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Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon, eating very little dinner, my wife and I by hackney to the King’s playhouse, and there, the pit being full, sat in a box above, and saw “Catiline’s Conspiracy,” yesterday being the first day: a play of much good sense and words to read, but that do appear the worst upon the stage, I mean, the least diverting, that ever I saw any, though most fine in clothes; and a fine scene of the Senate, and of a fight, that ever I saw in my life. But the play is only to be read, and therefore home, with no pleasure at all, but only in sitting next to Betty Hall, that did belong to this house, and was Sir Philip Howard’s mistress; a mighty pretty wench, though my wife will not think so; and I dare neither commend, nor be seen to look upon her, or any other now, for fear of offending her. So, our own coach coming for us, home, and to end letters, and so home, my wife to read to me out of “The Siege of Rhodes,” and so to supper, and to bed.

at play in a box
a cat

on the first day
of a long war

we are our own
letters home

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 19 December 1668.

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