Whale light

Up betimes and to my office a good while at my new rulers, then to business, and towards noon to the Exchange with Creed, where we met with Sir J. Minnes coming in his coach from Westminster, who tells us, in great heat, that, by God, the Parliament will make mad work; that they will render all men incapable of any military or civil employment that have borne arms in the late troubles against the King, excepting some persons; which, if it be so, as I hope it is not, will give great cause of discontent, and I doubt will have but bad effects.
I left them at the Exchange and walked to Paul’s Churchyard to look upon a book or two, and so back, and thence to the Trinity House, and there dined, where, among other discourse worth hearing among the old seamen, they tell us that they have catched often in Greenland in fishing whales with the iron grapnells that had formerly been struck into their bodies covered over with fat; that they have had eleven hogsheads of oyle out of the tongue of a whale.
Thence after dinner home to my office, and there busy till the evening. Then home and to supper, and while at supper comes Mr. Pembleton, and after supper we up to our dancing room and there danced three or four country dances, and after that a practice of my coranto I began with him the other day, and I begin to think that I shall be able to do something at it in time. Late and merry at it, and so weary to bed.

the mad will render
a great green whale
into oil

the tongue of a whale
comes to dance
late and weary


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 6 May 1663.

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