September 1st (Lord’s day). Last night being very rainy [the rain] broke into my house, the gutter being stopped, and spoiled all my ceilings almost. At church in the morning, and dined at home with my wife. After dinner to Sir W. Batten’s, where I found Sir W. Pen and Captain Holmes. Here we were very merry with Sir W. Pen about the loss of his tankard, though all be but a cheat, and he do not yet understand it; but the tankard was stole by Sir W. Batten, and the letter, as from the thief, wrote by me, which makes: very good sport. Here I staid all the afternoon, and then Captain Holmes and I by coach to White Hall; in our way, I found him by discourse, to be a great friend of my Lord’s, and he told me there was many did seek to remove him; but they were old seamen, such as Sir J. Minnes (but he would name no more, though I do believe Sir W. Batten is one of them that do envy him), but he says he knows that the King do so love him, and the Duke of York too, that there is no fear of him. He seems to be very well acquainted with the King’s mind, and with all the several factions at Court, and spoke all with so much frankness, that I do take him to be my Lord’s good friend, and one able to do him great service, being a cunning fellow, and one (by his own confession to me) that can put on two several faces, and look his enemies in the face with as much love as his friends. But, good God! what an age is this, and what a world is this! that a man cannot live without playing the knave and dissimulation. At Whitehall we parted, and I to Mrs. Pierce’s, meeting her and Madam Clifford in the street, and there staid talking and laughing with them a good while, and so back to my mother’s, and there supped, and so home and to bed.
2nd. In the morning to my cozen Thos. Pepys, executor, and there talked with him about my uncle Thomas, his being in the country, but he could not advise me to anything therein, not knowing what the other has done in the country, and so we parted. And so to Whitehall, and there my Lord Privy Seal, who has been out of town this week, not being yet come, we can have no seal, and therefore meeting with Mr. Battersby the apothecary in Fenchurch Street to the King’s Apothecary’s chamber in Whitehall, and there drank a bottle or two of wine, and so he and I by water towards London. I landed at Blackfriars and so to the Wardrobe and dined, and then back to Whitehall with Captain Ferrers, and there walked, and thence to Westminster Hall, where we met with Mr. Pickering, and so all of us to the Rhenish wine house (Prior’s), where the master of the house is laying out some money in making a cellar with an arch in his yard, which is very convenient for him. Here we staid a good while, and so Mr. Pickering and I to Westminster Hall again, and there walked an hour or two talking, and though he be a fool, yet he keeps much company, and will tell all he sees or hears, and so a man may understand what the common talk of the town is, and I find by him that there are endeavours to get my Lord out of play at sea, which I believe Mr. Coventry and the Duke do think will make them more absolute; but I hope, for all this, they will not be able to do it. He tells me plainly of the vices of the Court, and how the pox is so common there, and so I hear on all hands that it is as common as eating and swearing. From him by water to the bridge, and thence to the Mitre, where I met my uncle and aunt Wight come to see Mrs. Rawlinson (in her husband’s absence out of town), and so I staid with them and Mr. Lucas and other company, very merry, and so home, Where my wife has been busy all the day making of pies, and had been abroad and bought things for herself, and tells that she met at the Change with my young ladies of the Wardrobe and there helped them to buy things, and also with Mr. Somerset, who did give her a bracelet of rings, which did a little trouble me, though I know there is no hurt yet in it, but only for fear of further acquaintance. So to bed. This night I sent another letter to Sir W. Pen to offer him the return of his tankard upon his leaving of 30s. at a place where it should be brought. The issue of which I am to expect.
3rd. This day some of us Commissioners went down to Deptford to pay off some ships, but I could not go, but staid at home all the morning setting papers to rights, and this morning Mr. Howell, our turner, sent me two things to file papers on very handsome. Dined at home, and then with my wife to the Wardrobe, where my Lady’s child was christened (my Lord Crew and his Lady, and my Lady Montagu, my Lord’s mother-inlaw, were the witnesses), and named Katherine1 (the Queen elect’s name); but to my and all our trouble, the Parson of the parish christened her, and did not sign the child with the sign of the cross. After that was done, we had a very fine banquet, the best I ever was at, and so (there being very little company) we by and by broke up, and my wife and I to my mother, who I took a liberty to advise about her getting things ready to go this week into the country to my father, and she (being become now-a-days very simple) took it very ill, and we had a great deal of noise and wrangling about it. So home by coach.
1 Lady Katherine Montagu, youngest daughter of Lord Sandwich, married, first, Nicholas Bacon, eldest son and heir of Sir Nicholas Bacon, K.B., of Shrubland Hall, co. Suffolk; and, secondly, the Rev. Balthazar Gardeman. She died January 15th, 1757, at ninety-six years, four months. — B.
4th. In the morning to the Privy Seal to do some things of the last month, my Lord Privy Seal having been some time out of town. Then my wife came to me to Whitehall, and we went and walked a good while in St. James’s Park to see the brave alterations, and so to Wilkinson’s, the Cook’s, to dinner, where we sent for Mrs. Sarah and there dined and had oysters, the first I have eat this year, and were pretty good. After dinner by agreement to visit Mrs. Symonds, but she is abroad, which I wonder at, and so missing her my wife again to my mother’s (calling at Mrs. Pierce’s, who we found brought to bed of a girl last night) and there staid and drank, and she resolves to be going tomorrow without fail. Many friends come in to take their leave of her, but a great deal of stir I had again tonight about getting her to go to see my Lady Sandwich before she goes, which she says she will do tomorrow. So I home.
5th. To the Privy Seal this morning about business, in my way taking leave of my mother, who goes to Brampton today. But doing my business at the Privy Seal pretty soon, I took boat and went to my uncle Fenner’s, and there I found my mother and my wife and Pall (of whom I had this morning at my own house taken leave, and given her 20s. and good counsel how to carry herself to my father and mother), and so I took them, it being late, to Beard’s, where they were staid for, and so I put them into the waggon, and saw them going presently, Pall crying exceedingly. Then in with my wife, my aunt Bell and Charles Pepys, whom we met there, and drank, and so to my uncle Fenner’s to dinner (in the way meeting a French footman with feathers, who was in quest of my wife, and spoke with her privately, but I could not tell what it was, only my wife promised to go to some place tomorrow morning, which do trouble my mind how to know whither it was), where both his sons and daughters were, and there we were merry and dined. After dinner news was brought that my aunt Kite, the butcher’s widow in London, is sick ready to die and sends for my uncle and me to come to take charge of things, and to be entrusted with the care of her daughter. But I through want of time to undertake such a business, I was taken up by Antony Joyce, which came at last to very high words, which made me very angry, and I did not think that he would ever have been such a fool to meddle with other people’s business, but I saw he spoke worse to his father than to me and therefore I bore it the better, but all the company was offended with him, so we parted angry he and I, and so my wife and I to the fair, and I showed her the Italians dancing the ropes, and the women that do strange tumbling tricks and so by foot home vexed in my mind about Antony Joyce.
6th. This morning my uncle Fenner by appointment came and drank his morning draft with me, and from thence he and I go to see my aunt Kite (my wife holding her resolution to go this morning as she resolved yesterday, and though there could not be much hurt in it, yet my own jealousy put a hundred things into my mind, which did much trouble me all day), whom we found in bed and not like to live as we think, and she told us her mind was that if she should die she should give all she had to her daughter, only £5 apiece to her second husband’s children, in case they live to come out of their apprenticeships, and that if her daughter should die before marrying, then £10 to be divided between Sarah Kite’s children and the rest as her own daughter shall dispose of it, and this I set down that I may be able to swear in case there should be occasion. From thence to an alehouse while it rained, which kept us there I think above two hours, and at last we were fain to go through the rainy street home, calling on his sister Utbeck and drank there. Then I home to dinner all alone, and thence my mind being for my wife’s going abroad much troubled and unfit for business, I went to the Theatre, and saw “Elder Brother” ill acted; that done, meeting here with Sir G. Askew, Sir Theophilus Jones, and another Knight, with Sir W. Pen, we to the Ship tavern, and there staid and were merry till late at night, and so got a coach, and Sir Wm. and I home, where my wife had been long come home, but I seemed very angry, as indeed I am, and did not all night show her any countenance, neither before nor in bed, and so slept and rose discontented.
7th. At the office all the morning. At noon Mr. Moore dined with me, and then in comes Wm. Joyce to answer a letter of mine I wrote this morning to him about a maid of his that my wife had hired, and she sent us word that she was hired to stay longer with her master, which mistake he came to clear himself of; and I took it very kindly. So I having appointed the young ladies at the Wardrobe to go with them to a play today, I left him and my brother Tom who came along with him to dine, and my wife and I took them to the Theatre, where we seated ourselves close by the King, and Duke of York, and Madame Palmer, which was great content; and, indeed, I can never enough admire her beauty. And here was “Bartholomew Fayre,” with the puppet-show, acted today, which had not been these forty years (it being so satyricall against Puritanism, they durst not till now, which is strange they should already dare to do it, and the King do countenance it), but I do never a whit like it the better for the puppets, but rather the worse. Thence home with the ladies, it being by reason of our staying a great while for the King’s coming, and the length of the play, near nine o’clock before it was done, and so in their coach home, and still in discontent with my wife, to bed, and rose so this morning also.
8th (Lord’s day). To church, it being a very wet night last night and today, dined at home, and so to church again with my wife in the afternoon, and coming home again found our new maid Doll asleep, that she could not hear to let us in, so that we were fain to send the boy in at a window to open the door to us. So up to my chamber all alone, and troubled in mind to think how much of late I have addicted myself to expense and pleasure, that now I can hardly reclaim myself to look after my great business of settling Gravely business, until now almost too late. I pray God give me grace to begin now to look after my business, but it always was, and I fear will ever be, my foible that after I am once got behind-hand with business, I am hard to set to it again to recover it. In the evening I begun to look over my accounts and upon the whole I do find myself, by what I can yet see, worth near £600, for which God be blessed, which put me into great comfort. So to supper and to bed.
9th. To the Privy Seal in the morning, but my Lord did not come, so I went with Captain Morrice at his desire into the King’s Privy Kitchen to Mr. Sayres, the Master Cook, and there we had a good slice of beef or two to our breakfast, and from thence he took us into the wine cellar where, by my troth, we were very merry, and I drank too much wine, and all along had great and particular kindness from Mr. Sayres, but I drank so much wine that I was not fit for business, and therefore at noon I went and walked in Westminster Hall a while, and thence to Salisbury Court play house, where was acted the first time “’Tis pity Shee’s a Whore,” a simple play and ill acted, only it was my fortune to sit by a most pretty and most ingenious lady, which pleased me much. Thence home, and found Sir Williams both and much more company gone to the Dolphin to drink the 30s. that we got the other day of Sir W. Pen about his tankard. Here was Sir R. Slingsby, Holmes, Captn. Allen, Mr. Turner, his wife and daughter, my Lady Batten, and Mrs. Martha, &c., and an excellent company of fiddlers; so we exceeding merry till late; and then we begun to tell Sir W. Pen the business, but he had been drinking today, and so is almost gone, that we could not make him understand it, which caused us more sport. But so much the better, for I believe when he do come to understand it he will be angry, he has so talked of the business himself and the letter up and down that he will be ashamed to be found abused in it. So home and to bed.
10th. At the office all the morn, dined at home; then my wife into Wood Street to buy a chest, and thence to buy other things at my uncle Fenner’s (though by reason of rain we had ill walking), thence to my brother Tom’s, and there discoursed with him about business, and so to the Wardrobe to see my Lady, and after supper with the young ladies, bought a link and carried it myself till I met one that would light me home for the link. So he light me home with his own, and then I did give him mine. This night I found Mary, my cozen W. Joyce’s maid, come to me to be my cook maid, and so my house is full again. So to bed.
11th. Early to my cozen Thomas Trice to discourse about our affairs, and he did make demand of the £200 and the interest thereof. But for the £200 I did agree to pay him, but for the other I did desire to be advised. So from him to Dr. Williams, who did carry me into his garden, where he hath abundance of grapes; and did show me how a dog that he hath do kill all the cats that come thither to kill his pigeons, and do afterwards bury them; and do it with so much care that they shall be quite covered; that if but the tip of the tail hangs out he will take up the cat again, and dig the hole deeper. Which is very strange; and he tells me that he do believe that he hath killed above 100 cats. After he was ready we went up and down to inquire about my affairs and then parted, and to the Wardrobe, and there took Mr. Moore to Tom Trice, who promised to let Mr. Moore have copies of the bond and my aunt’s deed of gift, and so I took him home to my house to dinner, where I found my wife’s brother, Balty, as fine as hands could make him, and his servant, a Frenchman, to wait on him, and come to have my wife to visit a young lady which he is a servant to, and have hope to trepan and get for his wife. I did give way for my wife to go with him, and so after dinner they went, and Mr. Moore and I out again, he about his business and I to Dr. Williams: to talk with him again, and he and I walking through Lincoln’s Fields observed at the Opera a new play, “Twelfth Night”1 was acted there, and the King there; so I, against my own mind and resolution, could not forbear to go in, which did make the play seem a burthen to me, and I took no pleasure at all in it; and so after it was done went home with my mind troubled for my going thither, after my swearing to my wife that I would never go to a play without her. So that what with this and things going so cross to me as to matters of my uncle’s estate, makes me very much troubled in my mind, and so to bed. My wife was with her brother to see his mistress today, and says she is young, rich, and handsome, but not likely for him to get.
1 Pepys seldom liked any play of Shakespeare’s, and he sadly blundered when he supposed “Twelfth Night” was a new play.
12th. Though it was an office day, yet I was forced to go to the Privy Seal, at which I was all the morning, and from thence to my Lady’s to dinner at the Wardrobe; and in my way upon the Thames, I saw the King’s new pleasure-boat that is come now for the King to take pleasure in above bridge; and also two Gundaloes1 that are lately brought, which are very rich and fine. After dinner I went into my Lady’s chamber where I found her up now out of her childbed, which I was glad to see, and after an hour’s talk with her I took leave and to Tom Trice again, and sat talking and drinking with him about our business a great while. I do find I am likely to be forced to pay interest for the £200. By and by in comes my uncle Thomas, and as he was always a close cunning fellow, so he carries himself to me, and says nothing of what his endeavours are, though to my trouble I know that he is about recovering of Gravely, but neither I nor he began any discourse of the business. From thence to Dr. Williams (at the little blind alehouse in Shoe Lane, at the Gridiron, a place I am ashamed to be seen to go into), and there with some bland counsel of his we discuss our matters, but I find men of so different minds that by my troth I know not what to trust to. It being late I took leave, and by link home and called at Sir W. Batten’s, and there hear that Sir W. Pen do take our jest of the tankard very ill, which Pam sorry for.
1 “Two long boats that were made in Venice, called gondolas, were by the Duke of Venice (Dominico Contareni) presented to His Majesty; and the attending watermen, being four, were in very rich clothes, crimson satin; very big were their breeches and doublets; they wore also very large shirts of the same satin, very richly laced.” — Rugge’s Diurnal. — B.
13th. This morning I was sent for by my uncle Fenner to come and advise about the buriall of my aunt, the butcher, who died yesterday; and from thence to the Anchor, by Doctor’s Commons, and there Dr. Williams and I did write a letter for my purpose to Mr. Sedgewick, of Cambridge, about Gravely business, and after that I left him and an attorney with him and went to the Wardrobe, where I found my wife, and thence she and I to the water to spend the afternoon in pleasure; and so we went to old George’s, and there eat as much as we would of a hot shoulder of mutton, and so to boat again and home. So to bed, my mind very full of business and trouble.
14th. At the office all the morning, at noon to the Change, and then home again. To dinner, where my uncle Fenner by appointment came and dined with me, thinking to go together to my aunt Kite’s that is dead; but before we had dined comes Sir R. Slingsby and his lady, and a great deal of company, to take my wife and I out by barge to shew them the King’s and Duke’s yachts. So I was forced to leave my uncle and brother Tom at dinner and go forth with them, and we had great pleasure, seeing all four yachts, viz., these two and the two Dutch ones. And so home again, and after writing letters by post, to bed.
15th (Lord’s day). To my aunt Kite’s in the morning to help my uncle Fenner to put things in order against anon for the buriall, and at noon home again; and after dinner to church, my wife and I, and after sermon with my wife to the buriall of my aunt Kite, where besides us and my uncle Fenner’s family, there was none of any quality, but poor rascally people. So we went to church with the corps, and there had service read at the grave, and back again with Pegg Kite who will be, I doubt, a troublesome carrion to us executors; but if she will not be ruled, I shall fling up my executorship. After that home, and Will Joyce along with me where we sat and talked and drank and ate an hour or two, and so he went away and I up to my chamber and then to prayers and to bed.
16th. This morning I was busy at home to take in my part of our freight of Coles, which Sir G. Carteret, Sir R. Slingsby, and myself sent for, which is 10 Chaldron, 8 of which I took in, and with the other to repay Sir W. Pen what I borrowed of him a little while ago. So that from this day I should see how long 10 chaldron of coals will serve my house, if it please the Lord to let me live to see them burned. In the afternoon by appointment to meet Dr. Williams and his attorney, and they and I to Tom Trice, and there got him in discourse to confess the words that he had said that his mother did desire him not to see my uncle about her £200 bond while she was alive. Here we were at high words with T. Trice and then parted, and we to Standing’s, in Fleet Street, where we sat and drank and talked a great while about my going down to Gravely Court,1 which will be this week, whereof the Doctor had notice in a letter from his sister this week. In the middle of our discourse word was brought me from my brother’s that there is a fellow come from my father out of the country, on purpose to speak to me, so I went to him and he made a story how he had lost his letter, but he was sure it was for me to go into the country, which I believed, and thought it might be to give me notice of Gravely Court, but I afterwards found that it was a rogue that did use to play such tricks to get money of people, but he got none of me. At night I went home, and there found letters-from my father informing me of the Court, and that I must come down and meet him at Impington, which I presently resolved to do,
1 The manorial court of Graveley, in Huntingdonshire, to which Impington owed suit or service, and under which the Pepys’s copyhold estates were held. See July 8th, 1661, ante. — B.
17th. And the next morning got up, telling my wife of my journey, and she with a few words got me to hire her a horse to go along with me. So I went to my Lady’s and elsewhere to take leave, and of Mr. Townsend did borrow a very fine side-saddle for my wife; and so after all things were ready, she and I took coach to the end of the town towards Kingsland, and there got upon my horse and she upon her pretty mare that I hired for her, and she rides very well. By the mare at one time falling she got a fall, but no harm; so we got to Ware, and there supped, and to bed very merry and pleasant.
18th. The next morning up early and begun our march; the way about Puckridge —[Puckeridge, a village in Hertfordshire six and a half miles N.N.E, of Ware.]— very bad, and my wife, in the very last dirty place of all, got a fall, but no hurt, though some dirt. At last she begun, poor wretch, to be tired, and I to be angry at it, but I was to blame; for she is a very good companion as long as she is well. In the afternoon we got to Cambridge, where I left my wife at my cozen Angier’s while I went to Christ’s College, and there found my brother in his chamber, and talked with him; and so to the barber’s, and then to my wife again, and remounted for Impington, where my uncle received me and my wife very kindly. And by and by in comes my father, and we supped and talked and were merry, but being weary and sleepy my wife and I to bed without talking with my father anything about our business.
19th. Up early, and my father and I alone into the garden, and there talked about our business, and what to do therein. So after I had talked and advised with my coz Claxton, and then with my uncle by his bedside, we all horsed away to Cambridge, where my father and I, having left my wife at the Beare with my brother, went to Mr. Sedgewicke, the steward of Gravely, and there talked with him, but could get little hopes from anything that he would tell us; but at last I did give him a fee, and then he was free to tell me what I asked, which was something, though not much comfort. From thence to our horses, and with my wife went and rode through Sturbridge1 but the fair was almost done. So we did not ‘light there at all, but went back to Cambridge, and there at the Beare we had some herrings, we and my brother, and after dinner set out for Brampton, where we come in very good time, and found all things well, and being somewhat weary, after some talk about tomorrow’s business with my father, we went to bed.
1 Sturbridge fair is of great antiquity. The first trace of it is found in a charter granted about 1211 by King John to the Lepers of the Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen at Sturbridge by Cambridge, a fair to be held in the close of the hospital on the vigil and feast of the Holy Cross (see Cornelius Walford’s “Fairs Past and Present,” 1883, p. 54).
20th. Will Stankes and I set out in the morning betimes for Gravely, where to an ale-house and drank, and then, going towards the Court House, met my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas, with Bradly, the rogue that had betrayed us, and one Young, a cunning fellow, who guides them. There passed no unkind words at all between us, but I seemed fair and went to drink with them. I said little till by and by that we come to the Court, which was a simple meeting of a company of country rogues, with the Steward, and two Fellows of Jesus College, that are lords of the town where the jury were sworn; and I producing no surrender, though I told them I was sure there is and must be one somewhere, they found my uncle Thomas heir at law, as he is, and so, though I did tell him and his son that they would find themselves abused by these fellows, and did advise them to forbear being admitted this Court (which they could have done, but that these rogues did persuade them to do it now), my uncle was admitted, and his son also, in reversion after his father, which he did well in to secure his money. The father paid a year and a half for his fine, and the son half a year, in all £48, besides about £3 fees; so that I do believe the charges of his journeys, and what he gives those two rogues, and other expenses herein, cannot be less than £70, which will be a sad thing for them if a surrender be found. After all was done, I openly wished them joy in it, and so rode to Offord with them and there parted fairly without any words. I took occasion to bid them money for their half acre of land, which I had a mind to do that in the surrender I might secure Piggott’s, which otherwise I should be forced to lose. So with Stankes home and supped, and after telling my father how things went, I went to bed with my mind in good temper, because I see the matter and manner of the Court and the bottom of my business, wherein I was before and should always have been ignorant.
21st. All the morning pleasing myself with my father, going up and down the house and garden with my father and my wife, contriving some alterations. After dinner (there coming this morning my aunt Hanes and her son from London, that is to live with my father) I rode to Huntingdon, where I met Mr. Philips, and there put my Bugden1 matter in order against the Court, and so to Hinchingbroke, where Mr. Barnwell shewed me the condition of the house, which is yet very backward, and I fear will be very dark in the cloyster when it is done. So home and to supper and to bed, very pleasant and quiet.
1 Bugden, or Buckden, a village and parish in the St. Neots district of Huntingdonshire, four miles S.W. of Huntingdon.
22nd (Lord’s day). Before church time walking with my father in the garden contriving. So to church, where we had common prayer, and a dull sermon by one Mr. Case, who yet I heard sing very well. So to dinner, and busy with my father about his accounts all the afternoon, and people came to speak with us about business. Mr. Barnwell at night came and supped with us. So after setting matters even with my father and I, to bed.
23rd. Up, and sad to hear my father and mother wrangle as they used to do in London, of which I took notice to both, and told them that I should give over care for anything unless they would spend what they have with more love and quiet. So (John Bowles coming to see us before we go) we took horse and got early to Baldwick; where there was a fair, and we put in and eat a mouthfull of pork, which they made us pay 14d. for, which vexed us much. And so away to Stevenage, and staid till a showre was over, and so rode easily to Welling, where we supped well, and had two beds in the room and so lay single, and still remember it that of all the nights that ever I slept in my life I never did pass a night with more epicurism of sleep; there being now and then a noise of people stirring that waked me, and then it was a very rainy night, and then I was a little weary, that what between waking and then sleeping again, one after another, I never had so much content in all my life, and so my wife says it was with her.
24th. We rose, and set forth, but found a most sad alteration in the road by reason of last night’s rains, they being now all dirty and washy, though not deep. So we rode easily through, and only drinking at Holloway, at the sign of a woman with cakes in one hand and a pot of ale in the other, which did give good occasion of mirth, resembling her to the maid that served us, we got home very timely and well, and finding there all well, and letters from sea, that speak of my Lord’s being well, and his action, though not considerable of any side, at Argier. —[Algiers]— I went straight to my Lady, and there sat and talked with her, and so home again, and after supper we to bed somewhat weary, hearing of nothing ill since my absence but my brother Tom, who is pretty well though again.
25th. By coach with Sir W. Pen to Covent Garden. By the way, upon my desire, he told me that I need not fear any reflection upon my Lord for their ill success at Argier, for more could not be done than was done. I went to my cozen, Thos. Pepys, there, and talked with him a good while about our country business, who is troubled at my uncle Thomas his folly, and so we parted; and then meeting Sir R. Slingsby in St. Martin’s Lane, he and I in his coach through the Mewes, which is the way that now all coaches are forced to go, because of a stop at Charing Cross, by reason of a drain there to clear the streets. To Whitehall, and there to Mr. Coventry, and talked with him, and thence to my Lord Crew’s and dined with him, where I was used with all imaginable kindness both from him and her. And I see that he is afraid that my Lord’s reputacon will a little suffer in common talk by this late success; but there is no help for it now. The Queen of England (as she is now owned and called) I hear doth keep open Court, and distinct at Lisbon. Hence, much against my nature and will, yet such is the power of the Devil over me I could not refuse it, to the Theatre, and saw “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” ill done. And that ended, with Sir W. Pen and Sir G. More to the tavern, and so home with him by coach, and after supper to prayers and to bed. In full quiet of mind as to thought, though full of business, blessed be God.
26th. At the office all the morning, so dined at home, and then abroad with my wife by coach to the Theatre to shew her “King and no King,” it being very well done. And so by coach, though hard to get it, being rainy, home. So to my chamber to write letters and the journal for these six last days past.
27th. By coach to Whitehall with my wife (where she went to see Mrs. Pierce, who was this day churched, her month of childbed being out). I went to Mrs. Montagu and other businesses, and at noon met my wife at the Wardrobe; and there dined, where we found Captain Country (my little Captain that I loved, who carried me to the Sound), come with some grapes and millons1 from my Lord at Lisbon, the first that ever I saw any, and my wife and I eat some, and took some home; but the grapes are rare things. Here we staid; and in the afternoon comes Mr. Edwd. Montagu (by appointment this morning) to talk with my Lady and me about the provisions fit to be bought, and sent to my Lord along with him. And told us, that we need not trouble ourselves how to buy them, for the King would pay for all, and that he would take care to get them: which put my Lady and me into a great deal of ease of mind. Here we staid and supped too, and, after my wife had put up some of the grapes in a basket for to be sent to the King, we took coach and home, where we found a hampire of millons sent to me also.
1 The antiquity of the cultivation of the melon is very remote. Both the melon (cucaimis melo) and the water-melon (cucumis citrullus) were introduced into England at the end of the sixteenth century. See vol. i., p. 228.
28th. At the office in the morning, dined at home, and then Sir W. Pen and his daughter and I and my wife to the Theatre, and there saw “Father’s own Son,” a very good play, and the first time I ever saw it, and so at night to my house, and there sat and talked and drank and merrily broke up, and to bed.
29th (Lord’s day). To church in the morning, and so to dinner, and Sir W. Pen and daughter, and Mrs. Poole, his kinswoman, Captain Poole’s wife, came by appointment to dinner with us, and a good dinner we had for them, and were very merry, and so to church again, and then to Sir W. Pen’s and there supped, where his brother, a traveller, and one that speaks Spanish very well, and a merry man, supped with us, and what at dinner and supper I drink I know not how, of my own accord, so much wine, that I was even almost foxed, and my head aked all night; so home and to bed, without prayers, which I never did yet, since I came to the house, of a Sunday night: I being now so out of order that I durst not read prayers, for fear of being perceived by my servants in what case I was. So to bed.
30th. This morning up by moon-shine, at 5 o’clock, to White Hall, to meet Mr. Moore at the Privy Seal, but he not being come as appointed, I went into King Street to the Red Lyon’ to drink my morning draft, and there I heard of a fray between the two Embassadors of Spain and France; and that, this day, being the day of the entrance of an Embassador from Sweden, they intended to fight for the precedence! Our King, I heard, ordered that no Englishman should meddle in the business,1 but let them do what they would. And to that end all the soldiers in the town were in arms all the day long, and some of the train-bands in the City; and a great bustle through the City all the day. Then I to the Privy Seal, and there Mr. Moore and a gentleman being come with him, we took coach (which was the business I come for) to Chelsy, to my Lord Privy Seal, and there got him to seal the business. Here I saw by day-light two very fine pictures in the gallery, that a little while ago I saw by night; and did also go all over the house, and found it to be the prettiest contrived house that ever I saw in my life. So to coach back again; and at White Hall light, and saw the soldiers and people running up and down the streets. So I went to the Spanish Embassador’s and the French, and there saw great preparations on both sides; but the French made the most noise and vaunted most, the other made no stir almost at all; so that I was afraid the other would have had too great a conquest over them. Then to the Wardrobe, and dined there, end then abroad and in Cheapside hear that the Spanish hath got the best of it, and killed three of the French coach-horses and several men, and is gone through the City next to our King’s coach; at which, it is strange to see how all the City did rejoice. And indeed we do naturally all love the Spanish, and hate the French. But I, as I am in all things curious, presently got to the water-side, and there took oars to Westminster Palace, thinking to have seen them come in thither with all the coaches, but they being come and returned, I ran after them with my boy after me through all the dirt and the streets full of people; till at last, at the Mewes, I saw the Spanish coach go, with fifty drawn swords at least to guard it, and our soldiers shouting for joy. And so I followed the coach, and then met it at York House, where the embassador lies; and there it went in with great state. So then I went to the French house, where I observe still, that there is no men in the world of a more insolent spirit where they do well, nor before they begin a matter, and more abject if they do miscarry, than these people are; for they all look like dead men, and not a word among them, but shake their heads. The truth is, the Spaniards were not only observed to fight most desperately, but also they did outwitt them; first in lining their own harness with chains of iron that they could not be cut, then in setting their coach in the most advantageous place, and to appoint men to guard every one of their horses, and others for to guard the coach, and others the coachmen. And, above all, in setting upon the French horses and killing them, for by that means the French were not able to stir. There were several men slain of the French, and one or two of the Spaniards, and one Englishman by a bullet. Which is very observable, the French were at least four to one in number, and had near 100 case of pistols among them, and the Spaniards had not one gun among them; which is for their honour for ever, and the others’ disgrace. So, having been very much daubed with dirt, I got a coach, and home where I vexed my wife in telling of her this story, and pleading for the Spaniards against the French. So ends this month; myself and family in good condition of health, but my head full of my Lord’s and my own and the office business; where we are now very busy about the business of sending forces to Tangier,2 and the fleet to my Lord of Sandwich, who is now at Lisbon to bring over the Queen, who do now keep a Court as Queen of England. The business of Argier hath of late troubled me, because my Lord hath not done what he went for, though he did as much as any man in the world could have done. The want of money puts all things, and above all things the Nary, out of order; and yet I do not see that the King takes care to bring in any money, but thinks of new designs to lay out money.
1 The Comte de Brienne insinuates, in his “Memoirs,” that Charles purposely abstained from interfering, in the belief that it was for his interest to let France and Spain quarrel, in order to further his own designs in the match with Portugal. Louis certainly held that opinion; and he afterwards instructed D’Estrades to solicit from the English court the punishment of those Londoners who had insulted his ambassador, and to demand the dismissal of De Batteville. Either no Londoner had interfered, or Louis’s demand had not in England the same force as in Spain; for no one was punished. The latter part of his request it was clearly not for Charles to entertain, much less enforce. — B.
2 This place so often mentioned, was first given up to the English fleet under Lord Sandwich, by the Portuguese, January 30th, 1662; and Lord Peterborough left governor, with a garrison. The greatest pains were afterwards taken to preserve the fortress, and a fine mole was constructed at a vast expense, to improve the harbour. At length, after immense sums of money had been wasted there, the House of Commons expressed a dislike to the management of the garrison, which they suspected to be a nursery for a popish army, and seemed disinclined to maintain it any longer. The king consequently, in 1683, sent Lord Dartmouth to bring home the troops, and destroy the works; which he performed so effectually, that it would puzzle all our engineers to restore the harbour. It were idle to speculate on the benefits which might have accrued to England, by its preservation and retention; Tangier fell into the hands of the Moors, its importance having ceased, with the demolition of the mole. Many curious views of Tangier were taken by Hollar, during its occupation by the English; and his drawings are preserved in the British Museum. Some have been engraved by himself; but the impressions are of considerable rarity. — B.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53