Screaming

Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning, and then in the afternoon I with Sir W. Pen and Sir T. Harvy to White Hall to attend the Duke of York, who is now as well as ever, and there we did our usual business with him, and so away home with Sir W. Pen, and there to the office, where pretty late doing business, my wife having been abroad all day with Mrs. Turner buying of one thing or other. This day I do hear at White Hall that the Duke of Monmouth is sick, and in danger of the smallpox. So home to supper and to bed.

ice on the road

a turn buying one
or other mouth
in danger of the pox

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 December 1667.

Isolated

Up, and to several places, to pay what I owed. Among others, to my mercer, to pay for my fine camlott cloak, which costs me, the very stuff, almost 6l.; and also a velvet coat — the outside cost me above 8l.. And so to Westminster, where I find the House mighty busy upon a petition against my Lord Gerard, which lays heavy things to his charge, of his abusing the King in his Guards; and very hot the House is upon it. I away home to dinner alone with wife and girle, and so to the office, where mighty busy to my great content late, and then home to supper, talk with my wife, and to bed. It was doubtful to-day whether the House should be adjourned to-morrow or no.

several places cost me
the very outside

o my heavy house
alone with my doubt

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 16 December 1667.

The get

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where I heard a German preach, in a tone hard to be understood, but yet an extraordinary good sermon, and wholly to my great content. So home, and there all alone with wife and girle to dinner, and then I busy at my chamber all the afternoon, and looking over my plate, which indeed is a very fine quantity, God knows, more than ever I expected to see of my own, and more than is fit for a man of no better quality than I am. In the evening comes Mrs. Turner to visit us, who hath been long sick, and she sat and supped with us, and after supper, her son Francke being there, now upon the point of his going to the East Indys, I did give him “Lex Mercatoria,” and my wife my old pair of tweezers, which are pretty, and my book an excellent one for him. Most of our talk was of the great discourse the world hath against my Lady Batten, for getting her husband to give her all, and disinherit his eldest son; though the truth is, the son, as they say, did play the knave with his father when time was, and the father no great matter better with him, nor with other people also. So she gone, we to bed.

preach in a tone
hard as an old pair
of tweezers

against for-
getting

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 December 1667.

Collaborator

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Up and to the office, where busy, and after dinner also to the office again till night, when Mr. Moore come to me to discourse about the 200l. I must supply my Lord Hinchingbroke, and I promised him to do it, though much against my will. So home, to supper and to bed.

where night is about
I must supply my inch

and promise much
against my will

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 14 December 1667.

Crowd control

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Up, lying long all alone (my wife lying for these two or three days of sickness alone), thinking of my several businesses in hand, and then rose and to the office, being in some doubt of having my cozen Roger and Lord Hinchinbroke and Sir Thos. Crew by my cozens invitation at dinner to-day, and we wholly unprovided. So I away to Westminster, to the Parliament-door, to speak with Roger: and here I saw my Lord Keeling go into the House to the barr, to have his business heard by the whole House to-day; and a great crowd of people to stare upon him. Here I hear that the Lords’ Bill for banishing and disabling my Lord Clarendon from bearing any office, or being in the King’s dominions, and its being made felony for any to correspond with him but his own children, is brought to the Commons: but they will not agree to it, being not satisfied with that as sufficient, but will have a Bill of Attainder brought in against him: but they make use of this against the Lords, that they, that would not think there was cause enough to commit him without hearing, will have him banished without hearing. By and by comes out my cozen Roger to me, he being not willing to be in the House at the business of my Lord Keeling, lest he should be called upon to complain against him for his abusing him at Cambridge, very wrongfully and shamefully, but not to his reproach, but to the Chief justice’s in the end, when all the world cried shame upon him for it. So he with me home, and Creed, whom I took up by the way, going thither, and they to dine with me, and pretty merry, and among other pieces of news, it is now fresh that the King of Portugall is deposed, and his brother made King; and that my Lord Sandwich is gone from Madrid with great honour to Lisbon, to make up, at this juncture, a peace to the advantage, as the Spaniard would have it, of Spain. I wish it may be for my Lord’s honour, if it be so; but it seems my Lord is in mighty estimation in Spain. After dinner comes Mr. Moore, and he and I alone a while, he telling me my Lord Sandwich’s credit is like to be undone, if the bill of 200l. my Lord Hinchingbroke wrote to me about be not paid to-morrow, and that, if I do not help him about it, they have no way but to let it be protested. So, finding that Creed hath supplied them with 150l. in their straits, and that this is no bigger sum, I am very willing to serve my Lord, though not in this kind; but yet I will endeavour to get this done for them, and the rather because of some plate that was lodged the other day with me, by my Lady’s order, which may be in part of security for my money, as I may order it, for, for ought I see, there is no other to be hoped for. This do trouble me; but yet it is good luck that the sum is no bigger. He gone, I with my cozen Roger to Westminster Hall; and there we met the House rising: and they have voted my Lord Chief Justice Keeling’s proceedings illegal; but that, out of particular respect to him, and the mediation of a great many, they have resolved to proceed no further against him. After a turn or two with my cozen, I away with Sir W. Warren, who met me here by my desire, and to Exeter House, and there to counsel, to Sir William Turner, about the business of my bargain with my Lady Batten; and he do give me good advice, and that I am safe, but that there is a great many pretty considerations in it that makes it necessary for me to be silent yet for a while till we see whether the ship be safe or no; for she is drove to the coast of Holland, where she now is in the Texell, so that it is not prudence for me yet to resolve whether I will stand by the bargain or no, and so home, and Sir W. Warren and I walked upon Tower Hill by moonlight a great while, consulting business of the office and our present condition, which is but bad, it being most likely that the Parliament will change all hands, and so let them, so I may keep but what I have. Thence home, and there spent the evening at home with my wife and entering my journal, and so to supper and to bed, troubled with my parting with the 200l., which I must lend my Lord Sandwich to answer his bill of exchange.

in days of sickness
a great crowd comes

to the wrong world
from pain

comes alone
like some hoped-for good luck

and I am silent as the moonlight
entering my bed

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 13 December 1667.

Pelt

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Rose before day, and took coach, by daylight, and to Westminster to Sir G. Downing’s, and there met Sir Stephen Fox, and thence he and I to Sir Robert Longs to discourse the business of our orders for money, he for the guards, and I for Tangier, and were a little angry in our concerns, one against the other, but yet parted good friends, and I think I got ground by it. Thence straight to the office, and there sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner I all alone to the Duke of York’s house, and saw “The Tempest,” which, as often as I have seen it, I do like very well, and the house very full. But I could take little pleasure more than the play, for not being able to look about, for fear of being seen. Here only I saw a French lady in the pit, with a tunique, just like one of ours, only a handkercher about her neck; but this fashion for a woman did not look decent. Thence walked to my bookseller’s, and there he did give me a list of the twenty who were nominated for the Commission in Parliament for the Accounts: and it is strange that of the twenty the Parliament could not think fit to choose their nine, but were fain to add three that were not in the list of the twenty, they being many of them factious people and ringleaders in the late troubles; so that Sir John Talbott did fly out and was very hot in the business of Wildman’s being named, and took notice how he was entertained in the bosom of the Duke of Buckingham, a Privy-counsellor; and that it was fit to be observed by the House, and punished. The men that I know of the nine I like very well; that is, Mr. Pierrepont, Lord Brereton, and Sir William Turner; and I do think the rest are so, too; but such as will not be able to do this business as it ought to be, to do any good with. Here I did also see their votes against my Lord Chiefe Justice Keeling, that his proceedings were illegal, and that he was a contemner of Magna Charta (the great preserver of our lives, freedoms, and properties) and an introduction to arbitrary government; which is very high language, and of the same sound with that in the year 1640. I home, and there wrote my letters, and so to supper and to bed. This day my Lord Chancellor’s letter was burned at the ’Change.

daylight fox
not like a neck fashion

but wild as the ivy
on a high burn

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 12 December 1667.

In the red

By coach to White Hall, and there attended the Duke of York, as we are wont, who is now grown pretty well, and goes up and down White Hall, and this night will be at the Council, which I am glad of. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked most of the morning, and among others did there meet my cozen Roger Pepys, who intends to go to Impington on this day s’ennight, the Parliament break up the night before. Here I met Rolt and Sir John Chichly, and Harris, the player, and there we talked of many things, and particularly of “Catiline,” which is to be suddenly acted at the King’s house; and there all agree that it cannot be well done at that house, there not being good actors enow: and Burt acts Cicero, which they all conclude he will not be able to do well. The King gives them 500l. for robes, there being, as they say, to be sixteen scarlett robes. Thence home to dinner, and would have had Harris home with me, but it was too late for him to get to the playhouse after it, and so home to dinner, and spent the afternoon talking with my wife and people at home till the evening, and then comes Sir W. Warren to talk about some business of his and mine: and he, I find, would have me not to think that the Parliament, in the mind they are in, and having so many good offices in their view to dispose of, will leave any of the King’s officers in, but will rout all, though I am likely to escape as well as any, if any can escape; and I think he is in the right, and I do look for it accordingly. Then we fell to discourse of my little vessel, “The Maybolt,” and he thinks that it will be best for me to employ her for a voyage to Newcastle for coles, they being now dear, and the voyage not long, nor dangerous yet; and I think I shall go near to do so. Then, talking of his business, I away to the office, where very busy, and thither comes Sir W. Pen, and he and I walked together in the garden, and there told me what passed to-day with him in the Committee, by my Lord Sandwich’s breaking bulk of the prizes; and he do seem to me that he hath left it pretty well understood by them, he saying that what my Lord did was done at the desire, and with the advice, of the chief officers of the fleete, and that it was no more than admirals heretofore have done in like cases, which, if it be true that he said it, is very well, and did please me well. He being gone, I to my office again and there late, and so weary home.

will we or others break
into sudden scarlet

like inks best for danger
where the pen stood by

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 11 December 1667.

Long night

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Up, and all the morning at the office, and then home with my people to dinner, and very merry, and then to my office again, where did much business till night, that my eyes begun to be sore, and then forced to leave off, and by coach set my wife at her tailor’s and Willet, and I to Westminster Hall, and there walked a good while till 8 at night, and there hear to my great content that the King did send a message to the House to-day that he would adjourne them on the 17th instant to February; by which time, at least, I shall have more respite to prepare things on my own behalf, and the Office, against their return. Here met Mr. Hinxton, the organist, walking, and I walked with him; and, asking him many questions, I do find that he can no more give an intelligible answer to a man that is not a great master in his art, than another man. And this confirms me that it is only want of an ingenious man that is master in musique, to bring musique to a certainty, and ease in composition. Having done this, I home, taking up my wife and girle, and there to supper and to bed, having finished my letters, among which one to Commissioner Middleton, who is now coming up to town from Portsmouth, to enter upon his Surveyorship.

o if night would adjourn
to an organ

a more intelligible music
to bring to bed

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 December 1667.

Internecine

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All the morning busy at the office, doing very considerable business, and thither comes Sir G. Carteret to talk with me; who seems to think himself safe as to his particular, but do doubt what will become of the whole kingdom, things being so broke in pieces. He tells me that the King himself did the other day very particularly tell the whole story of my Lord Sandwich’s not following the Dutch ships, with which he is charged; and shews the reasons of it to be the only good course he could have taken, and do discourse it very knowingly. This I am glad of, though, as the King is now, his favour, for aught I see, serves very little in stead at this day, but rather is an argument against a man; and the King do not concern himself to relieve or justify any body, but is wholly negligent of everybody’s concernment. This morning I was troubled with my Lord Hinchingbroke’s sending to borrow 200l. of me; but I did answer that I had none, nor could borrow any; for I am resolved I will not be undone for any body, though I would do much for my Lord Sandwich — for it is to answer a bill of exchange of his, and I perceive he hath made use of all other means in the world to do it, but I am resolved to serve him, but not ruin myself, as it may be to part with so much of the little I have by me to keep if I should by any turn of times lose the rest. At noon I to the ’Change, and there did a little business, and among other things called at Cade’s, the stationer, where he tells me how my Lord Gerard is troubled for several things in the House of Commons, and in one wherein himself is concerned; and, it seems, this Lord is a very proud and wicked man, and the Parliament is likely to order him. Then home to dinner, and then a little abroad, thinking to have gone to the other end of the town, but it being almost night I would not, but home again, and there to my chamber, and all alone did there draw up my answer to Sir Rob. Brookes’s letter, and when I had done it went down to my clerks at the office for their opinion which at this time serves me to very good purpose, they having many things in their heads which I had not in the businesses of the office now in dispute. Having done with this, then I home and to supper very late, and to bed. My [wife] being yet very ill of her looseness, by which she is forced to lie from me to-night in the girl’s chamber.

who seems safe
who broke in pieces

who is aught but an argument
against himself

who will not exchange
his own head

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 December 1667.

Hapless

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(Lord’s day). All the morning at my chamber doing something towards the settling of my papers and accounts, which have been out of order a great while. At noon to dinner, where W. How with us, and after dinner, he being gone, I to my chamber again till almost night, and then took boat, the tide serving, and so to White Hall, where I saw the Duchesse of York, in a fine dress of second mourning for her mother, being black, edged with ermine, go to make her first visit to the Queene since the Duke of York was sick; and by and by, she being returned, the Queene come and visited her. But it was pretty to observe that Sir W. Coventry and I, walking an hour and more together in the Matted Gallery, he observed, and so did I, how the Duchesse, as soon as she spied him, turned her head a one side. Here he and I walked thus long, which we have not done a great while before. Our discourse was upon everything: the unhappiness of having our matters examined by people that understand them not; that it was better for us in the Navy to have men that do understand the whole, and that are not passionate; that we that have taken the most pains are called upon to answer for all crimes, while those that, like Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, did sit and do nothing, do lie still without any trouble; that, if it were to serve the King and kingdom again in a war, neither of us could do more, though upon this experience we might do better than we did; that the commanders, the gentlemen that could never be brought to order, but undid all, are now the men that find fault and abuse others; that it had been much better for the King to have given Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten 1000l. a-year to have sat still, than to have had them in his business this war: that the serving a Prince that minds not his business is most unhappy for them that serve him well, and an unhappiness so great that he declares he will never have more to do with a war, under him. That he hath papers which do flatly contradict the Duke of Albemarle’s Narrative; and that he hath been with the Duke of Albemarle and shewed him them, to prevent his falling into another like fault: that the Duke of Albemarle seems to be able to answer them; but he thinks that the Duke of Albemarle and the Prince are contented to let their Narratives sleep, they being not only contradictory in some things (as he observed about the business of the Duke of Albemarle’s being to follow the Prince upon dividing the fleete, in case the enemy come out), but neither of them to be maintained in others. That the business the other night of my Lord Anglesey at the Council was happily got over for my Lord, by his dexterous silencing it, and the rest, not urging it further; forasmuch as, had the Duke of Buckingham come in time enough, and had got it by the end, he, would have toused him in it; Sir W. Coventry telling me that my Lord Anglesey did, with such impudence, maintain the quarrel against the Commons and some of the Lords, in the business of my Lord Clarendon, that he believes there are enough would be glad but of this occasion to be revenged of him. He tells me that he hears some of the Thomsons are like to be of the Commission for the Accounts, and Wildman, which he much wonders at, as having been a false fellow to every body, and in prison most of the time since the King’s coming in. But he do tell me that the House is in such a condition that nobody can tell what to make of them, and, he thinks, they were never in before; that every body leads, and nobody follows; and that he do now think that, since a great many are defeated in their expectation of being of the Commission, now they would put it into such hands as it shall get no credit from: for, if they do look to the bottom and see the King’s case, they think they are then bound to give the King money; whereas, they would be excused from that, and therefore endeavour to make this business of the Accounts to signify little. I spoke with him about my Lord Sandwich’s business, in which he is very friendly, and do say that the unhappy business of the prizes is it that hath brought all this trouble upon him, and the only thing that made any thing else mentioned, and it is true. So having discoursed with him, I spent some time with Sir Stephen Fox about the business of our adjusting the new method of the Excise between the Guards household and Tangier, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury being now resolved to bring all their management into a course of payment by orders, and not by tallies, and I am glad of it, and so by water home late, and very dark, and when come home there I got my wife to read, and then come Captain Cocke to me; and there he tells me, to my great satisfaction, that Sir Robert Brookes did dine with him today; and that he told him, speaking of me, that he would make me the darling of the House of Commons, so much he is satisfied concerning me. And this Cocke did tell me that I might give him thanks for it; and I do think it may do me good, for he do happen to be held a considerable person, of a young man, both for sobriety and ability. Then to discourse of business of his own about some hemp of his that is come home to receive it into the King’s stores, and then parted, and by and by my wife and I to supper, she not being well, her flux being great upon her, and so to bed.

how to mourn people
who have never been happy

unhappiness falling like sleep
over this wild wonder of a body
that nobody prizes

true as water may happen
to be held in flux

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 8 December 1667.