Little song of epidemiology

Office day. This day comes news, by letters from Portsmouth, that the Princess Henrietta is fallen sick of the meazles on board the London, after the Queen and she was under sail. And so was forced to come back again into Portsmouth harbour; and in their way, by negligence of the pilot, run upon the Horse sand. The Queen and she continue aboard, and do not intend to come on shore till she sees what will become of the young Princess. This news do make people think something indeed, that three of the Royal Family should fall sick of the same disease, one after another. This morning likewise, we had order to see guards set in all the King’s yards; and so we do appoint who and who should go to them. Sir Wm. Batten to Chatham, Colonel Slingsby and I to Deptford and Woolwich. Portsmouth being a garrison, needs none.
Dined at home, discontented that my wife do not go neater now she has two maids. After dinner comes in Kate Sterpin (whom we had not seen a great while) and her husband to see us, with whom I staid a while, and then to the office, and left them with my wife.
At night walked to Paul’s Churchyard, and bespoke some books against next week, and from thence to the Coffeehouse, where I met Captain Morrice, the upholster, who would fain have lent me a horse to-night to have rid with him upon the Cityguards, with the Lord Mayor, there being some new expectations of these rogues; but I refused by reason of my going out of town tomorrow. So home to bed.

Mouth of the queen,
mouth of the horse—
what will become of
the young disease?
Like a sling,
a mouth needs content.
After dinner
comes a husband to a wife,
night to the coffeehouse,
a horse to a rogue.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 January 1660/61.

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