Up, and being ready, went by agreement to Mr. Bland’s and there drank my morning draft in good chocollatte, and slabbering my band sent home for another, and so he and I by water to White Hall, and walked to St. James’s, where met Creed and Vernatty, and by and by Sir W. Rider, and so to Mr. Coventry’s chamber, and there upon my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, where I endeavoured to shew the folly and punish it as much as I could of Mr. Povy; for, of all the men in the world, I never knew any man of his degree so great a coxcomb in such imployments. I see I have lost him forever, but I value it not; for he is a coxcomb, and, I doubt, not over honest, by some things which I see; and yet, for all his folly, he hath the good lucke, now and then, to speak his follies in as good words, and with as good a show, as if it were reason, and to the purpose, which is really one of the wonders of my life.
Thence walked to Westminster Hall; and there, in the Lords’ House, did in a great crowd, from ten o’clock till almost three, hear the cause of Mr. Roberts, my Lord Privy Seal’s son, against Win, who by false ways did get the father of Mr. Roberts’s wife (Mr. Bodvill) to give him the estate and disinherit his daughter. The cause was managed for my Lord Privy Seal by Finch the Solicitor [General]; but I do really think that he is truly a man of as great eloquence as ever I heard, or ever hope to hear in all my life.
Thence, after long staying to speak with my Lord Sandwich, at last he coming out to me and speaking with me about business of my Lord Peterborough, I by coach home to the office, where all the afternoon, only stept home to eat one bit and to the office again, having eaten nothing before to-day. My wife abroad with my aunt Wight and Norbury.
I in the evening to my uncle Wight’s, and not finding them come home, they being gone to the Parke and the Mulberry garden, I went to the ‘Change, and there meeting with Mr. Hempson, whom Sir W. Batten has lately turned out of his place, merely because of his coming to me when he came to town before he went to him, and there he told me many rogueries of Sir W. Batten, how he knows and is able to prove that Captain Cox of Chatham did give him 10l. in gold to get him to certify for him at the King’s coming in, and that Tom Newborne did make [the] poor men give him 3l. to get Sir W. Batten to cause them to be entered in the yard, and that Sir W. Batten had oftentimes said: “by God, Tom, you shall get something and I will have some on’t.” His present clerk that is come in Norman’s room has given him something for his place; that they live high and (as Sir Francis Clerk’s lady told his wife) do lack money as well as other people, and have bribes of a piece of sattin and cabinetts and other things from people that deal with him, and that hardly any body goes to see or hath anything done by Sir W. Batten but it comes with a bribe, and that this is publickly true that his wife was a whore, and that he had libells flung within his doors for a cuckold as soon as he was married; that he received 100l. in money and in other things to the value of 50l. more of Hempson, and that he intends to give him back but 50l.; that he hath abused the Chest and hath now some 1000l. by him of it.
I met also upon the ‘Change with Mr. Cutler, and he told me how for certain Lawson hath proclaimed warr again with Argier, though they had at his first coming given back the ships which they had taken, and all their men; though they refused afterwards to make him restitution for the goods which they had taken out of them.
Thence to my uncle Wight’s, and he not being at home I went with Mr. Norbury near hand to the Fleece, a mum house in Leadenhall, and there drunk mum and by and by broke up, it being about 11 o’clock at night, and so leaving them also at home, went home myself and to bed.
the slabbering men
I have lost forever
and some of the wonder of life
in the great sea a false eloquence
as ever I heard
staying out or coming in high
a whore old as money
with hips of lead
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 3 May 1664.