Breakdown

This morning came my brother John to take his leave of me, he being to return to Cambridge to-morrow, and after I had chid him for going with my Will the other day to Deptford with the principal officers, I did give him some good counsell and 20s. in money, and so he went away.
All this day I staid at home with my workmen without eating anything, and took much pleasure to see my work go forward. At night comes my wife not well from my father’s, having had a fore-tooth drawn out to-day, which do trouble me, and the more because I am now in the greatest of all my dirt.
My Will also returned to-night pretty well, he being gone yesterday not very well to his father’s.
To-day I received a letter from my uncle, to beg an old fiddle of me for my Cozen Perkin, the miller, whose mill the wind hath lately broke down, and now he hath nothing to live by but fiddling, and he must needs have it against Whitsuntide to play to the country girls; but it vexed me to see how my uncle writes to me, as if he were not able to buy him one. But I intend tomorrow to send him one. At night I set down my journal of my late journey to this time, and so to bed. My wife not being well and I very angry with her for her coming hither in that condition.

With my night tooth
and my dirt fiddle I
broke down,
nothing to live by
but to play the country
uncle, write
a journal of my journey
to this bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 May 1661.

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