Mr. PEPYS To the President, and Governours of CHRIST-HOSPITAL, upon the Present State of the said HOSPITAL.

To the Honour'd Sir John Moor, Kt. and President, and the rest of my Honour'd Friends, the Gover­nours of CHRIST-HOSPITAL.
Gentlemen,

YOUR Resolution of the 22th instant, importing your Ele­ction of me to the Treasurership of this Hospital, was delivered me by the worthy Gentlemen appointed there­to, with a degree of Respect as obliging on their part, as the Mes­sage it self was on Yours; and both surprising.

Surprising I say; but without ought of what (I find) was in too much Tenderness apprehended from me by some of this Body concern­ing it; as being One, who think nothing below the Character of any Man to execute, in a Service of Charity: And who therefore in my late Searches into the Condition of this House, descended to Of­fices much beneath any thing that can occur in what you are now calling me to.

I therefore do most thankfully own the Proof you herein tender me of the Continuance of your Esteem, after the unwelcome Free­dom I have for some time been unavoidably exercising towards you, upon the Unhappy Subject of your present State; in which Your selves are now pleased to give me this Testimony of your acquiescence: and in the Redress whereof, this Court shall never want any thing within my power improvable thereto.

But whether in the method you now propose, is what I have made it my business for some days to consider; without being able to bring [Page] my self to any other Determination in it, Than that the giving you any conclusive Answer (whether of Acceptance or Refusal) before this Resolution of yours shall have passed the Censure of another Court, is a no less Exposing of Myself, than Imposing on You, (as in a very late Case) under the Ʋncertain Issue of a subsequent Court; and when that is over, of the Lord Mayor and Court of Alder­men also: As that without which, by the known Constitution of all our Hospitals, no Election of a Treasurer is valid. A Consideration of more than common Weight at this time; from the Question under which the Authority of that Court now lies with this; without Ought I can hear-of yet done on their side, in its Assertion.

Which while in doing, and for Your clearer Guidance in Your second Debates on this matter at the next Court, I think it becom­ing me, in faithfulness both to You and Myself, to lay before You the few following Considerations.

1st. —That I am no Freeman; and consequently, according to the Original Book of Ordinances by which alone (without entring in­to the Reason of it) this Court and that of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen are at liberty to Act herein; I neither am capable of be­ing Your Treasurer, nor You nor They, apart or together, in a Ca­pacity of making me so. Nor is there, I believe, any one Instance to be shewn me, of a Treasurer not a Freeman: And should therefore most unwillingly subject Myself to Question, for meddling unwarrantably with a Revenue so Sacred as that of the Poor's; or be an Occasion of Your adventuring upon that in my Case, which was never yet done in any, nor can now justifiably be in this.

2dly.—That the Office and Work of Your Treasurer ought not to be estimated by what we have seen of it in its Execution for some Years past; but by the Condition the House is reduced to, from its being executed no otherwise. As being an Office, that calls at once for Qualifications, such and so many, as rarely meet in the same Person: Such are (besides that of an approved Integrity) Vigour of Mind, Steadiness of Health, Entire Leasure, Vninterestedness, Zeal for and Tenderness towards the Poor, General Experience, and par­ticular Practice in the Business of Accounts, a Genius fitted for Com­mand joyn'd with Temper, a Thorough-Insight into the Laws and Ends of our Constitution, and a Capacity of Controlling every of our Officers and Masters in the Execution of their Dutys, with a constancy of Attendance and Application (in his own Person, and not by Others) to the Performance of his own. A Task both in Bulk and Weight, too much for my Age and known Infirmities; Besides the Disabilitys I am alone Conscious to my self of, for it.

And though what I have here to add, might not possibly be reckon'd of Moment enough alone in this Debate: yet in Conjunction with what is already said, I know not how without Injury to my self to omit the observing; that I can with no Satisfaction think of accepting of a Charge, which my self must be own'd to have had the greatest Hand in the rendring Vacant.

[Page]3ly. — That suitable to my Advice to you elsewhere on this Subject, I do not see with what Safety this Court can proceed to the giving a final Discharge to its late Treasurer, nor how it should expect his being Succeeded by any Person of Sincerity or Substance, till a State shall be first Adjusted of all your Accounts, Revenues, Charges and Debts, to your Own and Their Satisfaction; and that also laid before, and acqui­esced-in by the Court of Aldermen. Besides the Review and fresh Esta­blishment fit to be first had of the Work and Instructions of that Officer, before the Admission of a New. As foreseeing little Fruit from any Change of Hands (be it what it will) where those Hands shall be obliged by no other Rules nor Restrictions, than those we owe our present Di­stresses to.

For the more Successful Dispatch of which, as well on the part of your said Treasurer as Your selves; I submit it to You, whether it may not be advisable, that the Current Work of this Office be for the Present lodg'd with a small Commmittee of Your own Number, properly chosen; till by the Adjustment of these Matters, You shall be in a Condition of restoring it to its Ordinary Methods.

4ly. — Lastly, That no Degree of Industry, Experience, or other the Vertues (before requir'd) in a Treasurer, can alone be thought Sufficient at this Juncture (where our Whole Constitution lies at once out of Order) to compass its Reformation, without equal Aid from a no less vigorous and persevering, however otherwise meritorious a President. One, I mean, whose thorough-knowledge in the Design, Powers, Limitations, and Orders of this Pious Foundation, and the Rules of their Execution, is able both to preserve himself from being either discouraged or imposed-on, and by his Authority, Zeal and Vigilance, to prevent those Practices which, from the want hereof, the Generality of this House has been so long misled by, to its Vndoing. A Reflection, that in one word, would alone suffice (lay there nothing else in my way) to deter me from the Ʋndertaking You invite me to, under the Circumstances we at present la­bour in this Particular.

Which having said, and the Reasons of it thus opened; it remains only for me to beg, that my declining Your present Offer may not be taken for a Declension in any part of my Concernment for the Prosperity of this House. Forasmuch as no Consideration shall ever discourage or di­vert me from the pursuit of it; till by some Means, Ordinary or Extra­ordinary (though much rather the former) I see it restored to the State wherein all Good men wish it.

In view whereof, give me leave with great Satisfaction once more to assure You, that (without any such Obligation as this of your Trea­surership) neither You nor Your helpless Orphans shall ever want the best Effects of my Personal Attendance and Service, from the Moment that, by Your thorough-Applications, and those of the Court of Alder­men towards it, I shall have any Grounds to hope, that such my Atten­dance and Service, may be followed with any Success, to the Recovery of the lost Honour of this House, by its Return to that Religious Strictness [Page] which once distinguish'd it from all others, in its Compliances with the holy and charitable Ends provided-for by its Munificent Founders and Benefactors ▪ I am

Gentlemen,
Your most humble and obedient Servant, S. Pepys.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.