The Diary of Samuel Pepys, by Samuel Pepys

February 1664–1665

February 1st. Lay long in bed, which made me, going by coach to St. James’s by appointment to have attended the Duke of Yorke and my Lord Bellasses, lose the hopes of my getting something by the hire of a ship to carry men to Tangier. But, however, according to the order of the Duke this morning, I did go to the ‘Change, and there after great pains did light of a business with Mr. Gifford and Hubland [Houblon] for bringing me as much as I hoped for, which I have at large expressed in my stating the case of the “King’s Fisher,” which is the ship that I have hired, and got the Duke of Yorke’s agreement this afternoon after much pains and not eating a bit of bread till about 4 o’clock. Going home I put in to an ordinary by Temple Barr and there with my boy Tom eat a pullet, and thence home to the office, being still angry with my wife for yesterday’s foolery. After a good while at the office, I with the boy to the Sun behind the Exchange, by agreement with Mr. Young the flag-maker, and there was met by Mr. Hill, Andrews, and Mr. Hubland, a pretty serious man. Here two very pretty savoury dishes and good discourse. After supper a song, or three or four (I having to that purpose carried Lawes’s book), and staying here till 12 o’clock got the watch to light me home, and in a continued discontent to bed. After being in bed, my people come and say there is a great stinke of burning, but no smoake. We called up Sir J. Minnes’s and Sir W. Batten’s people, and Griffin, and the people at the madhouse, but nothing could be found to give occasion to it. At this trouble we were till past three o’clock, and then the stinke ceasing, I to sleep, and my people to bed, and lay very long in the morning.

2nd. Then up and to my office, where till noon and then to the ‘Change, and at the Coffee-house with Gifford, Hubland, the Master of the ship, and I read over and approved a charter-party for carrying goods for Tangier, wherein I hope to get some money. Thence home, my head akeing for want of rest and too much business. So to the office. At night comes, Povy, and he and I to Mrs. Bland’s to discourse about my serving her to helpe her to a good passage for Tangier. Here I heard her kinswoman sing 3 or 4 very fine songs and in good manner, and then home and to supper. My cook mayd Jane and her mistresse parted, and she went away this day. I vexed to myself, but was resolved to have no more trouble, and so after supper to my office and then to bed.

3rd. Up, and walked with my boy (whom, because of my wife’s making him idle, I dare not leave at home) walked first to Salsbury court, there to excuse my not being at home at dinner to Mrs. Turner, who I perceive is vexed, because I do not serve her in something against the great feasting for her husband’s Reading —[On his appointment as Reader in Law.]— in helping her to some good penn’eths, but I care not. She was dressing herself by the fire in her chamber, and there took occasion to show me her leg, which indeed is the finest I ever saw, and she not a little proud of it. Thence to my Lord Bellasses; thence to Mr. Povy’s, and so up and down at that end of the town about several businesses, it being a brave frosty day and good walking. So back again on foot to the ‘Change, in my way taking my books from binding from my bookseller’s. My bill for the rebinding of some old books to make them suit with my study, cost me, besides other new books in the same bill, £3; but it will be very handsome. At the ‘Change did several businesses, and here I hear that newes is come from Deale, that the same day my Lord Sandwich sailed thence with the fleete, that evening some Dutch men of warr were seen on the back side of the Goodwin, and, by all conjecture, must be seen by my Lord’s fleete; which, if so, they must engage. Thence, being invited, to my uncle Wight’s, where the Wights all dined; and, among the others, pretty Mrs. Margaret, who indeed is a very pretty lady; and though by my vowe it costs me 12d. a kiss after the first, yet I did adventure upon a couple. So home, and among other letters found one from Jane, that is newly gone, telling me how her mistresse won’t pay her her Quarter’s wages, and withal tells me how her mistress will have the boy sit 3 or 4 hours together in the dark telling of stories, but speaks of nothing but only her indiscretion in undervaluing herself to do it, but I will remedy that, but am vexed she should get some body to write so much because of making it publique. Then took coach and to visit my Lady Sandwich, where she discoursed largely to me her opinion of a match, if it could be thought fit by my Lord, for my Lady Jemimah, with Sir G. Carteret’s eldest son; but I doubt he hath yet no settled estate in land. But I will inform myself, and give her my opinion. Then Mrs. Pickering (after private discourse ended, we going into the other room) did, at my Lady’s command, tell me the manner of a masquerade1 before the King and Court the other day. Where six women (my Lady Castlemayne and Duchesse of Monmouth being two of them) and six men (the Duke of Monmouth and Lord Arran and Monsieur Blanfort, being three of them) in vizards, but most rich and antique dresses, did dance admirably and most gloriously. God give us cause to continue the mirthe! So home, and after awhile at my office to supper and to bed.

1 The masquerade at Court took place on the 2nd, and is referred to by Evelyn, who was present, in his Diary. Some amusing incidents connected with the entertainment are related in the “Grammont Memoirs” (chapter vii.).

4th. Lay long in bed discoursing with my wife about her mayds, which by Jane’s going away in discontent and against my opinion do make some trouble between my wife and me. But these are but foolish troubles and so not to be set to heart, yet it do disturb me mightily these things. To my office, and there all the morning. At noon being invited, I to the Sun behind the ‘Change, to dinner to my Lord Belasses, where a great deal of discourse with him, and some good, among others at table he told us a very handsome passage of the King’s sending him his message about holding out the town of Newarke, of which he was then governor for the King. This message he sent in a sluggbullet, being writ in cypher, and wrapped up in lead and swallowed. So the messenger come to my Lord and told him he had a message from the King, but it was yet in his belly; so they did give him some physique, and out it come. This was a month before the King’s flying to the Scotts; and therein he told him that at such a day, being the 3d or 6th of May, he should hear of his being come to the Scotts, being assured by the King of France that in coming to them he should be used with all the liberty, honour, and safety, that could be desired. And at the just day he did come to the Scotts. He told us another odd passage: how the King having newly put out Prince Rupert of his generallshipp, upon some miscarriage at Bristoll, and Sir Richard Willis1 of his governorship of Newarke, at the entreaty of the gentry of the County, and put in my Lord Bellasses, the great officers of the King’s army mutinyed, and come in that manner with swords drawn, into the market-place of the towne where the King was; which the King hearing, says, “I must to horse.” And there himself personally, when every body expected they should have been opposed, the King come, and cried to the head of the mutineers, which was Prince Rupert, “Nephew, I command you to be gone.” So the Prince, in all his fury and discontent, withdrew, and his company scattered, which they say was the greatest piece of mutiny in the world. Thence after dinner home to my office, and in the evening was sent to by Jane that I would give her her wages. So I sent for my wife to my office, and told her that rather than be talked on I would give her all her wages for this Quarter coming on, though two months is behind, which vexed my wife, and we begun to be angry, but I took myself up and sent her away, but was cruelly vexed in my mind that all my trouble in this world almost should arise from my disorders in my family and the indiscretion of a wife that brings me nothing almost (besides a comely person) but only trouble and discontent. She gone I late at my business, and then home to supper and to bed.

1 Sir Richard Willis, the betrayer of the Royalists, was one of the “Sealed Knot.” When the Restoration had become a certainty, he wrote to Clarendon imploring him to intercede for him with the king (see Lister’s “Life of Clarendon,” vol. iii., p. 87).

5th (Lord’s day). Lay in bed most of the morning, then up and down to my chamber, among my new books, which is now a pleasant sight to me to see my whole study almost of one binding. So to dinner, and all the afternoon with W. Hewer at my office endorsing of papers there, my business having got before me much of late. In the evening comes to see me Mr. Sheply, lately come out of the country, who goes away again tomorrow, a good and a very kind man to me. There come also Mr. Andrews and Hill, and we sang very pleasantly; and so, they being gone, I and my wife to supper, and to prayers and bed.

6th. Up and with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Pen to St. James’s, but the Duke is gone abroad. So to White Hall to him, and there I spoke with him, and so to Westminster, did a little business, and then home to the ‘Change, where also I did some business, and went off and ended my contract with the “Kingfisher” I hired for Tangier, and I hope to get something by it. Thence home to dinner, and visited Sir W. Batten, who is sick again, worse than he was, and I am apt to think is very ill. So to my office, and among other things with Sir W. Warren 4 hours or more till very late, talking of one thing or another, and have concluded a firm league with him in all just ways to serve him and myself all I can, and I think he will be a most usefull and thankfull man to me. So home to supper and to bed. This being one of the coldest days, all say, they ever felt in England; and I this day, under great apprehensions of getting an ague from my putting a suit on that hath lain by without ayring a great while, and I pray God it do not do me hurte.

7th. Up and to my office, where busy all the morning, and at home to dinner. It being Shrove Tuesday, had some very good fritters. All the afternoon and evening at the office, and at night home to supper and to bed. This day, Sir W. Batten, who hath been sicke four or five days, is now very bad, so as people begin to fear his death; and I am at a loss whether it will be better for me to have him die, because he is a bad man, or live, for fear a worse should come.

8th. Up and by coach to my Lord Peterborough’s, where anon my Lord Ashly and Sir Thomas Ingram met, and Povy about his accounts, who is one of the most unhappy accountants that ever I knew in all my life, and one that if I were clear in reference to my bill of £117 he should be hanged before I would ever have to do with him, and as he understands nothing of his business himself, so he hath not one about him that do. Here late till I was weary, having business elsewhere, and thence home by coach, and after dinner did several businesses and very late at my office, and so home to supper and to bed.

9th. Up and to my office, where all the morning very busy. At noon home to dinner, and then to my office again, where Sir William Petty come, among other things to tell me that Mr. Barlow1 is dead; for which, God knows my heart, I could be as sorry as is possible for one to be for a stranger, by whose death he gets £100 per annum, he being a worthy, honest man; but after having considered that when I come to consider the providence of God by this means unexpectedly to give me £100 a year more in my estate, I have cause to bless God, and do it from the bottom of my heart. So home late at night, after twelve o’clock, and so to bed.

1 Thomas Barlow, Pepys’s predecessor as Clerk of the Acts, to whom he paid part of the salary. Barlow held the office jointly with Dennis Fleeting.

10th. Up and abroad to Paul’s Churchyard, there to see the last of my books new bound: among others, my “Court of King James,”1 and “The Rise and Fall of the Family of the Stewarts;” and much pleased I am now with my study; it being, methinks, a beautifull sight. Thence (in Mr. Grey’s coach, who took me up), to Westminster, where I heard that yesterday the King met the Houses to pass the great bill for the £2,500,000. After doing a little business I home, where Mr. Moore dined with me, and evened our reckonings on my Lord Sandwich’s bond to me for principal and interest. So that now on both there is remaining due to me £257. 7s., and I bless God it is no more. So all the afternoon at my office, and late home to supper, prayers, and to bed.

1 “The Court and Character of King James, written and taken by Sir Anthony Weldon, being an eye and eare witnesse,” was published in 1650, and reprinted in 1651 under the title of “Truth brought to Light” Weldon’s book was answered in a work entitled “Aulicus Coquinariae.” Both the original book and the answer were reprinted in “The Secret History of the Court of King James,” Edinburgh, 1811, two vols. (edited by Sir Walter Scott).

11th. Up and to my office, where all the morning. At noon to ‘Change by coach with my Lord Brunkard, and thence after doing much business home to dinner, and so to my office all the afternoon till past 12 at night very busy. So home to bed.

12th (Lord’s day). Up and to church to St. Lawrence to hear Dr. Wilkins, the great scholar, for curiosity, I having never heard him: but was not satisfied with him at all, only a gentleman sat in the pew I by chance sat in, that sang most excellently, and afterward I found by his face that he had been a Paul’s scholler, but know not his name, and I was also well pleased with the church, it being a very fine church. So home to dinner, and then to my office all the afternoon doing of business, and in the evening comes Mr. Hill (but no Andrews) and we spent the evening very finely, singing, supping and discoursing. Then to prayers and to bed.

13th. Up and to St. James’s, did our usual business before the Duke. Thence I to Westminster and by water (taking Mr. Stapely the rope-maker by the way), to his rope-ground and to Limehouse, there to see the manner of stoves and did excellently inform myself therein, and coming home did go on board Sir W. Petty’s “Experiment,” which is a brave roomy vessel, and I hope may do well. So went on shore to a Dutch [house] to drink some mum, and there light upon some Dutchmen, with whom we had good discourse touching stoveing1 and making of cables. But to see how despicably they speak of us for our using so many hands more to do anything than they do, they closing a cable with 20, that we use 60 men upon. Thence home and eat something, and then to my office, where very late, and then to supper and to bed. Captain Stokes, it seems, is at last dead at Portsmouth.

1 Stoveing, in sail-making, is the heating of the bolt-ropes, so as to make them pliable. — B.

14th (St. Valentine). This morning comes betimes Dicke Pen, to be my wife’s Valentine, and come to our bedside. By the same token, I had him brought to my side, thinking to have made him kiss me; but he perceived me, and would not; so went to his Valentine: a notable, stout, witty boy. I up about business, and, opening the door, there was Bagwell’s wife, with whom I talked afterwards, and she had the confidence to say she came with a hope to be time enough to be my Valentine, and so indeed she did, but my oath preserved me from loosing any time with her, and so I and my boy abroad by coach to Westminster, where did two or three businesses, and then home to the ‘Change, and did much business there. My Lord Sandwich is, it seems, with his fleete at Alborough Bay. So home to dinner and then to the office, where till 12 almost at night, and then home to supper and to bed.

15th. Up and to my office, where busy all the morning. At noon with Creed to dinner to Trinity-house, where a very good dinner among the old sokers, where an extraordinary discourse of the manner of the loss of the “Royall Oake” coming home from Bantam, upon the rocks of Scilly, many passages therein very extraordinary, and if I can I will get it in writing. Thence with Creed to Gresham College, where I had been by Mr. Povy the last week proposed to be admitted a member;1 and was this day admitted, by signing a book and being taken by the hand by the President, my Lord Brunkard, and some words of admittance said to me. But it is a most acceptable thing to hear their discourse, and see their experiments; which were this day upon the nature of fire, and how it goes out in a place where the ayre is not free, and sooner out where the ayre is exhausted, which they showed by an engine on purpose. After this being done, they to the Crowne Taverne, behind the ‘Change, and there my Lord and most of the company to a club supper; Sir P. Neale, Sir R. Murrey, Dr. Clerke, Dr. Whistler, Dr. Goddard, and others of most eminent worth. Above all, Mr. Boyle today was at the meeting, and above him Mr. Hooke, who is the most, and promises the least, of any man in the world that ever I saw. Here excellent discourse till ten at night, and then home, and to Sir W. Batten’s, where I hear that Sir Thos. Harvy intends to put Mr. Turner out of his house and come in himself, which will be very hard to them, and though I love him not, yet for his family’s sake I pity him. So home and to bed.

1 According to the minutes of the Royal Society for February 15th, 1664–65, “Mr. Pepys was unanimously elected and admitted.” Notes of the experiments shown by Hooke and Boyle are given in Birch’s “History of the Royal Society,” vol. ii., p. 15.

16th. Up, and with Mr. Andrews to White Hall, where a Committee of Tangier, and there I did our victuallers’ business for some more money, out of which I hope to get a little, of which I was glad; but, Lord! to see to what a degree of contempt, nay, scorn, Mr. Povy, through his prodigious folly, hath brought himself in his accounts, that if he be not a man of a great interest, he will be kicked out of his employment for a foole, is very strange, and that most deservedly that ever man was, for never any man, that understands accounts so little, ever went through so much, and yet goes through it with the greatest shame and yet with confidence that ever I saw man in my life. God deliver me in my owne business of my bill out of his hands, and if ever I foul my fingers with him again let me suffer for it! Back to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, where Mrs. Hunt dined with me, and poor Mrs. Batters; who brought her little daughter with her, and a letter from her husband, wherein, as a token, the foole presents me very seriously with his daughter for me to take the charge of bringing up for him, and to make my owne. But I took no notice to her at all of the substance of the letter, but fell to discourse, and so went away to the office, where all the afternoon till almost one in the morning, and then home to bed.

17th. Up, and it being bitter cold, and frost and snow, which I had thought had quite left us, I by coach to Povy’s, where he told me, as I knew already, how he was handled the other day, and is still, by my Lord Barkeley, and among other things tells me, what I did not know, how my Lord Barkeley will say openly, that he hath fought more set fields —[Battles or actions]— than any man in England hath done. I did my business with him, which was to get a little sum of money paid, and so home with Mr. Andrews, who met me there, and there to the office. At noon home and there found Lewellin, which vexed me out of my old jealous humour. So to my office, where till 12 at night, being only a little while at noon at Sir W. Batten’s to see him, and had some high words with Sir J. Minnes about Sir W. Warren, he calling him cheating knave, but I cooled him, and at night at Sir W. Pen’s, he being to go to Chatham tomorrow. So home to supper and to bed.

18th. Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning; at noon to the ‘Change, and thence to the Royall Oake taverne in Lumbard Streete, where Sir William Petty and the owners of the double-bottomed boat (the Experiment) did entertain my Lord Brunkard, Sir R. Murrey, myself, and others, with marrow bones and a chine of beefe of the victuals they have made for this ship; and excellent company and good discourse: but, above all, I do value Sir William Petty. Thence home; and took my Lord Sandwich’s draught of the harbour of Portsmouth down to Ratcliffe, to one Burston, to make a plate for the King, and another for the Duke, and another for himself; which will be very neat. So home, and till almost one o’clock in the morning at my office, and then home to supper and to bed. My Lord Sandwich, and his fleete of twenty-five ships in the Downes, returned from cruising, but could not meet with any Dutchmen.

19th. Lay in bed, it being Lord’s day, all the morning talking with my wife, sometimes pleased, sometimes displeased, and then up and to dinner. All the afternoon also at home, and Sir W. Batten’s, and in the evening comes Mr. Andrews, and we sung together, and then to supper, he not staying, and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds their letting in a rogueing Scotch woman that haunts the office, to helpe them to washe and scoure in our house, and that very lately, I fell mightily out, and made my wife, to the disturbance of the house and neighbours, to beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar, and there she lay all night. So we to bed.

20th. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to attend the Duke, and then we back again and rode into the beginning of my Lord Chancellor’s new house, near St. James’s; which common people have already called Dunkirke-house, from their opinion of his having a good bribe for the selling of that towne. And very noble I believe it will be. Near that is my Lord Barkeley beginning another on one side, and Sir J. Denham on the other. Thence I to the House of Lords and spoke with my Lord Bellasses, and so to the ‘Change, and there did business, and so to the Sun taverne, haling in the morning had some high words with Sir J. Lawson about his sending of some bayled goods to Tangier, wherein the truth is I did not favour him, but being conscious that some of my profits may come out by some words that fell from him, and to be quiet, I have accommodated it. Here we dined merry; but my club and the rest come to 7s. 6d., which was too much. Thence to the office, and there found Bagwell’s wife, whom I directed to go home, and I would do her business, which was to write a letter to my Lord Sandwich for her husband’s advance into a better ship as there should be occasion. Which I did, and by and by did go down by water to Deptford, and then down further, and so landed at the lower end of the town, and it being dark ‘entrer en la maison de la femme de Bagwell’, and there had ‘sa compagnie’, though with a great deal of difficulty, ‘neanmoins en fin j’avais ma volont d’elle’, and being sated therewith, I walked home to Redriffe, it being now near nine o’clock, and there I did drink some strong waters and eat some bread and cheese, and so home. Where at my office my wife comes and tells me that she hath hired a chamber mayde, one of the prettiest maydes that ever she saw in her life, and that she is really jealous of me for her, but hath ventured to hire her from month to month, but I think she means merrily. So to supper and to bed.

21st. Up, and to the office (having a mighty pain in my forefinger of my left hand, from a strain that it received last night) in struggling ‘avec la femme que je’ mentioned yesterday, where busy till noon, and then my wife being busy in going with her woman to a hot-house to bathe herself, after her long being within doors in the dirt, so that she now pretends to a resolution of being hereafter very clean. How long it will hold I can guess. I dined with Sir W. Batten and my Lady, they being now a’days very fond of me. So to the ‘Change, and off of the ‘Change with Mr. Wayth to a cook’s shop, and there dined again for discourse with him about Hamaccos1 and the abuse now practised in tickets, and more like every day to be. Also of the great profit Mr. Fen makes of his place, he being, though he demands but 5 per cent. of all he pays, and that is easily computed, but very little pleased with any man that gives him no more. So to the office, and after office my Lord Brunkerd carried me to Lincolne’s Inne Fields, and there I with my Lady Sandwich (good lady) talking of innocent discourse of good housewifery and husbands for her daughters, and the luxury and looseness of the times and other such things till past 10 o’clock at night, and so by coach home, where a little at my office, and so to supper and to bed. My Lady tells me how my Lord Castlemayne is coming over from France, and is believed will be made friends with his Lady again. What mad freaks the Mayds of Honour at Court have: that Mrs. Jenings, one of the Duchesses mayds, the other day dressed herself like an orange wench, and went up and down and cried oranges; till falling down, or by such accident, though in the evening, her fine shoes were discerned, and she put to a great deale of shame; that such as these tricks being ordinary, and worse among them, thereby few will venture upon them for wives: my Lady Castlemayne will in merriment say that her daughter (not above a year old or two) will be the first mayde in the Court that will be married. This day my Lord Sandwich writ me word from the Downes, that he is like to be in towne this week.

1 Or hammock-battens: cleats or battens nailed to the sides of a vessel’s beams, from which to suspend the seamen’s hammocks.

22nd. Lay last night alone, my wife after her bathing lying alone in another bed. So cold all night. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon at the ‘Change, busy; where great talk of a Dutch ship in the North put on shore, and taken by a troop of horse. Home to dinner and Creed with me. Thence to Gresham College, where very noble discourse, and thence home busy till past 12 at night, and then home to supper and to bed. Mrs. Bland come this night to take leave of me and my wife, going to Tangier.

23rd. This day, by the blessing of Almighty God, I have lived thirty-two years in the world, and am in the best degree of health at this minute that I have been almost in my life time, and at this time in the best condition of estate that ever I was inthe Lord make me thankfull. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, where I hear the most horrid and astonishing newes that ever was yet told in my memory, that De Ruyter with his fleete in Guinny hath proceeded to the taking of whatever we have, forts, goods, ships, and men, and tied our men back to back, and thrown them all into the sea, even women and children also. This a Swede or Hamburgher is come into the River and tells that he saw the thing done.1 But, Lord! to see the consternation all our merchants are in is observable, and with what fury and revenge they discourse of it. But I fear it will like other things in a few days cool among us. But that which I fear most is the reason why he that was so kind to our men at first should afterward, having let them go, be so cruel when he went further. What I fear is that there he was informed (which he was not before) of some of Holmes’s dealings with his countrymen, and so was moved to this fury. God grant it be not so! But a more dishonourable thing was never suffered by Englishmen, nor a more barbarous done by man, as this by them to us. Home to dinner, and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and then at night to take my finall leave of Mrs. Bland, who sets out tomorrow for Tangier, and then I back to my office till past 12, and so home to supper and to bed.

1 Similar reports of the cruelty of the English to the Dutch in Guinea were credited in Holland, and were related by Downing in a letter to Clarendon from the Hague, dated April 14th, 1665 (Lister’s “Life of Clarendon,” vol. iii., p. 374).

24th. Up, and to my office, where all the morning upon advising again with some fishermen and the water bayliffe of the City, by Mr. Coventry’s direction, touching the protections which are desired for the fishermen upon the River, and I am glad of the occasion to make me understand something of it. At noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon till 9 at night in my chamber, and Mr. Hater with me (to prevent being disturbed at the office), to perfect my contract book, which, for want of time, hath a long time lain without being entered in as I used to do from month to month. Then to my office, where till almost 12, and so home to bed.

25th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change; where just before I come, the Swede that had told the King and the Duke so boldly this great lie of the Dutch flinging our men back to back into the sea at Guinny, so particularly, and readily, and confidently, was whipt round the ‘Change: he confessing it a lie, and that he did it in hopes to get something. It is said the judges, upon demand, did give it their opinion that the law would judge him to be whipt, to lose his eares, or to have his nose slit but I do not hear that anything more is to be done to him. They say he is delivered over to the Dutch Embassador to do what he pleased with him. But the world do think that there is some design on one side or other, either of the Dutch or French, for it is not likely a fellow would invent such a lie to get money whereas he might have hoped for a better reward by telling something in behalf of us to please us. Thence to the Sun taverne, and there dined with Sir W. Warren and Mr. Gifford, the merchant: and I hear how Nich. Colborne, that lately lived and got a great estate there, is gone to live like a prince in the country, and that this Wadlow, that did the like at the Devil by St. Dunstane’s, did go into the country, and there spent almost all he had got, and hath now choused this Colborne out of his house, that he might come to his old trade again. But, Lord! to see how full the house is, no room for any company almost to come into it. Thence home to the office, where dispatched much business; at night late home, and to clean myself with warm water; my wife will have me, because she do herself, and so to bed.

26th (Sunday). Up and to church, and so home to dinner, and after dinner to my office, and there busy all the afternoon, till in the evening comes Mr. Andrews and Hill, and so home and to singing. Hill staid and supped with me, and very good discourse of Italy, where he was, which is always to me very agreeable. After supper, he gone, we to prayers and to bed.

27th. Up and to St. James’s, where we attended the Duke as usual. This morning I was much surprized and troubled with a letter from Mrs. Bland, that she is left behind, and much trouble it cost me this day to find out some way to carry her after the ships to Plymouth, but at last I hope I have done it. At noon to the ‘Change to inquire what wages the Dutch give in their men-of-warr at this day, and I hear for certain they give but twelve guilders at most, which is not full 24s., a thing I wonder at. At home to dinner, and then in Sir J. Minnes’s coach, my wife and I with him, and also Mercer, abroad, he and I to White Hall, and he would have his coach to wait upon my wife on her visits, it being the first time my wife hath been out of doors (but the other day to bathe her) several weeks. We to a Committee of the Council to discourse concerning pressing of men; but, Lord! how they meet; never sit down: one comes, now another goes, then comes another; one complaining that nothing is done, another swearing that he hath been there these two hours and nobody come. At last it come to this, my Lord Annesly, says he, “I think we must be forced to get the King to come to every committee; for I do not see that we do any thing at any time but when he is here.” And I believe he said the truth and very constant he is at the council table on council-days; which his predecessors, it seems, very rarely did; but thus I perceive the greatest affair in the world at this day is likely to be managed by us. But to hear how my Lord Barkeley and others of them do cry up the discipline of the late times here, and in the former Dutch warr is strange, wishing with all their hearts that the business of religion were not so severely carried on as to discourage the sober people to come among us, and wishing that the same law and severity were used against drunkennesse as there was then, saying that our evil living will call the hand of God upon us again. Thence to walk alone a good while in St. James’s Parke with Mr. Coventry, who I perceive is grown a little melancholy and displeased to see things go as they do so carelessly. Thence I by coach to Ratcliffe highway, to the plate-maker’s, and he has begun my Lord Sandwich’s plate very neatly, and so back again. Coming back I met Colonell Atkins, who in other discourse did offer to give me a piece to receive of me 20 when he proves the late news of the Dutch, their drowning our men, at Guinny, and the truth is I find the generality of the world to fear that there is something of truth in it, and I do fear it too. Thence back by coach to Sir Philip Warwicke’s; and there he did contract with me a kind of friendship and freedom of communication, wherein he assures me to make me understand the whole business of the Treasurer’s business of the Navy, that I shall know as well as Sir G. Carteret what money he hath; and will needs have me come to him sometimes, or he meet me, to discourse of things tending to the serving the King: and I am mighty proud and happy in becoming so known to such a man. And I hope shall pursue it. Thence back home to the office a little tired and out of order, and then to supper and to bed.

28th: At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home. After dinner my wife and I to my Lady batten’s, it being the first time my wife hath been there, I think, these two years, but I had a mind in part to take away the strangenesse, and so we did, and all very quiett and kind. Come home, I to the taking my wife’s kitchen accounts at the latter end of the month, and there find 7s. wanting, which did occasion a very high falling out between us, I indeed too angrily insisting upon so poor a thing, and did give her very provoking high words, calling her beggar, and reproaching her friends, which she took very stomachfully and reproached me justly with mine; and I confess, being myself, I cannot see what she could have done less. I find she is very cunning, and when she least shews it hath her wit at work; but it is an ill one, though I think not so bad but with good usage I might well bear with it, and the truth is I do find that my being over-solicitous and jealous and froward and ready to reproach her do make her worse. However, I find that now and then a little difference do no hurte, but too much of it will make her know her force too much. We parted after many high words very angry, and I to my office to my month’s accounts, and find myself worth £1270, for which the Lord God be praised! So at almost 2 o’clock in the morning I home to supper and to bed, and so ends this month, with great expectation of the Hollanders coming forth, who are, it seems, very high and rather more ready than we. God give a good issue to it!

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