Divisive

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

(Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, there to settle some papers, and thither comes Mr. Moore to me and talked till church time of the news of the times about the peace and the bad consequences of it if it be not improved to good purpose of fitting ourselves for another war. He tells me he heard that the discontented Parliament-men are fearful that the next sitting the King will put for a general excise, by which to raise him money, and then to fling off the Parliament, and raise a land-army and keep them all down like slaves; and it is gotten among them, that Bab. May, the Privy-purse, hath been heard to say that 300l. a-year is enough for any country gentleman; which makes them mad, and they do talk of 6 or 800,000l. gone into the Privy-purse this war, when in King James’s time it arose but to 5,000l., and in King Charles’s but 10,000l. in a year. He tells me that a goldsmith in town told him that, being with some plate with my Lady Castlemayne lately, she directed her woman (the great beauty), “Wilson,” says she, “make a note for this, and for that, to the Privy-purse for money.” He tells me a little more of the baseness of the courses taken at Court in the case of Mr. Moyer, who is at liberty, and is to give 500l. for his liberty; but now the great ones are divided, who shall have the money, the Duke of Albemarle on one hand, and another Lord on the other; and that it is fain to be decided by having the person’s name put into the King’s warrant for his liberty, at whose intercession the King shall own that he is set at liberty; which is a most lamentable thing, that we do professedly own that we do these things, not for right and justice sake, but only to gratify this or that person about the King. God forgive us all!
Busy till noon, and then home to dinner, and Mr. Moore come and dined with us, and much more discourse at and after dinner of the same kind, and then, he gone, I to my office busy till the evening, and then with my wife and Jane over to Half-way house, a very good walk; and there drank, and in the cool of the evening back again, and sang with pleasure upon the water, and were mightily pleased in hearing a boatfull of Spaniards sing, and so home to supper and to bed. Jane of late mighty fine, by reason of a laced whiske her mistress hath given her, which makes her a very gracefull servant. But, above all, my wife and I were the most surprised in the beauty of a plain girle, which we met in the little lane going from Redriffe-stairs into the fields, one of the prettiest faces that we think we ever saw in our lives.

church of war
like a mad rose

divided we only gratify
this or that god

give us more of the same
half-lives


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 7 July 1667.

Nope

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and to the office, where some of us sat busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner, whither Creed come to dine with us and brings the first word I hear of the news of a peace, the King having letters come to him this noon signifying that it is concluded on, and that Mr. Coventry is upon his way coming over for the King’s satisfaction. The news was so good and sudden that I went with great joy to W. Batten and then to W. Pen to tell it them, and so home to dinner, mighty merry, and light at my heart only on this ground, that a continuing of the war must undo us, and so though peace may do the like if we do not make good use of it to reform ourselves and get up money, yet there is an opportunity for us to save ourselves. At least, for my own particular, we shall continue well till I can get my money into my hands, and then I will shift for myself. After dinner away, leaving Creed there, by coach to Westminster, where to the Swan and drank, and then to the Hall, and there talked a little with great joy of the peace, and then to Mrs. Martin’s, where I met with the good news que elle ne est con child, the fear of which she did give me the other day, had troubled me much. My joy in this made me send for wine, and thither come her sister and Mrs. Cragg, and I staid a good while there. But here happened the best instance of a woman’s falseness in the world, that her sister Doll, who went for a bottle of wine, did come home all blubbering and swearing against one Captain Vandener, a Dutchman of the Rhenish Wine House, that pulled her into a stable by the Dog tavern, and there did tumble her and toss her, calling him all the rogues and toads in the world, when she knows that elle hath suffered me to do any thing with her a hundred times. Thence with joyful heart to White Hall to ask Mr. Williamson the news, who told me that Mr. Coventry is coming over with a project of a peace; which, if the States agree to, and our King, when their Ministers on both sides have shewed it them, we shall agree, and that is all: but the King, I hear, do give it out plain that the peace is concluded. Thence by coach home, and there wrote a few letters, and then to consult with my wife about going to Epsum to-morrow, sometimes designing to go and then again not; and at last it grew late and I bethought myself of business to employ me at home tomorrow, and so I did not go. This afternoon I met with Mr. Rolt, who tells me that he is going Cornett under Collonel Ingoldsby, being his old acquaintance, and Ingoldsby hath a troop now from under the King, and I think it is a handsome way for him, but it was an ominous thing, methought, just as he was bidding me his last adieu, his nose fell a-bleeding, which ran in my mind a pretty while after. This afternoon Sir Alexander Frazier, who was of council for Sir J. Minnes, and had given him over for a dead man, said to me at White Hall: — “What,” says he, “Sir J. Minnes is dead.” I told him, “No! but that there is hopes of his life.” Methought he looked very sillily after it, and went his way. Late home to supper, a little troubled at my not going to Epsum to-morrow, as I had resolved, especially having the Duke of York and W. Coventry out of town, but it was my own fault and at last my judgment to stay, and so to supper and to bed. This day, with great satisfaction, I hear that my Lady Jemimah is brought to bed, at Hinchingbroke, of a boy.

the first word is no
signifying the sudden ground
that continuing no

and I a child
blubbering again
no tomorrow no old hands no dead no judgement


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 6 July 1667.

Ephemera

Up, and to the office, where Sir W. Batten, W. Pen, T. Harvy and I met upon Mr. Gawden’s accounts, and was at it all the morning. This morning Sir G. Carteret did come to us, and walked in the garden. It was to talk with me about some thing of my Lord Sandwich’s, but here he told us that the great seale is passed to my Lord Annesly for Treasurer of the Navy: so that now he do no more belong to us: and I confess, for his sake, I am glad of it, and do believe the other will have little content in it. At noon I home to dinner with my wife, and after dinner to sing, and then to the office a little and Sir W. Batten’s, where I am vexed to hear that Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, Sir W. Pen’s mayde and whore, is come to sit in our pew at church, and did so while my Lady Batten was there. I confess I am very much vexed at it and ashamed. By and by out with W. Pen to White Hall, where I staid not, but to the New Exchange to buy gloves and other little errands, and so home and to my office busy till night, and then walked in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to sing, and so to bed. No news, but that the Dutch are gone clear from Harwich northward, and have given out they are going to Yarmouth.

art out of sand at the sea
will it sing

to a whore
to a church lady with white gloves

to us with news ear
and a going mouth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 5 July 1667.

Field work

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and, in vain expecting Sir R. Ford’s calling on me, I took coach and to the Sessions-house, where I have a mind to hear Bazill Fielding’s case tried; and so got up to the Bench, my Lord Chief-Justice Keeling being Judge. Here I stood bare, not challenging, though I might well enough, to be covered. But here were several fine trials; among others, several brought in for making it their trade to set houses on fire merely to get plunder; and all proved by the two little boys spoken of yesterday by Sir R. Ford, who did give so good account of particulars that I never heard children in my life. And I confess, though I was unsatisfied with the force given to such little boys, to take away men’s lives, yet, when I was told that my Lord Chief-Justice did declare that there was no law against taking the oath of children above twelve years old, and then heard from Sir R. Ford the good account which the boys had given of their understanding the nature and consequence of an oath, and now my own observation of the sobriety and readiness of their answers, further than of any man of any rank that come to give witness this day, though some men of years and learning, I was a little amazed, and fully satisfied that they ought to have as much credit as the rest. They proved against several, their consulting several times at a bawdy-house in Moore-Fields, called the Russia House, among many other rogueries, of setting houses on fire, that they might gather the goods that were flung into the streets; and it is worth considering how unsafe it is to have children play up and down this lewd town. For these two boys, one is my Lady Montagu’s (I know not what Lady Montagu) son, and the other of good condition, were playing in Moore-Fields, and one rogue, Gabriel Holmes, did come to them and teach them to drink, and then to bring him plate and clothes from their fathers’ houses, and carry him into their houses, and leaving open the doors for him, and at last were made of their conspiracy, and were at the very burning of this house in Aldersgate Street, on Easter Sunday at night last, and did gather up goods, as they had resolved before and this Gabriel Holmes did advise to have had two houses set on fire, one after another, that, while they were quenching of one, they might be burning another. And it is pretty that G. Holmes did tell his fellows, and these boys swore it, that he did set fire to a box of linen in the Sheriffe, Sir Joseph Shelden’s house, while he was attending the fire in Aldersgate Street, and the Sheriffe himself said that there was a fire in his house, in a box of linen, at the same time, but cannot conceive how this fellow should do it. The boys did swear against one of them, that he had made it his part to pull the plug out of the engine while it was a-playing; and it really was so. And goods they did carry away, and the manner of the setting the house on fire was, that Holmes did get to a cockpit; where, it seems, there was a publick cockpit, and set fire to the straw in it, and hath a fire-ball at the end of the straw, which did take fire, and so it prevailed, and burned the house; and, among other things they carried away, he took six of the cocks that were at the cockpit; and afterwards the boys told us how they had one dressed, by the same token it was so hard they could not eat it. But that which was most remarkable was the impudence of this Holmes, who hath been arraigned often, and still got away; and on this business was taken and broke loose just at Newgate Gate; and was last night luckily taken about Bow, who got loose, and run into the river, and hid himself in the rushes; and they pursued him with a dog, and the dog got him and held him till he was taken. But the impudence of this fellow was such, that he denied he ever saw the boys before, or ever knew the Russia House, or that the people knew him; and by and by the mistress of the Russia House was called in, being indicted, at the same time, about another thing; and she denied that the fellow was of her acquaintance, when it was pretty to see how the little boys did presently fall upon her, and ask her how she durst say so, when she was always with them when they met at her house, and particularly when she come in in her smock before a dozen of them, at which the Court laughed, and put the woman away. Well, this fellow Holmes was found guilty of the act of burning the house, and other things, that he stood indicted for. And then there were other good cases, as of a woman that come to serve a gentlewoman, and in three days run away, betimes in the morning, with a great deal of plate and rings, and other good things. It was time very well spent to be here. Here I saw how favourable the judge was to a young gentleman that struck one of the officers, for not making him room: told him he had endangered the loss of his hand, but that he hoped he had not struck him, and would suppose that he had not struck him. About that the Court rose, and I to dinner with my Lord Mayor and Sheriffs; where a good dinner and good discourse; the judge being there. There was also tried this morning Fielding, which I thought had been Bazilll — but it proved the other, and Bazill was killed; that killed his brother, who was found guilty of murder, and nobody pitied him. The judge seems to be a worthy man, and able: and do intend, for these rogues that burned this house to be hung in some conspicuous place in the town, for an example. After dinner to the Court again, where I heard some more causes, but with so much trouble because of the hot weather that I had no pleasure in it. Anon the Court rose, and I walked to Fleet streete for my belt at the beltmaker’s, and so home and to the office, wrote some letters, and then home to supper and to bed.

the field set on fire by children
lives again

the field called us
gather in a ring
have children

one field burning
while they quench another

engine of straw
mistress of loss

this morning field
which I thought had been killed
with so much hot weather


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 4 July 1667.

Timeless

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and within most of the morning, my tailor’s boy coming to alter something in my new suit I put on yesterday. Then to the office and did business, and then (my wife being a little ill of those in bed) I to Sir W. Batten’s and dined, and there comes in Sir Richard Ford, tells us how he hath been at the Sessions-house, and there it is plain that there is a combination of rogues in the town, that do make it their business to set houses on fire, and that one house they did set on fire in Aldersgate Streete last Easter; and that this is proved by two young men, whom one of them debauched by degrees to steal their fathers’ plate and clothes, and at last to be of their company; and they had their places to take up what goods were flung into the streets out of the windows, when the houses were on fire; and this is like to be proved to a great number of rogues, whereof five are already found, and some found guilty this day. One of these boys is the son of a Montagu, of my Lord Manchester’s family; but whose son he could not tell me. This is a strange thing methinks, but I am glad that it is proved so true and discovered. So home, and to enter my Journall of my late journey to this hour, and then to the office, where to do a little business, and then by water to White Hall (calling at Michell’s in my way, but the rogue would not invite me in, I having a mind para voir his wife), and there to the Council-chamber, to deliver a letter to their Lordships about the state of the six merchantmen which we have been so long fitting out. When I come, the King and the whole table full of Lords were hearing of a pitifull cause of a complaint of an old man, with a great grey beard, against his son, for not allowing him something to live on; and at last come to the ordering the son to allow his father 10l. a year. This cause lasted them near two hours; which, methinks, at this time to be the work of the Council-board of England, is a scandalous thing, and methought Sir W. Coventry to me did own as much. Here I find all the newes is the enemy’s landing 3,000 men near Harwich, and attacking Landguard Fort, and being beat off thence with our great guns, killing some of their men, and they leaving their ladders behind them; but we had no Horse in the way on Suffolk side, otherwise we might have galled their Foot. The Duke of York is gone down thither this day, while the General sat sleeping this afternoon at the Council-table. The news so much talked of this Exchange, of a peace, I find by Sir Richard Browne arises from a letter the Swedes’ agent hath received from Bredah and shewed at Court to-day, that they are come very near it, but I do not find anybody here relying upon it. This cause being over, the Trinity House men, whom I did not expect to meet, were called in, and there Sir W. Pen made a formal speech in answer to a question of the King’s, whether the lying of the sunk ships in the river would spoil the river. But, Lord! how gingerly he answered it, and with a deal of do that he did not know whether it would be safe as to the enemy to have them taken up, but that doubtless it would be better for the river to have them taken up. Methought the Council found them answer like fools, and it ended in bidding them think more of it, and bring their answer in writing. Thence I to Westminster Hall, and there hear how they talk against the present management of things, and against Sir W. Coventry for his bringing in of new commanders and casting out the old seamen, which I did endeavour to rectify Mr. Michell and them in, letting them know that he hath opposed it all his life the most of any man in England. After a deal of this tittle tattle, I to Mrs. Martin’s, and there she was gone in before, but when I come, contrary to my expectation, I find her all in trouble, and what was it for but that I have got her with child, for those do not venir upon her as they should have done; and is in exceeding grief, and swears that the child is mine, which I do not believe, but yet do comfort her that either it cannot be so, or if it be that I will take care to send for her husband, though I do hardly see how I can be sure of that, the ship being at sea, and as far as Scotland, but however I must do it, and shall find some way or other of doing it, though it do trouble me not a little. Thence, not pleased, away to White Hall to Mr. Williamson, and by and by my Lord Arlington about Mr. Lanyon’s business, and it is pretty to see how Mr. Williamson did altogether excuse himself that my business was not done when I come to my Lord and told him my business; “Why,” says my Lord, “it hath been done, and the King signed it several days ago,” and so it was and was in Mr. Williamson’s hands, which made us both laugh, and I in innocent mirth, I remember, said, it is pretty to see in what a condition we are that all our matters now-a-days are undone, we know not how, and done we know not when. He laughed at it, but I have since reflected on it, and find it a severe speech as it might be taken by a chief minister of state, as indeed Mr. Williamson is, for he is indeed the Secretary. But we fell to other pleasant talk, and a fine gentleman he is, and so gave him 5l. for his fee, and away home, and to Sir W. Batten’s to talk a little, and then to the office to do a little business, and so home to supper and read myself asleep, and then to bed.

alder like an old man
with a grey beard
sleeping in the sun

river like a child
that must find some other
way to Why


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 3 July 1667.

Climbers

Up, and put on my new silke camelott suit, made of my cloak, and suit now made into a vest. So to the office, where W. Pen and myself, and Sir T. Harvy met, the first time we have had a meeting since the coming of the Dutch upon this coast. Our only business (for we have little else to do, nobody being willing to trust us for anything) was to speak with the owners of six merchantmen which we have been taking up this fortnight, and are yet in no readiness, they not fitting their ships without money advanced to them, we owing them for what their ships have earned the last year. So every thing stands still for money, while we want money to pay for some of the most necessary things that we promised ready money for in the height of our wants, as grapnells, &c. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and Jane (mighty fine the girle) to go to see Jane’s old mistress, who was to see her, and did see my wife the other day, and it is pleasant to hear with what kindness her old mistress speaks of this girle, and how she would still have her, and how the wench cried when she told her that she must come to her old mistress my wife. They gone, I to my chamber, and there dallied a little with my maid Nell, to touch her thing, but nothing more. And so to the office where busy till night, and then comes Mrs. Turner, and walks with me in the garden to talk with me about her husband’s business, and to tell me how she hears at the other end of the town how bad our office is spoken of by the King and Prince and Duke of Albemarle, and that there is not a good word said of any of us but of me; and me they all do speak mightily of, which, whether true or no, I am mighty glad to hear, but from all put together that I hear from other people, I am likely to pass as well as anybody. So, she gone, comes my wife and to walk in the garden, Sir J. Minnes being still ill and so keeping us from singing, and by and by Sir W. Pen come and walked with us and gave us a bottle of Syder, and so we home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that poor Tooker is dead, a very painfull poor man as ever I knew.

coming up this peak
we stand still
in the height

of our want
to see other peaks
how still and how old

old and nothing
like a body singing
with pain


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 2 July 1667.

Woke

Up betimes, about 4 o’clock, waked by a damned noise between a sow gelder and a cow and a dog, nobody after we were up being able to tell us what it was. After being ready we took coach, and, being very sleepy, droused most part of the way to Gravesend, and there ’light, and down to the new batterys, which are like to be very fine, and there did hear a plain fellow cry out upon the folly of the King’s officers above, to spend so much money in works at Woolwich and Deptford, and sinking of good ships loaden with goods, when, if half the charge had been laid out here, it would have secured all that, and this place too, before now. And I think it is not only true in this, but that the best of the actions of us all are so silly, that the meanest people begin to see through them, and contemn them. Besides, says he, they spoil the river by it. Then informed ourselves where we might have some creame, and they guided us to one Goody Best’s, a little out of the towne towards London road, and thither we went with the coach, and find it a mighty clean, plain house, and had a dish of very good creame to our liking, and so away presently very merry, and fell to reading of the several Advices to a Painter, which made us good sport, and indeed are very witty, and Creed did also repeat to me some of the substance of letters of old Burleigh in Queen Elizabeth’s time, which he hath of late read in the printed Cabbala, which is a very fine style at this day and fit to be imitated. With this, and talking and laughing at the folly of our masters in the management of things at this day, we got home by noon, where all well, and then to dinner, and after dinner both of us laid down upon the couch and chairs and to sleep, which I did for an hour or two, and then to the office, where I am sorry to hear that Sir J. Minnes is likely to die this night, or to-morrow, I forgot to set down that we met this morning upon the road with Mrs. Williams going down to my Lord Bruncker; we bowed without speaking one to another, but I am ashamed at the folly of the man to have her down at this serious busy time, when the town and country is full of people and full of censure, and against him particularly. At Sir W. Batten’s my Lady tells me that she hears for certain that my Lord’s maid of his lodging here do give out that Mrs. Williams hath been fain of late to sell her best clothes and jewels to get a little money upon, which is a sad condition. Thence to the office, and did write to my Lord Bruncker to give me a little satisfaction about the certainty of the chain’s being broke, which I begin to doubt, and the more from Sir W. Pen’s discourse. It is worth while to read my letter to him entered in my letter book. Home in the evening to supper, and so pretty betimes, about 10 o’clock, to bed, and slept well. This day letters are come that my sister is very ill.

waked by a noise of the light

like when half the people
begin to see through
the folly of our masters

and we bow without speaking
one to another


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 1 July 1667.

Desertion

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

(Lord’s day). Up about three o’clock, and Creed and I got ourselves ready, and took coach at our gate, it being very fine weather, and the cool of the morning, and with much pleasure, without any stop, got to Rochester about ten of the clock, all the way having mighty pleasant talk of the fate that is over all we do, that it seems as if we were designed in every thing, by land by sea, to undo ourselves. At the foot of Rochester bridge, at the landing-place, I met my Lord Bruncker and my Lord Douglas, and all the officers of the soldiers in the town, waiting there for the Duke of York, whom they heard was coming thither this day; by and by comes my Lord Middleton, the first time I remember to have seen him, well mounted, who had been to meet him, but come back without him; he seems a fine soldier, and so every body says he is; and a man, like my Lord Teviott, and indeed most of the Scotch gentry, as I observe, of few words. After staying here by the water-side and seeing the boats come up from Chatham, with them that rowed with bandeleeres about their shoulders, and muskets in their boats, they being the workmen of the Yard, who have promised to redeem their credit, lost by their deserting the service when the Dutch were there, my Lord Bruncker went with Lord Middleton to his inne, the Crowne, to dinner, which I took unkindly, but he was slightly invited. So I and Creed down by boat to Chatham-yard (our watermen having their bandeleeres about them all the way), and to Commissioner Pett’s house, where my Lord Bruncker told me that I should meet with his dinner two dishes of meat, but did not, but however by the help of Mr. Wiles had some beer and ale brought me, and a good piece of roast beef from somebody’s table, and eat well at two, and after dinner into the garden to shew Creed, and I must confess it must needs be thought a sorrowful thing for a man that hath taken so much pains to make a place neat to lose it as Commissioner Pett must now this. Thence to see the batteries made; which, indeed, are very fine, and guns placed so as one would think the River should be very secure. I was glad, as also it was new to me, to see so many fortifications as I have of late seen, and so up to the top of the Hill, there to look, and could see towards Sheerenesse, to spy the Dutch fleete, but could make [out] none but one vessel, they being all gone. But here I was told, that, in all the late attempt, there was but one man that they knew killed on shore: and that was a man that had laid himself upon his belly upon one of the hills, on the other side of the River, to see the action; and a bullet come, took the ground away just under his belly, and ripped up his belly, and so was killed. Thence back to the docke, and in my way saw how they are fain to take the deals of the rope-house to supply other occasions, and how sillily the country troopers look, that stand upon the passes there; and, methinks, as if they were more willing to run away than to fight, and it is said that the country soldiers did first run at Sheerenesse, but that then my Lord Douglas’s men did run also; but it is excused that there was no defence for them towards the sea, that so the very beach did fly in their faces as the bullets come, and annoyed them, they having, after all this preparation of the officers of the ordnance, only done something towards the land, and nothing at all towards the sea. The people here everywhere do speak very badly of Sir Edward Spragge, as not behaving himself as he should have done in that business, going away with the first, and that old Captain Pyne, who, I am here told, and no sooner, is Master-Gunner of England, was the last that staid there. Thence by barge, it raining hard, down to the chaine; and in our way did see the sad wrackes of the poor “Royall Oake,” “James,” and “London;”1 and several other of our ships by us sunk, and several of the enemy’s, whereof three men-of-war that they could not get off, and so burned. We did also see several dead bodies lie by the side of the water. I do not see that Upnor Castle hath received any hurt by them, though they played long against it; and they themselves shot till they had hardly a gun left upon the carriages, so badly provided they were: they have now made two batteries on that side, which will be very good, and do good service. So to the chaine, and there saw it fast at the end on Upnor side of the River; very fast, and borne up upon the several stages across the River; and where it is broke nobody can tell me. I went on shore on Upnor side to look upon the end of the chaine; and caused the link to be measured, and it was six inches and one-fourth in circumference. They have burned the Crane House that was to hawl it taught. It seems very remarkable to me, and of great honour to the Dutch, that those of them that did go on shore to Gillingham, though they went in fear of their lives, and were some of them killed; and, notwithstanding their provocation at Schelling, yet killed none of our people nor plundered their houses, but did take some things of easy carriage, and left the rest, and not a house burned; and, which is to our eternal disgrace, that what my Lord Douglas’s men, who come after them, found there, they plundered and took all away; and the watermen that carried us did further tell us, that our own soldiers are far more terrible to those people of the country-towns than the Dutch themselves. We were told at the batteries, upon my seeing of the field-guns that were there, that, had they come a day sooner, they had been able to have saved all; but they had no orders, and lay lingering upon the way, and did not come forward for want of direction. Commissioner Pett’s house was all unfurnished, he having carried away all his goods. I met with no satisfaction whereabouts the chaine was broke, but do confess I met with nobody that I could well expect to have satisfaction [from], it being Sunday; and the officers of the Yard most of them abroad, or at the Hill house, at the pay of the Chest, which they did make use of to day to do part in. Several complaints, I hear, of the Monmouth’s coming away too soon from the chaine, where she was placed with the two guard-ships to secure it; and Captain Robert Clerke, my friend, is blamed for so doing there, but I hear nothing of him at London about it; but Captain Brookes’s running aground with the “Sancta Maria,” which was one of the three ships that were ordered to be sunk to have dammed up the River at the chaine, is mightily cried against, and with reason, he being the chief man to approve of the abilities of other men, and the other two ships did get safe thither and he run aground; but yet I do hear that though he be blameable, yet if she had been there, she nor two more to them three would have been able to have commanded the river all over. I find that here, as it hath been in our river, fire-ships, when fitted, have been sunk afterwards, and particularly those here at the Mussle, where they did no good at all. Our great ships that were run aground and sunk are all well raised but the “Vanguard,” which they go about to raise to-morrow. “The Henery,” being let loose to drive up the river of herself, did run up as high as the bridge, and broke down some of the rails of the bridge, and so back again with the tide, and up again, and then berthed himself so well as no pilot could ever have done better; and Punnet says he would not, for his life, have undertaken to have done it, with all his skill. I find it is true that the Dutch did heele “The Charles” to get her down, and yet run aground twice or thrice, and yet got her safe away, and have her, with a great many good guns in her, which none of our pilots would ever have undertaken. It is very considerable the quantity of goods, which the making of these platforms and batterys do take out of the King’s stores: so that we shall have little left there, and, God knows! no credit to buy any; besides, the taking away and spending of (it is possible) several goods that would have been either rejected or abatement made for them before used. It is a strange thing to see that, while my Lords Douglas and Middleton do ride up and down upon single horses, my Lord Bruncker do go up and down with his hackney-coach and six horses at the King’s charge, which will do, for all this time, and the time that he is likely to stay, must amount to a great deal. But I do not see that he hath any command over the seamen, he being affronted by three or four seamen before my very face, which he took sillily, methought; and is not able to do so much good as a good boatswain in this business. My Lord Bruncker, I perceive, do endeavour to speak well of Commissioner Pett, saying that he did exercise great care and pains while he was there, but do not undertake to answer for his not carrying up of the great ships. Back again to Rochester, and there walked to the Cathedral as they were beginning of the service, but would not be seen to stay to church there, besides had no mind, but rather to go to our inne, the White Hart, where we drank and were fain (the towne being so full of soldiers) to have a bed corded for us to lie in, I being unwilling to lie at the Hill house for one night, being desirous to be near our coach to be gone betimes to-morrow morning. Here in the streets, I did hear the Scotch march beat by the drums before the soldiers, which is very odde. Thence to the Castle, and viewed it with Creed, and had good satisfaction from him that showed it us touching the history of it. Then into the fields, a fine walk, and there saw Sir Francis Clerke’s house, which is a pretty seat, and then back to our inne and bespoke supper, and so back to the fields and into the Cherry garden, where we had them fresh gathered, and here met with a young, plain, silly shopkeeper, and his wife, a pretty young woman, the man’s name Hawkins, and I did kiss her, and we talked (and the woman of the house is a very talking bawdy jade), and eat cherries together, and then to walk in the fields till it was late, and did kiss her, and I believe had I had a fit time and place I might have done what I would with her. Walked back and left them at their house near our inne, and then to our inne, where, I hear, my Lord Bruncker hath sent for me to speak with me before I go: so I took his coach, which stands there with two horses, and to him and to his bedside, where he was in bed, and hath a watchman with a halbert at his door; and to him, and did talk a little, and find him a very weak man for this business that he is upon; and do pity the King’s service, that is no better handled, and his folly to call away Pett before we could have found a better man to have staid in his stead; so took leave of him, and with Creed back again, it being now about 10 at night, and to our inne to supper, and then to bed, being both sleepy, but could get no sheets to our bed, only linen to our mouths, and so to sleep, merrily talking of Hawkins and his wife, and troubled that Creed did see so much of my dalliance, though very little.

my body is like a desert
in the rain

the dead river raised up
and broke out of a full bed

to run with horses
and find a better bed to sleep in


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 June 1667.

Dream conversion

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, having had many ugly dreams to-night of my father and my sister and mother’s coming to us, and meeting my wife and me at the gate of the office going out, they all in laced suits, and come, they told me, to be with me this May day. My mother told me she lacked a pair of gloves, and I remembered a pair of my wife’s in my chamber, and resolved she should have them, but then recollected how my mother come to be here when I was in mourning for her, and so thinking it to be a mistake in our thinking her all this while dead, I did contrive that it should be said to any that enquired that it was my mother-in-law, my wife’s mother, that was dead, and we in mourning for. This dream troubled me and I waked. Then I dreamed that I had great pain of the stone in making water, and that once I looked upon my yard in making water at the steps before my door, and there took hold of the end of a thing and pulled it out, and it was a turd; and it came into my mind that I was in the same condition with my aunt Pepys, my uncle Roberts wife. And by and by, on the like occasion, I pulled out something and flung it on the ground — it looked like slime or snot, and presently it swelled and turned into a gray kind of Bird, and I would have taken it into my hand and it run from me to the corner of the door, going into the garden in the entry by Sir J. Mennes’s; and so I waked. These dreams did trouble me mightily all night.
Up, and by coach to St. James’s, and there find Sir W. Coventry and Sir W. Pen above stairs, and then we to discourse about making up our accounts against the Parliament; and Sir W. Coventry did give us the best advice he could for us to provide for our own justification, believing, as everybody do, that they will fall heavily upon us all, though he lay all upon want of money, only a little, he says (if the Parliament be in any temper), may be laid upon themselves for not providing money sooner, they being expressly and industriously warned thereof by him, he says, even to the troubling them, that some of them did afterwards tell him that he had frighted them. He says he do prepare to justify himself, and that he hears that my Lord Chancellor, my Lord Arlington, the Vice Chamberlain and himself are reported all up and down the Coffee houses to be the four sacrifices that must be made to atone the people.
Then we to talk of the loss of all affection and obedience, now in the seamen, so that all power is lost. He told us that he do concur in thinking that want of money do do the most of it, but that that is not all, but the having of gentlemen Captains, who discourage all Tarpaulins, and have given out that they would in a little time bring it to that pass that a Tarpaulin should not dare to aspire to more than to be a Boatswain or a gunner. That this makes the Sea Captains to lose their own good affections to the service, and to instil it into the seamen also, and that the seamen do see it themselves and resent it; and tells us that it is notorious, even to his bearing of great ill will at Court, that he hath been the opposer of gentlemen Captains; and Sir W. Pen did put in, and said that he was esteemed to have been the man that did instil it into Sir W. Coventry, which Sir W. Coventry did owne also, and says that he hath always told the Gentlemen Captains his opinion of them, and that himself who had now served to the business of the sea 6 or 7 years should know a little, and as much as them that had never almost been at sea, and that yet he found himself fitter to be a Bishop or Pope than to be a Sea-Commander, and so indeed he is. I begun to tell him of the experience I had of the great brags made by Sir F. Hollis the other day, and the little proof either of the command or interest he had in his men, which Sir W. Pen seconded by saying Sir Fr. Hollis had told him that there was not a pilot to be got the other day for his fire-ships, and so was forced to carry them down himself, which Sir W. Coventry says, in my conscience, he knows no more to do and understand the River no more than he do Tiber or Ganges. Thence I away with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, to the Treasury Chamber, but to no purpose, and so by coach home, and there to my office to business, and then home to dinner, and to pipe with my wife, and so to the office again, having taken a resolution to take a turn to Chatham to-morrow, indeed to do business of the King’s, but also to give myself the satisfaction of seeing the place after the Dutch have been here. I have sent to and got Creed to go with me by coach betimes to-morrow morning. After having done my business at the office I home, and there I found Coleman come again to my house, and with my wife in our great chamber, which vexed me, there being a bed therein. I staid there awhile, and then to my study vexed, showing no civility to the man. But he comes on a compliment to receive my wife’s commands into the country, whither he is going, and it being Saturday my wife told me there was no other room for her to bring him in, and so much is truth. But I staid vexed in my closet till by and by my cozen Thomas Pepys, of Hatcham, come to see me, and he up to my closet, and there sat talking an hour or two of the sad state of the times, whereof we did talk very freely, and he thinks nothing but a union of religious interests will ever settle us; and I do think that, and the Parliament’s taking the whole management of things into their hands, and severe inquisitions into our miscarriages; will help us. After we had bewailed ourselves and the kingdom very freely one to another (wherein I do blame myself for my freedom of speech to anybody), he gone, and Coleman gone also before, I to the office, whither Creed come by my desire, and he and I to my wife, to whom I now propose the going to Chatham, who, mightily pleased with it, sent for Mercer to go with her, but she could not go, having friends at home, which vexed my wife and me; and the poor wretch would have had anybody else to have gone, but I would like nobody else, so was contented to stay at home, on condition to go to Ispsum next Sunday, which I will do, and so I to the office to dispatch my business, and then home to supper with Creed, and then Creed and I together to bed, very pleasant in discourse. This day talking with Sir W. Batten, he did give me an account how ill the King and Duke of York was advised to send orders for our frigates and fire-ships to come from Gravesend, soon as ever news come of the Dutch being returned into the river, wherein no seamen, he believes, was advised with; for, says he, we might have done just as Warwicke did, when he, W. Batten; come with the King and the like fleete, in the late wars, into the river: for Warwicke did not run away from them, but sailed before them when they sailed, and come to anchor when they come to anchor, and always kept in a small distance from them: so as to be able to take any opportunity of any of their ships running aground, or change of wind, or any thing else, to his advantage. So might we have done with our fire-ships, and we have lost an opportunity of taking or burning a good ship of their’s, which was run aground about Holehaven, I think he said, with the wind so as their ships could not get her away; but we might have done what we would with her, and, it may be, done them mischief, too, with the wind. This seems very probable, and I believe was not considered.

I dream of meeting my love
and she is dead

I dream a stone swelled
and turned into a gray bird

I dream the stairs go down
to the Ganges

and I become religious
and wail like a lost wind


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 29 June 1667.

Sun tea

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Up, and hear Sir W. Batten is come to town: I to see him; he is very ill of his fever, and come to town only for advice. Sir J. Minnes, I hear also, is very ill all this night, worse than before. Thence I going out met at the gate Sir H. Cholmly coming to me, and I to him in the coach, and both of us presently to St. James’s, by the way discoursing of some Tangier business about money, which the want of I see will certainly bring the place into a bad condition. We find the Duke of York and W. Coventry gone this morning, by two o’clock, to Chatham, to come home to-night: and it is fine to observe how both the King and Duke of York have, in their several late journeys to and again, done them in the night for coolnesse. Thence with him to the Treasury Chamber, and then to the Exchequer to inform ourselves a little about our warrant for 30,000l. for Tangier, which vexes us that it is so far off in time of payment. Having walked two or three turns with him in the Hall we parted, and I home by coach, and did business at the office till noon, and then by water to White Hall to dinner to Sir G. Carteret, but he not at home, but I dined with my Lady and good company, and good dinner. My Lady and the family in very good humour upon this business of his parting with his place of Treasurer of the Navy, which I perceive they do own, and we did talk of it with satisfaction. They do here tell me that the Duke of Buckingham hath surrendered himself to Secretary Morrice, and is going to the Tower. Mr. Fenn, at the table, says that he hath been taken by the watch two or three times of late, at unseasonable hours, but so disguised that they could not know him: and when I come home, by and by, Mr. Lowther tells me that the Duke of Buckingham do dine publickly this day at Wadlow’s, at the Sun Tavern; and is mighty merry, and sent word to the Lieutenant of the Tower, that he would come to him as soon as he had dined. Now, how sad a thing it is, when we come to make sport of proclaiming men traitors, and banishing them, and putting them out of their offices, and Privy Council, and of sending to and going to the Tower: God have mercy on us! At table, my Lady and Sir Philip Carteret have great and good discourse of the greatness of the present King of France — what great things he hath done, that a man may pass, at any hour in the night, all over that wild city, with a purse in his hand and no danger: that there is not a beggar to be seen in it, nor dirt lying in it; that he hath married two of Colbert’s daughters to two of the greatest princes of France, and given them portions — bought the greatest dukedom in France, and given it to Colbert; and ne’er a prince in France dare whisper against it, whereas here our King cannot do any such thing, but everybody’s mouth is open against him for it, and the man that hath the favour also. That to several commanders that had not money to set them out to the present campagne, he did of his own accord — send them 1000l. sterling a-piece, to equip themselves. But then they did enlarge upon the slavery of the people — that they are taxed more than the real estates they have; nay, it is an ordinary thing for people to desire to give the King all their land that they have, and themselves become only his tenants, and pay him rent to the full value of it: so they may have but their earnings, But this will not be granted; but he shall give the value of his rent, and part of his labour too. That there is not a petty governor of a province — nay, of a town, but he will take the daughter from the richest man in the town under him, that hath got anything, and give her to his footman for a wife if he pleases, and the King of France will do the like to the best man in his kingdom — take his daughter from him, and give her to his footman, or whom he pleases. It is said that he do make a sport of us now; and says, that he knows no reason why his cozen, the King of England, should not be as willing to let him have his kingdom, as that the Dutch should take it from him, which is a most wretched thing that ever we should live to be in this most contemptible condition. After dinner Sir G. Carteret come in, and I to him and my Lady, and there he did tell me that the business was done between him and my Lord Anglesey; that himself is to have the other’s place of Deputy Treasurer of Ireland, which is a place of honour and great profit, being far better, I know not for what reason, but a reason there is, than the Treasurer’s, my Lord of Corke’s, and to give the other his, of Treasurer of the Navy; that the King, at his earnest entreaty, did, with much unwillingness, but with owning of great obligations to him, for his faithfulness and long service to him and his father, and therefore was willing to grant his desire. That the Duke of York hath given him the same kind words, so that it is done with all the good manner that could be, and he I perceive do look upon it, and so do I, I confess, as a great good fortune to him to meet with one of my Lord Anglesey’s quality willing to receive it at this time. Sir W. Coventry he hath not yet made acquainted with it, nor do intend it, it being done purely to ease himself of the many troubles and plagues which he thinks the perverseness and unkindness of Sir W. Coventry and others by his means have and is likely every day to bring upon him, and the Parliament’s envy, and lastly to put himself into a condition of making up his accounts, which he is, he says, afeard he shall never otherwise be. My Lord Chancellor, I perceive, is his friend in it. I remember I did in the morning tell Sir H. Cholmly of this business: and he answered me, he was sorry for it; for, whatever Sir G. Carteret was, he is confident my Lord Anglesey is one of the greatest knaves in the world, which is news to me, but I shall make my use of it. Having done this discourse with Sir G. Carteret, and signified my great satisfaction in it, which they seem to look upon as something, I went away and by coach home, and there find my wife making of tea, a drink which Mr. Pelling, the Potticary, tells her is good for her cold and defluxions. I to the office (whither come Mr. Carcasse to me to sue for my favour to him), and Sir W. Pen’s, where I find Mr. Lowther come to town after the journey, and after a small visit to him, I to the office to do much business, and then in the evening to Sir W. Batten’s, to see how he did; and he is better than he was. He told me how Mrs. Lowther had her train held up yesterday by her page, at his house in the country; which is so ridiculous a piece of pride as I am ashamed of. He told me also how he hears by somebody that my Lord Bruncker’s maid hath told that her lady Mrs. Williams had sold her jewels and clothes to raise money for something or other; and indeed the last night a letter was sent from her to me, to send to my Lord, with about five pieces of gold in it, which methought at the time was but a poor supply. I then to Sir W. Pen, who continues a little ill, or dissembles it, the latter of which I am apt to believe. Here I staid but little, not meaning much kindness in it; and so to the office, and dispatched more business; and then home at night, and to supper with my wife, and who should come in but Mr. Pelling, and supped with us, and told us the news of the town; how the officers of the Navy are cried out upon, and a great many greater men; but do think that I shall do well enough; and I think, if I have justice, I shall. He tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham, his dining to-day at the Sun, and that he was mighty merry; and, what is strange, tells me that really he is at this day a very popular man, the world reckoning him to suffer upon no other account than that he did propound in Parliament to have all the questions that had to do with the receipt of the taxes and prizes; but they must be very silly that do think he can do any thing out of good intention. After a great deal of tittle-tattle with this honest man, he gone we to bed. We hear that the Dutch are gone down again; and thanks be to God! the trouble they give us this second time is not very considerable.

night coolness
I surrender to the season

disguised as ivy go wild
with hand in dirt

whisper against the land
like a kingdom of snow

why should I treasure the same
words as others

I shall make tea out of the sun
and have all the questions


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 28 June 1667.