Violins

All the morning busy at the office, pleased mightily with my girle that we have got to wait on my wife. At noon dined with Sir G. Carteret and the rest of our officers at his house in Broad Street, they being there upon his accounts. After dinner took coach and to my wife, who was gone before into the Strand, there to buy a nightgown, where I found her in a shop with her pretty girle, and having bought it away home, and I thence to Sir G. Carteret’s again, and so took coach alone, it now being almost night, to White Hall, and there in the Boarded-gallery did hear the musick with which the King is presented this night by Monsieur Grebus, the master of his musick; both instrumentall — I think twenty-four violins — and vocall; an English song upon Peace. But, God forgive me! I never was so little pleased with a concert of musick in my life. The manner of setting of words and repeating them out of order, and that with a number of voices, makes me sick, the whole design of vocall musick being lost by it. Here was a great press of people; but I did not see many pleased with it, only the instrumental musick he had brought by practice to play very just. So thence late in the dark round by the wall home by coach, and there to sing and sup with my wife, and look upon our pretty girle, and so to bed.

one night with her and
I almost hear violins

but never the words
the out-of-order voices

the whole lost press
of an instrumental wall

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 1 October 1667.

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