Against certainty

(Whitsunday). The barber having done with me, I went to church, and there heard a good sermon of Mr. Mills, fit for the day. Then home to dinner, and then to church again, and going home I found Greatorex (whom I expected today at dinner) come to see me, and so he and I in my chamber drinking of wine and eating of anchovies an hour or two, discoursing of many things in mathematics, and among others he showed me how it comes to pass the strength that levers have, and he showed me that what is got as to matter of strength is lost by them as to matter of time.
It rained very hard, as it hath done of late so much that we begin to doubt a famine, and so he was forced to stay longer than I desired.
At night after prayers to bed.

An ill fit for the church
of mathematics am I.
Show me what is lost by doubt
or a long-desired night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 June 1661.

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