Felled

My mind being doubtful what the business should be, I rose a little after four o’clock, and abroad. Walked to my Lord’s, and nobody up, but the porter rose out of bed to me so I back again to Fleete Streete, and there bought a little book of law; and thence, hearing a psalm sung, I went into St. Dunstan’s, and there heard prayers read, which, it seems, is done there every morning at six o’clock; a thing I never did do at a chappell, but the College Chappell, in all my life.
Thence to my Lord’s again, and my Lord being up, was sent for up, and he and I alone. He did begin with a most solemn profession of the same confidence in and love for me that he ever had, and then told me what a misfortune was fallen upon me and him: in me, by a displeasure which my Lord Chancellor did show to him last night against me, in the highest and most passionate manner that ever any man did speak, even to the not hearing of any thing to be said to him: but he told me, that he did say all that could be said for a man as to my faithfullnesse and duty to his Lordship, and did me the greatest right imaginable. And what should the business be, but that I should be forward to have the trees in Clarendon Park marked and cut down, which he, it seems, hath bought of my Lord Albemarle; when, God knows! I am the most innocent man in the world in it, and did nothing of myself, nor knew of his concernment therein, but barely obeyed my Lord Treasurer’s warrant for the doing thereof. And said that I did most ungentlemanlike with him, and had justified the rogues in cutting down a tree of his; and that I had sent the veriest Fanatique that is in England to mark them, on purpose to nose him. All which, I did assure my Lord, was most properly false, and nothing like it true; and told my Lord the whole passage. My Lord do seem most nearly affected; he is partly, I believe, for me, and partly for himself. So he advised me to wait presently upon my Lord, and clear myself in the most perfect manner I could, with all submission and assurance that I am his creature both in this and all other things; and that I do owne that all I have, is derived through my Lord Sandwich from his Lordship. So, full of horror, I went, and found him busy in tryals of law in his great room; and it being Sitting-day, durst not stay, but went to my Lord and told him so: whereupon he directed me to take him after dinner; and so away I home, leaving my Lord mightily concerned for me.
I to the office, and there sat busy all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, and from the ‘Change over with Alsopp and the others to the Pope’s Head tavern, and there staid a quarter of an hour, and concluded upon this, that in case I got them no more than 3s. per week per man I should have of them but 150l. per ann., but to have it without any adventure or charge, but if I got them 3s. 2d., then they would give me 300l. in the like manner. So I directed them to draw up their tender in a line or two against the afternoon, and to meet me at White Hall. So I left them, and I to my Lord Chancellor’s; and there coming out after dinner I accosted him, telling him that I was the unhappy Pepys that had fallen into his high displeasure, and come to desire him to give me leave to make myself better understood to his Lordship, assuring him of my duty and service. He answered me very pleasingly, that he was confident upon the score of my Lord Sandwich’s character of me, but that he had reason to think what he did, and desired me to call upon him some evening: I named to-night, and he accepted of it. So with my heart light I to White Hall, and there after understanding by a stratagem, and yet appearing wholly desirous not to understand Mr. Gauden’s price when he desired to show it me, I went down and ordered matters in our tender so well that at the meeting by and by I was ready with Mr. Gauden’s and his, both directed him a letter to me to give the board their two tenders, but there being none but the Generall Monk and Mr. Coventry and Povy and I, I did not think fit to expose them to view now, but put it off till Saturday, and so with good content rose.
Thence I to the Half Moone, against the ‘Change, to acquaint Lanyon and his friends of our proceedings, and thence to my Lord Chancellor’s, and there heard several tryals, wherein I perceive my Lord is a most able and ready man. After all done, he himself called, “Come, Mr. Pepys, you and I will take a turn in the garden.” So he was led down stairs, having the goute, and there walked with me, I think, above an houre, talking most friendly, yet cunningly. I told him clearly how things were; how ignorant I was of his Lordship’s concernment in it; how I did not do nor say one word singly, but what was done was the act of the whole Board. He told me by name that he was more angry with Sir G. Carteret than with me, and also with the whole body of the Board. But thinking who it was of the Board that knew him least, he did place his fear upon me; but he finds that he is indebted to none of his friends there. I think I did thoroughly appease him, till he thanked me for my desire and pains to satisfy him; and upon my desiring to be directed who I should of his servants advise with about this business, he told me nobody, but would be glad to hear from me himself. He told me he would not direct me in any thing, that it might not be said that the Lord Chancellor did labour to abuse the King; or (as I offered) direct the suspending the Report of the Purveyors but I see what he means, and I will make it my worke to do him service in it. But, Lord! to see how he is incensed against poor Deane, as a fanatique rogue, and I know not what: and what he did was done in spite to his Lordship, among all his friends and tenants. He did plainly say that he would not direct me in any thing, for he would not put himself into the power of any man to say that he did so and so; but plainly told me as if he would be glad I did something.
Lord! to see how we poor wretches dare not do the King good service for fear of the greatness of these men.
He named Sir G. Carteret, and Sir J. Minnes, and the rest; and that he was as angry with them all as me.
But it was pleasant to think that, while he was talking to me, comes into the garden Sir G. Carteret; and my Lord avoided speaking with him, and made him and many others stay expecting him, while I walked up and down above an houre, I think; and would have me walk with my hat on.
And yet, after all this, there has been so little ground for this his jealousy of me, that I am sometimes afeard that he do this only in policy to bring me to his side by scaring me; or else, which is worse, to try how faithfull I would be to the King; but I rather think the former of the two.
I parted with great assurance how I acknowledged all I had to come from his Lordship; which he did not seem to refuse, but with great kindness and respect parted. So I by coach home, calling at my Lord’s, but he not within.
At my office late, and so home to eat something, being almost starved for want of eating my dinner to-day, and so to bed, my head being full of great and many businesses of import to me.

love is fallen upon me
like cutting down a tree
to make better light

with my whole body
I appease my desire
to be nobody

but I see how fanatic tenants
would garden on so little ground
being almost starved


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 14 July 1664.

Leave a Reply