Tango

Up, and to Westminster to the Exchequer, and then into the Hall, and there bought “Guillim’s Heraldry” for my wife, and so to the Swan, and thither come Doll Lane, and je did toucher her, and drank, and so away, I took coach and home, where I find my wife gone to Walthamstow by invitation with Sir W. Batten, and so I followed, taking up Mrs. Turner, and she and I much discourse all the way touching the baseness of Sir W. Pen and sluttishness of his family, and how the world do suspect that his son Lowther, who is sick of a sore mouth, has got the pox. So we come to Sir W. Batten’s, where Sir W. Pen and his Lady, and we and Mrs. Shipman, and here we walked and had an indifferent good dinner, the victuals very good and cleanly dressed and good linen, but no fine meat at all. After dinner we went up and down the house, and I do like it very well, being furnished with a great deal of very good goods. And here we staid, I tired with the company, till almost evening, and then took leave, Turner and I together again, and my wife with W. Pen. At Aldgate I took my wife into our coach, and so to Bartholomew fair, and there, it being very dirty, and now night, we saw a poor fellow, whose legs were tied behind his back, dance upon his hands with his arse above his head, and also dance upon his crutches, without any legs upon the ground to help him, which he did with that pain that I was sorry to see it, and did pity him and give him money after he had done. Then we to see a piece of clocke-work made by an Englishman — indeed, very good, wherein all the several states of man’s age, to 100 years old, is shewn very pretty and solemne; and several other things more cheerful, and so we ended, and took a link, the women resolving to be dirty, and walked up and down to get a coach; and my wife, being a little before me, had been like to be taken up by one, whom we saw to be Sam Hartlib. My wife had her vizard on: yet we cannot say that he meant any hurt; for it was as she was just by a coach-side, which he had, or had a mind to take up; and he asked her, “Madam, do you go in this coach?” but, soon as he saw a man come to her (I know not whether he knew me) he departed away apace. By and by did get a coach, and so away home, and there to supper, and to bed.

touch me well
till I dance without
any legs

a piece of clockwork
where a man’s age
is shown

we end in the dirt
and I like it madam
you know me

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 6 September 1667.

Leave a Reply

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