Discharge

To my office for 20l. to carry to Mr. Downing, which I did and back again. Then came Mr. Frost to pay Mr. Downing his 500l., and I went to him for the warrant and brought it Mr. Frost. Called for some papers at Whitehall for Mr. Downing, one of which was an Order of the Council for 1800l. per annum, to be paid monthly; and the other two, Orders to the Commissioners of Customs, to let his goods pass free. Home from my office to my Lord’s lodgings where my wife had got ready a very fine dinner — viz. a dish of marrow bones; a leg of mutton; a loin of veal; a dish of fowl, three pullets, and two dozen of larks all in a dish; a great tart, a neat’s tongue, a dish of anchovies; a dish of prawns and cheese.
My company was my father, my uncle Fenner, his two sons, Mr. Pierce, and all their wives, and my brother Tom. We were as merry as I could frame myself to be in the company, W. Joyce talking after the old rate and drinking hard, vexed his father and mother and wife. And I did perceive that Mrs. Pierce her coming so gallant, that it put the two young women quite out of courage. When it became dark they all went away but Mr. Pierce, and W. Joyce, and their wives and Tom, and drank a bottle of wine afterwards, so that Will did heartily vex his father and mother by staying. At which I and my wife were much pleased. Then they all went and I fell to writing of two characters for Mr. Downing, and carried them to him at nine o’clock at night, and he did not like them but corrected them, so that to-morrow I am to do them anew.
To my Lord’s lodging again and sat by the great log, it being now a very good fire, with my wife, and ate a bit and so home.
The news this day is a letter that speaks absolutely Monk’s concurrence with this Parliament, and nothing else, which yet I hardly believe.
After dinner to-day my father showed me a letter from my Uncle Robert, in answer to my last, concerning my money which I would have out of my Coz. Beck’s hand, wherein Beck desires it four months longer, which I know not how to spare.

I went to war
and brought home
a dish of bones

and a tongue for the night
like a great fire

that speaks absolutely
nothing I believe


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 26 January 1659/60. See also the 2015 erasure, Skylark.

Revolutionary dawn

Sam Pepys and me

Called up early to Mr. Downing; he gave me a Character, such a one as my Lord’s, to make perfect, and likewise gave me his order for 500l. to carry to Mr. Frost, which I did and so to my office, where I did do something about the character till twelve o’clock. Then home find found my wife and the maid at my Lord’s getting things ready against to-morrow. I went by water to my Uncle White’s to dinner, where I met my father, where we alone had a fine jole of Ling to dinner. After dinner I took leave, and coming home heard that in Cheapside there had been but a little before a gibbet set up, and the picture of Huson hung upon it in the middle of the street. I called at Paul’s Churchyard, where I bought Buxtorf’s Hebrew Grammar; and read a declaration of the gentlemen of Northampton which came out this afternoon. Thence to my father’s, where I staid with my mother a while and then to Mr. Crew’s about a picture to be sent into the country, of Mr. Thomas Crew, to my Lord. So [to] my Lady Wright to speak with her, but she was abroad, so Mr. Evans, her butler, had me into his buttery, and gave me sack and a lesson on his lute, which he played very well. Thence I went to my Lord’s and got most things ready against tomorrow, as fires and laying the cloth, and my wife was making of her tarts and larding of her pullets till eleven o’clock. This evening Mr. Downing sent for me, and gave me order to go to Mr. Jessop for his papers concerning his dispatch to Holland which were not ready, only his order for a ship to transport him he gave me. To my Lord’s again and so home with my wife, tired with this day’s work.

frost white on a gibbet
set up in the street

picture a peak
red with work


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 25 January 1659/60. (See the original erasure.)

Alarming

Sam Pepys and me

In the morning to my office, where, after I had drank my morning draft at Will’s with Ethell and Mr. Stevens, I went and told part of the excise money till twelve o’clock, and then called on my wife and took her to Mr. Pierces, she in the way being exceedingly troubled with a pair of new pattens, and I vexed to go so slow, it being late. There when we came we found Mrs. Carrick very fine, and one Mr. Lucy, who called one another husband and wife, and after dinner a great deal of mad stir. There was pulling off Mrs. bride’s and Mr. bridegroom’s ribbons; with a great deal of fooling among them that I and my wife did not like. Mr. Lucy and several other gentlemen coming in after dinner, swearing and singing as if they were mad, only he singing very handsomely. There came in afterwards Mr. Southerne, clerk to Mr. Blackburne, and with him Lambert, lieutenant of my Lord’s ship, and brought with them the declaration that came out to-day from the Parliament, wherein they declare for law and gospel, and for tythes; but I do not find people apt to believe them.
After this taking leave I went to my father’s, and my wife staying there, he and I went to speak with Mr. Crumlum (in the meantime, while it was five o’clock, he being in the school, we went to my cozen Tom Pepys’ shop, the turner in Paul’s Churchyard, and drank with him a pot of ale); he gave my father directions what to do about getting my brother an exhibition, and spoke very well of my brother.
Thence back with my father home, where he and I spoke privately in the little room to my sister Pall about stealing of things as my wife’s scissars and my maid’s book, at which my father was much troubled.
Hence home with my wife and so to Whitehall, where I met with Mr. Hunt and Luellin, and drank with them at Marsh’s, and afterwards went up and wrote to my Lord by the post.
This day the Parliament gave order that the late Committee of Safety should come before them this day se’nnight, and all their papers, and their model of Government that they had made, to be brought in with them. So home and talked with my wife about our dinner on Thursday.

morning after morning
the old clock with
a new mad stir

the room’s fool
coming to burn my ship
and I am ok with it

as if a book
met with a committee
of paper


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 24 January 1659/60.

Omnivore’s dilemma

Sam Pepys and me

In the morning called out to carry 20l. to Mr. Downing, which I did and came back, and finding Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, I took him to the Axe and gave him his morning draft. Thence to my office and there did nothing but make up my balance. Came home and found my wife dressing of the girl’s head, by which she was made to look very pretty. I went out and paid Wilkinson what I did owe him, and brought a piece of beef home for dinner. Thence I went out and paid Waters, the vintner, and went to see Mrs. Jem, where I found my Lady Wright, but Scott was so drunk that he could not be seen. Here I staid and made up Mrs. Ann’s bills, and played a game or two at cards, and thence to Westminster Hall, it being very dark. I paid Mrs. Michell, my bookseller, and back to Whitehall, and in the garden, going through to the Stone Gallery I fell into a ditch, it being very dark. At the Clerk’s chamber I met with Simons and Luellin, and went with them to Mr. Mount’s chamber at the Cock Pit, where we had some rare pot venison, and ale to abundance till almost twelve at night, and after a song round we went home. This day the Parliament sat late, and resolved of the declaration to be printed for the people’s satisfaction, promising them a great many good things.

an urge to dress
as a piece of beef

but not be seen
dark into dark

at twelve at night
people eat
many things


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 January 1659/60. (See the 2015 erasure, which barely differed from the original erasure—arguably my first successful erasure poem!)

Watcher

Sam Pepys and me

I went in the morning to Mr. Messum’s, where I met with W. Thurburn and sat with him in his pew. A very eloquent sermon about the duty of all to give good example in our lives and conversation, which I fear he himself was most guilty of not doing. After sermon, at the door by appointment my wife met me, and so to my father’s to dinner, where we had not been to my shame in a fortnight before. After dinner my father shewed me a letter from Mr. Widdrington, of Christ’s College, in Cambridge, wherein he do express very great kindness for my brother, and my father intends that my brother shall go to him.
To church in the afternoon to Mr. Herring, where a lazy poor sermon. And so home with Mrs. Turner and sitting with her a while we went to my father’s where we supt very merry, and so home. This day I began to put on buckles to my shoes, which I have bought yesterday of Mr. Wotton.

we burn
all our lives
at the door to night

where I sit
with my father’s
shoes on


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 22 January 1659/60. (See also the 2015 erasure.)

Invested

Sam Pepys and me

Up early in finishing my accounts and writing to my Lord and from thence to my Lord’s and took leave of Mr. Sheply and possession of all the keys and the house. Thence to my office for some money to pay Mr. Sheply and sent it him by the old man. I then went to Mr. Downing who chid me because I did not give him notice of some of his guests failed him but I told him that I sent our porter to tell him and he was not within, but he told me that he was within till past twelve o’clock. So the porter or he lied. Thence to my office where nothing to do. Then with Mr. Hawly, he and I went to Mr. Crew’s and dined there. Thence into London, to Mr. Vernon’s and I received my 25l. due by bill for my troopers’ pay. Then back again to Steadman’s at the Mitre, in Fleet-street, in our way calling on Mr. Fage, who told me how the City have some hopes of Monk. Thence to the Mitre, where I drank a pint of wine, the house being in fitting for Banister to come hither from Paget’s. Thence to Mrs. Jem and gave her 5l.. So home and left my money and to Whitehall where Luellin and I drank and talked together an hour at Marsh’s and so up to the clerks’ room, where poor Mr. Cook, a black man, that is like to be put out of his clerk’s place, came and railed at me for endeavouring to put him out and get myself in, when I was already in a good condition. But I satisfied him and after I had wrote a letter there to my Lord, wherein I gave him an account how this day Lenthall took his chair again, and resolved a declaration to be brought in on Monday next to satisfy the world what they intend to do. So home and to bed.

in my possession
all the keys but no lock

I received my pay
I have some hopes

the wine and I together
solve Monday


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 January 1659/60.

After work

In the morning I went to Mr. Downing’s bedside and gave him an account what I had done as to his guests, and I went thence to my Lord Widdrington who I met in the street, going to seal the patents for the judges to-day, and so could not come to dinner. I called upon Mr. Calthrop about the money due to my Lord. Here I met with Mr. Woodfine and drank with him at the Sun in Chancery Lane and so to Westminster Hall, where at the lobby I spoke with the rest of my guests and so to my office. At noon went by water with Mr. Maylard and Hales to the Swan in Fish Street at our Goal Feast, where we were very merry at our Jole of Ling, and from thence after a great and good dinner Mr. Falconberge would go drink a cup of ale at a place where I had like to have shot at a scholar that lay over the house of office.
Thence calling on Mr. Stephens and Wootton (with whom I drank) about business of my Lord’s I went to the Coffee Club where there was nothing done but choosing of a Committee for orders. Thence to Westminster Hall where Mrs. Lane and the rest of the maids had their white scarfs, all having been at the burial of a young bookseller in the Hall. Thence to Mr. Sheply’s and took him to my house and drank with him in order to his going to-morrow. So parted and I sat up late making up my accounts before he go.
This day three citizens of London went to meet Monk from the Common Council.

going to sea with the sun
west of my office

I drink like a scholar
at the burial of a book


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 January 1659/60, a revision of this erasure.

Interior

Sam Pepys and me

This morning I was sent for to Mr. Downing, and at his bed side he told me, that he had a kindness for me, and that he thought that he had done me one; and that was, that he had got me to be one of the Clerks of the Council; at which I was a little stumbled, and could not tell what to do, whether to thank him or no; but by and by I did; but not very heartily, for I feared that his doing of it was but only to ease himself of the salary which he gives me.
After that Mr. Sheply staying below all this time for me we went thence and met Mr. Pierce, so at the Harp and Ball drank our morning draft and so to Whitehall where I met with Sir Ant. Cooper and did give him some answer from my Lord and he did give us leave to keep the lodgings still. And so we did determine thereupon that Mr. Sheply might now go into the country and would do so to-morrow.
Back I went by Mr. Downing’s order and staid there till twelve o’clock in expectation of one to come to read some writings, but he came not, so I staid all alone reading the answer of the Dutch Ambassador to our State, in answer to the reasons of my Lord’s coming home, which he gave for his coming, and did labour herein to contradict my Lord’s arguments for his coming home. Thence to my office and so with Mr. Sheply and Moore, to dine upon a turkey with Mrs. Jem, and after that Mr. Moore and I went to the French Ordinary, where Mr. Downing this day feasted Sir Arth. Haselrigge, and a great many more of the Parliament, and did stay to put him in mind of me. Here he gave me a note to go and invite some other members to dinner tomorrow. So I went to White Hall, and did stay at Marsh’s, with Simons, Luellin, and all the rest of the Clerks of the Council, who I hear are all turned out, only the two Leighs, and they do all tell me that my name was mentioned the last night, but that nothing was done in it.
Hence I went and did leave some of my notes at the lodgings of the members and so home. To bed.

in the heart of the country
we expect no ambassador

coming here
is coming home
to ore and the ordinary feast

I am put in mind of a marsh
with all the night in it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 19 January 1659/60, a revision of this erasure from 2015.

Autocrat

To my office and from thence to Will’s, and there Mr. Sheply brought me letters from the carrier and so I went home. After that to Wilkinson’s, where we had a dinner for Mr. Talbot, Adams, Pinkny and his son, but his son did not come. Here we were very merry, and while I was here Mr. Fuller came thither and staid a little, while. After that we all went to my Lord’s, whither came afterwards Mr. Harrison, and by chance seeing Mr. Butler coming by I called him in and so we sat drinking a bottle of wine till night. At which time Mistress Ann came with the key of my Lord’s study for some things, and so we all broke up and after I had gone to my house and interpreted my Lord’s letter by his character I came to her again and went with her to her lodging and from thence to Mr. Crew’s, where I advised with him what to do about my Lord’s lodgings and what answer to give to Sir Ant. Cooper and so I came home and to bed.
All the world is at a loss to think what Monk will do: the City saying that he will be for them, and the Parliament saying he will be for them.

at dinner I am king
a bottle of mist

the key
to an ant city

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 18 January 1659/60.

Ungodly

Sam Pepys and me

Early I went to Mr. Crew’s, and having given Mr. Edward money to give the servants, I took him into the coach that waited for us and carried him to my house, where the coach waited for me while I and the child went to Westminster Hall, and bought him some pictures. In the Hall I met Mr. Woodfine, and took him to Will’s and drank with him. Thence the child and I to the coach, where my wife was ready, and so we went towards Twickenham. In our way, at Kensington we understood how that my Lord Chesterfield had killed another gentleman about half an hour before, and was fled. We went forward and came about one of the clock to Mr. Fuller’s, but he was out of town, so we had a dinner there, and I gave the child 40s. to give to the two ushers.
After that we parted and went homewards, it being market day at Brainford. I set my wife down and went with the coach to Mr. Crew’s, thinking to have spoke with Mr. Moore and Mrs. Jane, he having told me the reason of his melancholy was some unkindness from her after so great expressions of love, and how he had spoke to her friends and had their consent, and that he would desire me to take an occasion of speaking with her, but by no means not to heighten her discontent or distaste whatever it be, but to make it up if I can.
But he being out of doors, I went away and went to see Mrs. Jem, who was now very well again, and after a game or two at cards, I left her. So I went to the Coffee Club, and heard very good discourse; it was in answer to Mr. Harrington’s answer, who said that the state of the Roman government was not a settled government, and so it was no wonder that the balance of propriety was in one hand, and the command in another, it being therefore always in a posture of war; but it was carried by ballot, that it was a steady government, though it is true by the voices it had been carried before that it was an unsteady government; so to-morrow it is to be proved by the opponents that the balance lay in one hand, and the government in another.
Thence I went to Westminster, and met Shaw and Washington, who told me how this day Sydenham was voted out of the House for sitting any more this Parliament, and that Salloway was voted out likewise and sent to the Tower, during the pleasure of the House.
Home and wrote by the Post, and carried to Whitehall, and coming back turned in at Harper’s, where Jack Price was, and I drank with him and he told me, among other, things, how much the Protector is altered, though he would seem to bear out his trouble very well, yet he is scarce able to talk sense with a man; and how he will say that “Who should a man trust, if he may not trust to a brother and an uncle;” and “how much those men have to answer before God Almighty, for their playing the knave with him as they did.” He told me also, that there was; 100,000l. offered, and would have been taken for his restitution, had not the Parliament come in as they did again; and that he do believe that the Protector will live to give a testimony of his valour and revenge yet before he dies, and that the Protector will say so himself sometimes.
Thence I went home, it being late and my wife in bed.

where the wood stood
a field full of rain
speaking without voices

I sit like a harp
before God Almighty
playing for time

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 January 1659/60.