Though late, past 12, before we went to bed, yet I heard my poor father up, and so I rang up my people, and I rose and got something to eat and drink for him, and so abroad, it being a mighty foul day, by coach, setting my father down in Fleet Streete and I to St. James’s, where I found Mr. Coventry (the Duke being now come thither for the summer) with a goldsmith, sorting out his old plate to change for new; but, Lord! what a deale he hath! I staid and had two or three hours discourse with him, talking about the disorders of our office, and I largely to tell him how things are carried by Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes to my great grief. He seems much concerned also, and for all the King’s matters that are done after the same rate every where else, and even the Duke’s household matters too, generally with corruption, but most indeed with neglect and indifferency. I spoke very loud and clear to him my thoughts of Sir J. Minnes and the other, and trust him with the using of them.
Then to talk of our business with the Dutch; he tells me fully that he believes it will not come to a warr; for first, he showed me a letter from Sir George Downing, his own hand, where he assures him that the Dutch themselves do not desire, but above all things fear it, and that they neither have given letters of marke against our shipps in Guinny, nor do De Ruyter stay at home with his fleet with an eye to any such thing, but for want of a wind, and is now come out and is going to the Streights.
He tells me also that the most he expects is that upon the merchants’ complaints, the Parliament will represent them to the King, desiring his securing of his subjects against them, and though perhaps they may not directly see fit, yet even this will be enough to let the Dutch know that the Parliament do not oppose the King, and by that means take away their hopes, which was that the King of England could not get money or do anything towards a warr with them, and so thought themselves free from making any restitution, which by this they will be deceived in.
He tells me also that the Dutch states are in no good condition themselves, differing one with another, and that for certain none but the states of Holland and Zealand will contribute towards a warr, the others reckoning themselves, being inland, not concerned in the profits of warr or peace.
But it is pretty to see what he says, that those here that are forward for a warr at Court, they are reported in the world to be only designers of getting money into the King’s hands, they that elsewhere are for it have a design to trouble the kingdom and to give the Fanatiques an opportunity of doing hurt, and lastly those that are against it (as he himself for one is very cold therein) are said to be bribed by the Dutch.
After all this discourse he carried me in his coach, it raining still, to, Charing Cross, and there put me into another, and I calling my father and brother carried them to my house to dinner, my wife keeping bed all day, she having those upon her.
All the afternoon at the office with W. Boddam looking over his particulars about the Chest of Chatham, which shows enough what a knave Commissioner Pett hath been all along, and how Sir W. Batten hath gone on in getting good allowance to himself and others out of the poors’ money. Time will show all.
So in the evening to see Sir W. Pen, and then home to my father to keep him company, he being to go out of town, and up late with him and my brother John till past 12 at night to make up papers of Tom’s accounts fit to leave with my cozen Scott. At last we did make an end of them, and so after supper all to bed.
a hat I had for every matter
a hat for show
a hat for wind
a hat for peace
a hat for war
a hat for doing hurt
and a hat for this rain
keeping me company till night
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 13 April 1664.