as to any hopes of getting [any] thing upon the Poll Bill, which I seem but not much troubled at, it not concerning me much. Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there up and down, and heard that Prince Rupert is still better and better; and that he did tell Dr. Troutbecke expressly that my Lord Sandwich is ordered home. I hear, too, that Prince Rupert hath begged the having of all the stolen prize-goods which he can find, and that he is looking out anew after them, which at first troubled me; but I do see it cannot come to anything, but is done by Hayes, or some of his little people about him. Here, among other newes, I bought the King’s speech at proroguing the House the other day, wherein are some words which cannot but import some prospect of a peace, which God send us! After walking a good while in the Hall, it being Term time, I home by water, calling at Michell’s and giving him a fair occasion to send his wife to the New Exchange to meet my wife and me this afternoon. So home to dinner, and after dinner by coach to Lord Bellasses, and with him to Povy’s house, whom we find with Auditor Beale and Vernatty about their accounts still, which is never likely to have end. Our business was to speak with Vernatty, who is certainly a most cunning knave as ever was born. Having done what we had to do there, my Lord carried me and set me down at the New Exchange, where I staid at Pottle’s shop till Betty Michell come, which she did about five o’clock, and was surprised not to ‘trouver my muger’ there; but I did make an excuse good enough, and so I took ‘elle’ down, and over the water to the cabinet-maker’s, and there bought a dressing-box for her for 20s., but would require an hour’s time to make fit. This I was glad of, thinking to have got ‘elle’ to enter to a ‘casa de biber’, but ‘elle’ would not, so I did not much press it, but suffered ‘elle’ to enter ‘a la casa de uno de sus hermanos’, and so I past my time walking up and down, and among other places, to one Drumbleby, a maker of flageolets, the best in towne. He not within, my design to bespeak a pair of flageolets of the same tune, ordered him to come to me in a day or two, and so I back to the cabinet-maker’s and there staid; and by and by Betty comes, and here we staid in the shop and above seeing the workmen work, which was pretty, and some exceeding good work, and very pleasant to see them do it, till it was late quite dark. And the mistress of the shop took us into the kitchen and there talked and used us very prettily; and took her for my wife, which I owned and her big belly; and there very merry till my thing done, and then took coach and home, in the way tomando su mano and putting it where I used to do; which ella did suffer, but not avec tant de freedom as heretofore, I perceiving plainly she had alguns apprehensions de me, but I did offer natha more than what I had often done. But now comes our trouble; I did begin to fear that su marido might go to my house to enquire por ella, and there trovando mi moher at home, would not only think himself, but give my femme occasion to think strange things. This did trouble me mightily, so though ‘elle’ would not seem to have me trouble myself about it, yet did agree to the stopping the coach at the streete’s end, and ‘je allois con elle’ home, and there presently hear by him that he had newly sent ‘su mayde’ to my house to see for her mistresse. This do much perplex me, and I did go presently home Betty whispering me behind the ‘tergo de her mari’, that if I would say that we did come home by water, ‘elle’ could make up ‘la cose well satis’, and there in a sweat did walk in the entry ante my door, thinking what I should say a my ‘femme’, and as God would have it, while I was in this case (the worst in reference a my ‘femme’ that ever I was in in my life), a little woman comes stumbling to the entry steps in the dark; whom asking who she was, she enquired for my house. So knowing her voice, and telling her ‘su donna’ is come home she went away. But, Lord! in what a trouble was I, when she was gone, to recollect whether this was not the second time of her coming, but at last concluding that she had not been here before, I did bless myself in my good fortune in getting home before her, and do verily believe she had loitered some time by the way, which was my great good fortune, and so I in a-doors and there find all well. So my heart full of joy, I to the office awhile, and then home, and after supper and doing a little business in my chamber I to bed, after teaching Barker a little of my song.

we eat anything
a trout a sandwich

all the stolen words
like unborn water

press on the drum
of my big belly

where I begin to hear
a new dark voice


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 11 February 1667.

One Reply to “Gestation”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.