Rising sea level

(Office day). To the office, where Sir G. Carteret did give us an account how Mr. Holland do intend to prevail with the Parliament to try his project of discharging the seamen all at present by ticket, and so promise interest to all men that will lend money upon them at eight per cent., for so long as they are unpaid; whereby he do think to take away the growing debt, which do now lie upon the kingdom for lack of present money to discharge the seamen. But this we are troubled at as some diminution to us.
I having two barrels of oysters at home, I caused one of them and some wine to be brought to the inner room in the office, and there the Principal Officers did go and eat them.
So we sat till noon, and then to dinner, and to it again in the afternoon till night.
At home I sent for Mr. Hater, and broke the other barrel with him, and did afterwards sit down discoursing of sea terms to learn of him. And he being gone I went up and sat till twelve at night again to make an end of my Lord’s accounts, as I did the last night. Which at last I made a good end of, and so to bed.

The land is charging the sea
interest for the growing debt,
this diminution—
oysters in the office
the sea terms a bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 30 November 1660.

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