Home is the sailor

Troubled with the absence of my wife. This morning I went (after the Comptroller and I had sat an hour at the office) to Whitehall to dine with my Lady, and after dinner to the Privy Seal and sealed abundance of pardons and little else. From thence to the Exchequer and did give my mother Bowyer a visit and her daughters, the first time that I have seen them since I went last to sea. From thence up with J. Spicer to his office and took 100l., and by coach with it as far as my father’s, where I called to see them, and my father did offer me six pieces of gold, in lieu of six pounds that he borrowed of me the other day, but it went against me to take it of him and therefore did not, though I was afterwards a little troubled that I did not.
Thence home, and took out this 100l. and sealed it up with the other last night, it being the first 200l. that ever I saw together of my own in my life. For which God be praised.
So to my Lady Batten, and sat an hour or two, and talked with her daughter and people in the absence of her father and mother and my wife to pass away the time. After that home and to bed, reading myself asleep, while the wench sat mending my breeches by my bedside.

I had at sea
an abundance of sea,
spice and gold
in lieu of god,
the absence of time.
At home, I sleep,
the wench mending my breeches
by my bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 December 1660.

Wrecked

My wife and I up very early this day, and though the weather was very bad and the wind high, yet my Lady Batten and her maid and we two did go by our barge to Woolwich (my Lady being very fearfull) where we found both Sir Williams and much other company, expecting the weather to be better, that they might go about weighing up the Assurance, which lies there (poor ship, that I have been twice merry in, in Captn. Holland’s time,) under water, only the upper deck may be seen and the masts. Captain Stoakes is very melancholy, and being in search for some clothes and money of his, which he says he hath lost out of his cabin. I did the first office of a justice of Peace to examine a seaman thereupon, but could find no reason to commit him.
This last tide the Kingsale was also run aboard and lost her mainmast, by another ship, which makes us think it ominous to the Guiny voyage, to have two of her ships spoilt before they go out.
After dinner, my Lady being very fearfull she staid and kept my wife there, and I and another gentleman, a friend of Sir W. Pen’s, went back in the barge, very merry by the way, as far as Whitehall in her. To the Privy Seal, where I signed many pardons and some few things else. From thence Mr. Moore and I into London to a tavern near my house, and there we drank and discoursed of ways how to put out a little money to the best advantage, and at present he has persuaded me to put out 250l. for 50l. per annum for eight years, and I think I shall do it.
Thence home, where I found the wench washing, and I up to my study, and there did make up an even 100l., and sealed it to lie by. After that to bed.

I found other weather—
poor ship that I have been—
under water.
In search of peace
I stayed there and drank
in the sea.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 11 December 1660.

Ovine

Up exceedingly early to go to the Comptroller, but he not being up and it being a very fine, bright, moonshine morning I went and walked all alone twenty turns in Cornhill, from Gracious Street corner to the Stockes and back again, from 6 o’clock till past 7, so long that I was weary, and going to the Comptroller’s thinking to find him ready, I found him gone, at which I was troubled, and being weary went home, and from thence with my wife by water to Westminster, and put her to my father Bowyer’s (they being newly come out of the country), but I could not stay there, but left her there. I to the Hall and there met with Col. Slingsby. So hearing that the Duke of York is gone down this morning, to see the ship sunk yesterday at Woolwich, he and I returned by his coach to the office, and after that to dinner. After dinner he came to me again and sat with me at my house, and among other discourse he told me that it is expected that the Duke will marry the Lord Chancellor’s daughter at last which is likely to be the ruin of Mr. Davis and my Lord Barkley, who have carried themselves so high against the Chancellor; Sir Chas. Barkley swearing that he and others had lain with her often, which all believe to be a lie.
He and I in the evening to the Coffee House in Cornhill, the first time that ever I was there, and I found much pleasure in it, through the diversity of company and discourse.
Home and found my wife at my Lady Batten’s, and have made a bargain to go see the ship sunk at Woolwich, where both the Sir Williams are still since yesterday, and I do resolve to go along with them. From thence home and up to bed, having first been into my study, and to ease my mind did go to cast up how my cash stands, and I do find as near as I can that I am worth in money clear 240l., for which God be praised.
This afternoon there was a couple of men with me with a book in each of their hands, demanding money for pollmoney, and I overlooked the book and saw myself set down Samuel Pepys, gent. 10s. for himself and for his servants 2s., which I did presently pay without any dispute, but I fear I have not escaped so, and therefore I have long ago laid by 10l. for them, but I think I am not bound to discover myself.

We walk till weary, all in wool,
to dinner after dinner,
and in the evening go see the ship
sunk in the clear afternoon,
money for money
and self for escaped self.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 December 1660.

When the wind died

(Lord’s day). Being called up early by Sir W. Batten I rose and went to his house and he told me the ill news that he had this morning from Woolwich, that the Assurance (formerly Captain Holland’s ship, and now Captain Stoakes’s, designed for Guiny and manned and victualled), was by a gust of wind sunk down to the bottom. Twenty men drowned. Sir Williams both went by barge thither to see how things are, and I am sent to the Duke of York to tell him, and by boat with some other company going to Whitehall from the Old Swan. I went to the Duke. And first calling upon Mr. Coventry at his chamber, I went to the Duke’s bed-side, who had sat up late last night, and lay long this morning, who was much surprised, therewith.
This being done I went to chappell, and sat in Mr. Blagrave’s pew, and there did sing my part along with another before the King, and with much ease.
From thence going to my Lady I met with a letter from my Lord (which Andrew had been at my house to bring me and missed me), commanding me to go to Mr. Denham, to get a man to go to him to-morrow to Hinchinbroke, to contrive with him about some alterations in his house, which I did and got Mr. Kennard.
Dined with my Lady and staid all the afternoon with her, and had infinite of talk of all kind of things, especially of beauty of men and women, with which she seems to be much pleased to talk of.
From thence at night to Mr. Kennard and took him to Mr. Denham, the Surveyor’s. Where, while we could not speak with him, his chief man (Mr. Cooper) did give us a cup of good sack. From thence with Mr. Kennard to my Lady who is much pleased with him, and after a glass of sack there; we parted, having taken order for a horse or two for him and his servant to be gone to-morrow.
So to my father’s, where I sat while they were at supper, and I found my mother below stairs and pretty well.
Thence home, where I hear that the Comptroller had some business with me, and (with Giffin’s lanthorn) I went to him and there staid in discourse an hour ‘till late, and among other things he showed me a design of his, by the King’s making an Order of Knights of the Seal to give an encouragement for persons of honour to undertake the service of the sea, and he had done it with great pains and very ingeniously.
So home and to prayers and to bed.

The wind drowned
and went to his grave.
I miss his infinite talk at night
and his cup of good air.
And where am I,
a person of honor,
to undertake the service
of the sea?


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 9 December 1660.

The gospel of wealth

To Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and thence to Mr. Pierces the Surgeon to tell them that I would call by and by to go to dinner. But I going into Westminster Hall met with Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Pen (who were in a great fear that we had committed a great error of 100,000l. in our late account gone into the Parliament in making it too little), and so I was fain to send order to Mr. Pierces to come to my house; and also to leave the key of the chest with Mr. Spicer; wherein my Lord’s money is, and went along with Sir W. Pen by water to the office, and there with Mr. Huchinson we did find that we were in no mistake. And so I went to dinner with my wife and Mr. and Mrs. Pierce the Surgeon to Mr. Pierce, the Purser (the first time that ever I was at his house) who does live very plentifully and finely. We had a lovely chine of beef and other good things very complete and drank a great deal of wine, and her daughter played after dinner upon the virginals, and at night by lanthorn home again, and Mr. Pierce and his wife being gone home I went to bed, having drunk so much wine that my head was troubled and was not very well all night, and the wind I observed was rose exceedingly before I went to bed.

O tell me to come, leave
the key of the chest
with the surgeon.
Live plentifully and love
good things. Let the virginal
thorn pierce the rose.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 December 1660.

Midnight rider

This morning the judge Advocate Fowler came to see me, and he and I sat talking till it was time to go to the office. To the office and there staid till past 12 o’clock, and so I left the Comptroller and Surveyor and went to Whitehall to my Lord’s, where I found my Lord gone this morning to Huntingdon, as he told me yesterday he would. I staid and dined with my Lady, there being Laud the page’s mother there, and dined also with us, and seemed to have been a very pretty woman and of good discourse.
Before dinner I examined Laud in his Latin and found him a very pretty boy and gone a great way in Latin.
After dinner I took a box of some things of value that my Lord had left for me to carry to the Exchequer, which I did, and left them with my Brother Spicer, who also had this morning paid 1000l. for me by appointment to Sir R. Parkhurst. So to the Privy Seal, where I signed a deadly number of pardons, which do trouble me to get nothing by. Home by water, and there was much pleased to see that my little room is likely to come to be finished soon.
I fell a-reading Fuller’s History of Abbys, and my wife in Great Cyrus till twelve at night, and so to bed.

Twelve o’clock, and I go hunting
with a tin box to carry
spice to the dead,
which trouble me;
get nothing and see little—
like a history of twelve at night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 7 December 1660.

Pas de deux

This morning some of the Commissioners of Parliament and Sir W. Batten went to Sir G. Carteret’s office here in town, and paid off the Chesnut. I carried my wife to White Friars and landed her there, and myself to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, where abundance of pardons to seal, but I was much troubled for it because that there are no fees now coming for them to me. Thence Mr. Moore and I alone to the Leg in King Street, and dined together on a neat’s tongue and udder.
From thence by coach to Mr. Crew’s to my Lord, who told me of his going out of town to-morrow to settle the militia in Huntingdonshire, and did desire me to lay up a box of some rich jewels and things that there are in it, which I promised to do. After much free discourse with my Lord, who tells me his mind as to his enlarging his family, &c., and desiring me to look him out a Master of the Horse and other servants, we parted. From thence I walked to Greatorex (he was not within), but there I met with Mr. Jonas Moore, and took him to the Five Bells, and drank a glass of wine and left him. To the Temple, when Sir R. Parkhurst (as was intended the last night) did seal the writings, and is to have the 2000l. told to-morrow.
From, thence by water to Parliament Stairs, and there at an alehouse to Doling (who is suddenly to go into Ireland to venture his fortune); Simonds (who is at a great loss for 200l. present money, which I was loth to let him have, though I could now do it, and do love him and think him honest and sufficient, yet lothness to part with money did dissuade me from it); Luellin (who was very drowsy from a dose that he had got the last night), Mr. Mount and several others, among the rest one Mr. Pierce, an army man, who did make us the best sport for songs and stories in a Scotch tone (which he do very well) that ever I heard in my life. I never knew so good a companion in all my observation.
From thence to the bridge by water, it being a most pleasant moonshine night, with a waterman who did tell such a company of bawdy stories, how once he carried a lady from Putney in such a night as this, and she bade him lie down by her, which he did, and did give her content, and a great deal more roguery.
Home and found my girl knocking at the door (it being 11 o’clock at night), her mistress having sent her out for some trivial business, which did vex me when I came in, and so I took occasion to go up and to bed in a pet.
Before I went forth this morning, one came to me to give me notice that the justices of Middlesex do meet to-morrow at Hicks Hall, and that I as one am desired to be there, but I fear I cannot be there though I much desire it.

We dance
on one leg
and dine together on a tongue.

Who is going to lay up
a box of rich things?
Who is enlarging his horse?

We walk
on glass stairs
to sudden fortune or to love

and make the best stories,
the most pleasant stories—
how on such
a night as this
she and I found some trivial business
and took occasion
to go to bed.

We meet
and desire to be here,
but I fear I cannot
(be here, desire).


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 6 December 1660.

Psalm 19:2

This morning the Proposal which I wrote the last night I showed to the officers this morning, and was well liked of, and I wrote it fair for Sir. G. Carteret to show to the King, and so it is to go to the Parliament.
I dined at home, and after dinner I went to the new Theatre and there I saw “The Merry Wives of Windsor” acted, the humours of the country gentleman and the French doctor very well done, but the rest but very poorly, and Sir J. Falstaffe as bad as any.
From thence to Mr. Will. Montagu’s chamber to have sealed some writings tonight between Sir R. Parkhurst and myself about my Lord’s 2000l., but he not coming, I went to my father’s and there found my mother still ill of the stone, and had just newly voided one, which she had let drop into the chimney, and could not find it to shew it me. From thence home and to bed.

Night showed morning
as in a theater
the still of the void,
which she had let drop
into me.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 December 1660.

Ingroup

To Whitehall to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber, where all the officers met, and so we went up to the Duke of York, and he took us into his closet, and we did open to him our project of stopping the growing charge of the fleet by paying them in hand one moyety, and the other four months hence. This he do like, and we returned by his order to Sir G. Carteret’s chamber, and there we did draw up this design in order to be presented to the Parliament. From thence I to my Lord’s, and dined with him and told him what we had done to-day. Sir Tho. Crew dined with my Lord to-day, and we were very merry with Mrs. Borfett, who dined there still as she has always done lately. After dinner Sir Tho. and my Lady to the Playhouse to see “The Silent Woman.” I home by water, and with Mr. Hater in my chamber all alone he and I did put this morning’s design into order, which being done I did carry it to Sir W. Batten, where I found some gentlemen with him (Sir W. Pen among the rest pretty merry with drink) playing at cards, and there I staid looking upon them till one o’clock in the morning, and so Sir W. Pen and I went away, and I to bed. This day the Parliament voted that the bodies of Oliver, Ireton, Bradshaw, &c., should be taken up out of their graves in the Abbey, and drawn to the gallows, and there hanged and buried under it: which (methinks) do trouble me that a man of so great courage as he was, should have that dishonour, though otherwise he might deserve it enough.

Chamber us close
in the hand—one moiety.
Like the silent woman
on a playing card, I stayed
looking upon the gallows
and the hanged man.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 4 December 1660.

The snows of yesteryear

This morning I took a resolution to rise early in the morning, and so I rose by candle, which I have not done all this winter, and spent my morning in fiddling till time to go to the office, where Sir G. Carteret did begin again discourse on Mr. Holland’s proposition, which the King do take very ill, and so Sir George in lieu of that do propose that the seamen should have half in ready money and tickets for the other half, to be paid in three months after, which we judge to be very practicable. After office home to dinner, where come in my cozen Snow by chance, and I had a very good capon to dinner. So to the office till night, and so home, and then come Mr. Davis, of Deptford (the first time that ever he was at my house), and after him Mons. L’Impertinent, who is to go to Ireland to-morrow, and so came to take his leave of me. They both found me under the barber’s hand; but I had a bottle of good sack in the house, and so made them very welcome.
Mr. Davis sat with me a good while after the other was gone, talking of his hard usage and of the endeavour to put him out of his place in the time of the late Commissioners, and he do speak very highly of their corruption.
After he was gone I fell a reading ‘Cornelianum dolium’ till 11 o’clock at night with great pleasure, and after that to bed.

This is no
winter in which
I am snow
under the barber’s hand

but a sack of hard time,
late and gone.
I read a clock with pleasure
after that.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 3 December 1660.