Reactionary

Up, without words to my wife, or few, and those not angry, and so to White Hall, and there waited a long time, while the Duke of York was with the King in the Caball, and there I and Creed stayed talking without, in the Vane-Room, and I perceive all people’s expectation is, what will be the issue of this great business of putting these great Lords out of the council and power, the quarrel, I perceive, being only their standing against the will of the King in the business of the Chancellor. Anon the Duke of York comes out, and then to a committee of Tangier, where my Lord Middleton did come to-day, and seems to me but a dull, heavy man; but he is a great soldier, and stout, and a needy Lord, which will still keep that poor garrison from ever coming to be worth anything to the King. Here, after a short meeting, we broke up, and I home to the office, where they are sitting, and so I to them, and having done our business rose, and I home to dinner with my people, and there dined with me my uncle Thomas, with a mourning hat-band on, for his daughter Mary, and here I and my people did discourse of the Act for the accounts, which do give the greatest power to these people, as they report that have read it (I having not yet read it, and indeed its nature is such as I have no mind to go about to read it, for fear of meeting matter in it to trouble me), that ever was given to any subjects, and too much also. After dinner with my wife and girl to Unthanke’s, and there left her, and I to Westminster, and there to Mrs. Martin’s, and did hazer con elle what I desired, and there did drink with her, and find fault with her husband’s wearing of too fine clothes, by which I perceive he will be a beggar, and so after a little talking I away and took up my wife again, and so home and to the office, where Captain Perryman did give me an account, walking in the garden, how the seamen of England are discouraged by want of money (or otherwise by being, as he says, but I think without cause, by their being underrated) so far as that he thinks the greatest part are gone abroad or going, and says that it is known that there are Irish in the town, up and down, that do labour to entice the seamen out of the nation by giving them 3l. in hand, and promise of 40s. per month, to go into the King of France’s service, which is a mighty shame, but yet I believe is true. I did advise with him about my little vessel, “The Maybolt,” which he says will be best for me to sell, though my employing her to Newcastle this winter, and the next spring, for coles, will be a gainful trade, but yet make me great trouble, but I will think of it, and so to my office, ended my letters, and so home to supper and to bed, good friends with my wife.
Thus ends the year, with great happiness to myself and family as to health and good condition in the world, blessed be God for it! only with great trouble to my mind in reference to the publick, there being little hopes left but that the whole nation must in a very little time be lost, either by troubles at home, the Parliament being dissatisfied, and the King led into unsettled councils by some about him, himself considering little, and divisions growing between the King and Duke of York; or else by foreign invasion, to which we must submit if any, at this bad point of time, should come upon us, which the King of France is well able to do. These thoughts, and some cares upon me, concerning my standing in this Office when the Committee of Parliament shall come to examine our Navy matters, which they will now shortly do. I pray God they may do the kingdom service therein, as they will have sufficient opportunity of doing it!

angry people’s expectation
is only their stand against chance

a soldier coming to mourn
with her hat off

walking up and down out of shame
will heal with little hope

the whole nation lost
to foreign thoughts

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 31 December 1667.

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