All the morning at home. At noon Lieutenant Lambert came to me, and he and I to the Exchange, and thence to an ordinary over against it, where to our dinner we had a fellow play well upon the bagpipes and whistle like a bird exceeding well, and I had a fancy to learn to whistle as he do, and did promise to come some other day and give him an angell to teach me. To the office, and sat there all the afternoon till 9 at night. So home to my musique, and my wife and I sat singing in my chamber a good while together, and then to bed.

A lamb to change
into a bagpipe,
like angel to wife:
I sing in my chamber.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 17 May 1661.

Up early to see whether the work of my house be quite done, and I found it to my mind. Staid at home all the morning, and about 2 o’clock went in my velvet coat by water to the Savoy, and there, having staid a good while, I was called into the Lords, and there, quite contrary to my expectations, they did treat me very civilly, telling me that what they had done was out of zeal to the King’s service, and that they would joyne with the governors of the chest with all their hearts, since they knew that there was any, which they did not before. I give them very respectful answer and so went away to the Theatre, and there saw the latter end of “The Mayd’s Tragedy,” which I never saw before, and methinks it is too sad and melancholy.
Thence homewards, and meeting Mr. Creed I took him by water to the Wardrobe with me, and there we found my Lord newly gone away with the Duke of Ormond and some others, whom he had had to the collation; and so we, with the rest of the servants in the hall, sat down and eat of the best cold meats that ever I eat on in all my life.
From thence I went home (Mr. Moore with me to the waterside, telling me how kindly he is used by my Lord and my Lady since his coming hither as a servant), and to bed.

Early on, I found
in the velvet
water of melancholy
the best cold life.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 16 May 1661.

With my workmen all day till the afternoon, and then to the office, where Mr. Creed’s accounts were passed.
Home and found all my joyner’s work now done, but only a small job or two, which please me very well.
This afternoon there came two men with an order from a Committee of Lords to demand some books of me out of the office, in order to the examining of Mr. Hutchinson’s accounts, but I give them a surly answer, and they went away to complain, which put me into some trouble with myself, but I resolve to go to-morrow myself to these Lords and answer them.
To bed, being in great fear because of the shavings which lay all up and down the house and cellar, for fear of fire.

With my all-day joy
but a job, I order
books to put me
into fear of fire.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 15 May 1661.

Up early and by water to Whitehall to my Lord, and there had much talk with him about getting some money for him. He told me of his intention to get the Muster Master’s place for Mr. Pierce, the purser, who he has a mind to carry to sea with him, and spoke very slightingly of Mr. Creed, as that he had no opinion at all of him, but only he was forced to make use of him because of his present accounts. Thence to drink with Mr. Shepley and Mr. Pinkny, and so home and among my workmen all day. In the evening Mr. Shepley came to me for some money, and so he and I to the Mitre, and there we had good wine and a gammon of bacon. My uncle Wight, Mr. Talbot, and others were with us, and we were pretty merry. So at night home and to bed. Finding my head grow weak now-a-days if I come to drink wine, and therefore hope that I shall leave it off of myself, which I pray God I could do.

To talk about money
is to get a purse to carry sea.

I only work
for good bacon.

I find my head in wine
and therefore hope.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 14 May 1661.