Milk today is sold not by maids but in the news-sheet shops. Am most confounded nowadays by which shop sells which commodities, a state of affairs which has led me most unsuccessfully to demand bread from the emporium called Accessorize and cream from Paddy Power. Did at least have a sportive conversation about horses in the latter but failed to do the same when I tried Top Girl. At this news-sheet shop did see a pamphlet advertising news of Victoria, which did think maybe tidings of some great Triumphe of our Navy so I purchased a copy but found that she is but a woman who is most proud of her shoes and naught to do with ships save being thin enough to act as rigging.
After three pages of this pamphlet my head was aching and my eyes feeling most sore. Put in a great fear of blindness, especially after last night having read “L’Escholle des Filles” twice over in the broom closet. My wife has told me I suffer from Hypochondria, which does sound a most dread disease. In great fear of this or some lesser malady, I may need to curtail the writing of my Journall.
So out to the Apothecary for a cure, in no small fear that they will sell, not remedies for ailments, but cushion covers or tickets for the opera. The fellow there did suggest spectacles, I saying I value my handsomeness too much and what if my nose dropped off through the French Pox? The man then sold me some drops which he says I must squeeze into my eyes, a most inconvenient and horrid business which made my neck crick, my wig fall off and my wife laugh.
Did then remember a most efficacious healing for eyes: the drinking of crushed woodlice mixed with ground ivy in the liquor of snails, hearing this from a man in an ale-house who said it had also cured his sneezing, his gallstones and his poverty. So finding two large bags I to the Parke, digging under stones for lice, scuffing my shoes and staining my stockings but in a swirl to cure my eyes. Not many lice, so was pulling ivy from a tree when a woman in a most unfashionable yellow jacket, with group of people in like dress, asked me if I was a volunteer, I saying that I would be proud to serve the King at any time, she then making me wear the horrid jacket which was a small price to pay for all of them to join me in pulling ivy and scooping lice which they filled in sacks, I creeping away with when they were not looking.
At home, did think of who was to attend to the crushing of the lice and came to the conclusion that it would not be me. Considered asking my wife but decided that she would not find the prospect entertaining. I sat by the kitchen table for half an hour pondering how to commit the creatures to pestling without going near them with my hands, during which time they began to escape from the bag and one did fall upon my breeches and crawl up my leg. So in a slough of failure I took the bags outside and threw their contents into the neighbour’s garden.
17th Our neighbour today did knock and complained of most foul things being thrown into their garden. They had said that the culprit was wearing a “High-Vis” jacket, to which my wife replied that it could not have been me as this was such a thing as I would never wear.
Today I shall attempt the apothecary’s drops. An old wives’ tale, perhaps, but sometimes these remedies work.