Celestial bodies

(Saturday).
Up at four o’clock, being by appointment called up to the Cross Bath, where we were carried one after one another, myself, and wife, and Betty Turner, Willet, and W. Hewer. And by and by, though we designed to have done before company come, much company come; very fine ladies; and the manner pretty enough, only methinks it cannot be clean to go so many bodies together in the same water. Good conversation among them that are acquainted here, and stay together. Strange to see how hot the water is; and in some places, though this is the most temperate bath, the springs so hot as the feet not able to endure. But strange to see, when women and men herein, that live all the season in these waters, that cannot but be parboiled, and look like the creatures of the bath! Carried away, wrapped in a sheet, and in a chair, home; and there one after another thus carried, I staying above two hours in the water, home to bed, sweating for an hour; and by and by, comes musick to play to me,
extraordinary good as ever I heard at London almost, or anywhere: 5s.
Up, to go to Bristol, about eleven o’clock, and paying my landlord that was our guide from Chiltern, 10s.
and the serjeant of the bath, 10s.
and the man that carried us in chairs, 3s. 6d.
Set out towards Bristoll, and come thither (in a coach hired to spare our own horses); the way bad, but country good, about two o’clock, where set down at the Horse’shoe, and there,
being trimmed by a very handsome fellow, 2s.
walked with my wife and people through the city, which is in every respect another London, that one can hardly know it, to stand in the country, no more than that. No carts, it standing generally on vaults, only dog-carts.1 So to the Three Crowns Tavern I was directed; but, when I come in, the master told me that he had newly given over the selling of wine; it seems, grown rich; and so went to the Sun; and there Deb. going with W. Hewer and Betty Turner to see her uncle, and leaving my wife with the mistress of the house, I to see the quay, which is a most large and noble place; and to see the new ship building by Baily, neither he nor Furzer being in town. It will be a fine ship.
Spoke with the foreman, and did give the boys that kept the cabin 2s.
Walked back to the Sun, where I find Deb. come back, and with her, her uncle, a sober merchant, very good company, and so like one of our sober, wealthy, London merchants, as pleased me mightily.
Here we dined, and much good talk with him, 7s. 6d.
a messenger to Sir John Knight, who was not at home, 6d.
Then walked with him and my wife and company round the quay, and to the ship; and he shewed me the Custom-house, and made me understand many things of the place, and led us through Marsh Street, where our girl was born. But, Lord! the joy that was among the old poor people of the place, to see Mrs. Willet’s daughter, it seems her mother being a brave woman and mightily beloved! And so brought us a back way by surprize to his house, where a substantial good house, and well furnished; and did give us good entertainment of strawberries, a whole venison-pasty, cold, and plenty of brave wine, and above all Bristoll milk, where comes in another poor woman, who, hearing that Deb. was here, did come running hither, and with her eyes so full of tears, and heart so full of joy, that she could not speak when she come in, that it made me weep too: I protest that I was not able to speak to her, which I would have done, to have diverted her tears. His wife a good woman, and so sober and substantiall as I was never more pleased anywhere.
Servant-maid, 2s.
So thence took leave, and he with us through the city, where in walking I find the city pay him great respect, and he the like to the meanest, which pleased me mightily. He shewed us the place where the merchants meet here, and a fine Cross yet standing, like Cheapside.
And so to the Horseshoe, where paid the reckoning, 2s. 6d.
We back, and by moonshine to the Bath again, about ten-o’clock: bad way;
and giving the coachman 1s.
went all of us to bed.

so many bodies at the sea
like creatures of sweat

chairs toward
that dog the sun

where a ship made me
understand many things

eyes full of it all
like cheap moons

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 13 June 1668 (Pepys’ rough notes for an unfinished entry)

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