This morning came my brother John to take his leave of me, he being to return to Cambridge to-morrow, and after I had chid him for going with my Will the other day to Deptford with the principal officers, I did give him some good counsell and 20s. in money, and so he went away.
All this day I staid at home with my workmen without eating anything, and took much pleasure to see my work go forward. At night comes my wife not well from my father’s, having had a fore-tooth drawn out to-day, which do trouble me, and the more because I am now in the greatest of all my dirt.
My Will also returned to-night pretty well, he being gone yesterday not very well to his father’s.
To-day I received a letter from my uncle, to beg an old fiddle of me for my Cozen Perkin, the miller, whose mill the wind hath lately broke down, and now he hath nothing to live by but fiddling, and he must needs have it against Whitsuntide to play to the country girls; but it vexed me to see how my uncle writes to me, as if he were not able to buy him one. But I intend tomorrow to send him one. At night I set down my journal of my late journey to this time, and so to bed. My wife not being well and I very angry with her for her coming hither in that condition.

With my night tooth
and my dirt fiddle I
broke down,
nothing to live by
but to play the country
uncle, write
a journal of my journey
to this bed.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 May 1661.


In the morning to Mr. Coventry, Sir G. Carteret, and my Lord’s to give them an account of my return. My Lady, I find, is, since my going, gone to the Wardrobe. Then with Mr. Creed into London, to several places about his and my business, being much stopped in our way by the City traynebands, who go in much solemnity and pomp this day to muster before the King and the Duke, and shops in the City are shut up every where all this day.
He carried me to an ordinary by the Old Exchange, where we come a little too late, but we had very good cheer for our 18d. a-piece, and an excellent droll too, my host, and his wife so fine a woman; and sung and played so well that I stayed a great while and drunk a great deal of wine.
Then home and stayed among my workmen all day, and took order for things for the finishing of their work.
And so at night to Sir W. Batten’s, and there supped and so home and to bed, having sent my Lord a letter to-night to excuse myself for not going with him to-morrow to the Hope, whither he is to go to see in what condition the fleet is in.

To go to war
is to muster and shut up,
to exchange cheer for a cell.
I stay drunk, a thing
for finishing.
(No hope is to go.)

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 7 May 1661.


Up by four o’clock and took coach. Mr. Creed rode, and left us that we know not whither he went. We went on, thinking to be at home before the officers rose, but finding we could not we staid by the way and eat some cakes, and so home.
Where I was much troubled to see no more work done in my absence than there was, but it could not be helped.
I sent my wife to my father’s, and I went and sat till late with my Lady Batten, both the Sir Williams being gone this day to pay off some ships at Deptford.
So home and to bed without seeing of them.
I hear to-night that the Duke of York’s son is this day dead, which I believe will please every body; and I hear that the Duke and his Lady themselves are not much troubled at it.

No thinking or cake,
trouble or work
in my absence.

No father or son.

A dead body, I hear,
is not much.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 6 May 1661.

Immortals of the Wine Cup

(Lord’s day). Mr. Creed and I went to the red-faced Parson’s church, and heard a good sermon of him, better than I looked for. Then home, and had a good dinner, and after dinner fell in some talk in Divinity with Mr. Stevens that kept us till it was past Church time.
Anon we walked into the garden, and there played the fool a great while, trying who of Mr. Creed or I could go best over the edge of an old fountain wall, and I won a quart of sack of him.
Then to supper in the banquet house, and there my wife and I did talk high, she against and I for Mrs. Pierce (that she was a beauty), till we were both angry.
Then to walk in the fields, and so to our quarters, and to bed.

A red-faced divinity, the fool
who won a quart of sack.
He and I talk beauty
till we’re both angry,
then walk in the fields.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 May 1661.


Up in the morning and took coach, and so to Gilford, where we lay at the Red Lyon, the best Inn, and lay in the room the King lately lay in, where we had time to see the Hospital, built by Archbishop Abbott, and the free school, and were civilly treated by the Mayster.
So to supper, and to bed, being very merry about our discourse with the Drawers concerning the minister of the Town, with a red face and a girdle. So to bed, where we lay and sleep well.

I lay at the Red Lion,
lay in the room
I lately lay in, ill
and to bed with
a red face, I lay well.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 4 May 1661.


Early to walk with Mr. Creed up and down the town, and it was in his and some others’ thoughts to have got me made free of the town, but the Mayor, it seems, unwilling, and so they could not do it.
Then to the payhouse, and there paid off the ship, and so to a short dinner, and then took coach, leaving Mrs. Hater there to stay with her husband’s friends, and we to Petersfield, having nothing more of trouble in all my journey, but the exceeding unmannerly and most epicure-like palate of Mr. Creed.
Here my wife and I lay in the room the Queen lately lay at her going into France.

Early to walk
up and down the ship—
here with nothing but the most
epicure-like going.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 3 May 1661.

No Trespassing

Up, and Mr. Creed and I to walk round the town upon the walls. Then to our inn, and there all the officers of the Yard to see me with great respect, and I walked with them to the Dock and saw all the stores, and much pleased with the sight of the place.
Back and brought them all to dinner with me, and treated them handsomely; and so after dinner by water to the Yard, and there we made the sale of the old provisions. Then we and our wives all to see the Montagu, which is a fine ship, and so to the town again by water, and then to see the room where the Duke of Buckingham was killed by Felton.
So to our lodging, and to supper and to bed.
To-night came Mr. Stevens to town to help us to pay off the Fox.

The walls leased
the sight of the place—
a handsome provision.

To see is to kill.
Night came to town
to help the fox.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 2 May 1661.

Blood moon

Up early, and bated at Petersfield, in the room which the King lay in lately at his being there.
Here very merry, and played us and our wives at bowls. Then we set forth again, and so to Portsmouth, seeming to me to be a very pleasant and strong place; and we lay at the Red Lyon, where Haselrigge and Scott and Walton did hold their councill, when they were here, against Lambert and the Committee of Safety.
Several officers of the Yard came to see us to-night, and merry we were, but troubled to have no better lodgings.

A field in which
the king ate an owl—
old, amber.
Night bled,
no better lodging.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 1 May 1661.

Compleat angler

This morning, after order given to my workmen, my wife and I and Mr. Creed took coach, and in Fishstreet took up Mr. Hater and his wife, who through her mask seemed at first to be an old woman, but afterwards I found her to be a very pretty modest black woman.
We got a small bait at Leatherhead, and so to Godlyman, where we lay all night, and were very merry, having this day no other extraordinary rencontre, but my hat falling off my head at Newington into the water, by which it was spoiled, and I ashamed of it.
I am sorry that I am not at London, to be at Hide-parke to-morrow, among the great gallants and ladies, which will be very fine.

I give my fish
to a pretty woman
and lay my head in the water—
which spoiled it.
I am sorry that I am not at London
to hide among the ants.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 30 April 1661.


Up and with my father towards my house, and by the way met with Lieut. Lambert, and with him to the Dolphin in Tower Street and drank our morning draught, he being much troubled about his being offered a fourth rate ship to be Lieutenant of her now he has been two years Lieutenant in a first rate.
So to the office, where it is determined that I should go to-morrow to Portsmouth.
So I went out of the office to Whitehall presently, and there spoke with Sir W. Pen and Sir George Carteret and had their advice as to my going, and so back again home, where I directed Mr. Hater what to do in order to our going to-morrow, and so back again by coach to Whitehall and there eat something in the buttery at my Lord’s with John Goods and Ned Osgood.
And so home again, and gave order to my workmen what to do in my absence.
At night to Sir W. Batten’s, and by his and Sir W. Pen’s persuasion I sent for my wife from my father’s, who came to us to Mrs. Turner’s, where we were all at a collacion to-night till twelve o’clock, there being a gentlewoman there that did play well and sang well to the Harpsicon, and very merry we were.
So home and to bed, where my wife had not lain a great while.

I bled red years in the mine.

I went out of the present, going back and back.

In my absence, the clock sang to my wife.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 29 April 1661.