Up to Hinchingbroke, and there with Mr. Sheply did look all over the house, and I do, I confess, like well of the alteracions, and do like the staircase, but there being nothing to make the outside more regular and modern, I am not satisfied with it, but do think it to be too much to be laid out upon it. Thence with Sheply to Huntingdon to the Crown, and there did sit and talk, and eat a breakfast of cold roast beef, and so he to St. Ives Market, and I to Sir Robert Bernard’s for council, having a letter from my Lord Sandwich to that end. He do give it me with much kindness in appearance, and upon my desire do promise to put off my uncle’s admittance, if he can fairly, and upon the whole do make my case appear better to me than my cozen Roger did, but not so but that we are liable to much trouble, and that it will be best to come to an agreement if possible. With my mind here also pretty well to see things proceed so well I returned to Brampton, and spent the morning in looking over papers and getting my copies ready against to-morrow. So to dinner, and then to walk with my father and other business, when by and by comes in my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas to see us, and very calm they were and we to them. And after a short How do you, and drinking a cup of beer, they went away again, and so by and by my father and I to Mr. Phillips, and there discoursed with him in order to to-morrow’s business of the Court and getting several papers ready, when presently comes in my uncle Thomas and his son thither also, but finding us there I believe they were disappointed and so went forth again, and went to the house that Prior has lately bought of us (which was Barton’s) and there did make entry and forbade paying rent to us, as now I hear they have done everywhere else, and that that was their intent in coming to see us this day. I perceive most of the people that do deal with us begin to be afraid that their title to what they buy will not be good. Which troubled me also I confess a little, but I endeavoured to remove all as well as I could. Among other things they make me afraid that Barton was never admitted to that that my uncle bought of him, but I hope the contrary.
Thence home, and with my father took a melancholy walk to Portholme, seeing the country-maids milking their cows there, they being there now at grass, and to see with what mirth they come all home together in pomp with their milk, and sometimes they have musique go before them.
So back home again, and to supper, and in comes Piggott with a counterfeit bond which by agreement between us (though it be very just in itself) he has made, by which I shall lay claim to the interest of the mortgage money, and so waiting with much impatience and doubt the issue of to-morrow’s Court, I to bed, but hardly slept half an hour the whole night, my mind did so run with fears of to-morrow.

inching over the house like a staircase
the crow spent the morning
looking in on us
and our paper
our melancholy milk

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 13 October 1662.

2 Replies to “Surveillance”

  1. Dave, your erasure poems are great, sorry not to have said so before. Amazing how you manage to find so many new gems of thought from such a mass of old material. Like hundreds of new houses built from the stones of an old castle.

    Do you know Tom Phillips’ “A Humument”? I’m sure you do.

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