Petite bourgeoisie

Up betimes and to the office, there to set my papers in order and books, my office having been new whited and windows made clean, and so to sit, where all the morning, and did receive a hint or two from my Lord Anglesey, as if he thought much of my taking the ayre as I have done; but I care not a turd; but whatever the matter is, I think he hath some ill-will to me, or at least an opinion that I am more the servant of the Board than I am. At noon home to dinner, where my wife still in a melancholy, fusty humour, and crying, and do not tell me plainly what it is; but I by little words find that she hath heard of my going to plays, and carrying people abroad every day, in her absence; and that I cannot help but the storm will break out, I think, in a little time. After dinner carried her by coach to St. James’s, where she sat in the coach till I to my Lady Peterborough’s, who tells me, among other things, her Lord’s good words to the Duke of York lately, about my Lord Sandwich, and that the Duke of York is kind to my Lord Sandwich, which I am glad to hear: my business here was about her Lord’s pension from Tangier. Here met with Povy, who tells me how hard Creed is upon him, though he did give him, about six months since, I think he said, fifty pieces in gold; and one thing there is in his accounts that I fear may touch me, but I shall help it, I hope. So my wife not speaking a word, going nor coming, nor willing to go to a play, though a new one, I to the Office, and did much business. At night home, where supped Mr. Turner and his wife, and Betty and Mercer and Pelling, as merry as the ill, melancholy humour that my wife was in, would let us, which vexed me; but I took no notice of it, thinking that will be the best way, and let it wear away itself.
After supper, parted, and to bed; and my wife troubled all night, and about one o’clock goes out of the bed to the girl’s bed, which did trouble me, she crying and sobbing, without telling the cause. By and by she comes back to me, and still crying; I then rose, and would have sat up all night, but she would have me come to bed again; and being pretty well pacified, we to sleep.

I set my papers in order
my office having been new whited

and windows made clean
I am more than I am

in my absence
the storm is kind to me

tell me how hard gold is
that I may touch it

my wife not speaking
melancholy as the best clock

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 18 June 1668

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