Urban pastoral

It cost me till four o’clock in the morning, and, which was pretty to think, I was above an hour, after I had made all right, in casting up of about twenty sums, being dozed with much work, and had for forty times together forgot to carry the 60 which I had in my mind, in one denomination which exceeded 60; and this did confound me for above an hour together. At last all even and done, and so to bed.
Up at seven, and so to the office, after looking over my last night’s work. We sat all the morning. At noon by coach with my Lord Bruncker and ‘light at the Temple, and so alone I to dinner at a cooke’s, and thence to my Lord Bellasses, whom I find kind; but he had drawn some new proposal to deliver to the Lords Commissioners to-day, wherein one was, that the garrison would not be well paid without some goldsmith’s undertaking the paying of the bills of exchange for Tallys. He professing so much kindness to me, and saying that he would not be concerned in the garrison without me; and that if he continued in the employment, no man should have to do with the money but myself. I did ask his Lordship’s meaning of the proposition in his paper. He told me he had not much considered it, but that he meant no harm to me. I told him I thought it would render me useless; whereupon he did very frankly, after my seeming denials for a good while, cause it to be writ over again, and that clause left out, which did satisfy me abundantly. It being done, he and I together to White Hall, and there the Duke of York (who is gone over to all his pleasures again, and leaves off care of business, what with his woman, my Lady Denham, and his hunting three times a week) was just come in from hunting. So I stood and saw him dress himself, and try on his vest, which is the King’s new fashion, and will be in it for good and all on Monday next, and the whole Court: it is a fashion, the King says; he will never change. He being ready, he and my Lord Chancellor, and Duke of Albemarle, and Prince Rupert, Lord Bellasses, Sir H. Cholmly, Povy, and myself, met at a Committee for Tangier. My Lord Bellasses’s propositions were read and discoursed of, about reducing the garrison to less charge; and indeed I am mad in love with my Lord Chancellor, for he do comprehend and speak out well, and with the greatest easinesse and authority that ever I saw man in my life. I did never observe how much easier a man do speak when he knows all the company to be below him, than in him; for though he spoke, indeed, excellent well, yet his manner and freedom of doing it, as if he played with it, and was informing only all the rest of the company, was mighty pretty. He did call again and again upon Mr. Povy for his accounts. I did think fit to make the solemn tender of my accounts that I intended. I said something that was liked, touching the want of money, and the bad credit of our tallys. My Lord Chancellor moved, that without any trouble to any of the rest of the Lords, I might alone attend the King, when he was with his private Council; and open the state of the garrison’s want of credit; and all that could be done, should. Most things moved were referred to Committees, and so we broke up. And at the end Sir W. Coventry come; so I away with him, and he discoursed with me something of the Parliament’s business. They have voted giving the [King] for next year 1,800,000l.; which, were it not for his debts, were a great sum. He says, he thinks the House may say no more to us for the present, but that we must mend our manners against the next tryall, and mend them we will. But he thinks it not a fit time to be found making of trouble among ourselves, meaning about Sir J. Minnes, who most certainly must be removed, or made a Commissioner, and somebody else Comptroller. But he tells me that the House has a great envy at Sir G. Carteret, and that had he ever thought fit in all his discourse to have touched upon the point of our want of money and badness of payment, it would have been laid hold on to Sir G. Carteret’s hurt; but he hath avoided it, though without much reason for it, most studiously, and in short did end thus, that he has never shewn so much of the pigeon in all his life as in his innocence to Sir G. Carteret at this time; which I believe, and will desire Sir G. Carteret to thank him for it. So we broke up and I by coach home, calling for a new pair of shoes, and so, little being to do at the office, did go home, and after spending a little in righting some of my books, which stood out of order, I to bed.

morning light on the leaves
life is tender like that
and open

not to elves but an old pigeon
in all his air
of being right


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 13 October 1666.

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