Self-made man

(Lady day). This morning came workmen to begin the making of me a new pair of stairs up out of my parler, which, with other work that I have to do, I doubt will keep me this two months and so long I shall be all in dirt; but the work do please me very well. To the office, and there all the morning, dined at home, and after dinner comes Mr. Salisbury to see me, and shewed me a face or two of his paynting, and indeed I perceive that he will be a great master.
I took him to Whitehall with me by water, but he would not by any means be moved to go through bridge, and so we were fain to go round by the Old Swan.
To my Lord’s and there I shewed him the King’s picture, which he intends to copy out in little. After that I and Captain Ferrers to Salisbury Court by water, and saw part of the “Queene’s Maske.” Then I to Mrs. Turner, and there staid talking late. The. Turner being in a great chafe, about being disappointed of a room to stand in at the Coronacion.
Then to my father’s, and there staid talking with my mother and him late about my dinner to-morrow.
So homewards and took up a boy that had a lanthorn, that was picking up of rags, and got him to light me home, and had great discourse with him how he could get sometimes three or four bushells of rags in a day, and got 3d. a bushell for them, and many other discourses, what and how many ways there are for poor children to get their livings honestly.
So home and I to bed at 12 o’clock at night, being pleased well with the work that my workmen have begun to-day.

I work to begin
the making of me
out of dirt and morning,
a face of water, an old mask
of my father’s, and three
or four discourses
for children.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 March 1661.

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