House-bound

Up, and to the office, where all the morning sitting, then at noon home to dinner with my people, and so to the office again writing of my letters, and then abroad to my bookseller’s, and up and down to the Duke of York’s playhouse, there to see, which I did, Sir W. Davenant’s corpse carried out towards Westminster, there to be buried. Here were many coaches and six horses, and many hacknies, that made it look, methought, as if it were the buriall of a poor poet. He seemed to have many children, by five or six in the first mourning-coach, all boys. And there I left them coming forth, and I to the New Exchange, there to meet Mrs. Burroughs, and did take her in a carosse and carry elle towards the Park, kissing her and tocanda su breast, so as to make myself do; but did not go into any house, but come back and set her down at White Hall, and did give her wrapt in paper for my Valentine’s gift for the last year before this, which I never did yet give her anything for, twelve half-crowns, and so back home and there to my office, where come a packet from the Downes from my brother Balty, who, with Harman, is arrived there, of which this day come the first news. And now the Parliament will be satisfied, I suppose, about the business they have so long desired between Brouncker and Harman about not prosecuting the first victory. Balty is very well, and I hope hath performed his work well, that I may get him into future employment. I wrote to him this night, and so home, and there to the perfecting my getting the scale of musique without book, which I have done to perfection backward and forward, and so to supper and to bed.

where I sit writing
an ant’s corpse

carried out as if it were
the burial of a poor poet

I make myself a house
wrapped in paper

my Valentine’s gift
for the last year

a book done to perfection
for a bed

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 9 April 1668

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