Clarity

Up betimes, and shaved myself after a week’s growth, but, Lord! how ugly I was yesterday and how fine to-day! By water, seeing the City all the way, a sad sight indeed, much fire being still in. To Sir W. Coventry, and there read over my yesterday’s work: being a collection of the particulars of the excess of charge created by a war, with good content. Sir W. Coventry was in great pain lest the French fleete should be passed by our fleete, who had notice of them on Saturday, and were preparing to go meet them; but their minds altered, and judged them merchant-men, when the same day the Success, Captain Ball, made their whole fleete, and come to Brighthelmstone, and thence at five o’clock afternoon, Saturday, wrote Sir W. Coventry newes thereof; so that we do much fear our missing them. Here come in and talked with him Sir Thomas Clifford, who appears a very fine gentleman, and much set by at Court for his activity in going to sea, and stoutness everywhere, and stirring up and down. Thence by coach over the ruines, down Fleete Streete and Cheapside to Broad Streete to Sir G. Carteret, where Sir W. Batten (and Sir J. Minnes, whom I had not seen a long time before, being his first coming abroad) and Lord Bruncker passing his accounts. Thence home a little to look after my people at work and back to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner; and thence, after some discourse; with him upon our publique accounts, I back home, and all the day with Harman and his people finishing the hangings and beds in my house, and the hangings will be as good as ever, and particularly in my new closet. They gone and I weary, my wife and I, and Balty and his wife, who come hither to-day to helpe us, to a barrel of oysters I sent from the river today, and so to bed.

how ugly was yesterday
and how fine today

seeing with
our minds altered

and the bright sea stirring
up and down


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 September 1666.

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