High on the hog

With Mr. Pierce, purser, to Westminster Hall, and there met with Captain Cuttance, Lieut. Lambert, and Pierce, surgeon, thinking to have met with the Commissioners of Parliament, but they not sitting, we went to the Swan, where I did give them a barrel of oysters; and so I to my Lady’s and there dined, and had very much talk and pleasant discourse with my Lady, my esteem growing every day higher and higher in her and my Lord.
So to my father Bowyer’s where my wife was, and to the Commissioners of Parliament, and there did take some course about having my Lord’s salary paid tomorrow when the Charles is paid off, but I was troubled to see how high they carry themselves, when in good truth nobody cares for them. So home by coach and my wife. I then to the office, where Sir Williams both and I set about making an estimate of all the officers’ salaries in ordinary in the Navy till 10 o’clock at night.
So home, and I with my head full of thoughts how to get a little present money, I eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to bed.

Here I sit, high
and fat as a parliament
nobody cares for.

An ordinary night.
My head full of money, I eat
bread and cheese.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 5 March 1660/61.

Clarity

At the office all the morning, and in the afternoon at making up my accounts for my Lord to-morrow; and that being done I found myself to be clear (as I think) 350l. in the world, besides my goods in my house and all things paid for.

ice all morning
making a clear world


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 15 February 1660/61.

Skid Row

Within all the morning. Several people to speak with me; Mr. Shepley for 100l.; Mr. Kennard and Warren, the merchant, about deals for my Lord. Captain Robert Blake lately come from the Straights about some Florence Wine for my Lord, and with him I went to Sir W. Pen, who offering me a barrel of oysters I took them both home to my house (having by chance a good piece of roast beef at the fire for dinner), and there they dined with me, and sat talking all the afternoon-good company. Thence to Alderman Backwell’s and took a brave state-plate and cupp in lieu of the candlesticks that I had the other day and carried them by coach to my Lord’s and left them there. And so back to my father’s and saw my mother, and so to my uncle Fenner’s, whither my father came to me, and there we talked and drank, and so away; I home with my father, he telling me what bad wives both my cozen Joyces make to their husbands, which I much wondered at. After talking of my sister’s coming to me next week, I went home and to bed.

Wine and a barrel fire—
talking all afternoon
of bad wives.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 29 December 1660.

Workshop

(Office day). To it all the morning, and dined at home where my father come and dined with me, who seems to take much pleasure to have a son that is neat in his house. I being now making my new door into the entry, which he do please himself much with.
After dinner to the office again, and there till night. And that being done the Comptroller and I to the Mitre to a glass of wine, when we fell into a discourse of poetry, and he did repeat some verses of his own making which were very good.
Home, there hear that my Lady Batten had given my wife a visit (the first that ever she made her), which pleased me exceedingly. So after supper to bed.

Making my new door,
we fell into a discourse
of poetry.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 November 1660.

Church

Lord’s day). To the Parish church in the morning, where a good sermon by Mr. Mills.
After dinner to my Lord’s, and from thence to the Abbey, where I met Spicer and D. Vines and others of the old crew. So leaving my boy at the Abbey against I came back, we went to Prior’s by the Hall back door, but there being no drink to be had we went away, and so to the Crown in the Palace Yard, I and George Vines by the way calling at their house, where he carried me up to the top of his turret, where there is Cooke’s head set up for a traytor, and Harrison’s set up on the other side of Westminster Hall. Here I could see them plainly, as also a very fair prospect about London. From the Crown to the Abbey to look for my boy, but he was gone thence, and so he being a novice I was at a loss what was become of him. I called at my Lord’s (where I found Mr. Adams, Mr. Sheply’s friend) and at my father’s, but found him not. So home, where I found him, but he had found the way home well enough, of which I was glad. So after supper, and reading of some chapters, I went to bed. This day or two my wife has been troubled with her boils in the old place, which do much trouble her.
Today at noon (God forgive me) I strung my lute, which I had not touched a great while before.

The morning sermon
a crow calling
all the way home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 21 October 1660.

Aquarium

Office day all the morning, and from thence with Sir W. Batten and the rest of the officers to a venison pasty of his at the Dolphin, where dined withal Col. Washington, Sir Edward Brett, and Major Norwood, very noble company. After dinner I went home, where I found Mr. Cooke, who told me that my Lady Sandwich is come to town to-day, whereupon I went to Westminster to see her, and found her at supper, so she made me sit down all alone with her, and after supper staid and talked with her, she showing me most extraordinary love and kindness, and do give me good assurance of my uncle’s resolution to make me his heir. From thence home and to bed.

The dolphin dined
on a sandwich all alone.
I talk with my ma.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 12 October 1660.

Pepysian haiku

This morning Mr. Sheply disposed of the money that the Duke of York did give my Lord’s servants, 22 ducatoons came to my share, whereof he told me to give Jaspar something because my Lord left him out. I did give Mr. Sheply the fine pair of buckskin gloves that I bought myself about five years ago.
My Lord took physic to-day, and so come not out all day. The Captain on shore all day.
After dinner Captain Jefferys and W. Howe, and the Lieutenant and I to ninepins, where I lost about two shillings and so fooled away all the afternoon.
At night Mr. Cooke comes from London with letters, leaving all things there very gallant and joyful. And brought us word that the Parliament had ordered the 29th of May, the King’s birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny, and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day.
My wife was in London when he came thither, and had been there a week with Mr. Bowyer and his wife.
My poor wife has not been well a week before, but thanks be to God is well again. She would fain see me and be at her house again, but we must be content. She writes word how the Joyces grow very rich and very proud, but it is no matter, and that there was a talk that I should be knighted by the King, which they (the Joyces) laugh at; but I think myself happier in my wife and estate than they are in theirs.
To bed. The Captain come on board, when I was going to bed, quite fuddled; and himself the next morning told me so too, that the Vice-Admiral, Rear- Admiral, and he had been drinking all day.

A fine pair of ears
my poor wife has!
Drinking all day.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 1 June 1660.