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Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. Towards noon I to Westminster and there understand that the Lords’ House did sit till eleven o’clock last night, about the business in difference between them and the Commons, in the matter of the East India Company. Here took a turn or two, and up to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined; where Mr. Case, the minister, a dull fellow in his talk, and all in the Presbyterian manner; a great deal of noise and a kind of religious tone, but very dull. After dinner my Lord and I together. He tells me he hears that there are great disputes like to be at Court, between the factions of the two women, my Lady Castlemayne and Mrs. Stewart, who is now well again, and the King hath made several public visits to her, and like to come to Court: the other is to go to Barkeshire-house, which is taken for her, and they say a Privy-Seal is passed for 5000l. for it. He believes all will come to ruin. Thence I to White Hall, where the Duke of York gone to the Lords’ House, where there is to be a conference on the Lords’ side to the Commons this afternoon, giving in their Reasons, which I would have been at, but could not; for, going by direction to the Prince’s chamber, there Brouncker, W. Pen, and Mr. Wren, and I, met, and did our business with the Duke of York. But, Lord! to see how this play of Sir Positive At-all, in abuse of Sir Robert Howard, do take, all the Duke’s and every body’s talk being of that, and telling more stories of him, of the like nature, that it is now the town and country talk, and, they say, is most exactly true. The Duke of York himself said that of his playing at trap-ball is true, and told several other stories of him. This being done, Brouncker, Pen, and I to Brouncker’s house, and there sat and talked, I asking many questions in mathematics to my Lord, which he do me the pleasure to satisfy me in, and here we drank and so spent an hour, and so W. Pen and I home, and after being with W. Pen at his house an hour, I home and to bed.

I understand the night
as a dull noise in my ears

like the bark of a conference
or the body’s own talk

exact as a question
in mathematics

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 8 May 1668

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