Leaving the cellar

Up and being by appointment called upon by Mr. Lee, he and I to the Tower, to make our third attempt upon the cellar. And now privately the woman, Barkestead’s great confident, is brought, who do positively say that this is the place which he did say the money was hid in, and where he and she did put up the 50,000l.1 in butter firkins; and the very day that he went out of England did say that neither he nor his would be the better for that money, and therefore wishing that she and hers might. And so left us, and we full of hope did resolve to dig all over the cellar, which by seven o’clock at night we performed. At noon we sent for a dinner, and upon the head of a barrel dined very merrily, and to work again. Between times, Mr. Lee, who had been much in Spain, did tell me pretty stories of the customs and other things, as I asked him, of the country, to my great content. But at last we saw we were mistaken; and after digging the cellar quite through, and removing the barrels from one side to the other, we were forced to pay our porters, and give over our expectations, though I do believe there must be money hid somewhere by him, or else he did delude this woman in hopes to oblige her to further serving him, which I am apt to believe.
Thence by coach to White Hall, and at my Lord’s lodgings did write a letter, he not being within, to tell him how things went, and so away again, only hearing that Mrs. Sarah is married, I did go up stairs again and joy her and kiss her, she owning of it; and it seems it is to a cook. I am glad she is disposed of, for she grows old, and is very painfull, and one I have reason to wish well for her old service to me. Then to my brother’s, where my wife, by my order, is tonight to stay a night or two while my house is made clean, and thence home, where I am angry to see, instead of the house made in part clean, all the pewter goods and other things are brought up to scouring, which makes the house ten times worse, at which I was very much displeased, but cannot help it. So to my office to set down my journal, and so home and to bed.

we make the cellar a private place
dig the cellar again

dig the cellar from one side to the other
and go upstairs to grow old

I wish for night
instead of all the good things
which own our home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 7 November 1662.

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