Fishbowl

Up, and receive a stop from the Duke of Albemarle of setting out any more ships, or providing a pleasure boat for himself, which I am glad of, and do see, what I thought yesterday, that this resolution of his was a sudden one and silly. By and by comes Captain Cocke’s Jacob to tell me that he is come from Chatham this morning, and that there are four waggons of goods at hand coming to towne, which troubles me. I directed him to bring them to his master’s house. But before I could send him away to bring them thither, newes is brought me that they are seized on in the towne by this Captain Fisher and they will carry them to another place. So I to them and found our four waggons in the streete stopped by the church by this Fisher and company and 100 or 200 people in the streetes gazing. I did give them good words, and made modest desires of carrying the goods to Captain Cocke’s, but they would have them to a house of their hiring, where in a barne the goods were laid. I had transires to show for all, and the tale was right, and there I spent all the morning seeing this done. At which Fisher was vexed that I would not let it be done by any body else for the merchant, and that I must needs be concerned therein, which I did not think fit to owne.
So that being done, I left the goods to be watched by men on their part and ours, and so to the office by noon, whither by and by comes Captain Cocke, whom I had with great care sent for by expresse the last night, and so I with him to his house and there eat a bit, and so by coach to Lambeth, and I took occasion first to go to the Duke of Albemarle to acquaint him with some thing of what had been done this morning in behalf of a friend absent, which did give a good entrance and prevented their possessing the Duke with anything of evil of me by their report, and by and by in comes. Captain Cocke and tells his whole story. So an order was made for the putting him in possession upon giving security to, be accountable for the goods, which for the present did satisfy us, and so away, giving Locke that drew the order a piece. (Lord! to see how unhappily a man may fall into a necessity of bribing people to do him right in a thing, wherein he hath done nothing but fair, and bought dear.) So to the office, there to write my letters, and Cocke comes to tell me that Fisher is come to him, and that he doubts not to cajole Fisher and his companion and make them friends with drink and a bribe. This night comes Sir Christopher Mings to towne, and I went to see him, and by and by he being then out of the town comes to see me. He is newly come from Court, and carries direction for the making a show of getting out the fleete again to go fight the Dutch, but that it will end in a fleete of 20 good sayling frigates to go to the Northward or Southward, and that will be all. I enquired, but he would not be to know that he had heard any thing at Oxford about the business of the prize goods, which I did suspect, but he being gone, anon comes Cocke and tells me that he hath been with him a great while, and that he finds him sullen and speaking very high what disrespect he had received of my Lord, saying that he hath walked 3 or 4 hours together at that Earle’s cabbin door for audience and could not be received, which, if true, I am sorry for. He tells me that Sir G. Ascue says, that he did from the beginning declare against these [prize] goods, and would not receive his dividend; and that he and Sir W. Pen are at odds about it, a nd that he fears Mings hath been doing ill offices to my Lord. I did to-night give my Lord an account of all this, and so home and to bed.

fish gazing at fish

who are absent? who present?

how unhappily a man may fall
into bribing people with drink
to be with him


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 October 1665.

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