(Lord’s day). All the morning in my chamber, writing fair the state of my Tangier accounts, and so dined at home. In the afternoon to the Duke of Albemarle and thence back again by water, and so to my chamber to finish the entry of my accounts and to think of the business I am next to do, which is the stating my thoughts and putting in order my collections about the business of pursers, to see where the fault of our present constitution relating to them lies and what to propose to mend it, and upon this late and with my head full of this business to bed. Thus ends this year, to my great joy, in this manner.
I have raised my estate from 1300l. in this year to 4400l.. I have got myself greater interest, I think, by my diligence, and my employments encreased by that of Treasurer for Tangier, and Surveyour of the Victualls.
It is true we have gone through great melancholy because of the great plague, and I put to great charges by it, by keeping my family long at Woolwich, and myself and another part of my family, my clerks, at my charge at Greenwich, and a mayde at London; but I hope the King will give us some satisfaction for that. But now the plague is abated almost to nothing, and I intending to get to London as fast as I can. My family, that is my wife and maids, having been there these two or three weeks. The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act. I have never lived so merrily (besides that I never got so much) as I have done this plague time, by my Lord Bruncker’s and Captain Cocke’s good company, and the acquaintance of Mrs. Knipp, Coleman and her husband, and Mr. Laneare, and great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I was willing to indulge myself and wife) at my lodgings. The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord of Sandwich, whose mistake about the prizes hath undone him, I believe, as to interest at Court; though sent (for a little palliating it) Embassador into Spayne, which he is now fitting himself for. But the Duke of Albemarle goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him.
My whole family hath been well all this while, and all my friends I know of, saving my aunt Bell, who is dead, and some children of my cozen Sarah’s, of the plague. But many of such as I know very well, dead; yet, to our great joy, the town fills apace, and shops begin to be open again. Pray God continue the plague’s decrease! for that keeps the Court away from the place of business, and so all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it.
I am putting in order my collection
of lies and employments
I have gone through melancholy
keeping myself on no hope
as an experiment
dancing to the great evil of this year
a miscarriage of time
the hole is all I know
but I continue
to lick this ink
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 31 December 1665.