Recipe for survival

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, and after church home to dinner, where I met Betty Michell and her husband, very merry at dinner, and after dinner, having borrowed Sir W. Pen’s coach, we to Westminster, they two and my wife and I to Mr. Martin’s, where find the company almost all come to the christening of Mrs. Martin’s child, a girl. A great deal of good plain company. After sitting long, till the church was done, the Parson comes, and then we to christen the child. I was Godfather, and Mrs. Holder (her husband, a good man, I know well), and a pretty lady, that waits, it seems, on my Lady Bath, at White Hall, her name, Mrs. Noble, were Godmothers. After the christening comes in the wine and the sweetmeats, and then to prate and tattle, and then very good company they were, and I among them. Here was old Mrs. Michell and Howlett, and several married women of the Hall, whom I knew mayds. Here was also Mrs. Burroughs and Mrs. Bales, the young widow, whom I led home, and having staid till the moon was up, I took my pretty gossip to White Hall with us, and I saw her in her lodging, and then my owne company again took coach, and no sooner in the coach but something broke, that we were fain there to stay till a smith could be fetched, which was above an hour, and then it costing me 6s. to mend. Away round by the wall and Cow Lane, for fear it should break again; and in pain about the coach all the way. But to ease myself therein Betty Michell did sit at the same end with me, and there con su mano under my manteau, I did pull off her cheirotheca and did tocar mi cosa con su mano through my chemise, but yet so as to hazer me hazer la grande cosa she did let me hazerle sin mucho trabaho. Being very much pleased with this, we at last come home, and so to supper, and then sent them by boat home, and we to bed.
When I come home I went to Sir W. Batten’s, and there I hear more ill newes still: that all our New England fleete, which went out lately, are put back a third time by foul weather, and dispersed, some to one port and some to another; and their convoys also to Plymouth; and whether any of them be lost or not, we do not know. This, added to all the rest, do lay us flat in our hopes and courages, every body prophesying destruction to the nation.

sit
till Christ comes

howl
till the moon is new

weather another lost hope
and rage

prophesying destruction
to the nation


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 December 1666.

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