Under/standing

(Lord’s day). Lay long, my pain in my back being still great, though not so great as it was. However, up and to church, where a lazy sermon, and then home and to dinner, my wife and I alone and Barker. After dinner, by water — the day being mighty pleasant, and the tide serving finely, I up (reading in Boyle’s book of colours), as high as Barne Elmes, and there took one turn alone, and then back to Putney Church, where I saw the girls of the schools, few of which pretty; and there I come into a pew, and met with little James Pierce, which I was much pleased at, the little rogue being very glad to see me: his master, Reader to the Church. Here was a good sermon and much company, but I sleepy, and a little out of order, for my hat falling down through a hole underneath the pulpit, which, however, after sermon, by a stick, and the helpe of the clerke, I got up again, and then walked out of the church with the boy, and then left him, promising him to get him a play another time. And so by water, the tide being with me again, down to Deptford, and there I walked down the Yard, Shish and Cox with me, and discoursed about cleaning of the wet docke, and heard, which I had before, how, when the docke was made, a ship of near 500 tons was there found; a ship supposed of Queene Elizabeth’s time, and well wrought, with a great deal of stoneshot in her, of eighteen inches diameter, which was shot then in use: and afterwards meeting with Captain Perriman and Mr. Castle at Half- way Tree, they tell me of stoneshot of thirty-six inches diameter, which they shot out of mortarpieces. Thence walked to Half-way Tree, and there stopt and talk with Mr. Castle and Captain Perriman, and so to Redriffe and took boat again, and so home, and there to write down my Journall, and so to supper and to read, and so to bed, mightily pleased with my reading of Boyle’s book of colours to-day, only troubled that some part of it, indeed the greatest part, I am not able to understand for want of study. My wife this night troubled at my leaving her alone so much and keeping her within doors, which indeed I do not well nor wisely in.

in my sleep I fall
through a hole
underneath the pulpit

and into a tree
which they took to be
a book of great art

I am not able to under-
stand or study
alone indoors


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 April 1667.

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