To Westminster, where at Mr. Montagu’s chamber I heard a Frenchman play, a friend of Monsieur Eschar’s, upon the guitar, most extreme well, though at the best methinks it is but a bawble.
From thence to Westminster Hall, where it was expected that the Parliament was to have been adjourned for two or three months, but something hinders it for a day or two. In the lobby I spoke with Mr. George Montagu, and advised about a ship to carry my Lord Hinchingbroke and the rest of the young gentlemen to France, and they have resolved of going in a hired vessell from Rye, and not in a man of war. He told me in discourse that my Lord Chancellor is much envied, and that many great men, such as the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord of Bristoll, do endeavour to undermine him, and that he believes it will not be done; for that the King (though he loves him not in the way of a companion, as he do these young gallants that can answer him in his pleasures), yet cannot be without him, for his policy and service. From thence to the Wardrobe, where my wife met me, it being my Lord of Sandwich’s birthday, and so we had many friends here, Mr. Townsend and his wife, and Captain Ferrers lady and Captain Isham, and were very merry, and had a good venison pasty. Mr. Pargiter, the merchant, was with us also.
After dinner Mr. Townsend was called upon by Captain Cooke: so we three went to a tavern hard by, and there he did give us a song or two; and without doubt he hath the best manner of singing in the world. Back to my wife, and with my Lady Jem. and Pall by water through bridge, and showed them the ships with great pleasure, and then took them to my house to show it them (my Lady their mother having been lately all alone to see it and my wife, in my absence in the country), and we treated them well, and were very merry. Then back again through bridge, and set them safe at home, and so my wife and I by coach home again, and after writing a letter to my father at Brampton, who, poor man, is there all alone, and I have not heard from him since my coming from him, which troubles me. To bed.

The guitar spoke
of love and war, sand and water,
and showed the ships to my wife
in my absence.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 27 July 1661.

At home all the morning, and walking met with Mr. Hill of Cambridge at Pope’s Head Alley with some women with him whom he took and me into the tavern there, and did give us wine, and would fain seem to be very knowing in the affairs of state, and tells me that yesterday put a change to the whole state of England as to the Church; for the King now would be forced to favour Presbytery, or the City would leave him: but I heed not what he says, though upon enquiry I do find that things in the Parliament are in a great disorder.
Home at noon and there found Mr. Moore, and with him to an ordinary alone and dined, and there he and I read my uncle’s will, and I had his opinion on it, and still find more and more trouble like to attend it. Back to the office all the afternoon, and that done home for all night. Having the beginning of this week made a vow to myself to drink no wine this week (finding it to unfit me to look after business), and this day breaking of it against my will, I am much troubled for it, but I hope God will forgive me.

The pope’s head took
the air alone
and dined on ice.
Unfit to sin, it troubled God.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 26 July 1661.

This morning came my box of papers from Brampton of all my uncle’s papers, which will now set me at work enough. At noon I went to the Exchange, where I met my uncle Wight, and found him so discontented about my father (whether that he takes it ill that he has not been acquainted with things, or whether he takes it ill that he has nothing left him, I cannot tell), for which I am much troubled, and so staid not long to talk with him.
Thence to my mother’s, where I found my wife and my aunt Bell and Mrs. Ramsey, and great store of tattle there was between the old women and my mother, who thinks that there is, God knows what fallen to her, which makes me mad, but it was not a proper time to speak to her of it, and so I went away with Mr. Moore, and he and I to the Theatre, and saw “The Jovial Crew,” the first time I saw it, and indeed it is as merry and the most innocent play that ever I saw, and well performed. From thence home, and wrote to my father and so to bed. Full of thoughts to think of the trouble that we shall go through before we come to see what will remain to us of all our expectations.

Morning papers exchange discontent
for a great store of tattle
and God knows what—
a mad theater.
Think of the trouble we go through
to see what will remain
of all our expectations.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 25 July 1661.

This morning my wife in bed tells me of our being robbed of our silver tankard, which vexed me all day for the negligence of my people to leave the door open.
My wife and I by water to Whitehall, where I left her to her business and I to my cozen Thomas Pepys, and discoursed with him at large about our business of my uncle’s will. He can give us no light at all into his estate, but upon the whole tells me that he do believe that he has left but little money, though something more than we have found, which is about 500l.
Here came Sir G. Lane by chance, seeing a bill upon the door to hire the house, with whom my coz and I walked all up and down, and indeed it is a very pretty place, and he do intend to leave the agreement for the House, which is 400l. fine, and 46l. rent a year to me between them. Then to the Wardrobe, but come too late, and so dined with the servants. And then to my Lady, who do shew my wife and me the greatest favour in the world, in which I take great content.
Home by water and to the office all the afternoon, which is a great pleasure to me again, to talk with persons of quality and to be in command, and I give it out among them that the estate left me is 200l. a year in land, besides moneys, because I would put an esteem upon myself.
At night home and to bed after I had set down my journals ever since my going from London this journey to this house.
This afternoon I hear that my man Will hath lost his cloak with my tankard, at which I am very glad.

Robbed of our light by the war,
too late to take
pleasure in talk,
I put on my night cloak.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 24 July 1661.