Distracted

I waited with the Office upon the Duke of York in the morning. Dined at home, where Lewis Phillips the friend of his, dined with me. In the afternoon at the Office. In the evening visited by Roger Pepys and Philip Packer and so home.

office at home
her lips dine with me
on site

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 21 May 1669.

Disenchantment

Up and to the Office, where all the morning. At noon, the whole Office — Brouncker, J. Minnes, T. Middleton, Samuel Pepys, and Captain Cox to dine with the Parish, at the Three Tuns, this day being Ascension-day, where exceeding good discourse among the merchants, and thence back home, and after a little talk with my wife, to my office did a great deal of business, and so with my eyes might weary, and my head full of care how to get my accounts and business settled against my journey, home to supper, and bed.
Yesterday, at my coming home, I found that my wife had, on a sudden, put away Matt upon some falling out, and I doubt my wife did call her ill names by my wife’s own discourse; but I did not meddle to say anything upon it, but let her go, being not sorry, because now we may get one that speaks French, to go abroad with us.

who today enchants me
with my weary head
full of accounts

again my journey
home to yesterday
that sorry peak

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 20 May 1669.

Wasteland

With my coach to St. James’s; and there finding the Duke of York gone to muster his men, in Hyde Park, I alone with my boy thither, and there saw more, walking out of my coach as other gentlemen did, of a soldier’s trade, than ever I did in my life: the men being mighty fine, and their Commanders, particularly the Duke of Monmouth; but me-thought their trade but very easy as to the mustering of their men, and the men but indifferently ready to perform what was commanded, in the handling of their arms.
Here the news was first talked of Harry Killigrew’s being wounded in nine places last night, by footmen, in the highway, going from the Park in a hackney-coach towards Hammersmith, to his house at Turnham Greene: they being supposed to be my Lady Shrewsbury’s men, she being by, in her coach with six horses; upon an old grudge of his saying openly that he had lain with her.
Thence by and by to White Hall, and there I waited upon the King and Queen all dinner-time, in the Queen’s lodgings, she being in her white pinner and apron, like a woman with child; and she seemed handsomer plain so, than dressed. And by and by, dinner done, I out, and to walk in the Gallery, for the Duke of York’s coming out; and there, meeting Mr. May, he took me down about four o’clock to Mr. Chevins’s lodgings, and all alone did get me a dish of cold chickens, and good wine; and I dined like a prince, being before very hungry and empty. By and by the Duke of York comes, and readily took me to his closet, and received my petition, and discoursed about my eyes, and pitied me, and with much kindness did give me his consent to be absent, and approved of my proposition to go into Holland to observe things there, of the Navy; but would first ask the King’s leave, which he anon did, and did tell me that the King would be a good master to me, these were his words, about my eyes, and do like of my going into Holland, but do advise that nobody should know of my going thither, but pretend that I did go into the country somewhere, which I liked well. Glad of this, I home, and thence took out my wife, and to Mr. Holliard’s about a swelling in her cheek, but he not at home, and so round by Islington and eat and drink, and so home, and after supper to bed.
In discourse this afternoon, the Duke of York did tell me that he was the most amazed at one thing just now, that ever he was in his life, which was, that the Duke of Buckingham did just now come into the Queen’s bed-chamber, where the King was, and much mixed company, and among others, Tom Killigrew, the father of Harry, who was last night wounded so as to be in danger of death, and his man is quite dead; and [Buckingham] there in discourse did say that he had spoke with some one that was by (which all the world must know that it must be his whore, my Lady Shrewsbury), who says that they did not mean to hurt, but beat him, and that he did run first at them with his sword; so that he do hereby clearly discover that he knows who did it, and is of conspiracy with them, being of known conspiracy with her, which the Duke of York did seem to be pleased with, and said it might, perhaps, cost him his life in the House of Lords; and I find was mightily pleased with it, saying it was the most impudent thing, as well as the most foolish, that ever he knew man do in all his life.

walking in wounded places
the highway I am on

is like a gallery
for empty eyes

going into land
that nobody should know

somewhere swelling
to become somewhore

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 19 May 1669.

Urgent

Up, and to St. James’s and other places, and then to the office, where all the morning. At noon home and dined in my wife’s chamber, she being much troubled with the tooth-ake, and I staid till a surgeon of hers come, one Leeson, who hath formerly drawn her mouth, and he advised her to draw it: so I to the Office, and by and by word is come that she hath drawn it, which pleased me, it being well done. So I home, to comfort her, and so back to the office till night, busy, and so home to supper and to bed.

noon in my tooth

an urge is come
that raw being
to comfort me

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 18 May 1669.

Seen enough

Up, and to several places doing business, and then home to dinner, and then my wife and I and brother John by coach to the King’s playhouse, and saw “The Spanish Curate” revived, which is a pretty good play, but my eyes troubled with seeing it, mightily. Thence carried them and Mr. Gibson, who met me at my Lord Brouncker’s with a fair copy of my petition, which I thought to shew the Duke of York this night, but could not, and therefore carried them to the Park, where they had never been, and so home to supper and to bed.
Great the news now of the French taking St. Domingo, in Spaniola, from the Spaniards, which troubles us, that they should have it, and have the honour of taking it, when we could not.

up to my eyes
with seeing

I petition the night
to be the news now

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 May 1669.

Participant observer

(Lord’s day). My wife and I at church, our pew filled with Mrs. Backewell, and six more that she brought with her, which vexed me at her confidence. Dined at home and W. Batelier with us, and I all the afternoon drawing up a foul draught of my petition to the Duke of York, about my eyes, for leave to spend three or four months out of the Office, drawing it so as to give occasion to a voyage abroad which I did, to my pretty good liking; and then with my wife to Hyde Park, where a good deal of company, and good weather, and so home to supper and to bed.

church pew filled
with her confidence

and my eye on
the wing

a voyage in good company
and me

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 16 May 1669.

Renovation

Up, and at the Office all the morning. Dined at home and Creed with me home, and I did discourse about evening some reckonings with him in the afternoon; but I could not, for my eyes, do it, which troubled me, and vexed him that I would not; but yet we were friends, I advancing him more without it, and so to walk all the afternoon together in the garden; and I perceive still he do expect a change in our matters, especially as to religion, and fits himself for it by professing himself for it in his discourse. He gone, I to my business at my Office, and so at night home to supper, and to bed.

home is a reckoning
with my eyes

which exed out
all the garden

and still expect a change
in one night

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 15 May 1669.

Cat kin

Up, and to St. James’s to the Duke of York, and thence to White Hall, where we met about office business, and then at noon with Mr. Wren to Lambeth, to dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury; the first time I was ever there and I have long longed for it; where a noble house, and well furnished with good pictures and furniture, and noble attendance in good order, and great deal of company, though an ordinary day; and exceeding great cheer, no where better, or so much, that ever I think I saw, for an ordinary table: and the Bishop mighty kind to me, particularly desiring my company another time, when less company there. Most of the company gone, and I going, I heard by a gentleman of a sermon that was to be there; and so I staid to hear it, thinking it serious, till by and by the gentleman told me it was a mockery, by one Cornet Bolton, a very gentleman-like man, that behind a chair did pray and preach like a Presbyter Scot that ever I heard in my life, with all the possible imitation in grimaces and voice. And his text about the hanging up their harps upon the willows: and a serious good sermon too, exclaiming against Bishops, and crying up of my good Lord Eglinton, a till it made us all burst; but I did wonder to have the Bishop at this time to make himself sport with things of this kind, but I perceive it was shewn him as a rarity; and he took care to have the room-door shut, but there were about twenty gentlemen there, and myself, infinitely pleased with the novelty.
So over to White Hall, to a little Committee of Tangier; and thence walking in the Gallery, I met Sir Thomas Osborne, who, to my great content, did of his own accord fall into discourse with me, with so much professions of value and respect, placing the whole virtue of the Office of the Navy upon me, and that for the Comptroller’s place, no man in England was fit for it but me, when Sir J. Minnes, as he says it is necessary, is removed: but then he knows not what to do for a man in my place; and in discourse, though I have no mind to the other, I did bring in Tom Hater to be the fittest man in the world for it, which he took good notice of. But in the whole I was mightily pleased, reckoning myself now fifty per cent. securer in my place than I did before think myself to be. Thence to Unthanke’s, and there find my wife, but not dressed, which vexed me, because going to the Park, it being a most pleasant day after yesterday’s rain, which lays all the dust, and most people going out thither, which vexed me. So home, sullen; but then my wife and I by water, with my brother, as high as Fulham, talking and singing, and playing the rogue with the Western barge-men, about the women of Woolwich, which mads them, an so back home to supper and to bed.

white fur on the willows

till it all burst into infinite novelty

who knows the world for it

dressed in yesterday’s dust

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 14 May 1669.

Seasoning

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, it being a rainy foul day. But at noon comes my Lord Hinchingbroke, and Sidney, and Sir Charles Harbord, and Roger Pepys, and dined with me; and had a good dinner, and very merry with us all the afternoon, it being a farewell to Sidney; and so in the evening they away, and I to my business at the Office and so to supper, and talk with my brother, and so to bed.

where the morning rain comes in
a farewell
in bed

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 May 1669.