” truth is the thing I cannot have
melancholy as a desert
I go to work
I do not desire to write a book
or live in one
but I must confess I walk
in the fields to sing ”
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 8 September 1665.
Waked, and fell in talk with my wife about the letter, and she satisfied me that she did not know from whence it come, but believed it might be from her cozen Franke Moore lately come out of France. The truth is the thing I think cannot have much in it, and being unwilling (being in other things so much at ease) to vex myself in a strange place at a melancholy time, passed all by and were presently friends.
Up, and several with me about business. Anon comes my Lord Bruncker, as I expected, and we to the enquiring into the business of the late desertion of the Shipwrights from worke, who had left us for three days together for want of money, and upon this all the morning, and brought it to a pretty good issue, that they, we believe, will come to-morrow to work.
To dinner, having but a mean one, yet sufficient for him, and he well enough pleased, besides that I do not desire to vye entertainments with him or any else. Here was Captain Cocke also, and Mr. Wayth. We staid together talking upon one business or other all the afternoon. In the evening my Lord Bruncker hearing that Mr. Ackeworth’s clerke, the Dutchman who writes and draws so well, was transcribing a book of Rates and our ships for Captain Millet a gallant of his mistress’s, we sent for him for it. He would not deliver it, but said it was his mistress’s and had delivered it to her. At last we were forced to send to her for it; she would come herself, and indeed the book was a very neat one and worth keeping as a rarity, but we did think fit, and though much against my will, to cancell all that he had finished of it, and did give her the rest, which vexed her, and she bore it discreetly enough, but with a cruel deal of malicious rancour in her looks. I must confess I would have persuaded her to have let us have it to the office, and it may be the board would not have censured too hardly of it, but my intent was to have had it as a Record for the office, but she foresaw what would be the end of it and so desired it might rather be cancelled, which was a plaguy deal of spite.
My Lord Bruncker being gone and company, and she also, afterwards I took my wife and people and walked into the fields about a while till night, and then home, and so to sing a little and then to bed. I was in great trouble all this day for my boy Tom who went to Greenwich yesterday by my order and come not home till to-night for fear of the plague, but he did come home to-night, saying he staid last night by Mr. Hater’s advice hoping to have me called as I come home with my boat to come along with me.
waked, and fell in talk with the letter –
she satisfied me, but believed it might come out
– the truth,
the thing I think, and being unwilling, being in
a strange place, passed by and presently up,
with the enquiring of the late desertion
for want of the morning
and having but a mean one,
yet sufficient [for] enough
I do not desire him
or any else. Here, one or other –
my hearing writes and draws
transcribing a book
of his mistress’s
[for him, for it, he would not deliver
but said it was a force;
she would come herself and was worth keeping
as a rarity]
but we did fit, though much against my will,
which vexed and I must confess
I would have persuaded her
to let us have it, but my intent was to have it
as a desire cancelled
and then home
then to bed.
I was trouble all this day, for order
[till to-night, as I come home, to come along, (with me)]