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would have bin infinitely pleased; we tooke up in length9 or 10 mile and allmost as much now at anchor. I confesse I was never more pleasd with any fight in my life and there is a new aire and vigor in every mans countenance then when we try at the boy of the Nore; comon men and all cry if we doe not beate them now we shall never doe it; our cabbins are all brooken downe, and we are a cleare ship. Mr. George Hamilton was on board us last night, he stayes with Sir Robert Holmes; my Lord Rochester came to us this morning, he sayes he will stay on boarde Sir Edward Spragge. Sir Robert Leach another volunteer is on board Sir Robert Holmes come they say with a full persuasion, grounded upon many dreames, that he shall kill de Ruyter with his fusee, I know not what he will doe, but I' 11 undertake Sir Robert Holmes will bringe him neer enough to shew his skill and fancy.

The Sweeds man of war that brought over the Embassadors with 3 or 4 little merchant men of his country came out with us and stay till we begin the fight. A ketch was sent away last night to the Rupert at Harwich to come to us when we saile by.

264. SIR THOMAS CLIPFORD AAN LORD ARLINGTON, 31 Juli 1666, „3 afternoone" J).

I have the honour of your Lordships of the 19, with Mr. William son s and the enclosd extracts of your intelligence from Holland, which was very wellcome to his Highuess and Grace, for by it we have an account of the strength of the Dutch fleet and the opinion de Ruyter himselfe hath of our force; the hast the State makes to send more strength to him, and also the account that Beuningen gives his masters of the second order the French Eings hath given to Beaufort to assist and joyne with the Dutch, which later though we doe not here thinke is really intended, yet it all againe whets our im patience for lying here, for we cannot be able to move this day. We had our anchors all aspeak this morning by five of the clock, and the wind that which was faire at W.N.W., but it was not gale enough to steme the tide of flood, and at this present there is wind enough at W.S.W. which is good too, but there is a tide of ebb, which will inevitably cast some of us upon the Sands; if a ship should strike with a tide of ebb shee cannot be got off, but must be lost. It is not to be expressd how impatient our Generalis are, for besides theire edge to be at it they consider the Dutch doe even grow, and we have all our force, and our men are in better heart now then probably they will be after two or three nights without theire hammocks, for every ship is already a cleare

1) R. O., S. P. Dom., vol. CLXIV n». i. V. — „On board the Royall Charles at the entring into the Middle Grounds".