Knowing our place

Up (though slept well) and made some water in the morning [as] I used to do, and a little pain returned to me, and some fears, but being forced to go to the Duke at St. James’s, I took coach and in my way called upon Mr. Hollyard and had his advice to take a glyster.
At St. James’s we attended the Duke all of us. And there, after my discourse, Mr. Coventry of his own accord begun to tell the Duke how he found that discourse abroad did run to his prejudice about the fees that he took, and how he sold places and other things; wherein he desired to appeal to his Highness, whether he did any thing more than what his predecessors did, and appealed to us all. So Sir G. Carteret did answer that some fees were heretofore taken, but what he knows not; only that selling of places never was nor ought to be countenanced. So Mr. Coventry very hotly answered to Sir G. Carteret, and appealed to himself whether he was not one of the first that put him upon looking after this taking of fees, and that he told him that Mr. Smith should say that he made 5000l. the first year, and he believed he made 7000l.. This Sir G. Carteret denied, and said, that if he did say so he told a lie, for he could not, nor did know, that ever he did make that profit of his place; but that he believes he might say 2500l. the first year. Mr. Coventry instanced in another thing, particularly wherein Sir G. Carteret did advise with him about the selling of the Auditor’s place of the stores, when in the beginning there was an intention of creating such an office. This he confessed, but with some lessening of the tale Mr. Coventry told, it being only for a respect to my Lord Fitz-Harding.
In fine, Mr. Coventry did put into the Duke’s hand a list of above 250 places that he did give without receiving one farthing, so much as his ordinary fees for them, upon his life and oath; and that since the Duke’s establishment of fees he had never received one token more of any man; and that in his whole life he never conditioned or discoursed of any consideration from any commanders since he came to the Navy.
And afterwards, my Lord Barkeley merrily discoursing that he wished his profit greater than it was, and that he did believe that he had got 50,000l. since he came in, Mr. Coventry did openly declare that his Lordship, or any of us, should have not only all he had got, but all that he had in the world (and yet he did not come a beggar into the Navy, nor would yet be thought to speak in any contempt of his Royall Highness’s bounty), and should have a year to consider of it too, for 25,000l..
The Duke’s answer was, that he wished we all had made more profit than he had of our places, and that we had all of us got as much as one man below stayres in the Court, which he presently named, and it was Sir George Lane! This being ended, and the list left in the Duke’s hand, we parted, and I with Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, and Sir W. Batten by coach to the Exchange, and there a while, and so home, and whether it be the jogging, or by having my mind more employed (which I believe is a great matter) I know not, but I do now piss with much less pain and begin to be suddenly well; at least, better than I was. So home and to dinner, and thence by coach to the Old Exchange, and there cheapened some laces for my wife, and then to Mr.—— the great laceman in Cheapside, and bought one cost me 4l. more by 20s. than I intended, but when I came to see them I was resolved to buy one worth wearing with credit, and so to the New Exchange, and there put it to making, and so to my Lord’s lodgings and left my wife, and so I to the Committee of Tangier, and then late home with my wife again by coach, beginning to be very well, and yet when I came home and tried to shit, the little straining which I thought was no strain at all at the present did by and by bring me some pain for a good while.
Anon, about 8 o’clock, my wife did give me a clyster which Mr. Hollyard directed, viz., a pint of strong ale, 4 oz. of sugar, and 2 oz. of butter. It lay while I lay upon the bed above an hour, if not two, and then thinking it quite lost I rose, and by and by it began with my walking to work, and gave me three or four most excellent stools and carried away wind, put me in excellent ease, and taking my usual walnut quantity of electuary at my going into bed I had about two stools in the night and pissed well. Voided some wind.

a place is more than a predecessor
we know

selling places never ought to be
countenanced in the first place

particularly selling
a place of ore

when in the beginning the only place for life
came as a beggar into the void

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 October 1663.

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