In Seething Lane

Up very early in the morning and landing my wife at White Friars stairs, I went to the Bridge and so to the Treasurer’s of the Navy, with whom I spake about the business of my office, who put me into very good hopes of my business. At his house comes Commissioner Pett, and he and I went to view the houses in Seething Lane, belonging to the Navy, where I find the worst very good, and had great fears in my mind that they will shuffle me out of them, which troubles me.
From thence to the Excise Office in Broad Street, where I received 500l. for my Lord, by appointment of the Treasurer, and went afterwards down with Mr. Luddyard and drank my morning draft with him and other officers. Thence to Mr. Backewell’s, the goldsmith, where I took my Lord’s 100l. in plate for Mr. Secretary Nicholas, and my own piece of plate, being a state dish and cup in chased work for Mr. Coventry, cost me above 19l. Carried these and the money by coach to my Lord’s at White Hall, and from thence carried Nicholas’s plate to his house and left it there, intending to speak with him anon. So to Westminster Hall, where meeting with M. L’Impertinent and W. Bowyer, I took them to the Sun Tavern, and gave them a lobster and some wine, and sat talking like a fool till 4 o’clock. So to my Lord’s, and walking all the afternoon in White Hall Court, in expectation of what shall be done in the Council as to our business. It was strange to see how all the people flocked together bare, to see the King looking out of the Council window.
At night my Lord told me how my orders that I drew last night about giving us power to act, are granted by the Council. At which he and I were very glad. Home and to bed, my boy lying in my house this night the first time.

In Seething Lane
I find the worst fears.
I shuffle out to the yard
with my dish and cup
and speak to the sun
like a clock
or a bare window.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 4 July 1660.

2 Comments


  1. This poem and Luisa’s response I find hauntingly beautiful. I may even have to join Facebook to “like” the work you two are doing!

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