Existential

Up; and dressing myself I did begin para toker the breasts of my maid Jane, which elle did give way to more than usual heretofore, so I have a design to try more when I can bring it to. So to the office, and thence to St. James’s to the Duke of York, walking it to the Temple, and in my way observe that the Stockes are now pulled quite down; and it will make the coming into Cornhill and Lumber Street mighty noble. I stopped, too, at Paul’s, and there did go into St. Fayth’s Church, and also in the body of the west part of the Church; and do see a hideous sight of the walls of the Church ready to fall, that I was in fear as long as I was in it: and here I saw the great vaults underneath the body of the Church. No hurt, I hear, is done yet, since their going to pull down the Church and steeple; but one man, on Monday this week, fell from the top to a piece of the roof, of the east end, that stands next the steeple, and there broke himself all to pieces. It is pretty here to see how the late Church was but a case wrought over the old Church; for you may see the very old pillars standing whole within the wall of this. When I come to St. James’s, I find the Duke of York gone with the King to see the muster of the Guards in Hyde Park; and their Colonel, the Duke of Monmouth, to take his command this day of the King’s Life-Guard, by surrender of my Lord Gerard. So I took a hackney-coach and saw it all: and indeed it was mighty noble, and their firing mighty fine, and the Duke of Monmouth in mighty rich clothes; but the well-ordering of the men I understand not. Here, among a thousand coaches that were there, I saw and spoke to Mrs. Pierce: and by and by Mr. Wren hunts me out, and gives me my Lord Anglesey’s answer to the Duke of York’s letter, where, I perceive, he do do what he can to hurt me, by bidding the Duke of York call for my books: but this will do me all the right in the world, and yet I am troubled at it. So away out of the Park, and home; and there Mr. Gibson and I to dinner: and all the afternoon with him, writing over anew, and a little altering, my answer to the Duke of York, which I have not yet delivered, and so have the opportunity of doing it after seeing all their answers, though this do give me occasion to alter very little. This done, he to write it over, and I to the Office, where late, and then home; and he had finished it; and then he to read to me the life of Archbishop Laud, wrote by Dr. Heylin; which is a shrewd book, but that which I believe will do the Bishops in general no great good, but hurt, it pleads for so much Popish. So after supper to bed. This day my father’s letters tell me of the death of poor Fancy, in the country, big with puppies, which troubles me, as being one of my oldest acquaintances and servants. Also good Stankes is dead.

dressing myself
I observe the corn and lumber
of the body

going over
the old who am I
must mouth surrender to mouth

on a hunt
for the right world
writing new answers to very little

a finished life is
I believe no great good
after my father’s death

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 September 1668

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