Las Californias, 1769

Up betimes and with my workmen, taking some pleasure to see my work come towards an end, though I am vexed every day enough with their delay.
We met and sat all the morning, dined at home alone, and with my workmen all the afternoon, and in the evening by water and land to Deptford to give order for things about my house, and came back again by coach with Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten (who has been at a Pay to-day), and to my office and did some business, and so to supper and to my lodgings, and so to bed.
In our coming home Sir G. Carteret told me how in most cabaretts in France they have writ upon the walls in fair letters to be read, “Dieu te regarde,” as a good lesson to be in every man’s mind, and have also, as in Holland, their poor’s box; in both which places at the making all contracts and bargains they give so much, which they call God’s penny.

the land has been our home
they have walls

in every mind a box
they call God


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 23 September 1662. On 23 September 2015, Pope Francis canonized the Spanish friar Junípero Serra, who in 1769 founded the first mission to convert (and eventually enslave) the native people in what is now California.

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