Doppelgänger

My own coach carrying me and my boy Tom, who goes with me in the room of W. Hewer, who could not, and I dare not go alone, to the Temple, and there set me down, the first time my fine horses ever carried me, and I am mighty proud of them, and there took a hackney and to White Hall, where a Committee of Tangier, but little to do, and so away home, calling at the Exchange and buying several little things, and so home, and there dined with my wife and people and then she, and W. Hewer, and I by appointment out with our coach, but the old horses, not daring yet to use the others too much, but only to enter them, and to the Temple, there to call Talbot Pepys, and took him up, and first went into Holborne, and there saw the woman that is to be seen with a beard. She is a little plain woman, a Dane: her name, Ursula Dyan; about forty years old; her voice like a little girl’s; with a beard as much as any man I ever saw, black almost, and grizly; they offered to shew my wife further satisfaction if she desired it, refusing it to men that desired it there, but there is no doubt but by her voice she is a woman; it begun to grow at about seven years old, and was shaved not above seven months ago, and is now so big as any man’s almost that ever I saw; I say, bushy and thick. It was a strange sight to me, I confess, and what pleased me mightily. Thence to the Duke’s playhouse, and saw “Macbeth.” The King and Court there; and we sat just under them and my Lady Castlemayne, and close to the woman that comes into the pit, a kind of a loose gossip, that pretends to be like her, and is so, something. And my wife, by my troth, appeared, I think, as pretty as any of them; I never thought so much before; and so did Talbot and W. Hewer, as they said, I heard, to one another. The King and Duke of York minded me, and smiled upon me, at the handsome woman near me but it vexed me to see Moll Davis, in the box over the King’s and my Lady Castlemayne’s head, look down upon the King, and he up to her; and so did my Lady Castlemayne once, to see who it was; but when she saw her, she looked like fire; which troubled me. The play done, took leave of Talbot, who goes into the country this Christmas, and so we home, and there I to work at the office late, and so home to supper and to bed.

who goes with me
whoever I am

born with a beard
like a red bush
thick as gossip

and a smile
like fire on Christmas

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 21 December 1668.

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