Teeth of the storm

Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. Late to dinner, and then to the office again, and there busy till past twelve at night, and so home to supper and to bed.
We have newes of Sir Jeremy Smith’s being very well with his fleete at Cales.

the din of ice
busy as we eat

supper and news


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 17 February 1666.

Keyboard warrior

Up betimes, and by appointment to the Exchange, where I met Messrs. Houblons, and took them up in my coach and carried them to Charing Crosse, where they to Colonell Norwood to see how they can settle matters with him, I having informed them by the way with advice to be easy with him, for he may hereafter do us service, and they and I are like to understand one another to very good purpose. I to my Lord Sandwich, and there alone with him to talke of his affairs, and particularly of his prize goods, wherein I find he is wearied with being troubled, and gives over the care of it to let it come to what it will, having the King’s release for the dividend made, and for the rest he thinks himself safe from being proved to have anything more. Thence to the Exchequer, and so by coach to the ‘Change, Mr. Moore with me, who tells me very odde passages of the indiscretion of my Lord in the management of his family, of his carelessnesse, &c., which troubles me, but makes me rejoice with all my heart of my being rid of the bond of 1000l., for that would have been a cruel blow to me. With Moore to the Coffee-House, the first time I have been there, where very full, and company it seems hath been there all the plague time. So to the ‘Change, and then home to dinner, and after dinner to settle accounts with him for my Lord, and so evened with him to this day. Then to the office, and out with Sir W. Warren for discourse by coach to White Hall, thinking to have spoke with Sir W. Coventry, but did not, and to see the Queene, but she comes but to Hampton Court to-night. Back to my office and there late, and so home to supper and bed. I walked a good while to-night with Mr. Hater in the garden, talking about a husband for my sister, and reckoning up all our clerks about us, none of which he thinks fit for her and her portion. At last I thought of young Gawden, and will thinke of it again.

where I carried a cross like a prize
where I bled ink and coffee
where it all evened out
with war for discourse
I spoke but did not see

but at night in the garden
I thought of you


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 16 February 1666.

Hylophobia

Up, and my wife not come home all night. To the office, where sat all the morning. At noon to Starky’s, a great cooke in Austin Friars, invited by Colonell Atkins, and a good dinner for Colonell Norwood and his friends, among others Sir Edward Spragg and others, but ill attendance. Before dined, called on by my wife in a coach, and so I took leave, and then with her and Knipp and Mercer (Mr. Hunt newly come out of the country being there also come to see us) to Mr. Hales, the paynter’s, having set down Mr. Hunt by the way. Here Mr. Hales’ begun my wife in the posture we saw one of my Lady Peters, like a St. Katharine. While he painted, Knipp, and Mercer, and I, sang; and by and by comes Mrs. Pierce, with my name in her bosom for her Valentine, which will cost me money. But strange how like his very first dead colouring is, that it did me good to see it, and pleases me mightily, and I believe will be a noble picture. Thence with them all as far as Fleete Streete, and there set Mercer and Knipp down, and we home. I to the office, whither the Houblons come telling me of a little new trouble from Norwood about their ship, which troubles me, though without reason. So late home to supper and to bed.
We hear this night of Sir Jeremy Smith, that he and his fleete have been seen at Malaga; which is good newes.

I come to the country to hunt
gun like a painted name on a picture
with a far-off wood
which troubles me without reason


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 15 February 1666.

Philistines

(St. Valentine’s day). This morning called up by Mr. Hill, who, my wife thought, had been come to be her Valentine; she, it seems, having drawne him last night, but it proved not. However, calling him up to our bed-side, my wife challenged him. I up, and made myself ready, and so with him by coach to my Lord Sandwich’s by appointment to deliver Mr. Howe’s accounts to my Lord. Which done, my Lord did give me hearty and large studied thanks for all my kindnesse to him and care of him and his business. I after profession of all duty to his Lordship took occasion to bemoane myself that I should fall into such a difficulty about Sir G. Carteret, as not to be for him, but I must be against Sir W. Coventry, and therefore desired to be neutrall, which my Lord approved and confessed reasonable, but desired me to befriend him privately. Having done in private with my Lord I brought Mr. Hill to kisse his hands, to whom my Lord professed great respect upon my score. My Lord being gone, I took Mr. Hill to my Lord Chancellor’s new house that is building, and went with trouble up to the top of it, and there is there the noblest prospect that ever I saw in my life, Greenwich being nothing to it; and in every thing is a beautiful house, and most strongly built in every respect; and as if, as it hath, it had the Chancellor for its master. Thence with him to his paynter, Mr. Hales, who is drawing his picture, which will be mighty like him, and pleased me so, that I am resolved presently to have my wife’s and mine done by him, he having a very masterly hand. So with mighty satisfaction to the ‘Change and thence home, and after dinner abroad, taking Mrs. Mary Batelier with us, who was just come to see my wife, and they set me down at my Lord Treasurer’s, and themselves went with the coach into the fields to take the ayre. I staid a meeting of the Duke of Yorke’s, and the officers of the Navy and Ordnance. My Lord Treasurer lying in bed of the gowte. Our business was discourse of the straits of the Navy for want of money, but after long discourse as much out of order as ordinary people’s, we come to no issue, nor any money promised, or like to be had, and yet the worke must be done. Here I perceive Sir G. Carteret had prepared himself to answer a choque of Sir W. Coventry, by offering of himself to shew all he had paid, and what is unpaid, and what moneys and assignments he hath in his hands, which, if he makes good, was the best thing he ever did say in his life, and the best timed, for else it must have fallen very foule on him.
The meeting done I away, my wife and they being come back and staying for me at the gate. But, Lord! to see how afeard I was that Sir W. Coventry should have spyed me once whispering with Sir G. Carteret, though not intended by me, but only Sir G. Carteret come to me and I could not avoyde it. So home, they set me down at the ‘Change, and I to the Crowne, where my Lord Bruncker was come and several of the Virtuosi, and after a small supper and but little good discourse I with Sir W. Batten (who was brought thither with my Lord Bruncker) home, where I find my wife gone to Mrs. Mercer’s to be merry, but presently come in with Mrs. Knipp, who, it seems, is in towne, and was gone thither with my wife and Mercer to dance, and after eating a little supper went thither again to spend the whole night there, being W. Howe there, at whose chamber they are, and Lawd Crisp by chance. I to bed.

who having proved to be challenged
by difficult art
must be against it

or profess that nothing
ever is beautiful
taking themselves for ordinary people

like unpaid money
whispering to me
not to dance


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 14 February 1666.

Reproductive system

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence after business dined at the Sheriffe’s, being carried by Mr. Lethulier, where to my heart’s content I met with his wife, a most beautifull fat woman. But all the house melancholy upon the sickness of a daughter of the house in childbed, Mr. Vaughan’s lady. So all of them undressed, but however this lady a very fine woman. I had a salute of her, and after dinner some discourse the Sheriffe and I about a parcel of tallow I am buying for the office of him. I away home, and there at the office all the afternoon till late at night, and then away home to supper and to bed.
Ill newes this night that the plague is encreased this week, and in many places else about the towne, and at Chatham and elsewhere.
This day my wife wanting a chambermaid with much ado got our old little Jane to be found out, who come to see her and hath lived all this while in one place, but is so well that we will not desire her removal, but are mighty glad to see the poor wench, who is very well and do well.

my heart is a beautiful fat woman in childbed
and I am the bed

I increase in any place
where I want to live all in one place


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 13 February 1666.

Window shopper

Up, and very busy to perform an oathe in finishing my Journall this morning for 7 or 8 days past. Then to several people attending upon business, among others Mr. Grant and the executors of Barlow for the 25l. due for the quarter before he died, which I scrupled to pay, being obliged but to pay every half year. Then comes Mr. Caesar, my boy’s lute-master, whom I have not seen since the plague before, but he hath been in Westminster all this while very well; and tells me in the height of it, how bold people there were, to go in sport to one another’s burials; and in spite too, ill people would breathe in the faces (out of their windows) of well people going by.
Then to dinner before the ‘Change, and so to the ‘Change, and then to the taverne to talk with Sir William Warren, and so by coach to several places, among others to my Lord Treasurer’s, there to meet my Lord Sandwich, but missed, and met him at [my] Lord Chancellor’s, and there talked with him about his accounts, and then about Sir G. Carteret, and I find by him that Sir G. Carteret has a worse game to play than my Lord Sandwich, for people are jeering at him, and he cries out of the business of Sir W. Coventry, who strikes at all and do all. Then to my bookseller’s, and then received some books I have new bought, and here late choosing some more to new bind, having resolved to give myself 10l. in books, and so home to the office and then home to supper, where Mr. Hill was and supped with us, and good discourse; an excellent person he still appears to me. After supper, and he gone, we to bed.

my breath in the window
of the bookseller’s

some books sing
some give me a home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 February 1666.

On the first day of the rest of my life

(Lord’s day). Up, and put on a new black cloth suit to an old coate that I make to be in mourning at Court, where they are all, for the King of Spayne. To church I, and at noon dined well, and then by water to White Hall, carrying a captain of the Tower (who desired his freight thither); there I to the Parke, and walked two or three turns of the Pell Mell with the company about the King and Duke; the Duke speaking to me a good deal. There met Lord Bruncker and Mr. Coventry, and discoursed about the Navy business; and all of us much at a loss that we yet can hear nothing of Sir Jeremy Smith’s fleete, that went away to the Streights the middle of December, through all the storms that we have had since, that have driven back three or four of them with their masts by the board.
Yesterday come out the King’s Declaration of War against the French, but with such mild invitations of both them and the Dutch to come over hither with promise of their protection, that every body wonders at it.
Thence home with my Lord Bruncker for discourse sake, and thence by hackney coach home, and so my wife and I mighty pleasant discourse, supped and to bed. The great wound I had Wednesday last in my thumb having with once dressing by Mrs. Turner’s balsam been perfectly cured, whereas I did not hope to save my nail, whatever else ill it did give me.
My wife and I are much thoughtfull now-a-days about Pall’s coming up in order to a husband.

put on a new black suit
in mourning for the loss
of storms that have driven me
invitations to wonder
and the great wound
I did not hope to save


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 11 February 1666.

Interloper

Up, and to the office. At noon, full of business, to dinner. This day comes first Sir Thomas Harvy after the plague, having been out of towne all this while. He was coldly received by us, and he went away before we rose also, to make himself appear yet a man less necessary. After dinner, being full of care and multitude of business, I took coach and my wife with me. I set her down at her mother’s (having first called at my Lord Treasurer’s and there spoke with Sir Ph. Warwicke), and I to the Exchequer about Tangier orders, and so to the Swan and there staid a little, and so by coach took up my wife, and at the old Exchange bought a muffe, and so home and late at my letters, and so to supper and to bed, being now-a-days, for these four or five months, mightily troubled with my snoring in my sleep, and know not how to remedy it.

in this cold rose
a moth
having a sleep


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 10 February 1666.

Cruise lines

Up, and betimes to Sir Philip Warwicke, who was glad to see me, and very kind. Thence to Colonell Norwood’s lodgings, and there set about Houblons’ business about their ships. Thence to Westminster, to the Exchequer, about my Tangier business to get orders for tallys, and so to the Hall, where the first day of the Terme, and the Hall very full of people, and much more than was expected, considering the plague that hath been. Thence to the ‘Change, and to the Sun behind it to dinner with the Lieutenant of the Tower, Colonell Norwood and others, where strange pleasure they seem to take in their wine and meate, and discourse of it with the curiosity and joy that methinks was below men of worthe. Thence home, and there very much angry with my people till I had put all things in good forwardnesse about my supper for the Houblons, but that being done I was in good humour again, and all things in good order. Anon the five brothers Houblons come and Mr. Hill, and a very good supper we had, and good company and discourse, with great pleasure. My new plate sets off my cupboard very nobly. Here they were till about eleven at night with great pleasure, and a fine sight it is to see these five brothers thus loving one to another, and all industrious merchants. Our subject was principally Mr. Hill’s going for them to Portugall, which was the occasion of this entertainment. They gone, we to bed.

ships full of plague and pleasure
take their meat people all about

to see these others
loving and industrious
for entertainment


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 9 February 1666.

Wren

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, expecting to have received from Mr. Houbland, as he promised me, an assignment upon Viner, for my reward for my getting them the going of their two ships to Tangier, but I find myself much disappointed therein, for I spoke with him and he said nothing of it, but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwoods pressing them to carry more goods than will leave room for some of their own. But I shall ease them. Thence to Captain Cocke’s, where Mr. Williamson, Wren, Boldell and Madam Williams, and by and by Lord Bruncker, he having been with the King and Duke upon the water to-day, to see Greenwich house, and the yacht Castle is building of, and much good discourse. So to White Hall to see my Lord Sandwich, and then home to my business till night, and then to bed.

all morning the cold
woods sing

where a wren bold by the water
is building a home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 February 1666.