Geophagy

(Lord’s day). To church in the morning, where Mr. Mills preached upon Christ’s being offered up for our sins, and there proving the equity with what justice God would lay our sins upon his Son, he did make such a sermon (among other things pleading, from God’s universal sovereignty over all his creatures, the power he has of commanding what he would of his Son by the same rule as that he might have made us all, and the whole world from the beginning to have been in hell, arguing from the power the potter has over his clay), that I could have wished he had let it alone; and speaking again, the Father is now so satisfied by our security for our debt, that we might say at the last day as many of us as have interest in Christ’s death: Lord, we owe thee nothing, our debt is paid. We are not beholden to, thee for anything, for thy debt is paid to thee to the full; which methinks were very bold words.
Home to dinner, and then my wife and I on foot to see Mrs. Turner, who continues still sick, and thence into the Old Bayly by appointment to speak with Mrs. Norbury who lies at (it falls out) next door to my uncle Fenner’s; but as God would have it, we having no desire to be seen by his people, he having lately married a midwife that is old and ugly, and that hath already brought home to him a daughter and three children, we were let in at a back door. And here she offered me the refusall of some lands of her at Brampton, if I have a mind to buy, which I answered her I was not at present provided to do. She took occasion to talk of her sister Wight’s making much of the Wights, who for namesake only my uncle do shew great kindness to, so I fear may do us that are nearer to him a great deal of wrong, if he should die without children, which I am sorry for. Thence to my uncle Wight’s, and there we supped and were merry, though my uncle hath lately lost 200 or 300 at sea, and I am troubled to hear that the Turks do take more and more of our ships in the Straights, and that our merchants here in London do daily break, and are still likely to do so.
So home, and I put in at Sir W. Batten’s, where Major Holmes was, and in our discourse and drinking I did give Sir J. Mennes’ health, which he swore he would not pledge, and called him knave and coward (upon the business of Holmes with the Swedish ship lately), which we all and I particularly did desire him to forbear, he being of our fraternity, which he took in great dudgeon, and I was vexed to hear him persist in calling him so, though I believe it to be true, but however he is to blame and I am troubled at it. So home and to prayers, and to bed.

I eat clay again,
satisfied by that nothing
to the full,
that ugly child let in
at a back door.
Off the land
I have no name,
only the troubled dish
we all call home.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 19 January 1661/62.

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