(Lord’s day). Up very betimes, and down the river to Deptford, and did a good deale of business in sending away and directing several things to the Fleete. That being done, back to London to my office, and there at my office till after Church time fitting some notes to carry to Sir W. Coventry in the afternoon. At noon home to dinner, where my cozen Joyces, both of them, they and their wives and little Will, come by invitation to dinner to me, and I had a good dinner for them; but, Lord! how sicke was I of W. Joyce’s company, both the impertinencies of it and his ill manners before me at my table to his wife, which I could hardly forbear taking notice of; but being at my table and for his wife’s sake, I did, though I will prevent his giving me the like occasion again at my house I will warrant him.
After dinner I took leave and by water to White Hall, and there spent all the afternoon in the Gallery, till the Council was up, to speake with Sir W. Coventry.
Walking here I met with Pierce the surgeon, who is lately come from the fleete, and tells me that all the commanders, officers, and even the common seamen do condemn every part of the late conduct of the Duke of Albemarle: both in his fighting at all, in his manner of fighting, running among them in his retreat, and running the ships on ground; so as nothing can be worse spoken of. That Holmes, Spragg, and Smith do all the business, and the old and wiser commanders nothing. So as Sir Thomas Teddiman (whom the King and all the world speak well of) is mightily discontented, as being wholly slighted. He says we lost more after the Prince come, than before too. The Prince was so maimed, as to be forced to be towed home. He says all the fleete confess their being chased home by the Dutch; and yet the body of the Dutch that did it, was not above forty sayle at most. And yet this put us into the fright, as to bring all our ships on ground. He says, however, that the Duke of Albemarle is as high almost as ever, and pleases himself to think that he hath given the Dutch their bellies full, without sense of what he hath lost us; and talks how he knows now the way to beat them. But he says, that even Smith himself, one of his creatures, did himself condemn the late conduct from the beginning to the end.
He tells me further, how the Duke of Yorke is wholly given up to his new mistresse, my Lady Denham, going at noon-day with all his gentlemen with him to visit her in Scotland Yard; she declaring she will not be his mistresse, as Mrs. Price, to go up and down the Privy-stairs, but will be owned publicly; and so she is. Mr. Bruncker, it seems, was the pimp to bring it about, and my Lady Castlemaine, who designs thereby to fortify herself by the Duke; there being a falling-out the other day between the King and her: on this occasion, the Queene, in ordinary talke before the ladies in her drawing-room, did say to my Lady Castlemaine that she feared the King did take cold, by staying so late abroad at her house. She answered before them all, that he did not stay so late abroad with her, for he went betimes thence (though he do not before one, two, or three in the morning), but must stay somewhere else. The King then coming in and overhearing, did whisper in the eare aside, and told her she was a bold impertinent woman, and bid her to be gone out of the Court, and not come again till he sent for, her; which she did presently, and went to a lodging in the Pell Mell, and kept there two or three days, and then sent to the King to know whether she might send for her things away out of her house. The King sent to her, she must first come and view them: and so she come, and the King went to her, and all friends again. He tells me she did, in her anger, say she would be even with the King, and print his letters to her.
So putting all together, we are and are like to be in a sad condition.
We are endeavouring to raise money by borrowing it of the City; but I do not think the City will lend a farthing.
By and by the Council broke up, and I spoke with Sir W. Coventry about business, with whom I doubt not in a little time to be mighty well, when I shall appear to mind my business again as I used to do, which by the grace of God I will do.
Gone from him I endeavoured to find out Sir G. Carteret, and at last did at Mr. Ashburnham’s, in the Old Palace Yarde, and thence he and I stepped out and walked an houre in the church-yarde, under Henry the Seventh’s Chappell, he being lately come from the fleete; and tells me, as I hear from every body else, that the management in the late fight was bad from top to bottom. That several said this would not have been if my Lord Sandwich had had the ordering of it. Nay, he tells me that certainly had my Lord Sandwich had the misfortune to have done as they have done, the King could not have saved him. There is, too, nothing but discontent among the officers; and all the old experienced men are slighted. He tells me to my question (but as a great secret), that the dividing of the fleete did proceed first from a proposition from the fleete, though agreed to hence. But he confesses it arose from want of due intelligence, which he confesses we do want. He do, however, call the fleete’s retreat on Sunday a very honourable retreat, and that the Duke of Albemarle did do well in it, and would have been well if he had done it sooner, rather than venture the loss of the fleete and crown, as he must have done if the Prince had not come. He was surprised when I told him I heard that the King did intend to borrow some money of the City, and would know who had spoke of it to me; I told him Sir Ellis Layton this afternoon. He says it is a dangerous discourse; for that the City certainly will not be invited to do it, and then for the King to ask it and be denied, will be the beginning of our sorrow. He seems to fear we shall all fall to pieces among ourselves.
This evening we hear that Sir Christopher Mings is dead of his late wounds; and Sir W. Coventry did commend him to me in a most extraordinary manner.
But this day, after three days’ trial in vain, and the hazard of the spoiling of the ship in lying till next spring, besides the disgrace of it, newes is brought that the Loyall London is launched at Deptford.
Having talked thus much with Sir G. Carteret we parted there, and I home by water, taking in my boat with me young Michell and my Betty his wife, meeting them accidentally going to look a boat. I set them down at the Old Swan and myself, went through bridge to the Tower, and so home, and after supper to bed.
up and down
how sick was I of joy
like the surge of the sea
up and down
falling like a sad wing
under the sand
a secret city
lying till next spring
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 10 June 1666.