Apart

To the office, and after dinner by water to White Hall, where I found the King gone this morning by 5 of the clock to see a Dutch pleasure-boat below bridge, where he dines, and my Lord with him. The King do tire all his people that are about him with early rising since he came.
To the office, all the afternoon I staid there, and in the evening went to Westminster Hall, where I staid at Mrs. Michell’s, and with her and her husband sent for some drink, and drank with them. By the same token she and Mrs. Murford and another old woman of the Hall were going a gossiping tonight. From thence to my Lord’s, where I found him within, and he did give me direction about his business in his absence, he intending to go into the country to-morrow morning. Here I lay all night in the old chamber which I had now given up to W. Howe, with whom I did intend to lie, but he and I fell to play with one another, so that I made him to go lie with Mr. Sheply. So I lay alone all night.

I go by the clock below,
rising in the west.
I drink all night.
Within me, a morrow
given up to another.
I lie alone all night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 15 August 1660.

Inheritance

To the Privy Seal, and thence to my Lord’s, where Mr. Pim, the tailor, and I agreed upon making me a velvet coat. From thence to the Privy Seal again, where Sir Samuel Morland came in with a Baronet’s grant to pass, which the King had given him to make money of. Here he staid with me a great while; and told me the whole manner of his serving the King in the time of the Protector; and how Thurloe’s bad usage made him to do it; how he discovered Sir R. Willis, and how he hath sunk his fortune for the King; and that now the King hath given him a pension of 500l. per annum out of the Post Office for life, and the benefit of two Baronets; all which do make me begin to think that he is not so much a fool as I took him to be.
Home by water to the Tower, where my father, Mr. Fairbrother, and Cooke dined with me. After dinner in comes young Captain Cuttance of the Speedwell, who is sent up for the gratuity given the seamen that brought the King over. He brought me a firkin of butter for my wife, which is very welcome. My father, after dinner, takes leave, after I had given him 40s. for the last half year for my brother John at Cambridge.
I did also make even with Mr. Fairbrother for my degree of Master of Arts, which cost me about 9l. 16s. To White Hall, and my wife with me by water, where at the Privy Seal and elsewhere all the afternoon. At night home with her by water, where I made good sport with having the girl and the boy to comb my head, before I went to bed, in the kitchen.

Velvet land, given to make money:
the hole bad usage made of it,
the well, the firkin.
I take half
for a bridge to elsewhere,
water to comb my head
in the kitchen.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 14 August 1660.

Open Sea

A sitting day at our office. After dinner to Whitehall; to the Privy Seal, whither my father came to me, and staid talking with me a great while, telling me that he had propounded Mr. John Pickering for Sir Thomas Honywood’s daughter, which I think he do not deserve for his own merit: I know not what he may do for his estate.
My father and Creed and I to the old Rhenish Winehouse, and talked and drank till night. Then my father home, and I to my Lord’s; where he told me that he would suddenly go into the country, and so did commend the business of his sea commission to me in his absence. After that home by coach, and took my 100l. that I had formerly left at Mr. Rawlinson’s, home with me, which is the first that ever I was master of at once. To prayers, and to bed.

A sitting day
at the sea,
that sudden country.

The business
of sea is absence,
home to prayers.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 13 August 1660.

Khayyamesque

Lord’s day. To my Lord, and with him to White Hall Chappell, where Mr. Calamy preached, and made a good sermon upon these words “To whom much is given, of him much is required.” He was very officious with his three reverences to the King, as others do. After sermon a brave anthem of Captain Cooke’s, which he himself sung, and the King was well pleased with it. My Lord dined at my Lord Chamberlain’s, and I at his house with Mr. Sheply. After dinner I did give Mr. Donne; who is going to sea, the key of my cabin and direction for the putting up of my things. After, that I went to walk, and meeting Mrs. Lane of Westminster Hall, I took her to my Lord’s, and did give her a bottle of wine in the garden, where Mr. Fairbrother, of Cambridge, did come and found us, and drank with us.
After that I took her to my house, where I was exceeding free in dallying with her, and she not unfree to take it.
At night home and called at my father’s, where I found Mr. Fairbrother, but I did not stay but went homewards and called in at Mr. Rawlinson’s, whither my uncle Wight was coming and did come, but was exceeding angry (he being a little fuddled, and I think it was that I should see him in that case) as I never saw him in my life, which I was somewhat troubled at. Home and to bed.

Lord’s day. My Lord preached:
“To whom much is given, of him
much is required.”

I took her to my Lord’s wine garden
where I was exceeding free with her
and she free as me.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 12 August 1660.

Consumer

I rose to-day without any pain, which makes me think that my pain yesterday was nothing but from my drinking too much the day before.
To my Lord this morning, who did give me order to get some things ready against the afternoon for the Admiralty where he would meet. To the Privy Seal, and from thence going to my own house in Axeyard, I went in to Mrs. Crisp’s, where I met with Mr. Hartlibb; for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign for a ship for his brother and sister, who went away hence this day to Gravesend, and from thence to Holland. I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade. Hence to my Lord’s to dinner with Mr. Sheply, so to the Privy Seal; and at night home, and then sent for the barber, and was trimmed in the kitchen, the first time that ever I was so. I was vexed this night that W. Hewer was out of doors till ten at night but was pretty well satisfied again when my wife told me that he wept because I was angry, though indeed he did give me a good reason for his being out; but I thought it a good occasion to let him know that I do expect his being at home. So to bed.

I make nothing
but order, get things
ready against the ivy,
a grave jealous of the kitchen.
I was so satisfied, I wept.
Give me a good
reason for being.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 11 August 1660.

Crow Mind

I had a great deal of pain all night, and a great looseness upon me so that I could not sleep. In the morning I rose with much pain and to the office. I went and dined at home, and after dinner with great pain in my back I went by water to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and that done with Mr. Moore and Creed to Hide Park by coach, and saw a fine foot-race three times round the Park between an Irishman and Crow, that was once my Lord Claypoole’s footman. (By the way I cannot forget that my Lord Claypoole did the other day make enquiry of Mrs. Hunt, concerning my House in Axe-yard, and did set her on work to get it of me for him, which methinks is a very great change.) Crow beat the other by above two miles.
Returned from Hide Park, I went to my Lord’s, and took Will (who waited for me there) by coach and went home, taking my lute home with me. It had been all this while since I came from sea at my Lord’s for him to play on. To bed in some pain still.
For this month or two it is not imaginable how busy my head has been, so that I have neglected to write letters to my uncle Robert in answer to many of his, and to other friends, nor indeed have I done anything as to my own family, and especially this month my waiting at the Privy Seal makes me much more unable to think of anything, because of my constant attendance there after I have done at the Navy Office. But blessed be God for my good chance of the Privy Seal, where I get every day I believe about 3l.. This place I got by chance, and my Lord did give it me by chance, neither he nor I thinking it to be of the worth that he and I find it to be.
Never since I was a man in the world was I ever so great a stranger to public affairs as now I am, having not read a news-book or anything like it, or enquiring after any news, or what the Parliament do, or in any wise how things go. Many people look after my house in Axe-yard to hire it, so that I am troubled with them, and I have a mind to get the money to buy goods for my house at the Navy Office, and yet I am loth to put it off because that Mr. Man bids me 1000l. for my office, which is so great a sum that I am loth to settle myself at my new house, lest I should take Mr. Man’s offer in case I found my Lord willing to it.

All night, no sleep:
a race between man and crow.
Crow beat me
and went home to play.
How busy a dance
I find it to be!
A great stranger is my mind.
I am loath to settle in it.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 10 August 1660.

Torn

We met at the office, and after that to dinner at home, and from thence with my wife by water to Catan Sterpin, with whom and her mistress Pye we sat discoursing of Kate’s marriage to Mons. Petit, her mistress and I giving the best advice we could for her to suspend her marriage till Mons. Petit had got some place that may be able to maintain her, and not for him to live upon the portion that she shall bring him. From thence to Mr. Butler’s to see his daughters, the first time that ever we made a visit to them. We found them very pretty, and Coll. Dillon there, a very merry and witty companion, but methinks they live in a gaudy but very poor condition. From thence, my wife and I intending to see Mrs. Blackburne, who had been a day or two again to see my wife, but my wife was not in condition to be seen, but she not being at home my wife went to her mother’s and I to the Privy Seal. At night from the Privy Seal, Mr. Woodson and Mr. Jennings and I to the Sun Tavern till it was late, and from thence to my Lord’s, where my wife was come from Mrs. Blackburne’s to me, and after I had done some business with my Lord, she and I went to Mrs. Hunt’s, who would needs have us to lie at her house to-night, she being with my wife so late at my Lord’s with us, and would not let us go home to-night.
We lay there all night very pleasantly and at ease, I taking my pleasure with my wife in the morning, being the first time after her being eased of her pain.

From wife to mistress
I live on wit, gaudy but poor.
Intending to see my wife, I was not I
but a moth to the sun:
I burn, taking my pleasure
in the morning pain.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 August 1660.

Artist

This morning to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and took Mr. Moore and myself and dined at my Lord’s with Mr. Sheply. While I was at dinner in come Sam. Hartlibb and his brother-in-law, now knighted by the King, to request my promise of a ship for them to Holland, which I had promised to get for them. After dinner to the Privy Seal all the afternoon. At night, meeting Sam. Hartlibb, he took me by coach to Kensington, to my Lord of Holland’s; I staid in the coach while he went in about his business. He staying long I left the coach and walked back again before on foot (a very pleasant walk) to Kensington, where I drank and staid very long waiting for him. At last he came, and after drinking at the inn we went towards Westminster.
Here I endeavoured to have looked out Jane that formerly lived at Dr. Williams’ at Cambridge, whom I had long thought to live at present here, but I found myself in an error, meeting one in the place where I expected to have found her, but she proved not she though very like her.
We went to the Bullhead, where he and I sat and drank till 11 at night, and so home on foot. Found my wife pretty well again, and so to bed.

This morning too was art,
a ship for a seal.
I walked back to where
I had long thought to live:
in error, like the bull
at home on foot.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 7 August 1660.

Plea

This morning at the office, and, that being done, home to dinner all alone, my wife being ill in pain a-bed, which I was troubled at, and not a little impatient. After dinner to Whitehall at the Privy Seal all the afternoon, and at night with Mr. Man to Mr. Rawlinson’s in Fenchurch Street, where we staid till eleven o’clock at night. So home and to bed, my wife being all this day in great pain.
This night Mr. Man offered me 1000l. for my office of Clerk of the Acts, which made my mouth water; but yet I dare not take it till I speak with my Lord to have his consent.

Ill
in pain: im-
patient.
All
night and
all this day in
great pain.

Off
me.
My mouth dare
not speak
my consent.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 6 August 1660.

Plaint

Lord’s day. My wife being much in pain, I went this morning to Dr. Williams (who had cured her once before of this business), in Holborn, and he did give me an ointment which I sent home by my boy, and a plaster which I took with me to Westminster (having called and seen my mother in the morning as I went to the doctor), where I dined with Mr. Sheply (my Lord dining at Kensington).
After dinner to St. Margaret’s, where the first time I ever heard Common Prayer in that Church. I sat with Mr. Hill in his pew; Mr. Hill that married in Axe Yard and that was aboard us in the Hope. Church done I went and Mr. Sheply to see W. Howe at Mr. Pierces, where I staid singing of songs and psalms an hour or two, and were very pleasant with Mrs. Pierce and him. Thence to my Lord’s, where I staid and talked and drank with Mr. Sheply. After that to Westminster stairs, where I saw a fray between Mynheer Clinke, a Dutchman, that was at Hartlibb’s wedding, and a waterman, which made good sport. After that I got a Gravesend boat, that was come up to fetch some reed on this side the bridge, and got them to carry me to the bridge, and so home, where I found my wife.
After prayers I to bed to her, she having had a very bad night of it. This morning before I was up Will came home pretty well again, he having been only weary with riding, which he is not used to.

My pain, give me
an ointment, a plaster.
My mother.
The common axe
pierces, singing
between wedding and grave.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 August 1660.