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On Saterday night and Sunday morning here aryved 2 expresses from the Dutch fleete; the first, being a catch, had aboard of her 3 of the servants of de Witt; the one was ordained to goe to the Hague, the other for Amstterdam and the third for Zeeland, and no sooner aryved but each of them tooke the journey. The seamen of the foresaid advyce boats report that ther fleet was on Fryday morning lying before the river of London and the report has gone here that they have so inclosed your fleett that they can not come to joyne together. the greatest strength of your fleet -beeing lying above the river, so that if the wind wold serve to bring those above the river out it wold be contrar to bring thos who are in your other harbours to joyne with them. This with much more to ther owne advantage, as the tacking of 30 of your Coal ships (with which they intended to have stopped your ships by sincking them in your river) has beene the comon report this weeck. It is almost increditabell to see the humor of ther peopell, for this is not the least fabulous report that seems any ways to ther advantage, but they beleave it, that a man wold thinck it will tacke a long tyme to bring them such a length as to loock to reason before they judge. The vulgar has this wholl weeck spocken kynder of our master by reason of a report which is thus, that ther ambassador should have asked at His Majestie of Great Britaigne if His Majestie was nöt inclined for a change of prisoners, and His Majestie should have replyed: „is it not rather more for your good to inquire if we are not inclined for peace"; which word of peace is so liked by the comonalitie that each of them loves so much to hear it that I have heard of them who formerlie spocke vilelie of our master speack hugely to his praise. One advyce jacht parted this weeck from this to ther fleet; it is said they have orders alongst with them that the fleet tary out yet two months, but it is more licklie that they have them here very shortly, for ther provision shops are thancked of as they come in, and 10 of ther men warr are come in, to witt 2 in Hellevoetsluys, which come ther ereyesterday, and 8 more which are gone to the Willingen. One of thos two in Hellevoefaluys named Batavia, wherof captain Naalhoudt comands a), has 80 seamen sick aboard of her, and for anything wee heare ther is a great sickness amongst the wholl fleet, for one advyce jacht who aryved this day says that captain Jan de Liefde has 100 sick men aboard. It is the wish of all loyall subjects here to His Majestie that ane attacque may be or they part from your coast, whereby they may see that the Inglishes are not so as they report, that they go for shelter into ther harbours when they

1) R. O., News Letters 47. — Ongeteekend. Hand B. — Adres aan Smith te Londen.

2) Vgl. Brandt, 449.