This morning I went early to the Comptroller’s and so with him by coach to Whitehall, to wait upon Mr. Coventry to give him an account of what we have done, which having done, I went away to wait upon my Lady; but coming to her lodgings I find that she is gone this morning to Chatham by coach, thinking to meet me there, which did trouble me exceedingly, and I did not know what to do, being loth to follow her, and yet could not imagine what she would do when she found me not there. In this trouble, I went to take a walk in Westminster Hall and by chance met with Mr. Child, who went forth with my Lady to-day, but his horse being bad, he come back again, which then did trouble me more, so that I did resolve to go to her; and so by boat home and put on my boots, and so over to Southwarke to the posthouse, and there took horse and guide to Dartford and thence to Rochester (I having good horses and good way, come thither about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o’clock and I set forth after two), where I found my Lady and her daughter Jem., and Mrs. Browne and five servants, all at a great loss, not finding me here, but at my coming she was overjoyed. The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown, and how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well and she him. In fine we supped merry and so to bed, there coming several of the Charles’s men to see me before, I got to bed. The page lay with me.

I went early, but find he is gone. I did not know what to do, being loath to follow, and yet—
a child went forth
on an unknown page.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 January 1660/61.

Up and down the yard all the morning and seeing the seamen exercise, which they do already very handsomely.
Then to dinner at Mr. Ackworth’s, where there also dined with us one Captain Bethell, a friend of the Comptroller’s. A good dinner and very handsome. After that and taking our leaves of the officers of the yard, we walked to the waterside and in our way walked into the rope-yard, where I do look into the tar-houses and other places, and took great notice of all the several works belonging to the making of a cable.
So after a cup of burnt wine at the tavern there, we took barge and went to Blackwall and viewed the dock and the new Wet dock, which is newly made there, and a brave new merchantman which is to be launched shortly, and they say to be called the Royal Oak.
Hence we walked to Dick-Shore, and thence to the Towre and so home. Where I found my wife and Pall abroad, so I went to see Sir W. Pen, and there found Mr. Coventry come to see him, and now had an opportunity to thank him, and he did express much kindness to me. I sat a great while with Sir Wm. after he was gone, and had much talk with him. I perceive none of our officers care much for one another, but I do keep in with them all as much as I can. Sir W. Pen is still very ill as when I went. Home, where my wife not yet come home, so I went up to put my papers in order, and then was much troubled my wife was not come, it being 10 o’clock just now striking as I write this last line.
This day I hear the Princess is recovered again. The King hath been this afternoon at Deptford, to see the yacht that Commissioner Pett is building, which will be very pretty; as also that that his brother at Woolwich is in making.
By and by comes in my boy and tells me that his mistress do lie this night at Mrs. Hunt’s, who is very ill, with which being something satisfied, I went to bed.

All morning seeing
the sea at work
making a new shore,
I press pen to paper
and write over
the afternoon lie.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 15 January 1660/61.

The arms being come this morning from the Tower, we caused them to be distributed. I spent much time walking with Lieutenant Lambert, walking up and down the yards, who did give me much light into things there, and so went along with me and dined with us. After dinner Mrs. Pett, her husband being gone this morning with Sir W. Batten to Chatham, lent us her coach, and carried us to Woolwich, where we did also dispose of the arms there and settle the guards. So to Mr. Pett’s, the shipwright, and there supped, where he did treat us very handsomely (and strange it is to see what neat houses all the officers of the King’s yards have), his wife a proper woman, and has been handsome, and yet has a very pretty hand.
Thence I with Mr. Ackworth to his house, where he has a very pretty house, and a very proper lovely woman to his wife, who both sat with me in my chamber, and they being gone, I went to bed, which was also most neat and fine.

Give me light
and a hat to dispose of it.
What neat houses
all the yards have!
As a pretty hand has
a pretty rope.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 January 1660/61.

In the morning we all went to church, and sat in the pew belonging to us, where a cold sermon of a young man that never had preached before. Here Commissioner Pett came with his wife and daughters, the eldest being his wife’s daughter is a very comely black woman. So to the Globe to dinner, and then with Commissioner Pett to his lodgings there (which he hath for the present while he is building the King’s yacht, which will be a pretty thing, and much beyond the Dutchman’s), and from thence with him and his wife and daughter-in-law by coach to Greenwich Church, where a good sermon, a fine church, and a great company of handsome women. After sermon to Deptford again; where, at the Commissioner’s and the Globe, we staid long. And so I to Mr. Davis’s to bed again. But no sooner in bed, but we had an alarm, and so we rose: and the Comptroller comes into the Yard to us; and seamen of all the ships present repair to us, and there we armed with every one a handspike, with which they were as fierce as could be. At last we hear that it was only five or six men that did ride through the guard in the town, without stopping to the guard that was there; and, some say, shot at them. But all being quiet there, we caused the seamen to go on board again: And so we all to bed (after I had sat awhile with Mr. Davis in his study, which is filled with good books and some very good song books) I likewise to bed.

I long for a black rose
in every hand,
fierce men that ride
without stopping,
a quiet study filled
with good books.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 January 1660/61.

With Colonel Slingsby and a friend of his, Major Waters (a deaf and most amorous melancholy gentleman, who is under a despayr in love, as the Colonel told me, which makes him bad company, though a most good- natured man), by water to Redriffe, and so on foot to Deptford (our servants by water), where we fell to choosing four captains to command the guards, and choosing the places where to keep them, and other things in order thereunto. We dined at the Globe, having our messenger with us to take care for us. Never till now did I see the great authority of my place, all the captains of the fleet coming cap in hand to us.
Having staid very late there talking with the Colonel, I went home with Mr. Davis, storekeeper (whose wife is ill and so I could not see her), and was there most prince-like lodged, with so much respect and honour that I was at a loss how to behave myself.

Waters deaf and most amorous
make bad company.
Water fell, choosing places to keep
with great authority.
Captains of the fleet
coming cap in hand
went home with a hose.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 January 1660/61.