August 1st. This morning Sir Williams both, and my wife and I and Mrs. Margarett Pen (this first time that I have seen her since she came from Ireland) went by coach to Walthamstow, a-gossiping to Mrs. Browne, where I did give her six silver spoons —[But not the porringer of silver. See May 29th, 1661. — M. B]— for her boy. Here we had a venison pasty, brought hot from London, and were very merry. Only I hear how nurse’s husband has spoken strangely of my Lady Batten how she was such a man’s whore, who indeed is known to leave her her estate, which we would fain have reconciled today, but could not and indeed I do believe that the story is true. Back again at night home.
2d. At the office all the morning. At noon Dr. Thos. Pepys dined with me, and after dinner my brother Tom came to me and then I made myself ready to get a-horseback for Cambridge. So I set out and rode to Ware, this night, in the way having much discourse with a fellmonger — [A dealer in hides.]— a Quaker, who told me what a wicked man he had been all his life-time till within this two years. Here I lay, and
3rd. Got up early the next morning and got to Barkway, where I staid and drank, and there met with a letter-carrier of Cambridge, with whom I rode all the way to Cambridge, my horse being tired, and myself very wet with rain. I went to the Castle Hill, where the judges were at the Assizes; and I staid till Roger Pepys rose and went with him, and dined with his brother, the Doctor, and Claxton at Trinity Hall. Then parted, and I went to the Rose, and there with Mr. Pechell, Sanchy, and others, sat and drank till night and were very merry, only they tell me how high the old doctors are in the University over those they found there, though a great deal better scholars than themselves; for which I am very sorry, and, above all, Dr. Gunning. At night I took horse, and rode with Roger Pepys and his two brothers to Impington, and there with great respect was led up by them to the best chamber in the house, and there slept.
4th (Lord’s day). Got up, and by and by walked into the orchard with my cozen Roger, and there plucked some fruit, and then discoursed at large about the business I came for, that is, about my uncle’s will, in which he did give me good satisfaction, but tells me I shall meet with a great deal of trouble in it. However, in all things he told me what I am to expect and what to do. To church, and had a good plain sermon, and my uncle Talbot went with us and at our coming in the country-people all rose with so much reverence; and when the parson begins, he begins “Right worshipfull and dearly beloved” to us. Home to dinner, which was very good, and then to church again, and so home and to walk up and down and so to supper, and after supper to talk about publique matters, wherein Roger Pepys —(who I find a very sober man, and one whom I do now honour more than ever before for this discourse sake only) told me how basely things have been carried in Parliament by the young men, that did labour to oppose all things that were moved by serious men. That they are the most prophane swearing fellows that ever he heard in his life, which makes him think that they will spoil all, and bring things into a warr again if they can. So to bed.
5th. Early to Huntingdon, but was fain to stay a great while at Stanton because of the rain, and there borrowed a coat of a man for 6d., and so he rode all the way, poor man, without any. Staid at Huntingdon for a little, but the judges are not come hither: so I went to Brampton, and there found my father very well, and my aunt gone from the house, which I am glad of, though it costs us a great deal of money, viz. £10. Here I dined, and after dinner took horse and rode to Yelling, to my cozen Nightingale’s, who hath a pretty house here, and did learn of her all she could tell me concerning my business, and has given me some light by her discourse how I may get a surrender made for Graveley lands. Hence to Graveley, and there at an alehouse met with Chancler and Jackson (one of my tenants for Cotton closes) and another with whom I had a great deal of discourse, much to my satisfaction. Hence back again to Brampton and after supper to bed, being now very quiet in the house, which is a content to us.
6th. Up early and went to Mr. Phillips, but lost my labour, he lying at Huntingdon last night, so I went back again and took horse and rode thither, where I staid with Thos. Trice and Mr. Philips drinking till noon, and then Tom Trice and I to Brampton, where he to Goody Gorum’s and I home to my father, who could discern that I had been drinking, which he did never see or hear of before, so I eat a bit of dinner and went with him to Gorum’s, and there talked with Tom Trice, and then went and took horse for London, and with much ado, the ways being very bad, got to Baldwick, and there lay and had a good supper by myself. The landlady being a pretty woman, but I durst not take notice of her, her husband being there. Before supper I went to see the church, which is a very handsome church, but I find that both here, and every where else that I come, the Quakers do still continue, and rather grow than lessen. To bed.
7th. Called up at three o’clock, and was a-horseback by four; and as I was eating my breakfast I saw a man riding by that rode a little way upon the road with me last night; and he being going with venison in his pan-yards to London, I called him in and did give him his breakfast with me, and so we went together all the way. At Hatfield we bayted and walked into the great house through all the courts; and I would fain have stolen a pretty dog that followed me, but I could not, which troubled me. To horse again, and by degrees with much ado got to London, where I found all well at home and at my father’s and my Lady’s, but no news yet from my Lord where he is. At my Lady’s (whither I went with Dean Fuller, who came to my house to see me just as I was come home) I met with Mr. Moore, who told me at what a loss he was for me, for tomorrow is a Seal day at the Privy Seal, and it being my month, I am to wait upon my Lord Roberts, Lord Privy Seal, at the Seal. Home and to bed.
8th. Early in the mornink to Whitehall, but my Lord Privy Seal came not all the morning. At noon Mr. Moore and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, where my Lady and all merry and well. Back again to the Privy Seal; but my Lord comes not all the afternoon, which made me mad and gives all the world reason to talk of his delaying of business, as well as of his severity and ill using of the Clerks of the Privy Seal. In the evening I took Mons. Eschar and Mr. Moore and Dr. Pierce’s brother (the souldier) to the tavern next the Savoy, and there staid and drank with them. Here I met with Mr. Mage, and discoursing of musique Mons. Eschar spoke so much against the English and in praise of the French that made him mad, and so he went away. After a stay with them a little longer we parted and I home.
9th. To the office, where word is brought me by a son-inlaw of Mr. Pierces; the purser, that his father is a dying and that he desires that I would come to him before he dies. So I rose from the table and went, where I found him not so ill as I thought that he had been ill. So I did promise to be a friend to his wife and family if he should die, which was all he desired of me, but I do believe he will recover. Back again to the office, where I found Sir G. Carteret had a day or two ago invited some of the officers to dinner today at Deptford. So at noon, when I heard that he was a-coming, I went out, because I would see whether he would send to me or no to go with them; but he did not, which do a little trouble me till I see how it comes to pass. Although in other things I am glad of it because of my going again today to the Privy Seal. I dined at home, and having dined news is brought by Mr. Hater that his wife is now falling into labour, so he is come for my wife, who presently went with him. I to White Hall, where, after four o’clock, comes my Lord Privy Seal, and so we went up to his chamber over the gate at White Hall, where he asked me what deputacon I had from My Lord. I told him none; but that I am sworn my Lord’s deputy by both of the Secretarys, which did satisfy him. So he caused Mr. Moore to read over all the bills as is the manner, and all ended very well. So that I see the Lyon is not so fierce as he is painted. That being done Mons. Eschar (who all this afternoon had been waiting at the Privy Seal for the Warrant for £5,000 for my Lord of Sandwich’s preparation for Portugal) and I took some wine with us and went to visit la belle Pierce, who we find very big with child, and a pretty lady, one Mrs. Clifford, with her, where we staid and were extraordinary merry. From thence I took coach to my father’s, where I found him come home this day from Brampton (as I expected) very well, and after some discourse about business and it being very late I took coach again home, where I hear by my wife that Mrs. Hater is not yet delivered, but continues in her pains. So to bed.
10th. This morning came the maid that my wife hath lately hired for a chamber maid. She is very ugly, so that I cannot care for her, but otherwise she seems very good. But however she do come about three weeks hence, when my wife comes back from Brampton, if she go with my father. By and by came my father to my house, and so he and I went and found out my uncle Wight at the Coffee House, and there did agree with him to meet the next week with my uncle Thomas and read over the Captain’s will before them both for their satisfaction. Having done with him I went to my Lady’s and dined with her, and after dinner took the two young gentlemen and the two ladies and carried them and Captain Ferrers to the Theatre, and shewed them “The merry Devill of Edmunton,” which is a very merry play, the first time I ever saw it, which pleased me well. And that being done I took them all home by coach to my house and there gave them fruit to eat and wine. So by water home with them, and so home myself.
11th (Lord’s day). To our own church in the forenoon, and in the afternoon to Clerkenwell Church, only to see the two1 fayre Botelers; —[Mrs. Frances Butler and her sister.]— and I happened to be placed in the pew where they afterwards came to sit, but the pew by their coming being too full, I went out into the next, and there sat, and had my full view of them both, but I am out of conceit now with them, Colonel Dillon being come back from Ireland again, and do still court them, and comes to church with them, which makes me think they are not honest. Hence to Graye’s-Inn walks, and there staid a good while; where I met with Ned Pickering, who told me what a great match of hunting of a stagg the King had yesterday; and how the King tired all their horses, and come home with not above two or three able to keep pace with him. So to my father’s, and there supped, and so home.
1 A comedy acted at the Globe, and first printed in 1608. In the original entry in the Stationers’ books it is said to be by T. B., which may stand for Tony or Anthony Brewer. The play has been attributed without authority both to Shakespeare and to Drayton.
12th. At the office this morning. At home in the afternoon, and had notice that my Lord Hinchingbroke is fallen ill, which I fear is with the fruit that I did give them on Saturday last at my house: so in the evening I went thither and there found him very ill, and in great fear of the smallpox. I supped with my Lady, and did consult about him, but we find it best to let him lie where he do; and so I went home with my heart full of trouble for my Lord Hinchinabroke’s sickness, and more for my Lord Sandwich’s himself, whom we are now confirmed is sick ashore at Alicante, who, if he should miscarry, God knows in what condition would his family be. I dined today with my Lord Crew, who is now at Sir H. Wright’s, while his new house is making fit for him, and he is much troubled also at these things.
13th. To the Privy Seal in the morning, then to the Wardrobe to dinner, where I met my wife, and found my young Lord very ill. So my Lady intends to send her other three sons, Sidney, Oliver, and John, to my house, for fear of the small-pox. After dinner I went to my father’s, where I found him within, and went up to him, and there found him settling his papers against his removal, and I took some old papers of difference between me and my wife and took them away. After that Pall being there I spoke to my father about my intention not to keep her longer for such and such reasons, which troubled him and me also, and had like to have come to some high words between my mother and me, who is become a very simple woman. By and by comes in Mrs. Cordery to take her leave of my father, thinking he was to go presently into the country, and will have us to come and see her before he do go. Then my father and I went forth to Mr. Rawlinson’s, where afterwards comes my uncle Thomas and his two sons, and then my uncle Wight by appointment of us all, and there we read the will and told them how things are, and what our thoughts are of kindness to my uncle Thomas if he do carry himself peaceable, but otherwise if he persist to keep his caveat up against us. So he promised to withdraw it, and seemed to be very well contented with things as they are. After a while drinking, we paid all and parted, and so I home, and there found my Lady’s three sons come, of which I am glad that I am in condition to do her and my Lord any service in this kind, but my mind is yet very much troubled about my Lord of Sandwich’s health, which I am afeard of.
14th. This morning Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen and I, waited upon the Duke of York in his chamber, to give him an account of the condition of the Navy for lack of money, and how our own very bills are offered upon the Exchange, to be sold at 20 in the 100 loss. He is much troubled at it, and will speak to the King and Council of it this morning. So I went to my Lady’s and dined with her, and found my Lord Hinchingbroke somewhat better. After dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Theatre, and there saw “The Alchymist;” and there I saw Sir W. Pen, who took us when the play was done and carried the Captain to Paul’s and set him down, and me home with him, and he and I to the Dolphin, but not finding Sir W. Batten there, we went and carried a bottle of wine to his house, and there sat a while and talked, and so home to bed. At home I found a letter from Mr. Creed of the 15th of July last, that tells me that my Lord is rid of his pain (which was wind got into the muscles of his right side) and his feaver, and is now in hopes to go aboard in a day or two, which do give me mighty great comfort.
15th. To the Privy Seal and Whitehall, up and down, and at noon Sir W. Pen carried me to Paul’s, and so I walked to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, and there told her, of my Lord’s sickness (of which though it hath been the town-talk this fortnight, she had heard nothing) and recovery, of which she was glad, though hardly persuaded of the latter. I found my Lord Hinchingbroke better and better, and the worst past. Thence to the Opera, which begins again today with “The Witts,” never acted yet with scenes; and the King and Duke and Duchess were there (who dined today with Sir H. Finch, reader at the Temple, in great state); and indeed it is a most excellent play, and admirable scenes. So home and was overtaken by Sir W. Pen in his coach, who has been this afternoon with my Lady Batten, &c., at the Theatre. So I followed him to the Dolphin, where Sir W. Batten was, and there we sat awhile, and so home after we had made shift to fuddle Mr. Falconer of Woolwich. So home.
16th. At the office all the morning, though little to be done; because all our clerks are gone to the buriall of Tom Whitton, one of the Controller’s clerks, a very ingenious, and a likely young man to live, as any in the Office. But it is such a sickly time both in City and country every where (of a sort of fever), that never was heard of almost, unless it was in a plague-time.
Among others, the famous Tom Fuller is dead of it; and Dr. Nichols, Dean of Paul’s; and my Lord General Monk is very dangerously ill. Dined at home with the children and were merry, and my father with me; who after dinner he and I went forth about business. Among other things we found one Dr. John Williams at an alehouse, where we staid till past nine at night, in Shoe Lane, talking about our country business, and I found him so well acquainted with the matters of Gravely that I expect he will be of great use to me. So by link home. I understand my Aunt Fenner is upon the point of death.
17th. At the Privy Seal, where we had a seal this morning. Then met with Ned Pickering, and walked with him into St. James’s Park (where I had not been a great while), and there found great and very noble alterations. And, in our discourse, he was very forward to complain and to speak loud of the lewdness and beggary of the Court, which I am sorry to hear, and which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again. So he and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, and after dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Opera, and saw “The Witts” again, which I like exceedingly. The Queen of Bohemia was here, brought by my Lord Craven. So the Captain and I and another to the Devil tavern and drank, and so by coach home. Troubled in mind that I cannot bring myself to mind my business, but to be so much in love of plays. We have been at a great loss a great while for a vessel that I sent about a month ago with, things of my Lord’s to Lynn, and cannot till now hear of them, but now we are told that they are put into Soale Bay, but to what purpose I know not.
18th (Lord’s day). To our own church in the morning and so home to dinner, where my father and Dr. Tom Pepys came to me to dine, and were very merry. After dinner I took my wife and Mr. Sidney to my Lady to see my Lord Hinchingbroke, who is now pretty well again, and sits up and walks about his chamber. So I went to White Hall, and there hear that my Lord General Monk continues very ill: so I went to la belle Pierce and sat with her; and then to walk in St. James’s Park, and saw great variety of fowl which I never saw before and so home. At night fell to read in “Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity,” which Mr. Moore did give me last Wednesday very handsomely bound; and which I shall read with great pains and love for his sake. So to supper and to bed.
19th. At the office all the morning; at noon the children are sent for by their mother my Lady Sandwich to dinner, and my wife goes along with them by coach, and she to my father’s and dines there, and from thence with them to see Mrs. Cordery, who do invite them before my father goes into the country, and thither I should have gone too but that I am sent for to the Privy Seal, and there I found a thing of my Lord Chancellor’s1 to be sealed this afternoon, and so I am forced to go to Worcester House, where severall Lords are met in Council this afternoon. And while I am waiting there, in comes the King in a plain common riding-suit and velvet cap, in which he seemed a very ordinary man to one that had not known him. Here I staid till at last, hearing that my Lord Privy Seal had not the seal here, Mr. Moore and I hired a coach and went to Chelsy, and there at an alehouse sat and drank and past the time till my Lord Privy Seal came to his house, and so we to him and examined and sealed the thing, and so homewards, but when we came to look for our coach we found it gone, so we were fain to walk home afoot and saved our money. We met with a companion that walked with us, and coming among some trees near the Neate houses, he began to whistle, which did give us some suspicion, but it proved that he that answered him was Mr. Marsh (the Lutenist) and his wife, and so we all walked to Westminster together, in our way drinking a while at my cost, and had a song of him, but his voice is quite lost. So walked home, and there I found that my Lady do keep the children at home, and lets them not come any more hither at present, which a little troubles me to lose their company. This day my aunt Fenner dyed.
1 This “thing” was probably one of those large grants which Clarendon quietly, or, as he himself says, “without noise or scandal,” procured from the king. Besides lands and manors, Clarendon states at one time that the king gave him a “little billet into his hand, that contained a warrant of his own hand-writing to Sir Stephen Fox to pay to the Chancellor the sum of £20,000 — [approximately 10 million dollars in the year 2000]— of which nobody could have notice.” In 1662 he received £5,000 out of the money voted to the king by the Parliament of Ireland, as he mentions in his vindication of himself against the impeachment of the Commons; and we shall see that Pepys, in February, 1664, names another sum of £20,000 given to the Chancellor to clear the mortgage upon Clarendon Park; and this last sum, it was believed, was paid from the money received from France by the sale of Dunkirk. — B.
20th. At the office in the morning and all the afternoon at home to put my papers in order. This day we come to some agreement with Sir R. Ford for his house to be added to the office to enlarge our quarters.
21st. This morning by appointment I went to my father, and after a morning draft he and I went to Dr. Williams, but he not within we went to Mrs. Terry, a daughter of Mr. Whately’s, who lately offered a proposal of her sister for a wife for my brother Tom, and with her we discoursed about and agreed to go to her mother this afternoon to speak with her, and in the meantime went to Will. Joyce’s and to an alehouse, and drank a good while together, he being very angry that his father Fenner will give him and his brother no more for mourning than their father did give him and my aunt at their mother’s death, and a very troublesome fellow I still find him to be, that his company ever wearys me. From thence about two o’clock to Mrs. Whately’s, but she being going to dinner we went to Whitehall and there staid till past three, and here I understand by Mr. Moore that my Lady Sandwich is brought to bed yesterday of a young Lady, and is very well. So to Mrs. Whately’s again, and there were well received, and she desirous to have the thing go forward, only is afeard that her daughter is too young and portion not big enough, but offers £200 down with her. The girl is very well favoured,, and a very child, but modest, and one I think will do very well for my brother: so parted till she hears from Hatfield from her husband, who is there; but I find them very desirous of it, and so am I. Hence home to my father’s, and I to the Wardrobe, where I supped with the ladies, and hear their mother is well and the young child, and so home.
22nd. To the Privy Seal, and sealed; so home at noon, and there took my wife by coach to my uncle Fenner’s, where there was both at his house and the Sessions, great deal of company, but poor entertainment, which I wonder at; and the house so hot, that my uncle Wight, my father and I were fain to go out, and stay at an alehouse awhile to cool ourselves. Then back again and to church, my father’s family being all in mourning, doing him the greatest honour, the world believing that he did give us it: so to church, and staid out the sermon, and then with my aunt Wight, my wife, and Pall and I to her house by coach, and there staid and supped upon a Westphalia ham, and so home and to bed.
23rd. This morning I went to my father’s, and there found him and my mother in a discontent, which troubles me much, and indeed she is become very simple and unquiet. Hence he and I to Dr. Williams, and found him within, and there we sat and talked a good while, and from him to Tom Trice’s to an alehouse near, and there sat and talked, and finding him fair we examined my uncle’s will before him and Dr. Williams, and had them sign the copy and so did give T. Trice the original to prove, so he took my father and me to one of the judges of the Court, and there we were sworn, and so back again to the alehouse and drank and parted. Dr. Williams and I to a cook’s where we eat a bit of mutton, and away, I to W. Joyce’s, where by appointment my wife was, and I took her to the Opera, and shewed her “The Witts,” which I had seen already twice, and was most highly pleased with it. So with my wife to the Wardrobe to see my Lady, and then home.
24th. At the office all the morning and did business; by and by we are called to Sir W. Batten’s to see the strange creature that Captain Holmes hath brought with him from Guiny; it is a great baboon, but so much like a man in most things, that though they say there is a species of them, yet I cannot believe but that it is a monster got of a man and she-baboon. I do believe that it already understands much English, and I am of the mind it might be taught to speak or make signs. Hence the Comptroller and I to Sir Rd. Ford’s and viewed the house again, and are come to a complete end with him to give him £200 per an. for it. Home and there met Capt. Isham inquiring for me to take his leave of me, he being upon his voyage to Portugal, and for my letters to my Lord which are not ready. But I took him to the Mitre and gave him a glass of sack, and so adieu, and then straight to the Opera, and there saw “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” done with scenes very well, but above all, Betterton1 did the prince’s part beyond imagination. Hence homeward, and met with Mr. Spong and took him to the Sampson in Paul’s churchyard, and there staid till late, and it rained hard, so we were fain to get home wet, and so to bed.
1 Sir William Davenant introduced the use of scenery. The character of Hamlet was one of Betterton’s masterpieces. Downes tells us that he was taught by Davenant how the part was acted by Taylor of the Blackfriars, who was instructed by Shakespeare himself.
25th (Lord’s day). At church in the morning, and dined at home alone with my wife very comfortably, and so again to church with her, and had a very good and pungent sermon of Mr. Mills, discoursing the necessity of restitution. Home, and I found my Lady Batten and her daughter to look something askew upon my wife, because my wife do not buckle to them, and is not solicitous for their acquaintance, which I am not troubled at at all. By and by comes in my father (he intends to go into the country tomorrow), and he and I among other discourse at last called Pall up to us, and there in great anger told her before my father that I would keep her no longer, and my father he said he would have nothing to do with her. At last, after we had brought down her high spirit, I got my father to yield that she should go into the country with my mother and him, and stay there awhile to see how she will demean herself. That being done, my father and I to my uncle Wight’s, and there supped, and he took his leave of them, and so I walked with [him] as far as Paul’s and there parted, and I home, my mind at some rest upon this making an end with Pall, who do trouble me exceedingly.
26th. This morning before I went out I made even with my maid Jane, who has this day been my maid three years, and is this day to go into the country to her mother. The poor girl cried, and I could hardly forbear weeping to think of her going, for though she be grown lazy and spoilt by Pall’s coming, yet I shall never have one to please us better in all things, and so harmless, while I live. So I paid her her wages and gave her 2s. 6d. over, and bade her adieu, with my mind full of trouble at her going. Hence to my father, where he and I and Thomas together setting things even, and casting up my father’s accounts, and upon the whole I find that all he hath in money of his own due to him in the world is but £45, and he owes about the same sum: so that I cannot but think in what a condition he had left my mother if he should have died before my uncle Robert. Hence to Tom Trice for the probate of the will and had it done to my mind, which did give my father and me good content. From thence to my Lady at the Wardrobe and thence to the Theatre, and saw the “Antipodes,” wherein there is much mirth, but no great matter else. Hence with Mr. Bostock whom I met there (a clerk formerly of Mr. Phelps) to the Devil tavern, and there drank and so away. I to my uncle Fenner’s, where my father was with him at an alehouse, and so we three went by ourselves and sat talking a great while about a broker’s daughter that he do propose for a wife for Tom, with a great portion, but I fear it will not take, but he will do what he can. So we broke up, and going through the street we met with a mother and son, friends of my father’s man, Ned’s, who are angry at my father’s putting him away, which troubled me and my father, but all will be well as to that. We have news this morning of my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas being gone into the country without giving notice thereof to anybody, which puts us to a stand, but I fear them not. At night at home I found a letter from my Lord Sandwich, who is now very well again of his feaver, but not yet gone from Alicante, where he lay sick, and was twice let blood. This letter dated the 22nd July last, which puts me out of doubt of his being ill. In my coming home I called in at the Crane tavern at the Stocks by appointment, and there met and took leave of Mr. Fanshaw, who goes tomorrow and Captain Isham toward their voyage to Portugal. Here we drank a great deal of wine, I too much and Mr. Fanshaw till he could hardly go. So we took leave one of another.
27th. This morning to the Wardrobe, and there took leave of my Lord Hinchingbroke and his brother, and saw them go out by coach toward Rye in their way to France, whom God bless. Then I was called up to my Lady’s bedside, where we talked an hour about Mr. Edward Montagu’s disposing of the £5000 for my Lord’s departure for Portugal, and our fears that he will not do it to my Lord’s honour, and less to his profit, which I am to enquire a little after. Hence to the office, and there sat till noon, and then my wife and I by coach to my cozen, Thos. Pepys, the Executor, to dinner, where some ladies and my father and mother, where very merry, but methinks he makes but poor dinners for such guests, though there was a poor venison pasty. Hence my wife and I to the Theatre, and there saw “The Joviall Crew,” where the King, Duke and Duchess, and Madame Palmer, were; and my wife, to her great content, had a full sight of them all the while. The play full of mirth. Hence to my father’s, and there staid to talk a while and so by foot home by moonshine. In my way and at home, my wife making a sad story to me of her brother Balty’s a condition, and would have me to do something for him, which I shall endeavour to do, but am afeard to meddle therein for fear I shall not be able to wipe my hands of him again, when I once concern myself for him. I went to bed, my wife all the while telling me his case with tears, which troubled me.
28th. At home all the morning setting papers in order. At noon to the Exchange, and there met with Dr. Williams by appointment, and with him went up and down to look for an attorney, a friend of his, to advise with about our bond of my aunt Pepys of £200, and he tells me absolutely that we shall not be forced to pay interest for the money yet. I do doubt it very much. I spent the whole afternoon drinking with him and so home. This day I counterfeited a letter to Sir W. Pen, as from the thief that stole his tankard lately, only to abuse and laugh at him.
29th. At the office all the morning, and at noon my father, mother, and my aunt Bell (the first time that ever she was at my house) come to dine with me, and were very merry. After dinner the two women went to visit my aunt Wight, &c., and my father about other business, and I abroad to my bookseller, and there staid till four o’clock, at which time by appointment I went to meet my father at my uncle Fenner’s. So thither I went and with him to an alehouse, and there came Mr. Evans, the taylor, whose daughter we have had a mind to get for a wife for Tom, and then my father, and there we sat a good while and talked about the business; in fine he told us that he hath not to except against us or our motion, but that the estate that God hath blessed him with is too great to give where there is nothing in present possession but a trade and house; and so we friendly ended. There parted, my father and I together, and walked a little way, and then at Holborn he and I took leave of one another, he being to go to Brampton (to settle things against my mother comes) tomorrow morning. So I home.
30th. At noon my wife and I met at the Wardrobe, and there dined with the children, and after dinner up to my Lady’s bedside, and talked and laughed a good while. Then my wife end I to Drury Lane to the French comedy, which was so ill done, and the scenes and company and every thing else so nasty and out of order and poor, that I was sick all the while in my mind to be there. Here my wife met with a son of my Lord Somersett, whom she knew in France, a pretty man; I showed him no great countenance, to avoyd further acquaintance. That done, there being nothing pleasant but the foolery of the farce, we went home.
31st. At home and the office all the morning, and at noon comes Luellin to me, and he and I to the tavern and after that to Bartholomew fair, and there upon his motion to a pitiful alehouse, where we had a dirty slut or two come up that were whores, but my very heart went against them, so that I took no pleasure but a great deal of trouble in being there and getting from thence for fear of being seen. From hence he and I walked towards Ludgate and parted. I back again to the fair all alone, and there met with my Ladies Jemimah and Paulina, with Mr. Pickering and Madamoiselle, at seeing the monkeys dance, which was much to see, when they could be brought to do so, but it troubled me to sit among such nasty company. After that with them into Christ’s Hospitall, and there Mr. Pickering bought them some fairings, and I did give every one of them a bauble, which was the little globes of glass with things hanging in them, which pleased the ladies very well. After that home with them in their coach, and there was called up to my Lady, and she would have me stay to talk with her, which I did I think a full hour. And the poor lady did with so much innocency tell me how Mrs. Crispe had told her that she did intend, by means of a lady that lies at her house, to get the King to be godfather to the young lady that she is in childbed now of; but to see in what a manner my Lady told it me, protesting that she sweat in the very telling of it, was the greatest pleasure to me in the world to see the simplicity and harmlessness of a lady. Then down to supper with the ladies, and so home, Mr. Moore (as he and I cannot easily part) leading me as far as Fenchurch Street to the Mitre, where we drank a glass of wine and so parted, and I home and to bed.
Thus ends the month. My maid Jane newly gone, and Pall left now to do all the work till another maid comes, which shall not be till she goes away into the country with my mother. Myself and wife in good health. My Lord Sandwich in the Straits and newly recovered of a great sickness at Alicante. My father gone to settle at Brampton, and myself under much business and trouble for to settle things in the estate to our content. But what is worst, I find myself lately too much given to seeing of plays, and expense, and pleasure, which makes me forget my business, which I must labour to amend. No money comes in, so that I have been forced to borrow a great deal for my own expenses, and to furnish my father, to leave things in order. I have some trouble about my brother Tom, who is now left to keep my father’s trade, in which I have great fears that he will miscarry for want of brains and care. At Court things are in very ill condition, there being so much emulacion, poverty, and the vices of drinking, swearing, and loose amours, that I know not what will be the end of it, but confusion. And the Clergy so high, that all people that I meet with do protest against their practice. In short, I see no content or satisfaction any where, in any one sort of people. The Benevolence1 proves so little, and an occasion of so much discontent every where; that it had better it had never been set up. I think to subscribe £20. We are at our Office quiet, only for lack of money all things go to rack. Our very bills offered to be sold upon the Exchange at 10 per cent. loss. We are upon getting Sir R. Ford’s house added to our Office. But I see so many difficulties will follow in pleasing of one another in the dividing of it, and in becoming bound personally to pay the rent of £200 per annum, that I do believe it will yet scarce come to pass. The season very sickly every where of strange and fatal fevers.
1 A voluntary contribution made by the subjects to their sovereign. Upon this occasion the clergy alone gave £33,743: See May 31st, 1661. — B
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53