In bad faith

Up and to the office, where we sat, and after we had almost done, Sir W. Batten desired to have the room cleared, and there he did acquaint the board how he was obliged to answer to something lately said which did reflect upon the Comptroller and him, and to that purpose told how the bargain for Winter’s timber did not prove so bad as I had reported to the board it would. After he had done I cleared the matter that I did not mention the business as a thing designed by me against them, but was led to it by Sir J. Minnes, and that I said nothing but what I was told by Mayers the surveyor as much as by Deane upon whom they laid all the fault, which I must confess did and do still trouble me, for they report him to be a fellow not fit to be employed, when in my conscience he deserves better than any officer in the yard. I thought it not convenient to vindicate him much now, but time will serve when I will do it, and I am bound to do it. I offered to proceed to examine and prove what I said if they please, but Mr. Coventry most discreetly advised not, it being to no purpose, and that he did believe that what I said did not by my manner of speaking it proceed from any design of reproaching them, and so it ended. But my great trouble is for poor Deane.
At noon home and dined with my wife, and after dinner Will told me if I pleased he was ready to remove his things, and so before my wife I did give him good counsel, and that his going should not abate my kindnesse for him, if he carried himself well, and so bid “God bless him,” and left him to remove his things, the poor lad weeping, but I am apt to think matters will be the better both for him and us.
So to the office and there late busy. In the evening Mr. Moore came to tell me that he had no opportunity of speaking his mind to my Lord yesterday, and so I am resolved to write to him very suddenly.
So after my business done I home, I having staid till 12 o’clock at night almost, making an end of a letter to Sir G. Carteret about the late contract for masts, wherein I have done myself right, and no wrong to Sir W. Batten.
This night I think is the first that I have lain without ever a man in my house besides myself, since I came to keep any. Will being this night gone to his lodging, and by the way I hear to-day that my boy Waynman has behaved himself so with Mr. Davis that they have got him put into a Barbadoes ship to be sent away, and though he sends to me to get a release for him I will not out of love to the boy, for I doubt to keep him here were to bring him to the gallows.

we are obliged to answer a troll
told how winter did not prove
so bad as reported

or that he had no opportunity
of speaking his mind

till 12 o’clock at night
making an end of right and wrong
out of love for the gallows


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 14 November 1663.

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