Gained in translation

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes and [Sir] W. Batten by barge to Deptford by eight in the morning, where to the King’s yard a little to look after business there, and then to a private storehouse to look upon some cordage of Sir W. Batten’s, and there being a hole formerly made for a drain for tarr to run into, wherein the barrel stood still, full of stinking water, Sir W. Batten did fall with one leg into it, which might have been very bad to him by breaking a leg or other hurt, but, thanks be to God, he only sprained his foot a little. So after his shifting his stockings at a strong water shop close by, we took barge again, and so to Woolwich, where our business was chiefly to look upon the ballast wharfe there, which is offered us for the King’s use to hire, but we do not think it worth the laying out much money upon, unless we could buy the fee-simple of it, which cannot be sold us, so we wholly flung it off. So to the Dockyard, and there staid a while talking about business of the yard, and thence to the Rope-yard, and so to the White Hart and there dined, and Captain Cocke with us, whom we found at the Rope-yard, and very merry at dinner, and many pretty tales of Sir J. Minnes, which I have entered in my tale book. But by this time Sir W. Batten was come to be in much pain in his foot, so as he was forced to be carried down in a chair to the barge again, and so away to Deptford, and there I a little in the yard, and then to Bagwell’s, where I find his wife washing, and also I did ‘hazer tout que je voudrais con’ her, and then sent for her husband, and discoursed of his going to Harwich this week to his charge of the new ship building there, which I have got him, and so away, walked to Redriffe, and there took boat and away home, and upon Tower Hill, near the ticket office, meeting with my old acquaintance Mr. Chaplin, the cheesemonger, and there fell to talk of news, and he tells me that for certain the King of France is denied passage with his army through Flanders, and that he hears that the Dutch do stand upon high terms with us, and will have a promise of not being obliged to strike the flag to us before they will treat with us, and other high things, which I am ashamed of and do hope will never be yielded to. That they do make all imaginable preparations, but that he believes they will be in mighty want of men; that the King of France do court us mightily. He tells me too that our Lord-Treasurer is going to lay down, and that Lord Arlington is to be Lord Treasurer, but I believe nothing of it, for he is not yet of estate visible enough to have the charge I suppose upon him. So being parted from him I home to the office, and after having done business there I home to supper, and there mightily pleased with my wife’s beginning the flagellette, believing that she will come to very well thereon. This day in the barge I took Berckenshaw’s translation of Alsted his Templum, but the most ridiculous book, as he has translated it, that ever I saw in my life, I declaring that I understood not three lines together from one end of the book to the other.

a barrel full of stinking water
on a barge going
to a new ship

I have translated my life in three lines


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 4 March 1667.

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