Child’s play

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner and Creed with me, and after dinner he and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; and there coming late, he and I up to the balcony-box, where we find my Lady Castlemayne and several great ladies; and there we sat with them, and I saw “The Impertinents” once more, now three times, and the three only days it hath been acted. And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too; by Sir Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard. My Lady pretty well pleased with it; but here I sat close to her fine woman, Willson, who indeed is very handsome, but, they say, with child by the King. I asked, and she told me this was the first time her Lady had seen it, I having a mind to say something to her. One thing of familiarity I observed in my Lady Castlemayne: she called to one of her women, another that sat by this, for a little patch off her face, and put it into her mouth and wetted it, and so clapped it upon her own by the side of her mouth, I suppose she feeling a pimple rising there. Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there met with cozen Roger, who tells me of the great conference this day between the Lords and Commons, about the business of the East India Company, as being one of the weightiest conferences that hath been, and managed as weightily. I am heartily sorry I was not there, it being upon a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts. And he tells me that the Commons had much the better of them, in reason and history there quoted, and believes the Lords will let it fall. Thence to walk in the Hall, and there hear that Mrs. Martin’s child, my god-daughter, is dead, and so by water to the Old Swan, and thence home, and there a little at Sir W. Pen’s, and so to bed.

at play in a box
we find a castle

like a man with no face
feeling a pimple rising there

who at the weightiest
point in history believes
that god is dead

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 5 May 1668

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