A-hunting we will go

Up; and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon comes Creed to dine with me. After dinner, he and I and my wife to the BearGarden, to see a prize fought there. But, coming too soon, I left them there and went on to White Hall, and there did some business with the Lords of the Treasury; and here do hear, by Tom Killigrew and Mr. Progers, that for certain news is come of Harman’s having spoiled nineteen of twenty-two French ships, somewhere about the Barbadoes, I think they said; but wherever it is, it is a good service, and very welcome. Here I fell in talk with Tom Killigrew about musick, and he tells me that he will bring me to the best musick in England (of which, indeed, he is master), and that is two Italians and Mrs. Yates, who, he says, is come to sing the Italian manner as well as ever he heard any: says that Knepp won’t take pains enough, but that she understands her part so well upon the stage, that no man or woman in the House do the like. Thence I by water to the Bear-Garden, where now the yard was full of people, and those most of them seamen, striving by force to get in, that I was afeard to be seen among them, but got into the ale-house, and so by a back-way was put into the bull-house, where I stood a good while all alone among the bulls, and was afeard I was among the bears, too; but by and by the door opened, and I got into the common pit; and there, with my cloak about my face, I stood and saw the prize fought, till one of them, a shoemaker, was so cut in both his wrists that he could not fight any longer, and then they broke off: his enemy was a butcher. The sport very good, and various humours to be seen among the rabble that is there. Thence carried Creed to White Hall, and there my wife and I took coach and home, and both of us to Sir W. Batten’s, to invite them to dinner on Wednesday next, having a whole buck come from Hampton Court, by the warrant which Sir Stephen Fox did give me. And so home to supper and to bed, after a little playing on the flageolet with my wife, who do outdo therein whatever I expected of her.

come into the bear garden
on oiled hips
talk about music is like
the full sea put into a pit

I cloak my face
and one shoe off
I am the rabble to the fox
playing my wife

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 September 1667.

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