Up betimes, and after having at my office settled some accounts for my Lord Sandwich, I went forth, and taking up my father at my brother’s, took coach and towards Chelsey, ‘lighting at an alehouse near the Gatehouse at Westminster to drink our morning draught, and so up again and to Chelsey, where we found my Lord all alone at a little table with one joynt of meat at dinner; we sat down and very merry talking, and mightily extolling the manner of his retirement, and the goodness of his diet, which indeed is so finely dressed: the mistress of the house, Mrs. Becke, having been a woman of good condition heretofore, a merchant’s wife, and hath all things most excellently dressed; among others, her cakes admirable, and so good that my Lord’s words were, they were fit to present to my Lady Castlemaine.
From ordinary discourse my Lord fell to talk of other matters to me, of which chiefly the second part of the fray, which he told me a little while since of, between Mr. Edward Montagu and himself, which is that after that he had since been with him three times and no notice taken at all of any difference between them, and yet since that he hath forborn coming to him almost two months, and do speak not only slightly of my Lord every where, but hath complained to my Lord Chancellor of him, and arrogated all that ever my Lord hath done to be only by his direction and persuasion. Whether he hath done the like to the King or no, my Lord knows not; but my Lord hath been with the King since, and finds all things fair; and my Lord Chancellor hath told him of it, but with so much contempt of Mr. Montagu, as my Lord knows himself very secure against any thing the fool can do; and notwithstanding all this, so noble is his nature, that he professes himself ready to show kindness and pity to Mr. Montagu on any occasion.
My Lord told me of his presenting Sir H. Bennet with a gold cupp of 100l., which he refuses, with a compliment; but my Lord would have been glad he had taken it, that he might have had some obligations upon him which he thinks possible the other may refuse to prevent it; not that he hath any reason to doubt his kindness. But I perceive great differences there are at Court; and Sir H. Bennet and my Lord Bristol, and their faction, are likely to carry all things before them (which my Lord’s judgment is, will not be for the best), and particularly against the Chancellor, who, he tells me, is irrecoverably lost: but, however, that he will not actually joyne in anything against the Chancellor, whom he do own to be his most sure friend, and to have been his greatest; and therefore will not openly act in either, but passively carry himself even.
The Queen, my Lord tells me, he thinks he hath incurred some displeasure with, for his kindness to his neighbour, my Lady Castlemaine. My Lord tells me he hath no reason to fall for her sake, whose wit, management, nor interest, is not likely to hold up any man, and therefore he thinks it not his obligation to stand for her against his own interest.
The Duke and Mr. Coventry my Lord says he is very well with, and fears not but they will show themselves his very good friends, specially at this time, he being able to serve them, and they needing him, which he did not tell me wherein.
Talking of the business of Tangier, he tells me that my Lord Tiviott is gone away without the least respect paid to him, nor indeed to any man, but without his commission; and (if it be true what he says) having laid out seven or eight thousand pounds in commodities for the place; and besides having not only disobliged all the Commissioners for Tangier, but also Sir Charles Barkeley the other day, who, speaking in behalf of Colonel Fitz-Gerald, that having been deputy-governor there already, he ought to have expected and had the governorship upon the death or removal of the former governor. And whereas it is said that he and his men are Irish, which is indeed the main thing that hath moved the King and Council to put in Tiviott to prevent the Irish having too great and the whole command there under Fitz-Gerald; he further said that there was never an Englishman fit to command Tangier; my Lord Tiviott answered yes, that there were many more fit than himself or Fitz-Gerald either. So that Fitz-Gerald being so great with the Duke of York, and being already made deputy-governor, independent of my Lord Tiviott, and he being also left here behind him for a while, my Lord Sandwich do think that, putting all these things together, the few friends he hath left, and the ill posture of his affairs, my Lord Tiviott is not a man of the conduct and management that either people take him to be, or is fit for the command of the place.
And here, speaking of the Duke of York and Sir Charles Barkeley, my Lord tells me that he do very much admire the good management, and discretion, and nobleness of the Duke, that whatever he may be led by him or Mr. Coventry singly in private, yet he did not observe that in publique matters, but he did give as ready hearing and as good acceptance to any reasons offered by any other man against the opinions of them, as he did to them, and would concur in the prosecution of it. Then we came to discourse upon his own sea accompts, and came to a resolution what and how to proceed in them; wherein he resolved, though I offered him a way of evading the greatest part of his debt honestly, by making himself debtor to the Parliament, before the King’s time, which he might justly do, yet he resolved to go openly and nakedly in it, and put himself to the kindness of the King and Duke, which humour, I must confess, and so did tell him (with which he was not a little pleased) had thriven very well with him, being known to be a man of candid and open dealing, without any private tricks or hidden designs as other men commonly have in what they do.
From that we had discourse of Sir G. Carteret, who he finds kind to him, but it may be a little envious, and most other men are, and of many others; and upon the whole do find that it is a troublesome thing for a man of any condition at Court to carry himself even, and without contracting enemys or envyers; and that much discretion and dissimulation is necessary to do it. My father staid a good while at the window and then sat down by himself while my Lord and I were thus an hour together or two after dinner discoursing, and by and by he took his leave, and told me he would stay below for me.
Anon I took leave, and coming down found my father unexpectedly in great pain and desiring for God’s sake to get him a bed to lie upon, which I did, and W. Howe and I staid by him, in so great pain as I never saw, poor wretch, and with that patience, crying only: Terrible, terrible pain, God help me, God help me, with the mournful voice, that made my heart ake. He desired to rest a little alone to see whether it would abate, and W. Howe and I went down and walked in the gardens, which are very fine, and a pretty fountayne, with which I was finely wetted, and up to a banquetting house, with a very fine prospect, and so back to my father, who I found in such pain that I could not bear the sight of it without weeping, never thinking that I should be able to get him from thence, but at last, finding it like to continue, I got him to go to the coach, with great pain, and driving hard, he all the while in a most unsufferable torment (meeting in the way with Captain Ferrers going to my Lord, to tell him that my Lady Jemimah is come to town, and that Will Stankes is come with my father’s horses), not staying the coach to speak with any body, but once, in St. Paul’s Churchyard, we were forced to stay, the jogging and pain making my father vomit, which it never had done before. At last we got home, and all helping him we got him to bed presently, and after half an hour’s lying in his naked bed (it being a rupture [with] which he is troubled, and has been this 20 years, but never in half the pain and with so great swelling as now, and how this came but by drinking of cold small beer and sitting long upon a low stool and then standing long after it he cannot tell), his bowells went up again into his belly, being got forth into his cod, as it seems is usual with many men. After which he was at good ease, and so continued, and so fell to sleep, and we went down whither W. Stankes was come with his horses. But it is very pleasant to hear how he rails at the rumbling and ado that is in London over it is in the country, that he cannot endure it.
He supped with us, and very merry, and then he to his lodgings at the Inne with the horses, and so we to bed, I to my father who is very well again, and both slept very well.
light found a little table
with one joint of meat
and dressed it in gold
I would’ve been glad to doubt all things
but joy is great in me
like the fear of death in a king
under my yes the sand may give way
I open my window God help me
to the sight of unsufferable torment
not to speak but to stay present
after a rupture
with the usual ease and sleep
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 29 April 1663.