Up and by coach to Westminster Hall and the Parliament House, and there spoke with Mr. Coventry and others about business and so back to the ‘Change, where no news more than that the Dutch have, by consent of all the Provinces, voted no trade to be suffered for eighteen months, but that they apply themselves wholly to the warr.1 And they say it is very true, but very strange, for we use to believe they cannot support themselves without trade. Thence home to dinner and then to the office, where all the afternoon, and at night till very late, and then home to supper and bed, having a great cold, got on Sunday last, by sitting too long with my head bare, for Mercer to comb my hair and wash my eares.
- This statement of a total prohibition of all trade, and for so long a period as eighteen months, by a government so essentially commercial as that of the United Provinces, seems extraordinary. The fact was, that when in the beginning of the year 1665 the States General saw that the war with England was become inevitable, they took several vigorous measures, and determined to equip a formidable fleet, and with a view to obtain a sufficient number of men to man it, prohibited all navigation, especially in the great and small fisheries as they were then called, and in the whale fishery. This measure appears to have resembled the embargoes so commonly resorted to in this country on similar occasions, rather than a total prohibition of trade. — B. ↩