Maudlin

Up betimes, and with, Sir W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, by coach to the Swede’s Resident’s in the Piatza, to discourse with him about two of our prizes, wherein he puts in his concernment as for his countrymen. We had no satisfaction, nor did give him any, but I find him a cunning fellow. He lives in one of the great houses there, but ill-furnished; and come to us out of bed in his furred mittens and furred cap. Thence to Exeter House to the Doctors Commons, and there with our Proctors to Dr. Walker, who was not very well, but, however, did hear our matters, and after a dull seeming hearing of them read, did discourse most understandingly of them, as well as ever I heard man, telling us all our grounds of pretence to the prize would do no good, and made it appear but thus, and thus, it may be, but yet did give us but little reason to expect it would prove, which troubled us, but I was mightily taken to hear his manner of discourse. Thence with them to Westminster Hall, they setting me down at White Hall, where I missed of finding Sir G. Carteret, up to the Lords’ House, and there come mighty seasonably to hear the Solicitor about my Lord Buckingham’s pretence to the title of Lord Rosse. Mr. Atturny Montagu is also a good man, and so is old Sir P. Ball; but the Solicitor and Scroggs after him are excellent men. Here spoke with my Lord Bellasses about getting some money for Tangier, which he doubts we shall not be able to do out of the Poll Bill, it being so strictly tied for the Navy. He tells me the Lords have passed the Bill for the accounts with some little amendments. So down to the Hall, and thence with our company to Exeter House, and then did the business I have said before, we doing nothing the first time of going, it being too early.
At home find Lovett, to whom I did give my Lady Castlemayne’s head to do. He is talking of going into Spayne to get money by his art, but I doubt he will do no good, he being a man of an unsettled head.
Thence by water down to Deptford, the first time I have been by water a great while, and there did some little business and walked home, and there come into my company three drunken seamen, but one especially, who told me such stories, calling me Captain, as made me mighty merry, and they would leap and skip, and kiss what mayds they met all the way. I did at first give them money to drink, lest they should know who I was, and so become troublesome to me. Parted at Redriffe, and there home and to the office, where did much business, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where [Sir] W. Pen, [Sir] R. Ford, and I to hear a proposition [Sir] R. Ford was to acquaint us with from the Swedes Embassador, in manner of saying, that for money he might be got to our side and relinquish the trouble he may give us. Sir W. Pen did make a long simple declaration of his resolution to give nothing to deceive any poor man of what was his right by law, but ended in doing whatever any body else would, and we did commission Sir R. Ford to give promise of not beyond 350l. to him and his Secretary, in case they did not oppose us in the Phoenix (the net profits of which, as [Sir] R. Ford cast up before us, the Admiral’s tenths, and ship’s thirds, and other charges all cleared, will amount to 3,000l.) and that we did gain her. [Sir] R. Ford did pray for a curse upon his family, if he was privy to anything more than he told us (which I believe he is a knave in), yet we all concluded him the most fit man for it and very honest, and so left it wholly to him to manage as he pleased.
Thence to the office a little while longer, and so home, where W. Hewer’s mother was, and Mrs. Turner, our neighbour, and supped with us. His mother a well-favoured old little woman, and a good woman, I believe. After we had supped, and merry, we parted late, Mrs. Turner having staid behind to talk a little about her lodgings, which now my Lord Bruncker upon Sir W. Coventry’s surrendering do claim, but I cannot think he will come to live in them so as to need to put them out. She gone, we to bed all.
This night, at supper, comes from Sir W. Coventry the Order of Councill for my Lord Bruncker to do all the Comptroller’s part relating to the Treasurer’s accounts, and Sir W. Pen, all relating to the Victualler’s, and Sir J. Minnes to do the rest. This, I hope, will do much better for the King than now, and, I think, will give neither of them ground to over-top me, as I feared they would; which pleases me mightily.
This evening, Mr. Wren and Captain Cocke called upon me at the office, and there told me how the House was in better temper to-day, and hath passed the Bill for the remainder of the money, but not to be passed finally till they have done some other things which they will have passed with it; wherein they are very open, what their meaning is, which was but doubted before, for they do in all respects doubt the King’s pleasing them.

discourse furred with the first
love of a drunk

who would kiss
anybody for a curse

who surrendering to the ground
would remain in doubt


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 21 January 1667.

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