Harried

Up, and to the office and thence with Mr. Gawden to Guildhall to see the bills and tallys there in the chamber (and by the way in the streete his new coach broke and we fain to take an old hackney). Thence to the Exchequer again to inform myself of some other points in the new Act in order to my lending Sir W. Warren 2000l. upon an order of his upon the Act, which they all encourage me to.
There walking with Mr. Gawden in Westminster Hall, he and I to talke from one business to another and at last to the marriage of his daughter. He told me the story of Creed’s pretences to his daughter, and how he would not believe but she loved him, while his daughter was in great passion on the other hand against him. Thence to talke of his son Benjamin; and I propounded a match for him, and at last named my sister, which he embraces heartily, and speaking of the lowness of her portion, that it would be less than 1000l., he tells me if every thing else agrees, he will out of what he means to give me yearly, make a portion for her shall cost me nothing more than I intend freely. This did mightily rejoice me and full of it did go with him to London to the ‘Change; and there did much business and at the Coffee-house with Sir W. Warren, who very wisely did shew me that my matching my sister with Mr. Gawden would undo me in all my places, everybody suspecting me in all I do; and I shall neither be able to serve him, nor free myself from imputation of being of his faction, while I am placed for his severest check. I was convinced that it would be for neither of our interests to make this alliance, and so am quite off of it again, but with great satisfaction in the motion.
Thence to the Crowne tavern behind the Exchange to meet with Cocke and Fenn and did so, and dined with them, and after dinner had the intent of our meeting, which was some private discourse with Fenn, telling him what I hear and think of his business, which he takes very kindly and says he will look about him. It was about his giving of ill language and answers to people that come to him about money and some other particulars. This morning Mrs. Barbary and little Mrs. Tooker went away homeward. Thence my wife by coach calling me at White Hall to visit my Lady Carteret, and she was not within. So to Westminster Hall, where I purposely tooke my wife well dressed into the Hall to see and be seen; and, among others, [met] Howlet’s daughter, who is newly married, and is she I call wife, and one I love mightily. So to Broad Streete and there met my Lady and Sir G. Carteret, and sat and talked with them a good while and so home, and to my accounts which I cannot get through with. But at it till I grew drowsy, and so to bed mightily vexed that I can come to no better issue in my accounts.

I take my portion of nothing
more than coffee
with the severest crow

I hear him giving ill language
to some other owl
drowsy and vexed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 April 1666.

Bedside manner

(Lord’s day). Up and abroad, and by coach to Charing Cross, to wait on Sir Philip Howard; whom I found in bed: and he do receive me very civilly. My request was about suffering my wife’s brother to go to sea, and to save his pay in the Duke’s guards; which after a little difficulty he did with great respect agree to. I find him a very fine-spoken gentleman, and one of great parts, and very courteous. Much pleased with this visit I to White Hall, where I met Sir G. Downing, and to discourse with him an houre about the Exchequer payments upon the late Act, and informed myself of him thoroughly in my safety in lending 2000l. to Sir W. Warren, upon an order of his upon the Exchequer for 2602l. and I do purpose to do it.
Thence meeting Dr. Allen, the physician, he and I and another walked in the Parke, a most pleasant warm day, and to the Queene’s chappell; where I do not so dislike the musique. Here I saw on a post an invitation to all good Catholiques to pray for the soul of such a one departed this life.
The Queene, I hear, do not yet hear of the death of her mother, she being in a course of physique, that they dare not tell it her.
At noon by coach home, and there by invitation met my uncle and aunt Wight and their cozen Mary, and dined with me and very merry. After dinner my uncle and I abroad by coach to White Hall, up and down the house, and I did some business and thence with him and a gentleman he met with to my Lord Chancellor’s new house, and there viewed it again and again and up to the top and I like it as well as ever and think it a most noble house. So all up and down my Lord St. Albans his new building and market-house, and the taverne under the market-house, looking to and again into every place of building, and so away and took coach and home, where to my accounts, and was at them till I could not hold open my eyes, and so to bed.
I this afternoon made a visit to my Lady Carteret, whom I understood newly come to towne; and she took it mighty kindly, but I see her face and heart are dejected from the condition her husband’s matters stand in. But I hope they will do all well enough. And I do comfort her as much as I can, for she is a noble lady.

the sea is fine-
spoken and rough
a physician for the soul

I hear/do not hear it
again and again
in every place I could not
open my eyes


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 1 April 1666.

Perplexed

All the morning at the office busy. At noon to dinner, and thence to the office and did my business there as soon as I could, and then home and to my accounts, where very late at them, but, Lord! what a deale of do I have to understand any part of them, and in short do what I could, I could not come to any understanding of them, but after I had throughly wearied myself, I was forced to go to bed and leave them much against my will and vowe too, but I hope God will forgive me, for I have sat up these four nights till past twelve at night to master them, but cannot.
Thus ends this month, with my head and mind mighty full and disquiett because of my accounts, which I have let go too long, and confounded my publique with my private that I cannot come to any liquidating of them. However, I do see that I must be grown richer than I was by a good deale last month.
Busy also I am in thoughts for a husband for my sister, and to that end my wife and I have determined that she shall presently go into the country to my father and mother, and consider of a proffer made them for her in the country, which, if she likes, shall go forward.

could I understand
what I could not stand

forced to go to bed and give
the night a night
to master my mind

unfounded as a country
made for war


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 31 March 1666.

Language of love

My wife and I mighty pleased with Jane’s coming to us again. Up, and away goes Alce, our cooke-mayde, a good servant, whom we loved and did well by her, and she an excellent servant, but would not bear being told of any faulte in the fewest and kindest words and would go away of her owne accord, after having given her mistresse warning fickly for a quarter of a yeare together. So we shall take another girle and make little Jane our cook, at least, make a trial of it.
Up, and after much business I out to Lumbard Streete, and there received 2200l. and brought it home; and, contrary to expectation, received 35l. for the use of 2000l. of it [for] a quarter of a year, where it hath produced me this profit, and hath been a convenience to me as to care and security of my house, and demandable at two days’ warning, as this hath been.
This morning Sir W. Warren come to me a second time about having 2000l. of me upon his bills on the Act to enable him to pay for the ships he is buying, wherein I shall have considerable profit. I am loth to do it, but yet speaking with Colvill I do not see but I shall be able to do it and get money by it too.
Thence home and eat one mouthful, and so to Hales’s, and there sat till almost quite darke upon working my gowne, which I hired to be drawn in; an Indian gowne, and I do see all the reason to expect a most excellent picture of it.
So home and to my private accounts in my chamber till past one in the morning, and so to bed, with my head full of thoughts for my evening of all my accounts tomorrow, the latter end of the month, in which God give me good issue, for I never was in such a confusion in my life and that in great sums.

we loved in the fewest words
fickly
demandable

loath to speak with one mouth
red and full of evening


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 30 March 1666.

Hands on

All the morning hard at the office. At noon dined and then out to Lumbard Streete, to look after the getting of some money that is lodged there of mine in Viner’s hands, I having no mind to have it lie there longer. So back again and to the office, where and at home about publique and private business and accounts till past 12 at night, and so to bed. This day, poor Jane, my old, little Jane, came to us again, to my wife’s and my great content, and we hope to take mighty pleasure in her, she having all the marks and qualities of a good and loving and honest servant, she coming by force away from the other place, where she hath lived ever since she went from us, and at our desire, her late mistresse having used all the stratagems she could to keepe her.

hands having to lie
to be old and content

having all the marks of honest
lived-in desire

having to keep


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 29 March 1666.

Gloria mundi

Up, and with Creed, who come hither betimes to speake with me about his accounts, to White Hall by water, mighty merry in discourse, though I had been very little troubled with him, or did countenance it, having now, blessed be God! a great deale of good business to mind to better purpose than chatting with him.
Waited on the Duke, after that walked with Sir W. Clerke into St. James’s Parke, and by and by met with Mr. Hayes, Prince Rupert’s Secretary, who are mighty, both, briske blades, but I fear they promise themselves more than they expect. Thence to the Cockpitt, and dined with a great deal of company at the Duke of Albemarle’s, and a bad and dirty, nasty dinner.
So by coach to Hales’s, and there sat again, and it is become mighty like. Hither come my wife and Mercer brought by Mrs. Pierce and Knipp, we were mighty merry and the picture goes on the better for it.
Thence set them down at Pierces, and we home, where busy and at my chamber till 12 at night, and so to bed.
This night, I am told, the Queene of Portugall, the mother to our Queene, is lately dead, and newes brought of it hither this day.

who bled less than the blade
but more than the dirt

we were mighty
and it is all dead news


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 28 March 1666.

Back kitchen

All the morning at the office busy. At noon dined at home, Mr. Cooke, our old acquaintance at my Lord Sandwich’s, come to see and dine with me, but I quite out of humour, having many other and better things to thinke of. Thence to the office to settle my people’s worke and then home to my publique accounts of Tangier, which it is strange by meddling with evening reckonings with Mr. Povy lately how I myself am become intangled therein, so that after all I could do, ready to breake my head and brains, I thought of another way, though not so perfect, yet the only one which this account is capable of. Upon this latter I sat up till past two in the morning and then to bed.

the busy cook
quite out of humor
evening rain


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 27 March 1666.

Finite

Up, and a meeting extraordinary there was of Sir W. Coventry, Lord Bruncker, and myself, about the business of settling the ticket office, where infinite room is left for abusing the King in the wages of seamen. Our [meeting] being done, my Lord Bruncker and I to the Tower, to see the famous engraver, to get him to grave a seale for the office. And did see some of the finest pieces of work in embossed work, that ever I did see in my life, for fineness and smallness of the images thereon, and I will carry my wife thither to shew them her. Here I also did see bars of gold melting, which was a fine sight. So with my Lord to the Pope’s Head Taverne in Lumbard Streete to dine by appointment with Captain Taylor, whither Sir W. Coventry come to us, and were mighty merry, and I find reason to honour him every day more and more.
Thence alone to Broade Street to Sir G. Carteret by his desire to confer with him, who is I find in great pain about the business of the office, and not a little, I believe, in fear of falling there, Sir W. Coventry having so great a pique against him, and herein I first learn an eminent instance how great a man this day, that nobody would think could be shaken, is the next overthrown, dashed out of countenance, and every small thing of irregularity in his business taken notice of, where nobody the other day durst cast an eye upon them, and next I see that he that the other day nobody durst come near is now as supple as a spaniel, and sends and speaks to me with great submission, and readily hears to advice. Thence home to the office, where busy late, and so home a little to my accounts publique and private, but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing.

an infinite room is the grave
for the finest falling body

the overthrown
and irregular body

the no body to know
how to pass


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 March 1666.

Migrant

Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Anthony Joyce, and I did give my final answer, I would give but 500l. with my sister, and did show him the good offer made us in the country, to which I did now more and more incline, and intend to pursue that. After dinner I to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where the Duke of Yorke was, and I acquitted myself well in what I had to do. After the Committee up, I had occasion to follow the Duke into his lodgings, into a chamber where the Duchesse was sitting to have her picture drawn by Lilly, who was there at work. But I was well pleased to see that there was nothing near so much resemblance of her face in his work, which is now the second, if not the third time, as there was of my wife’s at the very first time. Nor do I think at last it can be like, the lines not being in proportion to those of her face.
So home, and to the office, where late, and so to bed.

her home is
the mad country to which
I commit myself

what a picture
drawn by time
like the lines in her face


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 24 March 1666.

Still life

Up, and going out of my dressing-room, when ready to go down stairs, I spied little Mrs. Tooker, my pretty little girle, which, it seems, did come yesterday to our house to stay a little while with us, but I did not know of it till now. I was glad of her coming, she being a very pretty child, and now grown almost a woman. I out by six o’clock by appointment to Hales’s, where we fell to my picture presently very hard, and it comes on a very fine picture, and very merry, pleasant discourse we had all the morning while he was painting. Anon comes my wife and Mercer and little Tooker, and having done with me we all to a picture drawer’s hard by, Hales carrying me to see some landskipps of a man’s doing. But I do not [like] any of them, save only a piece of fruit, which indeed was very fine. Thence I to Westminster, to the Chequer, about a little business, and then to the Swan, and there sent for a bit of meat and dined; and after dinner had opportunity of being pleased with Sarah; and so away to Westminster Hall, and there Mrs. Michell tells me with great joy how little Betty Howlett is married to her young son Michell, which is a pretty odd thing, that he should so soon succeed in the match to his elder brother that died of the plague, and to the house and trade intended for him, and more they say that the girle has heretofore said that she did love this little one more than the other brother that was intended her all along. I am mighty glad of this match, and more that they are likely to live near me in Thames Streete, where I may see Betty now and then, whom I from a girle did use to call my second wife, and mighty pretty she is.
Thence by coach to Anthony Joyce to receive Harman’s answer, which did trouble me to receive, for he now demands 800l., whereas he never made exception at the portion, but accepted of 500l.. This I do not like; but, however, I cannot much blame the man, if he thinks he can get more of another than of me. So home and hard to my business at the office, where much business, and so home to supper and to bed.

painting fruit
the howl of it
like a bet on joy


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 23 March 1666.