Low-information voter

Up early to my accounts this month, and I find myself worth clear 730l., the most I ever had yet, which contents me though I encrease but very little.
Thence to my office doing business, and at noon to my viall maker’s, who has begun it and has a good appearance, and so to the Exchange, where I met Dr. Pierce, who tells me of his good luck to get to be groom of the Privy-Chamber to the Queen, and without my Lord Sandwich’s help; but only by his good fortune, meeting a man that hath let him have his right for a small matter, about 60l., for which he can every day have 400l.. But he tells me my Lord hath lost much honour in standing so long and so much for that coxcomb Pickering, and at last not carrying it for him; but hath his name struck out by the King and Queen themselves after he had been in ever since the Queen’s coming. But he tells me he believes that either Sir H. Bennet, my Lady Castlemaine, or Sir Charles Barkeley had received some money for the place, and so the King could not disappoint them, but was forced to put out this fool rather than a better man. And I am sorry to hear what he tells me that Sir Charles Barkeley hath still such power over the King, as to be able to fetch him from the Council-table to my Lady Castlemaine when he pleases.
He tells me also, as a friend, the great injury that he thinks I do myself by being so severe in the Yards, and contracting the ill-will of the whole Navy for those offices, singly upon myself. Now I discharge a good conscience therein, and I tell him that no man can (nor do he say any say it) charge me with doing wrong; but rather do as many good offices as any man. They think, he says, that I have a mind to get a good name with the King and Duke, who he tells me do not consider any such thing; but I shall have as good thanks to let all alone, and do as the rest. But I believe the contrary; and yet I told him I never go to the Duke alone, as others do, to talk of my own services. However, I will make use of his council, and take some course to prevent having the single ill-will of the office.
Before I went to the office I went to the Coffee House, where Sir J. Cutler and Mr. Grant were, and there Mr. Grant showed me letters of Sir William Petty’s, wherein he says, that his vessel which he hath built upon two keeles (a modell whereof, built for the King, he showed me) hath this month won a wager of 50l. in sailing between Dublin and Holyhead with the pacquett-boat, the best ship or vessel the King hath there; and he offers to lay with any vessel in the world. It is about thirty ton in burden, and carries thirty men, with good accommodation, (as much more as any ship of her burden,) and so any vessel of this figure shall carry more men, with better accommodation by half, than any other ship. This carries also ten guns, of about five tons weight.
In their coming back from Holyhead they started together, and this vessel came to Dublin by five at night, and the pacquett-boat not before eight the next morning; and when they came they did believe that, this vessel had been drowned, or at least behind, not thinking she could have lived in that sea.
Strange things are told of this vessel, and he concludes his letter with this position, “I only affirm that the perfection of sayling lies in my principle, finde it out who can.”
Thence home, in my way meeting Mr. Rawlinson, who tells me that my uncle Wight is off of his Hampshire purchase and likes less of the Wights, and would have me to be kind and study to please him, which I am resolved to do.
Being at home he sent for me to dinner to meet Mr. Moore, so I went thither and dined well, but it was strange for me to refuse, and yet I did without any reluctancy to drink wine in a tavern, where nothing else almost was drunk, and that excellent good.
Thence with Mr. Moore to the Wardrobe, and there sat while my Lord was private with Mr. Townsend about his accounts an hour or two, we reading of a merry book against the Presbyters called Cabbala, extraordinary witty.
Thence walked home and to my office, setting papers of all sorts and writing letters and putting myself into a condition to go to Chatham with Mr. Coventry to-morrow. So, at almost 12 o’clock, and my eyes tired with seeing to write, I went home and to bed. Ending the month with pretty good content of mind, my wife in the country and myself in good esteem, and likely by pains to become considerable, I think, with God’s blessing upon my diligence.

who without help
can believe in a fool

rather than himself
rather than his own lived principle

like a book against paper
or eyes tired with seeing a pretty wife


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 31 July 1663.

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