Post mortem

(Ladyday.) Up, and with Sir W. Batten and W. Pen by coach to Exeter House to our lawyers to have consulted about our trial to-morrow, but missed them, so parted, and W. Pen and I to Mr. Povy’s about a little business of W. Pen’s, where we went over Mr. Povy’s house, which lies in the same good condition as ever, which is most extraordinary fine, and he was now at work with a cabinet-maker, making of a new inlaid table. Having seen his house, we away, having in our way thither called at Mr. Lilly’s, who was working; and indeed his pictures are without doubt much beyond Mr. Hales’s, I think I may say I am convinced: but a mighty proud man he is, and full of state. So home, and to the office, and by and by to dinner, a poor dinner, my wife and I, at Sir W. Pen’s, and then he and I before to Exeter House, where I do not stay, but to the King’s playhouse; and by and by comes Mr. Lowther and his wife and mine, and into a box, forsooth, neither of them being dressed, which I was almost ashamed of. Sir W. Pen and I in the pit, and here saw “The Mayden Queene” again; which indeed the more I see the more I like, and is an excellent play, and so done by Nell, her merry part, as cannot be better done in nature, I think. Thence home, and there I find letters from my brother, which tell me that yesterday when he wrote my mother did rattle in the throat so as they did expect every moment her death, which though I have a good while expected did much surprise me, yet was obliged to sup at Sir W. Pen’s and my wife, and there counterfeited some little mirth, but my heart was sad, and so home after supper and to bed, and much troubled in my sleep of my being crying by my mother’s bedside, laying my head over hers and crying, she almost dead and dying, and so waked, but what is strange, methought she had hair over her face, and not the same kind of face as my mother really hath, but yet did not consider that, but did weep over her as my mother, whose soul God have mercy of.

tomorrow missed us where we lie

who are without doubt a poor dinner

in a box like letters from death

my counterfeit sleep and strange hair

her face the same face as my soul


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 March 1667.

Template

(Lord’s day). With Sir W. Batten to White Hall, and there I to Sir G. Carteret, who is mighty cheerful, which makes me think and by some discourse that there is expectation of a peace, but I did not ask. Here was Sir J. Minnes also: and they did talk of my Lord Bruncker, whose father, it seems, did give Mr. Ashburnham and the present Lord Digby 1200l. to be made an Irish lord, and swore the same day that he had not 12d. left to pay for his dinner: they make great mirth at this, my Lord Bruncker having lately given great matter of offence both to them and us all, that we are at present mightily displeased with him. By and by to the Duke of York, where we all met, and there was the King also; and all our discourse was about fortifying of the Medway and Harwich, which is to be entrenched quite round, and Portsmouth: and here they advised with Sir Godfry Lloyd and Sir Bernard de Gum, the two great engineers, and had the plates drawn before them; and indeed all their care they now take is to fortify themselves, and are not ashamed of it: for when by and by my Lord Arlington come in with letters, and seeing the King and Duke of York give us and the officers of the Ordnance directions in this matter, he did move that we might do it as privately as we could, that it might not come into the Dutch Gazette presently, as the King’s and Duke of York’s going down the other day to Sheerenesse was, the week after, in the Harlem Gazette. The King and Duke of York both laughed at it, and made no matter, but said, “Let us be safe, and let them talk, for there is nothing will trouble them more, nor will prevent their coming more, than to hear that we are fortifying ourselves.” And the Duke of York said further, “What said Marshal Turenne, when some in vanity said that the enemies were afraid, for they entrenched themselves? `Well,’ says he, ‘I would they were not afraid, for then they would not entrench themselves, and so we could deal with them the better.’”
Away thence, and met with Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me that he do believe the government of Tangier is bought by my Lord Allington for a sum of money to my Lord Arlington, and something to Lord Bellasses, who (he did tell me particularly how) is as very a false villain as ever was born, having received money of him here upon promise and confidence of his return, forcing him to pay it by advance here, and promising to ask no more there, when at the same time he was treating with my Lord Allington to sell his command to him, and yet told Sir H. Cholmly nothing of it, but when Sir H. Cholmly told him what he had heard, he confessed that my Lord Allington had spoken to him of it, but that he was a vain man to look after it, for he was nothing fit for it, and then goes presently to my Lord Allington and drives on the bargain, yet tells Lord Allington what he himself had said of him, as Sir H. Cholmly had said them. I am glad I am informed hereof, and shall know him for a Lord, &c. Sir H. Cholmly tells me further that he is confident there will be a peace, and that a great man did tell him that my Lord Albemarle did tell him the other day at White Hall as a secret that we should have a peace if any thing the King of France can ask and our King can give will gain it, which he is it seems mad at.
Thence back with Sir W. Batten and W. Pen home, and heard a piece of sermon, and so home to dinner, where Balty come, very fine, and dined with us, and after dinner with me by water to White Hall, and there he and I did walk round the Park, I giving him my thoughts about the difficulty of getting employment for him this year, but advised him how to employ himself, and I would do what I could. So he and I parted, and I to Martin’s, where I find her within, and ‘su hermano’ and ‘la veuve’ Burroughs. Here I did demorar toda the afternoon bezando las and drank; and among other things, did by trick arrive at tocando el poil la thing the veuve abovesaid. By and by come up the mistress of the house, Crags, a pleasant jolly woman. I staid all but a little, and away home by water through bridge, a brave evening, and so home to read, and anon to supper, W. Hewer with us, and then to read myself to sleep again, and then to bed, and mightily troubled the most of the night with fears of fire, which I cannot get out of my head to this day since the last great fire. I did this night give the waterman who uses to carry me 10s. at his request, for the painting of his new boat, on which shall be my arms.

expectation is an ore
given to us all

the round mouth
engineers the plate

seeing a safe we believe in money
a thing as false as all fur

a secret king can walk
round difficult crags

I read myself to sleep
to get out of my head


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 24 March 1667.

Floodplain

At the office all the morning, where Sir W. Pen come, being returned from Chatham, from considering the means of fortifying the river Medway, by a chain at the stakes, and ships laid there with guns to keep the enemy from coming up to burn our ships; all our care now being to fortify ourselves against their invading us. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon again, where Mr. Moore come, who tells me that there is now no doubt made of a peace being agreed on, the King having declared this week in Council that they would treat at Bredagh. He gone I to my office, where busy late, and so to supper and to bed. Vexed with our mayde Luce, our cook-mayde, who is a good drudging servant in everything else, and pleases us, but that she will be drunk, and hath been so last night and all this day, that she could not make clean the house. My fear is only fire.

considering the river an enemy
coming up to our hips our home

we would go
where it is thin as a drunk

and all day make
only fire


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 23 March 1667.

Lockdown

Up and by coach to Sir Ph. Warwicke about business for Tangier about money, and then to Sir Stephen Fox to give him account of a little service I have done him about money coming to him from our office, and then to Lovett’s and saw a few baubling things of their doing which are very pretty, but the quality of the people, living only by shifts, do not please me, that it makes me I do no more care for them, nor shall have more acquaintance with them after I have got my Lady Castlemayne’s picture home. So to White Hall, where the King at Chapel, and I would not stay, but to Westminster to Howlett’s, and there, he being not well, I sent for a quart of claret and burnt it and drank, and had a ‘basado’ or three or four of Sarah, whom ‘je trouve ici’, and so by coach to Sir Robt. Viner’s about my accounts with him, and so to the ’Change, where I hear for certain that we are going on with our treaty of peace, and that we are to treat at Bredah. But this our condescension people do think will undo us, and I do much fear it. So home to dinner, where my wife having dressed herself in a silly dress of a blue petticoat uppermost, and a white satin waistcoat and whitehood, though I think she did it because her gown is gone to the tailor’s, did, together with my being hungry, which always makes me peevish, make me angry, but when my belly was full were friends again, and dined and then by water down to Greenwich and thence walked to Woolwich, all the way reading Playford’s “Introduction to Musique,” wherein are some things very pretty. At Woolwich I did much business, taking an account of the state of the ships there under hand, thence to Blackwall, and did the like for two ships we have repairing there, and then to Deptford and did the like there, and so home. Captain Perriman with me from Deptford, telling me many particulars how the King’s business is ill ordered, and indeed so they are, God knows! So home and to the office, where did business, and so home to my chamber, and then to supper and to bed. Landing at the Tower to-night I met on Tower Hill with Captain Cocke and spent half an hour walking in the dusk of the evening with him, talking of the sorrowful condition we are in, that we must be ruined if the Parliament do not come and chastize us, that we are resolved to make a peace whatever it cost, that the King is disobliging the Parliament in this interval all that may be, yet his money is gone and he must have more, and they likely not to give it, without a great deal of do. God knows what the issue of it will be. But the considering that the Duke of York, instead of being at sea as Admirall, is now going from port to port, as he is at this day at Harwich, and was the other day with the King at Sheernesse, and hath ordered at Portsmouth how fortifications shall be made to oppose the enemy, in case of invasion, is to us a sad consideration, and as shameful to the nation, especially after so many proud vaunts as we have made against the Dutch, and all from the folly of the Duke of Albemarle, who made nothing of beating them, and Sir John Lawson he always declared that we never did fail to beat them with lesser numbers than theirs, which did so prevail with the King as to throw us into this war.

little money coming in
the people living only by shifts
have to howl

we are burnt by fear
blue in the belly
like a captain not at sea


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 22 March 1667.

Landscape

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and had some melancholy discourse with my wife about my mother’s being so ill and my father, and after dinner to cheer myself, I having the opportunity of Sir W. Coventry and the Duke of York’s being out of town, I alone out and to the Duke of York’s play-house, where unexpectedly I come to see only the young men and women of the house act; they having liberty to act for their own profit on Wednesdays and Fridays this Lent: and the play they did yesterday, being Wednesday, was so well-taken, that they thought fit to venture it publickly to-day; a play of my Lord Falkland’s called “The Wedding Night,” a kind of a tragedy, and some things very good in it, but the whole together, I thought, not so. I confess I was well enough pleased with my seeing it: and the people did do better, without the great actors, than I did expect, but yet far short of what they do when they are there, which I was glad to find the difference of. Thence to rights home, and there to the office to my business hard, being sorry to have made this scape without my wife, but I have a good salvo to my oath in doing it. By and by, in the evening, comes Sir W. Batten’s Mingo to me to pray me to come to his master and Sir Richard Ford, who have very ill news to tell me. I knew what it was, it was about our trial for a good prize to-day, “The Phoenix,” a worth two or 3000l.. I went to them, where they told me with much trouble how they had sped, being cast and sentenced to make great reparation for what we had embezzled, and they did it so well that I was much troubled at it, when by and by Sir W. Batten asked me whether I was mortified enough, and told me we had got the day, which was mighty welcome news to me and us all. But it is pretty to see what money will do. Yesterday, Walker was mighty cold on our behalf, till Sir W. Batten promised him, if we sped in this business of the goods, a coach; and if at the next trial we sped for the ship, we would give him a pair of horses. And he hath strove for us today like a prince, though the Swedes’ Agent was there with all the vehemence he could to save the goods, but yet we carried it against him. This put me in mighty good heart, and then we go to Sir W. Pen, who is come back to-night from Chatham, and did put him into the same condition, and then comforted him. So back to my office, and wrote an affectionate and sad letter to my father about his and my mother’s illness, and so home to supper and to bed late.

where I see only you
it is as a landscape
in the evening
with one good horse
against the pen


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 21 March 1667.

Early days

Up pretty betimes, and to the Old Swan, and there drank at Michell’s, but his wife is not there, but gone to her mother’s, who is ill, and so hath staid there since Sunday. Thence to Westminster Hall and drank at the Swan, and ‘baiserais the petite misse’; and so to Mrs. Martin’s who I find in opposante and su hermana rising. So here I had opportunity para tocar tout sobra su body as I would, and did traher sus pernos out of the lecto and do hazer myself hazer. I sent for some burnt wine, and drank and then away, not pleased with my folly, and so to the Hall again, and there staid a little, and so home by water again, where, after speaking with my wife, I with Sir W. Batten and J. Minnes to our church to the vestry, to be assessed by the late Poll Bill, where I am rated as an Esquire, and for my office, all will come to about 50l.. But not more than I expected, nor so much by a great deal as I ought to be, for all my offices. So shall be glad to escape so. Thence by water again to White Hall, and there up into the house, and do hear that newes is come now that the enemy do incline again to a peace, but could hear no particulars, so do not believe it. I had a great mind to have spoke with the King, about a business proper enough for me, about the French prize man-of-war, how he would have her altered, only out of a desire to show myself mindful of business, but my linen was so dirty and my clothes mean, that I neither thought it fit to do that, nor go to other persons at the Court, with whom I had business, which did vex me, and I must remedy. Here I hear that the Duke of Richmond and Mrs. Stewart were betrothed last night. Thence to Westminster Hall again, and there saw Betty Michell, and bought a pair of gloves of her, she being fain to keep shop there, her mother being sick, and her father gathering of the tax. I ‘aimais her de toute my corazon’. Thence, my mind wandering all this day upon ‘mauvaises amours’ which I be merry for. So home by water again, where I find my wife gone abroad, so I to Sir W. Batten to dinner, and had a good dinner of ling and herring pie, very good meat, best of the kind that ever I had. Having dined, I by coach to the Temple, and there did buy a little book or two, and it is strange how “Rycaut’s Discourse of Turky,” which before the fire I was asked but 8s. for, there being all but twenty-two or thereabouts burned, I did now offer 20s., and he demands 50s., and I think I shall give it him, though it be only as a monument of the fire. So to the New Exchange, where I find my wife, and so took her to Unthanke’s, and left her there, and I to White Hall, and thence to Westminster, only out of idleness, and to get some little pleasure to my ‘mauvais flammes’, but sped not, so back and took up my wife; and to Polichinelli at Charing Crosse, which is prettier and prettier, and so full of variety that it is extraordinary good entertainment. Thence by coach home, that is, my wife home, and I to the Exchange, and there met with Fenn, who tells me they have yet no orders out of the Exchequer for money upon the Acts, which is a thing not to be borne by any Prince of understanding or care, for no money can be got advanced upon the Acts only from the weight of orders in form out of the Exchequer so long time after the passing of the Acts. So home to the office a little, where I met with a sad letter from my brother, who tells me my mother is declared by the doctors to be past recovery, and that my father is also very ill every hour: so that I fear we shall see a sudden change there. God fit them and us for it! So to Sir W. Pen’s, where my wife was, and supped with a little, but yet little mirth, and a bad, nasty supper, which makes me not love the family, they do all things so meanly, to make a little bad show upon their backs. Thence home and to bed, very much troubled about my father’s and my mother’s illness.

I drank to her sun
and to her body of water

me in my dirt and my rot
my wandering and my idleness

not yet declared by the doctors
to be past recovery

it was little yet
and bad to make a show
about the illness


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 20 March 1667.

Reduction

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon dined at home very pleasantly with my wife, and after dinner with a great deal of pleasure had her sing, which she begins to do with some pleasure to me, more than I expected. Then to the office again, where all the afternoon close, and at night home to supper and to bed. It comes in my mind this night to set down how a house was the other day in Bishopsgate Street blowed up with powder; a house that was untenanted, and between a flax shop and a —————-, both bad for fire; but, thanks be to God, it did no more hurt; and all do conclude it a plot. I would also remember to my shame how I was pleased yesterday, to find the righteous maid of Magister Griffin sweeping of ‘nostra’ office, ‘elle con the Roman nariz and bonne’ body which I did heretofore like, and do still refresh me to think ‘que elle’ is come to us, that I may ‘voir her aliquando’. This afternoon I am told again that the town do talk of my Lord Arlington’s being to be Lord Treasurer, and Sir W. Coventry to be Secretary of State; and that for certain the match is concluded between the Duke of Richmond and Mrs. Stewart, which I am well enough pleased with; and it is pretty to consider how his quality will allay people’s talk; whereas, had a meaner person married her, he would for certain have been reckoned a cuckold at first-dash.

every pleasure begins
somehow as powder
and a lax fire

remember my ham bone
refresh me in us
that I may be Secretary of Stew


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 19 March 1667.

Ballad

Up betimes, and to the office to write fair my paper for D. Gawden against anon, and then to other business, where all the morning. D. Gawden by and by comes, and I did read over and give him the paper, which I think I have much obliged him in. A little before noon comes my old good friend, Mr. Richard Cumberland, to see me, being newly come to town, whom I have not seen almost, if not quite, these seven years. In his plain country-parson’s dress. I could not spend much time with him, but prayed him come with his brother, who was with him, to dine with me to-day; which he did do and I had a great deal of his good company; and a most excellent person he is as any I know, and one that I am sorry should be lost and buried in a little country town, and would be glad to remove him thence; and the truth is, if he would accept of my sister’s fortune, I should give 100l. more with him than to a man able to settle her four times as much as, I fear, he is able to do; and I will think of it, and a way how to move it, he having in discourse said he was not against marrying, nor yet engaged. I shewed him my closet, and did give him some very good musique, Mr. Caesar being here upon his lute. They gone I to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and among other things comes Captain Jenifer to me, a great servant of my Lord Sandwich’s, who tells me that he do hear for certain, though I do not yet believe it, that Sir W. Coventry is to be Secretary of State, and my Lord Arlington Lord Treasurer. I only wish that the latter were as fit for the latter office as the former is for the former, and more fit than my Lord Arlington. Anon Sir W. Pen come and talked with me in the garden, and tells me that for certain the Duke of Richmond is to marry Mrs. Stewart, he having this day brought in an account of his estate and debts to the King on that account. At night home to supper and so to bed. My father’s letter this day do tell me of his own continued illness, and that my mother grows so much worse, that he fears she cannot long continue, which troubles me very much. This day, Mr. Caesar told me a pretty experiment of his, of angling with a minikin, a gut-string varnished over, which keeps it from swelling, and is beyond any hair for strength and smallness. The secret I like mightily.

I am lost and buried
in a country tune
a music not fit for the office

it tells me of debts and illness
my gut swelling
beyond any secret


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 18 March 1667.

The way of some flesh

(Lord’s day). Up betime with my wife, and by coach with Sir W. Pen and Sir Thomas Allen to White Hall, there my wife and I the first time that ever we went to my Lady Jemimah’s chamber at Sir Edward Carteret’s lodgings. I confess I have been much to blame and much ashamed of our not visiting her sooner, but better now than never. Here we took her before she was up, which I was sorry for, so only saw her, and away to chapel, leaving further visit till after sermon. I put my wife into the pew below, but it was pretty to see, myself being but in a plain band, and every way else ordinary, how the verger took me for her man, I think, and I was fain to tell him she was a kinswoman of my Lord Sandwich’s, he saying that none under knights-baronets’ ladies are to go into that pew. So she being there, I to the Duke of York’s lodging, where in his dressing-chamber he talking of his journey to-morrow or next day to Harwich, to prepare some fortifications there; so that we are wholly upon the defensive part this year, only we have some expectations that we may by our squadrons annoy them in their trade by the North of Scotland and to the Westward. Here Sir W. Pen did show the Duke of York a letter of Hogg’s about a prize he drove in within the Sound at Plymouth, where the Vice-Admiral claims her. Sir W. Pen would have me speak to the latter, which I did, and I think without any offence, but afterwards I was sorry for it, and Sir W. Pen did plainly say that he had no mind to speak to the Duke of York about it, so that he put me upon it, but it shall be, the last time that I will do such another thing, though I think no manner of hurt done by it to me at all.
That done I to walk in the Parke, where to the Queene’s Chapel, and there heard a fryer preach with his cord about his middle, in Portuguese, something I could understand, showing that God did respect the meek and humble, as well as the high and rich. He was full of action, but very decent and good, I thought, and his manner of delivery very good. Then I went back to White Hall, and there up to the closet, and spoke with several people till sermon was ended, which was preached by the Bishop of Hereford, an old good man, that they say made an excellent sermon. He was by birth a Catholique, and a great gallant, having 1500l. per annum, patrimony, and is a Knight Barronet; was turned from his persuasion by the late Archbishop Laud. He and the Bishop of Exeter, Dr. Ward, are the two Bishops that the King do say he cannot have bad sermons from. Here I met with Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me, that undoubtedly my Lord Bellasses do go no more to Tangier, and that he do believe he do stand in a likely way to go Governor; though he says, and showed me, a young silly Lord, one Lord Allington, who hath offered a great sum of money to go, and will put hard for it, he having a fine lady, and a great man would be glad to have him out of the way.
After Chapel I down and took out my wife from the pew, where she was talking with a lady whom I knew not till I was gone. It was Mrs. Ashfield of Brampton, who had with much civility been, it seems, at our house to see her. I am sorry I did not show her any more respect.
With my wife to Sir G. Carteret’s, where we dined and mightily made of, and most extraordinary people they are to continue friendship with for goodness, virtue, and nobleness and interest. After dinner he and I alone awhile and did joy ourselves in my Lord Sandwich’s being out of the way all this time. He concurs that we are in a way of ruin by thus being forced to keep only small squadrons out, but do tell me that it was not choice, but only force, that we could not keep out the whole fleete. He tells me that the King is very kind to my Lord Sandwich, and did himself observe to him (Sir G. Carteret), how those very people, meaning the Prince and Duke of Albemarle, are punished in the same kind as they did seek to abuse my Lord Sandwich. Thence away, and got a hackney coach and carried my wife home, and there only drank, and myself back again to my Lord Treasurer’s, where the King, Duke of York, and Sir G. Carteret and Lord Arlington were and none else, so I staid not, but to White Hall, and there meeting nobody I would speak with, walked into the Park and took two or three turns all alone, and then took coach and home, where I find Mercer, who I was glad to see, but durst shew so, my wife being displeased with her, and indeed I fear she is grown a very gossip. I to my chamber, and there fitted my arguments which I had promised Mr. Gawden in his behalf in some pretences to allowance of the King, and then to supper, and so to my chamber a little again, and then to bed. Duke of Buckingham not heard of yet.

my way is the way of sand
the way of ash
the way of ruin

not the way a body turns
all alone
into amber


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 17 March 1667.

Infection

Up, and to the office, where all the morning; at noon home to dinner, and then to the office again in the afternoon, and there all day very busy till night, and then, having done much business, home to supper, and so to bed. This afternoon come home Sir J. Minnes, who has been down, but with little purpose, to pay the ships below at the Nore. This evening, having done my letters, I did write out the heads of what I had prepared to speak to the King the other day at my Lord Treasurer’s, which I do think convenient to keep by me for future use. The weather is now grown warm again, after much cold; and it is observable that within these eight days I did see smoke remaining, coming out of some cellars, from the late great fire, now above six months since. There was this day at the office (as he is most days) Sir W. Warren, against whom I did manifestly plead, and heartily too, God forgive me! But the reason is because I do find that he do now wholly rely almost upon my Lord Bruncker, though I confess I have no greater ground of my leaving him than the confidence which I perceive he hath got in my Lord Bruncker, whose seeming favours only do obtain of him as much compensation as, I believe (for he do know well the way of using his bounties), as mine more real. Besides, my Lord and I being become antagonistic, I do not think it safe for me to trust myself in the hands of one whom I know to be a knave, and using all means to become gracious there.

night having been let out of
a cold cellar

the ground favors us
as more real

I do not think it safe
to trust my hands


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 16 March 1667.