Eater

Up, and to my office, where busy, and there comes Mrs. Daniel; and it is strange how the merely putting my hand to her belly through her coats do make me do. At the office I all the morning busy. At noon home to dinner, where Mr. Lewes Phillips, by invitation of my wife, comes, he coming up to town with her in the coach this week, and she expected another gentleman, a fellow-traveller, and I perceive the feast was for him, though she do not say it, but by some mistake he come not, so there was a good dinner lost. Here we had the two Mercers, and pretty merry. Much talk with Mr. Phillips about country business, among others that there is no way for me to purchase any severall lands in Brampton, or making any severall that is not so, without much trouble and cost, and, it may be, not do it neither, so that there is no more ground to be laid to our Brampton house. After dinner I left them, and to the office, and thence to Sir W. Pen’s, there to talk with Mrs. Lowther, and by and by we hearing Mercer and my boy singing at my house, making exceeding good musique, to the joy of my heart, that I should be the master of it, I took her to my office and there merry a while, and then I left them, and at the office busy all the afternoon, and sleepy after a great dinner. In the evening come Captain Hart and Haywood to me about the six merchant-ships now taken up for men-of-war; and in talk they told me about the taking of “The Royal Charles;” that nothing but carelessness lost the ship, for they might have saved her the very tide that the Dutch come up, if they would have but used means and had had but boats: and that the want of boats plainly lost all the other ships. That the Dutch did take her with a boat of nine men, who found not a man on board her, and her laying so near them was a main temptation to them to come on; and presently a man went up and struck her flag and jacke, and a trumpeter sounded upon her “Joan’s placket is torn,” that they did carry her down at a time, both for tides and wind, when the best pilot in Chatham would not have undertaken it, they heeling her on one side to make her draw little water: and so carried her away safe. They being gone, by and by comes Sir W. Pen home, and he and I together talking. He hath been at Court; and in the first place, I hear the Duke of Cambridge is dead; which is a great loss to the nation, having, I think, never an heyre male now of the King’s or Duke’s to succeed to the Crown. He tells me that they do begin already to damn the Dutch, and call them cowards at White Hall, and think of them and their business no better than they used to do; which is very sad. The King did tell him himself, which is so, I was told, here in the City, that the City, hath lent him 10,000l., to be laid out towards securing of the River of Thames; which, methinks, is a very poor thing, that we should be induced to borrow by such mean sums. He tells me that it is most manifest that one great thing making it impossible for us to have set out a fleete this year, if we could have done it for money or stores, was the liberty given the beginning of the year for the setting out of merchant-men, which did take up, as is said, above ten, if not fifteen thousand seamen: and this the other day Captain Cocke tells me appears in the council-books, that is the number of seamen required to man the merchant ships that had passes to go abroad. By and by, my wife being here, they sat down and eat a bit of their nasty victuals, and so parted and we to bed.

o belly make busy lips
ravel the feast

dinner is singing in me
while I sleep:

eat the dead
eat the damned
eat on the road
eat the nasty part


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 22 June 1667.

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