Planted

Sam Pepys and me

These four days we spent in putting things in order, letting of the crop upon the ground, agreeing with Stankes to have a care of our business in our absence, and we think ourselves in nothing happy but in lighting upon him to be our bayly; in riding to Offord and Sturtlow, and up and down all our lands, and in the evening walking, my father and I about the fields talking, and had advice from Mr. Moore from London, by my desire, that the three witnesses of the will being all legatees, will not do the will any wrong. To-night Serjeant Bernard, I hear, is come home into the country. To supper and to bed. My aunt continuing in her base, hypocritical tricks, which both Jane Perkin (of whom we make great use), and the maid do tell us every day of.

we put in the ground
our absence and our light

low lands continuing
as kin


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 16, 17, 18, 19 July 1661.

Pilgrim age

Sam Pepys and me

Up by three o’clock this morning, and rode to Cambridge, and was there by seven o’clock, where, after I was trimmed, I went to Christ College, and found my brother John at eight o’clock in bed, which vexed me. Then to King’s College chappell, where I found the scholars in their surplices at the service with the organs, which is a strange sight to what it used in my time to be here. Then with Dr. Fairbrother (whom I met there) to the Rose tavern, and called for some wine, and there met fortunately with Mr. Turner of our office, and sent for his wife, and were very merry (they being come to settle their son here), and sent also for Mr. Sanchy, of Magdalen, with whom and other gentlemen, friends of his, we were very merry, and I treated them as well as I could, and so at noon took horse again, having taken leave of my cozen Angier, and rode to Impington, where I found my old uncle sitting all alone, like a man out of the world: he can hardly see; but all things else he do pretty lively. Then with Dr. John Pepys and him, I read over the will, and had their advice therein, who, as to the sufficiency thereof confirmed me, and advised me as to the other parts thereof.
Having done there, I rode to Gravely with much ado to inquire for a surrender of my uncle’s in some of the copyholders’ hands there, but I can hear of none, which puts me into very great trouble of mind, and so with a sad heart rode home to Brampton, but made myself as cheerful as I could to my father, and so to bed.

clock by clock
I found the time

to turn old
sitting alone

the world thin as a grave
for my old hands


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 July 1661.

Un-

Sam Pepys and me

I fell to work, and my father to look over my uncle’s papers and clothes, and continued all this week upon that business, much troubled with my aunt’s base, ugly humours. We had news of Tom Trice’s putting in a caveat against us, in behalf of his mother, to whom my uncle hath not given anything, and for good reason therein expressed, which troubled us also. But above all, our trouble is to find that his estate appears nothing as we expected, and all the world believes; nor his papers so well sorted as I would have had them, but all in confusion, that break my brains to understand them. We missed also the surrenders of his copyhold land, without which the land would not come to us, but to the heir at law, so that what with this, and the badness of the drink and the ill opinion I have of the meat, and the biting of the gnats by night and my disappointment in getting home this week, and the trouble of sorting all the papers, I am almost out of my wits with trouble, only I appear the more contented, because I would not have my father troubled.
The latter end of the week Mr. Philips comes home from London, and so we advised with him and have the best counsel he could give us, but for all that we were not quiet in our minds.

uncle is in trouble
with news of his unreason
in all the papers

we surrender
to the biting of lips
unquiet in our minds


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th July 1661.

Undoing

Sam Pepys and me

(Lord’s day). In the morning my father and I walked in the garden and read the will; where, though he gives me nothing at present till my father’s death, or at least very little, yet I am glad to see that he hath done so well for us, all, and well to the rest of his kindred. After that done, we went about getting things, as ribbands and gloves, ready for the burial. Which in the afternoon was done; where, it being Sunday, all people far and near come in; and in the greatest disorder that ever I saw, we made shift to serve them what we had of wine and other things; and then to carry him to the church, where Mr. Taylor buried him, and Mr. Turners preached a funerall sermon, where he spoke not particularly of him anything, but that he was one so well known for his honesty, that it spoke for itself above all that he could say for it. And so made a very good sermon.
Home with some of the company who supped there, and things being quiet, at night to bed.

I and thou
at the death of love
one Sunday

serve what wine
we know could say
something quiet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 July 1661.

Hatted

Sam Pepys and me

At home, and in the afternoon to the office, and that being done all went to Sir W. Batten’s and there had a venison pasty, and were very merry. At night home and to bed.

in the noon of a hat
we had a past

we err at night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 5 July 1661.

Operatic

Sam Pepys and me

At home all the morning; in the afternoon I went to the Theatre, and there I saw “Claracilla” (the first time I ever saw it), well acted. But strange to see this house, that used to be so thronged, now empty since the Opera begun; and so will continue for a while, I believe. Called at my father’s, and there I heard that my uncle Robert continues to have his fits of stupefaction every day for 10 or 12 hours together.
From thence to the Exchange at night, and then went with my uncle Wight to the Mitre and were merry, but he takes it very ill that my father would go out of town to Brampton on this occasion and would not tell him of it, which I endeavoured to remove but could not.
Here Mr. Batersby the apothecary was, who told me that if my uncle had the emerods (which I think he had) and that now they are stopped, he will lay his life that bleeding behind by leeches will cure him, but I am resolved not to meddle in it.
Home and to bed.

empty since the opera
a tin ear of stupefaction

I endeavor to move but
who told me that bleeding will cure

I am resolved
to meddle


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 4 July 1661.

To end all wars

Sam Pepys and me

To Westminster to Mr. Edward Montagu about business of my Lord’s, and so to the Wardrobe, and there dined with my Lady, who is in some mourning for her brother, Mr. Saml. Crew, who died yesterday of the spotted fever. So home through Duck Lane to inquire for some Spanish books, but found none that pleased me. So to the office, and that being done to Sir W. Batten’s with the Comptroller, where we sat late talking and disputing with Mr. Mills the parson of our parish. This day my Lady Batten and my wife were at the burial of a daughter of Sir John Lawson’s, and had rings for themselves and their husbands. Home and to bed.

the war died of fever
a Spanish one

we sat late disputing
at the burial


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 July 1661.

World stage

Sam Pepys and me

To Westminster Hall and there walked up and down, it being Term time. Spoke with several, among others my cozen Roger Pepys, who was going up to the Parliament House, and inquired whether I had heard from my father since he went to Brampton, which I had done yesterday, who writes that my uncle is by fits stupid, and like a man that is drunk, and sometimes speechless.
Home, and after my singing master had done, took coach and went to Sir William Davenant’s Opera; this being the fourth day that it hath begun, and the first that I have seen it. To-day was acted the second part of “The Siege of Rhodes.” We staid a very great while for the King and the Queen of Bohemia. And by the breaking of a board over our heads, we had a great deal of dust fell into the ladies’ necks and the men’s hair, which made good sport. The King being come, the scene opened; which indeed is very fine and magnificent, and well acted, all but the Eunuch, who was so much out that he was hissed off the stage.
Home and wrote letters to my Lord at sea, and so to bed.

who writes like a speechless
singing master

day breaking
over our heads

we become
the scene we act

all but the hiss
of the sea


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 2 July 1661.

Staycation

Sam Pepys and me

This morning I went up and down into the city, to buy several things, as I have lately done, for my house. Among other things, a fair chest of drawers for my own chamber, and an Indian gown for myself. The first cost me 33s., the other 34s. Home and dined there, and Theodore Goodgroome, my singing master, with me, and then to our singing. After that to the office, and then home.

into thin air
my own India

my first other ore
singing as I sing


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 1 July 1661.

Gunman

Sam Pepys and me

(Lord’s day). To church, where we observe the trade of briefs is come now up to so constant a course every Sunday, that we resolve to give no more to them. A good sermon, and then home to dinner, my wife and I all alone.
After dinner Sir Williams both and I by water to Whitehall, where having walked up and down, at last we met with the Duke of York, according to an order sent us yesterday from him, to give him an account where the fault lay in the not sending out of the ships, which we find to be only the wind hath been against them, and so they could not get out of the river. Hence I to Graye’s Inn Walk, all alone, and with great pleasure seeing the fine ladies walk there. Myself humming to myself (which now-a-days is my constant practice since I begun to learn to sing) the trillo, and found by use that it do come upon me. Home very weary and to bed, finding my wife not sick, but yet out of order, that I fear she will come to be sick. This day the Portuguese Embassador came to White Hall to take leave of the King; he being now going to end all with the Queen, and to send her over.
The weather now very fair and pleasant, but very hot. My father gone to Brampton to see my uncle Robert, not knowing whether to find him dead or alive. Myself lately under a great expense of money upon myself in clothes and other things, but I hope to make it up this summer by my having to do in getting things ready to send with the next fleet to the Queen.
Myself in good health, but mighty apt to take cold, so that this hot weather I am fain to wear a cloth before my belly.

alone in the wind
humming to my gun

finding that I am dead
under my clothes


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 June 1661.