Slow boat

Towards Westminster, from the Towre, by water, and was fain to stand upon one of the piers about the bridge, before the men could drag their boat through the lock, and which they could not do till another was called to help them.
Being through bridge I found the Thames full of boats and gallys, and upon inquiry found that there was a wager to be run this morning. So spying of Payne in a gully, I went into him, and there staid, thinking to have gone to Chelsea with them. But upon, the start, the wager boats fell foul one of another, till at last one of them gives over, pretending foul play, and so the other row away alone, and all our sport lost. So, I went ashore, at Westminster; and to the Hall I went, where it was very pleasant to see the Hall in the condition it is now with the judges on the benches at the further end of it, which I had not seen all this term till now.
Thence with Mr. Spicer, Creed and some others to drink. And so away homewards by water with Mr. Creed, whom I left in London going about business and I home, where I staid all the afternoon in the garden reading “Faber Fortunae” with great pleasure. So home to bed.

The men drag
their galley in a gully,
thinking to go to sea,
but give over and row on shore.
It was pleasant to see
with judges on the benches
going all afternoon
in the garden.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 18 May 1661.

Tone deaf

All the morning at home. At noon Lieutenant Lambert came to me, and he and I to the Exchange, and thence to an ordinary over against it, where to our dinner we had a fellow play well upon the bagpipes and whistle like a bird exceeding well, and I had a fancy to learn to whistle as he do, and did promise to come some other day and give him an angell to teach me. To the office, and sat there all the afternoon till 9 at night. So home to my musique, and my wife and I sat singing in my chamber a good while together, and then to bed.

A lamb to change
into a bagpipe,
like angel to wife:
I sing in my chamber.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 17 May 1661.

Hydrologic

Up early to see whether the work of my house be quite done, and I found it to my mind. Staid at home all the morning, and about 2 o’clock went in my velvet coat by water to the Savoy, and there, having staid a good while, I was called into the Lords, and there, quite contrary to my expectations, they did treat me very civilly, telling me that what they had done was out of zeal to the King’s service, and that they would joyne with the governors of the chest with all their hearts, since they knew that there was any, which they did not before. I give them very respectful answer and so went away to the Theatre, and there saw the latter end of “The Mayd’s Tragedy,” which I never saw before, and methinks it is too sad and melancholy.
Thence homewards, and meeting Mr. Creed I took him by water to the Wardrobe with me, and there we found my Lord newly gone away with the Duke of Ormond and some others, whom he had had to the collation; and so we, with the rest of the servants in the hall, sat down and eat of the best cold meats that ever I eat on in all my life.
From thence I went home (Mr. Moore with me to the waterside, telling me how kindly he is used by my Lord and my Lady since his coming hither as a servant), and to bed.

Early on, I found
in the velvet
water of melancholy
the best cold life.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 16 May 1661.

Home economics

Up early and by water to Whitehall to my Lord, and there had much talk with him about getting some money for him. He told me of his intention to get the Muster Master’s place for Mr. Pierce, the purser, who he has a mind to carry to sea with him, and spoke very slightingly of Mr. Creed, as that he had no opinion at all of him, but only he was forced to make use of him because of his present accounts. Thence to drink with Mr. Shepley and Mr. Pinkny, and so home and among my workmen all day. In the evening Mr. Shepley came to me for some money, and so he and I to the Mitre, and there we had good wine and a gammon of bacon. My uncle Wight, Mr. Talbot, and others were with us, and we were pretty merry. So at night home and to bed. Finding my head grow weak now-a-days if I come to drink wine, and therefore hope that I shall leave it off of myself, which I pray God I could do.

To talk about money
is to get a purse to carry sea.

I only work
for good bacon.

I find my head in wine
and therefore hope.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 14 May 1661.

Hangman

All the morning at home among my workmen. At noon Mr. Creed and I went to the ordinary behind the Exchange, where we lately were, but I do not like it so well as I did. So home with him and to the office, where we sat late, and he did deliver his accounts to us.
The office being done I went home and took pleasure to see my work draw to an end.

I am my work:
at noon, an ordinary hang.
We ate.

Like the liver I took
pleasure to see
draw to an end.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 13 May 1661.

Sunday walker

My wife had a very troublesome night this night and in great pain, but about the morning her swelling broke, and she was in great ease presently as she useth to be. So I put in a tent (which Dr. Williams sent me yesterday) into the hole to keep it open till all the matter be come out, and so I question not that she will soon be well again.
I staid at home all this morning, being the Lord’s day, making up my private accounts and setting papers in order. At noon went with my Lady Montagu at the Wardrobe, but I found it so late that I came back again, and so dined with my wife in her chamber.
After dinner I went awhile to my chamber to set my papers right.
Then I walked forth towards Westminster and at the Savoy heard Dr. Fuller preach upon David’s words, “I will wait with patience all the days of my appointed time until my change comes;” but methought it was a poor dry sermon. And I am afeard my former high esteem of his preaching was more out of opinion than judgment.
From thence homewards, but met with Mr. Creed, with whom I went and walked in Grayes-Inn-walks, and from thence to Islington, and there eat and drank at the house my father and we were wont of old to go to; and after that walked homeward, and parted in Smithfield: and so I home, much wondering to see how things are altered with Mr. Creed, who, twelve months ago, might have been got to hang himself almost as soon as go to a drinking-house on a Sunday.

Night welling up
at noon, I walk west
and hear a poor,
dry sermon
in a reed.
I walk home
to see who might
hang himself.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 12 May 1661.

Graying

This morning I went by water with Payne (Mr. Moore being with me) to my Lord Chamberlain at Whitehall, and there spoke with my Lord, and he did accept of Payne for his waterman, as I had lately endeavoured to get him to be. After that Mr. Cooling did give Payne an order to be entertained, and so I left him and Mr. Moore, and I went to Graye’s Inne, and there to a barber’s, where I was trimmed, and had my haire cut, in which I am lately become a little curious, finding that the length of it do become me very much.
So, calling at my father’s, I went home, and there staid and saw my workmen follow their work, which this night is brought to a very good condition.
This afternoon Mr. Shepley, Moore, and Creed came to me all about their several accounts with me, and we did something with them all, and so they went away. This evening Mr. Hater brought my last quarter’s salary, of which I was very glad, because I have lost my first bill for it, and so this morning was forced to get another signed by three of my fellow officers for it.
All this evening till late setting my accounts and papers in order, and so to bed.

I accept gray hair,
in which I am finding
my father and my work:
this is the last
lost ice, all
my accounts.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 11 May 1661.

Cogma

At the office all the morning, and the afternoon among my workmen with great pleasure, because being near an end of their work. This afternoon came Mr. Blackburn and Creed to see me, and I took them to the Dolphin, and there drank a great deal of Rhenish wine with them and so home, having some talk with Mr. Blackburn about his kinsman my Will, and he did give me good satisfaction in that it is his desire that his kinsman should do me all service, and that he would give him the best counsel he could to make him good. Which I begin of late to fear that he will not because of the bad company that I find that he do begin to take. This afternoon Mr. Hater received for me the 225l. due upon Mr. Creed’s bill in which I am concerned so much, which do make me very glad.
At night to Sir W. Batten and sat a while. So to bed.

I work with pleasure.
Near an end of work,
I burn to give
satisfaction
to the company.
Take me.
Make me.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 10 May 1661.

Breakdown

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.

Conscript

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.