Gated community

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The arms being come this morning from the Tower, we caused them to be distributed. I spent much time walking with Lieutenant Lambert, walking up and down the yards, who did give me much light into things there, and so went along with me and dined with us. After dinner Mrs. Pett, her husband being gone this morning with Sir W. Batten to Chatham, lent us her coach, and carried us to Woolwich, where we did also dispose of the arms there and settle the guards. So to Mr. Pett’s, the shipwright, and there supped, where he did treat us very handsomely (and strange it is to see what neat houses all the officers of the King’s yards have), his wife a proper woman, and has been handsome, and yet has a very pretty hand.
Thence I with Mr. Ackworth to his house, where he has a very pretty house, and a very proper lovely woman to his wife, who both sat with me in my chamber, and they being gone, I went to bed, which was also most neat and fine.

Give me light
and a hat to dispose of it.
What neat houses
all the yards have!
As a pretty hand has
a pretty rope.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 January 1660/61.

Anarchist’s dream

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

In the morning we all went to church, and sat in the pew belonging to us, where a cold sermon of a young man that never had preached before. Here Commissioner Pett came with his wife and daughters, the eldest being his wife’s daughter is a very comely black woman. So to the Globe to dinner, and then with Commissioner Pett to his lodgings there (which he hath for the present while he is building the King’s yacht, which will be a pretty thing, and much beyond the Dutchman’s), and from thence with him and his wife and daughter-in-law by coach to Greenwich Church, where a good sermon, a fine church, and a great company of handsome women. After sermon to Deptford again; where, at the Commissioner’s and the Globe, we staid long. And so I to Mr. Davis’s to bed again. But no sooner in bed, but we had an alarm, and so we rose: and the Comptroller comes into the Yard to us; and seamen of all the ships present repair to us, and there we armed with every one a handspike, with which they were as fierce as could be. At last we hear that it was only five or six men that did ride through the guard in the town, without stopping to the guard that was there; and, some say, shot at them. But all being quiet there, we caused the seamen to go on board again: And so we all to bed (after I had sat awhile with Mr. Davis in his study, which is filled with good books and some very good song books) I likewise to bed.

I long for a black rose
in every hand,
fierce men that ride
without stopping,
a quiet study filled
with good books.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 January 1660/61.

Torrential

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With Colonel Slingsby and a friend of his, Major Waters (a deaf and most amorous melancholy gentleman, who is under a despayr in love, as the Colonel told me, which makes him bad company, though a most good- natured man), by water to Redriffe, and so on foot to Deptford (our servants by water), where we fell to choosing four captains to command the guards, and choosing the places where to keep them, and other things in order thereunto. We dined at the Globe, having our messenger with us to take care for us. Never till now did I see the great authority of my place, all the captains of the fleet coming cap in hand to us.
Having staid very late there talking with the Colonel, I went home with Mr. Davis, storekeeper (whose wife is ill and so I could not see her), and was there most prince-like lodged, with so much respect and honour that I was at a loss how to behave myself.

Waters deaf and most amorous
make bad company.
Water fell, choosing places to keep
with great authority.
Captains of the fleet
coming cap in hand
went home with a hose.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 January 1660/61.

Little song of epidemiology

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Office day. This day comes news, by letters from Portsmouth, that the Princess Henrietta is fallen sick of the meazles on board the London, after the Queen and she was under sail. And so was forced to come back again into Portsmouth harbour; and in their way, by negligence of the pilot, run upon the Horse sand. The Queen and she continue aboard, and do not intend to come on shore till she sees what will become of the young Princess. This news do make people think something indeed, that three of the Royal Family should fall sick of the same disease, one after another. This morning likewise, we had order to see guards set in all the King’s yards; and so we do appoint who and who should go to them. Sir Wm. Batten to Chatham, Colonel Slingsby and I to Deptford and Woolwich. Portsmouth being a garrison, needs none.
Dined at home, discontented that my wife do not go neater now she has two maids. After dinner comes in Kate Sterpin (whom we had not seen a great while) and her husband to see us, with whom I staid a while, and then to the office, and left them with my wife.
At night walked to Paul’s Churchyard, and bespoke some books against next week, and from thence to the Coffeehouse, where I met Captain Morrice, the upholster, who would fain have lent me a horse to-night to have rid with him upon the Cityguards, with the Lord Mayor, there being some new expectations of these rogues; but I refused by reason of my going out of town tomorrow. So home to bed.

Mouth of the queen,
mouth of the horse—
what will become of
the young disease?
Like a sling,
a mouth needs content.
After dinner
comes a husband to a wife,
night to the coffeehouse,
a horse to a rogue.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 January 1660/61.

The sailor’s life

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

There comes Mr. Hawley to me and brings me my money for the quarter of a year’s salary of my place under Downing that I was at sea. So I did give him half, whereof he did in his nobleness give the odd 5s. to my Jane. So we both went forth (calling first to see how Sir W. Pen do, whom I found very ill), and at the Hoop by the bridge we drank two pints of wormwood and sack. Talking of his wooing afresh of Mrs. Lane, and of his going to serve the Bishop of London.
Thence by water to Whitehall, and found my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s. Leaving her to dine there, I went and dined with my Lady, and staid to talk a while with her.
After dinner Will comes to tell me that he had presented my piece of plate to Mr. Coventry, who takes it very kindly, and sends me a very kind letter, and the plate back again; of which my heart is very glad. So to Mrs. Hunt, where I found a Frenchman, a lodger of hers, at dinner, and just as I came in was kissing my wife, which I did not like, though there could not be any hurt in it.
Thence by coach to my Uncle Wight’s with my wife, but they being out of doors we went home, where, after I had put some papers in order and entered some letters in my book which I have a mind to keep, I went with my wife to see Sir W. Pen, who we found ill still, but he do make very much of it. Here we sat a great while, at last comes in Mr. Davis and his lady (who takes it very ill that my wife never did go to see her), and so we fell to talk. Among other things Mr. Davis told us the particular examinations of these Fanatiques that are taken: and in short it is this, of all these Fanatiques that have done all this, viz., routed all the Trainbands that they met with, put the King’s life-guards to the run, killed about twenty men, broke through the City gates twice; and all this in the day-time, when all the City was in arms; are not in all about 31. Whereas we did believe them (because they were seen up and down in every place almost in the City, and had been about Highgate two or three days, and in several other places) to be at least 500. A thing that never was heard of, that so few men should dare and do so much mischief. Their word was, “The King Jesus, and the heads upon the gates.” Few of them would receive any quarter, but such as were taken by force and kept alive; expecting Jesus to come here and reign in the world presently, and will not believe yet but their work will be carried on though they do die.
The King this day came to town.

A year at sea, and
the worm in my heart
is like a train through
a city I never heard of.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 January 1660/61.

Toughs

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Waked in the morning about six o’clock, by people running up and down in Mr. Davis’s house, talking that the Fanatiques were up in arms in the City. And so I rose and went forth; where in the street I found every body in arms at the doors. So I returned (though with no good courage at all, but that I might not seem to be afeared), and got my sword and pistol, which, however, I had no powder to charge; and went to the door, where I found Sir R. Ford, and with him I walked up and down as far as the Exchange, and there I left him. In our way, the streets full of Train-band, and great stories, what mischief these rogues have done; and I think near a dozen have been killed this morning on both sides. Seeing the city in this condition, the shops shut, and all things in trouble, I went home and sat, it being office day, till noon. So home, and dined at home, my father with me, and after dinner he would needs have me go to my uncle Wight’s (where I have been so long absent that I am ashamed to go). I found him at home and his wife, and I can see they have taken my absence ill, but all things are past and we good friends, and here I sat with my aunt till it was late, my uncle going forth about business. My aunt being very fearful to be alone. So home to my lute till late, and then to bed, there being strict guards all night in the City, though most of the enemies, they say, are killed or taken. This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

Arm in arm
go my sword and pistol

and walk up and down
full of mischief

as if they are friends
or fearful to be alone.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 January 1660/61.

Warmonger

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

My wife and I lay very long in bed to-day talking and pleasing one another in discourse. Being up, Mr. Warren came, and he and I agreed for the deals that my Lord is to have. Then Will and I to Westminster, where I dined with my Lady. After dinner I took my Lord Hinchinbroke and Mr. Sidney to the Theatre, and shewed them “The Widdow,” an indifferent good play, but wronged by the women being to seek in their parts. That being done, my Lord’s coach waited for us, and so back to my Lady’s, where she made me drink of some Florence wine, and did give me two bottles for my wife. From thence walked to my cozen Stradwick’s, and there chose a small banquet and some other things against our entertainment on Thursday next. Thence to Tom Pepys and bought a dozen of trenchers, and so home.
Some talk to-day of a head of Fanatiques that do appear about Barnett, but I do not believe it.
However, my Lord Mayor, Sir Richd. Browne, hath carried himself very honourably, and hath caused one of their meeting-houses in London to be pulled down.

In bed, the war and I
agree to wed—
a different drink for my wick.
I gain entertainment, a trench,
and some talk of head fanatic,
no honor—a hat
pulled down.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 January 1660/61.

Urban decay

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

This morning, news was brought to me to my bedside, that there had been a great stir in the City this night by the Fanatiques, who had been up and killed six or seven men, but all are fled. My Lord Mayor and the whole City had been in arms, above 40,000. To the office, and after that to dinner, where my brother Tom came and dined with me, and after dinner (leaving 12d. with the servants to buy a cake with at night, this day being kept as Twelfth day) Tom and I and my wife to the Theatre, and there saw “The Silent Woman.” The first time that ever I did see it, and it is an excellent play. Among other things here, Kinaston, the boy; had the good turn to appear in three shapes: first, as a poor woman in ordinary clothes, to please Morose; then in fine clothes, as a gallant, and in them was clearly the prettiest woman in the whole house, and lastly, as a man; and then likewise did appear the handsomest man in the house. From thence by link to my cozen Stradwick’s, where my father and we and Dr. Pepys, Scott, and his wife, and one Mr. Ward and his; and after a good supper, we had an excellent cake, where the mark for the Queen was cut, and so there was two queens, my wife and Mrs. Ward; and the King being lost, they chose the Doctor to be King, so we made him send for some wine, and then home, and in our way home we were in many places strictly examined, more than in the worst of times, there being great fears of these Fanatiques rising again: for the present I do not hear that any of them are taken.
Home, it being a clear moonshine and after 12 o’clock at night. Being come home we found that my people had been very merry, and my wife tells me afterwards that she had heard that they had got young Davis and some other neighbours with them to be merry, but no harm.

This new, great stir: who killed the city?
The poor in morose clothes,
the two queens,
the wine in many places?
Or the great fear?
Fanatics shine at night.
We found a neighbor with no arm.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 January 1660/61.

Pillar

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(Lord’s day).
My wife and I to church this morning, and so home to dinner to a boiled leg of mutton all alone.
To church again, where, before sermon, a long Psalm was set that lasted an hour, while the sexton gathered his year’s contribucion through the whole church.
After sermon home, and there I went to my chamber and wrote a letter to send to Mr. Coventry, with a piece of plate along with it, which I do preserve among my other letters.
So to supper, and thence after prayers to bed.

My wife is an oiled leg of church,
a long psalm,
sex the red letter I preserve
among my other prayers.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 January 1660/61.

Divided loyalties

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Home all the morning. Several people came to me about business, among others the great Tom Fuller, who came to desire a kindness for a friend of his, who hath a mind to go to Jamaica with these two ships that are going, which I promised to do.
So to Whitehall to my Lady, whom I found at dinner and dined with her, and staid with her talking all the afternoon, and thence walked to Westminster Hall. So to Will’s, and drank with Spicer, and thence by coach home, staying a little in Paul’s Churchyard, to bespeak Ogilby’s Æsop’s Fables and Tully’s Officys to be bound for me. So home and to bed.

Desire is a mind
with two ships in it.
I stayed with her
and walked—
staying in a fable,
bound for bed.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 January 1660/61.