Night watchman

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Up, and Sir D. Gawden with me betimes to confer again about this business, and he gone I all the morning finishing our answer, which I did by noon, and so to dinner, and W. Batelier with me, who is lately come from Impington, beyond which I perceive he went not, whatever his pretence at first was; and so he tells me how well and merry all are there, and how nobly used by my cozen.
He gone, after dinner I to work again, and Gibson having wrote our answer fair and got Brouncker and the rest to sign it, I by coach to White Hall to the Committee of the Council, which met late, and Brouncker and J. Minnes with me, and there the Duke of York present (but not W. Coventry, who I perceive do wholly avoid to have to do publickly in this business, being shy of appearing in any Navy business, which I telling him the other day that I thought the King might suffer by it, he told me that the occasion is now so small that it cannot be fatal to the service, and for the present it is better for him not to appear, saying that it may fare the worse for his appearing in it as things are now governed), where our answer was read and debated, and some hot words between the Duke of York and Sir T. Clifford, the first for and the latter against Gawden, but the whole put off to to-morrow’s Council, for till the King goes out of town the next week the Council sits every day. So with the Duke of York and some others to his closet, and Alderman Backewell about a Committee of Tangier, and there did agree upon a price for pieces of eight at 4s. 6d. Present the Duke of York, Arlington, Berkeley, Sir J. Minnes, and myself. They gone, the Duke of York did tell me how hot Clifford is for Child, and for removing of old Officers, he saying plainly to-night, that though D. Gawden was a man that had done the best service that he believed any man, or any ten men, could have done, yet that it was for the King’s interest not to let it lie too long in one hand, lest nobody should be able to serve him but one. But the Duke of York did openly tell him that he was not for removing of old servants that have done well, neither in this place, nor in any other place, which is very nobly said. It being 7 or 8 at night, I home with Backewell by coach, and so walked to D. Gawden’s, but he not at home, and so back to my chamber, the boy to read to me, and so to supper and to bed.

how small are our words
against the whole night

do not lie too long
in one place at night

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 25 September 1668

Time change

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Up betimes and Sir D. Gawden with me, and I told him all, being very desirous for the King’s sake, as well as my own, that he may be kept in it, and after consulting him I to the Office, where we met again and spent most of the morning about this business, and no other, and so at noon home to dinner, and then close with Mr. Gibson till night, drawing up our answer, which I did the most part by seven at night, and so to Lord Brouncker and the rest at his lodgings to read it, and they approved of it. So back home to supper, and made my boy read to me awhile, and then to bed.

old as my own hat
the morning at noon

me and the night
drawing up our unrest

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 24 September 1668

Mist take

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At my office busy all the morning. At noon comes Mr. Evelyn to me, about some business with the Office, and there in discourse tells me of his loss, to the value of 500l., which he hath met with, in a late attempt of making of bricks upon an adventure with others, by which he presumed to have got a great deal of money: so that I see the most ingenious men may sometimes be mistaken. So to the ’Change a little, and then home to dinner, and then by water to White Hall, to attend the Commissioners of the Treasury with Alderman Backewell, about 10,000l. he is to lend us for Tangier, and then up to a Committee of the Council, where was the Duke of York, and they did give us, the Officers of the Navy, the proposals of the several bidders for the victualling of the Navy, for us to give our answer to, which is the best, and whether it be better to victual by commission or contract, and to bring them our answer by Friday afternoon, which is a great deal of work. So thence back with Sir J. Minnes home, and come after us Sir W. Pen and Lord Brouncker, and we fell to the business, and I late when they were gone to digest something of it, and so to supper and to bed.

morning is making
the most mist

best to miss work
and go digest

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 23 September 1668

Moonwalker

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Up, and to the Office, where sitting all the morning. At noon, home to dinner, with my people, and so to the Office again, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening spent my time walking in the dark, in the garden, to favour my eyes, which I find nothing but ease to help. In the garden there comes to me my Lady Pen and Mrs. Turner and Markham, and we sat and talked together, and I carried them home, and there eat a bit of something, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen, and eat with us, and mighty merry, in appearance, at least, he being on all occasions glad to be at friendship with me, though we hate one another, and know it on both sides. They gone, Mrs. Turner and I to walk in the garden, and there yo did the second part of Sunday night last, tocando su cosa and making her tocar mi thing, but no mas — which she did bear with very merrily, but with a seeming remorse. So led her home, and I back to bed. This day Mr. Wren did give me, at the Board, Commissioner Middleton’s answer to the Duke of York’s great letter; so that now I have all of them.

walking in the dark
to favor my eyes

nothing but the garden
to turn to

some second sun
making me see

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 22 September 1668

Has-been

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Up, and betimes Sir D. Gawden with me talking about the Victualling business, which is now under dispute for a new contract, or whether it shall be put into a Commission. He gone, comes Mr. Hill to talk with me about Lanyon’s business, and so being in haste I took him to the water with me, and so to White Hall, and there left him, and I to Sir W. Coventry, and shewed him my answer to the Duke of York’s great letter, which he likes well. We also discoursed about the Victualling business, which he thinks there is a design to put into a way of Commission, but do look upon all things to be managed with faction, and is grieved under it. So to St. James’s, and there the Duke of York did of his own accord come to me, and tell me that he had read, and do like of, my answers to the objections which he did give me the other day, about the Navy; and so did W. Coventry too, who told me that the Duke of York had shown him them: So to White Hall a little and the Chequer, and then by water home to dinner with my people, where Tong was also this day with me, whom I shall employ for a time, and so out again and by water to Somerset House, but when come thither I turned back and to Southwarke-Fair, very dirty, and there saw the puppet-show of Whittington, which was pretty to see; and how that idle thing do work upon people that see it, and even myself too! And thence to Jacob Hall’s dancing on the ropes, where I saw such action as I never saw before, and mightily worth seeing; and here took acquaintance with a fellow that carried me to a tavern, whither come the musick of this booth, and by and by Jacob Hall himself, with whom I had a mind to speak, to hear whether he had ever any mischief by falls in his time. He told me, “Yes, many; but never to the breaking of a limb:” he seems a mighty strong man.
So giving them a bottle or two of wine, I away with Payne, the waterman. He, seeing me at the play, did get a link to light me, and so light me to the Beare, where Bland, my waterman, waited for me with gold and other things he kept for me, to the value of 40l. and more, which I had about me, for fear of my pockets being cut. So by link-light through the bridge, it being mighty dark, but still weather, and so home, where I find my draught of “The Resolution” come, finished, from Chatham; but will cost me, one way or other, about 12l. or 13l., in the board, frame, and garnishing, which is a little too much, but I will not be beholden to the King’s officers that do it. So to supper, and the boy to read to me, and so to bed. This day I met Mr. Moore in the New Exchange, and had much talk of my Lord’s concernments. This day also come out first the new five-pieces in gold, coined by the Guiny Company; and I did get two pieces of Mr. Holder.

times now gone took me
and all my ink with them

I shall employ some puppet
to see for me

and a bottle of wine in my pocket
through dark weather

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 21 September 1668

High church

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(Lord’s day). Up, and to set some papers to rights in my chamber, and the like in my office, and so to church, at our own church, and heard but a dull sermon of one Dr. Hicks, who is a suitor to Mrs. Howell, the widow of our turner of the Navy; thence home to dinner, staying till past one o’clock for Harris, whom I invited, and to bring Shadwell the poet with him; but they come not, and so a good dinner lost, through my own folly. And so to dinner alone, having since church heard the boy read over Dryden’s Reply to Sir R. Howard’s Answer, about his Essay of Poesy, and a letter in answer to that; the last whereof is mighty silly, in behalf of Howard. Thence walked forth and got a coach and to visit Mrs. Pierce, with whom, and him, I staid a little while, and do hear how the Duchesse of Monmouth is at this time in great trouble of the shortness of her lame leg, which is likely to grow shorter and shorter, that she will never recover it. Thence to St. Margaret’s Church, thinking to have seen Betty Michell, but she was not there. So back, and walked to Gray’s Inn walks a while, but little company; and so over the fields to Clerkenwell, to see whether I could find that the fair Botelers do live there still, I seeing Frances the other day in a coach with Cary Dillon, her old servant, but know not where she lives. So walked home, and there walked in the garden an hour, it being mighty pleasant weather, and so took my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham home with me and sent for Mrs. Turner, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen and supped with me, a good supper, part of my dinner to-day. They gone, Mrs. Turner staid an hour talking with me and yo did now the first time tocar her cosa with my hand and did make her do the like con su hand to my thing, whereto neither did she show any aversion really, but a merry kind of opposition, but yo did both and yo do believe I might have hecho la cosa too mit her. So parted, and I to bed.

a paper church
for a poet

a church of poesy
for the gray clerk

I could live there
like a show of opposition

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 20 September 1668

Guises

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Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and so dined with my people at home, and then to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Silent Woman;” the best comedy, I think, that ever was wrote; and sitting by Shadwell the poet, he was big with admiration of it. Here was my Lord Brouncker and W. Pen and their ladies in the box, being grown mighty kind of a sudden; but, God knows, it will last but a little while, I dare swear. Knepp did her part mighty well. And so home straight, and to work, and particularly to my cozen Roger, who, W. Hewer and my wife writes me, do use them with mighty plenty and noble entertainment: so home to supper, and to bed.
All the news now is, that Mr. Trevor is for certain now to be Secretary, in Morrice’s place, which the Duke of York did himself tell me yesterday; and also that Parliament is to be adjourned to the 1st of March, which do please me well, hoping thereby to get my things in a little better order than I should have done; and the less attendances at that end of the town in winter. So home to supper and to bed.

a silent poet
big as the box he writes in

a secretary
at the thin end of winter

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 19 September 1668

Home/sick

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Up, and to St. James’s, and there took a turn or two in the Park; and then up to the Duke of York, and there had opportunity of delivering my answer to his late letter, which he did not read, but give to Mr. Wren, as looking on it as a thing I needed not have done, but only that I might not give occasion to the rest to suspect my communication with the Duke of York against them. So now I am at rest in that matter, and shall be more, when my copies are finished of their answers, which I am now taking with all speed. Thence to my several booksellers and elsewhere, about several errands, and so at noon home, and after dinner by coach to White Hall, and thither comes the Duke of York to us, and by and by met at the robe chamber upon our usual business, where the Duke of York I find somewhat sour, and particularly angry with Lord Anglesey for his not being there now, nor at other times so often as he should be with us. So to the King’s house, and saw a piece of “Henry the Fourth;” at the end of the play, thinking to have gone abroad with Knepp, but it was too late, and she to get her part against to-morrow, in “The Silent Woman,” and so I only set her at home, and away home myself, and there to read again and sup with Gibson, and so to bed.

the wren might suspect
I am finished with elsewhere

and home I find
somewhat sour

being there so often
at the end of the road

too late to get
her silent way

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 18 September 1668

Affliction

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Up, and all the morning sitting at the office, where every body grown mighty cautious in what they do, or omit to do, and at noon comes Knepp, with design to dine with Lord Brouncker, but she being undressed, and there being much company, dined with me; and after dinner I out with her, and carried her to the playhouse; and in the way did give her five guineas as a fairing, I having given her nothing a great while, and her coming hither sometimes having been matter of cost to her, and so I to St. James’s, but missed of the Duke of York, and so went back to the King’s playhouse, and saw “Rollo, Duke of Normandy,” which, for old acquaintance, pleased me pretty well, and so home and to my business, and to read again, and to bed. This evening Batelier comes to tell me that he was going down to Cambridge to my company, to see the Fair, which vexed me, and the more because I fear he do know that Knepp did dine with me to-day.

a body grown cautious
comes to be in the way

having given nothing
having been but an acquaintance
to my own vexed ear

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 September 1668

Existential

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Up; and dressing myself I did begin para toker the breasts of my maid Jane, which elle did give way to more than usual heretofore, so I have a design to try more when I can bring it to. So to the office, and thence to St. James’s to the Duke of York, walking it to the Temple, and in my way observe that the Stockes are now pulled quite down; and it will make the coming into Cornhill and Lumber Street mighty noble. I stopped, too, at Paul’s, and there did go into St. Fayth’s Church, and also in the body of the west part of the Church; and do see a hideous sight of the walls of the Church ready to fall, that I was in fear as long as I was in it: and here I saw the great vaults underneath the body of the Church. No hurt, I hear, is done yet, since their going to pull down the Church and steeple; but one man, on Monday this week, fell from the top to a piece of the roof, of the east end, that stands next the steeple, and there broke himself all to pieces. It is pretty here to see how the late Church was but a case wrought over the old Church; for you may see the very old pillars standing whole within the wall of this. When I come to St. James’s, I find the Duke of York gone with the King to see the muster of the Guards in Hyde Park; and their Colonel, the Duke of Monmouth, to take his command this day of the King’s Life-Guard, by surrender of my Lord Gerard. So I took a hackney-coach and saw it all: and indeed it was mighty noble, and their firing mighty fine, and the Duke of Monmouth in mighty rich clothes; but the well-ordering of the men I understand not. Here, among a thousand coaches that were there, I saw and spoke to Mrs. Pierce: and by and by Mr. Wren hunts me out, and gives me my Lord Anglesey’s answer to the Duke of York’s letter, where, I perceive, he do do what he can to hurt me, by bidding the Duke of York call for my books: but this will do me all the right in the world, and yet I am troubled at it. So away out of the Park, and home; and there Mr. Gibson and I to dinner: and all the afternoon with him, writing over anew, and a little altering, my answer to the Duke of York, which I have not yet delivered, and so have the opportunity of doing it after seeing all their answers, though this do give me occasion to alter very little. This done, he to write it over, and I to the Office, where late, and then home; and he had finished it; and then he to read to me the life of Archbishop Laud, wrote by Dr. Heylin; which is a shrewd book, but that which I believe will do the Bishops in general no great good, but hurt, it pleads for so much Popish. So after supper to bed. This day my father’s letters tell me of the death of poor Fancy, in the country, big with puppies, which troubles me, as being one of my oldest acquaintances and servants. Also good Stankes is dead.

dressing myself
I observe the corn and lumber
of the body

going over
the old who am I
must mouth surrender to mouth

on a hunt
for the right world
writing new answers to very little

a finished life is
I believe no great good
after my father’s death

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 September 1668