The Diary of Samuel Pepys, by Samuel Pepys

December 1664

December 1st. Up betimes and to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, and so straight home and hard to my business at my office till noon, then to dinner, and so to my office, and by and by we sat all the afternoon, then to my office again till past one in the morning, and so home to supper and to bed.

2nd. Lay long in bed. Then up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At home dined. After dinner with my wife and Mercer to the Duke’s House, and there saw “The Rivalls,” which I had seen before; but the play not good, nor anything but the good actings of Betterton and his wife and Harris. Thence homeward, and the coach broke with us in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and so walked to Fleete Streete, and there took coach and home, and to my office, whither by and by comes Captain Cocke, and then Sir W. Batten, and we all to Sir J. Minnes, and I did give them a barrel of oysters I had given to me, and so there sat and talked, where good discourse of the late troubles, they knowing things, all of them, very well; and Cocke, from the King’s own mouth, being then entrusted himself much, do know particularly that the King’s credulity to Cromwell’s promises, private to him, against the advice of his friends and the certain discovery of the practices and discourses of Cromwell in council (by Major Huntington)1 did take away his life and nothing else. Then to some loose atheisticall discourse of Cocke’s, when he was almost drunk, and then about 11 o’clock broke up, and I to my office, to fit up an account for Povy, wherein I hope to get something. At it till almost two o’clock, then to supper and to bed.

1 According to Clarendon the officer here alluded to was a major in Cromwell’s own regiment of horse, and employed by him to treat with Charles I. whilst at Hampton Court; but being convinced of the insincerity of the proceeding, communicated his suspicions to that monarch, and immediately gave up his commission. We hear no more of Huntington till the Restoration, when his name occurs with those of many other officers, who tendered their services to the king. His reasons for laying down his commission are printed in Thurloe’s “State Papers” and Maseres’s “Tracts.”— B.

3rd. Up, and at the office all the morning, and at noon to Mr. Cutler’s, and there dined with Sir W. Rider and him, and thence Sir W. Rider and I by coach to White Hall to a Committee of the Fishery; there only to hear Sir Edward Ford’s proposal about farthings, wherein, O God! to see almost every body interested for him; only my Lord Annesly, who is a grave, serious man. My Lord Barkeley was there, but is the most hot, fiery man in discourse, without any cause, that ever I saw, even to breach of civility to my Lord Anglesey, in his discourse opposing to my Lord’s. At last, though without much satisfaction to me, it was voted that it should be requested of the King, and that Sir Edward Ford’s proposal is the best yet made. Thence by coach home. The Duke of Yorke being expected to-night with great joy from Portsmouth, after his having been abroad at sea three or four days with the fleete; and the Dutch are all drawn into their harbours. But it seems like a victory: and a matter of some reputation to us it is, and blemish to them; but in no degree like what it is esteemed at, the weather requiring them to do so. Home and at my office late, and then to supper and to bed.

4th (Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and then up and to my office, there to dispatch a business in order to the getting something out of the Tangier business, wherein I have an opportunity to get myself paid upon the score of freight. I hope a good sum. At noon home to dinner, and then in the afternoon to church. So home, and by and by comes Mr. Hill and Andrews, and sung together long and with great content. Then to supper and broke up. Pretty discourse, very pleasant and ingenious, and so to my office a little, and then home (after prayers) to bed. This day I hear the Duke of Yorke is come to towne, though expected last night, as I observed, but by what hindrance stopped I can’t tell.

5th. Up, and to White Hall with Sir J. Minnes; and there, among an infinite crowd of great persons, did kiss the Duke’s hand; but had no time to discourse. Thence up and down the gallery, and got my Lord of Albemarle’s hand to my bill for Povy, but afterwards was asked some scurvy questions by Povy about my demands, which troubled [me], but will do no great hurt I think. Thence vexed home, and there by appointment comes my cozen Roger Pepys and Mrs. Turner, and dined with me, and very merry we were. They staid all the afternoon till night, and then after I had discoursed an hour with Sir W. Warren plainly declaring my resolution to desert him if he goes on to join with Castle, who and his family I, for great provocation, love not, which he takes with some trouble, but will concur in everything with me, he says. Now I am loth, I confess, to lose him, he having been the best friend I have had ever in this office. So he being gone, we all, it being night, in Madam Turner’s coach to her house, there to see, as she tells us, how fat Mrs. The. is grown, and so I find her, but not as I expected, but mightily pleased I am to hear the mother commend her daughter Betty that she is like to be a great beauty, and she sets much by her. Thence I to White Hall, and there saw Mr. Coventry come to towne, and, with all my heart, am glad to see him, but could have no talke with him, he being but just come. Thence back and took up my wife, and home, where a while, and then home to supper and to bed.

5th. Up, and in Sir W. Batten’s coach to White Hall, but the Duke being gone forth, I to Westminster Hall, and there spent much time till towards noon to and fro with people. So by and by Mrs. Lane comes and plucks me by the cloak to speak to me, and I was fain to go to her shop, and pretending to buy some bands made her go home, and by and by followed her, and there did what I would with her, and so after many discourses and her intreating me to do something for her husband, which I promised to do, and buying a little band of her, which I intend to keep to, I took leave, there coming a couple of footboys to her with a coach to fetch her abroad I know not to whom. She is great with child, and she says I must be godfather, but I do not intend it. Thence by coach to the Old Exchange, and there hear that the Dutch are fitting their ships out again, which puts us to new discourse, and to alter our thoughts of the Dutch, as to their want of courage or force. Thence by appointment to the White Horse Taverne in Lumbard Streete, and there dined with my Lord Rutherford, Povy, Mr. Gauden, Creed, and others, and very merry, and after dinner among other things Povy and I withdrew, and I plainly told him that I was concerned in profit, but very justly, in this business of the Bill that I have been these two or three days about, and he consents to it, and it shall be paid. He tells me how he believes, and in part knows, Creed to be worth £10,000; nay, that now and then he [Povy] hath three or £4,000 in his hands, for which he gives the interest that the King gives, which is ten per cent., and that Creed do come and demand it every three months the interest to be paid him, which Povy looks upon as a cunning and mean tricke of him; but for all that, he will do and is very rich. Thence to the office, where we sat and where Mr. Coventry came the first time after his return from sea, which I was glad of. So after office to my office, and then home to supper, and to my office again, and then late home to bed.

7th. Lay long, then up, and among others Bagwell’s wife coming to speak with me put new thoughts of folly into me which I am troubled at. Thence after doing business at my office, I by coach to my Lady Sandwich’s, and there dined with her, and found all well and merry. Thence to White Hall, and we waited on the Duke, who looks better than he did, methinks, before his voyage; and, I think, a little more stern than he used to do. Thence to the Temple to my cozen Roger Pepys, thinking to have met the Doctor to have discoursed our business, but he came not, so I home, and there by agreement came my Lord Rutherford, Povy, Gauden, Creed, Alderman Backewell, about Tangier business of accounts between Rutherford and Gauden. Here they were with me an hour or more, then after drinking away, and Povy and Creed staid and eat with me; but I was sorry I had no better cheer for Povy; for the foole may be useful, and is a cunning fellow in his way, which is a strange one, and that, that I meet not in any other man, nor can describe in him. They late with me, and when gone my boy and I to musique, and then to bed.

8th. Up, and to my office, where all the morning busy. At noon dined at home, and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. In the evening comes my aunt and uncle Wight, Mrs. Norbury, and her daughter, and after them Mr. Norbury, where no great pleasure, my aunt being out of humour in her fine clothes, and it raining hard. Besides, I was a little too bold with her about her doating on Dr. Venner. Anon they went away, and I till past 12 at night at my office, and then home to bed.

9th. Up betimes and walked to Mr. Povy’s, and there, not without some few troublesome questions of his, I got a note, and went and received £117 5s. of Alderman Viner upon my pretended freight of the “William” for Tangier, which overbears me on one side with joy and on the other to think of my condition if I shall be called into examination about it, and (though in strictness it is due) not be able to give a good account of it. Home with it, and there comes Captain Taylor to me, and he and I did set even the business of the ship Union lately gone for Tangier, wherein I hope to get £50 more, for all which the Lord be praised. At noon home to dinner, Mr. Hunt and his wife with us, and very pleasant. Then in the afternoon I carried them home by coach, and I to Westminster Hall, and thence to Gervas’s, and there find I cannot prevail with Jane to go forth with me, but though I took a good occasion of going to the Trumpet she declined coming, which vexed me. ‘Je avait grande envie envers elle, avec vrai amour et passion’. Thence home and to my office till one in the morning, setting to rights in writing this day’s two accounts of Povy and Taylor, and then quietly to bed. This day I had several letters from several places, of our bringing in great numbers of Dutch ships.

10th. Lay long, at which I am ashamed, because of so many people observing it that know not how late I sit up, and for fear of Sir W. Batten’s speaking of it to others, he having staid for me a good while. At the office all the morning, where comes my Lord Brunkard with his patent in his hand, and delivered it to Sir J. Minnes and myself, we alone being there all the day, and at noon I in his coach with him to the ‘Change, where he set me down; a modest civil person he seems to be, but wholly ignorant in the business of the Navy as possible, but I hope to make a friend of him, being a worthy man. Thence after hearing the great newes of so many Dutchmen being brought in to Portsmouth and elsewhere, which it is expected will either put them upon present revenge or despair, I with Sir W. Rider and Cutler to dinner all alone to the Great James, where good discourse, and, I hope, occasion of getting something hereafter. After dinner to White Hall to the Fishery, where the Duke was with us. So home, and late at my office, writing many letters, then home to supper and to bed. Yesterday come home, and this night I visited Sir W. Pen, who dissembles great respect and love to me, but I understand him very well. Major Holmes is come from Guinny, and is now at Plymouth with great wealth, they say.

11th (Lord’s day). Up and to church alone in the morning. Dined at home, mighty pleasantly. In the afternoon I to the French church, where much pleased with the three sisters of the parson, very handsome, especially in their noses, and sing prettily. I heard a good sermon of the old man, touching duty to parents. Here was Sir Samuel Morland and his lady very fine, with two footmen in new liverys (the church taking much notice of them), and going into their coach after sermon with great gazeing. So I home, and my cozen, Mary Pepys’s husband, comes after me, and told me that out of the money he received some months since he did receive 18d. too much, and did now come and give it me, which was very pretty. So home, and there found Mr. Andrews and his lady, a well-bred and a tolerable pretty woman, and by and by Mr. Hill and to singing, and then to supper, then to sing again, and so good night. To prayers and tonight [bed]. It is a little strange how these Psalms of Ravenscroft after 2 or 3 times singing prove but the same again, though good. No diversity appearing at all almost.

12th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten by coach to White Hall, where all of us with the Duke; Mr. Coventry privately did tell me the reason of his advice against our pretences to the Prize Office (in his letter from Portsmouth), because he knew that the King and the Duke had resolved to put in some Parliament men that have deserved well, and that would needs be obliged, by putting them in. Thence homeward, called at my bookseller’s and bespoke some books against the year’s out, and then to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner, and then to the office, where my Lord Brunkard comes and reads over part of our Instructions in the Navy — and I expounded it to him, so he is become my disciple. He gone, comes Cutler to tell us that the King of France hath forbid any canvass to be carried out of his kingdom, and I to examine went with him to the East India house to see a letter, but came too late. So home again, and there late till 12 at night at my office, and then home to supper and to bed. This day (to see how things are ordered in the world), I had a command from the Earle of Sandwich, at Portsmouth, not to be forward with Mr. Cholmly and Sir J. Lawson about the Mole at Tangier, because that what I do therein will (because of his friendship to me known) redound against him, as if I had done it upon his score. So I wrote to my Lord my mistake, and am contented to promise never to pursue it more, which goes against my mind with all my heart.

13th. Lay long in bed, then up, and many people to speak with me. Then to my office, and dined at noon at home, then to the office again, where we sat all the afternoon, and then home at night to a little supper, and so after my office again at 12 at night home to bed.

14th. Up, and after a while at the office, I abroad in several places, among others to my bookseller’s, and there spoke for several books against New Year’s day, I resolving to lay out about £7 or £8, God having given me some profit extraordinary of late; and bespoke also some plate, spoons, and forks. I pray God keep me from too great expenses, though these will still be pretty good money. Then to the ‘Change, and I home to dinner, where Creed and Mr. Caesar, my boy’s lute master, who plays indeed mighty finely, and after dinner I abroad, parting from Creed, and away to and fro, laying out or preparing for laying out more money, but I hope and resolve not to exceed therein, and to-night spoke for some fruit for the country for my father against Christmas, and where should I do it, but at the pretty woman’s, that used to stand at the doore in Fanchurch Streete, I having a mind to know her. So home, and late at my office, evening reckonings with Shergoll, hoping to get money by the business, and so away home to supper and to bed, not being very well through my taking cold of late, and so troubled with some wind.

15th. Called up very betimes by Mr. Cholmly, and with him a good while about some of his Tangier accounts; and, discoursing of the condition of Tangier, he did give me the whole account of the differences between Fitzgerald and Norwood, which were very high on both sides, but most imperious and base on Fitzgerald’s, and yet through my Lord FitzHarding’s means, the Duke of York is led rather to blame Norwood and to speake that he should be called home, than be sensible of the other. He is a creature of FitzHarding’s, as a fellow that may be done with what he will, and, himself certainly pretending to be Generall of the King’s armies, when Monk dyeth, desires to have as few great or wise men in employment as he can now, but such as he can put in and keep under, which he do this coxcomb Fitzgerald. It seems, of all mankind there is no man so led by another as the Duke is by Lord Muskerry and this FitzHarding, insomuch, as when the King would have him to be Privy–Purse, the Duke wept, and said, “But, Sir, I must have your promise, if you will have my dear Charles from me, that if ever you have occasion for an army again, I may have him with me; believing him to be the best commander of an army in the world.” But Mr. Cholmly thinks, as all other men I meet with do, that he is a very ordinary fellow. It is strange how the Duke also do love naturally, and affect the Irish above the English. He, of the company he carried with him to sea, took above two-thirds Irish and French. He tells me the King do hate my Lord Chancellor; and that they, that is the King and my Lord FitzHarding, do laugh at him for a dull fellow; and in all this business of the Dutch war do nothing by his advice, hardly consulting him. Only he is a good minister in other respects, and the King cannot be without him; but, above all, being the Duke’s father-inlaw, he is kept in; otherwise FitzHarding were able to fling down two of him. This, all the wise and grave lords see, and cannot help it; but yield to it. But he bemoans what the end of it may be, the King being ruled by these men, as he hath been all along since his coming; to the razing all the strong-holds in Scotland, and giving liberty to the Irish in Ireland, whom Cromwell had settled all in one corner; who are now able, and it is feared everyday a massacre again among them. He being gone I abroad to the carrier’s, to see some things sent away to my father against Christmas, and thence to Moorfields, and there up and down to several houses to drink to look for a place ‘pour rencontrer la femme de je sais quoi’ against next Monday, but could meet none. So to the Coffeehouse, where great talke of the Comet seen in several places; and among our men at sea, and by my Lord Sandwich, to whom I intend to write about it to-night. Thence home to dinner, and then to the office, where all the afternoon, and in the evening home to supper, and then to the office late, and so to bed. This night I begun to burn wax candles in my closett at the office, to try the charge, and to see whether the smoke offends like that of tallow candles.

16th. Up, and by water to Deptford, thinking to have met ‘la femme de’ Bagwell, but failed, and having done some business at the yard, I back again, it being a fine fresh morning to walk. Back again, Mr. Wayth walking with me to Half–Way House talking about Mr. Castle’s fine knees lately delivered in. In which I am well informed that they are not as they should be to make them knees, and I hope shall make good use of it to the King’s service. Thence home, and having dressed myself, to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, and so abroad by coach with my wife, and bought a looking glasse by the Old Exchange, which costs me £5 5s. and 6s. for the hooks. A very fair glasse. So toward my cozen Scott’s, but meeting my Lady Sandwich’s coach, my wife turned back to follow them, thinking they might, as they did, go to visit her, and I ‘light and to Mrs. Harman, and there staid and talked in her shop with her, and much pleased I am with her. We talked about Anthony Joyce’s giving over trade and that he intends to live in lodgings, which is a very mad, foolish thing. She tells me she hears and believes it is because he, being now begun to be called on offices, resolves not to take the new oathe, he having formerly taken the Covenant or Engagement, but I think he do very simply and will endeavour for his wife’s sake to advise him therein. Thence to my cozen Scott’s, and there met my cozen Roger Pepys, and Mrs. Turner, and The. and Joyce, and prated all the while, and so with the “corps” to church and heard a very fine sermon of the Parson of the parish, and so homeward with them in their coach, but finding it too late to go home with me, I took another coach and so home, and after a while at my office, home to supper and to bed.

17th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon I to the ‘Change, and there, among others, had my first meeting with Mr. L’Estrange, who hath endeavoured several times to speak with me. It is to get, now and then, some newes of me, which I shall, as I see cause, give him. He is a man of fine conversation, I think, but I am sure most courtly and full of compliments. Thence home to dinner, and then come the looking-glass man to set up the looking-glass I bought yesterday, in my dining-room, and very handsome it is. So abroad by coach to White Hall, and there to the Committee of Tangier, and then the Fishing. Mr. Povy did in discourse give me a rub about my late bill for money that I did get of him, which vexed me and stuck in my mind all this evening, though I know very well how to cleare myself at the worst. So home and to my office, where late, and then home to bed. Mighty talke there is of this Comet that is seen a’nights; and the King and Queene did sit up last night to see it, and did, it seems. And to-night I thought to have done so too; but it is cloudy, and so no stars appear. But I will endeavour it. Mr. Gray did tell me to-night, for certain, that the Dutch, as high as they seem, do begin to buckle; and that one man in this Kingdom did tell the King that he is offered £40,000 to make a peace, and others have been offered money also. It seems the taking of their Bourdeaux fleete thus, arose from a printed Gazette of the Dutch’s boasting of fighting, and having beaten the English: in confidence whereof (it coming to Bourdeaux), all the fleete comes out, and so falls into our hands.

18th (Lord’s day). To church, where, God forgive me! I spent most of my time in looking [on] my new Morena —[a brunette]— at the other side of the church, an acquaintance of Pegg Pen’s. So home to dinner, and then to my chamber to read Ben Johnson’s Cataline, a very excellent piece, and so to church again, and thence we met at the office to hire ships, being in great haste and having sent for several masters of ships to come to us. Then home, and there Mr. Andrews and Hill come and we sung finely, and by and by Mr. Fuller, the Parson, and supped with me, he and a friend of his, but my musique friends would not stay supper. At and after supper Mr. Fuller and I told many storys of apparitions and delusions thereby, and I out with my storys of Tom Mallard. He gone, I a little to my office, and then to prayers and to bed.

19th. Going to bed betimes last night we waked betimes, and from our people’s being forced to take the key to go out to light a candle, I was very angry and begun to find fault with my wife for not commanding her servants as she ought. Thereupon she giving me some cross answer I did strike her over her left eye such a blow as the poor wretch did cry out and was in great pain, but yet her spirit was such as to endeavour to bite and scratch me. But I coying —[stroking or caressing]— with her made her leave crying, and sent for butter and parsley, and friends presently one with another, and I up, vexed at my heart to think what I had done, for she was forced to lay a poultice or something to her eye all day, and is black, and the people of the house observed it. But I was forced to rise, and up and with Sir J. Minnes to White Hall, and there we waited on the Duke. And among other things Mr. Coventry took occasion to vindicate himself before the Duke and us, being all there, about the choosing of Taylor for Harwich. Upon which the Duke did clear him, and did tell us that he did expect, that, after he had named a man, none of us shall then oppose or find fault with the man; but if we had anything to say, we ought to say it before he had chose him. Sir G. Carteret thought himself concerned, and endeavoured to clear himself: and by and by Sir W. Batten did speak, knowing himself guilty, and did confess, that being pressed by the Council he did say what he did, that he was accounted a fanatique; but did not know that at that time he had been appointed by his Royal Highness. To which the Duke [replied] that it was impossible but he must know that he had appointed him; and so it did appear that the Duke did mean all this while Sir W. Batten. So by and by we parted, and Mr. Coventry did privately tell me that he did this day take this occasion to mention the business to give the Duke an opportunity of speaking his mind to Sir W. Batten in this business, of which I was heartily glad. Thence home, and not finding Bagwell’s wife as I expected, I to the ‘Change and there walked up and down, and then home, and she being come I bid her go and stay at Mooregate for me, and after going up to my wife (whose eye is very bad, but she is in very good temper to me), and after dinner I to the place and walked round the fields again and again, but not finding her I to the ‘Change, and there found her waiting for me and took her away, and to an alehouse, and there I made much of her, and then away thence and to another and endeavoured to caress her, but ‘elle ne voulait pas’, which did vex me, but I think it was chiefly not having a good easy place to do it upon. So we broke up and parted and I to the office, where we sat hiring of ships an hour or two, and then to my office, and thence (with Captain Taylor home to my house) to give him instructions and some notice of what to his great satisfaction had happened today. Which I do because I hope his coming into this office will a little cross Sir W. Batten and may do me good. He gone, I to supper with my wife, very pleasant, and then a little to my office and to bed. My mind, God forgive me, too much running upon what I can ‘ferais avec la femme de Bagwell demain’, having promised to go to Deptford and ‘a aller a sa maison avec son mari’ when I come thither.

20th. Up and walked to Deptford, where after doing something at the yard I walked, without being observed, with Bagwell home to his house, and there was very kindly used, and the poor people did get a dinner for me in their fashion, of which I also eat very well. After dinner I found occasion of sending him abroad, and then alone ‘avec elle je tentais a faire ce que je voudrais et contre sa force je le faisais biens que passe a mon contentment’. By and by he coming back again I took leave and walked home, and then there to dinner, where Dr. Fayrebrother come to see me and Luellin. We dined, and I to the office, leaving them, where we sat all the afternoon, and I late at the office. To supper and to the office again very late, then home to bed.

21st. Up, and after evening reckonings to this day with Mr. Bridges, the linnen draper, for callicos, I out to Doctors’ Commons, where by agreement my cozen Roger and I did meet my cozen Dr. Tom Pepys, and there a great many and some high words on both sides, but I must confess I was troubled; first, to find my cozen Roger such a simple but well-meaning man as he is; next to think that my father, out of folly and vain glory, should now and then (as by their words I gather) be speaking how he had set up his son Tom with his goods and house, and now these words are brought against him — I fear to the depriving him of all the profit the poor man intended to make of the lease of his house and sale of his owne goods. I intend to make a quiet end if I can with the Doctor, being a very foul-tounged fool and of great inconvenience to be at difference with such a one that will make the base noise about it that he will. Thence, very much vexed to find myself so much troubled about other men’s matters, I to Mrs. Turner’s, in Salsbury Court, and with her a little, and carried her, the porter staying for me, our eagle, which she desired the other day, and we were glad to be rid of her, she fouling our house of office mightily. They are much pleased with her. And thence I home and after dinner to the office, where Sir W. Rider and Cutler come, and in dispute I very high with them against their demands, I hope to no hurt to myself, for I was very plain with them to the best of my reason. So they gone I home to supper, then to the office again and so home to bed. My Lord Sandwich this day writes me word that he hath seen (at Portsmouth) the Comet, and says it is the most extraordinary thing that ever he saw.

22nd. Up and betimes to my office, and then out to several places, among others to Holborne to have spoke with one Mr. Underwood about some English hemp, he lies against Gray’s Inn. Thereabouts I to a barber’s shop to have my hair cut, and there met with a copy of verses, mightily commended by some gentlemen there, of my Lord Mordaunt’s, in excuse of his going to sea this late expedition, with the Duke of Yorke. But, Lord! they are but sorry things; only a Lord made them. Thence to the ‘Change; and there, among the merchants, I hear fully the news of our being beaten to dirt at Guinny, by De Ruyter with his fleete. The particulars, as much as by Sir G. Carteret afterwards I heard, I have said in a letter to my Lord Sandwich this day at Portsmouth; it being most wholly to the utter ruine of our Royall Company, and reproach and shame to the whole nation, as well as justification to them in their doing wrong to no man as to his private [property], only takeing whatever is found to belong to the Company, and nothing else. Dined at the Dolphin, Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and I, with Sir W. Boreman and Sir Theophilus Biddulph and others, Commissioners of the Sewers, about our place below to lay masts in. But coming a little too soon, I out again, and tooke boat down to Redriffe; and just in time within two minutes, and saw the new vessel of Sir William Petty’s launched, the King and Duke being there.1 It swims and looks finely, and I believe will do well. The name I think is Twilight, but I do not know certainly. Coming away back immediately to dinner, where a great deal of good discourse, and Sir G. Carteret’s discourse of this Guinny business, with great displeasure at the losse of our honour there, and do now confess that the trade brought all these troubles upon us between the Dutch and us. Thence to the office and there sat late, then I to my office and there till 12 at night, and so home to bed weary.

1 Pepys was wrong as to the name of Sir William Petty’s new doublekeeled boat. On February 13th, 1664–65, he gives the correct title, which was “The Experiment.”

23rd. Up and to my office, then come by appointment cozen Tom Trice to me, and I paid him the £20 remaining due to him upon the bond of £100 given him by agreement November, 1663, to end the difference between us about my aunt’s, his mother’s, money. And here, being willing to know the worst, I told him, “I hope now there is nothing remaining between you and I of future dispute.” “No,” says he, “nothing at all that I know of, but only a small matter of about 20 or 30s. that my father Pepys received for me of rent due to me in the country, which I will in a day or two bring you an account of,” and so we parted. Dined at home upon a good turkey which Mr. Sheply sent us, then to the office all the afternoon, Mr. Cutler and others coming to me about business. I hear that the Dutch have prepared a fleete to go the backway to the Streights, where without doubt they will master our fleete. This put to that of Guinny makes me fear them mightily, and certainly they are a most wise people, and careful of their business. The King of France, they say, do declare himself obliged to defend them, and lays claim by his Embassador to the wines we have taken from the Dutch Bourdeaux men, and more, it is doubted whether the Swede will be our friend or no. Pray God deliver us out of these troubles! This day Sir W. Batten sent and afterwards spoke to me, to have me and my wife come and dine with them on Monday next: which is a mighty condescension in them, and for some great reason I am sure, or else it pleases God by my late care of business to make me more considerable even with them than I am sure they would willingly owne me to be. God make me thankfull and carefull to preserve myself so, for I am sure they hate me and it is hope or fear that makes them flatter me. It being a bright night, which it has not been a great while, I purpose to endeavour to be called in the morning to see the Comet, though I fear we shall not see it, because it rises in the east but 16 degrees, and then the houses will hinder us.

24th. Having sat up all night to past two o’clock this morning, our porter, being appointed, comes and tells us that the bellman tells him that the star is seen upon Tower Hill; so I, that had been all night setting in order all my old papers in my chamber, did leave off all, and my boy and I to Tower Hill, it being a most fine, bright moonshine night, and a great frost; but no Comet to be seen. So after running once round the Hill, I and Tom, we home and then to bed. Rose about 9 o’clock and then to the office, where sitting all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, to the Coffee-house; and there heard Sir Richard Ford tell the whole story of our defeat at Guinny. Wherein our men are guilty of the most horrid cowardice and perfidiousness, as he says and tells it, that ever Englishmen were. Captain Raynolds, that was the only commander of any of the King’s ships there, was shot at by De Ruyter, with a bloody flag flying. He, instead of opposing (which, indeed, had been to no purpose, but only to maintain honour), did poorly go on board himself, to ask what De Ruyter would have; and so yielded to whatever Ruyter would desire. The King and Duke are highly vexed at it, it seems, and the business deserves it. Thence home to dinner, and then abroad to buy some things, and among others to my bookseller’s, and there saw several books I spoke for, which are finely bound and good books to my great content. So home and to my office, where late. This evening I being informed did look and saw the Comet, which is now, whether worn away or no I know not, but appears not with a tail, but only is larger and duller than any other star, and is come to rise betimes, and to make a great arch, and is gone quite to a new place in the heavens than it was before: but I hope in a clearer night something more will be seen. So home to bed.

25th (Lord’s day and Christmas day). Up (my wife’s eye being ill still of the blow I did in a passion give her on Monday last) to church alone, where Mr. Mills, a good sermon. To dinner at home, where very pleasant with my wife and family. After dinner I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there received so much good usage (as I have of late done) from him and my Lady, obliging me and my wife, according to promise, to come and dine with them tomorrow with our neighbours, that I was in pain all the day, and night too after, to know how to order the business of my wife’s not going, and by discourse receive fresh instances of Sir J. Minnes’s folly in complaining to Sir G. Carteret of Sir W. Batten and me for some family offences, such as my having of a stopcock to keepe the water from them, which vexes me, but it would more but that Sir G. Carteret knows him very well. Thence to the French church, but coming too late I returned and to Mr. Rawlinson’s church, where I heard a good sermon of one that I remember was at Paul’s with me, his name Maggett; and very great store of fine women there is in this church, more than I know anywhere else about us. So home and to my chamber, looking over and setting in order my papers and books, and so to supper, and then to prayers and to bed.

26th. Up, and with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there with the rest did our usual business before the Duke, and then with Sir W. Batten back and to his house, where I by sicknesse excused my wife’s coming to them today. Thence I to the Coffeehouse, where much good discourse, and all the opinion now is that the Dutch will avoid fighting with us at home, but do all the hurte they can to us abroad; which it may be they may for a while, but that, I think, cannot support them long. Thence to Sir W. Batten’s, where Mr. Coventry and all our families here, women and all, and Sir R. Ford and his, and a great feast and good discourse and merry, there all the afternoon and evening till late, only stepped in to see my wife, then to my office to enter my day’s work, and so home to bed, where my people and wife innocently at cards very merry, and I to bed, leaving them to their sport and blindman’s buff.

27th. My people came to bed, after their sporting, at four o’clock in the morning; I up at seven, and to Deptford and Woolwich in a gally; the Duke calling to me out of the barge in which the King was with him going down the river, to know whither I was going. I told him to Woolwich, but was troubled afterward I should say no farther, being in a gally, lest he think me too profuse in my journeys. Did several businesses, and then back again by two o’clock to Sir J. Minnes’s to dinner by appointment, where all yesterday’s company but Mr. Coventry, who could not come. Here merry, and after an hour’s chat I down to the office, where busy late, and then home to supper and to bed. The Comet appeared again to-night, but duskishly. I went to bed, leaving my wife and all her folks, and Will also, too, come to make Christmas gambolls to-night.

28th. I waked in the morning about 6 o’clock and my wife not come to bed; I lacked a pot, but there was none, and bitter cold, so was forced to rise and piss in the chimney, and to bed again. Slept a little longer, and then hear my people coming up, and so I rose, and my wife to bed at eight o’clock in the morning, which vexed me a little, but I believe there was no hurt in it all, but only mirthe, therefore took no notice. I abroad with Sir W. Batten to the Council Chamber, where all of us to discourse about the way of measuring ships and the freight fit to give for them by the tun, where it was strange methought to hear so poor discourses among the Lords themselves, and most of all to see how a little empty matter delivered gravely by Sir W. Pen was taken mighty well, though nothing in the earth to the purpose. But clothes, I perceive more and more every day, is a great matter. Thence home with Sir W. Batten by coach, and I home to dinner, finding my wife still in bed. After dinner abroad, and among other things visited my Lady Sandwich, and was there, with her and the young ladies, playing at cards till night. Then home and to my office late, then home to bed, leaving my wife and people up to more sports, but without any great satisfaction to myself therein.

29th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. Then whereas I should have gone and dined with Sir W. Pen (and the rest of the officers at his house), I pretended to dine with my Lady Sandwich and so home, where I dined well, and began to wipe and clean my books in my chamber in order to the settling of my papers and things there thoroughly, and then to the office, where all the afternoon sitting, and in the evening home to supper, and then to my work again.

30th. Lay very long in bed with my wife, it being very cold, and my wife very full of a resolution to keepe within doors, not so much as to go to church or see my Lady Sandwich before Easter next, which I am willing enough to, though I seem the contrary. This and other talke kept me a-bed till almost 10 a’clock. Then up and made an end of looking over all my papers and books and taking everything out of my chamber to have all made clean. At noon dined, and after dinner forth to several places to pay away money, to clear myself in all the world, and, among others, paid my bookseller £6 for books I had from him this day, and the silversmith £22 18s. for spoons, forks, and sugar box, and being well pleased with seeing my business done to my mind as to my meeting with people and having my books ready for me, I home and to my office, and there did business late, and then home to supper, prayers, and to bed.

31st. At the office all the morning, and after dinner there again, dispatched first my letters, and then to my accounts, not of the month but of the whole yeare also, and was at it till past twelve at night, it being bitter cold; but yet I was well satisfied with my worke, and, above all, to find myself, by the great blessing of God, worth £1349, by which, as I have spent very largely, so I have laid up above £500 this yeare above what I was worth this day twelvemonth. The Lord make me for ever thankful to his holy name for it! Thence home to eat a little and so to bed. Soon as ever the clock struck one, I kissed my wife in the kitchen by the fireside, wishing her a merry new yeare, observing that I believe I was the first proper wisher of it this year, for I did it as soon as ever the clock struck one.

So ends the old yeare, I bless God, with great joy to me, not only from my having made so good a yeare of profit, as having spent £420 and laid up £540 and upwards; but I bless God I never have been in so good plight as to my health in so very cold weather as this is, nor indeed in any hot weather, these ten years, as I am at this day, and have been these four or five months. But I am at a great losse to know whether it be my hare’s foote, or taking every morning of a pill of turpentine, or my having left off the wearing of a gowne. My family is, my wife, in good health, and happy with her; her woman Mercer, a pretty, modest, quiett mayde; her chambermayde Besse, her cook mayde Jane, the little girl Susan, and my boy, which I have had about half a yeare, Tom Edwards, which I took from the King’s chappell, and a pretty and loving quiett family I have as any man in England. My credit in the world and my office grows daily, and I am in good esteeme with everybody, I think. My troubles of my uncle’s estate pretty well over; but it comes to be but of little profit to us, my father being much supported by my purse. But great vexations remain upon my father and me from my brother Tom’s death and ill condition, both to our disgrace and discontent, though no great reason for either. Publique matters are all in a hurry about a Dutch warr. Our preparations great; our provocations against them great; and, after all our presumption, we are now afeard as much of them, as we lately contemned them. Every thing else in the State quiett, blessed be God! My Lord Sandwich at sea with the fleete at Portsmouth; sending some about to cruise for taking of ships, which we have done to a great number. This Christmas I judged it fit to look over all my papers and books; and to tear all that I found either boyish or not to be worth keeping, or fit to be seen, if it should please God to take me away suddenly. Among others, I found these two or three notes, which I thought fit to keep.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/pepys/samuel/wheatley/chapter60.html

Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 17:10