Dispossessed

Sam Pepys and me

To Whitehall by water from Towre-wharf, where we could not pass the ordinary way, because they were mending of the great stone steps against the Coronacion. With Sir W. Pen, then to my Lord’s, and thence with Capt. Cuttance and Capt. Clark to drink our morning draught together, and before we could get back again my Lord was gone out. So to Whitehall again and, met with my Lord above with the Duke; and after a little talk with him, I went to the Banquethouse, and there saw the King heal, the first time that ever I saw him do it; which he did with great gravity, and it seemed to me to be an ugly office and a simple one. That done to my Lord’s and dined there, and so by water with parson Turner towards London, and upon my telling of him of Mr. Moore to be a fit man to do his business with Bishop Wren, about which he was going, he went back out of my boat into another to Whitehall, and so I forwards home and there by and by took coach with Sir W. Pen and Captain Terne and went to the buriall of Captain Robert Blake, at Wapping, and there had each of us a ring, but it being dirty, we would not go to church with them, but with our coach we returned home, and there staid a little, and then he and I alone to the Dolphin (Sir W. Batten being this day gone with his wife to Walthamstow to keep Easter), and there had a supper by ourselves, we both being very hungry, and staying there late drinking I became very sleepy, and so we went home and I to bed.

we eat stones
together again

a little banquet
with great gravity

ugly and simple
as the burial

of each of us
being dirt

we would not go
hungry to bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 13 April 1661.

Holy diver

Sam Pepys and me

Up among my workmen, and about 7 o’clock comes my wife to see me and my brother John with her, who I am glad to see, but I sent them away because of going to the office, and there dined with Sir W. Batten, all fish dinner, it being Good Friday.
Then home and looking over my workmen, and then into the City and saw in what forwardness all things are for the Coronacion, which will be very magnificent. Then back again home and to my chamber, to set down in my diary all my late journey, which I do with great pleasure; and while I am now writing comes one with a tickett to invite me to Captain Robert Blake’s buriall, for whose death I am very sorry, and do much wonder at it, he being a little while since a very likely man to live as any I knew. Since my going out of town, there is one Alexander Rosse taken and sent to the Counter by Sir Thomas Allen, for counterfeiting my hand to a ticket, and we this day at the office have given order to Mr. Smith to prosecute him. To bed.

among men
I am all fish
magnificent in my diary

I come with a ticket
to death or wonder
in my own counterfeit hand


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 12 April 1661.

Itinerant

Sam Pepys and me

At 2 o’clock, with very great mirth, we went to our lodging and to bed, and lay till 7, and then called up by Sir W. Batten, so I arose and we did some business, and then came Captn. Allen, and he and I withdrew and sang a song or two, and among others took pleasure in “Goe and bee hanged, that’s good-bye.”
The young ladies come too, and so I did again please myself with Mrs. Rebecca, and about 9 o’clock, after we had breakfasted, we sett forth for London, and indeed I was a little troubled to part with Mrs. Rebecca, for which God forgive me. Thus we went away through Rochester, calling and taking leave of Mr. Alcock at the door, Capt. Cuttance going with us. We baited at Dartford, and thence to London.
But of all the journeys that ever I made this was the merriest, and I was in a strange mood for mirth. Among other things, I got my Lady to let her maid, Mrs. Anne, to ride all the way on horseback, and she rides exceeding well; and so I called her my clerk, that she went to wait upon me.
I met two little schoolboys going with pitchers of ale to their schoolmaster to break up against Easter, and I did drink of some of one of them and give him two pence.
By and by we come to two little girls keeping cows, and I saw one of them very pretty, so I had a mind to make her ask my blessing, and telling her that I was her godfather, she asked me innocently whether I was not Ned Wooding, and I said that I was, so she kneeled down and very simply called, “Pray, godfather, pray to God to bless me,” which made us very merry, and I gave her twopence.
In several places, I asked women whether they would sell me their children, but they denied me all, but said they would give me one to keep for them, if I would.
Mrs. Anne and I rode under the man that hangs upon Shooter’s Hill, and a filthy sight it was to see how his flesh is shrunk to his bones.
So home and I found all well, and a deal of work done since I went.
I sent to see how my wife do, who is well, and my brother John come from Cambridge.
To Sir W. Batten’s and there supped, and very merry with the young ladles. So to bed very sleepy for last night’s work, concluding that it is the pleasantest journey in all respects that ever I had in my life.

to the rose I am a bee
goodbye

my fast chest
journeys with me

keeping a blessing
for the man that hangs

on Shooter’s Hill
flesh shrunk to his bones


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 11 April 1661.

Self-soothing

Sam Pepys and me

In the morning to see the Dockhouses. First, Mr. Pett’s, the builder, and there was very kindly received, and among other things he did offer my Lady Batten a parrot, the best I ever saw, that knew Mingo so soon as it saw him, having been bred formerly in the house with them; but for talking and singing I never heard the like. My Lady did accept of it.
Then to see Commissioner Pett’s house, he and his family being absent, and here I wondered how my Lady Batten walked up and down with envious looks to see how neat and rich everything is (and indeed both the house and garden is most handsome), saying that she would get it, for it belonged formerly to the Surveyor of the Navy.
Then on board the Prince, now in the dock, and indeed it has one and no more rich cabins for carved work, but no gold in her.
After that back home, and there eat a little dinner. Then to Rochester, and there saw the Cathedrall, which is now fitting for use, and the organ then a-tuning. Then away thence, observing the great doors of the church, which, they say, was covered with the skins of the Danes, and also had much mirth at a tomb, on which was “Come sweet Jesu,” and I read “Come sweet Mall,” &c., at which Captain Pett and I had good laughter.
So to the Salutacion tavern, where Mr. Alcock and many of the town came and entertained us with wine and oysters and other things, and hither come Sir John Minnes to us, who is come to-day to see “the Henery,” in which he intends to ride as Vice-Admiral in the narrow seas all this summer. Here much mirth, but I was a little troubled to stay too long, because of going to Hempson’s, which afterwards we did, and found it in all things a most pretty house, and rarely furnished, only it had a most ill access on all sides to it, which is a greatest fault that I think can be in a house.
Here we had, for my sake, two fiddles, the one a base viall, on which he that played, played well some lyra lessons, but both together made the worst musique that ever I heard.
We had a fine collacion, but I took little pleasure in that, for the illness of the musique and for the intentness of my mind upon Mrs. Rebecca Allen.
After we had done eating, the ladies went to dance, and among the men we had, I was forced to dance too; and did make an ugly shift. Mrs. R. Allen danced very well, and seems the best humoured woman that ever I saw. About 9 o’clock Sir William and my Lady went home, and we continued dancing an hour or two, and so broke up very pleasant and merry, and so walked home, I leading Mrs. Rebecca, who seemed, I know not why, in that and other things, to be desirous of my favours and would in all things show me respects.
Going home, she would needs have me sing, and I did pretty well and was highly esteemed by them.
So to Captain Allen’s (where we were last night, and heard him play on the harpsicon, and I find him to be a perfect good musician), and there, having no mind to leave Mrs. Rebecca, what with talk and singing (her father and I), Mrs. Turner and I staid there till 2 o’clock in the morning and was most exceeding merry, and I had the opportunity of kissing Mrs. Rebecca very often.
Among other things Captain Pett was saying that he thought that he had got his wife with child since I came thither. Which I took hold of and was merrily asking him what he would take to have it said for my honour that it was of my getting? He merrily answered that he would if I would promise to be godfather to it if it did come within the time just, and I said that I would. So that I must remember to compute it when the time comes.

a parrot talking
like a commissioner for the navy

on all the narrow seas
in my mind

I make him sing as often
as I ask for god


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 10 April 1661.

Subjective

Sam Pepys and me

…and lay and slept well till 3 in the morning, and then waking, and by the light of the moon I saw my pillow (which overnight I flung from me) stand upright, but not bethinking myself what it might be, I was a little afeard, but sleep overcame all and so lay till high morning, at which time I had a candle brought me and a good fire made, and in general it was a great pleasure all the time I staid here to see how I am respected and honoured by all people; and I find that I begin to know now how to receive so much reverence, which at the beginning I could not tell how to do.
Sir William and I by coach to the dock and there viewed all the storehouses and the old goods that are this day to be sold, which was great pleasure to me, and so back again by coach home, where we had a good dinner, and among other strangers that come, there was Mr. Hempson and his wife, a pretty woman, and speaks Latin; Mr. Allen and two daughters of his, both very tall and the youngest very handsome, so much as I could not forbear to love her exceedingly, having, among other things, the best hand that ever I saw.
After dinner, we went to fit books and things (Tom Hater being this morning come to us) for the sale, by an inch of candle, and very good sport we and the ladies that stood by had, to see the people bid. Among other things sold there was all the State’s arms, which Sir W. Batten bought; intending to set up some of the images in his garden, and the rest to burn on the Coronacion night. The sale being done, the ladies and I and Captain Pett and Mr. Castle took barge and down we went to see the Sovereign, which we did, taking great pleasure therein, singing all the way, and, among other pleasures, I put my Lady, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Hempson, and the two Mrs. Allens into the lanthorn and I went in and kissed them, demanding it as a fee due to a principall officer, with all which we were exceeding merry, and drunk some bottles of wine and neat’s tongue, &c. Then back again home and so supped, and after much mirth to bed.

in the light of the moon
my little candle and I
are strangers

you love being
in the state’s arms
to burn the night down

sovereign as
the singing horn
of a bottle


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 9 April 1661.

After dark

Sam Pepys and me

Up early, my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers. I did give directions to my people and workmen, and so about 8 o’clock we took barge at the Tower, Sir William Batten and his lady, Mrs. Turner, Mr. Fowler and I. A very pleasant passage and so to Gravesend, where we dined, and from thence a coach took them and me, and Mr. Fowler with some others came from Rochester to meet us, on horseback. At Rochester, where alight at Mr. Alcock’s and there drank and had good sport, with his bringing out so many sorts of cheese. Then to the Hillhouse at Chatham, where I never was before, and I found a pretty pleasant house and am pleased with the arms that hang up there. Here we supped very merry, and late to bed; Sir William telling me that old Edgeborrow, his predecessor, did die and walk in my chamber, did make me some what afeard, but not so much as for mirth’s sake I did seem. So to bed in the treasurer’s chamber

a knocking in my clock
I turn into an owl

the light is a predecessor
to amber


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 April 1661.

New Jerusalem

Sam Pepys and me

(Lord’s day). All the morning at home making up my accounts (God forgive me!) to give up to my Lord this afternoon. Then about 11 o’clock out of doors towards Westminster and put in at Paul’s, where I saw our minister, Mr. Mills, preaching before my Lord Mayor. So to White Hall, and there I met with Dr. Fuller of Twickenham, newly come from Ireland; and took him to my Lord’s, where he and I dined; and he did give my Lord and me a good account of the condition of Ireland, and how it come to pass, through the joyning of the Fanatiques and the Presbyterians, that the latter and the former are in their declaration put together under the names of Fanatiques.
After dinner, my Lord and I and Mr. Shepley did look over our accounts and settle matters of money between us; and my Lord did tell me much of his mind about getting money and other things of his family, &c. Then to my father’s, where I found Mr. Hunt and his wife at supper with my father and mother and my wife, where after supper I left them and so home, and then I went to Sir W. Batten’s and resolved of a journey tomorrow to Chatham, and so home and to bed.

god of doors
we reach for a fuller land

and come to pass
through joy

into a fanatic account
of one another

o my father’s father
o my journey home


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

Tryst

Sam Pepys and me

Up among my workmen, then to Whitehall, and there at Privy Seal and elsewhere did business, and among other things met with Mr. Townsend, who told of his mistake the other day, to put both his legs through one of his knees of his breeches, and went so all day.
Then with Mr. Creed and Moore to the Leg in the Palace to dinner which I gave them, and after dinner I saw the girl of the house, being very pretty, go into a chamber, and I went in after her and kissed her. Then by water, Creed and I, to Salisbury Court and there saw “Love’s Quarrell” acted the first time, but I do not like the design or words.
So calling at my father’s, where they and my wife well, and so home and to bed.

on sea legs we go
after a kiss

to bury our love
like words in a well


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 6 April 1661.

Bar fly

Sam Pepys and me

Up among my workmen and so to the office, and then to Sir W. Pen’s with the other Sir William and Sir John Lawson to dinner, and after that, with them to Mr. Lucy’s, a merchant, where much good company, and there drank a great deal of wine, and in discourse fell to talk of the weight of people, which did occasion some wagers, and where, among others, I won half a piece to be spent.
Then home, and at night to Sir W. Batten’s, and there very merry with a good barrell of oysters, and this is the present life I lead.
Home and to bed.

among the laws of wine
is the weight of a wager

and the half-spent night
at a bar of lead


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

Lubricious

Sam Pepys and me

Up among my workmen, my head akeing all day from last night’s debauch. To the office all the morning, and at noon dined with Sir W. Batten and Pen, who would needs have me drink two drafts of sack to-day to cure me of last night’s disease, which I thought strange but I think find it true.
Then home with my workmen all the afternoon, at night into the garden to play on my flageolette, it being moonshine, where I staid a good while, and so home and to bed.
This day I hear that the Dutch have sent the King a great present of money, which we think will stop the match with Portugal; and judge this to be the reason that our so great haste in sending the two ships to the East Indys is also stayed.

head aching
who needs me
a sack of disease

but I find
the moonshine
in her two hips


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