Purge

Up early, not quite rid of my pain. I took more physique, and so made myself ready to go forth. So to my Lord, who rose as soon as he heard I was there; and in his nightgown and shirt stood talking with me alone two hours, I believe, concerning his greatest matters of state and interest. Among other things, that his greatest design is, first, to get clear of all debts to the King for the Embassy money, and then a pardon. Then, to get his land settled; and then to, discourse and advise what is best for him, whether to keep his sea employment longer or no. For he do discern that the Duke would be willing to have him out, and that by Coventry’s means. And here he told me, how the terms at Argier were wholly his; and that he did plainly tell Lawson and agree with him, that he would have the honour of them, if they should ever be agreed to; and that accordingly they did come over hither entitled, “Articles concluded on by Sir J. Lawson, according to instructions received from His Royal Highness James Duke of York, &c., and from His Excellency the Earle of Sandwich.” (Which however was more than needed; but Lawson tells my Lord in his letter, that it was not he, but the Council of Warr that would have “His Royal Highness” put into the title, though he did not contribute one word to it.) But the Duke of York did yesterday propose them to the Council, to be printed with this title: “Concluded on, by Sir J. Lawson, Knt.” and my Lord quite left out. Here I find my Lord very politique; for he tells me, that he discerns they design to set up Lawson as much as they can and that he do counterplot them by setting him up higher still; by which they will find themselves spoiled of their design, and at last grow jealous of Lawson. This he told me with much pleasure; and that several of the Duke’s servants, by name my Lord Barkeley [of Stratton], Mr. Talbot, and others, had complained to my Lord of Coventry, and would have him out. My Lord do acknowledge that his greatest obstacle is Coventry. He did seem to hint such a question as this: “Hitherto I have been supported by the King and Chancellor against the Duke; but what if it should come about, that it should be the Duke and Chancellor against the King?” which, though he said it in these plain words, yet I could not fully understand it; but may more here after.
My Lord did also tell me, that the Duke himself at Portsmouth did thank my Lord for all his pains and care; and that he perceived it must be the old Captains that must do the business; and that the new ones would spoil all. And that my Lord did very discreetly tell the Duke (though quite against his judgement and inclination), that, however, the King’s new captains ought to be borne with a little and encouraged. By which he will oblige that party, and prevent, as much as may be, their envy; but he says that certainly things will go to rack if ever the old captains should be wholly out, and the new ones only command.
Then we fell to talk of Sir J. Minnes, of whom my Lord hath a very slight opinion, and that at first he did come to my Lord very displeased and sullen, and had studied and turned over all his books to see whether it had ever been that two flags should ride together in the main-top, but could not find it, nay, he did call his captains on board to consult them. So when he came by my Lord’s side, he took down his flag, and all the day did not hoist it again, but next day my Lord did tell him that it was not so fit to ride without a flag, and therefore told him that he should wear it in the fore-top, for it seems my Lord saw his instructions, which were that he should not wear his flag in the maintop in the presence of the Duke or my Lord.
But that after that my Lord did caress him, and he do believe him as much his friend as his interest will let him. I told my Lord of the late passage between Swan and me, and he told me another lately between Dr. Dell and himself when he was in the country.
At last we concluded upon dispatching all his accounts as soon as possible, and so I parted, and to my office, where I met Sir W. Pen, and he desired a turn with me in the garden, where he told me the day now was fixed for his going into Ireland and that whereas I had mentioned some service he could do a friend of mine there, Saml. Pepys, he told me he would most readily do what I would command him, and then told me we must needs eat a dish of meat together before he went, and so invited me and my wife on Sunday next. To all which I did give a cold consent, for my heart cannot love or have a good opinion of him since his last playing the knave with me, but he took no notice of our difference at all, nor I to him, and so parted, and I by water to Deptford, where I found Sir W. Batten alone paying off the yard three quarters pay. Thence to dinner, where too great a one was prepared, at which I was very much troubled, and wished I had not been there. After dinner comes Sir J. Minnes and some captains with him, who had been at a Councill of Warr to-day, who tell us they have acquitted Captain Hall, who was accused of cowardice in letting of old Winter, the Argier pyrate, go away from him with a prize or two; and also Captain Diamond of the murder laid to him of a man that he had struck, but he lived many months after, till being drunk, he fell into the hold, and there broke his jaw and died, but they say there are such bawdy articles against him as never were heard of. One, that he should upon his knees drink the King and Queenes health at Lisbon, wishing that the King’s pintle were in the Queenes cunt up to her heart, that it might cry ‘Knack, knockagain.
To the pay again, where I left them, and walked to Redriffe, and so home, and there came Mr. Creed and Shepley to me, and staid till night about my Lord’s accounts, our proceeding to set them in order, and so parted and I to bed.
Mr. Holliard had been with my wife to-day, and cured her of her pain in her ear by taking out a most prodigious quantity of hard wax that had hardened itself in the bottom of the ear, of which I am very glad.

Not quite rid
of myself, what
is best to keep?
According to
instructions received
from the Lord,
pleasure is a question
that I should
not understand,
my mouth ought
to rage. But
my books had been flags
without a country
and I a pen.
Cold cannot love
the winter, or
a drunk his drink.
Wishing that
the heart might
knock again,
I am taking out
a prodigious
quantity of
hardened self.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 27 June 1662.

3 Comments


    1. Thanks! Making an erasure out of such a big block of text was an unaccustomed luxury.

      Reply

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