Parasitic

I have had a bad night’s rest to-night, not sleeping well, as my wife observed, and once or twice she did wake me, and I thought myself to be mightily bit with fleas, and in the morning she chid her mayds for not looking the fleas a-days. But, when I rose, I found that it is only the change of the weather from hot to cold, which, as I was two winters ago, do stop my pores, and so my blood tingles and itches all day all over my body, and so continued to-day all the day long just as I was then, and if it continues to be so cold I fear I must come to the same pass, but sweating cured me then, and I hope, and am told, will this also.
At the office sat all the morning, dined at home, and after dinner to White Hall, to the Fishing Committee, but not above four of us met, which could do nothing, and a sad thing it is to see so great a work so ill followed, for at this pace it can come to nothing but disgrace to us all. Broke up and did nothing.
So I walked to Westminster, and there at my barber’s had good luck to find Jane alone; and there I talked with her and got the poor wretch to promise to meet me in the abbey on tomorrow come sennit, telling me that her maister and mistress have a mind to get her a husband, and so will not let her go abroad without them — but only in sermon time a-Sundays she doth go out. I would I could get a good husband for her, for she is one I always thought a good-natured as well as a well-looked girl.
Thence home, doing some errands by the way; and so to my office, whither Mr. Holliard came to me to discourse about the privileges of the Surgeon’s hall as to our signing of bills, wherein I did give him a little, and but a little, satisfaction; for we won’t lose our power of recommending them once approved of by the hall.
He gone, I late to send by the post &c; and so to supper and to bed — my itching and tickling continuing still, the weather continuing cold. And Mr. Holliard tells me that sweating will cure me at any time.

a bad night for fleas
the weather cold as winter
all over my body

the poor go out only on Sundays
good-natured about the privileges of power
to itch and tick and eat
at any time


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 3 September 1664.

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