Breath of life

Up, mightily busy all the morning at the office. At noon with Lord Brouncker to Sir D. Gawden’s, at the Victualling-Office, to dinner, where I have not dined since he was Sheriff: He expected us; and a good dinner, and much good company; and a fine house, and especially two rooms, very fine, he hath built there. His lady a good lady; but my Lord led himself and me to a great absurdity in kissing all the ladies, but the finest of all the company, leaving her out, I know not how; and I was loath to do it, since he omitted it. Here little Chaplin dined, who is like to be Sheriff the next year; and a pretty humoured little man he is. I met here with Mr. Talents, the younger, of Magdalene College, Chaplain here to the Sheriff; which I was glad to see, though not much acquainted with him. This day come the first demand from the Commissioners of Accounts to us, and it contains more than we shall ever be able to answer while we live, and I do foresee we shall be put to much trouble and some shame, at least some of us. Thence stole away after dinner to my cozen Kate’s, and there find the Crowner’s jury sitting, but they could not end it, but put off the business to Shrove Tuesday next, and so do give way to the burying of him, and that is all; but they all incline to find it a natural death, though there are mighty busy people to have it go otherwise, thinking to get his estate, but are mistaken. Thence, after sitting with her and company a while, comforting her: though I can find she can, as all other women, cry, and yet talk of other things all in a breath. So home, and there to cards with my wife, Deb., and Betty Turner, and Batelier, and after supper late to sing. But, Lord! how did I please myself to make Betty Turner sing, to see what a beast she is as to singing, not knowing how to sing one note in tune; but, only for the experiment, I would not for 40s. hear her sing a tune: worse than my wife a thousand times, so that it do a little reconcile me to her. So late to bed.

the Lord is a great absurdity
to contain

more than we shall ever
be able to bury

but otherwise take
comfort in the breath

and see what beast
is singing now

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 22 January 1668.

Leave a Reply

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