Office day. This day comes news, by letters from Portsmouth, that the Princess Henrietta is fallen sick of the meazles on board the London, after the Queen and she was under sail. And so was forced to come back again into Portsmouth harbour; and in their way, by negligence of the pilot, run upon the Horse sand. The Queen and she continue aboard, and do not intend to come on shore till she sees what will become of the young Princess. This news do make people think something indeed, that three of the Royal Family should fall sick of the same disease, one after another. This morning likewise, we had order to see guards set in all the King’s yards; and so we do appoint who and who should go to them. Sir Wm. Batten to Chatham, Colonel Slingsby and I to Deptford and Woolwich. Portsmouth being a garrison, needs none.
Dined at home, discontented that my wife do not go neater now she has two maids. After dinner comes in Kate Sterpin (whom we had not seen a great while) and her husband to see us, with whom I staid a while, and then to the office, and left them with my wife.
At night walked to Paul’s Churchyard, and bespoke some books against next week, and from thence to the Coffeehouse, where I met Captain Morrice, the upholster, who would fain have lent me a horse to-night to have rid with him upon the Cityguards, with the Lord Mayor, there being some new expectations of these rogues; but I refused by reason of my going out of town tomorrow. So home to bed.

Mouth of the queen,
mouth of the horse—
what will become of
the young disease?
Like a sling,
a mouth needs content.
After dinner
comes a husband to a wife,
night to the coffeehouse,
a horse to a rogue.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 January 1660/61.

I couldn’t resist.

  • Deflesh them with bone knives.
  • Let the wolves and ravens deflesh them.
  • Gather them into skin bags and bury them under the hearth.
  • Feed them beer.
  • Dig them up every fall and dance with them.
  • Dig ditches around them so the uninitiated cannot get too close.
  • Build mounds over them so the otherworld can ascend and be closer to us.
  • Organize them by size and type.
  • Rearrange them into new, mash-up texts.
  • Break them so they will not follow us in our dreams.
  • Suck out the marrow so their spirits will protect us in our dreams.
  • Burn them and place them in jars of clay decorated with rows of pits, as from missing teeth.
  • Erect stones around them in a circle so they will remember us who stand in the light.

There comes Mr. Hawley to me and brings me my money for the quarter of a year’s salary of my place under Downing that I was at sea. So I did give him half, whereof he did in his nobleness give the odd 5s. to my Jane. So we both went forth (calling first to see how Sir W. Pen do, whom I found very ill), and at the Hoop by the bridge we drank two pints of wormwood and sack. Talking of his wooing afresh of Mrs. Lane, and of his going to serve the Bishop of London.
Thence by water to Whitehall, and found my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s. Leaving her to dine there, I went and dined with my Lady, and staid to talk a while with her.
After dinner Will comes to tell me that he had presented my piece of plate to Mr. Coventry, who takes it very kindly, and sends me a very kind letter, and the plate back again; of which my heart is very glad. So to Mrs. Hunt, where I found a Frenchman, a lodger of hers, at dinner, and just as I came in was kissing my wife, which I did not like, though there could not be any hurt in it.
Thence by coach to my Uncle Wight’s with my wife, but they being out of doors we went home, where, after I had put some papers in order and entered some letters in my book which I have a mind to keep, I went with my wife to see Sir W. Pen, who we found ill still, but he do make very much of it. Here we sat a great while, at last comes in Mr. Davis and his lady (who takes it very ill that my wife never did go to see her), and so we fell to talk. Among other things Mr. Davis told us the particular examinations of these Fanatiques that are taken: and in short it is this, of all these Fanatiques that have done all this, viz., routed all the Trainbands that they met with, put the King’s life-guards to the run, killed about twenty men, broke through the City gates twice; and all this in the day-time, when all the City was in arms; are not in all about 31. Whereas we did believe them (because they were seen up and down in every place almost in the City, and had been about Highgate two or three days, and in several other places) to be at least 500. A thing that never was heard of, that so few men should dare and do so much mischief. Their word was, “The King Jesus, and the heads upon the gates.” Few of them would receive any quarter, but such as were taken by force and kept alive; expecting Jesus to come here and reign in the world presently, and will not believe yet but their work will be carried on though they do die.
The King this day came to town.

A year at sea, and
the worm in my heart
is like a train through
a city I never heard of.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 January 1660/61.

  • Deflesh them with bone knives.
  • Let the wolves and ravens deflesh them.
  • Gather them into skin bags and bury them under the hearth.
  • Feed them beer.
  • Dig them up every fall and dance with them.
  • Dig ditches around them so the uninitiated cannot get too close.
  • Build mounds over them so the otherworld can ascend and be closer to us.
  • Organize them by size and type.
  • Rearrange them into new, mash-up ancestors.
  • Break them so they will not follow us in our dreams.
  • Suck out the marrow so their spirits will protect us in our dreams.
  • Burn them and place them in jars of clay decorated with rows of pits, as from missing teeth.
  • Erect stones around them in a circle so they will remember us who stand in the light.

Waked in the morning about six o’clock, by people running up and down in Mr. Davis’s house, talking that the Fanatiques were up in arms in the City. And so I rose and went forth; where in the street I found every body in arms at the doors. So I returned (though with no good courage at all, but that I might not seem to be afeared), and got my sword and pistol, which, however, I had no powder to charge; and went to the door, where I found Sir R. Ford, and with him I walked up and down as far as the Exchange, and there I left him. In our way, the streets full of Train-band, and great stories, what mischief these rogues have done; and I think near a dozen have been killed this morning on both sides. Seeing the city in this condition, the shops shut, and all things in trouble, I went home and sat, it being office day, till noon. So home, and dined at home, my father with me, and after dinner he would needs have me go to my uncle Wight’s (where I have been so long absent that I am ashamed to go). I found him at home and his wife, and I can see they have taken my absence ill, but all things are past and we good friends, and here I sat with my aunt till it was late, my uncle going forth about business. My aunt being very fearful to be alone. So home to my lute till late, and then to bed, there being strict guards all night in the City, though most of the enemies, they say, are killed or taken. This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

Arm in arm
go my sword and pistol

and walk up and down
full of mischief

as if they are friends
or fearful to be alone.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 January 1660/61.

My wife and I lay very long in bed to-day talking and pleasing one another in discourse. Being up, Mr. Warren came, and he and I agreed for the deals that my Lord is to have. Then Will and I to Westminster, where I dined with my Lady. After dinner I took my Lord Hinchinbroke and Mr. Sidney to the Theatre, and shewed them “The Widdow,” an indifferent good play, but wronged by the women being to seek in their parts. That being done, my Lord’s coach waited for us, and so back to my Lady’s, where she made me drink of some Florence wine, and did give me two bottles for my wife. From thence walked to my cozen Stradwick’s, and there chose a small banquet and some other things against our entertainment on Thursday next. Thence to Tom Pepys and bought a dozen of trenchers, and so home.
Some talk to-day of a head of Fanatiques that do appear about Barnett, but I do not believe it.
However, my Lord Mayor, Sir Richd. Browne, hath carried himself very honourably, and hath caused one of their meeting-houses in London to be pulled down.

In bed, the war and I
agree to wed—
a different drink for my wick.
I gain entertainment, a trench,
and some talk of head fanatic,
no honor—a hat
pulled down.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 January 1660/61.