The new Book of the Dead

Up and to my chamber; there did some business and then to my office, and towards noon by water to the Exchequer about my Tangier order, and thence back again and to the Exchange, where little newes but what is in the book, and, among other things, of a man sent up for by the King and Council for saying that Sir W. Coventry did give intelligence to the Dutch of all our matters here. I met with Colvill, and he and I did agree about his lending me 1000l. upon a tally of 1000l. for Tangier. Thence to Sympson, the joyner, and I am mightily pleased with what I see of my presses for my books, which he is making for me. So homeward, and hear in Fanchurch-streete, that now the mayde also is dead at Mr. Rawlinson’s; so that there are three dead in all, the wife, a man-servant, and mayde-servant. Home to dinner, where sister Balty dined with us, and met a letter come to me from him. He is well at Harwich, going to the fleete. After dinner to the office, and anon with my wife and sister abroad, left them in Paternoster Row, while Creed, who was with me at the office, and I to Westminster; and leaving him in the Strand, I to my Lord Chancellor’s, and did very little business, and so away home by water, with more and more pleasure, I every time reading over my Lord Bacon’s “Faber Fortunae.” So home, and there did little business, and then walked an hour talking of sundry things in the garden, and find him a cunning knave, as I always observed him to be, and so home to supper, and to bed. Pleased that this day I find, if I please, I can have all my money in that I have out of my hands, but I am at a loss whether to take it in or no, and pleased also to hear of Mrs. Barbara Sheldon’s good fortune, who is like to have Mr. Woods son, the mast-maker, a very rich man, and to be married speedily, she being already mighty fine upon it.

in the new Book
of the Dead

there is no ice
or chance

more and more sin
and sun

and hands
at a loss

whether to take it in
like a woods


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 10 August 1666.

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