Gardener

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes in his coach, set him down at the Treasurer’s Office in Broad-streete, and I in his coach to White Hall, and there had the good fortune to walk with Sir W. Coventry into the garden, and there read our melancholy letter to the Duke of York, which he likes. And so to talk: and he flatly owns that we must have a peace, for we cannot set out a fleete; and, to use his own words, he fears that we shall soon have enough of fighting in this new way, which we have thought on for this year. He bemoans the want of money, and discovers himself jealous that Sir G. Carteret do not look after, or concern himself for getting, money as he used to do, and did say it is true if Sir G. Carteret would only do his work, and my Lord Treasurer would do his own, Sir G. Carteret hath nothing to do to look after money, but if he will undertake my Lord Treasurer’s work to raise money of the Bankers, then people must expect that he will do it, and did further say, that he and my Lord Chancellor do at this very day labour all they can to villify this new way of raising money, and making it payable, as it now is, into the Exchequer; and expressly said that in pursuance hereof, my Lord Chancellor hath prevailed with the King, in the close of his last speech to the House, to say, that he did hope to see them come to give money as it used to be given, without so many provisos, meaning, as Sir W. Coventry says, this new method of the Act. While we were talking, there come Sir Thomas Allen with two ladies; one of which was Mrs. Rebecca Allen, that I knew heretofore, the clerk of the rope-yard’s daughter at Chatham, who, poor heart! come to desire favour for her husband, who is clapt up, being a Lieutenant, for sending a challenge to his Captain, in the most saucy, base language that could be writ. I perceive W. Coventry is wholly resolved to bring him to punishment; for, “bear with this,” says he, “and no discipline shall ever be expected.” She in this sad condition took no notice of me, nor I of her. So away we to the Duke of York, and there in his closett W. Coventry and I delivered the letter, which the Duke of York made not much of, I thought, as to laying it to heart, as the matter deserved, but did promise to look after the getting of money for us, and I believe Sir W. Coventry will add what force he can to it. I did speak to W. Coventry about Balty’s warrant, which is ready, and about being Deputy Treasurer, which he very readily and friendlily agreed to, at which I was glad, and so away and by coach back to Broad-streete to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there found my brother passing his accounts, which I helped till dinner, and dined there, and many good stories at dinner, among others about discoveries of murder, and Sir J. Minnes did tell of the discovery of his own great-grandfather’s murder, fifteen years after he was murdered. Thence, after dinner, home and by water to Redriffe, and walked (fine weather) to Deptford, and there did business and so back again, walked, and pleased with a jolly femme that I saw going and coming in the way, which je could avoir been contented pour avoir staid with if I could have gained acquaintance con elle, but at such times as these I am at a great loss, having not confidence, no alcune ready wit. So home and to the office, where late, and then home to supper and bed. This evening Mrs. Turner come to my office, and did walk an hour with me in the garden, telling me stories how Sir Edward Spragge hath lately made love to our neighbour, a widow, Mrs. Hollworthy, who is a woman of estate, and wit and spirit, and do contemn him the most, and sent him away with the greatest scorn in the world; she tells me also odd stories how the parish talks of Sir W. Pen’s family, how poorly they clothe their daughter so soon after marriage, and do say that Mr. Lowther was married once before, and some such thing there hath been, whatever the bottom of it is. But to think of the clatter they make with his coach, and his owne fine cloathes, and yet how meanly they live within doors, and nastily, and borrowing everything of neighbours is a most shitten thing.

do I garden like a banker raising money
or the rope-yard’s daughter
laying money by

I till and water
fine weather
going and coming

at times I am at a loss
and the evening corn
tells me odd stories

what clatter they make
and how they live
borrowing everything


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 1 April 1667.

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