Garret dweller

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Up betimes to Westminster, where met with cozen Roger and Creed and walked with them, and Roger do still continue of the mind that there is no other way of saving this nation but by dissolving this Parliament and calling another; but there are so many about the King that will not be able to stand, if a new Parliament come, that they will not persuade the King to it. I spent most of the morning walking with one or other, and anon met Doll Lane at the Dog tavern, and there yo did hazer what I did desire with her and did it backward, not having convenience to do it the other way. And I did give her as being my valentine, 20s. to buy what elle would. Thence away by coach to my bookseller’s, and to several places to pay my debts, and to Ducke Lane, and there bought Montaigne’s Essays, in English, and so away home to dinner, and after dinner with W. Pen to White Hall, where we and my Lord Brouncker attended the Council, to discourse about the fitness of entering of men presently for the manning of the fleete, before one ship is in condition to receive them. W. Coventry did argue against it: I was wholly silent, because I saw the King, upon the earnestness of the Prince, was willing to it, crying very sillily, “If ever you intend to man the fleete, without being cheated by the captains and pursers, you may go to bed, and resolve never to have it manned;” and so it was, like other things, over-ruled that all volunteers should be presently entered. Then there was another great business about our signing of certificates to the Exchequer for [prize] goods, upon the 1,250,000l. Act, which the Commissioners of the Treasury did all oppose, and to the laying fault upon us. But I did then speak to the justifying what we had done, even to the angering of Duncomb and Clifford, which I was vexed at: but, for all that, I did set the Office and myself right, and went away with the victory, my Lord Keeper saying that he would not advise the Council to order us to sign no more certificates. But, before I began to say anything in this matter, the King and the Duke of York talking at the Council-table, before all the Lords, of the Committee of Miscarriages, how this entering of men before the ships could be ready would be reckoned a miscarriage; “Why,” says the King, “it is then but Mr. Pepys making of another speech to them;” which made all the Lords, and there were by also the Atturny and Sollicitor-Generall, look upon me. Thence Sir W. Coventry, W. Pen and I, by hackney-coach to take a little ayre in Hyde Parke, the first time I have been there this year; and we did meet many coaches going and coming, it being mighty pleasant weather; and so, coming back again, I ’light in the Pell Mell; and there went to see Sir H. Cholmly, who continues very ill of his cold. And there come in Sir H. Yelverton, whom Sir H. Cholmly commended me to his acquaintance, which the other received, but without remembering to me, or I him, of our being school-fellows together; and I said nothing of it. But he took notice of my speech the other day at the bar of the House; and indeed I perceive he is a wise man by his manner of discourse, and here he do say that the town is full of it, that now the Parliament hath resolved upon 300,000l., the King, instead of fifty, will set out but twenty-five ships, and the Dutch as many; and that Smith is to command them, who is allowed to have the better of Holmes in the late dispute, and is in good esteem in the Parliament, above the other. Thence home, and there, in favour to my eyes, stayed at home, reading the ridiculous History of my Lord Newcastle, wrote by his wife, which shews her to be a mad, conceited, ridiculous woman, and he an asse to suffer her to write what she writes to him, and of him. Betty Turner sent my wife the book to read, and it being a fair print, to ease my eyes, which would be reading, I read that. Anon comes Mrs. Turner and sat and talked with us, and most about the business of Ackworth, which comes before us to-morrow, that I would favour it, but I do not think, notwithstanding all the friendship I can shew him, that he can escape, and therefore it had been better that he had followed the advice I sent him the other day by Mrs. Turner, to make up the business. So parted, and I to bed, my eyes being very bad; and I know not how in the world to abstain from reading.

walking a dog backward
crying like a commissioner of miscarriages

up in his ridiculous castle
a mad conceited ridiculous man

writes a book
that he can escape into

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 18 March 1668

Doubting Thomas

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Up betimes and to the office, where all the morning busy, and then at noon home to dinner, and so again to the office awhile, and then abroad to the Excize-Office, where I met Mr. Ball, and did receive the paper I went for; and there fell in talk with him, who, being an old cavalier, do swear and curse at the present state of things, that we should be brought to this, that we must be undone and cannot be saved; that the Parliament is sitting now, and will till midnight, to find how to raise this 300,000l., and he doubts they will not do it so as to be seasonable for the King: but do cry out against our great men at Court; how it is a fine thing for a Secretary of State to dance a jigg, and that it was not so heretofore; and, above all, do curse my Lord of Bristoll, saying the worst news that ever he heard in his life, or that the Devil could ever bring us, was this Lord’s coming to prayers the other day in the House of Lords, by which he is coming about again from being a Papist, which will undo this nation; and he says he ever did say, at the King’s first coming in, that this nation could not be safe while that man was alive. Having done there, I away towards Westminster, but seeing by the coaches the House to be up, I stopped at the ’Change (where, I met Mrs. Turner, and did give her a pair of gloves), and there bought several things for my wife, and so to my bookseller’s, and there looked for Montaigne’s Essays, which I heard by my Lord Arlington and Lord Blaney so much commended, and intend to buy it, but did not now, but home, where at the office did some business, as much as my eyes would give leave, and so home to supper, Mercer with us talking and singing, and so to bed. The House, I hear, have this day concluded upon raising 100,000l. of the 300,000l. by wine, and the rest by a poll-[tax], and have resolved to excuse the Church, in expectation that they will do the more of themselves at this juncture; and I do hear that Sir W. Coventry did make a speech in behalf of the Clergy.

who is sitting now
in this season of dance

was a curse the worst
the devil could ever bring us

was prayer to see by
and give love a look

I buy as much as my eyes do
themselves half clergy

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 March 1668

Against hate

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Up, to set my papers and books in order, and put up my plate since my late feast, and then to Westminster, by water, with Mr. Hater, and there, in the Hall, did walk all the morning, talking with one or other, expecting to have our business in the House; but did now a third time wait to no purpose, they being all this morning upon the business of Barker’s petition about the making void the Act of Settlement in Ireland, which makes a great deal of hot work: and, at last, finding that by all men’s opinion they could not come to our matter today, I with Sir W. Pen home, and there to dinner, where I find, by Willet’s crying, that her mistress had been angry with her: but I would take no notice of it. Busy all the afternoon at the office, and then by coach to the Excize Office, but lost my labour, there being nobody there, and so back again home, and after a little at the office I home, and there spent the evening with my wife talking and singing, and so to bed with my mind pretty well at ease.
This evening W. Pen and Sir R. Ford and I met at the first’s house to talk of our prize that is now at last come safe over from Holland, by which I hope to receive some if not all the benefit of my bargain with W. Batten for my share in it, which if she had miscarried I should have doubted of my Lady Batten being left little able to have paid me.

hate makes a great deal
of hot work

by men’s not crying
angry at being nobody

my mind is in a safe
by some bargain with doubt

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 16 March 1668

Godless

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(Lord’s day). Up and walked, it being fine dry weather, to Sir W. Coventry’s, overtaking my boy Ely (that was), and he walked with me, being grown a man, and I think a sober fellow. He parted at Charing Cross, and I to Sir W. Coventry’s, and there talked with him about the Commissioners of Accounts, who did give in their report yesterday to the House, and do lay little upon us as aggravate any thing at present, but only do give an account of the dissatisfactory account they receive from Sir G. Carteret, which I am sorry for, they saying that he tells them not any time when he paid any sum, which is fit for them to know for the computing of interest, but I fear he is hardly able to tell it.
They promise to give them an account of the embezzlement of prizes, wherein I shall be something concerned, but nothing that I am afeard of, I thank God. Thence walked with W. Coventry into the Park, and there met the King and the Duke of York, and walked a good while with them: and here met Sir Jer. Smith, who tells me he is like to get the better of Holmes, and that when he is come to an end of that, he will do Hollis’s business for him, in the House, for his blasphemies, which I shall be glad of.
So to White Hall, and there walked with this man and that man till chapel done, and, the King dined and then Sir Thomas Clifford, the Comptroller, took me with him to dinner to his lodgings, where my Lord Arlington and a great deal of good and great company; where I very civilly used by them, and had a most excellent dinner: and good discourse of Spain, Mr. Godolphin being there; particularly of the removal of the bodies of all the dead Kings of Spain that could be got together, and brought to the Pantheon at the Escuriall, when it was finished, and there placed before the altar, there to lie for ever; and there was a sermon made to them upon this text, “Arida ossa, audite verbum Dei;” and a most eloquent sermon, as they say, who say they have read it. After dinner, away hence, and I to Mrs. Martin’s, and there spent the afternoon, and did hazer con elle, and here was her sister and Mrs. Burrows, and so in the evening got a coach and home, and there find Mr. Pelling and W. Hewer, and there talked and supped, Pelling being gone, and mightily pleased with a picture that W. Hewer brought hither of several things painted upon a deale board, which board is so well painted that in my whole life I never was so well pleased or surprized with any picture, and so troubled that so good pictures should be painted upon a piece of bad deale. Even after I knew that it was not board, but only the picture of a board, I could not remove my fancy. After supper to bed, being very sleepy, and, I bless God, my mind being at very good present rest.

I weather a sober time
with better blasphemies

where the bodies of a dead pantheon
lie forever

a text eloquent
as afternoon haze

in a picture of a picture
painted in sleep

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 March 1668

Fisher of men

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Up very betimes, and with Jane to Levett’s, there to conclude upon our dinner; and thence to the pewterer’s, to buy a pewter sesterne, which I have ever hitherto been without, and so up and down upon several occasions to set matters in order, and that being done I out of doors to Westminster Hall, and there met my Lord Brouncker, who tells me that our business is put off till Monday, and so I was mighty glad that I was eased of my attendance here, and of any occasion that might put me out of humour, as it is likely if we had been called before the Parliament. Therefore, after having spoke with Mr. Godolphin and cozen Roger, I away home, and there do find everything in mighty good order, only my wife not dressed, which troubles me. Anon comes my company, viz., my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady, Sir Philip Carteret and his lady, Godolphin and my cozen Roger, and Creed: and mighty merry; and by and by to dinner, which was very good and plentifull: (I should have said, and Mr. George Montagu), who come at a very little warning, which was exceeding kind of him. And there, among other things, my Lord had Sir Samuel Morland’s late invention for casting up of sums of L. s. d.; which is very pretty, but not very useful. Most of our discourse was of my Lord Sandwich and his family, as being all of us of the family; and with extraordinary pleasure all the afternoon, thus together eating and looking over my closet: and my Lady Hinchingbroke I find a very sweet-natured and well-disposed lady, a lover of books and pictures, and of good understanding. About five o’clock they went; and then my wife and I abroad by coach into Moorefields, only for a little ayre, and so home again, staying no where, and then up to her chamber, there to talk with pleasure of this day’s passages, and so to bed. This day I had the welcome news of our prize being come safe from Holland, so as I shall have hopes, I hope, of getting my money of my Lady Batten, or good part of it.

cistern
like an only god

and me casting
only for pleasure
and the art of it

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 14 March 1668

Division of labor

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Up betimes to my office, where to fit myself for attending the Parliament again, not to make any more speech, which, while my fame is good, I will avoid, for fear of losing it; but only to answer to what objections will be made against us. Thence walked to the Old Swan and drank at Michell’s, whose house is going up apace. Here I saw Betty, but could not baiser la, and so to Westminster, there to the Hall, where up to my cozen Roger Pepys at the Parliament door, and there he took me aside, and told me how he was taken up by one of the House yesterday, for moving for going on with the King’s supply of money, without regard to the keeping pace therewith, with the looking into miscarriages, and was told by this man privately that it did arise because that he had a kinsman concerned therein; and therefore he would prefer the safety of his kinsman to the good of the nation, and that there was great things against us and against me, for all my fine discourse the other day. But I did bid him be at no pain for me; for I knew of nothing but what I was very well prepared to answer; and so I think I am, and therefore was not at all disquieted by this. Thence he to the House, and I to the Hall, where my Lord Brouncker and the rest waiting till noon and not called for by the House, they being upon the business of money again, and at noon all of us to Chatelin’s, the French house in Covent Garden, to dinner — Brouncker, J. Minnes, W. Pen, T. Harvey, and myself — and there had a dinner cost us 8s. 6d. a-piece, a damned base dinner, which did not please us at all, so that I am not fond of this house at all, but do rather choose the Beare. After dinner to White Hall to the Duke of York, and there did our usual business, complaining of our standing still in every-respect for want of money, but no remedy propounded, but so I must still be. Thence with our company to the King’s playhouse, where I left them, and I, my head being full of to-morrow’s dinner, I to my Lord Crew’s, there to invite Sir Thomas Crew; and there met with my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady, the first time I spoke to her. I saluted her; and she mighty civil and; with my Lady Jemimah, do all resolve to be very merry to-morrow at my house. My Lady Hinchingbroke I cannot say is a beauty, nor ugly; but is altogether a comely lady enough, and seems very good-humoured, and I mighty glad of the occasion of seeing her before to-morrow. Thence home; and there find one laying of my napkins against tomorrow in figures of all sorts, which is mighty pretty; and, it seems, it is his trade, and he gets much money by it; and do now and then furnish tables with plate and linnen for a feast at so much, which is mighty pretty, and a trade I could not have thought of. I find my wife upon the bed not over well, her breast being broke out with heat, which troubles her, but I hope it will be for her good. Thence I to Mrs. Turner, and did get her to go along with me to the French pewterer’s, and there did buy some new pewter against to-morrow; and thence to White Hall, to have got a cook of her acquaintance, the best in England, as she says. But after we had with much ado found him, he could not come, nor was Mr. Gentleman in town, whom next I would have had, nor would Mrs. Stone let her man Lewis come, whom this man recommended to me; so that I was at a mighty loss what in the world to do for a cooke, Philips being out of town. Therefore, after staying here at Westminster a great while, we back to London, and there to Philips’s, and his man directed us to Mr. Levett’s, who could not come, and he sent to two more, and they could not; so that, at last, Levett as a great kindness did resolve he would leave his business and come himself, which set me in great ease in my mind, and so home, and there with my wife setting all things in order against to-morrow, having seen Mrs. Turner at home, and so late to bed.

an old door
keeping in the quiet

and the garden as still as a table
at a feast of stone

who might cook in there
and who eat

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 13 March 1668

Performative

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Up, and to the office, where all the morning, at noon home, and after dinner with wife and Deb., carried them to Unthanke’s, and I to Westminster Hall expecting our being with the Committee this afternoon about Victualling business, but once more waited in vain. So after a turn or two with Lord Brouncker, I took my wife up and left her at the ’Change while I to Gresham College, there to shew myself; and was there greeted by Dr. Wilkins, Whistler, and others, as the patron of the Navy Office, and one that got great fame by my late speech to the Parliament. Here I saw a great trial of the goodness of a burning glass, made of a new figure, not spherical (by one Smithys, I think, they call him), that did burn a glove of my Lord Brouncker’s from the heat of a very little fire, which a burning glass of the old form, or much bigger, could not do, which was mighty pretty. Here I heard Sir Robert Southwell give an account of some things committed to him by the Society at his going to Portugall, which he did deliver in a mighty handsome manner. Thence went away home, and there at my office as long as my eyes would endure, and then home to supper, and to talk with Mr. Pelling, who tells me what a fame I have in the City for my late performance; and upon the whole I bless God for it. I think I have, if I can keep it, done myself a great deal of repute. So by and by to bed.

on a committee
I am myself
a whistler at burning love

my little glass
much bigger in society
to live in a mighty hand

as long as my eyes
endure me and my
performance of repute

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 12 March 1668

Subdivision

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Up, and betimes to the office, where busy till 8 o’clock, and then went forth, and meeting Mr. Colvill, I walked with him to his building, where he is building a fine house, where he formerly lived, in Lumbard Street: and it will be a very fine street. Thence walked down to the Three Cranes and there took boat to White Hall, where by direction I waited on the Duke of York about office business, and so by water to Westminster, where walking in the Hall most of the morning, and up to my Lady Jem. in Lincoln’s Inn Fields to get her to appoint the day certain when she will come and dine with me, and she hath appointed Saturday next. So back to Westminster; and there still walked, till by and by comes Sir W. Coventry, and with him Mr. Chichly and Mr. Andrew Newport, I to dinner with them to Mr. Chichly’s, in Queene Street, in Covent Garden. A very fine house, and a man that lives in mighty great fashion, with all things in a most extraordinary manner noble and rich about him, and eats in the French fashion all; and mighty nobly served with his servants, and very civilly; that I was mighty pleased with it: and good discourse. He is a great defender of the Church of England, and against the Act for Comprehension, which is the work of this day, about which the House is like to sit till night. After dinner, away with them back to Westminster, where, about four o’clock, the House rises, and hath done nothing more in the business than to put off the debate to this day month. In the mean time the King hath put out his proclamations this day, as the House desired, for the putting in execution the Act against Nonconformists and Papists, but yet it is conceived that for all this some liberty must be given, and people will have it. Here I met with my cozen Roger Pepys, who is come to town, and hath been told of my performance before the House the other day, and is mighty proud of it, and Captain Cocke met me here to-day, and told me that the Speaker says he never heard such a defence made; in all his life, in the House; and that the Sollicitor-Generall do commend me even to envy. I carried cozen Roger as far as the Strand, where, spying out of the coach Colonel Charles George Cocke, formerly a very great man, and my father’s customer, whom I have carried clothes to, but now walks like a poor sorry sneake, he stopped, and I ’light to him. This man knew me, which I would have willingly avoided, so much pride I had, he being a man of mighty height and authority in his time, but now signifies nothing. Thence home, where to the office a while and then home, where W. Batelier was and played at cards and supped with us, my eyes being out of order for working, and so to bed.

where a building is building
where a street will be street

three cranes walk in the fields
in a manner mighty civil

the work of this day rises
to an execution

for some liberty given people
with never a light in the eyes

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 11 March 1668

House church

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Up, and to the office betimes, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner with my clerks, and after dinner comes Kate Joyce, who tells me she is putting off her house, which I am glad of, but it was pleasant that she come on purpose to me about getting a ticket paid, and in her way hither lost her ticket, so that she is at a great loss what to do. — There comes in then Mrs. Mercer, the mother, the first time she has been here since her daughter lived with us, to see my wife, and after a little talk I left them and to the office, and thence with Sir D. Gawden to Westminster Hall, thinking to have attended the Committee about the Victualling business, but they did not meet, but here we met Sir R. Brookes, who do mightily cry up my speech the other day, saying my fellow-officers are obliged to me, as indeed they are. Thence with Sir D. Gawden homewards, calling at Lincolne’s Inn Fields: but my Lady Jemimah was not within: and so to Newgate, where he stopped to give directions to the jaylor about a Knight, one Sir Thomas Halford brought in yesterday for killing one Colonel Temple, falling out at a taverne. So thence as far as Leadenhall, and there I ’light, and back by coach to Lincoln’s Inn Fields; but my Lady was not come in, and so I am at a great loss whether she and her brother Hinchingbroke and sister will dine with me to-morrow or no, which vexes me. So home; and there comes Mr. Moore to me, who tells me that he fears my Lord Sandwich will meet with very great difficulties to go through about the prizes, it being found that he did give orders for more than the King’s letter do justify; and then for the Act of Resumption, which he fears will go on, and is designed only to do him hurt, which troubles me much. He tells me he believes the Parliament will not be brought to do anything in matters of religion, but will adhere to the Bishops. So he gone, I up to supper, where I find W. Joyce and Harman come to see us, and there was also Mrs. Mercer and her two daughters, and here we were as merry as that fellow Joyce could make us with his mad talking, after the old wont, which tired me. But I was mightily pleased with his singing; for the rogue hath a very good eare, and a good voice. Here he stayed till he was almost drunk, and then away at about ten at night, and then all broke up, and I to bed.

it is pleasant getting lost
at home in the leaden light
of religion

that mad old singing
till almost drunk

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 March 1668

Prospects

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Up betimes, and anon with Sir W. Warren, who come to speak with me, by coach to White Hall, and there met Lord Brouncker: and he and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury, where I find them mighty kind to me, more, I think, than was wont. And here I also met Colvill, the goldsmith; who tells me, with great joy, how the world upon the ’Change talks of me; and how several Parliamentmen, viz., Boscawen and Major Walden, of Huntingdon, who, it seems, do deal with him, do say how bravely I did speak, and that the House was ready to have given me thanks for it; but that, I think, is a vanity. Thence I with Lord Brouncker, and did take up his mistress, Williams, and so to the ’Change, only to shew myself, and did a little business there, and so home to dinner, and then to the office busy till the evening, and then to the Excize Office, where I find Mr. Ball in a mighty trouble that he is to be put out of his place at Midsummer, the whole Commission being to cease, and the truth is I think they are very fair dealing men, all of them. Here I did do a little business, and then to rights home, and there dispatched many papers, and so home late to supper and to bed, being eased of a great many thoughts, and yet have a great many more to remove as fast as I can, my mind being burdened with them, having been so much employed upon the public business of the office in their defence before the Parliament of late, and the further cases that do attend it.

here where I find gold
am I hunting myself

and where I find a hole
do I move as fast as I can

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 March 1668