Refugees

Up, and to my chamber, and by and by comes Greeting, and to my flageolett with him with a pretty deal of pleasure, and then to the office, where W. Batten, W. Pen and I met about putting men to work for the weighing of the ships in the River sunk. Then home again, and there heard Mr. Caesar play some very good things on the lute together with myself on the violl and Greeting on the viallin. Then with my wife abroad by coach, she to her tailor‘s, I to Westminster to Burges about my Tangier business, and thence to White Hall, where I spoke with Sir John Nicholas, who tells me that Mr. Coventry is come from Bredah, as was expected; but, contrary to expectation, brings with him two or three articles which do not please the King: as, to retrench the Act of Navigation, and then to ascertain what are contraband goods; and then that those exiled persons, who are or shall take refuge in their country, may be secure from any further prosecution. Whether these will be enough to break the peace upon, or no, he cannot tell; but I perceive the certainty of peace is blown over. So called on my wife and met Creed by the way, and they two and I to Charing Cross, there to see the great boy and girle that are lately come out of Ireland, the latter eight, the former but four years old, of most prodigious bigness for their age. I tried to weigh them in my arms, and find them twice as heavy as people almost twice their age; and yet I am apt to believe they are very young. Their father a little sorry fellow, and their mother an old Irish woman. They have had four children of this bigness, and four of ordinary growth, whereof two of each are dead. If, as my Lord Ormond certifies, it be true that they are no older, it is very monstrous. So home and to dinner with my wife and to pipe, and then I to the office, where busy all the afternoon till the evening, and then with my wife by coach abroad to Bow and Stratford, it being so dusty weather that there was little pleasure in it, and so home and to walk in the garden, and thither comes Pelling to us to talk, and so in and to supper, and then to bed. All the world being as I hear very much damped that their hopes of peace is become uncertain again.

sun and Caesar hit those
who take refuge in their country

call on a cross twice
as heavy as they are

their children grow monstrous
in the dust


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 July 1667.

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