Gossip

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At noon I went and dined with my Lady at Whitehall, and so back again to the office, and after that home to my workmen. This night Mr. Gauden sent me a great chine of beef and half a dozen of tongues.

A din
at the office after work:
a great chin,
half a dozen tongues.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 19 December 1660.

The starving artist studies his model

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

All day looking after my workmen, only in the afternoon to the office where both Sir Williams were come from Woolwich, and tell us that, contrary to their expectations, the Assurance is got up, without much damage to her body, only to the goods that she hath within her, which argues her to be a strong, good ship.
This day my parlour is gilded, which do please me well.

All day looking
at her body, a good ship;
his, a gilded well.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 December 1660.

Rendezvous

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In the morning to church, and then dined at home. In the afternoon I to White Hall, where I was surprised with the news of a plot against the King’s person and my Lord Monk’s; and that since last night there are about forty taken up on suspicion; and, amongst others, it was my lot to meet with Simon Beale, the Trumpeter, who took me and Tom Doling into the Guard in Scotland Yard, and showed us Major-General Overton, where I heard him deny that he is guilty of any such things; but that whereas it is said that he is found to have brought many arms to town, he says it is only to sell them, as he will prove by oath.
From thence with Tom Doling and Boston and D. Vines (whom we met by the way) to Price’s, and there we drank, and in discourse I learnt a pretty trick to try whether a woman be a maid or no, by a string going round her head to meet at the end of her nose, which if she be not will come a great way beyond.
Thence to my Lady’s and staid with her an hour or two talking of the Duke of York and his lady, the Chancellor’s daughter, between whom, she tells me, that all is agreed and he will marry her. But I know not how true yet.
It rained hard, and my Lady would have had me have the coach, but I would not, but to my father’s, where I met my wife, and there supped, and after supper by link home and to bed.

Meet me in thin arms,
say it is only to sell me a trick
or a ring in the nose.
I know how true
rain would be.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 16 December 1660.

The starving artist casts a wide net

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

All day at home looking upon my workmen, only at noon Mr. Moore came and brought me some things to sign for the Privy Seal and dined with me. We had three eels that my wife and I bought this morning of a man, that cried them about, for our dinner, and that was all I did to-day.

At home looking at an eel
that my wife bought,
I cried for our dinner
that was all I.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 15 December 1660.

The starving artist considers entomophagy

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Also all this day looking upon my workmen. Only met with the Comptroller at the office a little both forenoon and afternoon, and at night step a little with him to the Coffee House where we light upon very good company and had very good discourse concerning insects and their having a generative faculty as well as other creatures.
This night in discourse the Comptroller told me among other persons that were heretofore the principal officers of the Navy, there was one Sir Peter Buck, a Clerk of the Acts, of which to myself I was not a little proud.

All this day looking at the light
and insects
and other creatures to which
I was not little.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 14 December 1660.

Starving artist

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

All the day long looking upon my workmen who this day began to paint my parlour. Only at noon my Lady Batten and my wife came home, and so I stepped to my Lady’s, where were Sir John Lawson and Captain Holmes, and there we dined and had very good red wine of my Lady’s own making in England.

All day long looking upon my paint,
I am in the red
of my own making.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 December 1660.

Home is the sailor

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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

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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

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

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.