Pepys Diary erasure project

Lay long in bed, troubled a little with wind, but not much. So to the office, and there all the morning. At noon to Sheriff Waterman’s to dinner, all of us men of the office in towne, and our wives, my Lady Carteret and daughters, and Ladies Batten, Pen, and my wife, &c., and very good cheer we had and merry; musique at and after dinner, and a fellow danced a jigg; but when the company begun to dance, I came away lest I should be taken out; and God knows how my wife carried herself, but I left her to try her fortune.
So home, and late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed.

wind off the water
my daughter and my wife dance
when I am away


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 April 1665.

Up, and to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where, contrary to all expectation, my Lord Ashly, being vexed with Povy’s accounts, did propose it as necessary that Povy should be still continued Treasurer of Tangier till he had made up his accounts; and with such arguments as, I confess, I was not prepared to answer, but by putting off of the discourse, and so, I think, brought it right again; but it troubled me so all the day after, and night too, that I was not quiet, though I think it doubtfull whether I shall be much the worse for it or no, if it should come to be so.
Dined at home and thence to White Hall again (where I lose most of my time now-a-days to my great trouble, charge, and loss of time and benefit), and there, after the Council rose, Sir G. Carteret, my Lord Brunkard, Sir Thomas Harvy, and myself, down to my Lord Treasurer’s chamber to him and the Chancellor, and the Duke of Albemarle; and there I did give them a large account of the charge of the Navy, and want of money. But strange to see how they held up their hands crying, “What shall we do?” Says my Lord Treasurer, “Why, what means all this, Mr. Pepys? This is true, you say; but what would you have me to do? I have given all I can for my life. Why will not people lend their money? Why will they not trust the King as well as Oliver? Why do our prizes come to nothing, that yielded so much heretofore?” And this was all we could get, and went away without other answer, which is one of the saddest things that, at such a time as this, with the greatest action on foot that ever was in England, nothing should be minded, but let things go on of themselves do as well as they can.
So home, vexed, and going to my Lady Batten’s, there found a great many women with her, in her chamber merry, my Lady Pen and her daughter, among others; where my Lady Pen flung me down upon the bed, and herself and others, one after another, upon me, and very merry we were, and thence I home and called my wife with my Lady Pen to supper, and very merry as I could be, being vexed as I was.
So home to bed.

such troubled quiet
in a rose

how the held-up hands cry
what shall we do

I have given my life for nothing
to be flung down on a bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 April 1665.

Up and betimes to Alderman Cheverton to treat with him about hempe, and so back to the office. At noon dined at the Sun, behind the ‘Change, with Sir Edward Deering and his brother and Commissioner Pett, we having made a contract with Sir Edward this day about timber. Thence to the office, where late very busy, but with some trouble have also some hopes of profit too. So home to supper and to bed.

the sun behind the timber
where I have hopes
of profit


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 11 April 1665.

Up, and to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and thence to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where new disorder about Mr. Povy’s accounts, that I think I shall never be settled in my business of Treasurer for him. Here Captain Cooke met me, and did seem discontented about my boy Tom’s having no time to mind his singing nor lute, which I answered him fully in, that he desired me that I would baste his coate. So home and to the ‘Change, and thence to the “Old James” to dine with Sir W. Rider, Cutler, and Mr. Deering, upon the business of hemp, and so hence to White Hall to have attended the King and Lord Chancellor about the debts of the navy and to get some money, but the meeting failed. So my Lord Brunkard took me and Sir Thomas Harvy in his coach to the Parke, which is very troublesome with the dust; and ne’er a great beauty there to-day but Mrs. Middleton, and so home to my office, where Mr. Warren proposed my getting of 100l. to get him a protection for a ship to go out, which I think I shall do. So home to supper and to bed.

white deer
the park is troublesome
with the dust of war


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 April 1665.

(Lord’s day). To church with my wife in the morning, in her new light-coloured silk gowne, which is, with her new point, very noble. Dined at home, and in the afternoon to Fanchurch, the little church in the middle of Fanchurch Streete, where a very few people and few of any rank. Thence, after sermon, home, and in the evening walking in the garden, my Lady Pen and her daughter walked with my wife and I, and so to my house to eat with us, and very merry, and so broke up and to bed.

O my wife in her light silk gown
a little church in the middle of church
walking


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 9 April 1665.

Up, and all the morning full of business at the office. At noon dined with Mr. Povy, and then to the getting some business looked over of his, and then I to my Lord Chancellor’s, where to have spoke with the Duke of Albemarle, but the King and Council busy, I could not; then to the Old Exchange and there of my new pretty seamstress bought four bands, and so home, where I found my house mighty neat and clean. Then to my office late, till past 12, and so home to bed.
The French Embassadors are come incognito before their train, which will hereafter be very pompous. It is thought they come to get our King to joyne with the King of France in helping him against Flanders, and they to do the like to us against Holland. We have laine a good while with a good fleete at Harwich. The Dutch not said yet to be out. We, as high as we make our shew, I am sure, are unable to set out another small fleete, if this should be worsted. Wherefore, God send us peace! I cry.

a full bus
I could be incognito
for the rain


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 April 1665.

Up betimes to the Duke of Albemarle about money to be got for the Navy, or else we must shut up shop. Thence to Westminster Hall and up and down, doing not much; then to London, but to prevent Povy’s dining with me (who I see is at the ‘Change) I went back again and to Herbert’s at Westminster, there sent for a bit of meat and dined, and then to my Lord Treasurer’s, and there with Sir Philip Warwicke, and thence to White Hall in my Lord Treasurer’s chamber with Sir Philip Warwicke till dark night, about fower hours talking of the business of the Navy Charge, and how Sir G. Carteret do order business, keeping us in ignorance what he do with his money, and also Sir Philip did shew me nakedly the King’s condition for money for the Navy; and he do assure me, unless the King can get some noblemen or rich money-gentlemen to lend him money, or to get the City to do it, it is impossible to find money: we having already, as he says, spent one year’s share of the three-years’ tax, which comes to 2,500,000l.. Being very glad of this day’s discourse in all but that I fear I shall quite lose Sir G. Carteret, who knows that I have been privately here all this day with Sir Ph. Warwicke. However, I will order it so as to give him as little offence as I can. So home to my office, and then to supper and to bed.

we must shut up shop
on a meat-dark night

business keeping us naked
in a rich city

having already spent
one year’s share of our fear


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 7 April 1665.

At the office sat all the morning, where, in the absence of Sir W. Batten, Sir G. Carteret being angry about the business of tickets, spoke of Sir W. Batten for speaking some words about the signing of tickets, and called Sir W. Batten in his discourse at the table to us (the clerks being withdrawn) “shitten foole,” which vexed me.
At noon to the ‘Change, and there set my business of lighters buying for the King, to Sir W. Warren, and I think he will do it for me to very great advantage, at which I am mightily rejoiced. Home and after a mouthfull of dinner to the office, where till 6 o’clock, and then to White Hall, and there with Sir G. Carteret and my Lord Brunkerd attended the Duke of Albemarle about the business of money.
I also went to Jervas’s, my barber, for my periwigg that was mending there, and there do hear that Jane is quite undone, taking the idle fellow for her husband yet not married, and lay with him several weeks that had another wife and child, and she is now going into Ireland.
So called my wife at the ‘Change and home, and at my office writing letters till one o’clock in the morning, that I was ready to fall down asleep again. Great talke of a new Comett; and it is certain one do now appear as bright as the late one at the best; but I have not seen it myself.

in the absence of light I will eat
a mouthful of money

the undone child is ready
to fall down again


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 6 April 1665.

This day was kept publiquely by the King’s command, as a fast day against the Dutch warr, and I betimes with Mr. Tooker, whom I have brought into the Navy to serve us as a husband to see goods timely shipped off from hence to the Fleete and other places, and took him with me to Woolwich and Deptford, where by business I have been hindered a great while of going, did a very great deale of business, and home, and there by promise find Creed, and he and my wife, Mercer and I by coach to take the ayre; and, where we had formerly been, at Hackney, did there eat some pullets we carried with us, and some things of the house; and after a game or two at shuffle-board, home, and Creed lay with me; but, being sleepy, he had no mind to talk about business, which indeed I intended, by inviting him to lie with me, but I would not force it on him, and so to bed, he and I, and to sleep, being the first time I have been so much at my ease and taken so much fresh ayre these many weeks or months.

public good hindered
a great deal of business

the board would not force
so much ease
take so much fresh air


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 April 1665.

All the morning at the office busy, at noon to the ‘Change, and then went up to the ‘Change to buy a pair of cotton stockings, which I did at the husband’s shop of the most pretty woman there, who did also invite me to buy some linnen of her, and I was glad of the occasion, and bespoke some bands of her, intending to make her my seamstress, she being one of the prettiest and most modest looked women that ever I did see. Dined at home and to the office, where very late till I was ready to fall down asleep, and did several times nod in the middle of my letters.

all morning at the cotton
shop of sleep

I several times nod
in the middle of my letters


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 4 April 1665.