Elder care

Sam Pepys and me

The Comptroller came this morning to get me to go see a house or two near our office, which he would take for himself or Mr. Turner, and then he would have me have Mr. Turner’s lodgings and himself mine and Mr. Davis’s. But the houses did not like us, and so that design at present is stopped.
Then he and I by water to the bridge, and then walked over the Bank-side till we came to the Temple, and so I went over and to my father’s, where I met with my cozen J. Holcroft, and took him and my father and my brother Tom to the Bear tavern and gave them wine, my cozen being to go into the country again to-morrow.
From thence to my Lord Crew’s to dinner with him, and had very good discourse about having of young noblemen and gentlemen to think of going to sea, as being as honourable service as the land war. And among other things he told us how, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, one young nobleman would wait with a trencher at the back of another till he came to age himself. And witnessed in my young Lord of Kent, that then was, who waited upon my Lord Bedford at table, when a letter came to my Lord Bedford that the Earldom of Kent was fallen to his servant, the young Lord; and so he rose from table, and made him sit down in his place, and took a lower for himself, for so he was by place to sit. From thence to the Theatre and saw “Harry the 4th,” a good play. That done I went over the water and walked over the fields to Southwark, and so home and to my lute. At night to bed.

I would turn like a bear
into the country

of old age
witnessed in you

who wait upon
a fallen rose

as I go over the fields
to my bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 4 June 1661.

Attrition

Sam Pepys and me

To the Wardrobe, where discoursing with my Lord, he did instruct me as to the business of the Wardrobe, in case, in his absence, Mr. Townsend should die, and told me that he do intend to joyne me and Mr. Moore with him as to the business, now he is going to sea, and spoke to me many other things, as to one that he do put the greatest confidence in, of which I am proud. Here I had a good occasion to tell him (what I have had long in my mind) that, since it has pleased God to bless me with something, I am desirous to lay out something for my father, and so have pitched upon Mr. Young’s place in the Wardrobe, which I desired he would give order in his absence, if the place should fall that I might have the refusal. Which my Lord did freely promise me, at which I was very glad, he saying that he would do that at the least. So I saw my Lord into the barge going to Whitehall, and I and Mr. Creed home to my house, whither my father and my cozen Scott came to dine with me, and so we dined together very well, and before we had done in comes my father Bowyer and my mother and four daughters, and a young gentleman and his sister, their friends, and there staid all the afternoon, which cost me great store of wine, and were very merry.
By and by I am called to the office, and there staid a little. So home again, and took Mr. Creed and left them, and so he and I to the Towre, to speak for some ammunition for ships for my Lord; and so he and I, with much pleasure, walked quite round the Towre, which I never did before. So home, and after a walk with my wife upon the leads, I and she went to bed.
This morning I and Dr. Peirce went over to the Beare at the Bridge foot, thinking to have met my Lord Hinchinbroke and his brother setting forth for France; but they being not come we went over to the Wardrobe, and there found that my Lord Abbot Montagu being not at Paris, my Lord hath a mind to have them stay a little longer before they go.

in the business of absence
more is less

the war came and left
on a lead foot


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 3 June 1661.

Timeless

Sam Pepys and me

(Whitsunday). The barber having done with me, I went to church, and there heard a good sermon of Mr. Mills, fit for the day. Then home to dinner, and then to church again, and going home I found Greatorex (whom I expected today at dinner) come to see me, and so he and I in my chamber drinking of wine and eating of anchovies an hour or two, discoursing of many things in mathematics, and among others he showed me how it comes to pass the strength that levers have, and he showed me that what is got as to matter of strength is lost by them as to matter of time.
It rained very hard, as it hath done of late so much that we begin to doubt a famine, and so he was forced to stay longer than I desired.
At night after prayers to bed.

one good day
in the wine of an hour

show me how
it comes to pass

a matter of lost time
that we mine for prayers


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 June 1661.

Sun-drunk

Sam Pepys and me

Having taken our leaves of Sir W. Batten and my Lady, who are gone this morning to keep their Whitsuntide, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Gauden by water to Woolwich, and there went from ship to ship to give order for and take notice of their forwardness to go forth, and then to Deptford and did the like, having dined at Woolwich with Captain Poole at the tavern there.
From Deptford we walked to Redriffe, calling at the half-way house, and there come into a room where there was infinite of new cakes placed that are made against Whitsuntide, and there we were very merry.
By water home, and there did businesses of the office. Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creed’s of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed. Having wrote letters into the country and read some things I went to bed.

leaves in the sun
give and take

like a tavern
or a half-way house

where the infinite gains
another creed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 June 1661.

Next-to-last supper

Sam Pepys and me

I went to my father’s thinking to have met with my cozen John Holcroft, but he came not, but to my great grief I found my father and mother in a great deal of discontent one with another, and indeed my mother is grown now so pettish that I know not how my father is able to bear with it. I did talk to her so as did not indeed become me, but I could not help it, she being so unsufferably foolish and simple, so that my father, poor man, is become a very unhappy man.
There I dined, and so home and to the office all the afternoon till 9 at night, and then home and to supper and to bed.
Great talk now how the Parliament intend to make a collection of free gifts to the King through the Kingdom; but I think it will not come to much.

my great grief
is an insufferably simple supper

who am I if the kingdom
will not come


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 31 May 1661.

Kitchen confidential

Sam Pepys and me

(King’s birth-day). Rose early and having made myself fine, and put six spoons and a porringer of silver in my pocket to give away to-day, Sir W. Pen and I took coach, and (the weather and ways being foul) went to Walthamstowe; and being come there heard Mr. Radcliffe, my former school fellow at Paul’s (who is yet a mere boy), preach upon “Nay, let him take all, since my Lord the King is returned,” &c. He reads all, and his sermon very simple, but I looked for new matter. Back to dinner to Sir William Batten’s; and then, after a walk in the fine gardens, we went to Mrs. Browne’s, where Sir W. Pen and I were godfathers, and Mrs. Jordan and Shipman godmothers to her boy. And there, before and after the christening; we were with the woman above in her chamber; but whether we carried ourselves well or ill, I know not; but I was directed by young Mrs. Batten. One passage of a lady that eat wafers with her dog did a little displease me. I did give the midwife 10s. and the nurse 5s. and the maid of the house 2s. But for as much I expected to give the name to the child, but did not (it being called John), I forbore then to give my plate till another time after a little more advice.
All being done, we went to Mrs. Shipman’s, who is a great butter-woman, and I did see there the most of milk and cream, and the cleanest that ever I saw in my life. After we had filled our bellies with cream, we took our leaves and away. In our way, we had great sport to try who should drive fastest, Sir W. Batten’s coach, or Sir W. Pen’s chariott, they having four, and we two horses, and we beat them. But it cost me the spoiling of my clothes and velvet coat with dirt.
Being come home I to bed, and give my breeches to be dried by the fire against to-morrow.

six spoons in my pocket
for you my plate

a great butter-woman
spoiling my breeches


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 29 May 1661.

Owl man

Sam Pepys and me

This morning to the Wardrobe, and thence to a little alehouse hard by, to drink with John Bowles, who is now going to Hinchinbroke this day.
Thence with Mr. Shepley to the Exchange about business, and there, by Mr. Rawlinson’s favour, got into a balcone over against the Exchange; and there saw the hangman burn, by vote of Parliament, two old acts, the one for constituting us a Commonwealth, and the others I have forgot.
Which still do make me think of the greatness of this late turn, and what people will do tomorrow against what they all, through profit or fear, did promise and practise this day.
Then to the Mitre with Mr. Shepley, and there dined with D. Rawlinson and some friends of his very well. So home, and then to Cheapside about buying a piece of plate to give away to-morrow to Mrs. Browne’s child. So to the Star in Cheapside, where I left Mr. Moore telling 5l. out for me, who I found in a great strait for my coming back again, and so he went his way at my coming.
Then home, where Mr. Cook I met and he paid me 30s., an old debt of his to me. So to Sir W. Pen’s, and there sat alone with him till ten at night in talk with great content, he telling me things and persons that I did not understand in the late times, and so I home to bed. My cozen John Holcroft (whom I have not seen many years) this morning came to see me.

an owl who
is still all day who
is alone at night telling me who
I am


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 28 May 1661.

Ab ovo

Sam Pepys and me

To the Wardrobe, and from thence with my Lords Sandwich and Hinchinbroke to the Lords’ House by boat at Westminster, and there I left them. Then to the lobby, and after waiting for Sir G. Downing’s coming out, to speak with him about the giving me up of my bond for my honesty when I was his clerk, but to no purpose, I went to Clerke’s at the Legg, and there I found both Mr. Pierces, Mr. Rolt, formerly too great a man to meet upon such even terms, and there we dined very merry, there coming to us Captain Ferrers, this being the first day of his going abroad since his leap a week ago, which I was greatly glad to see. By water to the office, and there sat late, Sir George Carteret coming in, who among other things did inquire into the naming of the maisters for this fleet, and was very angry that they were named as they are, and above all to see the maister of the Adventure (for whom there is some kind of difference between Sir W. Pen and me) turned out, who has been in her last.
The office done, I went with the Comptroller to the Coffee house, and there we discoursed of this, and I seem to be fond of him, and indeed I find I must carry fair with all as far as I see it safe, but I have got of him leave to have a little room from his lodgings to my house, of which I am very glad, besides I do open him a way to get lodgings himself in the office, of which I should be very glad.
Home and to bed.

coming out of my egg
I found the first day

going into another
cursed little room


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 27 May 1661.

Triggered

Sam Pepys and me

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed. To church and heard a good sermon at our own church, where I have not been a great many weeks. Dined with my wife alone at home pleasing myself in that my house do begin to look as if at last it would be in good order.
This day the Parliament received the communion of Dr. Gunning at St. Margaret’s, Westminster.
In the afternoon both the Sir Williams came to church, where we had a dull stranger. After church home, and so to the Mitre, where I found Dr. Burnett, the first time that ever I met him to drink with him, and my uncle Wight and there we sat and drank a great deal, and so I to Sir W. Batten’s, where I have on purpose made myself a great stranger, only to get a high opinion a little more of myself in them. Here I heard how Mrs. Browne, Sir W. Batten’s sister, is brought to bed, and I to be one of the godfathers, which I could not nor did deny. Which, however, did trouble me very much to be at charge to no purpose, so that I could not sleep hardly all night, but in the morning I bethought myself, and I think it is very well I should do it.
Sir W. Batten told me how Mr. Prin (among the two or three that did refuse to-day to receive the sacrament upon their knees) was offered by a mistake the drink afterwards, which he did receive, being denied the drink by Dr. Gunning, unless he would take it on his knees; and after that by another the bread was brought him, and he did take it sitting, which is thought very preposterous. Home and to bed.

alone at home
I begin to look at a gun

in anger I have made
myself a stranger

high on god I could
not sleep or think

how to receive
the sacrament of the gun


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 26 May 1661.

Close reading

Sam Pepys and me

All the morning at home about business. At noon to the Temple, where I staid and looked over a book or two at Playford’s, and then to the Theatre, where I saw a piece of “The Silent Woman,” which pleased me. So homewards, and in my way bought “The Bondman” in Paul’s Churchyard, and so home, where I found all clean, and the hearth and range, as it is now enlarged, set up, which pleases me very much.

all morning in a book
and then to my yard

where I found the earth
enlarged


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 25 May 1661.