Canary

Wakened this morning, about three o’clock, by Mr. Griffin with a letter from Sir W. Coventry to W. Pen, which W. Pen sent me to see, that the Dutch are come up to the Nore again, and he knows not whether further or no, and would have, therefore, several things done: ships sunk, and I know not what — which Sir W. Pen (who it seems is very ill this night, or would be thought so) hath directed Griffin to carry to the Trinity House; so he went away with the letter, and I tried and with much ado did get a little sleep more, and so up about six o’clock, full of thought what to do with the little money I have left and my plate, wishing with all my heart that that was all secured. So to the office, where much business all the morning, and the more by my brethren being all out of the way; Sir W. Pen this night taken so ill cannot stir; W. Batten ill at Walthamstow; Sir J. Minnes the like at Chatham, and my Lord Bruncker there also upon business. Horrible trouble with the backwardness of the merchants to let us have their ships, and seamen’s running away, and not to be got or kept without money. It is worth turning to our letters this day to Sir W. Coventry about these matters. At noon to dinner, having a haunch of venison boiled; and all my clerks at dinner with me; and mightily taken with Mr. Gibson’s discourse of the faults of this war in its management compared [with] that in the last war, which I will get him to put into writing. Thence, after dinner, to the office again, and there I saw the proclamations come out this day for the Parliament to meet the 25th of next month; for which God be praised! and another to invite seamen to bring in their complaints, of their being ill-used in the getting their tickets and money, there being a Committee of the Council appointed to receive their complaints.
This noon W. Hewer and T. Hater both tell me that it is all over the town, and Mr. Pierce tells me also, this afternoon coming to me, that for certain Sir G. Carteret hath parted with his Treasurer’s place, and that my Lord Anglesey is in it upon agreement and change of places, though the latter part I do not think. This Povy told me yesterday, and I think it is a wise act of G. Carteret. Pierce tells me that he hears for certain fresh at Court, that France and we shall agree; and more, that yesterday was damned at the Council, the Canary Company; and also that my Lord Mordaunt hath laid down his Commission, both good things to please the Parliament, which I hope will do good. Pierce tells me that all the town do cry out of our office, for a pack of fools and knaves; but says that everybody speaks either well, or at least the best of me, which is my great comfort, and think I do deserve it, and shall shew I have; but yet do think, and he also, that the Parliament will send us all going; and I shall be well contented with it, God knows! But he tells me how Matt. Wren should say that he was told that I should say that W. Coventry was guilty of the miscarriage at Chatham, though I myself, as he confesses, did tell him otherwise, and that it was wholly Pett’s fault. This do trouble me, not only as untrue, but as a design in some [one] or other to do me hurt; for, as the thing is false, so it never entered into my mouth or thought, nor ever shall. He says that he hath rectified Wren in his belief of this, and so all is well. He gone, I to business till the evening, and then by chance home, and find the fellow that come up with my wife, Coleman, last from Brampton, a silly rogue, but one that would seem a gentleman; but I did not stay with him. So to the office, where late, busy, and then to walk a little in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed. News this tide, that about 80 sail of the Dutch, great and small were seen coming up the river this morning; and this tide some of them to the upper end of the Hope.

wakened by a thought
a little thought
my heart all astir

like a horrible goddamned canary
that speaks with my mouth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 27 June 1667.

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