October 1st. Up with my mind pretty well at rest about my accounts and other business, and so to my house and there put my work to business, and then down to Deptford to do the same there, and so back and with my workmen all the afternoon, and my wife putting a chamber in order for us to lie in. At night to look over some Brampton papers against the Court which I expect every day to hear of, and that done home and with my wife to bed, the first time I have lain there these two months and more, which I am now glad to do again, and do so like the chamber as it is now ordered that all my fear is my not keeping it. But I hope the best, for it would vex me to the heart to lose it.
2nd. Up and to the office, where we sat till noon, and then to dinner, and Mr. Moore came and dined with me, and after dinner to look over my Brampton papers, which was a most necessary work, though it is not so much to my content as I could wish. I fear that it must be as it can, and not as I would. He being gone I to my workmen again, and at night by coach towards Whitehall took up Mr. Moore and set him at my Lord’s, and myself, hearing that there was a play at the Cockpit (and my Lord Sandwich, who came to town last night, at it), I do go thither, and by very great fortune did follow four or five gentlemen who were carried to a little private door in a wall, and so crept through a narrow place and come into one of the boxes next the King’s, but so as I could not see the King or Queene, but many of the fine ladies, who yet are really not so handsome generally as I used to take them to be, but that they are finely dressed. Here we saw “The Cardinall,” a tragedy I had never seen before, nor is there any great matter in it. The company that came in with me into the box, were all Frenchmen that could speak no English, but Lord! what sport they made to ask a pretty lady that they got among them that understood both French and English to make her tell them what the actors said. Thence to my Lord’s, and saw him, and staid with him half an hour in his chamber talking about some of mine and his own business, and so up to bed with Mr. Moore in the chamber over my Lord’s.
3rd. Rose, and without taking leave or speaking to my Lord went out early and walked home, calling at my brother’s and Paul’s Churchyard, but bought nothing because of my oath, though I had a great mind to it. At my office, and with my workmen till noon, and then dined with my wife upon herrings, the first I have eat this year, and so to my workmen again. By and by comes a gentleman to speak with my wife, and I found him to be a gentleman that had used her very civilly in her coming up out of the country, on which score I showed him great respect, and found him a very ingenious gentleman, and sat and talked with him a great while. He gone, to my workmen again, and in the evening comes Captain Ferrers, and sat and talked a great while, and told me the story of his receiving his cut in the hand by falling out with one of my Lord’s footmen. He told me also of the impertinence and mischief that Ned Pickering has made in the country between my Lord and all his servants almost by his finding of faults, which I am vexed to hear, it being a great disgrace to my Lord to have the fellow seen to be so great still with him. He brought me a letter from my father, that appoints the day for the Court at Brampton to be the 13th of this month; but I perceive he has kept the letter in his pocket these three days, so that if the day had been sooner, I might have been spilt. So that it is a great folly to send letters of business by any friend that require haste. He being gone I to my office all the evening, doing business there till bedtime, it being now my manner since my wife is come to spend too much of my daytime with her and the workmen and do my office business at night, which must not be after the work of the house is done. This night late I had notice that Dekins, the merchant, is dead this afternoon suddenly, for grief that his daughter, my Morena, who has long been ill, is given over by the Doctors. For both which I am very sorry. So home and to bed.
4th. To my office all the morning, after I was up (my wife beginning to make me lie long a mornings), where we sat till noon, and then dined at home, and after a little with my workmen to my office till 9 at night, among other things examining the particulars of the miscarriage of the Satisfaction, sunk the other day on the Dutch coast through the negligence of the pilott.
5th (Lord’s day). Lay long in bed talking with my wife, and among other things fell out about my maid Sarah, whom my wife would fain put away, when I think her as good a servant as ever came into a house, but it seems my wife would have one that would dress a head well, but we were friends at last. I to church; and this day the parson has got one to read with a surplice on. I suppose himself will take it up hereafter, for a cunning fellow he is as any of his coat. Dined with my wife, and then to talk again above, chiefly about her learning to dance against her going next year into the country, which I am willing she shall do. Then to church to a tedious sermon, and thence walked to Tom’s to see how things are in his absence in the country, and so home and in my wife’s chamber till bedtime talking, and then to my office to put things in order to wait on the Duke tomorrow morning, and so home and to bed.
6th. Sir W. Pen and I early to St. James’s by water, where Mr. Coventry, finding the Duke in bed, and not very well, we did not stay to speak with him, but to White Hall, and there took boat and down to Woolwich we went. In our way Mr. Coventry telling us how of late upon enquiry into the miscarriages of the Duke’s family, Mr. Biggs, his steward, is found very faulty, and is turned out of his employment. Then we fell to reading of a book which I saw the other day at my Lord Sandwich’s, intended for the late King, finely bound up, a treatise concerning the benefit the Hollanders make of our fishing, but whereas I expected great matters from it, I find it a very impertinent [book], and though some things good, yet so full of tautologies, that we were weary of it. At Woolwich we mustered the yard, and then to the Hart to dinner, and then to the Rope-yard, where I did vex Sir W. Pen I know to appear so well acquainted, I thought better than he, in the business of hemp; thence to Deptford, and there looked over several businesses, and wakened the officers there; so walked to Redriffe, and thence, landing Sir W. Pen at the Tower, I to White Hall with Mr. Coventry, and so to my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, but my Lord was not within, being at a ball this night with the King at my Lady Castlemaine’s at next door. But here to my trouble I hear that Mr. Moore is gone very sick to the Wardrobe this afternoon, which troubles me much both for his own sake and for mine, because of my law business that he does for me and also for my Lord’s matters. So hence by water, late as it was, to the Wardrobe, and there found him in a high fever, in bed, and much cast down by his being ill. So thought it not convenient to stay, but left him and walked home, and there weary went to supper, and then the barber came to me, and after he had done, to my office to set down my journall of this day, and so home and to bed.
7th. At the office all the morning, dined at home with my wife. After dinner with her by coach to see Mr. Moore, who continues ill. I took his books of accounts, and did discourse with him about my Lord’s and my own businesses, and there being Mr. Battersby by, did take notice of my having paid him the £100 borrowed of him, which they both did confess and promise to return me my bond. Thence by water with Will. Howe to Westminster, and there staying a little while in the Hall (my wife’s father and mother being abroad, and so she returning presently) thence by coach to my Lord’s, and there I left money for Captain Ferrers to buy me two bands. So towards the New Exchange, and there while my wife was buying things I walked up and down with Dr. Williams, talking about my law businesses, and thence took him to my brother’s, and there gave him a glass of wine, and so parted, and then by coach with my wife home, and Sir J. M. and Sir W. B. being come from Chatham Pay I did go see them for complaisance, and so home and to bed.
8th. Up and by water to my Lord Sandwich’s, and was with him a good while in his chamber, and among other things to my extraordinary joy, he did tell me how much I was beholding to the Duke of York, who did yesterday of his own accord tell him that he did thank him for one person brought into the Navy, naming myself, and much more to my commendation, which is the greatest comfort and encouragement that ever I had in my life, and do owe it all to Mr. Coventry’s goodness and ingenuity. I was glad above measure of this. Thence to Mr. Moore, who, I hope, is better than he was, and so home and dined at home, and all the afternoon busy at my office, and at night by coach to my Lord’s again, thinking to speak with him, but he is at White Hall with the King, before whom the puppet plays I saw this summer in Covent-garden are acted this night. Hither this night my scallop,1 bought and got made by Captain Ferrers’ lady, is sent, and I brought it home, a very neat one. It cost me about £3, and £3 more I have given him to buy me another. I do find myself much bound to go handsome, which I shall do in linen, and so the other things may be all the plainer. Here I staid playing some new tunes to parts with Wm. Howe, and, my Lord not coming home, I came home late on foot, my boy carrying a link, and so eat a bit and to bed, my head full of ordering of businesses against my journey tomorrow, that there may be nothing done to my wrong in my absence. This day Sir W. Pen did speak to me from Sir J. Minnes to desire my best chamber of me, and my great joy is that I perceive he do not stand upon his right, which I was much afraid of, and so I hope I shall do well enough with him for it, for I will not part with it by fair means, though I contrive to let him have another room for it.
1 A lace band, the edges of which were indented with segments of circles, so as to resemble a scallop shell. The word “scallop” was used till recently for a part of a lady’s dress embroidered and cut to resemble a scallop shell.
9th. Up early about my business to get me ready for my journey. But first to the office; where we sat all the morning till noon, and then broke up; and I bid them adieu for a week, having the Duke’s leave got me by Mr. Coventry. To whom I did give thanks for my newes yesterday of the Duke’s words to my Lord Sandwich concerning me, which he took well; and do tell me so freely his love and value of me, that my mind is now in as great a state of quiett as to my interest in the office, as I could ever wish to be. I should this day have dined at Sir W. Pen’s at a venison pasty with the rest of our fellows, but I could not get time, but sent for a bit home, and so between one and two o’clock got on horseback at our back gate, with my man Will with me, both well-mounted on two grey horses. We rode and got to Ware before night; and so resolved to ride on to Puckeridge, which we did, though the way was bad, and the evening dark before we got thither, by help of company riding before us; and among others, a gentleman that took up at the same inn, the Falcon, with me, his name Mr. Brian, with whom I supped, and was very good company, and a scholar. He tells me, that it is believed the Queen is with child, for that the coaches are ordered to ride very easily through the streets. After supper we paid the reckoning together, and so he to his chamber and I to bed, very well, but my feet being much cramped by my new hard boots that I bought the other day of Wotton were in much pain. Will lay in another bed in the chamber with me.
10th. Up, and between eight and nine mounted again; but my feet so swelled with yesterday’s pain, that I could not get on my boots, which vexed me to the blood, but was forced to pay 4s. for a pair of old shoes of my landlord’s, and so rid in shoes to Cambridge; but the way so good that but for a little rain I had got very well thither, and set up at the Beare: and there being spied in the street passing through the town my cozen Angier came to me, and I must needs to his house, which I did; and there found Dr. Fairbrother, with a good dinner, a barrel of good oysters, a couple of lobsters, and wine. But, above all, telling me that this day there is a Congregation for the choice of some officers in the University, he after dinner gets me a gown, cap, and hood, and carries me to the Schooles, where Mr. Pepper, my brother’s tutor, and this day chosen Proctor, did appoint a M.A. to lead me into the Regent House, where I sat with them, and did [vote] by subscribing papers thus: “Ego Samuel Pepys eligo Magistrum Bernardum Skelton, (and which was more strange, my old schoolfellow and acquaintance, and who afterwards did take notice of me, and we spoke together), alterum e taxatoribus hujus Academiae in annum sequentem.” The like I did for one Biggs, for the other Taxor, and for other officers, as the Vice–Proctor (Mr. Covell), for Mr. Pepper, and which was the gentleman that did carry me into the Regent House. This being done, and the Congregation dissolved by the Vice–Chancellor, I did with much content return to my Cozen Angier’s, being much pleased of doing this jobb of work, which I had long wished for and could never have had such a time as now to do it with so much ease. Thence to Trinity Hall, and there staid a good while with Dr. John Pepys, who tells me that [his] brother Roger has gone out of town to keep a Court; and so I was forced to go to Impington, to take such advice as my old uncle and his son Claxton could give me. Which I did, and there supped and talked with them, but not of my business till by and by after supper comes in, unlooked for, my cozen Roger, with whom by and by I discoursed largely, and in short he gives me good counsel, but tells me plainly that it is my best way to study a composition with my uncle Thomas, for that law will not help us, and that it is but a folly to flatter ourselves, with which, though much to my trouble, yet I was well satisfied, because it told me what I am to trust to, and so to bed.
11th. Up betimes, and after a little breakfast, and a very poor one, like our supper, and such as I cannot feed on, because of my she-cozen Claxton’s gouty hands; and after Roger had carried me up and down his house and orchards, to show me them, I mounted, and rode to Huntingdon, and so to Brampton; where I found my father and two brothers, and Mr. Cooke, my mother and sister. So we are now all together, God knows when we shall be so again. I walked up and down the house and garden, and find my father’s alteracions very handsome. But not so but that there will be cause enough of doing more if ever I should come to live there, but it is, however, very well for a country being as any little thing in the country. So to dinner, where there being nothing but a poor breast of mutton, and that ill-dressed, I was much displeased, there being Mr. Cooke there, who I invited to come over with my brother thither, and for whom I was concerned to make much of. I told my father and mother of it, and so had it very well mended for the time after, as long as I staid, though I am very glad to see them live so frugally. But now to my business. I found my uncle Thomas come into the country, and do give out great words, and forwarns all our people of paying us rent, and gives out that he will invalidate the Will, it being but conditional, we paying debts and legacies, which we have not done, but I hope we shall yet go through well enough. I settled to look over papers, and discourse of business against the Court till the evening; and then rode to Hinchingbroke (Will with me), and there to my Lady’s chamber and saw her, but, it being night, and my head full of business, staid not long, but drank a cup of ale below, and so home again, and to supper, and to bed, being not quiet in mind till I speak with Piggott, to see how his business goes, whose land lies mortgaged to my late uncle, but never taken up by him, and so I fear the heire at law will do it and that we cannot, but my design is to supplant him by pretending bonds as well as a mortgage for the same money, and so as executor have the benefit of the bonds.
12th (Lord’s day). Made myself fine with Captain Ferrers’s lace band, being lothe to wear my own new scallop, it is so fine; and, after the barber had done with us, to church, where I saw most of the gentry of the parish; among others, Mrs. Hanbury, a proper lady, and Mr. Bernard and his Lady, with her father, my late Lord St. John, who looks now like a very plain grave man. Mr. Wells preached a pretty good sermon, and they say he is pretty well in his witts again. So home to dinner, and so to walk in the garden, and then to Church again, and so home, there coming several people about business, and among others Mr. Piggott, who gives me good assurance of his truth to me and our business, in which I am very much pleased, and tells me what my uncle Thomas said to him and what he designs, which (in fine) is to be admitted to the estate as well as we, which I must endeavour to oppose as well as I can. So to supper, but my mind is so full of our business that I am no company at all, and then their drink do not please me, till I did send to Goody Stanks for some of her’s which is very small and fresh, with a little taste of wormewood, which ever after did please me very well. So after supper to bed, thinking of business, but every night getting my brother John to go up with me for discourse sake, while I was making unready.1
1 That is, “undressing.” So of the French lords leaping over the walls in their shirts
“Alenc. How now, my lords! what all unready so?
Bast. Unready! ay, and glad we ‘scaped so well.”
Henry VI., act ii., sc. i. — M. B.
13th. Up to Hinchingbroke, and there with Mr. Sheply did look all over the house, and I do, I confess, like well of the alteracions, and do like the staircase, but there being nothing to make the outside more regular and modern, I am not satisfied with it, but do think it to be too much to be laid out upon it. Thence with Sheply to Huntingdon to the Crown, and there did sit and talk, and eat a breakfast of cold roast beef, and so he to St. Ives Market, and I to Sir Robert Bernard’s for council, having a letter from my Lord Sandwich to that end. He do give it me with much kindness in appearance, and upon my desire do promise to put off my uncle’s admittance, if he can fairly, and upon the whole do make my case appear better to me than my cozen Roger did, but not so but that we are liable to much trouble, and that it will be best to come to an agreement if possible. With my mind here also pretty well to see things proceed so well I returned to Brampton, and spent the morning in looking over papers and getting my copies ready against tomorrow. So to dinner, and then to walk with my father and other business, when by and by comes in my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas to see us, and very calm they were and we to them. And after a short How do you, and drinking a cup of beer, they went away again, and so by and by my father and I to Mr. Phillips, and there discoursed with him in order to tomorrow’s business of the Court and getting several papers ready, when presently comes in my uncle Thomas and his son thither also, but finding us there I believe they were disappointed and so went forth again, and went to the house that Prior has lately bought of us (which was Barton’s) and there did make entry and forbade paying rent to us, as now I hear they have done everywhere else, and that that was their intent in coming to see us this day. I perceive most of the people that do deal with us begin to be afraid that their title to what they buy will not be good. Which troubled me also I confess a little, but I endeavoured to remove all as well as I could. Among other things they make me afraid that Barton was never admitted to that that my uncle bought of him, but I hope the contrary. Thence home, and with my father took a melancholy walk to Portholme, seeing the country-maids milking their cows there, they being there now at grass, and to see with what mirth they come all home together in pomp with their milk, and sometimes they have musique go before them. So back home again, and to supper, and in comes Piggott with a counterfeit bond which by agreement between us (though it be very just in itself) he has made, by which I shall lay claim to the interest of the mortgage money, and so waiting with much impatience and doubt the issue of tomorrow’s Court, I to bed, but hardly slept half an hour the whole night, my mind did so run with fears of tomorrow.
14th. Up, and did digest into a method all I could say in our defence, in case there should be occasion, for I hear he will have counsel to plead for him in the Court, and so about nine o’clock to the court at the Lordshipp where the jury was called; and there being vacancies, they would have had my father, in respect to him, [to] have been one of the Homage, but he thought fit to refuse it, he not knowing enough the customs of the town. They being sworn and the charge given them, they fell to our business, finding the heir-at-law to be my uncle Thomas; but Sir Robert [Bernard] did tell them that he had seen how the estate was devised to my father by my uncle’s will, according to the custom of the manour, which they would have denied, first, that it was not according to the custom of the manour, proposing some difficulty about the half-acre of land which is given the heir-at-law according to custom, which did put me into great fear lest it might not be in my uncle’s possession at his death, but mortgaged with other to T. Trice (who was there, and was with my good will admitted to Taylor’s house mortgaged to him if not being worth the money for which it was mortgaged, which I perceive he now, although he lately bragged the contrary, yet is now sensible of, and would have us to redeem it with money, and he would now resurrender it to us rather than the heir-at-law) or else that it was part of Goody Gorum’s in which she has a life, and so might not be capable of being according to the custom given to the heir-at-law, but Will Stanks tells me we are sure enough against all that. Then they fell to talk of Piggott’s land mortgaged to my uncle, but he never admitted to it, which they now as heir would have admitted to. But the steward, as he promised me, did find pretensions very kindly and readily to put off their admittance, by which I find they are much defeated, and if ever, I hope, will now listen to a treaty and agreement with us, at our meeting at London. So they took their leaves of the steward and Court, and went away, and by and by, after other business many brought in, they broke up to dinner. So my father and I home with great content to dinner; my mind now as full against the afternoon business, which we sat upon after dinner at the Court, and did sue out a recovery, and cut off the intayle; and my brothers there, to join therein. And my father and I admitted to all the lands; he for life, and I for myself and my heirs in reversion, and then did surrender according to bargain to Prior, Greene, and Shepheard the three cottages with their appurtenances that they have bought of us, and that being done and taken leave of the steward, I did with most compleat joy of mind go from the Court with my father home, and in a quarter of an hour did get on horseback, with my brother Tom, Cooke, and Will, all mounted, and without eating or drinking, take leave of father, mother, Pall, to whom I did give 10s., but have shown no kindness since I come, for I find her so very ill-natured that I cannot love her, and she so cruel a hypocrite that she can cry when she pleases, and John and I away, calling in at Hinchingbroke, and taking leave in three words of my Lady, and the young ladies; and so by moonlight most bravely all the way to Cambridge, with great pleasure, whither we come at about nine o’clock, and took up at the Bear, but the house being full of guests we had very ill lodging, which troubled me, but had a supper, and my mind at good ease, and so to bed. Will in another bed in my chamber.
15th. My mind, though out of trouble, yet intent upon my journey home, being desirous to know how all my matters go there, I could hardly sleep, but waked very early; and, when it was time, did call up Will, and we rose, and musique (with a bandore1 for the base) did give me a levett;2 and so we got ready; and while breakfast was providing, I went forth (by the way finding Mr. George Mountagu and his Lady, whom I saluted, going to take their coach thus early to proceed on their journey, they having lodged in the chamber just under me all this night) and showed Mr. Cooke King’s College Chapel, Trinity College, and St. John’s College Library; and that being done, to our inn again: where I met Dr. Fairbrother brought thither by my brother Tom, and he did breakfast with us, a very good-natured man he is, and told us how the room we were in was the room where Cromwell and his associated officers did begin to plot and act their mischiefs in these counties. Having eat well, only our oysters proving bad, we mounted, having a pair of boots that I borrowed and carried with me from Impington, my own to be sent from Cambridge to London, and took leave of all, and begun our journey about nine o’clock. After we had rode about 10 miles we got out of our way into Royston road, which did vex me cruelly, and the worst for that my brother’s horse, which was lame yesterday, grows worse today, that he could not keep pace with us. At last with much ado we got into the road again, having misguided also a gentleman’s man who had lost his master and thought us to be going the same way did follow us, but coming into the road again we met with his master, by his coat a divine, but I perceiving Tom’s horse not able to keep with us, I desired Mr. Cooke and him to take their own time, and Will and I we rode before them keeping a good pace, and came to Ware about three o’clock in the afternoon, the ways being every where but bad. Here I fell into acquaintance and eat and drank with the divine, but know not who he is, and after an hour’s bait to myself and horses he, though resolved to have lodged there, yet for company would out again, and so we remounted at four o’clock, and he went with me as far almost as Tibbald’s and there parted with us, taking up there for all night, but finding our horses in good case and the night being pretty light, though by reason of clouds the moon did not shine out, we even made shift from one place to another to reach London, though both of us very weary. And having left our horses at their masters, walked home, found all things well, and with full joy, though very weary, came home and went to bed, there happening nothing since our going to my discontent in the least degree; which do so please me, that I cannot but bless God for my journey, observing a whole course of success from the beginning to the end of it, and I do find it to be the reward of my diligence, which all along in this has been extraordinary, for I have not had the least kind of divertisement imaginable since my going forth, but merely carrying on my business which God has been pleased to bless. So to bed very hot and feverish by being weary, but early morning the fever was over.
1 A musical instrument with wire strings, and sounded with a plectrum; used as a bass to the cittern. The banjo is a modification of the bandore, as the name is a negro corruption of that word.
2 A blast of trumpets, intended as a ‘reveillee’, from French lever.
“First he that led the Cavalcade
Wore a Sow-gelder’s Flagellet,
On which he blew as strong a Levet
As well-feed Lawyer on his breviate.”
Hudibras, II. ii. v. 609.
16th. And so I rose in good temper, finding a good chimneypiece made in my upper dining-room chamber, and the diningroom wainscoat in a good forwardness, at which I am glad, and then to the office, where by T. Hater I found all things to my mind, and so we sat at the office till noon, and then at home to dinner with my wife. Then coming Mr. Creede in order to some business with Sir J. Minnes about his accounts, this afternoon I took him to the Treasury office, where Sir John and I did stay late paying some money to the men that are saved out of the Satisfaction that was lost the other day. The King gives them half-pay, which is more than is used in such cases, for they never used to have any thing, and yet the men were most outrageously discontented, and did rail and curse us till I was troubled to hear it, and wished myself unconcerned therein. Mr. Creede seeing us engaged took leave of us. Here late, and so home, and at the office set down my journey-journall to this hour, and so shut up my book, giving God thanks for my good success therein, and so home, and to supper, and to bed. I hear Mr. Moore is in a way of recovery. Sir H. Bennet made Secretary of State in Sir Edward Nicholas’s stead; not known whether by consent or not. My brother Tom and Cooke are come to town I hear this morning, and he sends me word that his mistress’s mother is also come to treat with us about her daughter’s portion and her jointure, which I am willing should be out of Sturtlow lands.
17th. This morning Tom comes to me, and I advise him how to deal with his mistress’s mother about his giving her a joynture, but I intend to speak with her shortly, and tell her my mind. Then to my Lord Sandwich by water, and told him how well things do go in the country with me, of which he was very glad, and seems to concern himself much for me. Thence with Mr. Creed to Westminster Hall, and by and by thither comes Captn. Ferrers, upon my sending for him, and we three to Creed’s chamber, and there sat a good while and drank chocolate. Here I am told how things go at Court; that the young men get uppermost, and the old serious lords are out of favour; that Sir H. Bennet, being brought into Sir Edward Nicholas’s place, Sir Charles Barkeley is made Privy Purse; a most vicious person, and one whom Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, today (at which I laugh to myself), did tell me that he offered his wife £300 per annum to be his mistress. He also told me that none in Court hath more the King’s ear now than Sir Charles Barkeley, and Sir H. Bennet, and my Lady Castlemaine, whose interest is now as great as ever and that Mrs. Haslerigge, the great beauty, is got with child, and now brought to bed, and lays it to the King or the Duke of York.1 He tells me too that my Lord St. Albans’ is like to be Lord Treasurer: all which things do trouble me much. Here I staid talking a good while, and so by water to see Mr. Moore, who is out of bed and in a way to be well, and thence home, and with Commr. Pett by water to view Wood’s masts that he proffers to sell, which we found bad, and so to Deptford to look over some businesses, and so home and I to my office, all our talk being upon Sir J. M. and Sir W. B.‘s base carriage against him at their late being at Chatham, which I am sorry to hear, but I doubt not but we shall fling Sir W. B. upon his back ere long. At my office, I hearing Sir W. Pen was not well, I went to him to see, and sat with him, and so home and to bed.
1 The child was owned by neither of the royal brothers. — B.
18th. This morning, having resolved of my brother’s entertaining his mistress’s mother tomorrow, I sent my wife thither today to lie there to-night and to direct him in the business, and I all the morning at the office, and the afternoon intent upon my workmen, especially my joyners, who will make my dining room very pretty. At night to my office to dispatch business, and then to see Sir W. Pen, who continues in great pain, and so home and alone to bed, but my head being full of my own and my brother Tom’s business I could hardly sleep, though not in much trouble, but only multitude of thoughts.
19th (Lord’s day). Got me ready in the morning and put on my first new laceband; and so neat it is, that I am resolved my great expense shall be lacebands, and it will set off any thing else the more. So walked to my brother’s, where I met Mr. Cooke, and discoursing with him do find that he and Tom have promised a joynture of £50 to his mistress, and say that I did give my consent that she should be joyntured in £30 per ann. for Sturtlow, and the rest to be made up out of her portion. At which I was stark mad, and very angry the business should be carried with so much folly and against my mind and all reason. But I was willing to forbear discovering of it, and did receive Mrs. Butler, her mother, Mr. Lull and his wife, very civil people, very kindly, and without the least discontent, and Tom had a good and neat dinner for us. We had little discourse of any business, but leave it to one Mr. Smith on her part and myself on ours. So we staid till sermon was done, and I took leave, and to see Mr. Moore, who recovers well; and his doctor coming to him, one Dr. Merrit, we had some of his very good discourse of anatomy, and other things, very pleasant. By and by, I with Mr. Townsend walked in the garden, talking and advising with him about Tom’s business, and he tells me he will speak with Smith, and says I offer fair to give her £30 joynture and no more. Thence Tom waiting for me homewards towards my house, talking and scolding him for his folly, and telling him my mind plainly what he has to trust to if he goes this way to work, for he shall never have her upon the terms they demand of £50. He left me, and I to my uncle Wight, and there supped, and there was pretty Mistress Margt. Wight, whom I esteem very pretty, and love dearly to look upon her. We were very pleasant, I droning with my aunt and them, but I am sorry to hear that the news of the selling of Dunkirk1 is taken so generally ill, as I find it is among the merchants; and other things, as removal of officers at Court, good for worse; and all things else made much worse in their report among people than they are. And this night, I know not upon what ground, the gates of the City ordered to be kept shut, and double guards every where. So home, and after preparing things against tomorrow for the Duke, to bed. Indeed I do find every body’s spirit very full of trouble; and the things of the Court and Council very ill taken; so as to be apt to appear in bad colours, if there should ever be a beginning of trouble, which God forbid!
1 A treaty was signed on the 27th October by which Dunkirk was sold to France for five million livres, two of which were to be paid immediately, and the remaining three by eight bills at dates varying from three months to two years; during which time the King of England was to contribute the aid of a naval force, if necessary, for defence against Spain. Subsequently the remaining three millions were reduced to 2,500,000 to be paid at Paris, and 254,000 in London. It is not known that Clarendon suggested the sale of Dunkirk, but it is certain that he adopted the measure with zeal. There is also no doubt that he got as much as France could be induced to give. — Lister’s Life of Clarendon, ii. 173–4.
20th. Up and in Sir J. Minnes’s coach with him and Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where now the Duke is come again to lodge: and to Mr. Coventry’s little new chamber there. And by and by up to the Duke, who was making himself ready; and there among other discourse young Killigrew did so commend “The Villaine,” a new play made by Tom Porter; and acted only on Saturday at the Duke’s house, as if there never had been any such play come upon the stage. The same yesterday was told me by Captain Ferrers; and this morning afterwards by Dr. Clerke, who saw it. Insomuch that after I had done with the Duke, and thence gone with Commissioner Pett to Mr. Lilly’s, the great painter, who came forth to us; but believing that I come to bespeak a picture, he prevented us by telling us, that he should not be at leisure these three weeks; which methinks is a rare thing. And then to see in what pomp his table was laid for himself to go to dinner; and here, among other pictures, saw the so much desired by me picture of my Lady Castlemaine, which is a most blessed picture; and that that I must have a copy of. And having thence gone to my brother’s, where my wife lodged last night, and eat something there, I took her by coach to the Duke’s house, and there was the house full of company: but whether it was in over-expecting or what, I know not, but I was never less pleased with a play in my life. Though there was good singing and dancing, yet no fancy in the play, but something that made it less contenting was my conscience that I ought not to have gone by my vow, and, besides, my business commanded me elsewhere. But, however, as soon as I came home I did pay my crown to the poor’s box, according to my vow, and so no harm as to that is done, but only business lost and money lost, and my old habit of pleasure wakened, which I will keep down the more hereafter, for I thank God these pleasures are not sweet to me now in the very enjoying of them. So by coach home, and after a little business at my office, and seeing Sir W. Pen, who continues ill, I went to bed. Dunkirk, I am confirmed, is absolutely sold; for which I am very sorry.
21st. Up, and while I was dressing myself, my brother Tom being there I did chide him for his folly in abusing himself about the match, for I perceive he do endeavour all he can to get her, and she and her friends to have more than her portion deserves, which now from 6 or £700 is come to £450. I did by several steps shew Tom how he would not be £100 the better for her according to the ways he took to joynture her. After having done with him to the office, and there all the morning, and in the middle of our sitting my workmen setting about the putting up of my rails upon my leads, Sir J. Minnes did spy them and fell a-swearing, which I took no notice of, but was vexed, and am still to the very heart for it, for fear it should put him upon taking the closett and my chamber from me, which I protest I am now afraid of. But it is my very great folly to be so much troubled at these trifles, more than at the loss of £100, or things of greater concernment; but I forget the lesson I use to preach to others. After dinner to my office with my head and heart full of troublesome business, and thence by water with Mr. Smith, to Mr. Lechmore, the Counsellor at the Temple, about Field’s business; and he tells me plainly that, there being a verdict against me, there is no help for it, but it must proceed to judgment. It is £30 damage to me for my joining with others in committing Field to prison, we being not justices of the Peace in the City, though in Middlesex; this troubled me, but I hope the King will make it good to us. Thence to Mr. Smith, the scrivener, upon Ludgate Hill, to whom Mrs. Butler do committ her business concerning her daughter and my brother. He tells me her daughter’s portion is but £400, at which I am more troubled than before; and they find fault that his house is too little. So after I had told him my full mind, I went away to meet again tomorrow, but I believe the business will be broke off, which for Tom’s sake I am much grieved for, but it cannot be helped without his ruin. Thence to see Mr. Moore, who is pretty well again, and we read over and discoursed about Mrs. Goldsborough’s business, and her son coming by my appointment thither, I did tell him our resolution as to her having her estate reconveyed to her. Hither also came my brother, and before Mr. Moore I did advise and counsel him about his match, and how we had all been abused by Mr. Cooke’s folly. So home and to my office, and there settled many businesses, and so home and to supper, and so to bed, Sir W. Pen being still in great pain.
22nd. Up, and carrying my wife and her brother to Covent Garden, near their father’s new lodging, by coach, I to my Lord Sandwich’s, who receives me now more and more kindly, now he sees that I am respected in the world; and is my most noble patron. Here I staid and talked about many things, with my Lord and Mr. Povy, being there about Tangier business, for which the Commission is a taking out. Hence (after talking with Mr. Cooke, whom I met here about Mrs. Butler’s portion, he do persist to say that it will be worth £600 certain, when he knows as well as I do now that it is but £400, and so I told him, but he is a fool, and has made fools of us). So I by water to my brother’s, and thence to Mr. Smith’s, where I was, last night, and there by appointment met Mrs. Butler, with whom I plainly discoursed and she with me. I find she will give but £400, and no more, and is not willing to do that without a joynture, which she expects and I will not grant for that portion, and upon the whole I find that Cooke has made great brags on both sides, and so has abused us both, but know not how to help it, for I perceive she had much greater expectations of Tom’s house and being than she finds. But however we did break off the business wholly, but with great love and kindness between her and me, and would have been glad we had known one another’s minds sooner, without being misguided by this fellow to both our shames and trouble. For I find her a very discreet, sober woman, and her daughter, I understand and believe, is a good lady; and if portions did agree, though she finds fault with Tom’s house, and his bad imperfection in his speech, I believe we should well agree in other matters. After taking a kind farewell, I to Tom’s, and there did give him a full account of this sad news, with which I find he is much troubled, but do appear to me to be willing to be guided herein, and apprehends that it is not for his good to do otherwise, and so I do persuade [him] to follow his business again, and I hope he will, but for Cooke’s part and Dr. Pepys, I shall know them for two fools another time. Hence, it raining hard, by coach home, being first trimmed here by Benier, who being acquainted with all the players, do tell me that Betterton is not married to Ianthe, as they say; but also that he is a very sober, serious man, and studious and humble, following of his studies, and is rich already with what he gets and saves, and then to my office till late, doing great deal of business, and settling my mind in pretty good order as to my business, though at present they are very many. So home and to bed. This night was buried, as I hear by the bells at Barking Church, my poor Morena,1 whose sickness being desperate, did kill her poor father; and he being dead for sorrow, she could not recover, nor desire to live, but from that time do languish more and more, and so is now dead and buried.
1 The burial of Elizabeth, daughter of John Dekins or Dickens, is recorded in the parish register of All Hallows, Barking, as having taken place on October 22nd. See ante, October 3rd
23rd. Up and among my workmen, and so to the office, and there sitting all the morning we stept all out to visit Sir W. Batten, who it seems has not been well all yesterday, but being let blood is now pretty well, and Sir W. Pen after office I went to see, but he continues in great pain of the gout and in bed, cannot stir hand nor foot but with great pain. So to my office all the evening putting things public and private in order, and so at night home and to supper and to bed, finding great content since I am come to follow my business again, which God preserve in me.
24th. After with great pleasure lying a great while talking and sporting in bed with my wife (for we have been for some years now, and at present more and more, a very happy couple, blessed be God), I got up and to my office, and having done there some business, I by water, and then walked to Deptford to discourse with Mr. Lowly and Davis about my late conceptions about keeping books of the distinct works done in the yards, against which I find no objection but their ignorance and unwillingness to do anything of pains and what is out of their ordinary dull road, but I like it well, and will proceed in it. So home and dined there with my wife upon a most excellent dish of tripes of my own directing, covered with, mustard, as I have heretofore seen them done at my Lord Crew’s, of which I made a very great meal, and sent for a glass of wine for myself, and so to see Sir W. Pen, who continues bed-rid in great pain, and hence to the Treasury to Sir J. Minnes paying off of tickets, and at night home, and in my study (after seeing Sir W. Batten, who also continues ill) I fell to draw out my conceptions about books for the clerk that cheques in the yard to keep according to the distinct works there, which pleases me very well, and I am confident it will be of great use. At 9 at night home, and to supper, and to bed. This noon came to see me and sat with me a little after dinner Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, who tells me how ill things go at Court: that the King do show no countenance to any that belong to the Queen; nor, above all, to such English as she brought over with her, or hath here since, for fear they should tell her how he carries himself to Mrs. Palmer; —[Lady Castlemaine.]— insomuch that though he has a promise, and is sure of being made her chyrurgeon, he is at a loss what to do in it, whether to take it or no, since the King’s mind is so altered in favour to all her dependants, whom she is fain to let go back into Portugall (though she brought them from their friends against their wills with promise of preferment), without doing any thing for them. But he tells me that her own physician did tell him within these three days that the Queen do know how the King orders things, and how he carries himself to my Lady Castlemaine and others, as well as any body; but though she hath spirit enough, yet seeing that she do no good by taking notice of it, for the present she forbears it in policy; of which I am very glad. But I pray God keep us in peace; for this, with other things, do give great discontent to all people.
25th. Up and to the office, and there with Mr. Coventry sat all the morning, only we two, the rest being absent or sick. Dined at home with my wife upon a good dish of neats’ feet and mustard, of which I made a good meal. All the afternoon alone at my office and among my workmen, who (I mean the joyners) have even ended my dining room, and will be very handsome and to my full content. In the evening at my office about one business or another, and so home and to bed, with my mind every day more and more quiet since I come to follow my business, and shall be very happy indeed when the trouble of my house is over.
26th (Lord’s day).Up and put on my new Scallop, and is very fine. To church, and there saw the first time Mr. Mills in a surplice; but it seemed absurd for him to pull it over his ears in the reading-pew, after he had done, before all the church, to go up to the pulpitt, to preach without it. Home and dined, and Mr. Sympson, my joyner that do my diningroom, and my brother Tom with me to a delicate fat pig. Tom takes his disappointment of his mistress to heart; but all will be well again in a little time. Then to church again, and heard a simple Scot preach most tediously. So home, and to see Sir W. Batten, who is pretty well again, and then to my uncle Wight’s to show my fine band and to see Mrs. Margaret Wight, but she was not there. All this day soldiers going up and down the town, there being an alarm and many Quakers and others clapped up; but I believe without any reason: only they say in Dorsetshire there hath been some rising discovered. So after supper home, and then to my study, and making up my monthly account to myself. I find myself, by my expense in bands and clothes this month, abated a little of my last, and that I am worth £679 still; for which God be praised. So home and to bed with quiett mind, blessed be God, but afeard of my candle’s going out, which makes me write thus slubberingly.
27th. Up, and after giving order to the plasterer now to set upon the finishing of my house, then by water to wait upon the Duke, and walking in the matted Gallery, by and by comes Mr. Coventry and Sir John Minnes, and then to the Duke, and after he was ready, to his closet, where I did give him my usual account of matters, and afterwards, upon Sir J. Minnes’ desire to have one to assist him in his employment, Sir W. Pen is appointed to be his, and Mr. Pett to be the Surveyor’s assistant. Mr. Coventry did desire to be excused, and so I hope (at least it is my present opinion) to have none joined with me, but only Mr. Coventry do desire that I would find work for one of his clerks, which I did not deny, but however I will think of it, whether without prejudice to mine I can do it. Thence to my Lord Sandwich, who now-a-days calls me into his chamber, and alone did discourse with me about the jealousy that the Court have of people’s rising; wherein he do much dislike my Lord Monk’s being so eager against a company of poor wretches, dragging them up and down the street; but would have him rather to take some of the greatest ringleaders of them, and punish them; whereas this do but tell the world the King’s fears and doubts. For Dunkirk; he wonders any wise people should be so troubled thereat, and scorns all their talk against it, for that he says it was not Dunkirk, but the other places, that did and would annoy us, though we had that, as much as if we had it not. He also took notice of the new Ministers of State, Sir H. Bennet and Sir Charles Barkeley, their bringing in, and the high game that my Lady Castlemaine plays at Court (which I took occasion to mention as that that the people do take great notice of), all which he confessed. Afterwards he told me of poor Mr. Spong, that being with other people examined before the King and Council (they being laid up as suspected persons; and it seems Spong is so far thought guilty as that they intend to pitch upon him to put to the wracke or some other torture), he do take knowledge of my Lord Sandwich, and said that he was well known to Mr. Pepys. But my Lord knows, and I told him, that it was only in matter of musique and pipes, but that I thought him to be a very innocent fellow; and indeed I am very sorry for him. After my Lord and I had done in private, we went out, and with Captain Cuttance and Bunn did look over their draught of a bridge for Tangier, which will be brought by my desire to our office by them tomorrow. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked long with Mr. Creed, and then to the great half-a-crown ordinary, at the King’s Head, near Charing Cross, where we had a most excellent neat dinner and very high company, and in a noble manner. After dinner he and I into another room over a pot of ale and talked. He showed me our commission, wherein the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Duke of Albemarle, Lord Peterborough, Lord Sandwich, Sir G. Carteret, Sir William Compton, Mr. Coventry, Sir R. Ford, Sir William Rider, Mr. Cholmley, Mr. Povy, myself, and Captain Cuttance, in this order are joyned for the carrying on the service of Tangier, which I take for a great honour to me. He told me what great faction there is at Court; and above all, what is whispered, that young Crofts is lawful son to the King, the King being married to his mother.1 How true this is, God knows; but I believe the Duke of York will not be fooled in this of three crowns. Thence to White Hall, and walked long in the galleries till (as they are commanded to all strange persons), one come to tell us, we not being known, and being observed to walk there four or five hours (which was not true, unless they count my walking there in the morning), he was commanded to ask who we were; which being told, he excused his question, and was satisfied. These things speak great fear and jealousys. Here we staid some time, thinking to stay out the play before the King to-night, but it being “The Villaine,” and my wife not being there, I had no mind. So walk to the Exchange, and there took many turns with him; among other things, observing one very pretty Exchange lass, with her face full of black patches, which was a strange sight. So bid him good-night and away by coach to Mr. Moore, with whom I staid an hour, and found him pretty well and intends to go abroad tomorrow, and so it raining hard by coach home, and having visited both Sir Williams, who are both sick, but like to be well again, I to my office, and there did some business, and so home and to bed. At Sir W. Batten’s I met with Mr. Mills, who tells me that he could get nothing out of the maid hard by (that did poyson herself) before she died, but that she did it because she did not like herself, nor had not liked herself, nor anything she did a great while. It seems she was well-favoured enough, but crooked, and this was all she could be got to say, which is very strange.
1 There has been much confusion as to the name and parentage of Charles’s mistress. Lucy Walter was the daughter of William Walter of Roch Castle, co. Pembroke, and Mr. S. Steinman, in his “Althorp Memoirs” (privately printed, 1869), sets out her pedigree, which is a good one. Roch Castle was taken and burnt by the Parliamentary forces in 1644, and Lucy was in London in 1648, where she made the acquaintance of Colonel Algernon Sidney. She then fell into the possession of his brother, Colonel Robert Sidney. In September of this same year she was taken up by Charles, Prince of Wales. Charles terminated his connection with her on October 30th, 1651, and she died in 1658, as appears by a document (administration entry in the Register of the Prerogative Court) met with by the late Colonel Chester. William Erskine, who had served Charles as cupbearer in his wanderings, and was appointed Master of the Charterhouse in December, 1677, had the care of Lucy Walter, and buried her in Paris. He declared that the king never had any intention of marrying her, and she did not deserve it. Thomas Ross, the tutor of her son, put the idea of this claim into his head, and asked Dr. Cosin to certify to a marriage. In consequence of this he was removed from his office, and Lord Crofts took his place (Steinman’s “Althorp Memoirs”). Lucy Walter took the name of Barlow during her wanderings.
28th. At the office sitting all the morning, and then home to dinner with my wife, and after dinner she and I passing an hour or two in ridiculous talk, and then to my office, doing business there till 9 at night, and so home and to supper and to bed. My house is now in its last dirt, I hope, the plasterer and painter now being upon winding up all my trouble, which I expect will now in a fortnight’s time, or a little more, be quite over.
29th (Lord Mayor’s day). Intended to have made me fine, and by invitation to have dined with the Lord Mayor today, but going to see Sir W. Batten this morning, I found Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes going with Sir W. Batten and myself to examine Sir G. Carteret’s accounts for the last year, whereupon I settled to it with them all the day long, only dinner time (which Sir G. Carteret gave us), and by night did as good as finish them, and so parted, and thence to my office, and there set papers in order and business against tomorrow. I received a letter this day from my father, speaking more trouble about my uncle Thomas his business, and of proceeding to lay claim to Brampton and all my uncle left, because it is given conditional that we should pay legacys, which to him we have not yet done, but I hope that will do us no hurt; God help us if it should, but it disquiets my mind. I have also a letter from my Lord Sandwich desiring me upon matters of concernment to be with him early tomorrow morning, which I wonder what it should be. So my mind full of thoughts, and some trouble at night, home and to bed. Sir G. Carteret, who had been at the examining most of the late people that are clapped up, do say that he do not think that there hath been any great plotting among them, though they have a good will to it; but their condition is so poor, and silly, and low, that they do not fear them at all.
30th. Could sleep but little to-night for thoughts of my business. So up by candlelight and by water to Whitehall, and so to my Lord Sandwich, who was up in his chamber and all alone, did acquaint me with his business; which was, that our old acquaintance Mr. Wade (in Axe Yard) hath discovered to him £7,000 hid in the Tower, of which he was to have two for discovery; my Lord himself two, and the King the other three, when it was found; and that the King’s warrant runs for me on my Lord’s part, and one Mr. Lee for Sir Harry Bennet, to demand leave of the Lieutenant of the Tower for to make search. After he had told me the whole business, I took leave and hastened to my office, expecting to be called by a letter from my Lord to set upon the business, and so there I sat with the officers all the morning. At noon when we were up comes Mr. Wade with my Lord’s letter, and tells me the whole business. So we consulted for me to go first to Sir H. Bennet, who is now with many of the Privy Counsellors at the Tower, examining of their late prisoners, to advise with him when to begin. So I went; and the guard at the Tower Gate, making me leave my sword at the gate, I was forced to stay so long in the ale-house hard by, till my boy run home for my cloak, that my Lord Mayor that now is, Sir John Robinson, Lieutenant of the Tower, with all his company, was gone with their coaches to his house in Minchen Lane. So my cloak being come, I walked thither; and there, by Sir G. Carteret’s means, did presently speak with Sir H. Bennet, who did show and give me the King’s warrant to me and Mr. Leigh, and another to himself, for the paying of £2,000 to my Lord, and other two to the discoverers. After a little discourse, dinner come in; and I dined with them. There was my Lord Mayor, my Lord Lauderdale, Mr. Secretary Morris, to whom Sir H. Bennet would give the upper hand; Sir Wm. Compton, Sir G. Carteret, and myself, and some other company, and a brave dinner. After dinner, Sir H. Bennet did call aside the Lord Mayor and me, and did break the business to him, who did not, nor durst appear the least averse to it, but did promise all assistance forthwith to set upon it. So Mr. Lee and I to our office, and there walked till Mr. Wade and one Evett his guide did come, and W. Griffin, and a porter with his picke-axes, &c.; and so they walked along with us to the Tower, and Sir H. Bennet and my Lord Mayor did give us full power to fall to work. So our guide demands, a candle, and down into the cellars he goes, inquiring whether they were the same that Baxter1 always had. We went into several little cellars, and then went out a-doors to view, and to the Cole Harbour; but none did answer so well to the marks which was given him to find it by, as one arched vault. Where, after a great deal of council whether to set upon it now, or delay for better and more full advice, we set to it, to digging we went to almost eight o’clock at night, but could find nothing. But, however, our guides did not at all seem discouraged; for that they being confident that the money is there they look for, but having never been in the cellars, they could not be positive to the place, and therefore will inform themselves more fully now they have been there, of the party that do advise them. So locking the door after us, we left work to-night, and up to the Deputy Governor (my Lord Mayor, and Sir H. Bennet, with the rest of the company being gone an hour before); and he do undertake to keep the key of the cellars, that none shall go down without his privity. But, Lord! to see what a young simple fantastique coxcombe is made Deputy Governor, would make one mad; and how he called out for his night-gown of silk, only to make a show to us; and yet for half an hour I did not think he was the Deputy Governor, and so spoke not to him about the business, but waited for another man; at last I broke our business to him; and he promising his care, we parted. And Mr. Leigh and I by coach to White Hall, where I did give my Lord Sandwich an account of our proceedings, and some encouragement to hope for something hereafter, and so bade him good-night, and so by coach home again, where to my trouble I found that the painter had not been here today to do any thing, which vexes me mightily. So to my office to put down my journal, and so home and to bed. This morning, walking with Mr. Coventry in the garden, he did tell me how Sir G. Carteret had carried the business of the Victuallers’ money to be paid by himself, contrary to old practice; at which he is angry I perceive, but I believe means no hurt, but that things maybe done as they ought. He expects Sir George should not bespatter him privately, in revenge, but openly. Against which he prepares to bedaub him, and swears he will do it from the beginning, from Jersey to this day. And as to his own taking of too large fees or rewards for places that he had sold, he will prove that he was directed to it by Sir George himself among others. And yet he did not deny Sir G. Carteret his due, in saying that he is a man that do take the most pains, and gives himself the most to do business of any man about the Court, without any desire of pleasure or divertisements; which is very true. But which pleased me mightily, he said in these words, that he was resolved, whatever it cost him, to make an experiment, and see whether it was possible for a man to keep himself up in Court by dealing plainly and walking uprightly, with any private game a playing: in the doing whereof, if his ground do slip from under him, he will be contented; but he is resolved to try, and never to baulke taking notice of any thing that is to the King’s prejudice, let it fall where it will; which is a most brave resolucion. He was very free with me; and by my troth, I do see more reall worth in him than in most men that I do know. I would not forget two passages of Sir J. Minnes’s at yesterday’s dinner. The one, that to the question how it comes to pass that there are no boars seen in London, but many sows and pigs; it was answered, that the constable gets them a-nights. The other, Thos. Killigrew’s way of getting to see plays when he was a boy. He would go to the Red Bull, and when the man cried to the boys, “Who will go and be a devil, and he shall see the play for nothing?” then would he go in, and be a devil upon the stage, and so get to see plays.
1 Intended for John Barkstead, Lieutenant of the Tower under Cromwell. Committed to the Tower (see March 17th, 1661–62).
31st. Lay pretty long in bed, and then up and among my workmen, the carpenters being this day laying of my floor of my dining room, with whom I staid a good while, and so to my office, and did a little business, and so home to dinner, and after dinner all the afternoon with my carpenters, making them lay all my boards but one in my dining room this day, which I am confident they would have made two good days work of if I had not been there, and it will be very pleasant. At night to my office, and there late doing of my office business, and so home to supper and bed. Thus ends this month, I and my family in good health, but weary heartily of dirt, but now in hopes within two or three weeks to be out of it. My head troubled with much business, but especially my fear of Sir J. Minnes claiming my bed-chamber of me, but I hope now that it is almost over, for I perceive he is fitting his house to go into it the next week. Then my law businesses for Brampton makes me mad almost, for that I want time to follow them, but I must by no means neglect them. I thank God I do save money, though it be but a little, but I hope to find out some job or other that I may get a sum by to set me up. I am now also busy in a discovery for my Lord Sandwich and Sir H. Bennett by Mr. Wade’s means of some of Baxter’s [Barkstead] money hid in one of his cellars in the Tower. If we get it it may be I may be 10 or £20 the better for it. I thank God I have no crosses, but only much business to trouble my mind with. In all other things as happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me, and if my house were done that I could diligently follow my business, I would not doubt to do God, and the King, and myself good service. And all I do impute almost wholly to my late temperance, since my making of my vowes against wine and plays, which keeps me most happily and contentfully to my business; which God continue! Public matters are full of discontent, what with the sale of Dunkirk, and my Lady Castlemaine, and her faction at Court; though I know not what they would have more than to debauch the king, whom God preserve from it! And then great plots are talked to be discovered, and all the prisons in town full of ordinary people, taken from their meeting-places last Sunday. But for certain some plots there hath been, though not brought to a head.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53