Fir Tree

This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life. This morning came Nan Pepys’ husband Mr. Hall to see me being lately come to town. I had never seen him before. I took him to the Swan tavern with Mr. Eglin and there drank our morning draft. Home, and called my wife, and took her to Dr. Clodius’s to a great wedding of Nan Hartlib to Mynheer Roder, which was kept at Goring House with very great state, cost, and noble company. But, among all the beauties there, my wife was thought the greatest. After dinner I left the company, and carried my wife to Mrs. Turner’s. I went to the Attorney-General’s, and had my bill which cost me seven pieces. I called my wife, and set her home. And finding my Lord in White Hall garden, I got him to go to the Secretary’s, which he did, and desired the dispatch of his and my bills to be signed by the King.
His bill is to be Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbroke, and Baron of St. Neot’s.
Home, with my mind pretty quiet: not returning, as I said I would, to see the bride put to bed.

The fir is never seen in draft
but among the greatest company.
I turn to her
and find in a garden
the desire to be quiet as a bride.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 July 1660.

Palm Tree

All the morning at Sir G. Palmer’s advising about getting my bill drawn. From thence to the Navy office, where in the afternoon we met and sat, and there I begun to sign bills in the Office the first time. From thence Captain Holland and Mr. Browne of Harwich took me to a tavern and did give me a collation. From thence to the Temple to further my bills being done, and so home to my Lord, and thence to bed.

The palm is
a navy of
the afternoon,
a sign from Holland,
a temple
to a hen.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 July 1660.

The Lasting Supper

(Lord’s day). To White Hall chapel, where I got in with ease by going before the Lord Chancellor with Mr. Kipps. Here I heard very good music, the first time that ever I remember to have heard the organs and singing-men in surplices in my life. The Bishop of Chichester preached before the King, and made a great flattering sermon, which I did not like that Clergy should meddle with matters of state. Dined with Mr. Luellin and Salisbury at a cook’s shop. Home, and staid all the afternoon with my wife till after sermon. There till Mr. Fairebrother came to call us out to my father’s to supper. He told me how he had perfectly procured me to be made Master in Arts by proxy, which did somewhat please me, though I remember my cousin Roger Pepys was the other day persuading me from it.
While we were at supper came Wm. Howe to supper to us, and after supper went home to bed.

A chapel for Chance,
with organ and singing
and a sermon like a supper by proxy,
persuading me while at supper
to supper after supper.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 8 July 1660.

Scrivener

To my Lord. One with me to buy a clerk’s place with me and I did demand 100l. To the Council Chamber, where I took an order for the advance of the salaries of the officers of the Navy, and I find mine to be raised to 350l. per annum. Thence to the Change, where I bought two fine prints of Ragotts from Rubens, and afterwards dined with my Uncle and Aunt Wight, where her sister Cox and her husband were. After that to Mr. Rawlinson’s with my uncle, and thence to the Navy Office, where I began to take an inventory of the papers, and goods, and books of the office. To my Lord’s, late writing letters. So home to bed.

A clerk’s place:
I raise an ox of paper
off my writing.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 7 July 1660.

Hope and Doubt

In the morning with my Lord at Whitehall, got the order of the Council for us to act.
From thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with the Doctor that shewed us so much kindness at the Hague, and took him to the Sun tavern, and drank with him.
So to my Lord’s and dined with W. Howe and Sarah, thinking it might be the last time that I might dine with them together.
In the afternoon my Lord and I, and Mr. Coventry and Sir G. Carteret, went and took possession of the Navy Office, whereby my mind was a little cheered, but my hopes not great.
From thence Sir G. Carteret and I to the Treasurer’s Office, where he set some things in order. And so home, calling upon Sir Geoffry Palmer, who did give me advice about my patent, which put me to some doubt to know what to do, Barlow being alive.
Afterwards called at Mr. Pim’s, about getting me a coat of velvet, and he took me to the Half Moon, and the house so full that we staid above half an hour before we could get anything. So to my Lord’s, where in the dark W. Howe and I did sing extemporys, and I find by use that we are able to sing a bass and a treble pretty well. So home, and to bed.

I dine with hope and doubt
in a coat of velvet.
Half moon, half dark,
we sing bass and treble.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 6 July 1660.

Mr. Hater

This morning my brother Tom brought me my jackanapes coat with silver buttons. It rained this morning, which makes us fear that the glory of this great day will be lost; the King and Parliament being to be entertained by the City to-day with great pomp.
Mr. Hater was with me to-day, and I agreed with him to be my clerk.
Being at White Hall, I saw the King, the Dukes, and all their attendants go forth in the rain to the City, and it bedraggled many a fine suit of clothes. I was forced to walk all the morning in White Hall, not knowing how to get out because of the rain.
Met with Mr. Cooling, my Lord Chamberlain’s secretary, who took me to dinner among the gentlemen waiters, and after dinner into the wine-cellar. He told me how he had a project for all us Secretaries to join together, and get money by bringing all business into our hands.
Thence to the Admiralty, where Mr. Blackburne and I (it beginning to hold up) went and walked an hour or two in the Park, he giving of me light in many things in my way in this office that I go about. And in the evening I got my present of plate carried to Mr. Coventry’s.
At my Lord’s at night comes Dr. Petty to me, to tell me that Barlow had come to town, and other things, which put me into a despair, and I went to bed very sad.

Mr. Hater and I
go forth to the city
and get money by bringing
all business into our hands.
I walk in the park
giving light in my way,
which put me
into despair.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 5 July 1660.

In Seething Lane

Up very early in the morning and landing my wife at White Friars stairs, I went to the Bridge and so to the Treasurer’s of the Navy, with whom I spake about the business of my office, who put me into very good hopes of my business. At his house comes Commissioner Pett, and he and I went to view the houses in Seething Lane, belonging to the Navy, where I find the worst very good, and had great fears in my mind that they will shuffle me out of them, which troubles me.
From thence to the Excise Office in Broad Street, where I received 500l. for my Lord, by appointment of the Treasurer, and went afterwards down with Mr. Luddyard and drank my morning draft with him and other officers. Thence to Mr. Backewell’s, the goldsmith, where I took my Lord’s 100l. in plate for Mr. Secretary Nicholas, and my own piece of plate, being a state dish and cup in chased work for Mr. Coventry, cost me above 19l. Carried these and the money by coach to my Lord’s at White Hall, and from thence carried Nicholas’s plate to his house and left it there, intending to speak with him anon. So to Westminster Hall, where meeting with M. L’Impertinent and W. Bowyer, I took them to the Sun Tavern, and gave them a lobster and some wine, and sat talking like a fool till 4 o’clock. So to my Lord’s, and walking all the afternoon in White Hall Court, in expectation of what shall be done in the Council as to our business. It was strange to see how all the people flocked together bare, to see the King looking out of the Council window.
At night my Lord told me how my orders that I drew last night about giving us power to act, are granted by the Council. At which he and I were very glad. Home and to bed, my boy lying in my house this night the first time.

In Seething Lane
I find the worst fears.
I shuffle out to the yard
with my dish and cup
and speak to the sun
like a clock
or a bare window.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 4 July 1660.

Uncommon Prayer

This morning came home my fine Camlett cloak, with gold buttons, and a silk suit, which cost me much money, and I pray God to make me able to pay for it. I went to the cook’s and got a good joint of meat, and my wife and I dined at home alone.
In the afternoon to the Abbey, where a good sermon by a stranger, but no Common Prayer yet.
After sermon called in at Mrs. Crisp’s, where I saw Mynheer Roder, that is to marry Sam Hartlib’s sister, a great fortune for her to light on, she being worth nothing in the world. Here I also saw Mrs. Greenlife, who is come again to live in Axe Yard with her new husband Mr. Adams. Then to my Lord’s, where I staid a while. So to see for Mr. Creed to speak about getting a copy of Barlow’s patent. To my Lord’s, where late at night comes Mr. Morland, whom I left prating with my Lord, and so home.

I pray God for a good joint of meat and a stranger life.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 1 July 1660.

Desperate

By times to Sir R. Fanshawe to draw up the preamble to my Lord’s Patent.
So to my Lord, and with him to White Hall, where I saw a great many fine antique heads of marble, that my Lord Northumberland had given the King. Here meeting with Mr. De Cretz, he looked over many of the pieces, in the gallery with me and told me [by] whose hands they were, with great pleasure.
Dined at home and Mr. Hawly with me upon six of my pigeons, which my wife has resolved to kill here.
This day came Will, my boy, to me; the wench continuing lame, so that my wife could not be longer without somebody to help her. In the afternoon with Sir Edward Walker, at his lodgings by St. Giles Church, for my Lord’s pedigree, and carried it to Sir R. Fanshawe.
To Mr. Crew’s, and there took money and paid Mrs. Anne, Mrs. Jemima’s maid, off quite, and so she went away and another came to her. To White Hall with Mr. Moore, where I met with a letter from Mr. Turner, offering me 150l. to be joined with me in my patent, and to advise me how to improve the advantage of my place, and to keep off Barlow.
To my Lord’s till late at night, and so home.

Time to draw heads
and hands on pigeons,
to kill somebody for a fan

or join with me in my patent
to improve the night?


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 30 June 1660.

Ranter

This day or two my maid Jane has been lame, that we cannot tell what to do for want of her. Up and to White Hall, where I got my warrant from the Duke to be Clerk of the Acts. Also I got my Lord’s warrant from the Secretary for his honour of Earle of Portsmouth, and Viscount Montagu of Hinchingbroke.
So to my Lord, to give him an account of what I had done. Then to Sir Geffery Palmer, to give them to him to have bills drawn upon them, who told me that my Lord must have some good Latinist to make the preamble to his Patent, which must express his late service in the best terms that he can, and he told me in what high flaunting terms Sir J. Greenville had caused his to be done, which he do not like; but that Sir Richard Fanshawe had done General Monk’s very well.
Back to Westminster, and meeting Mr. Townsend in the Palace, he and I and another or two went and dined at the Leg there. Then to White Hall, where I was told by Mr. Hutchinson at the Admiralty, that Mr. Barlow, my predecessor, Clerk of the Acts, is yet alive, and coming up to town to look after his place, which made my heart sad a little. At night told my Lord thereof, and he bade me get possession of my Patent; and he would do all that could be done to keep him out. This night my Lord and I looked over the list of the Captains, and marked some that my Lord had a mind to have put out. Home and to bed. Our wench very lame, abed these two days.

I rant. My mouth must have
some good Latin to flaunt,
like a monk in the palace
coming to look after his mind.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 29 June 1660.