(Whitsunday). The barber having done with me, I went to church, and there heard a good sermon of Mr. Mills, fit for the day. Then home to dinner, and then to church again, and going home I found Greatorex (whom I expected today at dinner) come to see me, and so he and I in my chamber drinking of wine and eating of anchovies an hour or two, discoursing of many things in mathematics, and among others he showed me how it comes to pass the strength that levers have, and he showed me that what is got as to matter of strength is lost by them as to matter of time.
It rained very hard, as it hath done of late so much that we begin to doubt a famine, and so he was forced to stay longer than I desired.
At night after prayers to bed.

An ill fit for the church
of mathematics am I.
Show me what is lost by doubt
or a long-desired night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 June 1661.

Having taken our leaves of Sir W. Batten and my Lady, who are gone this morning to keep their Whitsuntide, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Gauden by water to Woolwich, and there went from ship to ship to give order for and take notice of their forwardness to go forth, and then to Deptford and did the like, having dined at Woolwich with Captain Poole at the tavern there.
From Deptford we walked to Redriffe, calling at the half-way house, and there come into a room where there was infinite of new cakes placed that are made against Whitsuntide, and there we were very merry.
By water home, and there did businesses of the office. Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creeds of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed. Having wrote letters into the country and read some things I went to bed.

The tide went from ship to ship
like a captain at the tavern
calling at a room
where there was infinite cake—
water in the reeds,
a voyage into some bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 June 1661.

I went to my father’s thinking to have met with my cozen John Holcroft, but he came not, but to my great grief I found my father and mother in a great deal of discontent one with another, and indeed my mother is grown now so pettish that I know not how my father is able to bear with it. I did talk to her so as did not indeed become me, but I could not help it, she being so unsufferably foolish and simple, so that my father, poor man, is become a very unhappy man.
There I dined, and so home and to the office all the afternoon till 9 at night, and then home and to supper and to bed.
Great talk now how the Parliament intend to make a collection of free gifts to the King through the Kingdom; but I think it will not come to much.

My great grief
is an insufferably simple supper,
a rough kingdom.
It will not come
to much.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 31 May 1661.

To the Wardrobe and there, with my Lord, went into his new barge to try her, and found her a good boat, and like my Lord’s contrivance of the door to come out round and not square as they used to do. Back to the Wardrobe with my Lord, and then with Mr. Moore to the Temple, and thence to Greatorex, who took me to Arundell-House, and there showed me some fine flowers in his garden, and all the fine statues in the gallery, which I formerly had seen, and is a brave sight, and thence to a blind dark cellar, where we had two bottles of good ale, and so after giving him direction for my silver side-table, I took boat at Arundell stairs, and put in at Milford and there behind the door of the stairs shit, there being a house of office there.
So home and found Sir Williams both and my Lady going to Deptford to christen Captain Rooth’s child, and would have had me with them, but I could not go.
To the office, where Sir R. Slingsby was, and he and I into his and my lodgings to take a view of them, out of a desire he has to have mine of me to join to his, and give me Mr. Turner’s.
To the office again, where Sir G. Carteret came and sat a while, he being angry for Sir Williams making of the maisters of this fleet upon their own heads without a full table. Then the Comptroller and I to the Coffee House, and there sat a great while talking of many things.
So home and to bed.
This day, I hear, the Parliament have ordered a bill to be brought in for the restoring the Bishops to the House of Lords; which they had not done so soon but to spite Mr. Prin, who is every day so bitter against them in his discourse in the House.

The contrivance
of the door—square
and blind—and behind
the door the air
of office or lodgings
take a view of desire
and turn it into order,
which is so bitter
a house.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 30 May 1661.

(King’s birth-day). Rose early and having made myself fine, and put six spoons and a porringer of silver in my pocket to give away to-day, Sir W. Pen and I took coach, and (the weather and ways being foul) went to Walthamstowe; and being come there heard Mr. Radcliffe, my former school fellow at Paul’s (who is yet a mere boy), preach upon “Nay, let him take all, since my Lord the King is returned,” &c. He reads all, and his sermon very simple, but I looked for new matter. Back to dinner to Sir William Batten’s; and then, after a walk in the fine gardens, we went to Mrs. Browne’s, where Sir W. Pen and I were godfathers, and Mrs. Jordan and Shipman godmothers to her boy. And there, before and after the christening; we were with the woman above in her chamber; but whether we carried ourselves well or ill, I know not; but I was directed by young Mrs. Batten. One passage of a lady that eat wafers with her dog did a little displease me. I did give the midwife 10s. and the nurse 5s. and the maid of the house 2s. But for as much I expected to give the name to the child, but did not (it being called John), I forbore then to give my plate till another time after a little more advice.
All being done, we went to Mrs. Shipman’s, who is a great butter-woman, and I did see there the most of milk and cream, and the cleanest that ever I saw in my life. After we had filled our bellies with cream, we took our leaves and away. In our way, we had great sport to try who should drive fastest, Sir W. Batten’s coach, or Sir W. Pen’s chariott, they having four, and we two horses, and we beat them. But it cost me the spoiling of my clothes and velvet coat with dirt.
Being come home I to bed, and give my breeches to be dried by the fire against to-morrow.

I put six spoons
of silver in my pocket
and looked for dinner
in the garden and on my plate
till a great butter-woman
filled our bellies
with horses and with dirt.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 29 May 1661.