Wren

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, expecting to have received from Mr. Houbland, as he promised me, an assignment upon Viner, for my reward for my getting them the going of their two ships to Tangier, but I find myself much disappointed therein, for I spoke with him and he said nothing of it, but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwoods pressing them to carry more goods than will leave room for some of their own. But I shall ease them. Thence to Captain Cocke’s, where Mr. Williamson, Wren, Boldell and Madam Williams, and by and by Lord Bruncker, he having been with the King and Duke upon the water to-day, to see Greenwich house, and the yacht Castle is building of, and much good discourse. So to White Hall to see my Lord Sandwich, and then home to my business till night, and then to bed.

all morning the cold
woods sing

where a wren bold by the water
is building a home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 February 1666.

Immanent

It being fast day I staid at home all day long to set things to rights in my chamber by taking out all my books, and putting my chamber in the same condition it was before the plague. But in the morning doing of it, and knocking up a nail I did bruise my left thumb so as broke a great deal of my flesh off, that it hung by a little. It was a sight frighted my wife, but I put some balsam of Mrs. Turner’s to it, and though in great pain, yet went on with my business, and did it to my full content, setting every thing in order, in hopes now that the worst of our fears are over as to the plague for the next year. Interrupted I was by two or three occasions this day to my great vexation, having this the only day I have been able to set apart for this work since my coming to town. At night to supper, weary, and to bed, having had the plasterers and joiners also to do some jobbs.

I am in all my books
and I am the same as the ague
knocking at my flesh

I am every interrupted part
coming at night to join


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 7 February 1666.

Debtor

Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning. We met upon a report to the Duke of Yorke of the debts of the Navy, which we finished by three o’clock, and having eat one little bit of meate, I by water before the rest to White Hall (and they to come after me) because of a Committee for Tangier, where I did my business of stating my accounts perfectly well, and to good liking, and do not discern, but the Duke of Albemarle is my friend in his intentions notwithstanding my general fears. After that to our Navy business, where my fellow officers were called in, and did that also very well, and then broke up, and I home by coach, Tooker with me, and staid in Lumbard Streete at Viner’s, and sent home for the plate which my wife and I had a mind to change, and there changed it, about 50l. worth, into things more usefull, whereby we shall now have a very handsome cupboard of plate. So home to the office, wrote my letters by the post, and to bed.

the debts I shed eat
one little bit of me

they come for an account
of my general fear

and I a broke bard
change it into more useful letters


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 6 February 1666.

Picnic

Up, and with Sir W. Batten (at whose lodgings calling for him, I saw his Lady the first time since her coming to towne since the plague, having absented myself designedly to shew some discontent, and that I am not at all the more suppliant because of my Lord Sandwich’s fall), to my Lord Bruncker’s, to see whether he goes to the Duke’s this morning or no. But it is put off, and so we parted. My Lord invited me to dinner to-day to dine with Sir W. Batten and his Lady there, who were invited before, but lest he should thinke so little an invitation would serve my turne I refused and parted, and to Westminster about business, and so back to the ‘Change, and there met Mr. Hill, newly come to town, and with him the Houblands, preparing for their ship’s and his going to Tangier, and agreed that I must sup with them to-night. So home and eat a bit, and then to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, but it did not meet but was put off to to-morrow, so I did some little business and visited my Lord Sandwich, and so, it raining, went directly to the Sun, behind the Exchange, about seven o’clock, where I find all the five brothers Houblons, and mighty fine gentlemen they are all, and used me mighty respectfully. We were mighty civilly merry, and their discourses, having been all abroad, very fine. Here late and at last accompanied home with Mr. J. Houblon and Hill, whom I invited to sup with me on Friday, and so parted and I home to bed.

dinner in the outback
the land bit off some sun
behind the hill


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 5 February 1666.

Zazen

Lord’s day; and my wife and I the first time together at church since the plague, and now only because of Mr. Mills his coming home to preach his first sermon; expecting a great excuse for his leaving the parish before any body went, and now staying till all are come home; but he made but a very poor and short excuse, and a bad sermon. It was a frost, and had snowed last night, which covered the graves in the churchyard, so as I was the less afeard for going through. Here I had the content to see my noble Mrs. Lethulier, and so home to dinner, and all the afternoon at my Journall till supper, it being a long while behindhand. At supper my wife tells me that W. Joyce has been with her this evening, the first time since the plague, and tells her my aunt James is lately dead of the stone, and what she had hath given to his and his brother’s wife and my cozen Sarah. So after supper to work again, and late to bed.

time is leaving the body poor
as snow in the churchyard

time is a stone
given to Zen


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 February 1666.

Slacker

Up, and to the office very busy till 3 o’clock, and then home, all of us, for half an hour to dinner, and to it again till eight at night, stating our wants of money for the Duke, but could not finish it. So broke up, and I to my office, then about letters and other businesses very late, and so home to supper, weary with business, and to bed.

O busy clock
the hour I want could finish
and let us be


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 3 February 1666.

Handshook

Up betimes, and knowing that my Lord Sandwich is come to towne with the King and Duke, I to wait upon him, which I did, and find him in very good humour, which I am glad to see with all my heart. Having received his commands, and discoursed with some of his people about my Lord’s going, and with Sir Roger Cuttance, who was there, and finds himself slighted by Sir W. Coventry, I advised him however to look after employment lest it should be said that my Lord’s friends do forsake the service after he hath made them rich with the prizes. I to London, and there among other things did look over some pictures at Cade’s for my house, and did carry home a silver drudger for my cupboard of plate, and did call for my silver chafing dishes, but they are sent home, and the man would not be paid for them, saying that he was paid for them already, and with much ado got him to tell me by Mr. Wayth, but I would not accept of that, but will send him his money, not knowing any courtesy I have yet done him to deserve it. So home, and with my wife looked over our plate, and picked out 40l. worth, I believe, to change for more usefull plate, to our great content, and then we shall have a very handsome cupboard of plate. So to dinner, and then to the office, where we had a meeting extraordinary, about stating to the Duke the present debts of the Navy, for which ready money must be had, and that being done, I to my business, where late, and then home to supper, and to bed.

I see people as light
rich with use
but they are not

and I do not accept that
not knowing any

so I believe our hands
meeting
present
being us


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 2 February 1666.

Journaling

Up and to the office, where all the morning till late, and Mr. Coventry with us, the first time since before the plague, then hearing my wife was gone abroad to buy things and see her mother and father, whom she hath not seen since before the plague, and no dinner provided for me ready, I walked to Captain Cocke’s, knowing my Lord Bruncker dined there, and there very merry, and a good dinner. Thence my Lord and his mistresse, Madam Williams, set me down at the Exchange, and I to Alderman Backewell’s to set all my reckonings straight there, which I did, and took up all my notes. So evened to this day, and thence to Sir Robert Viner’s, where I did the like, leaving clear in his hands just 2000l. of my owne money, to be called for when I pleased. Having done all this I home, and there to the office, did my business there by the post and so home, and spent till one in the morning in my chamber to set right all my money matters, and so to bed.

the ice on a road
a moth wing
the very me I am

set down in my notes
this day like clear money
to be called for when I please


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 1 February 1666.

Assignations

Lay pretty long in bed, and then up and to the office, where we met on extraordinary occasion about the business of tickets. By and by to the ‘Change, and there did several businesses, among others brought home my cozen Pepys, whom I appointed to be here to-day, and Mr. Moore met us upon the business of my Lord’s bond. Seeing my neighbour Mr. Knightly walk alone from the ‘Change, his family being not yet come to town, I did invite him home with me, and he dined with me, a very sober, pretty man he is. He is mighty solicitous, as I find many about the City that live near the churchyards, to have the churchyards covered with lime, and I think it is needfull, and ours I hope will be done. Good pleasant discourse at dinner of the practices of merchants to cheate the “Customers,” occasioned by Mr. Moore’s being with much trouble freed of his prize goods, which he bought, which fell into the Customers’ hands, and with much ado hath cleared them. Mr. Knightly being gone, my cozen Pepys and Moore and I to our business, being the clearing of my Lord Sandwich’s bond wherein I am bound with him to my cozen for 1000l. I have at last by my dexterity got my Lord’s consent to have it paid out of the money raised by his prizes. So the bond is cancelled, and he paid by having a note upon Sir Robert Viner, in whose hands I had lodged my Lord’s money, by which I am to my extraordinary comfort eased of a liablenesse to pay the sum in case of my Lord’s death, or troubles in estate, or my Lord’s greater fall, which God defend!
Having settled this matter at Sir R. Viner’s, I took up Mr. Moore (my cozen going home) and to my Lord Chancellor’s new house which he is building, only to view it, hearing so much from Mr. Evelyn of it; and, indeed, it is the finest pile I ever did see in my life, and will be a glorious house. Thence to the Duke of Albemarle, who tells me Mr. Coventry is come to town and directs me to go to him about some business in hand, whether out of displeasure or desire of ease I know not; but I asked him not the reason of it but went to White Hall, but could not find him there, though to my great joy people begin to bustle up and down there, the King holding his resolution to be in towne to-morrow, and hath good encouragement, blessed be God! to do so, the plague being decreased this week to 56, and the total to 227.
So after going to the Swan in the Palace, and sent for Spicer to discourse about my last Tangier tallys that have some of the words washed out with the rain, to have them new writ, I home, and there did some business and at the office, and so home to supper, and to bed.

we met nightly
in that church red with need

to free our hands of death
building only to go bust

holding on
blessed as a swan in the palace

our last words washed out
with the rain


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 31 January 1666.

Love questions

… and up again about six (Lord’s day), and being dressed in my velvett coate and plain cravatte took a hackney coach provided ready for me by eight o’clock, and so to my Lord Bruncker’s with all my papers, and there took his coach with four horses and away toward Hampton Court, having a great deale of good discourse with him, particularly about his coming to lie at the office, when I went further in inviting him to than I intended, having not yet considered whether it will be convenient for me or no to have him here so near us, and then of getting Mr. Evelyn or Sir Robert Murray into the Navy in the room of Sir Thomas Harvey. At Brainford I ‘light, having need to shit, and went into an Inne doore that stood open, found the house of office and used it, but saw no people, only after I was in the house, heard a great dogg barke, and so was afeard how I should get safe back again, and therefore drew my sword and scabbard out of my belt to have ready in my hand, but did not need to use it, but got safe into the coach again, but lost my belt by the shift, not missing it till I come to Hampton Court. At the Wicke found Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten at a lodging provided for us by our messenger, and there a good dinner ready. After dinner took coach and to Court, where we find the King, and Duke, and Lords, all in council; so we walked up and down: there being none of the ladies come, and so much the more business I hope will be done. The Council being up, out comes the King, and I kissed his hand, and he grasped me very kindly by the hand. The Duke also, I kissed his, and he mighty kind, and Sir W. Coventry. I found my Lord Sandwich there, poor man! I see with a melancholy face, and suffers his beard to grow on his upper lip more than usual. I took him a little aside to know when I should wait on him, and where: he told me, and that it would be best to meet at his lodgings, without being seen to walk together. Which I liked very well; and, Lord! to see in what difficulty I stand, that I dare not walk with Sir W. Coventry, for fear my Lord or Sir G. Carteret should see me; nor with either of them, for fear Sir W. Coventry should. After changing a few words with Sir W. Coventry, who assures me of his respect and love to me, and his concernment for my health in all this sickness, I went down into one of the Courts, and there met the King and Duke; and the Duke called me to him. And the King come to me of himself, and told me, “Mr. Pepys,” says he, “I do give you thanks for your good service all this year, and I assure you I am very sensible of it.” And the Duke of Yorke did tell me with pleasure, that he had read over my discourse about pursers, and would have it ordered in my way, and so fell from one discourse to another. I walked with them quite out of the Court into the fields, and then back to my Lord Sandwich’s chamber, where I find him very melancholy and not well satisfied, I perceive, with my carriage to Sir G. Carteret, but I did satisfy him and made him confess to me, that I have a very hard game to play; and told me he was sorry to see it, and the inconveniences which likely may fall upon me with him; but, for all that, I am not much afeard, if I can but keepe out of harm’s way in not being found too much concerned in my Lord’s or Sir G. Carteret’s matters, and that I will not be if I can helpe it. He hath got over his business of the prizes, so far as to have a privy seale passed for all that was in his distribution to the officers, which I am heartily glad of; and, for the rest, he must be answerable for what he is proved to have. But for his pardon for anything else, he thinks it not seasonable to aske it, and not usefull to him; because that will not stop a Parliament’s mouth, and for the King, he is sure enough of him. I did aske him whether he was sure of the interest and friendship of any great Ministers of State and he told me, yes. As we were going further, in comes my Lord Mandeville, so we were forced to breake off and I away, and to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, where he not come in but I find Sir W. Pen, and he and I to discourse. I find him very much out of humour, so that I do not think matters go very well with him, and I am glad of it. He and I staying till late, and Sir W. Coventry not coming in (being shut up close all the afternoon with the Duke of Albemarle), we took boat, and by water to Kingston, and so to our lodgings, where a good supper and merry, only I sleepy, and therefore after supper I slunk away from the rest to bed, and lay very well and slept soundly, my mind being in a great delirium between joy for what the King and Duke have said to me and Sir W. Coventry, and trouble for my Lord Sandwich’s concernments, and how hard it will be for me to preserve myself from feeling thereof.

will the missing kiss
grow on his lip
like a difficult word

is love is a hard game to play
or an inconvenience
on the way to sleep

or to my mind
a great delirium
between joy and concern


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 January 1666.