Dream sequence

My wife waked betimes to call up her maids to washing, and so to bed again, whom I then hugged, it being cold now in the mornings, and then did la otra cosa con her, which I had not done con ella for these tres meses past, which I do believe is a great matter towards the making of her of late so indifferent towards me, and with good reason; but now she had much pleasure, and so to sleep again. Up by and by, and with Mr. Gawden by coach to St. James’s, where we find the Duke gone a-hunting with the King, but found Sir W. Coventry within, with whom we discoursed, and he did largely discourse with us about our speedy falling upon considering of retrenchments in the expense of the Navy, which I will put forward as much as I can. So having done there I to Westminster Hall to Burges, and then walked to the New Exchange, and there to my bookseller’s, and did buy Scott’s Discourse of Witches; and do hear Mr. Cowley mightily lamented his death, by Dr. Ward, the Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Bates, who were standing there, as the best poet of our nation, and as good a man.
Thence I to the printseller’s, over against the Exchange towards Covent Garden, and there bought a few more prints of cittys, and so home with them, and my wife and maids being gone over the water to the whitster’s with their clothes, this being the first time of her trying this way of washing her linen, I dined at Sir W. Batten’s, and after dinner, all alone to the King’s playhouse, and there did happen to sit just before Mrs. Pierce, and Mrs. Knepp, who pulled me by the hair; and so I addressed myself to them, and talked to them all the intervals of the play, and did give them fruit. The play is “Brenoralt,” which I do find but little in, for my part. Here was many fine ladies-among others, the German Baron, with his lady, who is envoye from the Emperour, and their fine daughter, which hath travelled all Europe over with them, it seems; and is accordingly accomplished, and indeed, is a wonderful pretty woman. Here Sir Philip Frowde, who sat next to me, did tell me how Sir H. Belasses is dead, and that the quarrel between him and Tom Porter, who is fled, did arise in the ridiculous fashion that I was first told it, which is a strange thing between two so good friends. The play being done, I took the women, and Mrs. Corbett, who was with them, by coach, it raining, to Mrs. Manuel’s, the Jew’s wife, formerly a player, who we heard sing with one of the Italians that was there; and, indeed, she sings mightily well; and just after the Italian manner, but yet do not please me like one of Mrs. Knepp’s songs, to a good English tune, the manner of their ayre not pleasing me so well as the fashion of our own, nor so natural. Here I sat a little and then left them, and then by coach home, and my wife not come home, so the office a little and then home, and my wife come; and so, saying nothing where I had been, we to supper and pipe, and so to bed.

in sleep
I am hunting books

the best poet of our nation
is washing her hair

it is raining
she sings like the air

so natural
saying nothing


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 August 1667.

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