Killer moves

Up early to see my workmen at work. My brother Tom comes to me, and among other things I looked over my old clothes and did give him a suit of black stuff clothes and a hat and some shoes.
At the office all the morning, where Sir G. Carteret comes, and there I did get him to promise me some money upon a bill of exchange, whereby I shall secure myself of 60l. which otherwise I should not know how to get.
At noon I found my stairs quite broke down, that I could not get up but by a ladder; and my wife not being well she kept her chamber all this day.
To the Dolphin to a dinner of Mr. Harris’s, where Sir Williams both and my Lady Batten, and her two daughters, and other company, where a great deal of mirth, and there staid till 11 o’clock at night; and in our mirth I sang and sometimes fiddled (there being a noise of fiddlers there), and at last we fell to dancing, the first time that ever I did in my life, which I did wonder to see myself to do. At last we made Mingo, Sir W. Batten’s black, and Jack, Sir W. Pen’s, dance, and it was strange how the first did dance with a great deal of seeming skill.
Home, where I found my wife all day in her chamber. So to bed.

A black hat
and some shoes
could not get up
a ladder, and fell
to dancing—
the first dance,
the first great kill.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 27 March 1661.

Butsuzo

Up early to do business in my study.
This is my great day that three years ago I was cut of the stone, and, blessed be God, I do yet find myself very free from pain again. All this morning I staid at home looking after my workmen to my great content about my stairs, and at noon by coach to my father’s, where Mrs. Turner, The, Joyce, Mr. Morrice, Mr. Armiger, Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, and his wife, my father and mother, and myself and my wife.
Very merry at dinner; among other things, because Mrs. Turner and her company eat no flesh at all this Lent, and I had a great deal of good flesh which made their mouths water.
After dinner Mrs. Pierce and her husband and I and my wife to Salisbury Court, where coming late he and she light of Col. Boone that made room for them, and I and my wife sat in the pit, and there met with Mr. Lewes and Tom Whitton, and saw “The Bondman” done to admiration. So home by coach, and after a view of what the workmen had done to-day I went to bed.

Three years ago I was stone,
free from pain, content—
no joy or urge.
I had a great deal of light,
one room,
and I sat.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 26 March 1661.

Self-made man

(Lady day). This morning came workmen to begin the making of me a new pair of stairs up out of my parler, which, with other work that I have to do, I doubt will keep me this two months and so long I shall be all in dirt; but the work do please me very well. To the office, and there all the morning, dined at home, and after dinner comes Mr. Salisbury to see me, and shewed me a face or two of his paynting, and indeed I perceive that he will be a great master.
I took him to Whitehall with me by water, but he would not by any means be moved to go through bridge, and so we were fain to go round by the Old Swan.
To my Lord’s and there I shewed him the King’s picture, which he intends to copy out in little. After that I and Captain Ferrers to Salisbury Court by water, and saw part of the “Queene’s Maske.” Then I to Mrs. Turner, and there staid talking late. The. Turner being in a great chafe, about being disappointed of a room to stand in at the Coronacion.
Then to my father’s, and there staid talking with my mother and him late about my dinner to-morrow.
So homewards and took up a boy that had a lanthorn, that was picking up of rags, and got him to light me home, and had great discourse with him how he could get sometimes three or four bushells of rags in a day, and got 3d. a bushell for them, and many other discourses, what and how many ways there are for poor children to get their livings honestly.
So home and I to bed at 12 o’clock at night, being pleased well with the work that my workmen have begun to-day.

I work to begin
the making of me
out of dirt and morning,
a face of water, an old mask
of my father’s, and three
or four discourses
for children.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 March 1661.

Industrial worship

(Lord’s day). My wife and I to church, and then home with Sir W. Batten and my Lady to dinner, where very merry, and then to church again, where Mr. Mills made a good sermon. Home again, and after a walk in the garden Sir W. Batten’s two daughters came and sat with us a while, and I then up to my chamber to read.

Church and church again
where mills made a good walk
in the garden aught.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 24 March 1660/61.

Leaf-out

All the morning at home putting papers in order, dined at home, and then out to the Red Bull (where I had not been since plays come up again), but coming too soon I went out again and walked all up and down the Charterhouse yard and Aldersgate street. At last came back again and went in, where I was led by a seaman that knew me, but is here as a servant, up to the tireing-room, where strange the confusion and disorder that there is among them in fitting themselves, especially here, where the clothes are very poor, and the actors but common fellows. At last into the Pitt, where I think there was not above ten more than myself, and not one hundred in the whole house. And the play, which is called “All’s lost by Lust,” poorly done; and with so much disorder, among others, that in the musique-room the boy that was to sing a song, not singing it right, his master fell about his ears and beat him so, that it put the whole house in an uproar.
Thence homewards, and at the Mitre met my uncle Wight, and with him Lieut.-Col. Baron, who told us how Crofton, the great Presbyterian minister that had lately preached so highly against Bishops, is clapped up this day into the Tower. Which do please some, and displease others exceedingly.
Home and to bed.

All the alders
in disorder
fitting themselves
with singing ears
that roar and clap.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 23 March 1660/61.

By any other name

This morning I rose early, and my Lady Batten knocked at her door that comes into one of my chambers, and called me to know whether I and my wife were ready to go. So my wife got her ready, and about eight o’clock I got a horseback, and my Lady and her two daughters, and Sir W. Pen into coach, and so over London Bridge, and thence to Dartford. The day very pleasant, though the way bad. Here we met with Sir W. Batten, and some company along with him, who had assisted him in his election at Rochester; and so we dined and were very merry. At 5 o’clock we set out again in a coach home, and were very merry all the way. At Deptford we met with Mr. Newborne, and some other friends and their wives in a coach to meet us, and so they went home with us, and at Sir W. Batten’s we supped, and thence to bed, my head akeing mightily through the wine that I drank to-day.

This rose at her door
called me to know her,

the day very pleasant,
though the way bad

and I a newborn,
my head aching.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Frtiday 22 March 1660/61.

Full figure

Up very early, and to work and study in my chamber, and then to Whitehall to my Lord, and there did stay with him a good while discoursing upon his accounts. Here I staid with Mr. Creed all the morning, and at noon dined with my Lord, who was very merry, and after dinner we sang and fiddled a great while. Then I by water (Mr. Shepley, Pinkney, and others going part of the way) home, and then hard at work setting my papers in order, and writing letters till night, and so to bed.
This day I saw the Florence Ambassador go to his audience, the weather very foul, and yet he and his company very gallant. After I was a-bed Sir W. Pen sent to desire me to go with him to-morrow morning to meet Sir W. Batten coming from Rochester.

With a fiddle
I go part-
way home

and a bass,
go to bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 21 March 1660/61.

The People’s Front

At the office all the morning, dined at home and Mr. Creed and Mr. Shepley with me, and after dinner we did a good deal of business in my study about my Lord’s accounts to be made up and presented to our office. That done to White Hall to Mr. Coventry, where I did some business with him, and so with Sir W. Pen (who I found with Mr. Coventry teaching of him upon the map to understand Jamaica). By water in the dark home, and so to my Lady Batten’s where my wife was, and there we sat and eat and drank till very late, and so home to bed.
The great talk of the town is the strange election that the City of London made yesterday for Parliament-men; viz. Fowke, Love, Jones, and … , men that are so far from being episcopall that they are thought to be Anabaptists; and chosen with a great deal of zeal, in spite of the other party that thought themselves very strong, calling out in the Hall, “No Bishops! no Lord Bishops!” It do make people to fear it may come to worse, by being an example to the country to do the same. And indeed the Bishops are so high, that very few do love them.

I made up a map
to understand water
in the dark home
where we drank—

a strange parliament
so far from thought,
calling people to fear
a worse country.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 20 March 1660/61.

Sadhu

We met at the office this morning about some particular business, and then I to Whitehall, and there dined with my Lord, and after dinner Mr. Creed and I to White-Fryars, where we saw “The Bondman” acted most excellently, and though I have seen it often, yet I am every time more and more pleased with Betterton’s action. From thence with him and young Mr. Jones to Penell’s in Fleet Street, and there we drank and talked a good while, and so I home and to bed.

We part, I and my cell.
And though I have seen it often,
I am more and more pleased
with the street—
a rank home and bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 19 March 1660/61.

Homeless

This morning early Sir W. Batten went to Rochester, where he expects to be chosen Parliament man.
At the office all the morning, dined at home and with my wife to Westminster, where I had business with the Commissioner for paying the seamen about my Lord’s pay, and my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s.
I called her home, and made inquiry at Greatorex’s and in other places to hear of Mr. Barlow (thinking to hear that he is dead), but I cannot find it so, but the contrary. Home and called at my Lady Batten’s, and supped there, and so home.
This day an ambassador from Florence was brought into the town in state.
Good hopes given me to-day that Mrs. Davis is going away from us, her husband going shortly to Ireland. Yesterday it was said was to be the day that the Princess Henrietta was to marry the Duke d’Anjou in France.
This day I found in the newes-booke that Roger Pepys is chosen at Cambridge for the town, the first place that we hear of to have made their choice yet.
To bed with my head and mind full of business, which do a little put me out of order, and I do find myself to become more and more thoughtful about getting of money than ever heretofore.

I miss the sea in other places
I cannot find a home.
Call me an ambassador to
the first place that put me
out of myself.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 18 March 1660/61.