Sun tea

Up, and hear Sir W. Batten is come to town: I to see him; he is very ill of his fever, and come to town only for advice. Sir J. Minnes, I hear also, is very ill all this night, worse than before. Thence I going out met at the gate Sir H. Cholmly coming to me, and I to him in the coach, and both of us presently to St. James’s, by the way discoursing of some Tangier business about money, which the want of I see will certainly bring the place into a bad condition. We find the Duke of York and W. Coventry gone this morning, by two o’clock, to Chatham, to come home to-night: and it is fine to observe how both the King and Duke of York have, in their several late journeys to and again, done them in the night for coolnesse. Thence with him to the Treasury Chamber, and then to the Exchequer to inform ourselves a little about our warrant for 30,000l. for Tangier, which vexes us that it is so far off in time of payment. Having walked two or three turns with him in the Hall we parted, and I home by coach, and did business at the office till noon, and then by water to White Hall to dinner to Sir G. Carteret, but he not at home, but I dined with my Lady and good company, and good dinner. My Lady and the family in very good humour upon this business of his parting with his place of Treasurer of the Navy, which I perceive they do own, and we did talk of it with satisfaction. They do here tell me that the Duke of Buckingham hath surrendered himself to Secretary Morrice, and is going to the Tower. Mr. Fenn, at the table, says that he hath been taken by the watch two or three times of late, at unseasonable hours, but so disguised that they could not know him: and when I come home, by and by, Mr. Lowther tells me that the Duke of Buckingham do dine publickly this day at Wadlow’s, at the Sun Tavern; and is mighty merry, and sent word to the Lieutenant of the Tower, that he would come to him as soon as he had dined. Now, how sad a thing it is, when we come to make sport of proclaiming men traitors, and banishing them, and putting them out of their offices, and Privy Council, and of sending to and going to the Tower: God have mercy on us! At table, my Lady and Sir Philip Carteret have great and good discourse of the greatness of the present King of France — what great things he hath done, that a man may pass, at any hour in the night, all over that wild city, with a purse in his hand and no danger: that there is not a beggar to be seen in it, nor dirt lying in it; that he hath married two of Colbert’s daughters to two of the greatest princes of France, and given them portions — bought the greatest dukedom in France, and given it to Colbert; and ne’er a prince in France dare whisper against it, whereas here our King cannot do any such thing, but everybody’s mouth is open against him for it, and the man that hath the favour also. That to several commanders that had not money to set them out to the present campagne, he did of his own accord — send them 1000l. sterling a-piece, to equip themselves. But then they did enlarge upon the slavery of the people — that they are taxed more than the real estates they have; nay, it is an ordinary thing for people to desire to give the King all their land that they have, and themselves become only his tenants, and pay him rent to the full value of it: so they may have but their earnings, But this will not be granted; but he shall give the value of his rent, and part of his labour too. That there is not a petty governor of a province — nay, of a town, but he will take the daughter from the richest man in the town under him, that hath got anything, and give her to his footman for a wife if he pleases, and the King of France will do the like to the best man in his kingdom — take his daughter from him, and give her to his footman, or whom he pleases. It is said that he do make a sport of us now; and says, that he knows no reason why his cozen, the King of England, should not be as willing to let him have his kingdom, as that the Dutch should take it from him, which is a most wretched thing that ever we should live to be in this most contemptible condition. After dinner Sir G. Carteret come in, and I to him and my Lady, and there he did tell me that the business was done between him and my Lord Anglesey; that himself is to have the other’s place of Deputy Treasurer of Ireland, which is a place of honour and great profit, being far better, I know not for what reason, but a reason there is, than the Treasurer’s, my Lord of Corke’s, and to give the other his, of Treasurer of the Navy; that the King, at his earnest entreaty, did, with much unwillingness, but with owning of great obligations to him, for his faithfulness and long service to him and his father, and therefore was willing to grant his desire. That the Duke of York hath given him the same kind words, so that it is done with all the good manner that could be, and he I perceive do look upon it, and so do I, I confess, as a great good fortune to him to meet with one of my Lord Anglesey’s quality willing to receive it at this time. Sir W. Coventry he hath not yet made acquainted with it, nor do intend it, it being done purely to ease himself of the many troubles and plagues which he thinks the perverseness and unkindness of Sir W. Coventry and others by his means have and is likely every day to bring upon him, and the Parliament’s envy, and lastly to put himself into a condition of making up his accounts, which he is, he says, afeard he shall never otherwise be. My Lord Chancellor, I perceive, is his friend in it. I remember I did in the morning tell Sir H. Cholmly of this business: and he answered me, he was sorry for it; for, whatever Sir G. Carteret was, he is confident my Lord Anglesey is one of the greatest knaves in the world, which is news to me, but I shall make my use of it. Having done this discourse with Sir G. Carteret, and signified my great satisfaction in it, which they seem to look upon as something, I went away and by coach home, and there find my wife making of tea, a drink which Mr. Pelling, the Potticary, tells her is good for her cold and defluxions. I to the office (whither come Mr. Carcasse to me to sue for my favour to him), and Sir W. Pen’s, where I find Mr. Lowther come to town after the journey, and after a small visit to him, I to the office to do much business, and then in the evening to Sir W. Batten’s, to see how he did; and he is better than he was. He told me how Mrs. Lowther had her train held up yesterday by her page, at his house in the country; which is so ridiculous a piece of pride as I am ashamed of. He told me also how he hears by somebody that my Lord Bruncker’s maid hath told that her lady Mrs. Williams had sold her jewels and clothes to raise money for something or other; and indeed the last night a letter was sent from her to me, to send to my Lord, with about five pieces of gold in it, which methought at the time was but a poor supply. I then to Sir W. Pen, who continues a little ill, or dissembles it, the latter of which I am apt to believe. Here I staid but little, not meaning much kindness in it; and so to the office, and dispatched more business; and then home at night, and to supper with my wife, and who should come in but Mr. Pelling, and supped with us, and told us the news of the town; how the officers of the Navy are cried out upon, and a great many greater men; but do think that I shall do well enough; and I think, if I have justice, I shall. He tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckingham, his dining to-day at the Sun, and that he was mighty merry; and, what is strange, tells me that really he is at this day a very popular man, the world reckoning him to suffer upon no other account than that he did propound in Parliament to have all the questions that had to do with the receipt of the taxes and prizes; but they must be very silly that do think he can do any thing out of good intention. After a great deal of tittle-tattle with this honest man, he gone we to bed. We hear that the Dutch are gone down again; and thanks be to God! the trouble they give us this second time is not very considerable.

night coolness
I surrender to the season

disguised as ivy go wild
with hand in dirt

whisper against the land
like a kingdom of snow

why should I treasure the same
words as others

I shall make tea out of the sun
and have all the questions


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 28 June 1667.

Leave a Reply

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