Adam

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Up betimes, and with Sir D. Gawden to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber: where the first word he said to me was, “Good-morrow, Mr. Pepys, that must be Speaker of the Parliament-house:” and did protest I had got honour for ever in Parliament. He said that his brother, that sat by him, admires me; and another gentleman said that I could not get less than 1000l. a-year if I would put on a gown and plead at the Chancery-bar; but, what pleases me most, he tells me that the Sollicitor-Generall did protest that he thought I spoke the best of any man in England. After several talks with him alone, touching his own businesses, he carried me to White Hall, and there parted; and I to the Duke of York’s lodgings, and find him going to the Park, it being a very fine morning, and I after him; and, as soon as he saw me, he told me, with great satisfaction, that I had converted a great many yesterday, and did, with great praise of me, go on with the discourse with me. And, by and by, overtaking the King, the King and Duke of York come to me both; and he said, “Mr. Pepys, I am very glad of your success yesterday;” and fell to talk of my well speaking; and many of the Lords there. My Lord Barkeley did cry me up for what they had heard of it; and others, Parliament-men there, about the King, did say that they never heard such a speech in their lives delivered in that manner. Progers, of the Bedchamber, swore to me afterwards before Brouncker, in the afternoon, that he did tell the King that he thought I might teach the Sollicitor-Generall. Every body that saw me almost come to me, as Joseph Williamson and others, with such eulogys as cannot be expressed. From thence I went to Westminster Hall, where I met Mr. G. Montagu, who come to me and kissed me, and told me that he had often heretofore kissed my hands, but now he would kiss my lips: protesting that I was another Cicero, and said, all the world said the same of me. Mr. Ashburnham, and every creature I met there of the Parliament, or that knew anything of the Parliament’s actings, did salute me with this honour:— Mr. Godolphin;— Mr. Sands, who swore he would go twenty mile, at any time, to hear the like again, and that he never saw so many sit four hours together to hear any man in his life, as there did to hear me; Mr. Chichly,— Sir John Duncomb,— and everybody do say that the kingdom will ring of my abilities, and that I have done myself right for my whole life: and so Captain Cocke, and others of my friends, say that no man had ever such an opportunity of making his abilities known; and, that I may cite all at once, Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower did tell me that Mr. Vaughan did protest to him, and that, in his hearing it, said so to the Duke of Albemarle, and afterwards to W. Coventry, that he had sat twenty-six years in Parliament and never heard such a speech there before: for which the Lord God make me thankful! and that I may make use of it not to pride and vain-glory, but that, now I have this esteem, I may do nothing that may lessen it!
I spent the morning thus walking in the Hall, being complimented by everybody with admiration: and at noon stepped into the Legg with Sir William Warren, who was in the Hall, and there talked about a little of his business, and thence into the Hall a little more, and so with him by coach as far as the Temple almost, and there ’light, to follow my Lord Brouncker’s coach, which I spied, and so to Madam Williams’s, where I overtook him, and agreed upon meeting this afternoon, and so home to dinner, and after dinner with W. Pen, who come to my house to call me, to White Hall, to wait on the Duke of York, where he again and all the company magnified me, and several in the Gallery: among others, my Lord Gerard, who never knew me before nor spoke to me, desires his being better acquainted with me; and [said] that, at table where he was, he never heard so much said of any man as of me, in his whole life.
We waited on the Duke of York, and thence into the Gallery, where the House of Lords waited the King’s coming out of the Park, which he did by and by; and there, in the Vane-room, my Lord Keeper delivered a message to the King, the Lords being about him, wherein the Barons of England, from many good arguments, very well expressed in the part he read out of, do demand precedence in England of all noblemen of either of the King’s other two kingdoms, be their title what it will; and did shew that they were in England reputed but as Commoners, and sat in the House of Commons, and at conferences with the Lords did stand bare. It was mighty worth my hearing: but the King did only say that he would consider of it, and so dismissed them. Thence Brouncker and I to the Committee of Miscarriages sitting in the Court of Wards, expecting with Sir D. Gawden to have been heard against Prince Rupert’s complaints for want of victuals. But the business of Holmes’s charge against Sir Jer. Smith, which is a most shameful scandalous thing for Flag officers to accuse one another of, and that this should be heard here before men that understand it not at all, and after it hath been examined and judged in before the King and Lord High Admirall and other able seamen to judge, it is very hard. But this business did keep them all the afternoon, so we not heard but put off to another day. Thence, with the Lieutenant of the Tower, in his coach home; and there, with great pleasure, with my wife, talking and playing at cards a little — she, and I, and W. Hewer, and Deb., and so, after a little supper, I to bed.

the first word was Good
to touch
to eat

converted by a kiss
my lips burn every
creature within hearing

speech is a light
magnified into a whole
hard day

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 6 March 1668

Hand to hand

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With these thoughts I lay troubling myself till six o’clock, restless, and at last getting my wife to talk to me to comfort me, which she at last did, and made me resolve to quit my hands of this Office, and endure the trouble of it no longer than till I can clear myself of it. So with great trouble, but yet with some ease, from this discourse with my wife, I up, and to my Office, whither come my clerks, and so I did huddle the best I could some more notes for my discourse to-day, and by nine o’clock was ready, and did go down to the Old Swan, and there by boat, with T. H. and W. H. with me, to Westminster, where I found myself come time enough, and my brethren all ready. But I full of thoughts and trouble touching the issue of this day; and, to comfort myself, did go to the Dog and drink half-a-pint of mulled sack, and in the Hall did drink a dram of brandy at Mrs. Hewlett’s; and with the warmth of this did find myself in better order as to courage, truly. So we all up to the lobby; and between eleven and twelve o’clock, were called in, with the mace before us, into the House, where a mighty full House; and we stood at the bar, namely, Brouncker, Sir J. Minnes, Sir T. Harvey, and myself, W. Pen being in the House, as a Member. I perceive the whole House was full, and full of expectation of our defence what it would be, and with great prejudice. After the Speaker had told us the dissatisfaction of the House, and read the Report of the Committee, I began our defence most acceptably and smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or losse, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, as if it had been at my own table, from that time till past three in the afternoon; and so ended, without any interruption from the Speaker; but we withdrew. And there all my Fellow-Officers, and all the world that was within hearing, did congratulate me, and cry up my speech as the best thing they ever heard; and my Fellow-Officers overjoyed in it; we were called in again by and by to answer only one question, touching our paying tickets to ticket-mongers; and so out; and we were in hopes to have had a vote this day in our favour, and so the generality of the House was; but my speech, being so long, many had gone out to dinner and come in again half drunk; and then there are two or three that are professed enemies to us and every body else; among others, Sir T. Littleton, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Wiles, the coxcomb whom I saw heretofore at the cock-fighting, and a few others; I say, these did rise up and speak against the coming to a vote now, the House not being full, by reason of several being at dinner, but most because that the House was to attend the King this afternoon, about the business of religion, wherein they pray him to put in force all the laws against Nonconformists and Papists; and this prevented it, so that they put it off to to-morrow come se’nnight. However, it is plain we have got great ground; and everybody says I have got the most honour that any could have had opportunity of getting; and so with our hearts mightily overjoyed at this success, we all to dinner to Lord Brouncker’s — that is to say, myself, T. Harvey, and W. Pen, and there dined; and thence with Sir Anthony Morgan, who is an acquaintance of Brouncker’s, a very wise man, we after dinner to the King’s house, and there saw part of “The Discontented Colonel,” but could take no great pleasure in it, because of our coming in in the middle of it. After the play, home with W. Pen, and there to my wife, whom W. Hewer had told of my success, and she overjoyed, and I also as to my particular; and, after talking awhile, I betimes to bed, having had no quiet rest a good while.

my hands huddle
with a dram of brandy

at the bar as if
at my own table

hearing me cry
they touch one another

not to pray but to part
having had no quiet

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 5 March 1668

Dogged

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Up betimes and with Sir W. Pen in his coach to White Hall, there to wait upon the Duke of York and the Commissioners of the Treasury, [Sir] W. Coventry and Sir John Duncombe, who do declare that they cannot find the money we demand, and we that less than what we demand will not set out the fleet intended, and so broke up, with no other conclusion than that they would let us have what they could get and we would improve that as well as we could. So God bless us, and prepare us against the consequences of these matters. Thence, it being a cold wet day, I home with Sir J. Minnes in his coach, and called by the way at my bookseller’s and took home with me Kercher’s Musurgia — very well bound, but I had no comfort to look upon them, but as soon as I come home fell to my work at the office, shutting the doors, that we, I and my clerks, might not be interrupted, and so, only with room for a little dinner, we very busy all the day till night that the officers met for me to give them the heads of what I intended to say, which I did with great discontent to see them all rely on me that have no reason at all to trouble myself about it, nor have any thanks from them for my labour, but contrarily Brouncker looked mighty dogged, as thinking that I did not intend to do it so as to save him. This troubled me so much as, together with the shortness of the time and muchness of the business, did let me be at it till but about ten at night, and then quite weary, and dull, and vexed, I could go no further, but resolved to leave the rest to to-morrow morning, and so in full discontent and weariness did give over and went home, with[out] supper vexed and sickish to bed, and there slept about three hours, but then waked, and never in so much trouble in all my life of mind, thinking of the task I have upon me, and upon what dissatisfactory grounds, and what the issue of it may be to me.

a cold wet day
shutting the door

on a dog that did not
intend to trouble me

with the shortness of time
and muchness of fur

o leave me to my life
in the factory of maybe

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 4 March 1668

Painstaking

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Up betimes to work again, and then met at the Office, where to our great business of this answer to the Parliament; where to my great vexation I find my Lord Brouncker prepared only to excuse himself, while I, that have least reason to trouble myself, am preparing with great pains to defend them all: and more, I perceive, he would lodge the beginning of discharging ships by ticket upon me; but I care not, for I believe I shall get more honour by it when the Parliament, against my will, shall see how the whole business of the Office was done by me. At noon rose and to dinner. My wife abroad with Mercer and Deb. buying of things, but I with my clerks home to dinner, and thence presently down with Lord Brouncker, W. Pen, T. Harvy, T. Middleton, and Mr. Tippets, who first took his place this day at the table, as a Commissioner, in the room of Commissioner Pett. Down by water to Deptford, where the King, Queene, and Court are to see launched the new ship built by Mr. Shish, called “The Charles.” God send her better luck than the former! Here some of our brethren, who went in a boat a little before my boat, did by appointment take opportunity of asking the King’s leave that we might make full use of the want of money, in our excuse to the Parliament for the business of tickets, and other things they will lay to our charge, all which arose from nothing else: and this the King did readily agree to, and did give us leave to make our full use of it. The ship being well launched, I back again by boat, setting T. Middleton and Mr. Tippets on shore at Ratcliffe, I home and there to my chamber with Mr. Gibson, and late up till midnight preparing more things against our defence on Thursday next to my content, though vexed that all this trouble should be on me. So to supper and to bed.

where are my great pains
to defend me against my will

if the new ship is called Luck
am I her on-shore rat

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 3 March 1668

Second coming

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Up and betimes to the office, where I did much business, and several come to me, and among others I did prepare Mr. Warren, and by and by Sir D. Gawden, about what presents I have had from them, that they may not publish them, or if they do, that in truth I received none on the account of the Navy but Tangier, and this is true to the former, and in both that I never asked any thing of them. I must do the like with the rest. Mr. Moore was with me, and he do tell me, and so W. Hewer tells me, he hears this morning that all the town is full of the discourse that the Officers of the Navy shall be all turned out, but honest Sir John Minnes, who, God knows, is fitter to have been turned out himself than any of us, doing the King more hurt by his dotage and folly than all the rest can do by their knavery, if they had a mind to it. At noon home to dinner, where was Mercer, and very merry as I could be with my mind so full of business, and so with my wife, her and the girl, to the King’s house to see the “Virgin Martyr” again, which do mightily please me, but above all the musique at the coming down of the angel, which at this hearing the second time, do still commend me as nothing ever did, and the other musique is nothing to it. Thence with my wife to the ’Change, and so, calling at the Cocke ale house, we home, and there I settle to business, and with my people preparing my great answer to the Parliament for the office about tickets till past 1 a o’clock at night, and then home to supper and to bed, keeping Mr. Gibson all night with me. This day I have the news that my sister was married on Thursday last to Mr. Jackson; so that work is, I hope, well over.

war like God
in his dotage
with a virgin again

but above the angel
this second time
the other music is a clock

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 March 1668

Bird watcher

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(Lord’s day). Up very betimes, and by coach to Sir W. Coventry’s; and there, largely carrying with me all my notes and papers, did run over our whole defence in the business of tickets, in order to the answering the House on Thursday next; and I do think, unless they be set without reason to ruin us, we shall make a good defence. I find him in great anxiety, though he will not discover it, in the business of the proceedings of Parliament; and would as little as is possible have his name mentioned in our discourse to them; and particularly the business of selling places is now upon his hand to defend himself in; wherein I did help him in his defence about the flag-maker’s place, which is named in the House. We did here do the like about the complaint of want of victuals in the fleete in the year 1666, which will lie upon me to defend also. So that my head is full of care and weariness in my employment. Thence home, and there my mind being a little lightened by my morning’s work in the arguments I have now laid together in better method for our defence to the Parliament, I to talk with my wife; and in lieu of a coach this year, I have got my wife to be contented with her closet being made up this summer, and going into the country this summer for a month or two, to my father’s, and there Mercer and Deb. and Jane shall go with her, which I the rather do for the entertaining my wife, and preventing of fallings out between her and my father or Deb., which uses to be the fate of her going into the country. After dinner by coach to Westminster, and there to St. Margaret’s church, thinking to have seen Betty Michell, but she was not there, but met her father and mother and with them to her father’s house, where I never was before, but was mighty much made of, with some good strong waters, which they have from their son Michell, and mighty good people they are. Thence to Mrs. Martin’s, where I have not been also a good while, and with great difficulty, company being there, did get an opportunity to hazer what I would con her, and here I was mightily taken with a starling which she hath, that was the King’s, which he kept in his bedchamber; and do whistle and talk the most and best that ever I heard anything in my life. Thence to visit Sir H. Cholmly, who continues still sick of his cold, and thence calling, but in vain, to speak with Sir G. Carteret at his house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where I spoke with nobody, but home, where spent the evening talking with W. Hewer about business of the House, and declaring my expectation of all our being turned out. Hither comes Carcasse to me about business, and there did confess to me of his own accord his having heretofore discovered as a complaint against Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Pen and me that we did prefer the paying of some men to man “The Flying Greyhound” to others, by order under our hands. The thing upon recollection I believe is true, and do hope no great matter can be made of it, but yet I would be glad to have my name out of it, which I shall labour to do; in the mean time it weighs as a new trouble on my mind, and did trouble me all night. So without supper to bed, my eyes being also a little overwrought of late that I could not stay up to read.

carrying with me
all my places
like plain victuals

my head is full of light
going into summer

oh martin
oh starling
whistle the best life

in fields where nobody
comes flying

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 1 March 1668

Old salt

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Up, and walked to Captain Cocke’s, where Sir G. Carteret promised to meet me and did come to discourse about the prize-business of my Lord Sandwich’s, which I perceive is likely to be of great ill consequence to my Lord, the House being mighty vehement in it. We could say little but advise that his friends should labour to get it put off, till he comes. We did here talk many things over, in lamentation of the present posture of affairs, and the ill condition of all people that have had anything to do under the King, wishing ourselves a great way off: Here they tell me how Sir Thomas Allen hath taken the Englishmen out of “La Roche,” and taken from him an Ostend prize which La Roche had fetched out of our harbours; and at this day La Roche keeps upon our coasts; and had the boldness to land some men and go a mile up into the country, and there took some goods belonging to this prize out of a house there; which our King resents, and, they say, hath wrote to the King of France about; and everybody do think a war will follow; and then in what a case we shall be for want of money, nobody knows. Thence to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and to the office again in the afternoon, where we met to consider of an answer to the Parliament about the not paying of tickets according to our own orders, to which I hope we shall be able to give a satisfactory answer, but that the design of the House being apparently to remove us, I do question whether the best answer will prevail with them. This done I by coach with my wife to Martin, my bookseller’s, expecting to have had my Kercher’s Musurgia, but to my trouble and loss of trouble it was not done. So home again, my head full of thoughts about our troubles in the office, and so to the office. Wrote to my father this post, and sent him now Colvill’s note for 600l. for my sister’s portion, being glad that I shall, I hope, have that business over before I am out of place, and I trust I shall be able to save a little of what I have got, and so shall not be troubled to be at ease; for I am weary of this life.
So ends this month, with a great deal of care and trouble in my head about the answerings of the Parliament, and particularly in our payment of seamen by tickets.

captain of sand my harbor
is a mile into the country

where I hope we shall have no port
for I am out of rust

and weary
of answering the sea

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 29 February 1668.

Dream of arrival

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Up, and to the office, where all the morning doing business, and after dinner with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, where we and the rest of us presented a great letter of the state of our want of money to his Royal Highness. I did also present a demand of mine for consideration for my travelling-charges of coach and boat-hire during the war, which, though his Royal Highness and the company did all like of, yet, contrary to my expectation, I find him so jealous now of doing any thing extraordinary, that he desired the gentlemen that they would consider it, and report their minds in it to him. This did unsettle my mind a great while, not expecting this stop: but, however, I shall do as well, I know, though it causes me a little stop. But that, that troubles me most is, that while we were thus together with the Duke of York, comes in Mr. Wren from the House, where, he tells us, another storm hath been all this day almost against the Officers of the Navy upon this complaint, — that though they have made good rules for payment of tickets, yet that they have not observed them themselves, which was driven so high as to have it urged that we should presently be put out of our places: and so they have at last ordered that we shall be heard at the bar of the House upon this business on Thursday next. This did mightily trouble me and us all; but me particularly, who am least able to bear these troubles, though I have the least cause to be concerned in it. Thence, therefore, to visit Sir H. Cholmly, who hath for some time been ill of a cold; and thence walked towards Westminster, and met Colonel Birch, who took me back to walk with him, and did give me an account of this day’s heat against the Navy Officers, and an account of his speech on our behalf, which was very good; and indeed we are much beholden to him, as I, after I parted with him, did find by my cozen Roger, whom I went to: and he and I to his lodgings. And there he did tell me the same over again; and how much Birch did stand up in our defence; and that he do see that there are many desirous to have us out of the Office; and the House is so furious and passionate, that he thinks nobody can be secure, let him deserve never so well. But now, he tells me, we shall have a fair hearing of the House, and he hopes justice of them: but, upon the whole, he do agree with me that I should hold my hand as to making any purchase of land, which I had formerly discoursed with him about, till we see a little further how matters go. He tells me that that made them so mad to-day first was, several letters in the House about the Fanatickes, in several places, coming in great bodies, and turning people out of the churches, and there preaching themselves, and pulling the surplice over the Parsons’ heads: this was confirmed from several places; which makes them stark mad, especially the hectors and bravadoes of the House, who shew all the zeal on this occasion. Having done with him, I home vexed in my mind, and so fit for no business, but sat talking with my wife and supped with her; and Nan Mercer come and sat all the evening with us, and much pretty discourse, which did a little ease me, and so to bed.

high on traveling
like a storm made

out of the day’s heat
we are passionate

hold my hand as
our fanatic bodies turn

and reach themselves
as places to come to

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 28 February 1668.

Icy

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All the morning at the office, and at noon home to dinner, and thence with my wife and Deb. to the King’s House, to see “The Virgin Martyr,” the first time it hath been acted a great while: and it is mighty pleasant; not that the play is worth much, but it is finely acted by Becke Marshall. But that which did please me beyond any thing in the whole world was the wind-musique when the angel comes down, which is so sweet that it ravished me, and indeed, in a word, did wrap up my soul so that it made me really sick, just as I have formerly been when in love with my wife; that neither then, nor all the evening going home, and at home, I was able to think of any thing, but remained all night transported, so as I could not believe that ever any musick hath that real command over the soul of a man as this did upon me: and makes me resolve to practice wind-musique, and to make my wife do the like.

morning ice
as thin as the wind

when the angel comes
sweet or sick

as I have been in transport
over ice

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 27 February 1668.

L’esprit de l’escalier

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Up, and by water to Charing Cross stairs, and thence to W. Coventry to discourse concerning the state of matters in the Navy, where he particularly acquainted me with the trouble he is like to meet with about the selling of places, all carried on by Sir Fr. Hollis, but he seems not to value it, being able to justify it to be lawful and constant practice, and never by him used in the least degree since he upon his own motion did obtain a salary of 500l. in lieu thereof. Thence to the Treasury Chamber about a little business, and so home by coach, and in my way did meet W. Howe going to the Commissioners of Accounts. I stopped and spoke to him, and he seems well resolved what to answer them, but he will find them very strict, and not easily put off. So home and there to dinner, and after dinner comes W. Howe to tell me how he sped, who says he was used civilly, and not so many questions asked as he expected; but yet I do perceive enough to shew that they do intend to know the bottom of things, and where to lay the great weight of the disposal of these East India goods, and that they intend plainly to do upon my Lord Sandwich. Thence with him by coach and set him down at the Temple, and I to Westminster Hall, where, it being now about six o’clock, I find the House just risen; and met with Sir W. Coventry and the Lieutenant of the Tower, they having sat all day; and with great difficulty have got a vote for giving the King 300,000l., not to be raised by any land-tax. The sum is much smaller than I expected, and than the King needs; but is grounded upon Mr. Wren’s reading our estimates the other day of 270,000l., to keep the fleete abroad, wherein we demanded nothing for setting and fitting of them out, which will cost almost 200,000l., I do verily believe: and do believe that the King hath no cause to thank Wren for this motion. I home to Sir W. Coventry’s lodgings, with him and the Lieutenant of the Tower, where also was Sir John Coventry, and Sir John Duncomb, and Sir Job Charleton. And here a great deal of good discourse: and they seem mighty glad to have this vote pass, which I did wonder at, to see them so well satisfied with so small a sum, Sir John Duncomb swearing, as I perceive he will freely do, that it was as much as the nation could beare. Among other merry discourse about spending of money, and how much more chargeable a man’s living is now more than it was heretofore, Duncomb did swear that in France he did live of 100l. a year with more plenty, and wine and wenches, than he believes can be done now for 200l., which was pretty odd for him, being a Committee-man’s son, to say. Having done here, and supped, where I eat very little, we home in Sir John Robinson’s coach, and there to bed.

stairs like a place
to practice going to
the bottom of things

the difficult ground of a wren
his swearing freely
at the odd robin

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 26 February 1668.