Besitted

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Up before day, and by coach to Sir W. Coventry’s, and with him to White Hall, and there walked a great while with him in the garden till the Commissioners of the Treasury met, and there talked over many businesses, and particularly he tells me that by my desire he hath moved the Duke of York that Sir J. Minnes might be removed from the Navy, at least the Controller’s place, and his business put on my Lord Brouncker and Sir W. Pen; that the Committee for Accounts are good sober men, and such as he thinks we shall have fair play from; that he hopes that the kingdom will escape ruin in general, notwithstanding all our fears, and yet I find he do seem not very confident in it. So to the Commissioners of the Treasury, and there I had a dispute before them with Sir Stephen Fox about our orders for money, who is very angry, but I value it not. But, Lord! to see with what folly my Lord Albemarle do speak in this business would make a man wonder at the good fortune of such a fool. Thence meeting there with Creed, he and I to the Exchange, and there I saw Carr stand in the pillory for the business of my Lord Gerard, which is supposed will make a hot business in the House of Commons, when they shall come to sit again, the Lords having ordered this with great injustice, as all people think, his only fault being the printing his petition before, by accident, his petition be read in the House. Here walked up and down the Exchange with Creed, and then home to dinner, and there hear by Creed that the Bishops of Winchester and of Rochester, and the Dean of the Chapel, and some other great prelates, are suspended: and a cloud upon the Archbishop ever since the late business in the House of Lords; and I believe it will be a heavy blow to the Clergy. This noon I bought a sermon of Dr. Floyd’s, which Creed read a great part of to me and Mr. Hollier, who dined with me, but as well writ and as good, against the Church of Rome, as ever I read; but, Lord! how Hollier, poor man, was taken with it. They gone I to the office, and there very late with Mr. Willson and my people about the making of a new contract for the victualler, which do and will require a great deal of pains of me, and so to supper and to bed, my wife being pretty well all this day by reason of her imposthume being broke in her cheek into her mouth. This day, at the ’Change, Creed shewed me Mr. Coleman, of whom my wife hath so good an opinion, and says that he is as very a rogue for women as any in the world; which did disquiet me, like a fool, and run in my mind a great while.

in the garden of my desire
I sit with a cloud

heavy as a church
as an office
as a quiet fool

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 December 1667.

Only world

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(Lord’s day). Up, and my wife, poor wretch, still in pain, and then to dress myself and down to my chamber to settle some papers, and thither come to me Willet with an errand from her mistress, and this time I first did give her a little kiss, she being a very pretty humoured girle, and so one that I do love mightily. Thence to my office, and there did a little business, and so to church, where a dull sermon, and then home, and Cozen Kate Joyce come and dined with me and Mr. Holliard; but by chance I offering occasion to him to discourse of the Church of Rome, Lord! how he run on to discourse with the greatest vehemence and importunity in the world, as the only thing in the world that he is full of, and it was good sport to me to see him so earnest on so little occasion. She come to see us and to tell me that her husband is going to build his house again, and would borrow of me 300l., which I shall upon good security be willing to do, and so told her, being willing to have some money out of my hands upon good security. After dinner up to my wife again, who is in great pain still with her tooth, and there, they gone, I spent the most of the afternoon and night reading and talking to bear her company, and so to supper and to bed.

will a first kiss
dull the discourse

how is an only world
so little

tell me to build again
and borrow some pain

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 22 December 1667.

I beg to differ

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At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner with my Clerks and Creed, who among other things all alone, after dinner, talking of the times, he tells me that the Nonconformists are mighty high, and their meetings frequented and connived at; and they do expect to have their day now soon; for my Lord of Buckingham is a declared friend to them, and even to the Quakers, who had very good words the other day from the King himself: and, what is more, the Archbishop of Canterbury is called no more to the Cabal, nor, by the way, Sir W. Coventry; which I am sorry for, the Cabal at present being, as he says, the King, and Duke of Buckingham, and Lord Keeper, the Duke of Albemarle, and Privy Seale. The Bishops, differing from the King in the late business in the House of Lords, having caused this and what is like to follow, for every body is encouraged nowadays to speak, and even to preach, as I have heard one of them, as bad things against them as ever in the year 1640; which is a strange change. He gone, I to the office, where busy till late at night, and then home to sit with my wife, who is a little better, and her cheek asswaged. I read to her out of “The History of Algiers,” which is mighty pretty reading, and did discourse alone about my sister Pall’s match, which is now on foot with one Jackson, another nephew of Mr. Phillips’s, to whom he hath left his estate.

who among nonconformists
expect to have their day

my words keep differing
with my lips

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 December 1667.

Sunburnout

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Up, and all the morning at the office with Sir R. Ford and the same company as on Wednesday about my Lady Batten’s accounts. At noon home to dinner, where my poor wife in bed in mighty pain, her left cheek so swelled as that we feared it would break, and so were fain to send for Mr. Hollier, who come, and seems doubtful of the defluxions of humours that may spoil her face, if not timely cured. He laid a poultice to it and other directions, and so away, and I to the office, where on the same accounts very late, and did come pretty near a settlement. So at night to Sir W. Pen’s with Sir R. Ford, and there was Sir D. Gawden, and there we only talked of sundry things; and I have found of late, by discourse, that the present sort of government is looked upon as a sort of government that we never had yet — that is to say, a King and House of Commons against the House of Lords; for so indeed it is, though neither of the two first care a fig for one another, nor the third for them both, only the Bishops are afeard of losing ground, as I believe they will. So home to my poor wife, who is in mighty pain, and her face miserably swelled: so as I was frighted to see it, and I was forced to lie below in the great chamber, where I have not lain many a day, and having sat up with her, talking and reading and pitying her, I to bed.

any doubt may spoil
directions to the sun

looked upon as a sort
of government

for neither the fig
nor for my poor face
miserably swelled

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 December 1667.

Divide

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Up, and to the Office, where Commissioner Middleton first took place at the Board as Surveyor of the Navy; and indeed I think will be an excellent officer; I am sure much beyond what his predecessor was. At noon, to avoid being forced to invite him to dinner, it being his first day, and nobody inviting him, I did go to the ’Change with Sir W. Pen in his coach, who first went to Guildhall, whither I went with him, he to speak with Sheriff Gawden — I only for company; and did here look up and down this place, where I have not been before since the fire; and I see that the city are got a pace on in the rebuilding of Guildhall. Thence to the ’Change, where I stayed very little, and so home to dinner, and there find my wife mightily out of order with her teeth. At the office all the afternoon, and at night by coach to Westminster, to the Hall, where I met nobody, and do find that this evening the King by message (which he never did before) hath passed several bills, among others that for the Accounts, and for banishing my Lord Chancellor, and hath adjourned the House to February; at which I am glad, hoping in this time to get leisure to state my Tangier Accounts, and to prepare better for the Parliament’s enquiries. Here I hear how the House of Lords, with great severity, if not tyranny, have ordered poor Carr, who only erred in the manner of the presenting his petition against my Lord Gerard, it being first printed before it was presented; which was, it, seems, by Colonel Sands’s going into the country, into whose hands he had put it: the poor man is ordered to stand in the pillory two or three times, and his eares cut, and be imprisoned I know not how long. But it is believed that the Commons, when they meet, will not be well pleased with it; and they have no reason, I think. Having only heard this from Mrs. Michell, I away again home, and there to supper and to bed, my wife exceeding ill in her face with the tooth ake, and now her face has become mightily swelled that I am mightily troubled for it.

beyond the peak
where I have not been
I see a city building out her teeth

here no other car
only the country

whose hands are believed
when they meet
face to face

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 19 December 1667.

Hushed

Up, and to my goldsmith’s in the morning, to look after the providing of 60l. for Mr. Moore, towards the answering of my Lord Sandwich’s bill of exchange, he being come to be contented with my lending him 60l. in part of it, which pleases me, I expecting to have been forced to answer the whole bill; and this, which I do do, I hope to secure out of the plate, which was delivered into my custody of my Lord’s the other day by Mr. Cooke, and which I did get Mr. Stokes, the goldsmith, last night to weigh at my house, and there is enough to secure 100l.. Thence home to the office, and there all the morning by particular appointment with Sir W. Pen, Sir R. Ford, and those that are concerned for my Lady Batten (Mr. Wood, Young, and Lewes), to even the accounts of our prize business, and at noon broke up, and to dinner, every man to his own home, and to it till late at night again, and we did come to some end, and I am mightily put to it how to order the business of my bargaine, but my industry is to keep it off from discourse till the ship be brought home safe, and this I did do, and so we broke up, she appearing in our debts about 1500l., and so we parted, and I to my business, and home to my wife, who is troubled with the tooth ake, and there however I got her to read to me the History of Algiers, which I find a very pretty book, and so to supper with much pleasure talking, and to bed. The Parliament not adjourned yet.

morning sandwich
deliver me from discourse

till the ship be brought
home safe

and there read to me
the history of pleasure

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 18 December 1667.

Screaming

Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning, and then in the afternoon I with Sir W. Pen and Sir T. Harvy to White Hall to attend the Duke of York, who is now as well as ever, and there we did our usual business with him, and so away home with Sir W. Pen, and there to the office, where pretty late doing business, my wife having been abroad all day with Mrs. Turner buying of one thing or other. This day I do hear at White Hall that the Duke of Monmouth is sick, and in danger of the smallpox. So home to supper and to bed.

ice on the road

a turn buying one
or other mouth
in danger of the pox

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 December 1667.

Isolated

Up, and to several places, to pay what I owed. Among others, to my mercer, to pay for my fine camlott cloak, which costs me, the very stuff, almost 6l.; and also a velvet coat — the outside cost me above 8l.. And so to Westminster, where I find the House mighty busy upon a petition against my Lord Gerard, which lays heavy things to his charge, of his abusing the King in his Guards; and very hot the House is upon it. I away home to dinner alone with wife and girle, and so to the office, where mighty busy to my great content late, and then home to supper, talk with my wife, and to bed. It was doubtful to-day whether the House should be adjourned to-morrow or no.

several places cost me
the very outside

o my heavy house
alone with my doubt

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 16 December 1667.

The get

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where I heard a German preach, in a tone hard to be understood, but yet an extraordinary good sermon, and wholly to my great content. So home, and there all alone with wife and girle to dinner, and then I busy at my chamber all the afternoon, and looking over my plate, which indeed is a very fine quantity, God knows, more than ever I expected to see of my own, and more than is fit for a man of no better quality than I am. In the evening comes Mrs. Turner to visit us, who hath been long sick, and she sat and supped with us, and after supper, her son Francke being there, now upon the point of his going to the East Indys, I did give him “Lex Mercatoria,” and my wife my old pair of tweezers, which are pretty, and my book an excellent one for him. Most of our talk was of the great discourse the world hath against my Lady Batten, for getting her husband to give her all, and disinherit his eldest son; though the truth is, the son, as they say, did play the knave with his father when time was, and the father no great matter better with him, nor with other people also. So she gone, we to bed.

preach in a tone
hard as an old pair
of tweezers

against for-
getting

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 December 1667.

Collaborator

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Up and to the office, where busy, and after dinner also to the office again till night, when Mr. Moore come to me to discourse about the 200l. I must supply my Lord Hinchingbroke, and I promised him to do it, though much against my will. So home, to supper and to bed.

where night is about
I must supply my inch

and promise much
against my will

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 14 December 1667.