Pepys Diary erasure project

Lord’s day. To my Lord, and with him to White Hall Chappell, where Mr. Calamy preached, and made a good sermon upon these words “To whom much is given, of him much is required.” He was very officious with his three reverences to the King, as others do. After sermon a brave anthem of Captain Cooke’s, which he himself sung, and the King was well pleased with it. My Lord dined at my Lord Chamberlain’s, and I at his house with Mr. Sheply. After dinner I did give Mr. Donne; who is going to sea, the key of my cabin and direction for the putting up of my things. After, that I went to walk, and meeting Mrs. Lane of Westminster Hall, I took her to my Lord’s, and did give her a bottle of wine in the garden, where Mr. Fairbrother, of Cambridge, did come and found us, and drank with us.
After that I took her to my house, where I was exceeding free in dallying with her, and she not unfree to take it.
At night home and called at my father’s, where I found Mr. Fairbrother, but I did not stay but went homewards and called in at Mr. Rawlinson’s, whither my uncle Wight was coming and did come, but was exceeding angry (he being a little fuddled, and I think it was that I should see him in that case) as I never saw him in my life, which I was somewhat troubled at. Home and to bed.

Lord’s day. My Lord preached:
“To whom much is given, of him
much is required.”

I took her to my Lord’s wine garden
where I was exceeding free with her
and she free as me.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 12 August 1660.

I rose to-day without any pain, which makes me think that my pain yesterday was nothing but from my drinking too much the day before.
To my Lord this morning, who did give me order to get some things ready against the afternoon for the Admiralty where he would meet. To the Privy Seal, and from thence going to my own house in Axeyard, I went in to Mrs. Crisp’s, where I met with Mr. Hartlibb; for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign for a ship for his brother and sister, who went away hence this day to Gravesend, and from thence to Holland. I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade. Hence to my Lord’s to dinner with Mr. Sheply, so to the Privy Seal; and at night home, and then sent for the barber, and was trimmed in the kitchen, the first time that ever I was so. I was vexed this night that W. Hewer was out of doors till ten at night but was pretty well satisfied again when my wife told me that he wept because I was angry, though indeed he did give me a good reason for his being out; but I thought it a good occasion to let him know that I do expect his being at home. So to bed.

I make nothing
but order, get things
ready against the ivy,
a grave jealous of the kitchen.
I was so satisfied, I wept.
Give me a good
reason for being.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 11 August 1660.

I had a great deal of pain all night, and a great looseness upon me so that I could not sleep. In the morning I rose with much pain and to the office. I went and dined at home, and after dinner with great pain in my back I went by water to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and that done with Mr. Moore and Creed to Hide Park by coach, and saw a fine foot-race three times round the Park between an Irishman and Crow, that was once my Lord Claypoole’s footman. (By the way I cannot forget that my Lord Claypoole did the other day make enquiry of Mrs. Hunt, concerning my House in Axe-yard, and did set her on work to get it of me for him, which methinks is a very great change.) Crow beat the other by above two miles.
Returned from Hide Park, I went to my Lord’s, and took Will (who waited for me there) by coach and went home, taking my lute home with me. It had been all this while since I came from sea at my Lord’s for him to play on. To bed in some pain still.
For this month or two it is not imaginable how busy my head has been, so that I have neglected to write letters to my uncle Robert in answer to many of his, and to other friends, nor indeed have I done anything as to my own family, and especially this month my waiting at the Privy Seal makes me much more unable to think of anything, because of my constant attendance there after I have done at the Navy Office. But blessed be God for my good chance of the Privy Seal, where I get every day I believe about 3l.. This place I got by chance, and my Lord did give it me by chance, neither he nor I thinking it to be of the worth that he and I find it to be.
Never since I was a man in the world was I ever so great a stranger to public affairs as now I am, having not read a news-book or anything like it, or enquiring after any news, or what the Parliament do, or in any wise how things go. Many people look after my house in Axe-yard to hire it, so that I am troubled with them, and I have a mind to get the money to buy goods for my house at the Navy Office, and yet I am loth to put it off because that Mr. Man bids me 1000l. for my office, which is so great a sum that I am loth to settle myself at my new house, lest I should take Mr. Man’s offer in case I found my Lord willing to it.

All night, no sleep:
a race between man and crow.
Crow beat me
and went home to play.
How busy a dance
I find it to be!
A great stranger is my mind.
I am loath to settle in it.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 10 August 1660.

We met at the office, and after that to dinner at home, and from thence with my wife by water to Catan Sterpin, with whom and her mistress Pye we sat discoursing of Kate’s marriage to Mons. Petit, her mistress and I giving the best advice we could for her to suspend her marriage till Mons. Petit had got some place that may be able to maintain her, and not for him to live upon the portion that she shall bring him. From thence to Mr. Butler’s to see his daughters, the first time that ever we made a visit to them. We found them very pretty, and Coll. Dillon there, a very merry and witty companion, but methinks they live in a gaudy but very poor condition. From thence, my wife and I intending to see Mrs. Blackburne, who had been a day or two again to see my wife, but my wife was not in condition to be seen, but she not being at home my wife went to her mother’s and I to the Privy Seal. At night from the Privy Seal, Mr. Woodson and Mr. Jennings and I to the Sun Tavern till it was late, and from thence to my Lord’s, where my wife was come from Mrs. Blackburne’s to me, and after I had done some business with my Lord, she and I went to Mrs. Hunt’s, who would needs have us to lie at her house to-night, she being with my wife so late at my Lord’s with us, and would not let us go home to-night.
We lay there all night very pleasantly and at ease, I taking my pleasure with my wife in the morning, being the first time after her being eased of her pain.

From wife to mistress
I live on wit, gaudy but poor.
Intending to see my wife, I was not I
but a moth to the sun:
I burn, taking my pleasure
in the morning pain.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 August 1660.

This morning to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and took Mr. Moore and myself and dined at my Lord’s with Mr. Sheply. While I was at dinner in come Sam. Hartlibb and his brother-in-law, now knighted by the King, to request my promise of a ship for them to Holland, which I had promised to get for them. After dinner to the Privy Seal all the afternoon. At night, meeting Sam. Hartlibb, he took me by coach to Kensington, to my Lord of Holland’s; I staid in the coach while he went in about his business. He staying long I left the coach and walked back again before on foot (a very pleasant walk) to Kensington, where I drank and staid very long waiting for him. At last he came, and after drinking at the inn we went towards Westminster.
Here I endeavoured to have looked out Jane that formerly lived at Dr. Williams’ at Cambridge, whom I had long thought to live at present here, but I found myself in an error, meeting one in the place where I expected to have found her, but she proved not she though very like her.
We went to the Bullhead, where he and I sat and drank till 11 at night, and so home on foot. Found my wife pretty well again, and so to bed.

This morning too was art,
a ship for a seal.
I walked back to where
I had long thought to live:
in error, like the bull
at home on foot.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 7 August 1660.

This morning at the office, and, that being done, home to dinner all alone, my wife being ill in pain a-bed, which I was troubled at, and not a little impatient. After dinner to Whitehall at the Privy Seal all the afternoon, and at night with Mr. Man to Mr. Rawlinson’s in Fenchurch Street, where we staid till eleven o’clock at night. So home and to bed, my wife being all this day in great pain.
This night Mr. Man offered me 1000l. for my office of Clerk of the Acts, which made my mouth water; but yet I dare not take it till I speak with my Lord to have his consent.

Ill
in pain: im-
patient.
All
night and
all this day in
great pain.

Off
me.
My mouth dare
not speak
my consent.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 6 August 1660.

Lord’s day. My wife being much in pain, I went this morning to Dr. Williams (who had cured her once before of this business), in Holborn, and he did give me an ointment which I sent home by my boy, and a plaster which I took with me to Westminster (having called and seen my mother in the morning as I went to the doctor), where I dined with Mr. Sheply (my Lord dining at Kensington).
After dinner to St. Margaret’s, where the first time I ever heard Common Prayer in that Church. I sat with Mr. Hill in his pew; Mr. Hill that married in Axe Yard and that was aboard us in the Hope. Church done I went and Mr. Sheply to see W. Howe at Mr. Pierces, where I staid singing of songs and psalms an hour or two, and were very pleasant with Mrs. Pierce and him. Thence to my Lord’s, where I staid and talked and drank with Mr. Sheply. After that to Westminster stairs, where I saw a fray between Mynheer Clinke, a Dutchman, that was at Hartlibb’s wedding, and a waterman, which made good sport. After that I got a Gravesend boat, that was come up to fetch some reed on this side the bridge, and got them to carry me to the bridge, and so home, where I found my wife.
After prayers I to bed to her, she having had a very bad night of it. This morning before I was up Will came home pretty well again, he having been only weary with riding, which he is not used to.

My pain, give me
an ointment, a plaster.
My mother.
The common axe
pierces, singing
between wedding and grave.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 August 1660.

To White Hall, where I found my Lord gone with the King by water to dine at the Tower with Sir J. Robinson, Lieutenant. I found my Lady Jemimah at my Lord’s, with whom I staid and dined, all alone; after dinner to the Privy Seal Office, where I did business. So to a Committee of Parliament (Sir Hen[eage] Finch, Chairman), to give them an answer to an order of theirs, “that we could not give them any account of the Accounts of the Navy in the years 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, as they desire.” After that I went and bespoke some linen of Betty Lane in the Hall, and after that to the Trumpet, where I sat and talked with her, &c.
At night, it being very rainy, and it thundering and lightning exceedingly, I took coach at the Trumpet door, taking Monsieur L’Impertinent along with me as far as the Savoy, where he said he went to lie with Cary Dillon, and is still upon the mind of going (he and his whole family) to Ireland. Having set him down I made haste home, and in the courtyard, it being very dark, I heard a man inquire for my house, and having asked his business, he told me that my man William (who went this morning — out of town to meet his aunt Blackburne) was come home not very well to his mother, and so could not come home to-night. At which I was very sorry. I found my wife still in pain. To bed, having not time to write letters, and indeed having so many to write to all places that I have no heart to go about them.
Mrs. Shaw did die yesterday and her husband so sick that he is not like to live.

To a hen finch I give an account of the accounts of desire.

Night rain, thunder and lightning. I hear a man in pain.

I write to all places that have no heart.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 4 August 1660.

Up betimes this morning, and after the barber had done with me, then to the office, where I and Sir William Pen only did meet and despatch business. At noon my wife and I by coach to Dr. Clerke’s to dinner: I was very much taken with his lady, a comely, proper woman, though not handsome; but a woman of the best language that ever I heard any in my life. Here dined Mrs. Pierce and her husband.
After dinner I took leave to go to Westminster, where I was at the Privy Seal Office all day, signing things and taking money, so that I could not do as I had intended, that is to return to them and go to the Red Bull Playhouse, but I took coach and went to see whether it was done so or no, and I found it done. So I returned to Dr. Clerke’s, where I found them and my wife, and by and by took leave and went away home.

This morning I was taken
with a comely woman: not handsome
but a woman of the best language
that ever I heard any
in my life.
I took leave to go to the office
and could not return.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 3 August 1660.

To Westminster by water with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen (our servants in another boat) to the Admiralty; and from thence I went to my Lord’s to fetch him thither, where we stayed in the morning about ordering of money for the victuallers, and advising how to get a sum of money to carry on the business of the Navy. From thence dined with Mr. Blackburne at his house with his friends (his wife being in the country and just upon her return to London), where we were very well treated and merry.
From thence W. Hewer and I to the office of Privy Seal, where I stayed all the afternoon, and received about 40l. for yesterday and to-day, at which my heart rejoiced for God’s blessing to me, to give me this advantage by chance, there being of this 40l. about 10l. due to me for this day’s work. So great is the present profit of this office, above what it was in the King’s time; there being the last month about 300 bills; whereas in the late King’s time it was much to have 40. With my money home by coach.
It being the first time that I could get home before our gates were shut since I came to the Navy office.
When I came home I found my wife not very well of her old pain in the lip of her chose which she had when we were married first.
I went and cast up the expense that I laid out upon my former house (because there are so many that are desirous of it, and I am, in my mind, loth to let it go out of my hands, for fear of a turn). I find my layings-out to come to about 20l., which with my fine will come to about 22l. to him that shall hire my house of me.
To bed.

Black with ivy,
my heart is a gate,
shut since I found my wife.
I let it go to him
that shall hire my house.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 2 August 1660.