Quandary

Up and began our discontent again and sorely angered my wife, who indeed do live very lonely, but I do perceive that it is want of work that do make her and all other people think of ways of spending their time worse, and this I owe to my building, that do not admit of her undertaking any thing of work, because the house has been and is still so dirty.
I to my office, and there sat all the morning and dined with discontent with my wife at noon, and so to my office, and there this afternoon we had our first meeting upon our commission of inspecting the Chest, and there met Sir J. Minnes, Sir Francis Clerke, Mr. Heath, Atturney of the Dutchy, Mr. Prinn, Sir W. Rider, Captn. Cocke, and myself. Our first work to read over the Institution, which is a decree in Chancery in the year 1617, upon an inquisition made at Rochester about that time into the revenues of the Chest, which had then, from the year 1588 or 1590, by the advice of the Lord High Admiral and principal officers then being, by consent of the seamen, been settled, paying sixpence per month, according to their wages then, which was then but 10s. which is now 24s.
We adjourned to a fortnight hence. So broke up, and I to see Sir W. Pen, who is now pretty well, but lies in bed still; he cannot rise to stand. Then to my office late, and this afternoon my wife in her discontent sent me a letter, which I am in a quandary what to do, whether to read it or not, but I purpose not, but to burn it before her face, that I may put a stop to more of this nature. But I must think of some way, either to find her some body to keep her company, or to set her to work, and by employment to take up her thoughts and time. After doing what I had to do I went home to supper, and there was very sullen to my wife, and so went to bed and to sleep (though with much ado, my mind being troubled) without speaking one word to her.

anger is building an office in my chest
out of lies and quandary

whether to burn
or to sleep with a troubled word


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 November 1662.

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