At hand

Up, and with [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall by coach, and by the way agreed to acquaint [Sir] W. Coventry with the business of Mr. Carcasse, and he and I spoke to Sir W. Coventry that we might move it to the Duke of York, which I did in a very indifferent, that is, impartial manner, but vexed I believe Lord Bruncker. Here the Duke of York did acquaint us, and the King did the like also, afterwards coming in, with his resolution of altering the manner of the war this year; that is, we shall keep what fleete we have abroad in several squadrons: so that now all is come out; but we are to keep it as close as we can, without hindering the work that is to be done in preparation to this. Great preparations there are to fortify Sheernesse and the yard at Portsmouth, and forces are drawing down to both those places, and elsewhere by the seaside; so that we have some fear of an invasion; and the Duke of York himself did declare his expectation of the enemy’s blocking us up here in the River, and therefore directed that we should send away all the ships that we have to fit out hence. Sir W. Pen told me, going with me this morning to White Hall, that for certain the Duke of Buckingham is brought into the Tower, and that he hath had an hour’s private conference with the King before he was sent thither.
To Westminster Hall. There bought some news books, and, as every where else, hear every body complain of the dearness of coals, being at 4l. per chaldron, the weather, too, being become most bitter cold, the King saying to-day that it was the coldest day he ever knew in England. Thence by coach to my Lord Crew’s, where very welcome. Here I find they are in doubt where the Duke of Buckingham is; which makes me mightily reflect on the uncertainty of all history, when, in a business of this moment, and of this day’s growth, we cannot tell the truth. Here dined my old acquaintance, Mr. Borfett, that was my Lord Sandwich’s chaplain, and my Lady Wright and Dr. Boreman, who is preacher at St. Gyles’s in the Fields, who, after dinner, did give my Lord an account of two papist women lately converted, whereof one wrote her recantation, which he shewed under her own hand mighty well drawn, so as my Lord desired a copy of it, after he had satisfied himself from the Doctor, that to his knowledge she was not a woman under any necessity. Thence by coach home and staid a very little, and then by water to Redriffe, and walked to Bagwell’s, where ‘la moher’ was ‘defro, sed’ would not have me ‘demeurer’ there ‘parce que’ Mrs. Batters and one of my ‘ancillas’, I believe Jane (for she was gone abroad to-day), was in the town, and coming thither; so I away presently, esteeming it a great escape. So to the yard and spoke a word or two, and then by water home, wondrous cold, and reading a ridiculous ballad made in praise of the Duke of Albemarle, to the tune of St. George, the tune being printed, too; and I observe that people have some great encouragement to make ballads of him of this kind. There are so many, that hereafter he will sound like Guy of Warwicke. Then abroad with my wife, leaving her at the ‘Change, while I to Sir H. Cholmly’s, a pretty house, and a fine, worthy, well-disposed gentleman he is. He and I to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s, about money for Tangier, but to little purpose. H. Cholmley tells me, among other things, that he hears of little hopes of a peace, their demands being so high as we shall never grant, and could tell me that we shall keep no fleete abroad this year, but only squadrons. And, among other things, that my Lord Bellasses, he believes, will lose his command of Tangier by his corrupt covetous ways of endeavouring to sell his command, which I am glad [of], for he is a man of no worth in the world but compliment. So to the ‘Change, and there bought 32s. worth of things for Mrs. Knipp, my Valentine, which is pretty to see how my wife is come to convention with me, that, whatever I do give to anybody else, I shall give her as much, which I am not much displeased with. So home and to the office and Sir W. Batten, to tell him what I had done to-day about Carcasse’s business, and God forgive me I am not without design to give a blow to Sir W. Batten by it. So home, where Mr. Batelier supped with us and talked away the evening pretty late, and so he gone and we to bed.

like blocking up the river
with one hand
we so believe
in wondrous little hopes
that we keep this other world
for God or bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 6 March 1667.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.