Retreat

Early to my Lord’s, who privately told me how the King had made him Embassador in the bringing over the Queen. That he is to go to Algier, &c., to settle the business, and to put the fleet in order there; and so to come back to Lisbone with three ships, and there to meet the fleet that is to follow him.
He sent for me, to tell me that he do intrust me with the seeing of all things done in his absence as to this great preparation, as I shall receive orders from my Lord Chancellor and Mr. Edward Montagu. At all which my heart is above measure glad; for my Lord’s honour, and some profit to myself, I hope.
By and by, out with Mr. Shepley, Walden, Parliament-man for Huntingdon, Rolt, Mackworth, and Alderman Backwell, to a house hard by, to drink Lambeth ale. So I back to the Wardrobe, and there found my Lord going to Trinity House, this being the solemn day of choosing Master, and my Lord is chosen, so he dines there to-day.
I staid and dined with my Lady; but after we were set, comes in some persons of condition, and so the children and I rose and dined by ourselves, all the children and I, and were very merry and they mighty fond of me. Then to the office, and there sat awhile. So home and at night to bed, where we lay in Sir R. Slingsby’s lodgings in the dining room there in one green bed, my house being now in its last work of painting and whiting.

My private bone, my chance heart,
my Walden in a wardrobe, my rose—
all night we lay
in one green bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 June 1661.

Dispatch from the front

(Lord’s day). This day my wife put on her black silk gown, which is now laced all over with black gimp lace, as the fashion is, in which she is very pretty.
She and I walked to my Lady’s at the Wardrobe, and there dined and was exceeding much made of. After dinner I left my wife there, and I walked to Whitehall, and then went to Mr. Pierce’s and sat with his wife a good while (who continues very pretty) till he came, and then he and I, and Mr. Symons (dancing master), that goes to sea with my Lord, to the Swan tavern, and there drank, and so again to White Hall, and there met with Dean Fuller, and walked a great while with him; among other things discoursed of the liberty the Bishop (by name the of Galloway) takes to admit into orders any body that will; among others, Roundtree, a simple mechanique that was a person formerly in the fleet. He told me he would complain of it. By and by we went and got a sculler, and landing him at Worcester House, I and W. Howe, who came to us at Whitehall, went to the Wardrobe.
Where I met with Mr. Townsend, who is very willing he says to communicate anything for my Lord’s advantage to me as to his business. I went up to Jane Shore’s towre, and there W. Howe and I sang, and so took my wife and walked home, and so to bed. After I came home a messenger came from my Lord to bid me come to him tomorrow morning.

This day is ash.
The war continues, and the sea
takes a body that was
a person in the land.
The shore sang,
a messenger from tomorrow.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 9 June 1661.

Prayer for self-actualization

To Whitehall to my Lord, who did tell me that he would have me go to Mr. Townsend, whom he had ordered to discover to me the whole mystery of the Wardrobe, and none else but me, and that he will make me deputy with him for fear that he should die in my Lord’s absence, of which I was glad.
Then to the Cook’s with Mr. Shepley and Mr. Creed, and dined together, and then I went to the Theatre and there saw Bartholomew Faire, the first time it was acted now a-days. It is a most admirable play and well acted, but too much prophane and abusive.
From thence, meeting Mr. Creed at the door, he and I went to the tobacco shop under Temple Bar gate, and there went up to the top of the house and there sat drinking Lambeth ale a good while. Then away home, and in my way called upon Mr. Rawlinson (my uncle Wight being out of town), for his advice to answer a letter of my uncle Robert, wherein he do offer me a purchase to lay some money upon, that joynes upon some of his own lands, and plainly telling me that the reason of his advice is the convenience that it will give me as to his estate, of which I am exceeding glad, and am advised to give up wholly the disposal of my money to him, let him do what he will with it, which I shall do. So home and to bed.

Lord, order me,
make me fear to get abusive.

I went to the top of the house
and sat drinking a while.

Let me lay some money on joy.
Tell me to do what I shall do.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 June 1661.

Apparatchik

To my Lord’s at Whitehall, but not finding him I went to the Wardrobe and there dined with my Lady, and was very kindly treated by her. After dinner to the office, and there till late at night. So home, and to Sir William Batten’s, who is come this day from Chatham with my Lady, who is and has been much troubled with the toothache. Here I staid till late, and so home and to bed.

At war with my kind
in the office—
he who is a hat,
who is a tooth.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 7 June 1661.

Homesick

My head hath ached all night, and all this morning, with my last night’s debauch.
Called up this morning by Lieutenant Lambert, who is now made Captain of the Norwich, and he and I went down by water to Greenwich, in our way observing and discoursing upon the things of a ship, he telling me all I asked him, which was of good use to me.
There we went and eat and drank and heard musique at the Globe, and saw the simple motion that is there of a woman with a rod in her hand keeping time to the musique while it plays, which is simple, methinks.
Back again by water, calling at Captain Lambert’s house, which is very handsome and neat, and a fine prospect at top. So to the office, where we sat a little, and then the Captain and I again to Bridewell to Mr. Holland’s, where his wife also, a plain dowdy, and his mother was. Here I paid Mrs. Holland the money due from me to her husband. Here came two young gentlewomen to see Mr. Holland, and one of them could play pretty well upon the viallin, but, good God! how these ignorant people did cry her up for it! We were very merry. I staid and supped there, and so home and to bed. The weather very hot, this night I left off my wastecoat.

My ache is
a green thing,
a simple music.
It plays well
on a violin.
But how I cry
for the home
and weather
I left!


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 6 June 1661.

Nocturnal

This morning did give my wife 4l. to lay out upon lace and other things for herself. I to Wardrobe and so to Whitehall and Westminster, where I dined with my Lord and Ned Pickering alone at his lodgings. After dinner to the office, where we sat and did business, and Sir W. Pen and I went home with Sir R. Slingsby to bowls in his ally, and there had good sport, and afterwards went in and drank and talked. So home Sir William and I, and it being very hot weather I took my flageolette and played upon the leads in the garden, where Sir W. Pen came out in his shirt into his leads, and there we staid talking and singing, and drinking great drafts of claret, and eating botargo and bread and butter till 12 at night, it being moonshine; and so to bed, very near fuddled.

I dine with owls
and in hot weather drink
great drafts of moon.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 June 1661.

Homesteader

The Comptroller came this morning to get me to go see a house or two near our office, which he would take for himself or Mr. Turner, and then he would have me have Mr. Turner’s lodgings and himself mine and Mr. Davis’s. But the houses did not like us, and so that design at present is stopped.
Then he and I by water to the bridge, and then walked over the Bank-side till we came to the Temple, and so I went over and to my father’s, where I met with my cozen J. Holcroft, and took him and my father and my brother Tom to the Bear tavern and gave them wine, my cozen being to go into the country again to-morrow.
From thence to my Lord Crew’s to dinner with him, and had very good discourse about having of young noblemen and gentlemen to think of going to sea, as being as honourable service as the land war. And among other things he told us how, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, one young nobleman would wait with a trencher at the back of another till he came to age himself. And witnessed in my young Lord of Kent, that then was, who waited upon my Lord Bedford at table, when a letter came to my Lord Bedford that the Earldom of Kent was fallen to his servant, the young Lord; and so he rose from table, and made him sit down in his place, and took a lower for himself, for so he was by place to sit. From thence to the Theatre and saw “Harry the 4th,” a good play. That done I went over the water and walked over the fields to Southwark, and so home and to my lute. At night to bed.

This morning, I would turn
like a bear into the country
and go over the water and over
the fields to home.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 4 June 1661.

Landlocked

To the Wardrobe, where discoursing with my Lord, he did instruct me as to the business of the Wardrobe, in case, in his absence, Mr. Townsend should die, and told me that he do intend to joyne me and Mr. Moore with him as to the business, now he is going to sea, and spoke to me many other things, as to one that he do put the greatest confidence in, of which I am proud. Here I had a good occasion to tell him (what I have had long in my mind) that, since it has pleased God to bless me with something, I am desirous to lay out something for my father, and so have pitched upon Mr. Young’s place in the Wardrobe, which I desired he would give order in his absence, if the place should fall that I might have the refusal. Which my Lord did freely promise me, at which I was very glad, he saying that he would do that at the least. So I saw my Lord into the barge going to Whitehall, and I and Mr. Creed home to my house, whither my father and my cozen Scott came to dine with me, and so we dined together very well, and before we had done in comes my father Bowyer and my mother and four daughters, and a young gentleman and his sister, their friends, and there staid all the afternoon, which cost me great store of wine, and were very merry.
By and by I am called to the office, and there staid a little. So home again, and took Mr. Creed and left them, and so he and I to the Towre, to speak for some ammunition for ships for my Lord; and so he and I, with much pleasure, walked quite round the Towre, which I never did before. So home, and after a walk with my wife upon the leads, I and she went to bed.
This morning I and Dr. Peirce went over to the Beare at the Bridge foot, thinking to have met my Lord Hinchinbroke and his brother setting forth for France; but they being not come we went over to the Wardrobe, and there found that my Lord Abbot Montagu being not at Paris, my Lord hath a mind to have them stay a little longer before they go.

The business of the town
is going to sea, which
it pleased God to lay out
in the absence of wine
or ships, a lead foot
setting forth for France
and a mind to stay longer
before they go.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 3 June 1661.

Against certainty

(Whitsunday). The barber having done with me, I went to church, and there heard a good sermon of Mr. Mills, fit for the day. Then home to dinner, and then to church again, and going home I found Greatorex (whom I expected today at dinner) come to see me, and so he and I in my chamber drinking of wine and eating of anchovies an hour or two, discoursing of many things in mathematics, and among others he showed me how it comes to pass the strength that levers have, and he showed me that what is got as to matter of strength is lost by them as to matter of time.
It rained very hard, as it hath done of late so much that we begin to doubt a famine, and so he was forced to stay longer than I desired.
At night after prayers to bed.

An ill fit for the church
of mathematics am I.
Show me what is lost by doubt
or a long-desired night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 June 1661.

The River Thames

Having taken our leaves of Sir W. Batten and my Lady, who are gone this morning to keep their Whitsuntide, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Gauden by water to Woolwich, and there went from ship to ship to give order for and take notice of their forwardness to go forth, and then to Deptford and did the like, having dined at Woolwich with Captain Poole at the tavern there.
From Deptford we walked to Redriffe, calling at the half-way house, and there come into a room where there was infinite of new cakes placed that are made against Whitsuntide, and there we were very merry.
By water home, and there did businesses of the office. Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creeds of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed. Having wrote letters into the country and read some things I went to bed.

The tide went from ship to ship
like a captain at the tavern
calling at a room
where there was infinite cake—
water in the reeds,
a voyage into some bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 June 1661.