Broom

This morning, observing some things to be laid up not as they should be by the girl, I took a broom and basted her till she cried extremely, which made me vexed, but before I went out I left her appeased. So to Whitehall, where I found Mr. Moore attending for me at the Privy Seal, but nothing to do to-day.
I went to my Lord St. Albans lodgings, and found him in bed, talking to a priest (he looked like one) that leaned along over the side of the bed, and there I desired to know his mind about making the catch stay longer, which I got ready for him the other day. He seems to be a fine civil gentleman.
To my Lord’s, and did give up my audit of his accounts, which I had been then two days about, and was well received by my Lord. I dined with my Lord and Lady, and we had a venison pasty. Mr. Shepley and I went into London, and calling upon Mr. Pinkney, the goldsmith, he took us to the tavern, and gave us a pint of wine, and there fell into our company old Mr. Flower and another gentleman; who tell us how a Scotch knight was killed basely the other day at the Fleece in Covent Garden, where there had been a great many formerly killed. So to Paul’s Churchyard, and there I took the little man at Mr. Kirton’s and Mr. Shepley to Ringstead’s at the Star, and after a pint of wine I went home, my brains somewhat troubled with so much wine, and after a letter or two by the post I went to bed.

A girl took a broom to bed—
he looked like a fine gentleman.
His gold, old flower was a garden
where there had been many rains.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 December 1660.

Rising sea level

(Office day). To the office, where Sir G. Carteret did give us an account how Mr. Holland do intend to prevail with the Parliament to try his project of discharging the seamen all at present by ticket, and so promise interest to all men that will lend money upon them at eight per cent., for so long as they are unpaid; whereby he do think to take away the growing debt, which do now lie upon the kingdom for lack of present money to discharge the seamen. But this we are troubled at as some diminution to us.
I having two barrels of oysters at home, I caused one of them and some wine to be brought to the inner room in the office, and there the Principal Officers did go and eat them.
So we sat till noon, and then to dinner, and to it again in the afternoon till night.
At home I sent for Mr. Hater, and broke the other barrel with him, and did afterwards sit down discoursing of sea terms to learn of him. And he being gone I went up and sat till twelve at night again to make an end of my Lord’s accounts, as I did the last night. Which at last I made a good end of, and so to bed.

The land is charging the sea
interest for the growing debt,
this diminution—
oysters in the office
the sea terms a bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 30 November 1660.

Heartless

In the morning seeing a great deal of foul water come into my parlour from under the partition between me and Mr. Davis, I did step thither to him and tell him of it, and he did seem very ready to have it stopt, and did also tell me how thieves did attempt to rob his house last night, which do make us all afraid.
This noon I being troubled that the workmen that I have to do my door were called to Mr. Davis’s away, I sent for them, when Mr. Davis sent to inquire a reason of, and I did give him a good one, that they were come on purpose to do some work with me that they had already begun, with which he was well pleased, and I glad, being unwilling to anger them.
In the afternoon Sir W. Batten and I met and did sell the ship Church for 440l.; and we asked 391l., and that being done, I went home, and Dr. Petty came to me about Mr. Barlow’s money, and I being a little troubled to be so importuned before I had received it, and that they would have it stopt in Mr. Fenn’s hands, I did force the Doctor to go fetch the letter of attorney that he had to receive it only to make him same labour, which he did bring, and Mr. Hater came along with him from the Treasury with my money for the first quarter (Michaelmas last) that ever I received for this employment. So I paid the Dr. 25l. and had 62l. 10s. for myself, and 7l. 10s. to myself also for Will’s salary, which I do intend yet to keep for myself.
With this my heart is much rejoiced, and do bless Almighty God that he is pleased to send so sudden and unexpected payment of my salary so soon after my great disbursements. So that now I am worth 200l. again.
In a great ease of mind and spirit I fell about the auditing of Mr. Shepley’s last accounts with my Lord by my Lord’s desire, and about that I sat till 12 o’clock at night, till I began to doze, and so to bed, with my heart praising God for his mercy to us.

Foul water in my house—
a ship on a fen.
I force the doctor to fetch
for his salary
my heart.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 29 November 1660.

Anchorite

This morning went to Whitehall to my Lord’s, where Major Hart did pay me; 23l. 14s. 9d., due to me upon my pay in my Lord’s troop at the time of our disbanding, which is a great blessing to have without taking any law in the world for. But now I must put an end to any hopes of getting any more, so that I bless God for this.
From thence with Mr. Shepley and Pinkney to the Sun, and did give them a glass of wine and a peck of oysters for joy of my getting this money.
So home, where I found that Mr. Creed had sent me the 11l. 5s. that is due to me upon the remains of account for my sea business, which is also so much clear money to me, and my bill of impresse for 30l. is also cleared, so that I am wholly clear as to the sea in all respects. To the office, and was there till late at night, and among the officers do hear that they may have our salaries allowed by the Treasurer, which do make me very glad, and praise God for it.
Home to supper, and Mr. Hater supped with me, whom I did give order to take up my money of the Treasurer to-morrow if it can be had.
So to bed.

A great blessing
to put an end to hopes
of getting more.
The sea is clear—
and I am clear
to the sea.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 28 November 1660.

War correspondence

To Whitehall, where I found my Lord gone abroad to the Wardrobe, whither he do now go every other morning, and do seem to resolve to understand and look after the business himself.
From thence to Westminster Hall, and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed. At the Hall I met with Mr. Creed, and he and I to Hell to drink our morning draught, and so to my Lord’s again, where I found my wife, and she and I dined with him and my Lady, and great company of my Lord’s friends, and my Lord did show us great respect.
Soon as dinner was done my wife took her leave, and went with Mr. Blackburne and his wife to London to a christening of a Brothers child of his on Tower Hill.
And I to a play, “The Scorn-full Lady.”
And that being done, I went homewards, and met Mr. Moore, who had been at my house, and took him to my father’s, and we three to Standing’s to drink. Here Mr. Moore told me how the House had this day voted the King to have all the Excise for ever.
This day I do also hear that the Queen’s going to France is stopt, which do like me well, because then the King will be in town the next month, which is my month again at the Privy Seal. From thence home, where when I come I do remember that I did leave my boy Waineman at Whitehall with order to stay there for me in the court, at which I was much troubled, but about 11 o’clock at night the boy came home well, and so we all to bed.

I found a war
every morning,
a falling out, a field
men killed
friends and brothers for,
stopped like a seal
in a well.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 27 November 1660.

Workshop

(Office day). To it all the morning, and dined at home where my father come and dined with me, who seems to take much pleasure to have a son that is neat in his house. I being now making my new door into the entry, which he do please himself much with.
After dinner to the office again, and there till night. And that being done the Comptroller and I to the Mitre to a glass of wine, when we fell into a discourse of poetry, and he did repeat some verses of his own making which were very good.
Home, there hear that my Lady Batten had given my wife a visit (the first that ever she made her), which pleased me exceedingly. So after supper to bed.

Making my new door,
we fell into a discourse
of poetry.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 November 1660.

Austerity measures

(Lord’s day). In the forenoon I alone to our church, and after dinner I went and ranged about to many churches, among the rest to the Temple, where I heard Dr. Wilkins a little (late Maister of Trinity in Cambridge). That being done to my father’s to see my mother who is troubled much with the stone, and that being done I went home, where I had a letter brought me from my Lord to get a ship ready to carry the Queen’s things over to France, she being to go within five or six days. So to supper and to bed.

Alone, I went
to church in a stone
and went home to a car
to go five or six days
to supper.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 25 November 1660.

Courtship

To my Lord’s, where after I had done talking with him Mr. Townsend, Rumball, Blackburn, Creed and Shepley and I to the Rhenish winehouse, and there I did give them two quarts of Wormwood wine, and so we broke up.
So we parted, and I and Mr. Creed to Westminster Hall and looked over a book or two, and so to my Lord’s, where I dined with my lady, there being Mr. Child and Mrs. Borfett, who are never absent at dinner there, under pretence of a wooing. From thence I to Mr. de Cretz and did take away my Lord’s picture, which is now finished for me, and I paid 3l. 10s. for it and the frame, and am well pleased with it and the price.
So carried it home by water, Will being with me. At home, and had a fire made in my closet, and put my papers and books and things in order, and that being done I fell to entering these two good songs of Mr. Lawes, “Helpe, helpe, O helpe,” and “O God of Heaven and Hell” in my song book, to which I have got Mr. Child to set the base to the Theorbo, and that done to bed.

Wine and wormwood,
we two who
are ever wooing—
picture and price,
water and fire,
book and song,
heaven and bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 24 November 1660.

Merman

This morning standing looking upon the workmen doing of my new door to my house, there comes Captain Straughan the Scot (to whom the King has given half of the money that the two ships lately sold do bring), and he would needs take me to the Dolphin, and give me a glass of ale and a peck of oysters, he and I. He did talk much what he is able to advise the King for good husbandry in his ships, as by ballasting them with lead ore and many other tricks, but I do believe that he is a knowing man in sea-business. Home and dined, and in the afternoon to the office, where till late, and that being done Mr. Creed did come to speak with me, and I took him to the Dolphin, where there was Mr. Pierce the purser and his wife and some friends of theirs. So I did spend a crown upon them behind the bar, they being akin to the people of the house, and this being the house where Mr. Pierce was apprentice.
After they were gone Mr. Creed and I spent an hour in looking over the account which he do intend to pass in our office for his lending moneys, which I did advise about and approve or disapprove of as I saw cause.
After an hour being, serious at this we parted about 11 o’clock at night. So I home and to bed, leaving my wife and the maid at their linen to get up.

Take me to the dolphin.
A good husband is ballast, but he
is knowing in sea-business
and in the ice.
I row and look.
His is a serious art.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 23 November 1660.

Commission

This morning came the carpenters to make me a door at the other side of my house, going into the entry, which I was much pleased with.
At noon my wife and I walked to the Old Exchange, and there she bought her a white whisk and put it on, and I a pair of gloves, and so we took coach for Whitehall to Mr. Fox’s, where we found Mrs. Fox within, and an alderman of London paying 1000l. or 1500l. in gold upon the table for the King, which was the most gold that ever I saw together in my life.
Mr. Fox came in presently and did receive us with a great deal of respect; and then did take my wife and I to the Queen’s presence-chamber; where he got my wife placed behind the Queen’s chair, and I got into the crowd, and by and by the Queen and the two Princesses came to dinner. The Queen a very little plain old woman, and nothing more in her presence in any respect nor garb than any ordinary woman. The Princess of Orange I had often seen before. The Princess Henrietta is very pretty, but much below my expectation; and her dressing of herself with her hair frized short up to her ears, did make her seem so much the less to me.
But my wife standing near her with two or three black patches on, and well dressed, did seem to me much handsomer than she.
Dinner being done, we went to Mr. Fox’s again, where many gentlemen dined with us, and most princely dinner, all provided for me and my friends, but I bringing none but myself and wife, he did call the company to help to eat up so much good victuals. At the end of dinner, my Lord Sandwich’s health was drunk in the gilt tankard that I did give to Mrs. Fox the other day.
After dinner I had notice given me by Will my man that my Lord did inquire for me, so I went to find him, and met him and the Duke of York in a coach going towards Charing Cross. I endeavoured to follow them but could not, so I returned to Mr. Fox, and after much kindness and good discourse we parted from thence.
I took coach for my wife and me homewards, and I light at the Maypole in the Strand, and sent my wife home.
I to the new playhouse and saw part of the “Traitor,” a very good Tragedy; Mr. Moon did act the Traitor very well.
So to my Lord’s, and sat there with my Lady a great while talking. Among other things, she took occasion to inquire (by Madame Dury’s late discourse with her) how I did treat my wife’s father and mother. At which I did give her a good account, and she seemed to be very well opinioned of my wife.
From thence to White Hall at about 9 at night, and there, with Laud the page that went with me, we could not get out of Henry the Eighth’s gallery into the further part of the boarded gallery, where my Lord was walking with my Lord Ormond; and we had a key of Sir S. Morland’s, but all would not do; till at last, by knocking, Mr. Harrison the door-keeper did open us the door.
And, after some talk with my Lord about getting a catch to carry my Lord St. Albans a goods to France, I parted and went home on foot, it being very late and dirty, and so weary to bed.

Carpenter, make me
a door into my life.
I am a crow, a plain old woman.
I bring none but myself to dinner
by the light of the moon.
Give me a further gallery
in my good ear.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 22 November 1660.