Message in a bottle

By appointment, we all went this morning to wait upon the Duke of York, which we did in his chamber, as he was dressing himself in his riding suit to go this day by sea to the Downs. He is in mourning for his wife’s grandmother, which is thought a great piece of fondness. After we had given him our letter relating the bad condition of the Navy for want of money, he referred it to his coming back and so parted, and I to Whitehall and to see la belle Pierce, and so on foot to my Lord Crew’s, where I found him come to his new house, which is next to that he lived in last; here I was well received by my Lord and Sir Thomas, with whom I had great talk: and he tells me in good earnest that he do believe the Parliament (which comes to sit again the next week), will be troublesome to the Court and Clergy, which God forbid! But they see things carried so by my Lord Chancellor and some others, that get money themselves, that they will not endure it. From thence to the Theatre, and there saw “Father’s own Son” again, and so it raining very hard I went home by coach, with my mind very heavy for this my expensefull life, which will undo me, I fear, after all my hopes, if I do not take up, for now I am coming to lay out a great deal of money in clothes for my wife, I must forbear other expenses.
To bed, and this night began to lie in the little green chamber, where the maids lie, but we could not a great while get Nell to lie there, because I lie there and my wife, but at last, when she saw she must lie there or sit up, she, with much ado, came to bed.

The sea is given
our letter relating the bad
condition of the money,
and it is well received.

I lie to God
but not to the rain,
my mind full of money—
a little green chamber.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 13 November 1661.

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