Undercover

Up, and to White Hall to attend the Council about Commissioner Pett’s business, along with my Lord Bruncker and Sir W. Pen, and in the Robe-chamber the Duke of York come to us, the officers of the Navy, and there did meet together about Navy business, where Sir W. Coventry was with us, and among other things did recommend his Royal Highness, now the prizes were disposing, to remember Sir John Harman to the King, for some bounty, and also for my Lady Minnes, which was very nobly done of him. Thence all of us to attend the Council, where we were anon called on, and there was a long hearing of Commissioner Pett, who was there, and there were the two Masters Attendant of Chatham called in, who do deny their having any order from Commissioner Pett about bringing up the great ships, which gives the lie to what he says; but, in general, I find him to be but a weak, silly man, and that is guilty of horrid neglect in this business all along. Here broke off without coming to an issue, but that there should be another hearing on Monday next. So the Council rose, and I staid walking up and down the galleries till the King went to dinner, and then I to my Lord Crew’s to dinner; but he having dined, I took a very short leave, confessing I had not dined; and so to an ordinary hard by the Temple-gate, where I have heretofore been, and there dined — cost me 10d. And so to my Lord Ashly’s, where after dinner Sir H. Cholmly, Creed and I, with his Lordship, about Mr. Yeabsly’s business, where having come to agreement with him abating him 1000l. of what he demands for ships lost, I to Westminster, to Mrs. Martin’s lodging, whither I sent for her, and there hear that her husband is come from sea, which is sooner than I expected; and here I staid and drank, and so did toucher elle and away, and so by coach to my tailor’s, and thence to my Lord Crew’s, and there did stay with him an hour till almost night, discoursing about the ill state of my Lord Sandwich, that he can neither be got to be called home, nor money got to maintain him there; which will ruin his family. And the truth is, he do almost deserve it, for by all relation he hath, in a little more than a year and a half, spent 20,000l. of the King’s money, and the best part of 10,000l. of his own; which is a most prodigious expence, more than ever Embassador spent there, and more than these Commissioners of the Treasury will or do allow. And they demand an account before they will give him any more money; which puts all his friends to a loss what to answer. But more money we must get him, or to be called home. I offer to speak to Sir W. Coventry about it; but my Lord will not advise to it, without consent of Sir G. Carteret. So home, and there to see Sir W. Batten, who fell sick yesterday morning: He is asleep: and so I could not see him; but in an hour after, word is brought me that he is so ill, that it is believed he cannot live till to-morrow, which troubles me and my wife mightily, partly out of kindness, he being a good neighbour and partly because of the money he owes me, upon our bargain of the late prize. So home and to supper and to bed.

I meet with harm
from the horrid rose

confessing to an ordinary lordship
that I come from sea

a staid home
will ruin my sleep

I cannot live partly out
and partly in

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 October 1667.

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