Flight calls

Up, and busy to send some things into the country, and then to the Office, where meets me Sir Richard Ford, who among other things congratulates me, as one or two did yesterday, [on] my great purchase; and he advises me rather to forbear, if it be not done, as a thing that the world will envy me in: and what is it but my cozen Tom Pepys’s buying of Martin Abbey, in Surry! which is a mistake I am sorry for, and yet do fear that it may spread in the world to my prejudice. All the morning at the office, and at noon my clerks dined with me, and there do hear from them how all the town is full of the talk of a meteor, or some fire, that did on Saturday last fly over the City at night, which do put me in mind that, being then walking in the dark an hour or more myself in the garden, after I had done writing, I did see a light before me come from behind me, which made me turn back my head; and I did see a sudden fire or light running in the sky, as it were towards Cheapside ward, and it vanished very quick, which did make me bethink myself what holyday it was, and took it for some rocket, though it was much brighter than any rocket, and so thought no more of it, but it seems Mr. Hater and Gibson going home that night did meet with many clusters of people talking of it, and many people of the towns about the city did see it, and the world do make much discourse of it, their apprehensions being mighty full of the rest of the City to be burned, and the Papists to cut our throats. Which God prevent! Thence after dinner I by coach to the Temple, and there bought a new book of songs set to musique by one Smith of Oxford, some songs of Mr. Cowley’s, and so to Westminster, and there to walk a little in the Hall, and so to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did hazer cet que je voudrai mit her, and drank and sat most of the afternoon with her and her sister, and here she promises me her fine starling, which was the King’s, and speaks finely, which I shall be glad of, and so walked to the Temple, meeting in the street with my cozen Alcocke, the young man, that is a good sober youth, I have not seen these four or five years, newly come to town to look for employment: but I cannot serve him, though I think he deserves well, and so I took coach and home to my business, and in the evening took Mrs. Turner and Mercer out to Mile End and drank, and then home, and sang; and eat a dish of greene pease, the first I have seen this year, given me by Mr. Gibson, extraordinary young and pretty, and so saw them at home, and so home to bed. Sir W. Pen continues ill of the gout.

things fly over the city at night
dark fire a holy rocket
a cut-throat god

and the songs of a starling
come to town
for an evening out

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 21 May 1668

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