Day and night

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…in great pain all night long so as I was not able to go to-day to wait on the Duke of York with my fellows, but was forced in bed to write the particulars for their discourse there, and kept my bed all day, and anon comes Mrs. Turner, and new-dressed my foot, and did it so, that I was at much ease presently, and so continued all day, so as I slept much and well in the daytime, and in the evening rose and eat something, where our poor Jane very sad for the death of her poor brother, who hath left a wife and two small children. I did give her 20s. in money, and what wine she needed, for the burying him. This evening come to see me Pelling, and we did sing together, and he sings well indeed, and after supper I was willing to go to bed to ease my foot again, which I did, and slept well all night.

I wait
in bed all day
dressed
for burying

come to see me
and sing
sing
to ease my night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 July 1667.

Night train

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(Lord’s day). Up, and my wife, a little before four, and to make us ready; and by and by Mrs. Turner come to us, by agreement, and she and I staid talking below, while my wife dressed herself, which vexed me that she was so long about it keeping us till past five o’clock before she was ready. She ready; and, taking some bottles of wine, and beer, and some cold fowle with us into the coach, we took coach and four horses, which I had provided last night, and so away. A very fine day, and so towards Epsum, talking all the way pleasantly, and particularly of the pride and ignorance of Mrs. Lowther, in having of her train carried up? The country very fine, only the way very dusty. We got to Epsum by eight o’clock, to the well; where much company, and there we ’light, and I drank the water: they did not, but do go about and walk a little among the women, but I did drink four pints, and had some very good stools by it. Here I met with divers of our town, among others with several of the tradesmen of our office, but did talk but little with them, it growing hot in the sun, and so we took coach again and to the towne, to the King’s Head, where our coachman carried us, and there had an ill room for us to go into, but the best in the house that was not taken up. Here we called for drink, and bespoke dinner; and hear that my Lord Buckhurst and Nelly are lodged at the next house, and Sir Charles Sidly with them and keep a merry house. Poor girl! I pity her; but more the loss of her at the King’s house. Here I saw Gilsthrop, Sir W. Batten’s clerk that hath been long sick, he looks like a dying man, with a consumption got, as is believed, by the pox, but God knows that the man is in a sad condition, though he finds himself much better since his coming thither, he says. W. Hewer rode with us, and I left him and the women, and myself walked to church, where few people, contrary to what I expected, and none I knew, but all the Houblons, brothers, and them after sermon I did salute, and walk with towards my inne, which was in their way to their lodgings. They come last night to see their elder brother, who stays here at the waters, and away to-morrow. James did tell me that I was the only happy man of the Navy, of whom, he says, during all this freedom the people have taken of speaking treason, he hath not heard one bad word of me, which is a great joy to me; for I hear the same of others, but do know that I have deserved as well as most. We parted to meet anon, and I to my women into a better room, which the people of the house borrowed for us, and there to dinner, a good dinner, and were merry, and Pendleton come to us, who happened to be in the house, and there talked and were merry. After dinner, he gone, we all lay down after dinner (the day being wonderful hot) to sleep, and each of us took a good nap, and then rose; and Tom Wilson come to see me, and sat and talked an hour; and I perceive he hath been much acquainted with Dr. Fuller (Tom) and Dr. Pierson, and several of the great cavalier parsons during the late troubles; and I was glad to hear him talk of them, which he did very ingeniously, and very much of Dr. Fuller’s art of memory, which he did tell me several instances of. By and by he parted, and we took coach and to take the ayre, there being a fine breeze abroad; and I went and carried them to the well, and there filled some bottles of water to carry home with me; and there talked with the two women that farm the well, at 12l. per annum, of the lord of the manor, Mr. Evelyn (who with his lady, and also my Lord George Barkeley’s lady, and their fine daughter, that the King of France liked so well, and did dance so rich in jewells before the King at the Ball I was at, at our Court, last winter, and also their son, a Knight of the Bath, were at church this morning). Here W. Hewer’s horse broke loose, and we had the sport to see him taken again. Then I carried them to see my cozen Pepys’s house, and ’light, and walked round about it, and they like it, as indeed it deserves, very well, and is a pretty place; and then I walked them to the wood hard by, and there got them in the thickets till they had lost themselves, and I could not find the way into any of the walks in the wood, which indeed are very pleasant, if I could have found them. At last got out of the wood again; and I, by leaping down the little bank, coming out of the wood, did sprain my right foot, which brought me great present pain, but presently, with walking, it went away for the present, and so the women and W. Hewer and I walked upon the Downes, where a flock of sheep was; and the most pleasant and innocent sight that ever I saw in my life — we find a shepherd and his little boy reading, far from any houses or sight of people, the Bible to him; so I made the boy read to me, which he did, with the forced tone that children do usually read, that was mighty pretty, and then I did give him something, and went to the father, and talked with him; and I find he had been a servant in my cozen Pepys’s house, and told me what was become of their old servants. He did content himself mightily in my liking his boy’s reading, and did bless God for him, the most like one of the old patriarchs that ever I saw in my life, and it brought those thoughts of the old age of the world in my mind for two or three days after. We took notice of his woolen knit stockings of two colours mixed, and of his shoes shod with iron shoes, both at the toe and heels, and with great nails in the soles of his feet, which was mighty pretty: and, taking notice of them, “Why,” says the poor man, “the downes, you see, are full of stones, and we are faine to shoe ourselves thus; and these,” says he, “will make the stones fly till they sing before me.” I did give the poor man something, for which he was mighty thankful, and I tried to cast stones with his horne crooke. He values his dog mightily, that would turn a sheep any way which he would have him, when he goes to fold them: told me there was about eighteen scoare sheep in his flock, and that he hath four shillings a week the year round for keeping of them: so we posted thence with mighty pleasure in the discourse we had with this poor man, and Mrs. Turner, in the common fields here, did gather one of the prettiest nosegays that ever I saw in my life. So to our coach, and through Mr. Minnes’s wood, and looked upon Mr. Evelyn’s house; and so over the common, and through Epsum towne to our inne, in the way stopping a poor woman with her milk-pail, and in one of my gilt tumblers did drink our bellyfulls of milk, better than any creame; and so to our inne, and there had a dish of creame, but it was sour, and so had no pleasure in it; and so paid our reckoning, and took coach, it being about seven at night, and passed and saw the people walking with their wives and children to take the ayre, and we set out for home, the sun by and by going down, and we in the cool of the evening all the way with much pleasure home, talking and pleasing ourselves with the pleasure of this day’s work, Mrs. Turner mightily pleased with my resolution, which, I tell her, is never to keep a country-house, but to keep a coach, and with my wife on the Saturday to go sometimes for a day to this place, and then quit to another place; and there is more variety and as little charge, and no trouble, as there is in a country-house. Anon it grew dark, and as it grew dark we had the pleasure to see several glow-wormes, which was mighty pretty, but my foot begins more and more to pain me, which Mrs. Turner, by keeping her warm hand upon it, did much ease; but so that when we come home, which was just at eleven at night, I was not able to walk from the lane’s end to my house without being helped, which did trouble me, and therefore to bed presently, but, thanks be to God, found that I had not been missed, nor any business happened in my absence. So to bed, and there had a cerecloth laid to my foot and leg alone, but…

on the night train
we grow into our coach

drink like brothers
sleep like wells of light

walk ’round like lost sheep
far from any houses

read like patriarchs
shod with iron shoes

we fly through the night
cool as a glowworm


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 14 July 1667.

Heatstroke

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Up pretty betimes, it being mighty hot weather, I lying this night, which I have not done, I believe, since a boy, I am sure not since I had the stone before, with only a rugg and a sheet upon me. To my chamber, and my wife up to do something, and by chance we fell out again, but I to the office, and there we did at the board much business, though the most was the dividing of 5000l. which the Lords Commissioners have with great difficulty found upon our letter to them this week that would have required 50,000l. among a great many occasions. After rising, my Lord Anglesey, this being the second time of his being with us, did take me aside and asked me where I lived, because he would be glad to have some discourse with me. This I liked well enough, and told him I would wait upon him, which I will do, and so all broke up, and I home to dinner, where Mr. Pierce dined with us, who tells us what troubles me, that my Lord Buckhurst hath got Nell away from the King’s house, lies with her, and gives her 100l. a year, so as she hath sent her parts to the house, and will act no more.1 And yesterday Sir Thomas Crew told me that Lacy lies a-dying of the pox, and yet hath his whore by him, whom he will have to look on, he says, though he can do no more; nor would receive any ghostly advice from a Bishop, an old acquaintance of his, that went to see him. He says there is a strangeness between the King and my Lady Castlemayne, as I was told yesterday.
After dinner my wife and I to the New Exchange, to pretty maid Mrs. Smith’s shop, where I left my wife, and I to Sir W. Coventry, and there had the opportunity of talk with him, who I perceive do not like our business of the change of the Treasurer’s hand, and he tells me that he is entered the lists with this new Treasurer before the King in taking away the business of the Victualling money from his hand, and the Regiment, and declaring that he hath no right to the 3d. per by his patent, for that it was always heretofore given by particular Privy Seal, and that the King and Council just upon his coming in had declared 2000l. a year sufficient. This makes him angry, but Sir W. Coventry I perceive cares not, but do every day hold up his head higher and higher, and this day I have received an order from the Commissioners of the Treasury to pay no more pensions for Tangier, which I am glad of, and he tells me they do make bold with all things of that kind. Thence I to White Hall, and in the street I spied Mrs. Borroughs, and took a means to meet and salute her and talk a little, and then parted, and I home by coach, taking up my wife at the Exchange, and there I am mightily pleased with this Mrs. Smith, being a very pleasant woman. So home, and resolved upon going to Epsum tomorrow, only for ayre, and got Mrs. Turner to go with us, and so home and to supper (after having been at the office) and to bed. It is an odd and sad thing to say, that though this be a peace worse than we had before, yet every body’s fear almost is, that the Dutch will not stand by their promise, now the King hath consented to all they would have. And yet no wise man that I meet with, when he comes to think of it, but wishes, with all his heart, a war; but that the King is not a man to be trusted with the management of it. It was pleasantly said by a man in this City, a stranger, to one that told him that the peace was concluded, “Well,” says he, “and have you a peace?” — “Yes,” says the other. — “Why, then,” says he, “hold your peace!” partly reproaching us with the disgracefulness of it, that it is not fit to be mentioned; and next, that we are not able to make the Dutch keep it, when they have a mind to break it.
Sir Thomas Crew yesterday, speaking of the King of France, how great a man he is, why, says he, all the world thought that when the last Pope died, there would have been such bandying between the Crowns of France and Spain, whereas, when he was asked what he would have his ministers at Rome do, why, says he, let them choose who they will; if the Pope will do what is fit, the Pope and I will be friends. If he will not, I will take a course with him: therefore, I will not trouble myself; and thereupon the election was despatched in a little time — I think in a day, and all ended.

in hot weather lying
with only a sheet upon me
like a ghost

there is a strangeness
between hand and head
and I miss the body’s city

when I at last die
will I be friends with it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 13 July 1667.

Positive thinking

Up betimes and to my office, and there busy till the office (which was only Sir T. Harvy and myself) met, and did little business and then broke up. He tells me that the Council last night did sit close to determine of the King’s answer about the peace, and that though he do not certainly know, yet by all discourse yesterday he do believe it is peace, and that the King had said it should be peace, and had bidden Alderman Backewell to declare [it] upon the ’Change. It is high time for us to have peace that the King and Council may get up their credits and have time to do it, for that indeed is the bottom of all our misery, that nobody have any so good opinion of the King and his Council and their advice as to lend money or venture their persons, or estates, or pains upon people that they know cannot thrive with all that we can do, but either by their corruption or negligence must be undone. This indeed is the very bottom of every man’s thought, and the certain ground that we must be ruined unless the King change his course, or the Parliament come and alter it. At noon dined alone with my wife. All the afternoon close at the office, very hard at gathering papers and putting things in order against the Parliament, and at night home with my wife to supper, and then to bed, in hopes to have all things in my office in good condition in a little time for any body to examine, which I am sure none else will.

busy and broke
we do not believe we are in misery
or that we can be undone

this is the very bottom of every thought
the ground that we ruin
putting in a mine


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 11 July 1667.

Over

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Up, and to the office betimes, and there all the morning very busy causing papers to be entered and sorted to put the office in order against the Parliament. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again close all the afternoon upon the same occasion with great pleasure till late, and then with my wife and Mercer in the garden and sung, and then home and sung, and to supper with great content, and so to bed. The Duke of York is come back last night from Harwich, the news he brings I know not, nor hear anything to-day from Dover, whether the enemy have made any attempt there as was expected. This day our girle Mary, whom Payne helped us to, to be under his daughter, when she come to be our cook-mayde, did go away declaring that she must be where she might earn something one day, and spend it and play away the next. But a good civil wench, and one neither wife nor I did ever give angry word to, but she has this silly vanity that she must play.

causing papers to be entered and sorted
I lose the afternoon
the sun is now over
the under day


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 10 July 1667.

Consumer report

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Up pretty betimes and to the office, where busy till office time, and then we sat, but nothing to do but receive clamours about money. This day my Lord Anglesey, our new Treasurer, come the first time to the Board, and there sat with us till noon; and I do perceive he is a very notable man, and understanding, and will do things regular, and understand them himself, not trust Fenn, as Sir G. Carteret did, and will solicit soundly for money, which I do fear was Sir G. Carteret’s fault, that he did not do that enough, considering the age we live in, that nothing will do but by solicitation, though never so good for the King or Kingdom, and a bad business well solicited shall, for peace sake, speed when a good one shall not. But I do confess that I do think it a very bold act of him to take upon himself the place of Treasurer of the Navy at this time, but when I consider that a regular accountant never ought to fear any thing nor have reason I then do cease to wonder. At noon home to dinner and to play on the flageolet with my wife, and then to the office, where very busy close at my office till late at night. At night walked and sang with my wife in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed. This evening news comes for certain that the Dutch are with their fleete before Dover, and that it is expected they will attempt something there. The business of the peace is quite dashed again, so as now it is doubtful whether the King will condescend to what the Dutch demand, it being so near the Parliament, it being a thing that will, it may be, recommend him to them when they shall find that the not having of a peace lies on his side by denying some of their demands.
This morning Captain Clerke (Robin Clerke) was at the table, now commands the Monmouth, and did when the enemy passed the chaine at Chatham the other day, who said publickly at the table that he did admire at the order when it was brought him for sinking of the Monmouth (to the endangering of the ship, and spoiling of all her provisions) when her number of men were upon her that he could have carried her up the River whither he pleased, and have been a guard to the rest, and could have sunk her at any time. He did carry some 100 barrels of powder out of the ship to save it after the orders come for the sinking her. He knew no reason at all, he declares, that could lead them to order the sinking her, nor the rest of the great ships that were sunk, but above all admires they would burn them on shore and sink them there, when it had been better to have sunk them long way in the middle of the River, for then they would not have burned them so low as now they did.

nothing to do
so nothing will do

I cease to wonder

the evening news comes
with its ash

visions on ship
that sink on shore


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 9 July 1667.

Refugees

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Up, and to my chamber, and by and by comes Greeting, and to my flageolett with him with a pretty deal of pleasure, and then to the office, where W. Batten, W. Pen and I met about putting men to work for the weighing of the ships in the River sunk. Then home again, and there heard Mr. Caesar play some very good things on the lute together with myself on the violl and Greeting on the viallin. Then with my wife abroad by coach, she to her tailor‘s, I to Westminster to Burges about my Tangier business, and thence to White Hall, where I spoke with Sir John Nicholas, who tells me that Mr. Coventry is come from Bredah, as was expected; but, contrary to expectation, brings with him two or three articles which do not please the King: as, to retrench the Act of Navigation, and then to ascertain what are contraband goods; and then that those exiled persons, who are or shall take refuge in their country, may be secure from any further prosecution. Whether these will be enough to break the peace upon, or no, he cannot tell; but I perceive the certainty of peace is blown over. So called on my wife and met Creed by the way, and they two and I to Charing Cross, there to see the great boy and girle that are lately come out of Ireland, the latter eight, the former but four years old, of most prodigious bigness for their age. I tried to weigh them in my arms, and find them twice as heavy as people almost twice their age; and yet I am apt to believe they are very young. Their father a little sorry fellow, and their mother an old Irish woman. They have had four children of this bigness, and four of ordinary growth, whereof two of each are dead. If, as my Lord Ormond certifies, it be true that they are no older, it is very monstrous. So home and to dinner with my wife and to pipe, and then I to the office, where busy all the afternoon till the evening, and then with my wife by coach abroad to Bow and Stratford, it being so dusty weather that there was little pleasure in it, and so home and to walk in the garden, and thither comes Pelling to us to talk, and so in and to supper, and then to bed. All the world being as I hear very much damped that their hopes of peace is become uncertain again.

sun and Caesar hit those
who take refuge in their country

call on a cross twice
as heavy as they are

their children grow monstrous
in the dust


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 July 1667.

Divisive

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(Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, there to settle some papers, and thither comes Mr. Moore to me and talked till church time of the news of the times about the peace and the bad consequences of it if it be not improved to good purpose of fitting ourselves for another war. He tells me he heard that the discontented Parliament-men are fearful that the next sitting the King will put for a general excise, by which to raise him money, and then to fling off the Parliament, and raise a land-army and keep them all down like slaves; and it is gotten among them, that Bab. May, the Privy-purse, hath been heard to say that 300l. a-year is enough for any country gentleman; which makes them mad, and they do talk of 6 or 800,000l. gone into the Privy-purse this war, when in King James’s time it arose but to 5,000l., and in King Charles’s but 10,000l. in a year. He tells me that a goldsmith in town told him that, being with some plate with my Lady Castlemayne lately, she directed her woman (the great beauty), “Wilson,” says she, “make a note for this, and for that, to the Privy-purse for money.” He tells me a little more of the baseness of the courses taken at Court in the case of Mr. Moyer, who is at liberty, and is to give 500l. for his liberty; but now the great ones are divided, who shall have the money, the Duke of Albemarle on one hand, and another Lord on the other; and that it is fain to be decided by having the person’s name put into the King’s warrant for his liberty, at whose intercession the King shall own that he is set at liberty; which is a most lamentable thing, that we do professedly own that we do these things, not for right and justice sake, but only to gratify this or that person about the King. God forgive us all!
Busy till noon, and then home to dinner, and Mr. Moore come and dined with us, and much more discourse at and after dinner of the same kind, and then, he gone, I to my office busy till the evening, and then with my wife and Jane over to Half-way house, a very good walk; and there drank, and in the cool of the evening back again, and sang with pleasure upon the water, and were mightily pleased in hearing a boatfull of Spaniards sing, and so home to supper and to bed. Jane of late mighty fine, by reason of a laced whiske her mistress hath given her, which makes her a very gracefull servant. But, above all, my wife and I were the most surprised in the beauty of a plain girle, which we met in the little lane going from Redriffe-stairs into the fields, one of the prettiest faces that we think we ever saw in our lives.

church of war
like a mad rose

divided we only gratify
this or that god

give us more of the same
half-lives


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 July 1667.

Nope

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Up, and to the office, where some of us sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, whither Creed come to dine with us and brings the first word I hear of the news of a peace, the King having letters come to him this noon signifying that it is concluded on, and that Mr. Coventry is upon his way coming over for the King’s satisfaction. The news was so good and sudden that I went with great joy to W. Batten and then to W. Pen to tell it them, and so home to dinner, mighty merry, and light at my heart only on this ground, that a continuing of the war must undo us, and so though peace may do the like if we do not make good use of it to reform ourselves and get up money, yet there is an opportunity for us to save ourselves. At least, for my own particular, we shall continue well till I can get my money into my hands, and then I will shift for myself. After dinner away, leaving Creed there, by coach to Westminster, where to the Swan and drank, and then to the Hall, and there talked a little with great joy of the peace, and then to Mrs. Martin’s, where I met with the good news que elle ne est con child, the fear of which she did give me the other day, had troubled me much. My joy in this made me send for wine, and thither come her sister and Mrs. Cragg, and I staid a good while there. But here happened the best instance of a woman’s falseness in the world, that her sister Doll, who went for a bottle of wine, did come home all blubbering and swearing against one Captain Vandener, a Dutchman of the Rhenish Wine House, that pulled her into a stable by the Dog tavern, and there did tumble her and toss her, calling him all the rogues and toads in the world, when she knows that elle hath suffered me to do any thing with her a hundred times. Thence with joyful heart to White Hall to ask Mr. Williamson the news, who told me that Mr. Coventry is coming over with a project of a peace; which, if the States agree to, and our King, when their Ministers on both sides have shewed it them, we shall agree, and that is all: but the King, I hear, do give it out plain that the peace is concluded. Thence by coach home, and there wrote a few letters, and then to consult with my wife about going to Epsum to-morrow, sometimes designing to go and then again not; and at last it grew late and I bethought myself of business to employ me at home tomorrow, and so I did not go. This afternoon I met with Mr. Rolt, who tells me that he is going Cornett under Collonel Ingoldsby, being his old acquaintance, and Ingoldsby hath a troop now from under the King, and I think it is a handsome way for him, but it was an ominous thing, methought, just as he was bidding me his last adieu, his nose fell a-bleeding, which ran in my mind a pretty while after. This afternoon Sir Alexander Frazier, who was of council for Sir J. Minnes, and had given him over for a dead man, said to me at White Hall: — “What,” says he, “Sir J. Minnes is dead.” I told him, “No! but that there is hopes of his life.” Methought he looked very sillily after it, and went his way. Late home to supper, a little troubled at my not going to Epsum to-morrow, as I had resolved, especially having the Duke of York and W. Coventry out of town, but it was my own fault and at last my judgment to stay, and so to supper and to bed. This day, with great satisfaction, I hear that my Lady Jemimah is brought to bed, at Hinchingbroke, of a boy.

the first word is no
signifying the sudden ground
that continuing no

and I a child
blubbering again
no tomorrow no old hands no dead no judgement


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 6 July 1667.

Ephemera

Up, and to the office, where Sir W. Batten, W. Pen, T. Harvy and I met upon Mr. Gawden’s accounts, and was at it all the morning. This morning Sir G. Carteret did come to us, and walked in the garden. It was to talk with me about some thing of my Lord Sandwich’s, but here he told us that the great seale is passed to my Lord Annesly for Treasurer of the Navy: so that now he do no more belong to us: and I confess, for his sake, I am glad of it, and do believe the other will have little content in it. At noon I home to dinner with my wife, and after dinner to sing, and then to the office a little and Sir W. Batten’s, where I am vexed to hear that Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, Sir W. Pen’s mayde and whore, is come to sit in our pew at church, and did so while my Lady Batten was there. I confess I am very much vexed at it and ashamed. By and by out with W. Pen to White Hall, where I staid not, but to the New Exchange to buy gloves and other little errands, and so home and to my office busy till night, and then walked in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to sing, and so to bed. No news, but that the Dutch are gone clear from Harwich northward, and have given out they are going to Yarmouth.

art out of sand at the sea
will it sing

to a whore
to a church lady with white gloves

to us with news ear
and a going mouth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 5 July 1667.