Orchard

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Up, and by water to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, and thence with Mr. Wren by appointment in his coach to Hampstead, to speak with the Atturney-general, whom we met in the fields, by his old route and house; and after a little talk about our business of Ackeworth, went and saw the Lord Wotton’s house and garden, which is wonderfull fine: too good for the house the gardens are, being, indeed, the most noble that ever I saw, and brave orange and lemon trees. Thence to Mr. Chichley’s by invitation, and there dined with Sir John, his father not coming home. And while at dinner comes by the French Embassador Colbert’s mules, the first I ever saw, with their sumpter-clothes mighty rich, and his coaches, he being to have his entry to-day: but his things, though rich, are not new; supposed to be the same his brother had the other day, at the treaty at Aix-la-Chapelle, in Flanders. Thence to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “Cupid’s Revenge,” under the new name of “Love Despised,” that hath something very good in it, though I like not the whole body of it. This day the first time acted here. Thence home, and there with Mr. Hater and W. Hewer late, reading over all the principal officers’ instructions in order to my great work upon my hand, and so to bed, my eyes very ill.

a field of orange
and lemon trees
by the house

like the whole body
to a hand

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 August 1668

Resourceful

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(Lord’s day). All the morning at my Office with W. Hewer, there drawing up my Report to the Duke of York, as I have promised, about the faults of this Office, hoping thereby to have opportunity of doing myself [something]. At noon to dinner, and again with him to work all the afternoon till night, till I was weary and had despatched a good deal of business, and so to bed after hearing my wife read a little.

my wing
my promise
my good ear
my wife

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 16 August 1668

Consumer affairs

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Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and after dinner with my wife, Mercer, and Deb., to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “Love’s Mistresse” revived, the thing pretty good, but full of variety of divertisement. So home and to my business at the office, my eyes bad again, and so to bed.

my love is thin
but full of variety

o divert us at the office
my eyes bad in bed

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 15 August 1668

Natural selection

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Up, and by water to White Hall and St. James’s, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and discourse about business of our Office, telling him my trouble there, to see how things are ordered. I told him also what Cocke told me the other day, but he says there is not much in it, though he do know that this hath been in the eye of some persons to compass for the turning all things in the navy, and that it looks so like a popular thing as that he thinks something may be done in it, but whether so general or no, as I tell it him, he knows not.
Thence to White Hall, and there see how much turning
all things dowait at the Council-chamber door a good while, talking with one or other, and so home by water, though but for a little while, because I am to return to White Hall. At home I find Symson, putting up my new chimney-piece, in our great chamber, which is very fine, but will cost a great deal of money, but it is not flung away.

So back to White Hall, and after the council up, I with Mr. Wren, by invitation, to Sir Stephen Fox’s to dinner, where the Cofferer and Sir Edward Savage; where many good stories of the antiquity and estates of many families at this day in Cheshire, and that part of the kingdom, more than what is on this side, near London.
My Lady [Fox] dining with us; a very good lady, and a family governed so nobly and neatly as do me good to see it.
Thence the Cofferer, Sir Stephen, and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury about business: and so I up to the Duke of York, who enquired for what I had promised him, about my observations of the miscarriages of our Office; and I told him he should have it next week, being glad he called for it; for I find he is concerned to do something, and to secure himself thereby, I believe: for the world is labouring to eclipse him, I doubt; I mean, the factious part of the Parliament. The Office met this afternoon as usual, and waited on him; where, among other things, he talked a great while of his intentions of going to Dover soon, to be sworn as Lord Warden, which is a matter of great ceremony and state, and so to the Temple with Mr. Wren, to the Attorney’s chamber, about business, but he abroad, and so I home, and there spent the evening talking with my wife and piping, and pleased with our chimney-piece, and so to bed.

see how much turning
all things do

whether door or water
stories or ages

for the world is laboring
to eclipse us

the dove and wren
pleased with our chimney

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 14 August 1668

Rehab

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Up, and Greeting comes, and there he and I tried some things of Mr. Locke’s for two flageolets, to my great content, and this day my wife begins again to learn of him; for I have a great mind for her to be able to play a part with me. Thence I to the Office, where all the afternoon [morning??], and then to dinner, where W. Howe dined with me, who tells me for certain that Creed is like to speed in his match with Mrs. Betty Pickering. Here dined with me also Mr. Hollier, who is mighty vain in his pretence to talk Latin. So to the Office again all the afternoon till night, very busy, and so with much content home, and made my wife sing and play on the flageolet to me till I slept with great pleasure in bed.

greeting the lock
I begin to learn

for I have a mind
to play a part

how like a mad flag
I slept with pleasure

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 August 1668

Beat

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Up, and all the morning busy at my office. Thence to the Excise Office, and so to the Temple to take counsel about Major Nicholls’s business for the King. So to several places about business, and among others to Drumbleby’s about the mouths for my paper tubes, and so to the ’Change and home. Met Captain Cocke, who tells me that he hears for certain the Duke of York will lose the authority of an Admiral, and be governed by a Committee: and all our Office changed; only they are in dispute whether I shall continue or no, which puts new thoughts in me, but I know not whether to be glad or sorry. Home to dinner, where Pelling dines with us, and brings some partridges, which is very good meat; and, after dinner, I, and wife, and Mercer, and Deb., to the Duke of York’s house, and saw “Mackbeth,” to our great content, and then home, where the women went to the making of my tubes, and I to the office, and then come Mrs. Turner and her husband to advise about their son, the Chaplain, who is turned out of his ship, a sorrow to them, which I am troubled for, and do give them the best advice I can, and so they gone we to bed.

another drum governed
by dispute

shall tin thoughts
be glad or sorry

bring partridges or a chaplain
turned out of his ship

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 August 1668

Old soldier

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Up, and by water to Sir W. Coventry to visit him, whom I find yet troubled at the Commissioners of Accounts, about this business of Sir W. Warren, which is a ridiculous thing, and can come to nothing but contempt, and thence to Westminster Hall, where the Parliament met enough to adjourne, which they did, to the 10th of November next, and so by water home to the office, and so to dinner, and thence at the Office all the afternoon till night, being mightily pleased with a little trial I have made of the use of a tube-spectacall of paper, tried with my right eye. This day I hear that, to the great joy of the Nonconformists, the time is out of the Act against them, so that they may meet: and they have declared that they will have a morning lecture up again, which is pretty strange; and they are connived at by the King every where, I hear, in City and country. So to visit W. Pen, who is yet ill, and then home, where W. Batelier and Mrs. Turner come and sat and supped with us, and so they gone we to bed.
This afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., went with Pelling to see the gypsies at Lambeth, and have their fortunes told; but what they did, I did not enquire.

I miss war
where night might call

my right eye to act
against me

and every city and county
is an atelier

for what
I did not inquire

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 11 August 1668

Open road

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Up, and by water to White Hall, and thence to Sir W. Coventry, but he is gone out of town this morning, so thence to my Lord Arlington’s house, the first time I there since he come thither, at Goring House, a very fine, noble place; and there he received me in sight of several Lords with great respect. I did give him an account of my journey; and here, while I waited for him a little, my Lord Orrery took notice of me, and begun discourse of hangings, and of the improvement of shipping: I not thinking that he knew me, but did then discover it, with a mighty compliment of my abilities and ingenuity, which I am mighty proud of; and he do speak most excellently. Thence to Westminster Hall, and so by coach to the old Exchange, and there did several businesses, and so home to dinner, and then abroad to Duck Lane, where I saw my belle femme of the book vendor, but had no opportunity para hazer con her. So away to Cooper’s, where I spent all the afternoon with my wife and girl, seeing him make an end of her picture, which he did to my great content, though not so great as, I confess, I expected, being not satisfied in the greatness of the resemblance, nor in the blue garment: but it is most certainly a most rare piece of work, as to the painting. He hath 30l. for his work — and the chrystal, and case, and gold case comes to 8l. 3s. 4d.; and which I sent him this night, that I might be out of debt. Thence my people home, and I to Westminster Hall about a little business, and so by water home [to] supper, and my wife to read a ridiculous book I bought today of the History of the Taylors’ Company, and all the while Deb. did comb my head, and I did toker her with my main para very great pleasure, and so to bed.

gone out of town
to discover a peak

the old road
not as blue

but rare as gold in
the history of pleasure

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 August 1668

Scribal

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(Lord’s day). Up, and walked to Holborne, where got John Powell’s coach at the Black Swan, and he attended me at St. James’s, where waited on the Duke of York: and both by him and several of the Privy-Council, beyond expectation, I find that my going to Sir Thomas Allen was looked upon as a thing necessary: and I have got some advantage by it, among them. Thence to White Hall, and thence to visit Lord Brouncker, and back to White Hall, where saw the Queen and ladies; and so, with Mr. Slingsby, to Mrs. Williams’s, thinking to dine with Lord Brouncker there, but did not, having promised my wife to come home, though here I met Knepp, to my great content. So home; and, after dinner, I took my wife and Deb. round by Hackney, and up and down to take the ayre; and then home, and made visits to Mrs. Turner, and Mrs. Mercer, and Sir W. Pen, who is come from Epsom not well, and Sir J. Minnes, who is not well neither. And so home to supper, and to set my books a little right, and then to bed. This day Betty Michell come and dined with us, the first day after her lying in, whom I was glad to see.

to go beyond my going

to look upon a thing
and have it hit back

I am ink but not a pen

I come from a book
a little hell

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 9 August 1668

Dulled

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Up, and I walked out, and met Uncle Wight, whom I sent to last night, and Mr. Wight coming to see us, and I walked with them back to see my aunt at Katherine Hill, and there walked up and down the hill and places, about: but a dull place, but good ayre, and the house dull. But here I saw my aunt, after many days not seeing her — I think, a year or two; and she walked with me to see my wife. And here, at the Red Lyon, we all dined together, and mighty merry, and then parted: and we home to Fox Hall, where Fitzgerald and I ’light, and by water to White Hall, where the Duke of York being abroad, I by coach and met my wife, who went round, and after doing at the office a little, and finding all well at home, I to bed. I hear that Colbert, the French Ambassador, is come, and hath been at Court incognito. When he hath his audience, I know not.

to walk up and down the hill
a dull place

and not see
the red fox

where light and water met
incognito

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 August 1668