Welcome to the Martyrdome

Up and to the office, where Carcasse comes with his plaistered face, and called himself Sir W. Batten’s martyr, which made W. Batten mad almost, and mighty quarrelling there was. We spent the morning almost wholly upon considering some way of keeping the peace at the Ticket Office; but it is plain that the care of that office is nobody’s work, and that is it that makes it stand in the ill condition it do. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, and there a meeting: the Duke of York, Duke of Albemarle, and several other Lords of the Commission of Tangier. And there I did present a state of my accounts, and managed them well; and my Lord Chancellor did say, though he was, in other things, in an ill humour, that no man in England was of more method, nor made himself better understood than myself. But going, after the business of money was over, to other businesses, of settling the garrison, he did fling out, and so did the Duke of York, two or three severe words touching my Lord Bellasses: that he would have no Governor come away from thence in less than three years; no, though his lady were with child. “And,” says the Duke of York, “there should be no Governor continue so, longer than three years.” “Nor,” says Lord Arlington, “when our rules are once set, and upon good judgment declared, no Governor should offer to alter them.” — “We must correct the many things that are amiss there; for,” says the Lord Chancellor, “you must think we do hear of more things amisse than we are willing to speak before our friends’ faces.” My Lord Bellasses would not take notice of their reflecting on him, and did wisely, but there were also many reflections on him. Thence away by coach to Sir H. Cholmly and Fitzgerald and Creed, setting down the two latter at the New Exchange. And Sir H. Cholmly and I to the Temple, and there walked in the dark in the walks talking of newes; and he surprises me with the certain newes that the King did last night in Council declare his being in treaty with the Dutch: that they had sent him a very civil letter, declaring that, if nobody but themselves were concerned, they would not dispute the place of treaty, but leave it to his choice; but that, being obliged to satisfy therein a Prince of equal quality with himself, they must except any place in England or Spayne. And so the King hath chosen the Hague, and thither hath chose my Lord Hollis and Harry Coventry to go Embassadors to treat; which is so mean a thing, as all the world will believe, that we do go to beg a peace of them, whatever we pretend. And it seems all our Court are mightily for a peace, taking this to be the time to make one, while the King hath money, that he may save something of what the Parliament hath given him to put him out of debt, so as he may need the help of no more Parliaments, as to the point of money: but our debt is so great, and expence daily so encreased, that I believe little of the money will be saved between this and the making of the peace up. But that which troubles me most is, that we have chosen a son of Secretary Morris, a boy never used to any business, to go Embassador [Secretary] to the Embassy, which shows how, little we are sensible of the weight of the business upon us. God therefore give a good end to it, for I doubt it, and yet do much more doubt the issue of our continuing the war, for we are in no wise fit for it, and yet it troubles me to think what Sir H. Cholmly says, that he believes they will not give us any reparation for what we have suffered by the war, nor put us into any better condition than what we were in before the war, for that will be shamefull for us. Thence parted with him and home through the dark over the ruins by coach, with my sword drawn, to the office, where dispatched some business; and so home to my chamber and to supper and to bed.
This morning come up to my wife’s bedside, I being up dressing myself, little Will Mercer to be her Valentine; and brought her name writ upon blue paper in gold letters, done by himself, very pretty; and we were both well pleased with it. But I am also this year my wife’s Valentine, and it will cost me 5l.; but that I must have laid out if we had not been Valentines. So to bed.

a martyr is a nobody’s garrison
with no ears no faces no reflections

in the dark we are his no body
equal to whatever we need no more of

making war on war my sword drawn
I am his blue paper Valentine


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 14 February 1667.

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