Response

Waked betimes, mightily troubled in mind, and in the most true trouble that I ever was in my life, saving in the business last year of the East India prizes. So up, and with Mr. Hater and W. Hewer and Griffin to consider of our business, and books and papers necessary for this examination; and by and by, by eight o’clock, comes Birch, the first, with the lists and books of accounts delivered in. He calls me to work, and there he and I begun, when, by and by, comes Garraway, the first time I ever saw him, and Sir W. Thompson and Mr. Boscawen. They to it, and I did make shift to answer them better than I expected. Sir W. Batten, Lord Bruncker, W. Pen, come in, but presently went out; and J. Minnes come in, and said two or three words from the purpose, but to do hurt; and so away he went also, and left me all the morning with them alone to stand or fall. At noon Sir W. Batten comes to them to invite them (though fast day) to dinner, which they did, and good company they were, but especially Garraway. Here I have news brought me of my father’s coming to town, and I presently to him, glad to see him, poor man, he being come to town unexpectedly to see us and the city. I could not stay with him, but after dinner to work again, only the Committee and I, till dark night, and by that time they cast up all the lists, and found out what the medium of men was borne all the war, of all sorts, and ended with good peace, and much seeming satisfaction; but I find them wise and reserved, and instructed to hit all our blots, as among others, that we reckon the ships full manned from the beginning. They gone, and my heart eased of a great deale of fear and pain, and reckoning myself to come off with victory, because not overcome in anything or much foiled, I away to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, but he not within, then to White Hall, and there among the ladies, and saw my Lady Castlemaine never looked so ill, nor Mrs. Stewart neither, as in this plain, natural dress. I was not pleased with either of them. Away, not finding W. Coventry, and so home, and there find my father and my brother come to towne — my father without my expectation; but glad I am to see him. And so to supper with him, and to work again at the office; then home, to set up all my folio books, which are come home gilt on the backs, very handsome to the eye, and then at midnight to bed. This night W. Pen told me W. Batten swears he will have nothing to do with the Privateer if his son do not go Lieutenant, which angers me and him; but we will be even with him, one way or other.

true
in my hate

when I answer
the expected words
to unexpected hands

the eye will have nothing
to do with it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 October 1666.

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