Brain washing

Up, and all the morning at my office busy. At noon, it being washing day, I toward White Hall, and stopped and dined all alone at Hercules Pillars, where I was mighty pleased to overhear a woman talk to her counsel how she had troubled her neighbours with law, and did it very roguishly and wittily. Thence to White Hall, and there we attended the Duke of York as usual; and I did present Mrs. Pett, the widow, and her petition to the Duke of York, for some relief from the King. Here was to-day a proposition made to the Duke of York by Captain Von Hemskirke for 20,000l., to discover an art how to make a ship go two foot for one what any ship do now, which the King inclines to try, it costing him nothing to try; and it is referred to us to contract with the man. Thence to attend the Council about the business of certificates to the Exchequer, where the Commissioners of the Treasury of different minds, some would, and my Lord Ashly would not have any more made out, and carried it there should not.
After done here, and the Council up, I by water from the Privy-stairs to Westminster Hall; and, taking water, the King and the Duke of York were in the new buildings; and the Duke of York called to me whither I was going? and I answered aloud, “To wait on our maisters at Westminster;” at which he and all the company laughed; but I was sorry and troubled for it afterwards, for fear any Parliament-man should have been there; and will be a caution to me for the time to come. Met with Roger Pepys, who tells me they have been on the business of money, but not ended yet, but will take up more time. So to the fishmonger’s, and bought a couple of lobsters, and over to the ’sparagus garden, thinking to have met Mr. Pierce, and his wife and Knepp; but met their servant coming to bring me to Chatelin’s, the French house, in Covent Garden, and there with musick and good company, Manuel and his wife, and one Swaddle, a clerk of Lord Arlington’s, who dances, and speaks French well, but got drunk, and was then troublesome, and here mighty merry till ten at night, and then I away, and got a coach, and so home, where I find Balty and his wife come to town, and did sup with them, and so they to bed. This night the Duke of Monmouth and a great many blades were at Chatelin’s, and I left them there, with a hackney-coach attending him.

on washing day
I overhear a woman

talk of it costing nothing
to try on different minds

at which all
the company laughed

but I was troubled and bought
a couple of lobsters

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 22 April 1668

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