Up, and being sent for by my Lady Batten, I to her, and there she found fault with my not seeing her since her being a widow, which I excused as well as I could, though it is a fault, but it is my nature not to be forward in visits. But here she told me her condition, which is good enough, being sole executrix, to the disappointment of all her husband’s children, and prayed my friendship about the accounts of the prizes, which I promised her. And here do see what creatures widows are in weeping for their husbands, and then presently leaving off; but I cannot wonder at it, the cares of the world taking place of all other passions. Thence to the office, where all the morning busy, and at noon home to dinner, where Mr. John Andrews and his wife come and dined with me, and pretty merry we were, only I out of humour the greatest part of the dinner, by reason that my people had forgot to get wine ready, I having none in my house, which I cannot say now these almost three years, I think, without having two or three sorts, by which we were fain to stay a great while, while some could be fetched. When it come I begun to be merry, and merry we were, but it was an odd, strange thing to observe of Mr. Andrews what a fancy he hath to raw meat, that he eats it with no pleasure unless the blood run about his chops, which it did now by a leg of mutton that was not above half boiled; but, it seems, at home all his meat is dressed so, and beef and all, and [he] eats it so at nights also. Here most of our discourse is of the business of the Parliament, who run on mighty furiously, having yesterday been almost all the morning complaining against some high proceedings of my Lord Chief Justice Keeling, that the gentlemen of the country did complain against him in the House, and run very high. It is the man that did fall out with my cozen Roger Pepys, once, at the Assizes there, and would have laid him by the heels; but, it seems, a very able lawyer.
After dinner I to the office, where we all met with intent to proceed to the publique sale of several prize ships, but upon discourse my Lord Anglesey did discover (which troubled me that he that is a stranger almost should do more than we ourselves could) that the appraisements made by our officers were not above half of what he had been offered for one of them, and did make it good by bringing a gentleman to give us 700l. for the Wildboare, which they valued but at 276l., which made us all startle and stop the sale, and I did propose to acquaint the Duke of York with it, and accordingly we did agree on it, and I wrote a severe letter about it, and we are to attend him with it to-morrow about it.
This afternoon my Lord Anglesey tells us that the House of Commons have this morning run into the inquiry in many things; as, the sale of Dunkirke, the dividing of the fleete the last year, the business of the prizes with my Lord Sandwich, and many other things; so that now they begin to fall close upon it, and God knows what will be the end of it, but a Committee they have chosen to inquire into the miscarriages of the war.
Having done, and being a little tired, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach out to Mile End Green, and there drank a cup of Byde’s ale, and so talking about the proceedings of Parliament, and how little a thing the King is become to be forced to suffer it, though I declare my being satisfied that things should be enquired into, we back again home, and I to my office to my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.
what creatures weep
but cannot wonder at the world
all out of wine or blood
gentlemen the size of ourselves
could praise the wild startle
stop and attend to it
as they begin to lose God
but a committee they have chosen
is talking about how to suffer
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 October 1667.