(Whitsunday. King’s Birth and Restauration day). Up, and having received a letter last night desiring it from Mr. Coventry, I walked to St. James’s, and there he and I did long discourse together of the business of the office, and the warr with the Dutch; and he seemed to argue mightily with the little reason that there is for all this. For first, as to the wrong we pretend they have done us: that of the East Indys, for their not delivering of Poleron, it is not yet known whether they have failed or no; that of their hindering the Leopard cannot amount to above 3,000l. if true; that of the Guinny Company, all they had done us did not amount to above 200l. or 300l. he told me truly; and that now, from what Holmes, without any commission, hath done in taking an island and two forts, hath set us much in debt to them; and he believes that Holmes will have been so puffed up with this, that he by this time hath been enforced with more strength than he had then, hath, I say, done a great deale more wrong to them.
He do, as to the effect of the warr, tell me clearly that it is not any skill of the Dutch that can hinder our trade if we will, we having so many advantages over them, of winds, good ports, and men; but it is our pride, and the laziness of the merchant.
He seems to think that there may be some negotiation which may hinder a warr this year, but that he speaks doubtfully as unwilling I perceive to be thought to discourse any such thing.
The main thing he desired to speake with me about was, to know whether I do understand my Lord Sandwich’s intentions as to going to sea with this fleete; saying, that the Duke, if he desires it, is most willing to it; but thinking that twelve ships is not a fleete fit for my Lord to be troubled to go out with, he is not willing to offer it to him till he hath some intimations of his mind to go, or not. He spoke this with very great respect as to my Lord, though methinks it is strange they should not understand one another better at this time than to need another’s mediation.
Thence walked over the Parke to White Hall, Mr. Povy with me, and was taken in a very great showre in the middle of the Parke that we were very wet. So up into, the house and with him to the King’s closett, whither by and by the King came, my Lord Sandwich carrying the sword. A Bishopp preached, but he speaking too low for me to hear behind the King’s closett, I went forth and walked and discoursed with Colonell Reames, who seems a very willing man to be informed in his business of canvas, which he is undertaking to strike in with us to serve the Navy.
By and by my Lord Sandwich came forth, and called me to him: and we fell into discourse a great while about his business, wherein he seems to be very open with me, and to receive my opinion as he used to do; and I hope I shall become necessary to him again. He desired me to think of the fitness, or not, for him to offer himself to go to sea; and to give him my thoughts in a day or two.
Thence after sermon among the ladies on the Queene’s side; where I saw Mrs. Stewart, very fine and pretty, but far beneath my Lady Castlemayne.
Thence with Mr. Povy home to dinner; where extraordinary cheer. And after dinner up and down to see his house. And in a word, methinks, for his perspective upon his wall in his garden, and the springs rising up with the perspective in the little closett; his room floored above with woods of several colours, like but above the best cabinet-work I ever saw; his grotto and vault, with his bottles of wine, and a well therein to keep them cool; his furniture of all sorts; his bath at the top of his house, good pictures, and his manner of eating and drinking; do surpass all that ever I did see of one man in all my life.
Thence walked home and found my uncle Wight and Mr. Rawlinson, who supped with me. They being gone, I to bed, being in some pain from my being so much abroad to-day, which is a most strange thing that in such warm weather the least ayre should get cold and wind in me. I confess it makes me mighty sad and out of all content in the world.
to argue mightily with little reason
I pretend to know
whether I do or not
a word too low to hear
went forth with me into the woods
like a cool furniture of air
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 29 May 1664.