(Lord’s day). At home in bed all the morning to ease my late tumour, but up to dinner and much offended in mind at a proud trick my man Will hath got, to keep his hat on in the house, but I will not speak of it to him to-day; but I fear I shall be troubled with his pride and laziness, though in other things he is good enough. To church in the afternoon, where a sleepy Presbyter preached, and then to Sir W. Batten who is to go to Portsmouth to-morrow to wait upon the Duke of York, who goes to take possession and to set in order the garrison there. Supped at home and to bed.

A bed in
my mind,
a hat on the house:
I fear a good sleep.
It goes to take
possession and
to sup.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 20 October 1661.

At the office all the morning, and at noon Mr. Coventry, who sat with us all the morning, and Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Pen, and myself, by coach to Captain Marshe’s, at Limehouse, to a house that hath been their ancestors for this 250 years, close by the lime-house which gives the name to the place. Here they have a design to get the King to hire a dock for the herring busses, which is now the great design on foot, to lie up in. We had a very good and handsome dinner, and excellent wine. I not being neat in clothes, which I find a great fault in me, could not be so merry as otherwise, and at all times I am and can be, when I am in good habitt, which makes me remember my father Osborne’s rule for a gentleman to spare in all things rather than in that. So by coach home, and so to write letters by post, and so to bed.

The ancestors give us
a foot, a good hand,
a great fault, all.
I am born
to all things.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 19 October 1661.

To White Hall, to Mr. Montagu’s, where I met with Mr. Pierce, the purser, to advise about the things to be sent to my Lord for the Queen’s provision, and was cleared in it, and now there is all haste made, for the fleet’s going.
At noon to my Lord’s to dinner, and in the afternoon, leaving my wife there, Mr. Moore and I to Mrs. Goldsborough, who sent for a friend to meet with us, and so we were talking about the difference between us till 10 at night. I find it very troublesome, and have brought it into some hopes of an agreement, I offering to forgive her 10l. that is yet due according to my uncle’s accounts to us. So we left her friend to advise about it, and I hope to hear of her, for I would not by any means go to law with a woman of so devilish a tongue as she has.
So to my Lady’s, where I left my wife to lie with Mademoiselle all night, and I by link home and to bed. This night lying alone, and the weather cold, and having this last 7 or 8 days been troubled with a tumor in one of my stones which is now abated by a poultice of a good handful of bran with half a pint of vinegar and a pint of water boiled till it be thick, and then a spoonful of honey put to it and so spread in a cloth and laid to it, I first put on my waistcoat to lie in all night this year, and do not intend to put it off again till spring. I met with complaints at home that my wife left no victuals for them all this day.

My vision is going. I hear
a devilish tongue—
cold as a tumor,
vinegar boiled till thick.
I put on my coat
and do not put it off again till spring.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 18 October 1661.

At the office all the morning, at noon my wife being gone to my coz Snow’s with Dr. Thomas Pepys and my brother Tom to a venison pasty (which proved a pasty of salted pork); by appointment I went with Captain David Lambert to the Exchequer, and from thence by appointment he and I were to meet at a cook’s shop to dine. But before I went to him Captain Cock, a merchant I had not long known, took me to the Sun tavern and gave me a glass of sack, and being a man of great observation and repute, did tell me that he was confident that the Parliament, when it comes the next month to sit again, would bring trouble with it, and enquire how the King had disposed of offices and money, before they will raise more; which, I fear, will bring all things to ruin again. Thence to the Cook’s and there dined with Captain Lambert and his father-in-law, and had much talk of Portugall; from whence he is lately come, and he tells me it is a very poor dirty place; I mean the City and Court of Lisbon; that the King is a very rude and simple fellow; and, for reviling of somebody a little while ago, and calling of him cuckold, was run into … with a sword and had been killed, had he not told them that he was their king. That there are there no glass windows, nor will they have any; which makes sport among our merchants there to talk of an English factor that, being newly come thither, writ into England that glass would be a good commodity to send thither, &c. That the King has his meat sent up by a dozen of lazy guards and in pipkins, sometimes, to his own table; and sometimes nothing but fruits, and, now and then, half a hen. And now that the Infanta is become our Queen, she is come to have a whole hen or goose to her table, which is not ordinary. So home and to look over my papers that concern the difference between Mrs. Goldsborough and us; which cost me much pains, but contented me much after it was done. So at home all the evening and to supper and to bed.

In the glass city there are
no glass windows,
the king is kin to his own nothing
and the queen is a whole table:
so the difference between
gold and evening.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 October 1661.