Horse sense

Up very early, and up upon my house to see how work goes on, which do please me very well. So about seven o’clock took horse and rode to Bowe, and there staid at the King’s Head, and eat a breakfast of eggs till Mr. Deane of Woolwich came to me, and he and I rid into Waltham Forest, and there we saw many trees of the King’s a-hewing; and he showed me the whole mystery of off square, wherein the King is abused in the timber that he buys, which I shall with much pleasure be able to correct. After we had been a good while in the wood, we rode to Illford, and there, while dinner was getting ready, he and I practised measuring of the tables and other things till I did understand measuring of timber and board very well. So to dinner and by and by, being sent for, comes Mr. Cooper, our officer in the Forest, and did give me an account of things there, and how the country is backward to come in with their carts. By and by comes one Mr. Marshall, of whom the King has many carriages for his timber, and they staid and drank with me, and while I am here, Sir W. Batten passed by in his coach, homewards from Colchester, where he had been seeing his son-in-law, Lemon, that lies a-dying, but I would take no notice of him, but let him go. By and by I got a horseback again and rode to Barking, and there saw the place where they ship this timber for Woolwich; and so Deane and I home again, and parted at Bowe, and I home just before a great showre of rayne, as God would have it.
I find Deane a pretty able man, and able to do the King service; but, I think, more out of envy to the rest of the officers of the yard, of whom he complains much, than true love, more than others, to the service. He would fain seem a modest man, and yet will commend his own work and skill, and vie with other persons, especially the Petts, but I let him alone to hear all he will say.
Whiled away the evening at my office trying to repeat the rules of measuring learnt this day, and so to bed with my mind very well pleased with this day’s work.

a horse head in a tree
showed me the whole mystery of abuse

we understand backward
dying more of envy than true love
kill other persons
but let the rules be


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 18 August 1662.

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