On wanting to be a poet

Up, with much pain in my eare and palate. To the office out of humour all the morning. At noon dined, and with my wife to the King’s house, but there found the bill torn down and no play acted, and so being in the humour to see one, went to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Witts” again, which likes me better than it did the other day, having much wit in it. Here met with Mr. Rolt, who tells me the reason of no play to-day at the King’s house. That Lacy had been committed to the porter’s lodge for his acting his part in the late new play, and that being thence released he come to the King’s house, there met with Ned Howard, the poet of the play, who congratulated his release; upon which Lacy cursed him as that it was the fault of his nonsensical play that was the cause of his ill usage. Mr. Howard did give him some reply; to which Lacy him, that he was more a fool than a poet; upon which Howard did give him a blow on the face with his glove; on which Lacy, having a cane in his hand, did give him a blow over the pate. Here Rolt and others that discoursed of it in the pit this afternoon did wonder that Howard did not run him through, he being too mean a fellow to fight with. But Howard did not do any thing but complain to the King of it; so the whole house is silenced, and the gentry seem to rejoice much at it, the house being become too insolent. Here were many fine ladies this afternoon at this house as I have at any time seen, and so after the play home and there wrote to my father, and then to walk in the garden with my wife, resolving by the grace of God to see no more plays till Whitsuntide, I having now seen a play every day this week till I have neglected my business, and that I am ashamed of, being found so much absent; the Duke of York and Sir W. Coventry having been out of town at Portsmouth did the more embolden me thereto. So home, and having brought home with me from Fenchurch Street a hundred of sparrowgrass, cost 18d. We had them and a little bit of salmon, which my wife had a mind to, cost 3s. So to supper, and my pain being somewhat better in my throat, we to bed.

to be a poet
is as nonsensical
as a blow on the face
over wonder
silence after a walk
in the garden
or having a sparrow
to supper


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 20 April 1667.

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