Settling

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Up, and all the morning we met at the office about the Victualler’s contract. At noon home to dinner, my Cozen Roger, come newly to town, dined with us, and mighty importunate for our coming down to Impington, which I think to do, this Sturbridge fair. Thence I set him down at the Temple, and Commissioner Middleton dining the first time with me, he and I to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, where we met; and much business with the Duke of York. And I find the Duke of York very hot for regulations in the Navy; and, I believe, is put on it by W. Coventry; and I am glad of it; and particularly, he falls heavy on Chatham-yard, and is vexed that Lord Anglesey did, the other day, complain at the Council-table of disorders in the Navy, and not to him. So I to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier; and there vexed, with the importunity and clamours of Alderman Backewell, for my acquittance for money supplied by him to the garrison, before I have any order for paying it: so home, calling at several places — among others, the ’Change, and on Cooper, to know when my wife shall come to sit for her picture, which will be next week, and so home and to walk with my wife, and then to supper and to bed.

all morning
we met anew

coming down into this temple
of falls and clamors

before I know
it will be next week

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 1 July 1668

Spoilage

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and at the Office all the morning: then home to dinner, where a stinking leg of mutton, the weather being very wet and hot to keep meat in. Then to the Office again, all the afternoon: we met about the Victualler’s new contract. And so up, and to walk all the evening with my wife and Mrs. Turner in the garden, till supper, about eleven at night; and so, after supper, parted, and to bed, my eyes bad, but not worse, only weary with working. But, however, I very melancholy under the fear of my eyes being spoiled, and not to be recovered; for I am come that I am not able to read out a small letter, and yet my sight good for the little while I can read, as ever they were, I think.

the stinking mutt being wet
we met to walk

all evening my eyes
weary with work

under the fear of spoil
my forever ink

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 30 June 1668

Second sight

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Called up by my Lady Peterborough’s servant about some business of hers, and so to the office. Thence by and by with Sir J. Minnes toward St. James’s, and I stop at Dr. Turberville’s, and there did receive a direction for some physic, and also a glass of something to drop into my eyes: who gives me hopes that I may do well. Thence to St. James’s, and thence to White Hall, where I find the Duke of York in the Council-chamber; where the Officers of the Navy were called in about Navy business, about calling in of more ships; the King of France having, as the Duke of York says, ordered his fleete to come in, notwithstanding what he had lately ordered for their staying abroad. Thence to the Chapel, it being St. Peter’s day, and did hear an anthem of Silas Taylor’s making; a dull, old-fashioned thing, of six and seven parts, that nobody could understand: and the Duke of York, when he come out, told me that he was a better store-keeper than anthem-maker, and that was bad enough, too. This morning Mr. May shewed me the King’s new buildings at White Hall, very fine; and among other things, his ceilings, and his houses of office. So home to dinner, and then with my wife to the King’s playhouse — “The Mulberry Garden,” which she had not seen. So by coach to Islington, and round by Hackney home with much pleasure, and to supper and bed.

my glass eye
gives me hope

that I may find no dull
old-fashioned thing

that nobody
could unsee

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 29 June 1668

The captain’s verse

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(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, and then home to dinner, where Betty Turner, Mercer, and Captain Deane, and after dinner to sing, Mr. Pelling coming. Then, they gone, Deane and I all the afternoon till night to talk of navy matters and ships with great pleasure, and so at night, he gone, I to supper, Pelling coming again and singing a while, then to bed.
Much talk of the French setting out their fleete afresh; but I hear nothing that our King is alarmed at it, at all, but rather making his fleete less.

I turn captain
of a ship at night
gone again to bed
setting out afresh
in our armed fleet

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 June 1668

Billionaires in space

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

At the office all the morning, at noon dined at home, and then my wife, and Deb., and I to the Kings playhouse, and saw “The Indian Queene,” but do not doat upon Nan Marshall’s acting therein, as the world talks of her excellence therein. Thence with my wife to buy some linnen, 13l. worth, for sheets, &c., at the new shop over against the New Exchange; come out of London since the fire, says his and other tradesmen’s retail trade is so great here, and better than it was in London, that they believe they shall not return, nor the city be ever so great for retail as heretofore. So home and to my business, and to bed.

if kings play Indian
on Mars

as the world on fire says
trade is great

better that they believe
they shall not return

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 27 June 1668

Ingrained

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All the morning doing business at the office. At noon, with my Fellow-Officers, to the Dolphin, at Sir G. Carteret’s charge, to dinner, he having some accounts examined this morning. All the afternoon we all at Sir W. Pen’s with him about the Victuallers’ accounts, and then in the evening to Charing Cross, and there took up my wife at her tailor’s, and so home and to walk in the garden, and then to sup and to bed.

morning
sex

afternoon
accounts

evening
cross

too at home
to walk

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 26 June 1668

One-eyed rat

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Up, and to the office all the morning, and after dinner at home to the office again, and there all the afternoon very busy till night, and then home to supper and to bed.

morning-after rat
to the office again

real till night
and the upper bed

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 25 June 1668

Visitant

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Up, and Creed and Colonell Atkins come to me about sending coals to Tangier: and upon that most of the morning. Thence Creed and I to Alderman Backewell’s about Tangier business of money, and thence I by water (calling and drinking, but not baisado, at Michell’s) to Westminster, but it being holyday did no business, only to Martin’s, and there yo did hazer la cosa con her; and so home again by water, and busy till dinner, and then with wife, Mercer, Deb., and W. Hewer to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “The Impertinents,” a pretty good play; and so by water to Spring Garden, and there supped, and so home, not very merry, only when we come home, Mercer and I sat and sung in the garden a good while, and so to bed.

holy
only to the haze
sun in the garden

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 24 June 1668

E.D.

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner, and so to the office again all the afternoon, and then to Westminster to Dr. Turberville about my eyes, whom I met with: and he did discourse, I thought, learnedly about them; and takes time before he did prescribe me any thing, to think of it. So I away with my wife and Deb., whom I left at Unthanke’s, and so to Hercules Pillars, and there we three supped on cold powdered beef, and thence home and in the garden walked a good while with Deane, talking well of the Navy miscarriages and faults. So home to bed.

no me to my yes
I thought learnedly

take time to think
whom I thank

oh pill
the cold red beef ages me

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 23 June 1668

Mandatory fun

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Up, and with Balty to St. James’s, and there presented him to Mr. Wren about his being Muster-Master this year, which will be done. So up to wait on the Duke of York, and thence, with W. Coventry, walked to White Hall good discourse about the Navy, where want of money undoes us. Thence to the Harp and Ball I to drink, and so to the Coffee-house in Covent Garden; but met with nobody but Sir Philip Howard, who shamed me before the whole house there, in commendation of my speech in Parliament, and thence I away home to dinner alone, my wife being at her tailor’s, and after dinner comes Creed, whom I hate, to speak with me, and before him comes Mrs. Daniel about business and yo did tocar su cosa with mi mano. She gone, Creed and I to the King’s playhouse, and saw an act or two of the new play again, but like it not. Calling this day at Herringman’s, he tells me Dryden do himself call it but a fifth-rate play. Thence with him to my Lord Brouncker’s, where a Council of the Royall Society; and there heard Mr. Harry Howard’s noble offers about ground for our College, and his intentions of building his own house there most nobly. My business was to meet Mr. Boyle, which I did, and discoursed about my eyes; and he did give me the best advice he could, but refers me to one Turberville, of Salsbury, lately come to town, which I will go to. Thence home, where the streets full, at our end of the town, removing their wine against the Act begins, which will be two days hence, to raise the price. I did get my store in of Batelier this night. So home to supper and to bed.

must I drink coffee
if I hate to speak

like a dry ground and the streets
full of wine

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 22 June 1668