News consumption

Up, and to the office, where all the morning drawing up an answer to the Report of the Committee for miscarriages to the Parliament touching our paying men by tickets, which I did do in a very good manner I think. Dined with my clerks at home, where much good discourse of our business of the Navy, and the trouble now upon us, more than we expected. After dinner my wife out with Deb., to buy some things against my sister’s wedding, and I to the office to write fair my business I did in the morning, and in the evening to White Hall, where I find Sir W. Coventry all alone, a great while with the Duke of York, in the King’s drawing-room, they two talking together all alone, which did mightily please me. Then I did get Sir W. Coventry (the Duke of York being gone) aside, and there read over my paper, which he liked and corrected, and tells me it will be hard to escape, though the thing be never so fair, to have it voted a miscarriage; but did advise me and my Lord Brouncker, who coming by did join with us, to prepare some members in it, which we shall do. Here I do hear how La Roche, a French captain, who was once prisoner here, being with his ship at Plymouth, hath played some freakes there, for which his men being beat out of the town, he hath put up his flag of defiance, and also, somewhere thereabout, did land with his men, and go a mile into the country, and did some pranks, which sounds pretty odd, to our disgrace, but we are in condition now to bear any thing. But, blessed be God! all the Court is full of the good news of my Lord Sandwich’s having made a peace between Spain and Portugall, which is mighty great news, and, above all, to my Lord’s honour, more than any thing he ever did; and yet I do fear it will not prevail to secure him in Parliament against incivilities there. Thence, took up my wife at Unthanke’s, and so home, and there my mind being full of preparing my paper against to-morrow for the House, with an address from the office to the House, I to the office, very late, and then home to supper and to bed.

all morning alone
with the paper

like a hard-
to-escape prison

or the flag of some country
we are made to fear

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 19 February 1668.

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