Up, and to St. James’s, there to wait on the Duke of Yorke, and had discourse with him about several businesses of the fleete. But, Lord! to see how the Court is divided about The Swiftsure and The Essex’s being safe. And wagers and odds laid on both sides. I did tell the Duke how Sir W. Batten did tell me this morning that he was sure the Swiftsure is safe. This put them all in a great joy and certainty of it, but this I doubt will prove nothing.
Thence to White Hall in expectation of a meeting of Tangier, and we did industriously labour to have it this morning; but we could not get a fifth person there, so after much pains and thoughts on my side on behalfe of Yeabsly, we were fain to breake up. But, Lord! to see with what patience Lord Ashly did stay all the morning to get a Committee, little thinking that I know the reason of his willingnesse. So I home to dinner and back again to White Hall, and, being come thither a little too soon, went to Westminster Hall, and bought a payre of gloves, and to see how people do take this late fight at sea, and I find all give over the thoughts of it as a victory and to reckon it a great overthrow.
So to White Hall, and there when we were come all together in certain expectation of doing our business to Yeabsly’s full content, and us that were his friends, my Lord Peterborough (whether through some difference between him and my Lord Ashly, or him and me or Povy, or through the falsenesse of Creed, I know not) do bring word that the Duke of Yorke (who did expressly bid me wait at the Committee for the dispatch of the business) would not have us go forward in this business of allowing the losse of the ships till Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry were come to towne, which was the very thing indeed which we would have avoided. This being told us, we broke up doing nothing, to my great discontent, though I said nothing, and afterwards I find by my Lord Ashly’s discourse to me that he is troubled mightily at it, and indeed it is a great abuse of him and of the whole Commissioners that nothing of that nature can be done without Sir G. Carteret or Sir W. Coventry.
No sooner was the Committee up, and I going [through] the Court homeward, but I am told Sir W. Coventry is come to town; so I to his chamber, and there did give him an account how matters go in our office, and with some content I parted from him, after we had discoursed several things of the haste requisite to be made in getting the fleete out again and the manner of doing it. But I do not hear that he is at all pleased or satisfied with the late fight; but he tells me more newes of our suffering, by the death of one or two captains more than I knew before. But he do give over the thoughts of the safety of The Swiftsure or Essex.
Thence homewards, landed at the Old Swan, and there find my pretty Betty Michell and her husband at their doore in Thames Streete, which I was glad to find, and went into their shop, and they made me drink some of their strong water, the first time I was ever with them there. I do exceedingly love her. After sitting a little and talking with them about several things at great distance I parted and home to my business late. But I am to observe how the drinking of some strong water did immediately put my eyes into a fit of sorenesse again as they were the other day. I mean my right eye only.
Late at night I had an account brought me by Sir W. Warren that he has gone through four lighters for me, which pleases me very well. So home to bed, much troubled with our disappointment at the Tangier Committee.
I labor to think of love
and give over thoughts of ash
and the void of death
give over thoughts of sex
and the door to the shop
the first time I was with her
drinking my eyes into soreness
at that light
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 9 June 1666.