Little song of epidemiology

Office day. This day comes news, by letters from Portsmouth, that the Princess Henrietta is fallen sick of the meazles on board the London, after the Queen and she was under sail. And so was forced to come back again into Portsmouth harbour; and in their way, by negligence of the pilot, run upon the Horse sand. The Queen and she continue aboard, and do not intend to come on shore till she sees what will become of the young Princess. This news do make people think something indeed, that three of the Royal Family should fall sick of the same disease, one after another. This morning likewise, we had order to see guards set in all the King’s yards; and so we do appoint who and who should go to them. Sir Wm. Batten to Chatham, Colonel Slingsby and I to Deptford and Woolwich. Portsmouth being a garrison, needs none.
Dined at home, discontented that my wife do not go neater now she has two maids. After dinner comes in Kate Sterpin (whom we had not seen a great while) and her husband to see us, with whom I staid a while, and then to the office, and left them with my wife.
At night walked to Paul’s Churchyard, and bespoke some books against next week, and from thence to the Coffeehouse, where I met Captain Morrice, the upholster, who would fain have lent me a horse to-night to have rid with him upon the Cityguards, with the Lord Mayor, there being some new expectations of these rogues; but I refused by reason of my going out of town tomorrow. So home to bed.

Mouth of the queen,
mouth of the horse—
what will become of
the young disease?
Like a sling,
a mouth needs content.
After dinner
comes a husband to a wife,
night to the coffeehouse,
a horse to a rogue.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 January 1660/61.

The sailor’s life

There comes Mr. Hawley to me and brings me my money for the quarter of a year’s salary of my place under Downing that I was at sea. So I did give him half, whereof he did in his nobleness give the odd 5s. to my Jane. So we both went forth (calling first to see how Sir W. Pen do, whom I found very ill), and at the Hoop by the bridge we drank two pints of wormwood and sack. Talking of his wooing afresh of Mrs. Lane, and of his going to serve the Bishop of London.
Thence by water to Whitehall, and found my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s. Leaving her to dine there, I went and dined with my Lady, and staid to talk a while with her.
After dinner Will comes to tell me that he had presented my piece of plate to Mr. Coventry, who takes it very kindly, and sends me a very kind letter, and the plate back again; of which my heart is very glad. So to Mrs. Hunt, where I found a Frenchman, a lodger of hers, at dinner, and just as I came in was kissing my wife, which I did not like, though there could not be any hurt in it.
Thence by coach to my Uncle Wight’s with my wife, but they being out of doors we went home, where, after I had put some papers in order and entered some letters in my book which I have a mind to keep, I went with my wife to see Sir W. Pen, who we found ill still, but he do make very much of it. Here we sat a great while, at last comes in Mr. Davis and his lady (who takes it very ill that my wife never did go to see her), and so we fell to talk. Among other things Mr. Davis told us the particular examinations of these Fanatiques that are taken: and in short it is this, of all these Fanatiques that have done all this, viz., routed all the Trainbands that they met with, put the King’s life-guards to the run, killed about twenty men, broke through the City gates twice; and all this in the day-time, when all the City was in arms; are not in all about 31. Whereas we did believe them (because they were seen up and down in every place almost in the City, and had been about Highgate two or three days, and in several other places) to be at least 500. A thing that never was heard of, that so few men should dare and do so much mischief. Their word was, “The King Jesus, and the heads upon the gates.” Few of them would receive any quarter, but such as were taken by force and kept alive; expecting Jesus to come here and reign in the world presently, and will not believe yet but their work will be carried on though they do die.
The King this day came to town.

A year at sea, and
the worm in my heart
is like a train through
a city I never heard of.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 January 1660/61.

Toughs

Waked in the morning about six o’clock, by people running up and down in Mr. Davis’s house, talking that the Fanatiques were up in arms in the City. And so I rose and went forth; where in the street I found every body in arms at the doors. So I returned (though with no good courage at all, but that I might not seem to be afeared), and got my sword and pistol, which, however, I had no powder to charge; and went to the door, where I found Sir R. Ford, and with him I walked up and down as far as the Exchange, and there I left him. In our way, the streets full of Train-band, and great stories, what mischief these rogues have done; and I think near a dozen have been killed this morning on both sides. Seeing the city in this condition, the shops shut, and all things in trouble, I went home and sat, it being office day, till noon. So home, and dined at home, my father with me, and after dinner he would needs have me go to my uncle Wight’s (where I have been so long absent that I am ashamed to go). I found him at home and his wife, and I can see they have taken my absence ill, but all things are past and we good friends, and here I sat with my aunt till it was late, my uncle going forth about business. My aunt being very fearful to be alone. So home to my lute till late, and then to bed, there being strict guards all night in the City, though most of the enemies, they say, are killed or taken. This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

Arm in arm
go my sword and pistol

and walk up and down
full of mischief

as if they are friends
or fearful to be alone.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 January 1660/61.

Warmonger

My wife and I lay very long in bed to-day talking and pleasing one another in discourse. Being up, Mr. Warren came, and he and I agreed for the deals that my Lord is to have. Then Will and I to Westminster, where I dined with my Lady. After dinner I took my Lord Hinchinbroke and Mr. Sidney to the Theatre, and shewed them “The Widdow,” an indifferent good play, but wronged by the women being to seek in their parts. That being done, my Lord’s coach waited for us, and so back to my Lady’s, where she made me drink of some Florence wine, and did give me two bottles for my wife. From thence walked to my cozen Stradwick’s, and there chose a small banquet and some other things against our entertainment on Thursday next. Thence to Tom Pepys and bought a dozen of trenchers, and so home.
Some talk to-day of a head of Fanatiques that do appear about Barnett, but I do not believe it.
However, my Lord Mayor, Sir Richd. Browne, hath carried himself very honourably, and hath caused one of their meeting-houses in London to be pulled down.

In bed, the war and I
agree to wed—
a different drink for my wick.
I gain entertainment, a trench,
and some talk of head fanatic,
no honor—a hat
pulled down.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 January 1660/61.

Urban decay

This morning, news was brought to me to my bedside, that there had been a great stir in the City this night by the Fanatiques, who had been up and killed six or seven men, but all are fled. My Lord Mayor and the whole City had been in arms, above 40,000. To the office, and after that to dinner, where my brother Tom came and dined with me, and after dinner (leaving 12d. with the servants to buy a cake with at night, this day being kept as Twelfth day) Tom and I and my wife to the Theatre, and there saw “The Silent Woman.” The first time that ever I did see it, and it is an excellent play. Among other things here, Kinaston, the boy; had the good turn to appear in three shapes: first, as a poor woman in ordinary clothes, to please Morose; then in fine clothes, as a gallant, and in them was clearly the prettiest woman in the whole house, and lastly, as a man; and then likewise did appear the handsomest man in the house. From thence by link to my cozen Stradwick’s, where my father and we and Dr. Pepys, Scott, and his wife, and one Mr. Ward and his; and after a good supper, we had an excellent cake, where the mark for the Queen was cut, and so there was two queens, my wife and Mrs. Ward; and the King being lost, they chose the Doctor to be King, so we made him send for some wine, and then home, and in our way home we were in many places strictly examined, more than in the worst of times, there being great fears of these Fanatiques rising again: for the present I do not hear that any of them are taken.
Home, it being a clear moonshine and after 12 o’clock at night. Being come home we found that my people had been very merry, and my wife tells me afterwards that she had heard that they had got young Davis and some other neighbours with them to be merry, but no harm.

This new, great stir: who killed the city?
The poor in morose clothes,
the two queens,
the wine in many places?
Or the great fear?
Fanatics shine at night.
We found a neighbor with no arm.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 January 1660/61.

Pillar

(Lord’s day).
My wife and I to church this morning, and so home to dinner to a boiled leg of mutton all alone.
To church again, where, before sermon, a long Psalm was set that lasted an hour, while the sexton gathered his year’s contribucion through the whole church.
After sermon home, and there I went to my chamber and wrote a letter to send to Mr. Coventry, with a piece of plate along with it, which I do preserve among my other letters.
So to supper, and thence after prayers to bed.

My wife is an oiled leg of church,
a long psalm,
sex the red letter I preserve
among my other prayers.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 January 1660/61.

Divided loyalties

Home all the morning. Several people came to me about business, among others the great Tom Fuller, who came to desire a kindness for a friend of his, who hath a mind to go to Jamaica with these two ships that are going, which I promised to do.
So to Whitehall to my Lady, whom I found at dinner and dined with her, and staid with her talking all the afternoon, and thence walked to Westminster Hall. So to Will’s, and drank with Spicer, and thence by coach home, staying a little in Paul’s Churchyard, to bespeak Ogilby’s Æsop’s Fables and Tully’s Officys to be bound for me. So home and to bed.

Desire is a mind
with two ships in it.
I stayed with her
and walked—
staying in a fable,
bound for bed.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 January 1660/61.

Twelfth Night

Office all the morning, my wife and Pall being gone to my father’s to dress dinner for Mr. Honiwood, my mother being gone out of town. Dined at home, and Mr. Moore with me, with whom I had been early this morning at White Hall, at the Jewell Office, to choose a piece of gilt plate for my Lord, in return of his offering to the King (which it seems is usual at this time of year, and an Earl gives twenty pieces in gold in a purse to the King). I chose a gilt tankard, weighing 31 ounces and a half, and he is allowed 30; so I paid 12s. for the ounce and half over what he is to have; but strange it was for me to see what a company of small fees I was called upon by a great many to pay there, which, I perceive, is the manner that courtiers do get their estates.
After dinner Mr. Moore and I to the Theatre, where was “The Scornful Lady,” acted very well, it being the first play that ever he saw. Thence with him to drink a cup of ale at Hercules Pillars, and so parted. I called to see my father, who told me by the way how Will and Mary Joyce do live a strange life together, nothing but fighting, &c., so that sometimes her father has a mind to have them divorced. Thence home.

All the wood is white.
An earl gives the king
a gilt tank.
We of small estates
play Hercules
and live a strange life—
nothing but fighting.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 January 1660/61.

Siddhartha

Early in the morning to the Exchequer, where I told over what money I had of my Lord’s and my own there, which I found to be 970l. Thence to Will’s, where Spicer and I eat our dinner of a roasted leg of pork which Will did give us, and after that to the Theatre, where was acted “Beggars’ Bush,” it being very well done; and here the first time that ever I saw women come upon the stage. From thence to my father’s, where I found my mother gone by Bird, the carrier, to Brampton, upon my uncle’s great desire, my aunt being now in despair of life. So home.

What money I own I give
to beggars—the first time
I saw women age.
I found my mother gone
by bird, a great desire
now despair of life.
Om.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 3 January 1660/61.

The perils of indolence

Up early, and being called up to my Lord he did give me many commands in his business. As about taking care to write to my uncle that Mr. Barnewell’s papers should be locked up, in case he should die, he being now suspected to be very ill. Also about consulting with Mr. W. Montagu for the settling of the 4000l. a year that the King had promised my Lord. As also about getting of Mr. George Montagu to be chosen at Huntingdon this next Parliament, &c.
That done he to White Hall stairs with much company, and I with him; where we took water for Lambeth, and there coach for Portsmouth.
The Queen’s things were all in White Hall Court ready to be sent away, and her Majesty ready to be gone an hour after to Hampton Court to-night, and so to be at Portsmouth on Saturday next.
I by water to my office, and there all the morning, and so home to dinner, where I found Pall (my sister) was come; but I do not let her sit down at table with me, which I do at first that she may not expect it hereafter from me. After dinner I to Westminster by water, and there found my brother Spicer at the Leg with all the rest of the Exchequer men (most of whom I now do not know) at dinner. Here I staid and drank with them, and then to Mr. George Montagu about the business of election, and he did give me a piece in gold; so to my Lord’s and got the chest of plate brought to the Exchequer, and my brother Spicer put it into his treasury. So to Will’s with them to a pot of ale, and so parted.
I took a turn in the Hall, and bought the King and Chancellor’s speeches at the dissolving the Parliament last Saturday.
So to my Lord’s, and took my money I brought ‘thither last night and the silver candlesticks, and by coach left the latter at Alderman Backwell’s, I having no use for them, and the former home. There stood a man at our door, when I carried it in, and saw me, which made me a little afeard.
Up to my chamber and wrote letters to Huntingdon and did other business.
This day I lent Sir W. Batten and Captn. Rider my chine of beef for to serve at dinner tomorrow at Trinity House, the Duke of Albemarle being to be there and all the rest of the Brethren, it being a great day for the reading over of their new Charter, which the King hath newly given them.

An ape should be locked up
in case he should die.
Do not sit down,
my brother Leg,
my brother Stick!
The latter I carried and feared—
of all brethren, the king.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 2 January 1660/61.