Battlefield

All the morning at the office, at noon to Anthony Joyce’s, to our gossip’s dinner. I had sent a dozen and a half of bottles of wine thither, and paid my double share besides, which is 18s. Very merry we were, and when the women were merry and rose from table, I above with them, ne’er a man but I, I began discourse of my not getting of children, and prayed them to give me their opinions and advice, and they freely and merrily did give me these ten, among them (1) Do not hug my wife too hard nor too much; (2) eat no late suppers; (3) drink juyce of sage; (4) tent and toast; (5) wear cool holland drawers; (6) keep stomach warm and back cool; (7) upon query whether it was best to do at night or morn, they answered me neither one nor other, but when we had most mind to it; (8) wife not to go too straight laced; (9) myself to drink mum and sugar; (10) Mrs. Ward did give me, to change my place. The 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 10th they all did seriously declare, and lay much stress upon them as rules fit to be observed indeed, and especially the last, to lie with our heads where our heels do, or at least to make the bed high at feet and low at head.
Very merry all, as much as I could be in such sorry company.
Great discourse of the fray yesterday in Moorefields, how the butchers at first did beat the weavers (between whom there hath been ever an old competition for mastery), but at last the weavers rallied and beat them. At first the butchers knocked down all for weavers that had green or blue aprons, till they were fain to pull them off and put them in their breeches. At last the butchers were fain to pull off their sleeves, that they might not be known, and were soundly beaten out of the field, and some deeply wounded and bruised; till at last the weavers went out tryumphing, calling 100l. for a butcher. I to Mr. Reeves to see a microscope, he having been with me to-day morning, and there chose one which I will have.
Thence back and took up young Mrs. Harman, a pretty bred and pretty humoured woman whom I could love well, though not handsome, yet for her person and carriage, and black. By the way met her husband going for her, and set them both down at home, and so home to my office a while, and so to supper and bed.

do not hug too hard in a tent
keep warm at night

we go to war
to lie with butchers

the green or blue
sound of the field

some deep wound
calling you down


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 26 July 1664.

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