Poor in spirit

Up, and I to Captain Cocke’s, where he and I did discourse of our business that we are to go about to the Commissioners of Accounts about our prizes, and having resolved to conceal nothing but to confess the truth, the truth being likely to do us most good, we parted, and I to White Hall, where missing of the Commissioners of the Treasury, I to the Commissioners of Accounts, where I was forced to stay two hours before I was called in, and when come in did take an oath to declare the truth to what they should ask me, which is a great power; I doubt more than the Act do, or as some say can, give them, to force a man to swear against himself; and so they fell to enquire about the business of prize-goods, wherein I did answer them as well as I could, answer them in everything the just truth, keeping myself to that. I do perceive at last, that, that they did lay most like a fault to me was, that I did buy goods upon my Lord Sandwich’s declaring that it was with the King’s allowance, and my believing it, without seeing the King’s allowance, which is a thing I will own, and doubt not to justify myself in. That that vexed me most was, their having some watermen by, to witness my saying that they were rogues that they had betrayed my goods, which was upon some discontent with one of the watermen that I employed at Greenwich, who I did think did discover the goods sent from Rochester to the Custom-House officer; but this can do me no great harm. They were inquisitive into the minutest particulars, and the evening great information; but I think that they can do me no hurt, at the worst, more than to make me refund, if it must be known, what profit I did make of my agreement with Captain Cocke; and yet, though this be all, I do find so poor a spirit within me, that it makes me almost out of my wits, and puts me to so much pain, that I cannot think of anything, nor do anything but vex and fret, and imagine myself undone, so that I am ashamed of myself to myself, and do fear what would become of me if any real affliction should come upon me. After they had done with me, they called in Captain Cocke, with whom they were shorter; and I do fear he may answer foolishly, for he did speak to me foolishly before he went in; but I hope to preserve myself, and let him shift for himself as well as he can. So I away, walked to my flageolet maker in the Strand, and there staid for Captain Cocke, who took me up and carried me home, and there coming home and finding dinner done, and Mr. Cooke, who come for my Lady Sandwich’s plate, which I must part with, and so endanger the losing of my money, which I lent upon my thoughts of securing myself by that plate. But it is no great sum — but 60l.: and if it must be lost, better that, than a greater sum. I away back again, to find a dinner anywhere else, and so I, first, to the Ship Tavern, thereby to get a sight of the pretty mistress of the house, with whom I am not yet acquainted at all, and I do always find her scolding, and do believe she is an ill-natured devil, that I have no great desire to speak to her. Here I drank, and away by coach to the Strand, there to find out Mr. Moore, and did find him at the Bell Inn, and there acquainted him with what passed between me and the Commissioners to-day about the prize goods, in order to the considering what to do about my Lord Sandwich, and did conclude to own the thing to them as done by the King’s allowance, and since confirmed. Thence to other discourse, among others, he mightily commends my Lord Hinchingbroke’s match and Lady, though he buys her 10,000l. dear, by the jointure and settlement his father makes her; and says that the Duke of York and Duchess of York did come to see them in bed together, on their weddingnight, and how my Lord had fifty pieces of gold taken out of his pocket that night, after he was in bed. He tells me that an Act of Comprehension is likely to pass this Parliament, for admitting of all persuasions in religion to the public observation of their particular worship, but in certain places, and the persons therein concerned to be listed of this, or that Church; which, it is thought, will do them more hurt than good, and make them not own, their persuasion. He tells me that there is a pardon passed to the Duke of Buckingham, my Lord of Shrewsbury, and the rest, for the late duell and murder; which he thinks a worse fault than any ill use my late Lord Chancellor ever put the Great Seal to, and will be so thought by the Parliament, for them to be pardoned without bringing them to any trial: and that my Lord Privy-Seal therefore would not have it pass his hand, but made it go by immediate warrant; or at least they knew that he would not pass it, and so did direct it to go by immediate warrant, that it might not come to him. He tells me what a character my Lord Sandwich hath sent over of Mr. Godolphin, as the worthiest man, and such a friend to him as he may be trusted in any thing relating to him in the world; as one whom, he says, he hath infallible assurances that he will remaine his friend which is very high, but indeed they say the gentleman is a fine man. Thence, after eating a lobster for my dinner, having eat nothing to-day, we broke up, here coming to us Mr. Townsend of the Wardrobe, who complains of the Commissioners of the Treasury as very severe against my Lord Sandwich, but not so much as they complain of him for a fool and a knave, and so I let him alone, and home, carrying Mr. Moore as far as Fenchurch Street, and I home, and there being vexed in my mind about my prize businesses I to my chamber, where my wife and I had much talk of W. Hewer, she telling me that he is mightily concerned for my not being pleased with him, and is herself mightily concerned, but I have much reason to blame him for his little assistance he gives me in my business, not being able to copy out a letter with sense or true spelling that makes me mad, and indeed he is in that regard of as little use to me as the boy, which troubles me, and I would have him know it, — and she will let him know it. By and by to supper, and so to bed, and slept but ill all night, my mind running like a fool on my prize business, which according to my reason ought not to trouble me at all.

what do I own
not even the spirit within me

imagine if any
affliction should come
all my money must be lost

better that than a mistress
with whom I am always a devil

I drank away my wedding night
bed like a great sea
that might not go out

Erasure poems derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 February 1668.

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