Hole

Up and to the office, where sat all the morning, among other things a great conflict I had with Sir W. Warren, he bringing a letter to the Board, flatly in words charging them with their delays in passing his accounts, which have been with them these two years, part of which I said was not true, and the other undecent. The whole Board was concerned to take notice of it, as well as myself, but none of them had the honour to do it, but suffered me to do it alone, only Sir W. Batten, who did what he did out of common spite to him. So I writ in the margin of the letter, “Returned as untrue,” and, by consent of the Board, did give it him again, and so parted. Home to dinner, and there came a woman whose husband I sent for, one Fisher, about the business of Perkins and Carcasse, and I do think by her I shall find the business as bad as ever it was, and that we shall find Commissioner Pett a rogue, using foul play on behalf of Carcasse. After dinner to the office again, and there late all the afternoon, doing much business, and with great content home to supper and to bed.

among things flat and decent
the hole suffered alone

out on the margin
of the untrue

who shall find it
shall miss it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 4 May 1667.

Last stand

To the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then abroad to my Lord Treasurer’s, who continues so ill as not to be troubled with business. So Mr. Gawden and I to my Lord Ashly’s and spoke with him, and then straight home, and there I did much business at the office, and then to my own chamber and did the like there, to my great content, but to the pain of my eyes, and then to supper and to bed, having a song with my wife with great pleasure, she doing it well.

who continues
ill as an ash
and straight up
in song


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 2 May 1667.

Origins

Up, it being a fine day, and after doing a little business in my chamber I left my wife to go abroad with W. Hewer and his mother in a Hackney coach incognito to the Park, while I abroad to the Excise Office first, and there met the Cofferer and Sir Stephen Fox about our money matters there, wherein we agreed, and so to discourse of my Lord Treasurer, who is a little better than he was of the stone, having rested a little this night. I there did acquaint them of my knowledge of that disease, which I believe will be told my Lord Treasurer. Thence to Westminster; in the way meeting many milk-maids with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before them;1 and saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodgings’ door in Drury-lane in her smock sleeves and bodice, looking upon one: she seemed a mighty pretty creature. To the Hall and there walked a while, it being term. I thence home to the Rose, and then had Doll Lane vener para me; but it was in a lugar mighty ouvert, so as we no poda hazer algo; so parted and then met again at the Swan, where for la misma reason we no pode hazer, but put off to recontrar anon, which I only used as a put-off; and so parted and to my Lord Crew’s, where I found them at dinner, and among others. Mrs. Bocket, which I have not seen a long time, and two little dirty children, and she as idle a prating and impertinent woman as ever she was. After dinner my Lord took me alone and walked with me, giving me an account of the meeting of the Commissioners for Accounts, whereof he is one. How some of the gentlemen, Garraway, Littleton, and others, did scruple at their first coming there, being called thither to act, as Members of Parliament, which they could not do by any authority but that of Parliament, and therefore desired the King’s direction in it, which was sent for by my Lord Bridgewater, who brought answer, very short, that the King expected they should obey his Commission. Then they went on, and observed a power to be given them of administering and framing an oath, which they thought they could not do by any power but Act of Parliament; and the whole Commission did think fit to have the judges’ opinion in it; and so, drawing up their scruples in writing, they all attended the King, who told them he would send to the judges to be answered, and did so; who have, my Lord tells me, met three times about it, not knowing what answer to give to it; and they have met this week, doing nothing but expecting the solution of the judges in this point. My Lord tells me he do believe this Commission will do more hurt than good; it may undo some accounts, if these men shall think fit; but it can never clear an account, for he must come into the Exchequer for all this. Besides, it is a kind of inquisition that hath seldom ever been granted in England; and he believes it will never, besides, give any satisfaction to the People or Parliament, but be looked upon as a forced, packed business of the King, especially if these Parliament-men that are of it shall not concur with them: which he doubts they will not, and, therefore, wishes much that the King would lay hold of this fit occasion, and let the Commission fall. Then to talk of my Lord Sandwich, whom my Lord Crew hath a great desire might get to be Lord Treasurer if the present Lord should die, as it is believed he will, in a little time; and thinks he can have no competitor but my Lord Arlington, who, it is given out, desires it: but my Lord thinks it is not so, for that the being Secretary do keep him a greater interest with the King than the other would do at least, do believe, that if my Lord would surrender him his Wardrobe place, it would be a temptation to Arlington to assist my Lord in getting the Treasurer’s. I did object to my Lord [Crew] that it would be no place of content, nor safety, nor honour for my Lord, the State being so indigent as it is, and the [King] so irregular, and those about him, that my Lord must be forced to part with anything to answer his warrants; and that, therefore, I do believe the King had rather have a man that may be one of his vicious caball, than a sober man that will mind the publick, that so they may sit at cards and dispose of the revenue of the kingdom. This my Lord was moved at, and said he did not indeed know how to answer it, and bid me think of it; and so said he himself would also do. He do mightily cry out of the bad management of our monies, the King having had so much given him; and yet, when the Parliament do find that the King should have 900,000l. in his purse by the best account of issues they have yet seen, yet we should report in the Navy a debt due from the King of 900,000l.; which, I did confess, I doubted was true in the first, and knew to be true in the last, and did believe that there was some great miscarriages in it: which he owned to believe also, saying, that at this rate it is not in the power of the kingdom to make a war, nor answer the King’s wants. Thence away to the King’s playhouse, by agreement met Sir W. Pen, and saw “Love in a Maze” but a sorry play: only Lacy’s clowne’s part, which he did most admirably indeed; and I am glad to find the rogue at liberty again. Here was but little, and that ordinary, company. We sat at the upper bench next the boxes; and I find it do pretty well, and have the advantage of seeing and hearing the great people, which may be pleasant when there is good store. Now was only Prince Rupert and my Lord Lauderdale, and my Lord, the naming of whom puts me in mind of my seeing, at Sir Robert Viner’s, two or three great silver flagons, made with inscriptions as gifts of the King to such and such persons of quality as did stay in town the late great plague, for the keeping things in order in the town, which is a handsome thing. But here was neither Hart, Nell, nor Knipp; therefore, the play was not likely to please me. Thence Sir W. Pen and I in his coach, Tiburne way, into the Park, where a horrid dust, and number of coaches, without pleasure or order. That which we, and almost all went for, was to see my Lady Newcastle; which we could not, she being followed and crowded upon by coaches all the way she went, that nobody could come near her; only I could see she was in a large black coach, adorned with silver instead of gold, and so white curtains, and every thing black and white, and herself in her cap, but other parts I could not make. But that which I did see, and wonder at with reason, was to find Pegg Pen in a new coach, with only her husband’s pretty sister with her, both patched and very fine, and in much the finest coach in the park, and I think that ever I did see one or other, for neatness and richness in gold, and everything that is noble. My Lady Castlemayne, the King, my Lord St. Albans, nor Mr. Jermyn, have so neat a coach, that ever I saw. And, Lord! to have them have this, and nothing else that is correspondent, is to me one of the most ridiculous sights that ever I did see, though her present dress was well enough; but to live in the condition they do at home, and be abroad in this coach, astonishes me. When we had spent half an hour in the Park, we went out again, weary of the dust, and despairing of seeing my Lady Newcastle; and so back the same way, and to St. James’s, thinking to have met my Lady Newcastle before she got home, but we staying by the way to drink, she got home a little before us: so we lost our labours, and then home; where we find the two young ladies come home, and their patches off, I suppose Sir W. Pen do not allow of them in his sight, and going out of town to-night, though late, to Walthamstow. So to talk a little at Sir W. Batten’s, and then home to supper, where I find Mrs. Hewer and her son, who have been abroad with my wife in the Park, and so after supper to read and then to bed. Sir W. Pen did give me an account this afternoon of his design of buying Sir Robert Brooke’s fine house at Wansted; which I so wondered at, and did give him reasons against it, which he allowed of: and told me that he did intend to pull down the house and build a less, and that he should get 1500l. by the old house, and I know not what fooleries. But I will never believe he ever intended to buy it, for my part; though he troubled Mr. Gawden to go and look upon it, and advise him in it.

out of the stone a little milk

out of the sand a little ink

out of the parliament liberty
in a little box

out of the dust you and me
and all fooleries


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 1 May 1667.

Entangled life

Up, and Mr. Madden come to speak with me, whom my people not knowing have made to wait long without doors, which vexed me. Then comes Sir John Winter to discourse with me about the forest of Deane, and then about my Lord Treasurer, and asking me whether, as he had heard, I had not been cut for the stone, I took him to my closet, and there shewed it to him, of which he took the dimensions and had some discourse of it, and I believe will shew my Lord Treasurer it. Thence to the office, where we sat all the morning, but little to do, and then to the ’Change, where for certain I hear, and the News book declares, a peace between France and Portugal. Met here with Mr. Pierce, and he tells me the Duke of Cambridge is very ill and full of spots about his body, that Dr. Frazier knows not what to think of it. Then home and to dinner, and then to the office, where all the afternoon; we met about Sir W. Warren’s business and accounts, wherein I do rather oppose than forward him, but not in declared terms, for I will not be at, enmity with him, but I will not have him find any friendship so good as mine. By and by rose and by water to White Hall, and then called my wife at Unthanke’s. So home and to my chamber, to my accounts, and finished them to my heart’s wishes and admiration, they being grown very intricate, being let alone for two months, but I brought them together all naturally, within a few shillings, but to my sorrow the Poll money I paid this month and mourning have made me 80l. a worse man than at my last balance, so that I am worth now but 6700l., which is yet an infinite mercy to me, for which God make me thankful. So late to supper, with a glad heart for the evening of my accounts so well, and so to bed.

doors in the forest
took the dimensions of certain
spots where we met

so the heart’s wishes
grow intricate together
sorrow in balance with glad


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 30 April 1667.

Close

Up, being visited very early by Creed newly come from Hinchingbrooke, who went thither without my knowledge, and I believe only to save his being taxed by the Poll Bill. I did give him no very good countenance nor welcome, but took occasion to go forth and walked (he with me) to St. Dunstan’s, and thence I to Sir W. Coventry’s, where a good while with him, and I think he pretty kind, but that the nature of our present condition affords not matter for either of us to be pleased with any thing. We discoursed of Carcasse, whose Lord, he tells me, do make complaints that his clerk should be singled out, and my Lord Berkeley do take his part. So he advises we would sum up all we have against him and lay it before the Duke of York; he condemned my Lord Bruncker. Thence to Sir G. Carteret, and there talked a little while about office business, and thence by coach home, in several places paying my debts in order to my evening my accounts this month, and thence by and by to White Hall again to Sir G. Carteret to dinner, where very good company and discourse, and I think it my part to keep in there now more than ordinary because of the probability of my Lord’s coming soon home. Our Commissioners for the treaty set out this morning betimes down the river. Here I hear that the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York’s son, is very sick; and my Lord Treasurer very bad of the stone, and hath been so some days. After dinner Sir G. Carteret and I alone in his closet an hour or more talking of my Lord Sandwich’s coming home, which, the peace being likely to be made here, he expects, both for my Lord’s sake and his own (whose interest he wants) it will be best for him to be at home, where he will be well received by the King; he is sure of his service well accepted, though the business of Spain do fall by this peace. He tells me my Lord Arlington hath done like a gentleman by him in all things. He says, if my Lord were here, he were the fittest man to be Lord Treasurer of any man in England; and he thinks it might be compassed; for he confesses that the King’s matters do suffer through the inability of this man, who is likely to die, and he will propound him to the King. It will remove him from his place at sea, and the King will have a good place to bestow. He says to me, that he could wish, when my Lord comes, that he would think fit to forbear playing, as a thing below him, and which will lessen him, as it do my Lord St. Albans, in the King’s esteem: and as a great secret tells me that he hath made a match for my Lord Hinchingbroke to a daughter of my Lord Burlington’s, where there is a great alliance, 10,000l. portion; a civil family, and relation to my Lord Chancellor, whose son hath married one of the daughters; and that my Lord Chancellor do take it with very great kindness, so that he do hold himself obliged by it. My Lord Sandwich hath referred it to my Lord Crew, Sir G. Carteret, and Mr. Montagu, to end it. My Lord Hinchingbroke and the lady know nothing yet of it. It will, I think, be very happy. Very glad of this discourse, I away mightily pleased with the confidence I have in this family, and so away, took up my wife, who was at her mother’s, and so home, where I settled to my chamber about my accounts, both Tangier and private, and up at it till twelve at night, with good success, when news is brought me that there is a great fire in Southwarke: so we up to the leads, and then I and the boy down to the end of our lane, and there saw it, it seeming pretty great, but nothing to the fire of London, that it made me think little of it. We could at that distance see an engine play — that is, the water go out, it being moonlight. By and by, it begun to slacken, and then I home and to bed.

out on the river
someone talking

says the fittest of any
might be as likely to die

at the end of our lane
the moon


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 29 April 1667.

Under/standing

(Lord’s day). Lay long, my pain in my back being still great, though not so great as it was. However, up and to church, where a lazy sermon, and then home and to dinner, my wife and I alone and Barker. After dinner, by water — the day being mighty pleasant, and the tide serving finely, I up (reading in Boyle’s book of colours), as high as Barne Elmes, and there took one turn alone, and then back to Putney Church, where I saw the girls of the schools, few of which pretty; and there I come into a pew, and met with little James Pierce, which I was much pleased at, the little rogue being very glad to see me: his master, Reader to the Church. Here was a good sermon and much company, but I sleepy, and a little out of order, for my hat falling down through a hole underneath the pulpit, which, however, after sermon, by a stick, and the helpe of the clerke, I got up again, and then walked out of the church with the boy, and then left him, promising him to get him a play another time. And so by water, the tide being with me again, down to Deptford, and there I walked down the Yard, Shish and Cox with me, and discoursed about cleaning of the wet docke, and heard, which I had before, how, when the docke was made, a ship of near 500 tons was there found; a ship supposed of Queene Elizabeth’s time, and well wrought, with a great deal of stoneshot in her, of eighteen inches diameter, which was shot then in use: and afterwards meeting with Captain Perriman and Mr. Castle at Half- way Tree, they tell me of stoneshot of thirty-six inches diameter, which they shot out of mortarpieces. Thence walked to Half-way Tree, and there stopt and talk with Mr. Castle and Captain Perriman, and so to Redriffe and took boat again, and so home, and there to write down my Journall, and so to supper and to read, and so to bed, mightily pleased with my reading of Boyle’s book of colours to-day, only troubled that some part of it, indeed the greatest part, I am not able to understand for want of study. My wife this night troubled at my leaving her alone so much and keeping her within doors, which indeed I do not well nor wisely in.

in my sleep I fall
through a hole
underneath the pulpit

and into a tree
which they took to be
a book of great art

I am not able to under-
stand or study
alone indoors


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 28 April 1667.

Disorderly

Up with much pain, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, W. Hewer with us. This noon I got in some coals at 23s. per chaldron, a good hearing, I thank God, having not been put to buy a coal all this dear time, that during this war poor people have been forced to give 45s. and 50s., and 3l.. In the afternoon (my wife and people busy these late days, and will be for some time, making of shirts and smocks) to the office, where late, and then home, after letters, and so to supper and to bed, with much pleasure of mind, after having dispatched business. This afternoon I spent some time walking with Mr. Moore, in the garden, among other things discoursing of my Lord Sandwich’s family, which he tells me is in a very bad condition, for want of money and management, my Lord’s charging them with bills, and nobody, nor any thing provided to answer them. He did discourse of his hopes of being supplied with 1900l. against a present bill from me, but I took no notice of it, nor will do it. It seems Mr. Sheply doubts his accounts are ill kept, and every thing else in the family out of order, which I am grieved to hear of.

morning is a poor shirt

I let it sing my sand body
into the present everything

out of order


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 27 April 1667.

(Re)turning

Up, and by coach with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall, and there saw the Duke of Albemarle, who is not well, and do grow crazy. Thence I to St. James’s, to meet Sir G. Carteret, and did, and Lord Berkely, to get them (as we would have done the Duke of Albemarle) to the meeting of the Lords of Appeale in the business of one of our prizes. With them to the meeting of the Guinny Company, and there staid, and went with Lord Berkely. While I was waiting for him in the Matted Gallery, a young man was most finely working in Indian inke the great picture of the King and Queen sitting, by Van Dyke; and did it very finely. Thence to Westminster Hall to hear our cause, but [it] did not come before them to-day, so went down and walked below in the Hall, and there met with Ned Pickering, who tells me the ill newes of his nephew Gilbert, who is turned a very rogue, and then I took a turn with Mr. Evelyn, with whom I walked two hours, till almost one of the clock: talking of the badness of the Government, where nothing but wickedness, and wicked men and women command the King: that it is not in his nature to gainsay any thing that relates to his pleasures; that much of it arises from the sickliness of our Ministers of State, who cannot be about him as the idle companions are, and therefore he gives way to the young rogues; and then, from the negligence of the Clergy, that a Bishop shall never be seen about him, as the King of France hath always: that the King would fain have some of the same gang to be Lord Treasurer, which would be yet worse, for now some delays are put to the getting gifts of the King, as that whore my Lady Byron, who had been, as he called it, the King’s seventeenth whore abroad, did not leave him till she had got him to give her an order for 4000l. worth of plate to be made for her; but by delays, thanks be to God! she died before she had it. He tells me mighty stories of the King of France, how great a prince he is. He hath made a code to shorten the law; he hath put out all the ancient commanders of castles that were become hereditary; he hath made all the fryers subject to the bishops, which before were only subject to Rome, and so were hardly the King’s subjects, and that none shall become ‘religieux’ but at such an age, which he thinks will in a few, years ruin the Pope, and bring France into a patriarchate. He confirmed to me the business of the want of paper at the Council-table the other day, which I have observed; Wooly being to have found it, and did, being called, tell the King to his face the reason of it; and Mr. Evelyn tells me several of the menial servants of the Court lacking bread, that have not received a farthing wages since the King’s coming in. He tells me the King of France hath his mistresses, but laughs at the foolery of our King, that makes his bastards princes, and loses his revenue upon them, and makes his mistresses his masters and the King of France did never grant Lavalliere any thing to bestow on others, and gives a little subsistence, but no more, to his bastards. He told me the whole story of Mrs. Stewart’s going away from Court, he knowing her well; and believes her, up to her leaving the Court, to be as virtuous as any woman in the world: and told me, from a Lord that she told it to but yesterday, with her own mouth, and a sober man, that when the Duke of Richmond did make love to her, she did ask the King, and he did the like also; and that the King did not deny it, and [she] told this Lord that she was come to that pass as to resolve to have married any gentleman of 1500l. a-year that would have had her in honour; for it was come to that pass, that she could not longer continue at Court without prostituting herself to the King, whom she had so long kept off, though he had liberty more than any other had, or he ought to have, as to dalliance. She told this Lord that she had reflected upon the occasion she had given the world to think her a bad woman, and that she had no way but to marry and leave the Court, rather in this way of discontent than otherwise, that the world might see that she sought not any thing but her honour; and that she will never come to live at Court more than when she comes to town to come to kiss the Queene her Mistress’s hand: and hopes, though she hath little reason to hope, she can please her Lord so as to reclaim him, that they may yet live comfortably in the country on his estate. She told this Lord that all the jewells she ever had given her at Court, or any other presents, more than the King’s allowance of 700l. per annum out of the Privypurse for her clothes, were, at her first coming the King did give her a necklace of pearl of about 1100l. and afterwards, about seven months since, when the King had hopes to have obtained some courtesy of her, the King did give her some jewells, I have forgot what, and I think a pair of pendants. The Duke of York, being once her Valentine, did give her a jewell of about 800l.; and my Lord Mandeville, her Valentine this year, a ring of about 300l.; and the King of France would have had her mother, who, he says, is one of the most cunning women in the world, to have let her stay in France, saying that he loved her not as a mistress, but as one that he could marry as well as any lady in France; and that, if she might stay, for the honour of his Court he would take care she should not repent. But her mother, by command of the Queen-mother, thought rather to bring her into England; and the King of France did give her a jewell: so that Mr. Evelyn believes she may be worth in jewells about 6000l., and that that is all that she hath in the world: and a worthy woman; and in this hath done as great an act of honour as ever was done by woman. That now the Countesse Castlemayne do carry all before her: and among other arguments to prove Mrs. Stewart to have been honest to the last, he says that the King’s keeping in still with my Lady Castlemayne do show it; for he never was known to keep two mistresses in his life, and would never have kept to her had he prevailed any thing with Mrs. Stewart. She is gone yesterday with her Lord to Cobham. He did tell me of the ridiculous humour of our King and Knights of the Garter the other day, who, whereas heretofore their robes were only to be worn during their ceremonies and service, these, as proud of their coats, did wear them all day till night, and then rode into the Parke with them on. Nay, and he tells me he did see my Lord Oxford and the Duke of Monmouth in a hackney-coach with two footmen in the Parke, with their robes on; which is a most scandalous thing, so as all gravity may be said to be lost among us. By and by we discoursed of Sir Thomas Clifford, whom I took for a very rich and learned man, and of the great family of that name. He tells me he is only a man of about seven-score pounds a-year, of little learning more than the law of a justice of peace, which he knows well: a parson’s son, got to be burgess in a little borough in the West, and here fell into the acquaintance of my Lord Arlington, whose creature he is, and never from him; a man of virtue, and comely, and good parts enough; and hath come into his place with a great grace, though with a great skip over the heads of a great many, as Chichly and Duncum, and some Lords that did expect it. By the way, he tells me, that of all the great men of England there is none that endeavours more to raise those that he takes into favour than my Lord Arlington; and that, on that score, he is much more to be made one’s patron than my Lord Chancellor, who never did, nor never will do, any thing, but for money! After having this long discourse we parted, about one of the clock, and so away by water home, calling upon Michell, whose wife and girle are pretty well, and I home to dinner, and after dinner with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York before council, where we all met at his closet and did the little business we had, and here he did tell us how the King of France is intent upon his design against Flanders, and hath drawn up a remonstrance of the cause of the war, and appointed the 20th of the next month for his rendezvous, and himself to prepare for the campaign the 30th, so that this, we are in hopes, will keep him in employment. Turenne is to be his general. Here was Carcasses business unexpectedly moved by him, but what was done therein appears in my account of his case in writing by itself. Certain newes of the Dutch being abroad on our coast with twenty-four great ships. This done Sir W. Batten and I back again to London, and in the way met my Lady Newcastle going with her coaches and footmen all in velvet: herself, whom I never saw before, as I have heard her often described, for all the town-talk is now-a-days of her extravagancies, with her velvetcap, her hair about her ears; many black patches, because of pimples about her mouth; naked-necked, without any thing about it, and a black just-au-corps. She seemed to me a very comely woman: but I hope to see more of her on Mayday. My mind is mightily of late upon a coach. At home, to the office, where late spending all the evening upon entering in long hand our late passages with Carcasse for memory sake, and so home in great pain in my back by the uneasiness of Sir W. Batten’s coach driving hard this afternoon over the stones to prevent coming too late. So at night to supper in great pain, and to bed, where lay in great pain, not able to turn myself all night.

we grow crazy
waiting for it

I turn and turn with the clock
nature is sick

and therefore gives it to us
her bastards

who believe in a Lord
with her mouth

who have little
reason to hope

who could repent still
or so gravity tells me

I fell into my creature parts
a raw remonstrance

of the war writing itself
in our many-necked Mayday

mind driving hard over the stones
I turn all night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 26 April 1667.

Animal wrongs

Received a writ from the Exchequer this morning of distrain for 70,000l., which troubled me, though it be but, matter of form. To the office, where sat all the morning. At noon my wife being to Unthanke’s christening, I to Sir W. Batten’s to dinner, where merry, and the rather because we are like to come to some good end in another of our prizes. Thence by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, and there being come too soon to the New Exchange, but did nothing, and back again, and there found my Lord Bruncker and T. Harvy, and walked in a room very merrily discoursing. By and by comes my Lord Ashly and tells us my Lord Treasurer is ill and cannot speak with us now. Thence away, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Lewes, who come hither after us, and Mr. Gawden in the last man’s coach. Set me down by the Poultry, and I to Sir Robert Viner’s, and there had my account stated and took it home to review. So home to the office, and there late writing out something, having been a little at Sir W. Batten’s to talk, and there vexed to see them give order for Hogg’s further abroad, and so home and to bed.

though it be but
matter of form

Christ cannot speak
with us now

after the poultry
and the late hogs


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 25 April 1667.

Provisions

Up, and with W. Pen to St. James’s, and there the Duke of York was preparing to go to some further ceremonies about the Garter, that he could give us no audience. Thence to Westminster Hall, the first day of the Term, and there joyed Mrs. Michell, who is mightily pleased with my wife’s work yesterday, and so away to my barber’s about my periwigg, and then to the Exchange, there to meet Fenn about some money to be borrowed of the office of the Ordnance to answer a great pinch. So home to dinner, and in the afternoon met by agreement (being put on it by Harry Bruncker’s frighting us into a despatch of Carcasse’s business) Bruncker, T. Harvey, J. Minnes, W. Batten, and I (Sir W. Pen keeping out of the way still), where a great many high words from Bruncker, and as many from me and others to him, and to better purpose, for I think we have fortified ourselves to overthrow his man Carcasse, and to do no honour to him. We rose with little done but great heat, not to be reconciled I doubt, and I care not, for I will be on the right side, and that shall keep me. Thence by coach to Sir John Duncomb’s lodging in the Pell Mell, in order to the money spoken of in the morning; and there awhile sat and discoursed: and I find him that he is a very proper man for business, being very resolute and proud, and industrious. He told me what reformation they had made in the office of the Ordnance, taking away Legg’s fees: and have got an order that no Treasurer after him shall ever sit at the Board; and it is a good one: that no master of the Ordnance here shall ever sell a place. He tells me they have not paid any increase of price for any thing during this war, but in most have paid less; and at this day have greater stores than they know where to lay, if there should be peace, and than ever was any time this war. That they pay every man in course, and have notice of the disposal of every farthing. Every man that they owe money to has his share of every sum they receive; never borrowed all this war but 30,000l. by the King’s express command, but do usually stay till their assignments become payable in their own course, which is the whole mystery, that they have had assignments for a fifth part of whatever was assigned to the Navy. They have power of putting out and in of all officers; are going upon a building that will cost them 12,000l.; that they out of their stock of tallies have been forced to help the Treasurer of the Navy at this great pinch. Then to talk of newes: that he thinks the want of money hath undone the King, for the Parliament will never give the King more money without calling all people to account, nor, as he believes, will ever make war again, but they will manage it themselves: unless, which I proposed, he would visibly become a severer inspector into his own business and accounts, and that would gain upon the Parliament yet: which he confesses and confirms as the only lift to set him upon his legs, but says that it is not in his nature ever to do. He says that he believes but four men (such as he could name) would do the business of both offices, his and ours, and if ever the war were to be again it should be so, he believes. He told me to my face that I was a very good clerk, and did understand the business and do it very well, and that he would never desire a better. He do believe that the Parliament, if ever they meet, will offer some alterations to the King, and will turn some of us out, and I protest I think he is in the right that either they or the King will be advised to some regulations, and therefore I ought to beware, as it is easy for me to keep myself up if I will. He thinks that much of our misfortune hath been for want of an active Lord Treasurer, and that such a man as Sir W. Coventry would do the business thoroughly. This talk being over, comes his boy and tells us W. Coventry is come in, and so he and I to him, and there told the difficulty of getting this money, and they did play hard upon Sir G. Carteret as a man moped and stunned, not knowing which way to turn himself. Sir W. Coventry cried that he was disheartened, and I do think that there is much in it, but Sir J. Duncomb do charge him with mighty neglect in the pursuing of his business, and that he do not look after it himself, but leaves it to Fenn, so that I do perceive that they are resolved to scheme at bringing the business into a better way of execution, and I think it needs, that is the truth of it. So I away to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings about this money, and contrary to expectation I find he hath prevailed with Legg on his own bond to lend him 2000l., which I am glad of, but, poor man, he little sees what observations people do make upon his management, and he is not a man fit to be told what one hears. Thence by water at 10 at night from Westminster Bridge, having kissed little Frank, and so to the Old Swan, and walked home by moonshine, and there to my chamber a while, and supper and to bed.

an inch-high rose
shall keep me a while

no treasure
is greater than peace

no borrowed mystery
will ever outdo

this old hard egg
of a moon


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 24 April 1667.