Up and walked to Greenwich, and there we sat and dispatched a good deal of business I had a mind to. At noon, by invitation, to my Lord Bruncker’s, all of us, to dinner, where a good venison pasty, and mighty merry. Here was Sir W. Doyly, lately come from Ipswich about the sicke and wounded, and Mr. Evelyn and Captain Cocke. My wife also was sent for by my Lord Bruncker, by Cocke, and was here. After dinner, my Lord and his mistress would see her home again, it being a most cursed rainy afternoon, having had none a great while before.
And I, forced to go to the office on foot through all the rain, was almost wet to my skin, and spoiled my silke breeches almost.
Rained all the afternoon and evening, so as my letters being done, I was forced to get a bed at Captain Cocke’s, where I find Sir W. Doyly, and he, and Evelyn at supper; and I with them full of discourse of the neglect of our masters, the great officers of State, about all business, and especially that of money: having now some thousands prisoners, kept to no purpose at a great charge, and no money provided almost for the doing of it. We fell to talk largely of the want of some persons understanding to look after businesses, but all goes to rack. “For,” says Captain Cocke, “my Lord Treasurer, he minds his ease, and lets things go how they will: if he can have his 8000l. per annum, and a game at l’ombre, he is well. My Lord Chancellor he minds getting of money and nothing else; and my Lord Ashly will rob the Devil and the Alter, but he will get money if it be to be got.” But that that put us into this great melancholy, was newes brought to-day, which Captain Cocke reports as a certain truth, that all the Dutch fleete, men-of-war and merchant East India ships, are got every one in from Bergen the 3d of this month, Sunday last; which will make us all ridiculous. The fleete come home with shame to require a great deale of money, which is not to be had, to discharge many men that must get the plague then or continue at greater charge on shipboard, nothing done by them to encourage the Parliament to give money, nor the Kingdom able to spare any money, if they would, at this time of the plague, so that, as things look at present, the whole state must come to ruine. Full of these melancholy thoughts, to bed; where, though I lay the softest I ever did in my life, with a downe bed, after the Danish manner, upon me, yet I slept very ill, chiefly through the thoughts of my Lord Sandwich’s concernment in all this ill successe at sea.
rain on my skin
a silk prison
if a game is nothing
and ash will rob the devil
if news reports require
many men must get the plague
if a hole must ruin the holy
I lay the soft life down
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 9 September 1665.