Oral traditionalist

(Lord’s day). Up, and I to Church, where I have not been these many weeks before, and there did first find a strange Reader, who could not find in the Service-book the place for churching women, but was fain to change books with the clerke: and then a stranger preached, a seeming able man; but said in his pulpit that God did a greater work in raising of an oake-tree from an akehorne, than a man’s body raising it, at the last day, from his dust (shewing the possibility of the Resurrection): which was, methought, a strange saying. At home to dinner, whither comes and dines with me W. Howe, and by invitation Mr. Harris and Mr. Banister, most extraordinary company both, the latter for musique of all sorts, the former for everything: here we sang, and Banister played on the theorbo, and afterwards Banister played on his flageolet, and I had very good discourse with him about musique, so confirming some of my new notions about musique that it puts me upon a resolution to go on and make a scheme and theory of musique not yet ever made in the world. Harris do so commend my wife’s picture of Mr. Hales’s, that I shall have him draw Harris’s head; and he hath also persuaded me to have Cooper draw my wife’s, which, though it cost 30l., yet I will have done. Thus spent the afternoon most deliciously, and then broke up and walked with them as far as the Temple, and there parted, and I took coach to Westminster, but there did nothing, meeting nobody that I had a mind to speak with, and so home, and there find Mr. Pelling, and then also comes Mrs. Turner, and supped and talked with us, and so to bed. I do hear by several that Sir W. Pen’s going to sea do dislike the Parliament mightily, and that they have revived the Committee of Miscarriages to find something to prevent it; and that he being the other day with the Duke of Albemarle to ask his opinion touching his going to sea, the Duchess overheard and come in to him, and asks W. Pen how he durst have the confidence to offer to go to sea again, to the endangering the nation, when he knew himself such a coward as he was, which, if true, is very severe.

I have been a reader
who could not find a book

but God did a greater work
raising an oak from an acorn

than a man’s body from dust
or any sort of new theory

in the world that I have raw
yet done deliciously

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 29 March 1668

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