July 1st. Up; and all the morning we met at the office about the Victualler’s contract. At noon home to dinner, my Cozen Roger, come newly to town, dined with us, and mighty importunate for our coming down to Impington, which I think to do, this Sturbridge fair. Thence I set him down at the Temple, and Commissioner Middleton dining the first time with me, he and I to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, where we met; and much business with the Duke of York. And I find the Duke of York very hot for regulations in the Navy; and, I believe, is put on it by W. Coventry; and I am glad of it; and particularly, he falls heavy on Chatham-yard,, and is vexed that Lord Anglesey did, the other day, complain at the Council-table of disorders in the Navy, and not to him. So I to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier; and there vexed, with the importunity and clamours of Alderman Backewell, for my acquittance for money supplied by him to the garrison, before I have any order for paying it: so home, calling at several places-among others, the ‘Change, and on Cooper, to know when my wife shall come to sit for her picture, which will be next week, and so home and to walk with my wife, and then to supper and to bed.
2nd. Called up by a letter from W. Coventry telling me that the Commissioners of Accounts intend to summons me about Sir W. Warren’s Hamburg contract, and so I up and to W. Coventry’s (he and G. Carteret being the party concerned in it), and after conference with him about it to satisfaction I home again to the office. At noon home to dinner, and then all the afternoon busy to prepare an answer to this demand of the Commissioners of Accounts, and did discourse with Sir W. Warren about it, and so in the evening with my wife and Deb. by coach to take ayre to Mile-end, and so home and I to bed, vexed to be put to this frequent trouble in things we deserve best in.
3rd. Betimes to the office, my head full of this business. Then by coach to the Commissioners of Accounts at Brooke House, the first time I was ever there, and there Sir W. Turner in the chair; and present, Lord Halifax, Thoms[on], Gregory, Dunster, and Osborne. I long with them, and see them hot set on this matter; but I did give them proper and safe answers. Halifax, I perceive, was industrious on my side, in behalf of his uncle Coventry, it being the business of fir W. Warren. Vexed only at their denial of a copy of what I set my hand to, and swore. Here till almost two o’clock, and then home to dinner, and set down presently what I had done and said this day, and so abroad by water to Eagle Court in the Strand, and there to an alehouse: met Mr. Pierce, the Surgeon, and Dr. Clerke, Waldron, Turberville, my physician for the eyes, and Lowre, to dissect several eyes of sheep and oxen, with great pleasure, and to my great information. But strange that this Turberville should be so great a man, and yet, to this day, had seen no eyes dissected, or but once, but desired this Dr. Lowre to give him the opportunity to see him dissect some. Thence to Unthanke’s, to my wife, and carried her home, and there walked in the garden, and so to supper and to bed.
4th. Up, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and give him account of my doings yesterday, which he well liked of, and was told thereof by my Lord Halifax before; but I do perceive he is much concerned for this business. Gives me advice to write a smart letter to the Duke of York about the want of money in the Navy, and desire him to communicate it to the Commissioners of the Treasury; for he tells me he hath hot work sometimes to contend with the rest for the Navy, they being all concerned for some other part of the King’s expenses, which they would prefer to this, of the Navy. He shewed me his closet, with his round table, for him to sit in the middle, very convenient; and I borrowed several books of him, to collect things out of the Navy, which I have not, and so home, and there busy sitting all the morning, and at noon dined, and then all the afternoon busy, till night, and then to Mile–End with my wife and girl, and there drank and eat a joie of salmon, at the Rose and Crown, our old house; and so home to bed.
5th (Lord’s day). About four in the morning took four pills of Dr. Turberville’s prescribing, for my eyes, and they wrought pretty well most of the morning, and I did get my wife to spend the morning reading of Wilkins’s Reall Character. At noon comes W. Hewer and Pelling, and young Michell and his wife, and dined with us, and most of the afternoon talking; and then at night my wife to read again, and to supper and to bed.
6th. Up, and to St. James’s, and there attended the Duke of York, and was there by himself told how angry he was, and did declare to my Lord Anglesey, about his late complaining of things of the Navy to the King in Council, and not to him; and I perceive he is mightily concerned at it, and resolved to reform things therein. Thence with W. Coventry walked in the Park together a good while, he mighty kind to me. And hear many pretty stories of my Lord Chancellor’s being heretofore made sport of by Peter Talbot the priest, in his story of the death of Cardinall Bleau;1 by Lord Cottington, in his ‘Dolor de las Tyipas’;2 and Tom Killigrew, in his being bred in Ram Ally, and now bound prentice to Lord Cottington, going to Spain with £1000, and two suits of clothes. Thence home to dinner, and thence to Mr. Cooper’s, and there met my wife and W. Hewer and Deb.; and there my wife first sat for her picture: but he is a most admirable workman, and good company. Here comes Harris, and first told us how Betterton is come again upon the stage: whereupon my wife and company to the [Duke’s] house to see “Henry the Fifth;” while I to attend the Duke of York at the Committee of the Navy, at the Council, where some high dispute between him and W. Coventry about settling pensions upon all Flag–Officers, while unemployed: W. Coventry against it, and, I think, with reason. Thence I to the playhouse, and saw a piece of the play, and glad to see Betterton; and so with wife and Deb. to Spring-garden, and eat a lobster, and so home in the evening and to bed. Great doings at Paris, I hear, with their triumphs for their late conquests! The Duchesse of Richmond sworn last week of the queen’s Bedchamber, and the King minding little else but what he used to do — about his women.
1 It is probable these stories, in ridicule of Clarendon, are nowhere recorded. Cardinal Jean Balue was the minister of Louis XI. of France. The reader will remember him in Sir W. Scott’s “Quentin Durward.” He was confined for eleven years in an iron cage invented by himself in the Chateau de Loches, and died soon after he regained his liberty. — B.
2 Gripes. It was a joke against Lord Cottington that whenever he was seriously ill he declared himself a Roman Catholic, when he was well again he returned to the Protestant faith.
7th. Up, and to the office, where Kate Joyce come to me about some tickets of hers, but took no notice to me of her being married, but seemed mighty pale, and doubtful what to say or do, expecting, I believe, that I should begin; and not finding me beginning, said nothing, but, with trouble in her face, went away. At the office all the morning, and after dinner also all the afternoon, and in the evening with my wife and Deb. and Betty Turner to Unthanke’s, where we are fain to go round by Newgate, because of Fleet Bridge being under rebuilding. They stayed there, and I about some business, and then presently back and brought them home and supped and Mrs. Turner, the mother, comes to us, and there late, and so to bed.
8th. Betimes by water to Sir W. Coventry, and there discoursed of several things; and I find him much concerned in the present enquiries now on foot of the Commissioners of Accounts, though he reckons himself and the rest very safe, but vexed to see us liable to these troubles, in things wherein we have laboured to do best. Thence, he being to go out of town tomorrow, to drink Banbury waters, I to the Duke of York, to attend him about business of the Office; and find him mighty free to me, and how he is concerned to mend things in the Navy himself, and not leave it to other people. So home to dinner; and then with my wife to Cooper’s, and there saw her sit; and he do do extraordinary things indeed. So to White Hall; and there by and by the Duke of York comes to the Robe-chamber, and spent with us three hours till night, in hearing the business of the Master–Attendants of Chatham, and the Store-keeper of Woolwich; and resolves to displace them all; so hot he is of giving proofs of his justice at this time, that it is their great fate now, to come to be questioned at such a time as this. Thence I to Unthanke’s, and took my wife and Deb. home, and to supper and to bed.
9th. Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and after noon to the office again till night, mighty busy getting Mr. Fist to come and help me, my own clerks all busy, and so in the evening to ease my eyes, and with my wife and Deb. and Betty Turner, by coach to Unthanke’s and back again, and then to supper and to bed.
10th. Up, and to attend the Council, but all in vain, the Council spending all the morning upon a business about the printing of the Critickes, a dispute between the first Printer, one Bee that is dead, and the Abstractor, who would now print his Abstract, one Poole. So home to dinner, and thence to Haward’s to look upon an Espinette, and I did come near the buying one, but broke off. I have a mind to have one. So to Cooper’s; and there find my wife and W. Hewer and Deb., sitting, and painting; and here he do work finely, though I fear it will not be so like as I expected: but now I understand his great skill in musick, his playing and setting to the French lute most excellently; and speaks French, and indeed is an excellent man. Thence, in the evening, with my people in a glass hackney-coach to the park, but was ashamed to be seen. So to the lodge, and drank milk, and so home to supper and to bed.
11th. At the office all the morning. After dinner to the King’s playhouse, to see an old play of Shirly’s, called “Hide Parker” the first day acted; where horses are brought upon the stage but it is but a very moderate play, only an excellent epilogue spoke by Beck Marshall. Thence home and to my office, and then to supper and to bed, and overnight took some pills,
12th. Which work with me pretty betimes, being Lord’s day, and so I within all day. Busy all the morning upon some accounts with W. Hewer, and at noon, an excellent dinner, comes Pelling and W. Howe, and the latter staid and talked with me all the afternoon, and in the evening comes Mr. Mills and his wife and supped and talked with me, and so to bed. This last night Betty Michell about midnight cries out, and my wife goes to her, and she brings forth a girl, and this afternoon the child is christened, and my wife godmother again to a Betty.
13th. Up, and to my office, and thence by water to White Hall to attend the Council, but did not, and so home to dinner, and so out with my wife, and Deb., and W. Hewer towards Cooper’s, but I ‘light and walked to Ducke Lane, and there to the bookseller’s; at the Bible, whose moher je have a mind to, but elle no erat dentro, but I did there look upon and buy some books, and made way for coming again to the man, which pleases me. Thence to Reeves’s, and there saw some, and bespoke a little perspective, and was mightily pleased with seeing objects in a dark room. And so to Cooper’s, and spent the afternoon with them; and it will be an excellent picture. Thence my people all by water to Deptford, to see Balty, while I to buy my espinette,1 which I did now agree for, and did at Haward’s meet with Mr. Thacker, and heard him play on the harpsicon, so as I never heard man before, I think. So home, it being almost night, and there find in the garden Pelling, who hath brought Tempest, Wallington, and Pelham, to sings and there had most excellent musick late, in the dark, with great pleasure. Made them drink and eat; and so with much pleasure to bed, but above all with little Wallington. This morning I was let blood, and did bleed about fourteen ounces, towards curing my eyes.
1 Espinette is the French term for a small harpsichord, at that time called in England a spinet. It was named from a fancied resemblance of its quill plectra to spines or thorns.
14th. Up, and to my office, where sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and thence all the afternoon hard at the office, we meeting about the Victualler’s new contract; and so into the garden, my Lady Pen, Mrs. Turner and her daughter, my wife and I, and there supped in the dark and were merry, and so to bed. This day Bossc finished his copy of my picture, which I confess I do not admire, though my wife prefers him to Browne; nor do I think it like. He do it for W. Hewer, who hath my wife’s also, which I like less. This afternoon my Lady Pickering come to see us: I busy, saw her not. But how natural it is for us to slight people out of power, and for people out of power to stoop to see those that while in power they contemned!
15th. Up, and all the morning busy at the office to my great content, attending to the settling of papers there that I may have the more rest in winter for my eyes by how much I do the more in the settling of all things in the summer by daylight. At noon home to dinner, where is brought home the espinette I bought the other day of Haward; costs me £5. So to St. James’s, where did our ordinary business with the Duke of York. So to Unthanke’s to my wife, and with her and Deb. to visit Mrs. Pierce, whom I do not now so much affect, since she paints. But stayed here a while, and understood from her how my Lady Duchesse of Monmouth is still lame, and likely always to be so, which is a sad chance for a young [lady] to get, only by trying of tricks in dancing. So home, and there Captain Deane come and spent the evening with me, to draw some finishing lines on his fine draught of “The Resolution,” the best ship, by all report, in the world, and so to bed. Wonderful hot all day and night, and this the first night that I remember in my life that ever I could lie with only a sheet and one rug. So much I am now stronger than ever I remember myself, at least since before I had the stone.
16th. Up, and to the office, where Yeabsly and Lanyon come to town and to speak with me about a matter wherein they are accused of cheating the King before the Lords’ Commissioners of Tangier, and I doubt it true, but I have no hand in it, but will serve them what I can. All the morning at the office, and at noon dined at home, and then to the office again, where we met to finish the draft of the Victualler’s contract, and so I by water with my Lord Brouncker to Arundell House, to the Royall Society, and there saw an experiment of a dog’s being tied through the back, about the spinal artery, and thereby made void of all motion; and the artery being loosened again, the dog recovers. Thence to Cooper’s, and saw his advance on my wife’s picture, which will be indeed very fine. So with her to the ‘Change, to buy some things, and here I first bought of the sempstress next my bookseller’s, where the pretty young girl is, that will be a great beauty. So home, and to supper with my wife in the garden, it being these two days excessively hot, and so to bed.
17th. Up, and fitted myself to discourse before the Council about business of tickets. So to White Hall, where waited on the Duke of York, and then the Council about that business; and I did discourse to their liking, only was too high to assert that nothing could be invented to secure the King more in the business of tickets than there is; which the Duke of Buckingham did except against, and I could have answered, but forbore; but all liked very well. Thence home, and with my wife and Deb. to the King’s House to see a play revived called The ——— a sorry mean play, that vexed us to sit in so much heat of the weather to hear it. Thence to see Betty Michell newly lain in, and after a little stay we took water and to Spring Garden, and there walked, and supped, and staid late, and with much pleasure, and to bed. The weather excessive hot, so as we were forced to lie in two beds, and I only with a sheet and rug, which is colder than ever I remember I could bear.
18th. At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home and Creed with me, who I do really begin to hate, and do use him with some reservedness. Here was also my old acquaintance, Will Swan, to see me, who continues a factious fanatick still, and I do use him civilly, in expectation that those fellows may grow great again. Thence to the office, and then with my wife to the ‘Change and Unthanke’s, after having been at Cooper’s and sat there for her picture, which will be a noble picture, but yet I think not so like as Hales’s is. So home and to my office, and then to walk in the garden, and home to supper and to bed. They say the King of France is making a war again, in Flanders, with the King of Spain; the King of Spain refusing to give him all that he says was promised him in the treaty. Creed told me this day how when the King was at my Lord Cornwallis’s when he went last to Newmarket, that being there on a Sunday, the Duke of Buckingham did in the afternoon to please the King make a bawdy sermon to him out of Canticles, and that my Lord Cornwallis did endeavour to get the King a whore, and that must be a pretty girl the daughter of the parson of the place, but that she did get away, and leaped off of some place and killed herself, which if true is very sad.
19th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, and there I up and down in the house spent the morning getting things ready against noon, when come Mr. Cooper, Hales, Harris, Mr. Butler, that wrote Hudibras, and Mr. Cooper’s cozen Jacke; and by and by comes Mr. Reeves and his wife, whom I never saw before: and there we dined: a good dinner, and company that pleased me mightily, being all eminent men in their way. Spent all the afternoon in talk and mirth, and in the evening parted, and then my wife and I to walk in the garden, and so home to supper, Mrs. Turner and husband and daughter with us, and then to bed.
20th. Up, and to the office, where Mrs. Daniel comes. . . . All the morning at the office. Dined at home, then with Mr. Colvill to the new Excise Office in Aldersgate Street, and thence back to the Old Exchange, to see a very noble fine lady I spied as I went through, in coming; and there took occasion to buy some gloves, and admire her, and a mighty fine fair lady indeed she was. Thence idling all the afternoon to Duck Lane, and there saw my bookseller’s moher, but get no ground there yet; and here saw Mrs. Michell’s daughter married newly to a bookseller, and she proves a comely little grave woman. So to visit my Lord Crew, who is very sick, to great danger, by an irisipulus; —[Erysipelas.]— the first day I heard of it, and so home, and took occasion to buy a rest for my espinette at the ironmonger’s by Holborn Conduit, where the fair pretty woman is that I have lately observed there, and she is pretty, and je credo vain enough. Thence home and busy till night, and so to bed.
21st. Up, and to St. James’s, but lost labour, the Duke abroad. So home to the office, where all the morning, and so to dinner, and then all the afternoon at the office, only went to my plate-maker’s, and there spent an hour about contriving my little plates,1 for my books of the King’s four Yards. At night walked in the garden, and supped and to bed, my eyes bad.
1 This passage has been frequently quoted as referring to Pepys’s. small bookplate, with his initials S. P. and two anchors and ropes entwined; but if looked at carefully with the further reference on the 27th, it will be seen that it merely describes the preparation of engravings of the four dockyards.
22nd. All the morning at the office. Dined at home, and then to White Hall with Symson the joyner, and after attending at the Committee of the Navy about the old business of tickets, where the only expedient they have found is to bind the Commanders and Officers by oaths. The Duke of York told me how the Duke of Buckingham, after the Council the other day, did make mirth at my position, about the sufficiency of present rules in the business of tickets; and here I took occasion to desire a private discourse with the Duke of York, and he granted it to me on Friday next. So to shew Symson the King’s new lodgings for his chimnies, which I desire to have one built in that mode, and so I home, and with little supper, to bed. This day a falling out between my wife and Deb., about a hood lost, which vexed me.
23rd. Up, and all day long, but at dinner, at the Office, at work, till I was almost blind, which makes my heart sad.
24th. Up, and by water to St. James’s, having, by the way, shewn Symson Sir W. Coventry’s chimney-pieces, in order to the making me one; and there, after the Duke of York was ready, he called me to his closet; and there I did long and largely show him the weakness of our Office, and did give him advice to call us to account for our duties, which he did take mighty well, and desired me to draw up what I would have him write to the Office. I did lay open the whole failings of the Office, and how it was his duty to find them, and to find fault with them, as Admiral, especially at this time, which he agreed to, and seemed much to rely on what I said. Thence to White Hall, and there waited to attend the Council, but was not called in, and so home, and after dinner back with Sir J. Minnes by coach, and there attended, all of us, the Duke of York, and had the hearing of Mr. Pett’s business, the Master–Shipwright at Chatham, and I believe he will be put out. But here Commissioner. Middleton did, among others, shew his good-nature and easiness to the Masters–Attendants, by mitigating their faults, so as, I believe, they will come in again. So home, and to supper and to bed, the Duke of York staying with us till almost night.
25th. Up, and at the Office all the morning; and at noon, after dinner, to Cooper’s, it being a very rainy day, and there saw my wife’s picture go on, which will be very fine indeed. And so home again to my letters, and then to supper and to bed.
26th (Lord’s day). Up, and all the morning and after dinner, the afternoon also, with W. Hewer in my closet, setting right my Tangier Accounts, which I have let alone these six months and more, but find them very right, and is my great comfort. So in the evening to walk with my wife, and to supper and to bed.
27th. Busy all the morning at my office. At noon dined, and then I out of doors to my bookseller in Duck Lane, but su moher not at home, and it was pretty here to see a pretty woman pass by with a little wanton look, and je did sequi her round about the street from Duck Lane to Newgate Market, and then elle did turn back, and je did lose her. And so to see my Lord Crew, whom I find up; and did wait on him; but his face sore, but in hopes to do now very well again. Thence to Cooper’s, where my wife’s picture almost done, and mighty fine indeed. So over the water with my wife, and Deb., and Mercer, to Spring–Garden, and there eat and walked; and observe how rude some of the young gallants of the town are become, to go into people’s arbours where there are not men, and almost force the women; which troubled me, to see the confidence of the vice of the age: and so we away by water, with much pleasure home. This day my plate-maker comes with my four little plates of the four Yards, cost me £5, which troubles me, but yet do please me also.
28th. All the morning at the office, and after dinner with my wife and Deb. to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “The Slighted Maid,” but a mean play; and thence home, there being little pleasure now in a play, the company being but little. Here we saw Gosnell, who is become very homely, and sings meanly, I think, to what I thought she did.
29th. Busy all the morning at the office. So home to dinner, where Mercer, and there comes Mr. Swan, my old acquaintance, and dines with me, and tells me, for a certainty, that Creed is to marry Betty Pickering, and that the thing is concluded, which I wonder at, and am vexed for. So he gone I with my wife and two girls to the King’s house, and saw “The Mad Couple,” a mean play altogether, and thence to Hyde Parke, where but few coaches, and so to the New Exchange, and thence by water home, with much pleasure, and then to sing in the garden, and so home to bed, my eyes for these four days being my trouble, and my heart thereby mighty sad.
30th. Up, and by water to White Hall. There met with Mr. May, who was giving directions about making a close way for people to go dry from the gate up into the House, to prevent their going through the galleries; which will be very good. I staid and talked with him about the state of the King’s Offices in general, and how ill he is served, and do still find him an excellent person, and so back to the office. So close at my office all the afternoon till evening, and then out with my wife to the New Exchange, and so back again.
31st. Up, and at my office all the morning. About noon with Mr. Ashburnham to the new Excise Office, and there discoursed about our business, and I made him admire my drawing a thing presently in shorthand: but, God knows! I have paid dear for it, in my eyes. Home and to dinner, and then my wife and Deb. and I, with Sir J. Minnes, to White Hall, she going hence to the New Exchange, and the Duke of York not being in the way, Sir J. Minnes and I to her and took them two to the King’s house, to see the first day of Lacy’s “Monsieur Ragou,” now new acted. The King and Court all there, and mighty merry — a farce. Thence Sir J. Minnes giving us, like a gentleman, his coach, hearing we had some business, we to the Park, and so home. Little pleasure there, there being little company, but mightily taken with a little chariot that we saw in the street, and which we are resolved to have ours like it. So home to walk in the garden a little, and then to bed. The month ends mighty sadly with me, my eyes being now past all use almost; and I am mighty hot upon trying the late printed experiment of paper tubes.1
1 An account of these tubulous spectacles (“An easy help for decayed sight”) is given in “The Philosophical Transactions,” No. 37, pp. 727,731 (Hutton’s Abridgment, vol. i., p. 266). See Diary, August 12th and 23rd, post.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:12