Slept but ill all the last part of the night, for fear of this day’s success in Parliament: therefore up, and all of us all the morning close, till almost two o’clock, collecting all we had to say and had done from the beginning, touching the safety of the River Medway and Chatham. And, having done this, and put it into order, we away, I not having time to eat my dinner; and so all in my Lord Bruncker’s coach, that is to say, Bruncker, W. Pen, T. Harvy, and myself, talking of the other great matter with which they charge us, that is, of discharging men by ticket, in order to our defence in case that should be asked. We come to the Parliament-door, and there, after a little waiting till the Committee was sat, we were, the House being very full, called in: Sir W. Pen went in and sat as a Member; and my Lord Bruncker would not at first go in, expecting to have a chair set for him, and his brother had bid him not go in, till he was called for; but, after a few words, I had occasion to mention him, and so he was called in, but without any more chair or respect paid him than myself: and so Bruncker, and T. Harvy, and I, were there to answer: and I had a chair brought me to lean my books upon: and so did give them such an account, in a series of the whole business that had passed the Office touching the matter, and so answered all questions given me about it, that I did not perceive but they were fully satisfied with me and the business as to our Office: and then Commissioner Pett (who was by at all my discourse, and this held till within an hour after candlelight, for I had candles brought in to read my papers by) was to answer for himself, we having lodged all matters with him for execution. But, Lord! what a tumultuous thing this Committee is, for all the reputation they have of a great council, is a strange consideration; there being as impertinent questions, and as disorderly proposed, as any man could make. But Commissioner Pett, of all men living, did make the weakest defence for himself: nothing to the purpose, nor to satisfaction, nor certain; but sometimes one thing and sometimes another, sometimes for himself and sometimes against him; and his greatest failure was, that I observed, from his [not] considering whether the question propounded was his part to answer or no, and the thing to be done was his work to do: the want of which distinction will overthrow him; for he concerns himself in giving an account of the disposal of the boats, which he had no reason at all to do, or take any blame upon him for them. He charged the not carrying up of “The Charles” upon the Tuesday, to the Duke of Albemarle; but I see the House is mighty favourable to the Duke of Albemarle, and would give little weight to it. And something of want of armes he spoke, which Sir J. Duncomb answered with great imperiousness and earnestness; but, for all that, I do see the House is resolved to be better satisfied in the business of the unreadiness of Sherenesse, and want of armes and ammunition there and every where: and all their officers were here to-day attending, but only one called in, about armes for boats, to answer Commissioner Pett. None of my brethren said anything but me there, but only two or three silly words my Lord Bruncker gave, in answer to one question about the number of men there were in the King’s Yard at the time.
At last, the House dismissed us, and shortly after did adjourne the debate till Friday next: and my cozen Pepys did come out and joy me in my acquitting myself so well, and so did several others, and my fellow-officers all very brisk to see themselves so well acquitted; which makes me a little proud, but yet not secure but we may yet meet with a back-blow which we see not.
So, with our hearts very light, Sir W. Pen and I in his coach home, it being now near eight o’clock, and so to the office, and did a little business by the post, and so home, hungry, and eat a good supper, and so, with my mind well at ease, to bed. My wife not very well of those.
the word ouch from a boat
in answer to the light
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 22 October 1667.