Test hole

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home and, there being business to do in the afternoon, took my Lord Bruncker home with me, who dined with me. His discourse and mine about the bad performances of the Controller’s and Surveyor’s places by the hands they are now in, and the shame to the service and loss the King suffers by it. Then after dinner to the office, where we and some of the chief of the Trinity House met to examine the occasion of the loss of The Prince Royall, the master and mates being examined, which I took and keep, and so broke up, and I to my letters by the post, and so home and to supper with my mind at pretty good ease, being entered upon minding my business, and so to bed. This noon Mrs. Burroughs come to me about business, whom I did besar and haza ella tocar mi chose.

the Lord with his bad
surveyor’s hands
suffers some trinity
to mine my minding


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 January 1667.

Place holder

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where my uncle Thomas with me to receive his quarterage. He tells me his son Thomas is set up in Smithfield, where he hath a shop — I suppose, a booth. Presently after dinner to the office, and there set close to my business and did a great deal before night, and am resolved to stand to it, having been a truant too long. At night to Sir W. Batten’s to consider some things about our prizes, and then to other talk, and among other things he tells me that he hears for certain that Sir W. Coventry hath resigned to the King his place of Commissioner of the Navy, the thing he hath often told me that he had a mind to do, but I am surprised to think that he hath done it, and am full of thoughts all this evening after I heard it what may be the consequences of it to me. So home and to supper, and then saw the catalogue of my books, which my brother had wrote out, now perfectly alphabeticall, and so to bed. Sir Richard Ford did this evening at Sir W. Batten’s tell us that upon opening the body of my Lady Denham it is said that they found a vessel about her matrix which had never been broke by her husband, that caused all pains in her body. Which if true is excellent invention to clear both the Duchesse from poison or the Duke from lying with her.

office where I age

where having been too long
I consider some things prizes

in that place
I am perfectly alphabetical

in that open cell


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 January 1667.

Anatomy lesson

Lay long in bed. Then up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon (my wife being gone to Westminster) I with my Lord Bruncker by coach as far as the Temple, in the way he telling me that my Lady Denham is at last dead. Some suspect her poisoned, but it will be best known when her body is opened, which will be to-day, she dying yesterday morning. The Duke of York is troubled for her; but hath declared he will never have another public mistress again; which I shall be glad of, and would the King would do the like. He tells me how the Parliament is grown so jealous of the King’s being unfayre to them in the business of the Bill for examining Accounts, Irish Bill, and the business of the Papists, that they will not pass the business for money till they see themselves secure that those Bills will pass; which they do observe the Court to keep off till all the Bills come together, that the King may accept what he pleases, and what he pleases to reject, which will undo all our business and the kingdom too.
He tells me how Mr. Henry Howard, of Norfolke, hath given our Royal Society all his grandfather’s library: which noble gift they value at 1000l.; and gives them accommodation to meet in at his house, Arundell House, they being now disturbed at Gresham College.
Thence ‘lighting at the Temple to the ordinary hard by and eat a bit of meat, and then by coach to fetch my wife from her brother’s, and thence to the Duke’s house, and saw “Macbeth,” which, though I saw it lately, yet appears a most excellent play in all respects, but especially in divertisement, though it be a deep tragedy; which is a strange perfection in a tragedy, it being most proper here, and suitable.
So home, it being the last play now I am to see till a fortnight hence, I being from the last night entered into my vowes for the year coming on.
Here I met with the good newes of Hogg’s bringing in two prizes more to Plymouth, which if they prove but any part of them, I hope, at least, we shall be no losers by them.
So home from the office, to write over fair my vowes for this year, and then to supper, and to bed. In great peace of mind having now done it, and brought myself into order again and a resolution of keeping it, and having entered my journall to this night, so to bed, my eyes failing me with writing.

her dead body is opened
like the king’s business

they see themselves
in a royal library of meat

divertisement though it be deep
is a strange perfection in tragedy


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 January 1667.

Outshone

(Lord’s day). Up pretty well in the morning, and then to church, where a dull doctor, a stranger, made a dull sermon. Then home, and Betty Michell and her husband come by invitation to dine with us, and, she I find the same as ever (which I was afraid of the contrary) notwithstanding what yo haze ella hazer cum ego the last Sunday but one when we were abroad together. Here come also Mr. Howe to dine with me, and we had a good dinner and good merry discourse with much pleasure, I enjoying myself mightily to have friends at my table.
After dinner young Michell and I, it being an excellent frosty day to walk, did walk out, he showing me the baker’s house in Pudding Lane, where the late great fire begun; and thence all along Thames Street, where I did view several places, and so up by London Wall, by Blackfriars, to Ludgate; and thence to Bridewell, which I find to have been heretofore an extraordinary good house, and a fine coming to it, before the house by the bridge was built; and so to look about St. Bride’s church and my father’s house, and so walked home, and there supped together, and then Michell and Betty home, and I to my closet, there to read and agree upon my vows for next year, and so to bed and slept mighty well.

a dull anger made
a dull sun

we were together
you an excellent frost
I a great fire

and the street was
a bride’s closet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 January 1667.

Ox

At the office all the morning, thinking at noon to have been taken home, and my wife (according to appointment yesterday), by my Lord Bruncker, to dinner and then to a play, but he had forgot it, at which I was glad, being glad of avoyding the occasion of inviting him again, and being forced to invite his doxy, Mrs. Williams. So home, and took a small snap of victuals, and away, with my wife, to the Duke’s house, and there saw “Mustapha,” a most excellent play for words and design as ever I did see. I had seen it before but forgot it, so it was wholly new to me, which is the pleasure of my not committing these things to my memory. Home, and a little to the office, and then to bed, where I lay with much pain in my head most of the night, and very unquiet, partly by my drinking before I went out too great a draught of sack, and partly my eyes being still very sore.

o ox
so small a word
for so much quiet
part draft
part ore


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 January 1667.

Palpable

Up, and seeing things put in order for a dinner at my house to-day, I to the office awhile, and about noon home, and there saw all things in good order. Anon comes our company; my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Pen, his lady, and Pegg, and her servant, Mr. Lowther, my Lady Batten (Sir W. Batten being forced to dine at Sir R. Ford’s, being invited), Mr. Turner and his wife. Here I had good room for ten, and no more would my table have held well, had Sir J. Minnes, who was fallen lame, and his sister, and niece, and Sir W. Batten come, which was a great content to me to be without them. I did make them all gaze to see themselves served so nobly in plate, and a neat dinner, indeed, though but of seven dishes. Mighty merry I was and made them all, and they mightily pleased. My Lord Bruncker went away after dinner to the ticket-office, the rest staid, only my Lady Batten home, her ague-fit coming on her at table. The rest merry, and to cards, and then to sing and talk, and at night to sup, and then to cards; and, last of all, to have a flaggon of ale and apples, drunk out of a wood cupp, as a Christmas draught, made all merry; and they full of admiration at my plate, particularly my flaggons (which, indeed, are noble), and so late home, all with great mirth and satisfaction to them, as I thought, and to myself to see all I have and do so much outdo for neatness and plenty anything done by any of them. They gone, I to bed, much pleased, and do observe Mr. Lowther to be a pretty gentleman, and, I think, too good for Peg; and, by the way, Peg Pen seems mightily to be kind to me, and I believe by her father’s advice, who is also himself so; but I believe not a little troubled to see my plenty, and was much troubled to hear the song I sung, “The New Droll” — it touching him home. So to bed.

seeing things I saw my selves

cards talk to cards

to believe is also to touch


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 January 1667.

Manners

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon by invitation to dinner to Sir W. Pen’s, where my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Batten, and his lady, myself, and wife, Sir J. Minnes, and Mr. Turner and his wife. Indifferent merry, to which I contributed the most, but a mean dinner, and in a mean manner. In the evening a little to the office, and then to them, where I found them at cards, myself very ill with a cold (the frost continuing hard), so eat but little at supper, but very merry, and late home to bed, not much pleased with the manner of our entertainment, though to myself more civil than to any.
This day, I hear, hath been a conference between the two Houses about the Bill for examining Accounts, wherein the House of Lords their proceedings in petitioning the King for doing it by Commission is, in great heat, voted by the Commons, after the conference, unparliamentary. The issue whereof, God knows.

the dinner self is indifferent
to dinner manner

even I at supper entertain myself
more than any unparliament


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 3 January 1667.

Nature lover

Up, I, and walked to White Hall to attend the Duke of York, as usual. My wife up, and with Mrs. Pen to walk in the fields to frost-bite themselves. I find the Court full of great apprehensions of the French, who have certainly shipped landsmen, great numbers, at Brest; and most of our people here guess his design for Ireland. We have orders to send all the ships we can possible to the Downes. God have mercy on us! for we can send forth no ships without men, nor will men go without money, every day bringing us news of new mutinies among the seamen; so that our condition is like to be very miserable. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met all the Houblons, who do laugh at this discourse of the French, and say they are verily of opinion it is nothing but to send to their plantation in the West Indys, and that we at Court do blow up a design of invading us, only to make the Parliament make more haste in the money matters, and perhaps it may be so, but I do not believe we have any such plot in our heads. After them, I, with several people, among others Mr. George Montagu, whom I have not seen long, he mighty kind. He tells me all is like to go ill, the King displeasing the House of Commons by evading their Bill for examining Accounts, and putting it into a Commission, though therein he hath left out Coventry and I and named all the rest the Parliament named, and all country Lords, not one Courtier: this do not please them. He tells me he finds the enmity almost over for my Lord Sandwich, and that now all is upon the Vice-Chamberlain, who bears up well and stands upon his vindication, which he seems to like well, and the others do construe well also. Thence up to the Painted Chamber, and there heard a conference between the House of Lords and Commons about the Wine Patent; which I was exceeding glad to be at, because of my hearing exceeding good discourses, but especially from the Commons; among others, Mr. Swinfen, and a young man, one Sir Thomas Meres: and do outdo the Lords infinitely.
So down to the Hall and to the Rose Taverne, while Doll Lane come to me, and we did ‘biber a good deal de vino, et je did give elle twelve soldis para comprare elle some gans’ for a new anno’s gift. I did tocar et no mas su cosa, but in fit time and place jo creo que je pouvais faire whatever I would con ella.
Thence to the Hall again, and with Sir W. Pen by coach to the Temple, and there ‘light and eat a bit at an ordinary by, and then alone to the King’s House, and there saw “The Custome of the Country,” the second time of its being acted, wherein Knipp does the Widow well; but, of all the plays that ever I did see, the worst-having neither plot, language, nor anything in the earth that is acceptable; only Knipp sings a little song admirably. But fully the worst play that ever I saw or I believe shall see. So away home, much displeased for the loss of so much time, and disobliging my wife by being there without her. So, by link, walked home, it being mighty cold but dry, yet bad walking because very slippery with the frost and treading.
Home and to my chamber to set down my journal, and then to thinking upon establishing my vows against the next year, and so to supper and to bed.

the fields bite themselves
full of all possible mutinies

the sea is nothing
but a country wine

I would eat the worst earth
slippery with journal ink


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 2 January 1667.

Doubtedly

Lay long, being a bitter, cold, frosty day, the frost being now grown old, and the Thames covered with ice. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon to the ‘Change a little, where Mr. James Houblon and I walked a good while speaking of our ill condition in not being able to set out a fleet (we doubt) this year, and the certain ill effect that must bring, which is lamentable. Home to dinner, where the best powdered goose that ever I eat. Then to the office again, and to Sir W. Batten’s to examine the Commission going down to Portsmouth to examine witnesses about our prizes, of which God give a good issue! and then to the office again, where late, and so home, my eyes sore. To supper and to bed.

bitter cold old office
no good speaking out

doubt is powdered ice
in the mouth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 1 January 1667.

Free e-book: The Hidden Poems of Samuel Pepys, 1666

Another year, another compilation of Pepys’ Diary erasure poems. But this wasn’t just any year: true to its inclusion of the number of the beast, 1666 saw continuing plague deaths, sea battles with the Dutch, the Great Fire, religious persecution and rebellions, and our diarist reveling in his growing power the way men always have, by becoming a full-on sexual predator. Such an interesting mirror for our own times.

Here’s a PDF of The Hidden Poems of Samuel Pepys: 1666.
Download, share, print, remix, enjoy.