The first rose

A little meeting at the office by Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Pen, and myself, being the first since the fire. We rose soon, and comes Sir W. Warren, by our desire, and with Sir W. Pen and I talked of our Scotch motion, which Sir W. Warren did seem to be stumbled at, and did give no ready answer, but proposed some thing previous to it, which he knows would find us work, or writing to Mr. Pett to be informed how matters go there as to cost and ways of providing sawyers or saw-mills. We were parted without coming to any good resolution in it, I discerning plainly that Sir W. Warren had no mind to it, but that he was surprised at our motion. He gone, I to some office business, and then home to dinner, and then to office again, and then got done by night the lists that are to be presented to the Parliament Committee of the ships, number of men, and time employed since the war, and then I with it (leaving my wife at Unthanke’s) to St. James’s, where Sir W. Coventry staid for me, and I perused our lists, and find to our great joy that wages, victuals, wear and tear, cast by the medium of the men, will come to above 3,000,000; and that the extraordinaries, which all the world will allow us, will arise to more than will justify the expence we have declared to have been at since the war, viz., 320,000l., he and I being both mightily satisfied, he saying to me, that if God send us over this rub we must take another course for a better Comptroller. So parted, and I to my wife, who staid for the finishing her new best gowne (the best that ever I made her) coloured tabby, flowered, and so took it and her home; and then I to my people, and having cut them out a little more work than they expected, viz., the writing over the lists in new method, I home to bed, being in good humour, and glad of the end we have brought this matter to.

the first rose
to rise perused
our joy, wages,
wear and tear

the war that we take for
a better red flower

the cut-over bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 29 September 1666.

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