Sanctum

(Lord’s day). My wife and I lay talking long in bed, and at last she is come to be willing to stay two months in the country, for it is her unwillingness to stay till the house is quite done that makes me at a loss how to have her go or stay.
But that which troubles me most is that it has rained all this morning so furiously that I fear my house is all over water, and with that expectation I rose and went into my house and find that it is as wet as the open street, and that there is not one dry-footing above nor below in my house. So I fitted myself for dirt, and removed all my books to the office and all day putting up and restoring things, it raining all day long as hard within doors as without. At last to dinner, we had a calf’s head and bacon at my chamber at Sir W. Pen’s, and there I and my wife concluded to have her go and her two maids and the boy, and so there shall be none but Will and I left at home, and so the house will be freer, for it is impossible to have anybody come into my house while it is in this condition, and with this resolution all the afternoon we were putting up things in the further cellar against next week for them to be gone, and my wife and I into the office and there measured a silk flag that I had found there, and hope to get it to myself, for it has not been demanded since I came to the office. But my wife is not hasty to have it, but rather to stay a while longer and see the event whether it will be missed or no.
At night to my office, and there put down this day’s passages in my journall, and read my oaths, as I am obliged every Lord’s day. And so to Sir W. Pen’s to my chamber again, being all in dirt and foul, and in fear of having catched cold today with dabbling in the water.
But what has vexed me to-day was that by carrying the key to Sir W. Pen’s last night, it could not in the midst of all my hurry to carry away my books and things, be found, and at last they found it in the fire that we made last night. So to bed.

I fear the open street.

There is above my office door
a calf’s head

and we put up in the cellar
a silk flag I found in the dirt,
a key I found in the fire.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 20 July 1662.

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