Pinched

Up, having slept well, and after entering my journal, to the office, where all the morning, but of late Sir W. Coventry hath not come to us, he being discouraged from the little we have to do but to answer the clamours of people for money. At noon home, and there dined with me my Lady Pen only and W. Hewer at a haunch of venison boiled, where pretty merry, only my wife vexed me a little about demanding money to go with my Lady Pen to the Exchange to lay out. I to the office, where all the afternoon and very busy and doing much business; but here I had a most eminent experience of the evil of being behindhand in business. I was the most backward to begin any thing, and would fain have framed to myself an occasion of going abroad, and should, I doubt, have done it, but some business coming in, one after another, kept me there, and I fell to the ridding away of a great deale of business, and when my hand was in it was so pleasing a sight to [see] my papers disposed of, and letters answered, which troubled my book and table, that I could have continued there with delight all night long, and did till called away by my Lady Pen and Pegg and my wife to their house to eat with them; and there I went, and exceeding merry, there being Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, and sits at table with my Lady. So mighty merry, home and to bed.
This day Sir W. Batten did show us at the table a letter from Sir T. Allen, which says that we have taken ten or twelve ships (since the late great expedition of burning their ships and towne), laden with hempe, flax, tarr, deales, &c. This was good newes; but by and by comes in Sir G. Carteret, and he asked us with full mouth what we would give for good newes. Says Sir W. Batten, “I have better than you, for a wager.” They laid sixpence, and we that were by were to give sixpence to him that told the best newes. So Sir W. Batten told his of the ten or twelve ships Sir G. Carteret did then tell us that upon the newes of the burning of the ships and towne the common people a Amsterdam did besiege De Witt’s house, and he was force to flee to the Prince of Orange, who is gone to Cleve to the marriage of his sister. This we concluded all the best newest and my Lord Bruncker and myself did give Sir G. Carteret our sixpence a-piece, which he did give Mr. Smith to give the poor. Thus we made ourselves mighty merry.

I slept backward
in a thin framed self

my hand bled

my book and table continued
all night to exceed me

my bed laden
as a full mouth

what would we give
for good news
for the poor


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 16 August 1666.

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