Destinies

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon my wife and I dined at Sir W. Pen’s, only with Mrs. Turner and her husband, on a damned venison pasty, that stunk like a devil. However, I did not know it till dinner was done. We had nothing but only this, and a leg of mutton, and a pullet or two. Mrs. Markham was here, with her great belly. I was very merry, and after dinner, upon a motion of the women, I was got to go to the play with them — the first I have seen since before the Dutch coming upon our coast, and so to the King’s house, to see “The Custome of the Country.” The house mighty empty — more than ever I saw it — and an ill play. After the play, we into the house, and spoke with Knipp, who went abroad with us by coach to the Neat Houses in the way to Chelsy; and there, in a box in a tree, we sat and sang, and talked and eat; my wife out of humour, as she always is, when this woman is by. So, after it was dark, we home. Set Knepp down at home, who told us the story how Nell is gone from the King’s house, and is kept by my Lord Buckhurst. Then we home, the gates of the City shut, it being so late: and at Newgate we find them in trouble, some thieves having this night broke open prison. So we through, and home; and our coachman was fain to drive hard from two or three fellows, which he said were rogues, that he met at the end of Blow-bladder Street, next Cheapside. So set Mrs. Turner home, and then we home, and I to the Office a little; and so home and to bed, my wife in an ill humour still.

the past like a great bell
coming up empty

who uses
a box as a home

who is kept
in an open prison

or met at the end
of a cheap bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 1 August 1667.

Leave a Reply

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