Thursday 20 August 1668

Betimes at my business again, and so to the office, and dined with Brouncker and J. Minnes, at Sir W. Pen’s at a bad pasty of venison, and so to work again, and at it till past twelve at night, that I might get my great letter1 to the Duke of York ready against to-morrow, which I shall do, to my great content. So to bed.

  1. In the Pepysian Library is a MS. (No. 2242), entitled, “Papers conteyning my addresse to his Royall Highnesse James Duke of Yorke, Lord High Admirall of England, &c., by letter dated the 20th of August, 1668, humbly tendering him my advice touching the present State of the Office of the Navy, with his Royall Highness’s proceedings upon the same, and their result.”

1 Annotation

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Well?" Minnes, hopefully.

"No luck. He took a double helping and it still didn't kill him." Penn sighs.

"Damn. Abby laced that pasty with enough poison to kill ten men." Brouncker shakes head.

Minnes, blinking... I did eat from the right plate?

"The man has the metabolism of a snake crossed with an ox." Penn, frowning. "I should've known medicine wouldn't do the trick after those other two tries...Even the plague missed him."

"Gentlemen...We must prevent that Great Letter from seeing the light of day and His Grace's hand...By any means possible." Brouncker insists. "Blackmail?"

"Pepys covers too well...And has the dirt on us all. Still...I could try Hewer again...A more direct threat than that little matter of Mason and the 30Ls." Penn suggests.

"Oh...No one cares about what a clerk of the Clerk of the Acts does. What about the women?"

"In Charles Stuart's Court?" Penn eyes Brouncker. "The King'd simply ask if he could borrow Pepys' little black book."

"Mrs. P. is the jealous type, I think." Minnes suggests.

"No...If we demanded the Letter from her, she'd believe it all lies against her dear Sam. And if we threaten him with exposure, he'd simply send her to Brampton before we could provide proof. If we could get any of his ladies to talk...They're all devoted to their Sammy." Penn shrugs. "One must admit, the little bug-eyed ferret has something where ladies are concerned. They all get this misty look and start talking about how charming Mr. Pepys is and how empathic, blah, blah, blah, and how he show such interest in them and their miserable little lives."

Hmmn...

"Brouncker, are you sure Abigail really did put the stuff in the pasty? And told us of the right pasty?"

"What?" Brouncker stares. Eyeing his plate...

"Pardon, gentlemen...Methinks I have a rendezvous with some physic." Minnes rises.

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