Beyond belief

Up betimes yesterday and to-day, the sun rising very bright and glorious; and yet yesterday, as it hath been these two months and more, was a foul day the most part of the day.
By and by by water to White Hall, and there to my Lord’s lodgings by appointment, whither Mr. Creed comes to me, having been at Chelsey this morning to fetch my Lord to St. James’s. So he and I to the Park, where we understand that the King and Duke are gone out betimes this morning on board the East India ships lately come in, and so our meeting appointed is lost. But he and I walked at the further end of the Park, not to be observed, whither by and by comes my Lord Sandwich, and he and we walked two hours and more in the Park and then in White Hall Gallery, and lastly in White Hall garden, discoursing of Mr. Creed’s accounts, and how to answer the Treasurer’s objections. I find that the business is 500l. deep, the advantage of Creed, and why my Lord and I should be concerned to promote his profit with so much dishonour and trouble to us I know not, but however we shall do what we can, though he deserves it not, for there is nothing even to his own advantage that can be got out of him, but by mere force. So full of policy he is in the smallest matters, that I perceive him to be made up of nothing but design. I left him here, being in my mind vexed at the trouble that this business gets me, and the distance that it makes between Sir G. Carteret and myself, which I ought to avoyd. Thence by water home and to dinner, and afterwards to the office, and there sat till evening, and then I by water to Deptford to see Sir W. Pen, who lies ill at Captain Rooth’s, but in a way to be well again this weather, this day being the only fair day we have had these two or three months. Among other discourse I did tell him plainly some of my thoughts concerning Sir W. Batten. and the office in general, upon design for him to understand that I do mind things and will not balk to take notice of them, that when he comes to be well again he may know how to look upon me.
Thence homeward walked, and in my way met Creed coming to meet me, and then turned back and walk a while, and so to boat and home by water, I being not very forward to talk of his business, and he by design the same, to see how I would speak of it, but I did not, but in general terms, and so after supper with general discourse to bed and sleep.
Thus, by God’s blessing, ends this book of two years; I being in all points in good health and a good way to thrive and do well. Some money I do and can lay up, but not much, being worth now above 700l., besides goods of all sorts. My wife in the country with Ashwell, her woman, with my father; myself at home with W. Hewer and my cooke-maid Hannah, my boy Wayneman being lately run away from me.
In my office, my repute and understanding good, especially with the Duke and Mr. Coventry; only the rest of the officers do rather envy than love me, I standing in most of their lights, specially Sir W. Batten, whose cheats I do daily oppose to his great trouble, though he appears mighty kind and willing to keep friendship with me, while Sir J. Minnes, like a dotard, is led by the nose by him. My wife and I, by my late jealousy, for which I am truly to be blamed, have not the kindness between us which we used and ought to have, and I fear will be lost hereafter if I do not take course to oblige her and yet preserve my authority. Publique matters are in an ill condition; Parliament sitting and raising four subsidys for the King, which is but a little, considering his wants; and yet that parted withal with great hardness. They being offended to see so much money go, and no debts of the publique’s paid, but all swallowed by a luxurious Court: which the King it is believed and hoped will retrench in a little time, when he comes to see the utmost of the revenue which shall be settled on him: he expecting to have his 1,200,000l. made good to him, which is not yet done by above 150,000l., as he himself reports to the House.
My differences with my uncle Thomas at a good quiett, blessed be God! and other matters.
The town full of the great overthrow lately given to the Spaniards by the Portugalls, they being advanced into the very middle of Portugall.
The weather wet for two or three months together beyond belief, almost not one fair day coming between till this day, which has been a very pleasant [day] and the first pleasant [day] this summer.
The charge of the Navy intended to be limited to 200,000l. per annum, the ordinary charge of it, and that to be settled upon the Customs.
The King yet greatly taken up with Madam Castlemaine and Mrs. Stewart, which God of Heaven put an end to!
Myself very studious to learn what I can of all things necessary for my place as an officer of the Navy, reading lately what concerns measuring of timber and knowledge of the tides.
I have of late spent much time with Creed, being led to it by his business of his accounts, but I find him a fellow of those designs and tricks, that there is no degree of true friendship to be made with him, and therefore I must cast him off, though he be a very understanding man, and one that much may be learned of as to cunning and judging of other men. Besides, too, I do perceive more and more that my time of pleasure and idleness of any sort must be flung off to attend to getting of some money and the keeping of my family in order, which I fear by my wife’s liberty may be otherwise lost.

the sun is a foul
East India ship

full of nothing but distance
and ill weather

this is how I would speak of it to God
in his book of years

up above the light
like a lost swallow

belief limited to
an ordinary heaven

of all things
necessary and true


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 30 June 1663.

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