Maquiladoras

By coach to the Duke of Albemarle, where Sir W. Batten and I only met. Troubled at my heart to see how things are ordered there without consideration or understanding. Thence back by coach and called at Wotton’s, my shoemaker, lately come to towne, and bespoke shoes, as also got him to find me a taylor to make me some clothes, my owne being not yet in towne, nor Pym, my Lord Sandwich’s taylor. So he helped me to a pretty man, one Mr. Penny, against St. Dunstan’s Church. Thence to the ‘Change and there met Mr. Moore, newly come to towne, and took him home to dinner with me and after dinner to talke, and he and I do conclude my Lord’s case to be very bad and may be worse, if he do not get a pardon for his doings about the prizes and his business at Bergen, and other things done by him at sea, before he goes for Spayne. I do use all the art I can to get him to get my Lord to pay my cozen Pepys, for it is a great burden to my mind my being bound for my Lord in 1000l. to him. Having done discourse with him and directed him to go with my advice to my Lord expresse to-morrow to get his pardon perfected before his going, because of what I read the other night in Sir W. Coventry’s letter, I to the office, and there had an extraordinary meeting of Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and Sir W. Pen, and my Lord Bruncker and I to hear my paper read about pursers, which they did all of them with great good will and great approbation of my method and pains in all, only Sir W. Pen, who must except against every thing and remedy nothing, did except against my proposal for some reasons, which I could not understand, I confess, nor my Lord Bruncker neither, but he did detect indeed a failure or two of mine in my report about the ill condition of the present pursers, which I did magnify in one or two little things, to which, I think, he did with reason except, but at last with all respect did declare the best thing he ever heard of this kind, but when Sir W. Batten did say, “Let us that do know the practical part of the Victualling meet Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Pen and I and see what we can do to mend all, he was so far from offering or furthering it, that he declined it and said, he must be out of towne. So as I ever knew him never did in his life ever attempt to mend any thing, but suffer all things to go on in the way they are, though never so bad, rather than improve his experience to the King’s advantage. So we broke up, however, they promising to meet to offer some thing in it of their opinions, and so we rose, and I and my Lord Bruncker by coach a little way for discourse sake, till our coach broke, and tumbled me over him quite down the side of the coach, falling on the ground about the Stockes, but up again, and thinking it fit to have for my honour some thing reported in writing to the Duke in favour of my pains in this, lest it should be thought to be rejected as frivolous, I did move it to my Lord, and he will see it done to-morrow. So we parted, and I to the office and thence home to my poor wife, who works all day at home like a horse, at the making of her hangings for our chamber and the bed. So to supper and to bed.

bled to make shoes
to make clothes

which they did with good will
and great pain

who could not say Let us see
what we can do to mend all

as a fur of experience
rose over us like amber


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 12 January 1666.

High seriousness

Up and to the office. By and by to the Custome House to the Farmers, there with a letter of Sir G. Carteret’s for 3000l., which they ordered to be paid me. So away back again to the office, and at noon to dinner all of us by invitation to Sir W. Pen’s, and much other company. Among others, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Broome, his poet, and Dr. Whistler, and his (Sir W. Pen’s) son-in-law Lowder, servant to Mrs. Margaret Pen, and Sir Edward Spragg, a merry man, that sang a pleasant song pleasantly. Rose from table before half dined, and with Mr. Mountney of the Custome House to the East India House, and there delivered to him tallys for 3000l. and received a note for the money on Sir R. Viner. So ended the matter, and back to my company, where staid a little, and thence away with my Lord Bruncker for discourse sake, and he and I to Gresham College to have seen Mr. Hooke and a new invented chariott of Dr. Wilkins, but met with nobody at home! So to Dr. Wilkins’s, where I never was before, and very kindly received and met with Dr. Merritt, and fine discourse among them to my great joy, so sober and so ingenious. He is now upon finishing his discourse of a universal character. So away and I home to my office about my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.

by custom
the poet and his rose live
in an invented chariot
with no joy

so sober and ingenious an outlet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 11 January 1666.

Under standing

Up, and by coach to Sir G. Downing, where Mr. Gawden met me by agreement to talke upon the Act. I do find Sir G. Downing to be a mighty talker, more than is true, which I now know to be so, and suspected it before, but for all that I have good grounds to think it will succeed for goods and in time for money too, but not presently. Having done with him, I to my Lord Bruncker’s house in Covent-Garden, and, among other things, it was to acquaint him with my paper of Pursers, and read it to him, and had his good liking of it. Shewed him Mr. Coventry’s sense of it, which he sent me last post much to my satisfaction. Thence to the ‘Change, and there hear to our grief how the plague is encreased this week from seventy to eighty-nine. We have also great fear of our Hambrough fleete, of their meeting the Dutch; as also have certain newes, that by storms Sir Jer. Smith’s fleet is scattered, and three of them come without masts back to Plymouth, which is another very exceeding great disappointment, and if the victualling ships are miscarried will tend to the losse of the garrison of Tangier. Thence home, in my way had the opportunity I longed for, of seeing and saluting Mrs. Stokes, my little goldsmith’s wife in Paternoster Row, and there bespoke some thing, a silver chafing-dish for warming plates, and so home to dinner, found my wife busy about making her hangings for her chamber with the upholster. So I to the office and anon to the Duke of Albemarle, by coach at night, taking, for saving time, Sir W. Warren with me, talking of our businesses all the way going and coming, and there got his reference of my pursers’ paper to the Board to consider of it before he reads it, for he will never understand it I am sure. Here I saw Sir W. Coventry’s kind letter to him concerning my paper, and among others of his letters, which I saw all, and that is a strange thing, that whatever is writ to this Duke of Albemarle, all the world may see; for this very night he did give me Mr. Coventry’s letter to read, soon as it come to his hand, before he had read it himself, and bid me take out of it what concerned the Navy, and many things there was in it, which I should not have thought fit for him to have let any body so suddenly see; but, among other things, find him profess himself to the Duke a friend into the inquiring further into the business of Prizes, and advises that it may be publique, for the righting the King, and satisfying the people and getting the blame to be rightly laid where it should be, which strikes very hard upon my Lord Sandwich, and troubles me to read it. Besides, which vexes me more, I heard the damned Duchesse again say to twenty gentlemen publiquely in the room, that she would have Montagu sent once more to sea, before he goes his Embassy, that we may see whether he will make amends for his cowardice, and repeated the answer she did give the other day in my hearing to Sir G. Downing, wishing her Lord had been a coward, for then perhaps he might have been made an Embassador, and not been sent now to sea. But one good thing she said, she cried mightily out against the having of gentlemen Captains with feathers and ribbands, and wished the King would send her husband to sea with the old plain sea Captains, that he served with formerly, that would make their ships swim with blood, though they could not make legs as Captains nowadays can.
It grieved me to see how slightly the Duke do every thing in the world, and how the King and every body suffers whatever he will to be done in the Navy, though never so much against reason, as in the business of recalling tickets, which will be done notwithstanding all the arguments against it. So back again to my office, and there to business and so to bed.

I find more than ground
or grief under me

among other things the damned
a sea of feathers
plain blood

the legs and body
of a tick


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 10 January 1666.

Aspirational

Up, and then to the office, where we met first since the plague, which God preserve us in! At noon home to dinner, where uncle Thomas with me, and in comes Pierce lately come from Oxford, and Ferrers. After dinner Pierce and I up to my chamber, where he tells me how a great difference hath been between the Duke and Duchesse, he suspecting her to be naught with Mr. Sidney. But some way or other the matter is made up; but he was banished the Court, and the Duke for many days did not speak to the Duchesse at all. He tells me that my Lord Sandwich is lost there at Court, though the King is particularly his friend. But people do speak every where slightly of him; which is a sad story to me, but I hope it may be better again. And that Sir G. Carteret is neglected, and hath great enemies at work against him. That matters must needs go bad, while all the town, and every boy in the streete, openly cries, “The King cannot go away till my Lady Castlemaine be ready to come along with him;” she being lately put to bed. And that he visits her and Mrs. Stewart every morning before he eats his breakfast. All this put together makes me very sad, but yet I hope I shall do pretty well among them for all this, by my not meddling with either of their matters. He and Ferrers gone I paid uncle Thomas his last quarter’s money, and then comes Mr. Gawden and he and I talked above stairs together a good while about his business, and to my great joy got him to declare that of the 500l. he did give me the other day, none of it was for my Treasurershipp for Tangier (I first telling him how matters stand between Povy and I, that he was to have half of whatever was coming to me by that office), and that he will gratify me at 2 per cent. for that when he next receives any money. So there is 80l. due to me more than I thought of. He gone I with a glad heart to the office to write, my letters and so home to supper and bed, my wife mighty full of her worke she hath to do in furnishing her bedchamber.

noon banished
to a lost town

every street ready
to be stairs


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 9 January 1666.

Sheriff

Up, and my wife and I by coach to Bennett’s, in Paternoster Row, few shops there being yet open, and there bought velvett for a coate, and camelott for a cloake for myself; and thence to a place to look over some fine counterfeit damasks to hang my wife’s closett, and pitched upon one, and so by coach home again, I calling at the ‘Change, and so home to dinner and all the afternoon look after my papers at home and my office against to-morrow, and so after supper and considering the uselessness of laying out so much money upon my wife’s closett, but only the chamber, to bed.

I open a velvet coat
and am oak
a place to hang
and itch
and change to paper


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 January 1666.

Listening up

(Lord’s day). Up, and being trimmed I was invited by Captain Cocke, so I left my wife, having a mind to some discourse with him, and dined with him. He tells me of new difficulties about his goods which troubles me and I fear they will be great. He tells me too what I hear everywhere how the towne talks of my Lord Craven being to come into Sir G. Carteret’s place; but sure it cannot be true. But I do fear those two families, his and my Lord Sandwich’s, are quite broken. And I must now stand upon my own legs.
Thence to my lodging, and considering how I am hindered by company there to do any thing among my papers, I did resolve to go away to-day rather than stay to no purpose till to-morrow and so got all my things packed up and spent half an hour with W. Howe about his papers of accounts for contingencies and my Lord’s accounts, so took leave of my landlady and daughters, having paid dear for what time I have spent there, but yet having been quiett and my health, I am very well contented therewith. So with my wife and Mercer took boat and away home; but in the evening, before I went, comes Mrs. Knipp, just to speake with me privately, to excuse her not coming to me yesterday, complaining how like a devil her husband treats her, but will be with us in towne a weeke hence, and so I kissed her and parted.
Being come home, my wife and I to look over our house and consider of laying out a little money to hang our bedchamber better than it is, and so resolved to go and buy something to-morrow, and so after supper, with great joy in my heart for my coming once again hither, to bed.

hear how a raven
can be true but broken

how the quiet comes to speak
privately like a kiss

and art inside-out
is heart once again


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 January 1666.

Magical thinking

Up betimes and by water to the Cockepitt, there met Sir G. Carteret and, after discourse with the Duke, all together, and there saw a letter wherein Sir W. Coventry did take notice to the Duke with a commendation of my paper about Pursers, I to walke in the Parke with the Vice-Chamberlain, and received his advice about my deportment about the advancing the credit of the Act; giving me caution to see that we do not misguide the King by making them believe greater matters from it than will be found. But I see that this arises from his great trouble to see the Act succeede, and to hear my name so much used and my letters shown at Court about goods served us in upon the credit of it. But I do make him believe that I do it with all respect to him and on his behalfe too, as indeed I do, as well as my owne, that it may not be said that he or I do not assist therein. He tells me that my Lord Sandwich do proceed on his journey with the greatest kindnesse that can be imagined from the King and Chancellor, which was joyfull newes to me.
Thence with Lord Bruncker to Greenwich by water to a great dinner and much company; Mr. Cottle and his lady and others and I went, hoping to get Mrs. Knipp to us, having wrote a letter to her in the morning, calling myself “Dapper Dicky,” in answer to hers of “Barbary Allen,” but could not, and am told by the boy that carried my letter, that he found her crying; but I fear she lives a sad life with that ill-natured fellow her husband: so we had a great, but I a melancholy dinner, having not her there, as I hoped. After dinner to cards, and then comes notice that my wife is come unexpectedly to me to towne. So I to her. It is only to see what I do, and why I come not home; and she is in the right that I would have a little more of Mrs. Knipp’s company before I go away. My wife to fetch away my things from Woolwich, and I back to cards and after cards to choose King and Queene, and a good cake there was, but no marks found; but I privately found the clove, the mark of the knave, and privately put it into Captain Cocke’s piece, which made some mirthe, because of his lately being knowne by his buying of clove and mace of the East India prizes. At night home to my lodging, where I find my wife returned with my things, and there also Captain Ferrers is come upon business of my Lord’s to this town about getting some goods of his put on board in order to his going to Spain, and Ferrers presumes upon my finding a bed for him, which I did not like to have done without my invitation because I had done [it] several times before, during the plague, that he could not provide himself safely elsewhere. But it being Twelfth Night, they had got the fiddler and mighty merry they were; and I above come not to them, but when I had done my business among my papers went to bed, leaving them dancing, and choosing King and Queene.

the pit is my guide
it rises from my own
make-believe sand

do I imagine a chance joy
or live with nature
having no cards for king and queen

the mark of the knave
is buying love
I find my wife in bed with the plague


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 6 January 1666.

Flow

I with my Lord Bruncker and Mrs. Williams by coach with four horses to London, to my Lord’s house in Covent-Guarden. But, Lord! what staring to see a nobleman’s coach come to town. And porters every where bow to us; and such begging of beggars! And a delightfull thing it is to see the towne full of people again as now it is; and shops begin to open, though in many places seven or eight together, and more, all shut; but yet the towne is full, compared with what it used to be. I mean the City end; for Covent-Guarden and Westminster are yet very empty of people, no Court nor gentry being there. Set Mrs. Williams down at my Lord’s house and he and I to Sir G. Carteret, at his chamber at White Hall, he being come to town last night to stay one day. So my Lord and he and I much talke about the Act, what credit we find upon it, but no private talke between him and I. So I to the ‘Change, and there met Mr. Povy, newly come to town, and he and I to Sir George Smith’s and there dined nobly. He tells me how my Lord Bellases complains for want of money and of him and me therein, but I value it not, for I know I do all that can be done. We had no time to talk of particulars, but leave it to another day, and I away to Cornhill to expect my Lord Bruncker’s coming back again, and I staid at my stationer’s house, and by and by comes my Lord, and did take me up and so to Greenwich, and after sitting with them a while at their house, home, thinking to get Mrs. Knipp, but could not, she being busy with company, but sent me a pleasant letter, writing herself “Barbary Allen.” I went therefore to Mr. Boreman’s for pastime, and there staid an houre or two talking with him, and reading a discourse about the River of Thames, the reason of its being choked up in several places with shelfes; which is plain is, by the encroachments made upon the River, and running out of causeways into the River at every wood-wharfe; which was not heretofore when Westminster Hall and White Hall were built, and Redriffe Church, which now are sometimes overflown with water. I had great satisfaction herein. So home and to my papers for lacke of company, but by and by comes little Mrs. Tooker and sat and supped with me, and I kept her very late talking and making her comb my head, and did what I will with her et tena grande plaisir con ella, tocando sa cosa con mi cosa, and hazendo la cosa per cette moyen. So late to bed.

such light
full yet empty of people

all that corn
thinking to itself

a river
running into the river


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 5 January 1666.

Wolf at the door

Up, and to the office, where my Lord Bruncker and I, against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes and the whole table, for Sir W. Warren in the business of his mast contract, and overcome them and got them to do what I had a mind to, for indeed my Lord being unconcerned in what I aimed at. So home to dinner, where Mr. Sheldon come by invitation from Woolwich, and as merry as I could be with all my thoughts about me and my wife still in pain of her tooth. He anon took leave and took Mrs. Barbary his niece home with him, and seems very thankful to me for the 10l. I did give him for my wife’s rent of his house, and I am sure I am beholding to him, for it was a great convenience to me, and then my wife home to London by water and I to the office till 8 at night, and so to my Lord Bruncker’s, thinking to have been merry, having appointed a meeting for Sir J. Minnes and his company and Mrs. Knipp again, but whatever hindered I know not, but no company come, which vexed me because it disappointed me of the glut of mirthe I hoped for. However, good discourse with my Lord and merry, with Mrs. Williams’s descants upon Sir J. Minnes’s and Mrs. Turner’s not coming. So home and to bed.

against the whole table
a tooth of night

pointed at any
glut of mirth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 4 January 1666.

Scribe

Up, and all the morning till three in the afternoon examining and fitting up my Pursers’ paper and sent it away by an Expresse. Then comes my wife, and I set her to get supper ready against I go to the Duke of Albemarle and back again; and at the Duke’s with great joy I received the good news of the decrease of the plague this week to 70, and but 253 in all; which is the least Bill hath been known these twenty years in the City. Through the want of people in London is it, that must make it so low below the ordinary number for Bills. So home, and find all my good company I had bespoke, as Coleman and his wife, and Laneare, Knipp and her surly husband; and good musique we had, and, among other things, Mrs. Coleman sang my words I set of “Beauty retire,” and I think it is a good song, and they praise it mightily. Then to dancing and supper, and mighty merry till Mr. Rolt come in, whose pain of the tooth-ake made him no company, and spoilt ours; so he away, and then my wife’s teeth fell of akeing, and she to bed. So forced to break up all with a good song, and so to bed.

mining paper for words
I raise a mighty ache
and spoil for a song


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 January 1666.