Palimpsest

Up and down the yard all the morning and seeing the seamen exercise, which they do already very handsomely.
Then to dinner at Mr. Ackworth’s, where there also dined with us one Captain Bethell, a friend of the Comptroller’s. A good dinner and very handsome. After that and taking our leaves of the officers of the yard, we walked to the waterside and in our way walked into the rope-yard, where I do look into the tar-houses and other places, and took great notice of all the several works belonging to the making of a cable.
So after a cup of burnt wine at the tavern there, we took barge and went to Blackwall and viewed the dock and the new Wet dock, which is newly made there, and a brave new merchantman which is to be launched shortly, and they say to be called the Royal Oak.
Hence we walked to Dick-Shore, and thence to the Towre and so home. Where I found my wife and Pall abroad, so I went to see Sir W. Pen, and there found Mr. Coventry come to see him, and now had an opportunity to thank him, and he did express much kindness to me. I sat a great while with Sir Wm. after he was gone, and had much talk with him. I perceive none of our officers care much for one another, but I do keep in with them all as much as I can. Sir W. Pen is still very ill as when I went. Home, where my wife not yet come home, so I went up to put my papers in order, and then was much troubled my wife was not come, it being 10 o’clock just now striking as I write this last line.
This day I hear the Princess is recovered again. The King hath been this afternoon at Deptford, to see the yacht that Commissioner Pett is building, which will be very pretty; as also that that his brother at Woolwich is in making.
By and by comes in my boy and tells me that his mistress do lie this night at Mrs. Hunt’s, who is very ill, with which being something satisfied, I went to bed.

All morning seeing
the sea at work
making a new shore,
I press pen to paper
and write over
the afternoon lie.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 15 January 1660/61.

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