Service

Up, and to my office, where most of the morning, entering my journal for the three days past. Thence about noon with my wife to the New Exchange, by the way stopping at my bookseller’s, and there leaving my Kircher’s Musurgia to be bound, and did buy “L’illustre Bassa,” in four volumes, for my wife. Thence to the Exchange and left her; while meeting Dr. Gibbons there, he and I to see an organ at the Dean of Westminster’s lodgings at the Abby, the Bishop of Rochester’s; where he lives like a great prelate, his lodgings being very good; though at present under great disgrace at Court, being put by his Clerk of the Closet’s place. I saw his lady, of whom the ‘Terrae Filius’ of Oxford was once so merry; and two children, whereof one a very pretty little boy, like him, so fat and black. Here I saw the organ; but it is too big for my house, and the fashion do not please me enough; and therefore will not have it. Thence to the ’Change back again, leaving him, and took my wife and Deb. home, and there to dinner alone, and after dinner I took them to the Nursery, where none of us ever were before; where the house is better and the musique better than we looked for, and the acting not much worse, because I expected as bad as could be: and I was not much mistaken, for it was so. However, I was pleased well to see it once, it being worth a man’s seeing to discover the different ability and understanding of people, and the different growth of people’s abilities by practise. Their play was a bad one, called “Jeronimo is Mad Again,” a tragedy. Here was some good company by us, who did make mighty sport at the folly of their acting, which I could not neither refrain from sometimes, though I was sorry for it. So away hence home, where to the office to do business a while, and then home to supper and to read, and then to bed. I was prettily served this day at the playhouse-door, where, giving six shillings into the fellow’s hand for us three, the fellow by legerdemain did convey one away, and with so much grace faced me down that I did give him but five, that, though I knew the contrary, yet I was overpowered by his so grave and serious demanding the other shilling, that I could not deny him, but was forced by myself to give it him. After I come home this evening comes a letter to me from Captain Allen, formerly Clerk of the Ropeyard at Chatham, and whom I was kind to in those days, who in recompense of my favour to him then do give me notice that he hears of an accusation likely to be exhibited against me of my receiving 50l. of Mason, the timber merchant, and that his wife hath spoke it. I am mightily beholden to Captain Allen for this, though the thing is to the best of my memory utterly false, and I do believe it to be wholly so, but yet it troubles me to have my name mentioned in this business, and more to consider how I may be liable to be accused where I have indeed taken presents, and therefore puts me on an enquiry, into my actings in this kind and prepare against a day of accusation.

organ like a fat nurse
for music
for the undergrowth called time

I face down the grave
that comes to me
like a memory
utterly false

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 24 February 1668.

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