June 1st. Begun again to rise betimes by 4 o’clock, and made an end of “The Adventures of Five Houres,” and it is a most excellent play. So to my office, where a while and then about several businesses, in my way to my brother’s, where I dined (being invited) with Mr. Peter and Dean Honiwood, where Tom did give us a very pretty dinner, and we very pleasant, but not very merry, the Dean being but a weak man, though very good. I was forced to rise, being in haste to St. James’s to attend the Duke, and left them to end their dinner; but the Duke having been a-hunting today, and so lately come home and gone to bed, we could not see him, and Mr. Coventry being out of the house too, we walked away to White Hall and there took coach, and I with Sir J. Minnes to the Strand May-pole; and there ‘light out of his coach, and walked to the New Theatre, which, since the King’s players are gone to the Royal one, is this day begun to be employed by the fencers to play prizes at. And here I came and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life: and it was between one Mathews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times both in the head and legs, that he was all over blood: and other deadly blows they did give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a most sad pickle. They fought at eight weapons, three bouts at each weapon. It was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think that it has only been a cheat; but this being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest; and I felt one of their swords, and found it to be very little, if at all blunter on the edge, than the common swords are. Strange to see what a deal of money is flung to them both upon the stage between every bout. But a woful rude rabble there was, and such noises, made my head ake all this evening. So, well pleased for once with this sight, I walked home, doing several businesses by the way. In my way calling to see Commissioner Pett, who lies sick at his daughter, a pretty woman, in Gracious Street, but is likely to be abroad again in a day or two. At home I found my wife in bed all this day . . . . I went to see Sir Wm. Pen, who has a little pain of his gout again, but will do well. So home to supper and to bed. This day I hear at Court of the great plot which was lately discovered in Ireland, made among the Presbyters and others, designing to cry up the Covenant, and to secure Dublin Castle and other places; and they have debauched a good part of the army there, promising them ready money.1 Some of the Parliament there, they say, are guilty, and some withdrawn upon it; several persons taken, and among others a son of Scott’s, that was executed here for the King’s murder. What reason the King hath, I know not; but it seems he is doubtfull of Scotland: and this afternoon, when I was there, the Council was called extraordinary; and they were opening the letters this last post’s coming and going between Scotland and us and other places. Blessed be God, my head and hands are clear, and therefore my sleep safe. The King of France is well again.
1 This was known as “Blood’s Plot,” and was named after Colonel Thomas Blood, afterwards notorious for his desperate attack upon the Duke of Ormond in St. James’s Street (1670) and for his robbery of the crown jewels in the Tower (1671). He died August 24th, 1680.
2d. Up and by water to White Hall and so to St. James’s, to Mr. Coventry; where I had an hour’s private talk with him. Most of it was discourse concerning his own condition, at present being under the censure of the House, being concerned with others in the Bill for selling of offices. He tells me, that though he thinks himself to suffer much in his fame hereby, yet he values nothing more of evil to hang over him for that it is against no statute, as is pretended, nor more than what his predecessors time out of mind have taken; and that so soon as he found himself to be in an errour, he did desire to have his fees set, which was done; and since that he hath not taken a token more. He undertakes to prove, that he did never take a token of any captain to get him employed in his life beforehand, or demanded any thing: and for the other accusation, that the Cavaliers are not employed, he looked over the list of them now in the service, and of the twenty-seven that are employed, thirteen have been heretofore always under the King; two neutralls, and the other twelve men of great courage, and such as had either the King’s particular commands, or great recommendation to put them in, and none by himself. Besides that, he says it is not the King’s nor Duke’s opinion that the whole party of the late officers should be rendered desperate. And lastly, he confesses that the more of the Cavaliers are put in, the less of discipline hath followed in the fleet; and that, whenever there comes occasion, it must be the old ones that must do any good, there being only, he says, but Captain Allen good for anything of them all. He tells me, that he cannot guess whom all this should come from; but he suspects Sir G. Carteret, as I also do, at least that he is pleased with it. But he tells me that he will bring Sir G. Carteret to be the first adviser and instructor of him what to make his place of benefit to him; telling him that Smith did make his place worth £5000 and he believed £7000 to him the first year; besides something else greater than all this, which he forbore to tell me. It seems one Sir Thomas Tomkins of the House, that makes many mad motions, did bring it into the House, saying that a letter was left at his lodgings, subscribed by one Benson (which is a feigned name, for there is no such man in the Navy), telling him how many places in the Navy have been sold. And by another letter, left in the same manner since, nobody appearing, he writes him that there is one Hughes and another Butler (both rogues, that have for their roguery been turned out of their places), that will swear that Mr. Coventry did sell their places and other things. I offered him my service, and will with all my heart serve him; but he tells me he do not think it convenient to meddle, or to any purpose, but is sensible of my love therein. So I bade him good morrow, he being out of order to speak anything of our office business, and so away to Westminster Hall, where I hear more of the plot from Ireland; which it seems hath been hatching, and known to the Lord Lieutenant a great while, and kept close till within three days that it should have taken effect. The term ended yesterday, and it seems the Courts rose sooner, for want of causes, than it is remembered to have done in the memory of man. Thence up and down about business in several places, as to speak with Mr. Phillips, but missed him, and so to Mr. Beacham, the goldsmith, he being one of the jury tomorrow in Sir W. Batten’s case against Field. I have been telling him our case, and I believe he will do us good service there. So home, and seeing my wife had dined I went, being invited, and dined with Sir W. Batten, Sir J. Minnes, and others, at Sir W. Batten’s, Captain Allen giving them a Foy’ dinner, he being to go down to lie Admiral in the Downs this summer. I cannot but think it a little strange that having been so civil to him as I have been he should not invite me to dinner, but I believe it was but a sudden motion, and so I heard not of it. After dinner to the office, where all the afternoon till late, and so to see Sir W. Pen, and so home to supper and to bed. To-night I took occasion with the vintner’s man, who came by my direction to taste again my tierce of claret, to go down to the cellar with him to consult about the drawing of it; and there, to my great vexation, I find that the cellar door hath long been kept unlocked, and above half the wine drunk. I was deadly mad at it, and examined my people round, but nobody would confess it; but I did examine the boy, and afterwards Will, and told him of his sitting up after we were in bed with the maids, but as to that business he denies it, which I can [not] remedy, but I shall endeavour to know how it went. My wife did also this evening tell me a story of Ashwell stealing some new ribbon from her, a yard or two, which I am sorry to hear, and I fear my wife do take a displeasure against her, that they will hardly stay together, which I should be sorry for, because I know not where to pick such another out anywhere.
3rd. Up betimes, and studying of my double horizontal diall against Dean Honiwood comes to me, who dotes mightily upon it, and I think I must give it him. So after talking with Sir W. Batten, who is this morning gone to Guildhall to his trial with Field, I to my office, and there read all the morning in my statute-book, consulting among others the statute against selling of offices, wherein Mr. Coventry is so much concerned; and though he tells me that the statute do not reach him, yet I much fear that it will. At noon, hearing that the trial is done, and Sir W. Batten come to the Sun behind the Exchange I went thither, where he tells me that he had much ado to carry it on his side, but that at last he did, but the jury, by the judge’s favour, did give us but; £10 damages and the charges of the suit, which troubles me; but it is well it went not against us, which would have been much worse. So to the Exchange, and thence home to dinner, taking Deane of Woolwich along with me, and he dined alone with my wife being undressed, and he and I spent all the afternoon finely, learning of him the method of drawing the lines of a ship, to my great satisfaction, and which is well worth my spending some time in, as I shall do when my wife is gone into the country. In the evening to the office and did some business, then home, and, God forgive me, did from my wife’s unwillingness to tell me whither she had sent the boy, presently suspect that he was gone to Pembleton’s, and from that occasion grew so discontented that I could hardly speak or sleep all night.
4th. Up betimes, and my wife and Ashwell and I whiled away the morning up and down while they got themselves ready, and I did so watch to see my wife put on drawers, which poor soul she did, and yet I could not get off my suspicions, she having a mind to go into Fenchurch Street before she went out for good and all with me, which I must needs construe to be to meet Pembleton, when she afterwards told me it was to buy a fan that she had not a mind that I should know of, and I believe it is so. Specially I did by a wile get out of my boy that he did not yesterday go to Pembleton’s or thereabouts, but only was sent all that time for some starch, and I did see him bringing home some, and yet all this cannot make my mind quiet. At last by coach I carried her to Westminster Hall, and they two to Mrs. Bowyer to go from thence to my wife’s father’s and Ashwell to hers, and by and by seeing my wife’s father in the Hall, and being loth that my wife should put me to another trouble and charge by missing him today, I did employ a porter to go from a person unknown to tell him his daughter was come to his lodgings, and I at a distance did observe him, but, Lord! what a company of questions he did ask him, what kind of man I was, and God knows what. So he went home, and after I had staid in the Hall a good while, where I heard that this day the Archbishop of Canterbury, Juxon, a man well spoken of by all for a good man, is dead; and the Bishop of London is to have his seat. Home by water, where by and by comes Dean Honiwood, and I showed him my double horizontal diall, and promise to give him one, and that shall be it. So, without eating or drinking, he went away to Mr. Turner’s, where Sir J. Minnes do treat my Lord Chancellor and a great deal of guests today with a great dinner, which I thank God I do not pay for; and besides, I doubt it is too late for any man to expect any great service from my Lord Chancellor, for which I am sorry, and pray God a worse do not come in his room. So I to dinner alone, and so to my chamber, and then to the office alone, my head aching and my mind in trouble for my wife, being jealous of her spending the day, though God knows I have no great reason. Yet my mind is troubled. By and by comes Will Howe to see us, and walked with me an hour in the garden, talking of my Lord’s falling to business again, which I am glad of, and his coming to lie at his lodgings at White Hall again. The match between Sir J. Cutts and my Lady Jemimah, he says, is likely to go on; for which I am glad. In the Hall today Dr. Pierce tells me that the Queen begins to be brisk, and play like other ladies, and is quite another woman from what she was, of which I am glad. It may be, it may make the King like her the better, and forsake his two mistresses, my Lady Castlemaine and Stewart. He gone we sat at the office till night, and then home, where my wife is come, and has been with her father all the afternoon, and so home, and she and I to walk in the garden, giving ear to her discourse of her father’s affairs, and I found all well, so after putting things in order at my office, home to supper and to bed.
5th. Up and to read a little, and by and by the carver coming, I directed him how to make me a neat head for my viall that is making. About 10 o’clock my wife and I, not without some discontent, abroad by coach, and I set her at her father’s; but their condition is such that she will not let me see where they live, but goes by herself when I am out of sight. Thence to my brother’s, taking care for a passage for my wife the next week in a coach to my father’s, and thence to Paul’s Churchyard, where I found several books ready bound for me; among others, the new Concordance of the Bible, which pleases me much, and is a book I hope to make good use of. Thence, taking the little History of England with me, I went by water to Deptford, where Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten attending the Pay; I dined with them, and there Dr. Britton, parson of the town, a fine man and good company, dined with us, and good discourse. After dinner I left them and walked to Redriffe, and thence to White Hall, and at my Lord’s lodgings found my wife, and thence carried her to see my Lady Jemimah, but she was not within. So to Mr. Turner’s, and there saw Mr. Edward Pepys’s lady, who my wife concurs with me to be very pretty, as most women we ever saw. So home, and after a walk in the garden a little troubled to see my wife take no more pleasure with Ashwell, but neglect her and leave her at home. Home to supper and to bed.
6th. Lay in bed till 7 o’clock, yet rose with an opinion that it was not 5, and so continued though I heard the clock strike, till noon, and would not believe that it was so late as it truly was. I was hardly ever so mistaken in my life before. Up and to Sir G. Carteret at his house, and spoke to him about business, but he being in a bad humour I had no mind to stay with him, but walked, drinking my morning draft of whay, by the way, to York House, where the Russia Embassador do lie; and there I saw his people go up and down louseing themselves: they are all in a great hurry, being to be gone the beginning of next week. But that that pleased me best, was the remains of the noble soul of the late Duke of Buckingham appearing in his house, in every place, in the doorcases and the windows. By and by comes Sir John Hebden, the Russia Resident, to me, and he and I in his coach to White Hall, to Secretary Morrice’s, to see the orders about the Russia hemp that is to be fetched from Archangel for our King, and that being done, to coach again, and he brought me into the City and so I home; and after dinner abroad by water, and met by appointment Mr. Deane in the Temple Church, and he and I over to Mr. Blackbury’s yard, and thence to other places, and after that to a drinking house, in all which places I did so practise and improve my measuring of timber, that I can now do it with great ease and perfection, which do please me mightily. This fellow Deane is a conceited fellow, and one that means the King a great deal of service, more of disservice to other people that go away with the profits which he cannot make; but, however, I learn much of him, and he is, I perceive, of great use to the King in his place, and so I shall give him all the encouragement I can. Home by water, and having wrote a letter for my wife to my Lady Sandwich to copy out to send this night’s post, I to the office, and wrote there myself several things, and so home to supper and bed. My mind being troubled to think into what a temper of neglect I have myself flung my wife into by my letting her learn to dance, that it will require time to cure her of, and I fear her going into the country will but make her worse; but only I do hope in the meantime to spend my time well in my office, with more leisure than while she is here. Hebden, today in the coach, did tell me how he is vexed to see things at Court ordered as they are by nobody that attends to business, but every man himself or his pleasures. He cries up my Lord Ashley to be almost the only man that he sees to look after business; and with that ease and mastery, that he wonders at him. He cries out against the King’s dealing so much with goldsmiths, and suffering himself to have his purse kept and commanded by them. He tells me also with what exact care and order the States of Holland’s stores are kept in their Yards, and every thing managed there by their builders with such husbandry as is not imaginable; which I will endeavour to understand further, if I can by any means learn.
7th (Lord’s day). Whit Sunday. Lay long talking with my wife, sometimes angry and ended pleased and hope to bring our matters to a better posture in a little time, which God send. So up and to church, where Mr. Mills preached, but, I know not how, I slept most of the sermon. Thence home, and dined with my wife and Ashwell and after dinner discoursed very pleasantly, and so I to church again in the afternoon, and, the Scot preaching, again slept all the afternoon, and so home, and by and by to Sir W. Batten’s, to talk about business, where my Lady Batten inveighed mightily against the German Princess, and I as high in the defence of her wit and spirit, and glad that she is cleared at the sessions. Thence to Sir W. Pen, who I found ill again of the gout, he tells me that now Mr. Castle and Mrs. Martha Batten do own themselves to be married, and have been this fortnight. Much good may it do him, for I do not envy him his wife. So home, and there my wife and I had an angry word or two upon discourse of our boy, compared with Sir W. Pen’s boy that he has now, whom I say is much prettier than ours and she the contrary. It troubles me to see that every small thing is enough now-a-days to bring a difference between us. So to my office and there did a little business, and then home to supper and to bed. Mrs. Turner, who is often at Court, do tell me today that for certain the Queen hath much changed her humour, and is become very pleasant and sociable as any; and they say is with child, or believed to be so.
8th. Up and to my office a while, and thence by coach with Sir J. Minnes to St. James’s to the Duke, where Mr. Coventry and us two did discourse with the Duke a little about our office business, which saved our coming in the afternoon, and so to rights home again and to dinner. After dinner my wife and I had a little jangling, in which she did give me the lie, which vexed me, so that finding my talking did but make her worse, and that her spirit is lately come to be other than it used to be, and now depends upon her having Ashwell by her, before whom she thinks I shall not say nor do anything of force to her, which vexes me and makes me wish that I had better considered all that I have of late done concerning my bringing my wife to this condition of heat, I went up vexed to my chamber and there fell examining my new concordance, that I have bought, with Newman’s, the best that ever was out before, and I find mine altogether as copious as that and something larger, though the order in some respects not so good, that a man may think a place is missing, when it is only put in another place. Up by and by my wife comes and good friends again, and to walk in the garden and so anon to supper and to bed. My cozen John Angier the son, of Cambridge coming to me late to see me, and I find his business is that he would be sent to sea, but I dissuaded him from it, for I will not have to do with it without his friends’ consent.
9th. Up and after ordering some things towards my wife’s going into the country, to the office, where I spent the morning upon my measuring rules very pleasantly till noon, and then comes Creed and he and I talked about mathematiques, and he tells me of a way found out by Mr. Jonas Moore which he calls duodecimal arithmetique, which is properly applied to measuring, where all is ordered by inches, which are 12 in a foot, which I have a mind to learn. So he with me home to dinner and after dinner walk in the garden, and then we met at the office, where Coventry, Sir J. Minnes, and I, and so in the evening, business done, I went home and spent my time till night with my wife. Presently after my coming home comes Pembleton, whether by appointment or no I know not, or whether by a former promise that he would come once before my wife’s going into the country, but I took no notice of, let them go up and Ashwell with them to dance, which they did, and I staid below in my chamber, but, Lord! how I listened and laid my ear to the door, and how I was troubled when I heard them stand still and not dance. Anon they made an end and had done, and so I suffered him to go away, and spoke not to him, though troubled in my mind, but showed no discontent to my wife, believing that this is the last time I shall be troubled with him. So my wife and I to walk in the garden, home and to supper and to bed.
10th. Up and all the morning helping my wife to put up her things towards her going into the country and drawing the wine out of my vessel to send. This morning came my cozen Thomas Pepys to desire me to furnish him with some money, which I could not do till his father has wrote to Piggott his consent to the sale of his lands, so by and by we parted and I to the Exchange a while and so home and to dinner, and thence to the Royal Theatre by water, and landing, met with Captain Ferrers his friend, the little man that used to be with him, and he with us, and sat by us while we saw “Love in a Maze.” The play is pretty good, but the life of the play is Lacy’s part, the clown, which is most admirable; but for the rest, which are counted such old and excellent actors, in my life I never heard both men and women so ill pronounce their parts, even to my making myself sick therewith. Thence, Creed happening to be with us, we four to the Half–Moon Tavern, I buying some sugar and carrying it with me, which we drank with wine and thence to the whay-house, and drank a great deal of whay, and so by water home, and thence to see Sir W. Pen, who is not in much pain, but his legs swell and so immoveable that he cannot stir them, but as they are lifted by other people and I doubt will have another fit of his late pain. Played a little at cards with him and his daughter, who is grown every day a finer and finer lady, and so home to supper and to bed. When my wife and I came first home we took Ashwell and all the rest below in the cellar with the vintner drawing out my wine, which I blamed Ashwell much for and told her my mind that I would not endure it, nor was it fit for her to make herself equal with the ordinary servants of the house.
11th. Up and spent most of the morning upon my measuring Ruler and with great pleasure I have found out some things myself of great dispatch, more than my book teaches me, which pleases me mightily. Sent my wife’s things and the wine today by the carrier to my father’s, but staid my boy from a letter of my father’s, wherein he desires that he may not come to trouble his family as he did the last year. Dined at home and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and at night home and spent the evening with my wife, and she and I did jangle mightily about her cushions that she wrought with worsteds the last year, which are too little for any use, but were good friends by and by again. But one thing I must confess I do observe, which I did not before, which is, that I cannot blame my wife to be now in a worse humour than she used to be, for I am taken up in my talk with Ashwell, who is a very witty girl, that I am not so fond of her as I used and ought to be, which now I do perceive I will remedy, but I would to the Lord I had never taken any, though I cannot have a better than her. To supper and to bed. The consideration that this is the longest day in the year is very unpleasant to me. —[It is necessary to note that this was according to the old style.]— This afternoon my wife had a visit from my Lady Jeminah and Mr. Ferrers.
12th. Up and my office, there conning my measuring Ruler, which I shall grow a master of in a very little time. At noon to the Exchange and so home to dinner, and abroad with my wife by water to the Royall Theatre; and there saw “The Committee,” a merry but indifferent play, only Lacey’s part, an Irish footman, is beyond imagination. Here I saw my Lord Falconbridge, and his Lady, my Lady Mary Cromwell, who looks as well as I have known her, and well clad; but when the House began to fill she put on her vizard,1 and so kept it on all the play; which of late is become a great fashion among the ladies, which hides their whole face. So to the Exchange, to buy things with my wife; among others, a vizard for herself. And so by water home and to my office to do a little business, and so to see Sir W. Pen, but being going to bed and not well I could not see him. So home and to supper and bed, being mightily troubled all night and next morning with the palate of my mouth being down from some cold I took today sitting sweating in the playhouse, and the wind blowing through the windows upon my head.
1 Masks were commonly used by ladies in the reign of Elizabeth, and when their use was revived at the Restoration for respectable women attending the theatre, they became general. They soon, however, became the mark of loose women, and their use was discontinued by women of repute. On June 1st, 1704, a song was sung at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields called “The Misses’ Lamentation for want of their Vizard Masques at the Theatre.” Mr. R. W. Lowe gives several references to the use of vizard masks at the theatre in his interesting biography, “Thomas Betterton.”
13th. Up and betimes to Thames Street among the tarr men, to look the price of tarr and so by water to Whitehall thinking to speak with Sir G. Carteret, but he lying in the city all night, and meeting with Mr. Cutler the merchant, I with him in his coach into the city to Sir G. Carteret, but missing him there, he and I walked to find him at Sir Tho. Allen’s in Bread Street, where not finding him he and I walked towards our office, he discoursing well of the business of the Navy, and particularly of the victualling, in which he was once I perceive concerned, and he and I parted and I to the office and there had a difference with Sir W. Batten about Mr. Bowyer’s tarr, which I am resolved to cross, though he sent me last night, as a bribe, a barrel of sturgeon, which, it may be, I shall send back, for I will not have the King abused so abominably in the price of what we buy, by Sir W. Batten’s corruption and underhand dealing. So from the office, Mr. Wayth with me, to the Parliament House, and there I spoke and told Sir G. Carteret all, with which he is well pleased, and do recall his willingness yesterday, it seems, to Sir W. Batten, that we should buy a great quantity of tarr, being abused by him. Thence with Mr. Wayth after drinking a cupp of ale at the Swan, talking of the corruption of the Navy, by water. I landed him at Whitefriars, and I to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, where I found my wife’s brother, and thence after dinner by water to the Royall Theatre, where I resolved to bid farewell, as shall appear by my oaths tomorrow against all plays either at publique houses or Court till Christmas be over. Here we saw “The Faithfull Sheepheardesse,” a most simple thing, and yet much thronged after, and often shown, but it is only for the scenes’ sake, which is very fine indeed and worth seeing; but I am quite out of opinion with any of their actings, but Lacy’s, compared with the other house. Thence to see Mrs. Hunt, which we did and were much made of; and in our way saw my Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something. This is my wife’s opinion also, for which I am sorry. Thence by coach, with a mad coachman, that drove like mad, and down byeways, through Bucklersbury home, everybody through the street cursing him, being ready to run over them. So home, and after writing letters by the post, home to supper and bed. Yesterday, upon conference with the King in the Banqueting House, the Parliament did agree with much ado, it being carried but by forty-two voices, that they would supply him with a sum of money; but what and how is not yet known, but expected to be done with great disputes the next week. But if done at all, it is well.
14th (Lord’s day). Lay long in bed. So up and to church. Then to dinner, and Tom dined with me, who I think grows a very thriving man, as he himself tells me. He tells me that his man John has got a wife, and for that he intends to part with him, which I am sorry for, and then that Mr. Armiger comes to be a constant lodger at his house, and he says has money in his purse and will be a good paymaster, but I do much doubt it. He being gone, I up and sending my people to church, my wife and I did even our reckonings, and had a great deal of serious talk, wherein I took occasion to give her hints of the necessity of our saving all we can. I do see great cause every day to curse the time that ever I did give way to the taking of a woman for her, though I could never have had a better, and also the letting of her learn to dance, by both which her mind is so devilishly taken off her business and minding her occasions, and besides has got such an opinion in her of my being jealous, that it is never to be removed, I fear, nor hardly my trouble that attends it; but I must have patience. I did give her 40s. to carry into the country tomorrow with her, whereof 15s. is to go for the coach-hire for her and Ashwell, there being 20s. paid here already in earnest. In the evening our discourse turned to great content and love, and I hope that after a little forgetting our late differences, and being a while absent one from another, we shall come to agree as well as ever. So to Sir W. Pen’s to visit him, and finding him alone, sent for my wife, who is in her riding-suit, to see him, which she hath not done these many months I think. By and by in comes Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and so we sat talking. Among other things, Sir J. Minnes brought many fine expressions of Chaucer, which he doats on mightily, and without doubt he is a very fine poet.1 Sir W. Pen continues lame of the gout, that he cannot rise from his chair. So after staying an hour with him, we went home and to supper, and so to prayers and bed.
1 Pepys continued through life an admirer of Chaucer, and we have the authority of Dryden himself for saying that we owe his character of the Good Parson to Pepys’s recommendation.
15th. Up betimes, and anon my wife rose and did give me her keys, and put other things in order and herself against going this morning into the country. I was forced to go to Thames Street and strike up a bargain for some tarr, to prevent being abused therein by Hill, who was with me this morning, and is mightily surprised that I should tell him what I can have the same tarr with his for. Thence home, but finding my wife gone, I took coach and after her to her inn, where I am troubled to see her forced to sit in the back of the coach, though pleased to see her company none but women and one parson; she I find is troubled at all, and I seemed to make a promise to get a horse and ride after them; and so, kissing her often, and Ashwell once, I bid them adieu. So home by coach, and thence by water to Deptford to the Trinity House, where I came a little late; but I found them reading their charter, which they did like fools, only reading here and there a bit, whereas they ought to do it all, every word, and then proceeded to the election of a maister, which was Sir W. Batten, without any control, who made a heavy, short speech to them, moving them to give thanks to the late Maister for his pains, which he said was very great, and giving them thanks for their choice of him, wherein he would serve them to the best of his power. Then to the choice of their assistants and wardens, and so rose. I might have received 2s. 6d. as a younger Brother, but I directed one of the servants of the House to receive it and keep it. Thence to church, where Dr. Britton preached a sermon full of words against the Nonconformists, but no great matter in it, nor proper for the day at all. His text was, “With one mind and one mouth give glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That done, by water, I in the barge with the Maister, to the Trinity House at London; where, among others, I found my Lords Sandwich and Craven, and my cousin Roger Pepys, and Sir Wm. Wheeler. Anon we sat down to dinner, which was very great, as they always have. Great variety of talk. Mr. Prin, among many, had a pretty tale of one that brought in a bill in parliament for the empowering him to dispose his land to such children as he should have that should bear the name of his wife. It was in Queen Elizabeth’s time. One replied that there are many species of creatures where the male gives the denomination to both sexes, as swan and woodcock, but not above one where the female do, and that is a goose. Both at and after dinner we had great discourses of the nature and power of spirits, and whether they can animate dead bodies; in all which, as of the general appearance of spirits, my Lord Sandwich is very scepticall. He says the greatest warrants that ever he had to believe any, is the present appearing of the Devil1 in Wiltshire, much of late talked of, who beats a drum up and down. There are books of it, and, they say, very true; but my Lord observes, that though he do answer to any tune that you will play to him upon another drum, yet one tune he tried to play and could not; which makes him suspect the whole; and I think it is a good argument. Sometimes they talked of handsome women, and Sir J. Minnes saying that there was no beauty like what he sees in the country-markets, and specially at Bury, in which I will agree with him that there is a prettiest women I ever saw. My Lord replied thus: “Sir John, what do you think of your neighbour’s wife?” looking upon me. “Do you not think that he hath a great beauty to his wife? Upon my word he hath.” Which I was not a little proud of. Thence by barge with my Lord to Blackfriars, where we landed and I thence walked home, where vexed to find my boy (whom I boxed at his coming for it) and Will abroad, though he was but upon Tower Hill a very little while. My head akeing with the healths I was forced to drink today I sent for the barber, and he having done, I up to my wife’s closett, and there played on my viallin a good while, and without supper anon to bed, sad for want of my wife, whom I love with all my heart, though of late she has given me some troubled thoughts.
1 In 1664, there being a generall report all over the kingdom of Mr. Monpesson his house being haunted, which hee himself affirming to the King and Queene to be true, the King sent the Lord Falmouth, and the Queene sent mee, to examine the truth of; but wee could neither see nor heare anything that was extraordinary; and about a year after, his Majesty told me that hee had discovered the cheat, and that Mr. Monpesson, upon his Majesty sending for him, confessed it to him. And yet Mr. Monpesson, in a printed letter, had afterwards the confidence to deny that hee had ever made any such confession” (“Letters of the Second Earl of Chesterfield,” p. 24, 1829, 8vo.). Joseph Glanville published a relation of the famous disturbance at the house of Mr. Monpesson, at Tedworth, Wilts, occasioned by the beating of an invisible drum every night for a year. This story, which was believed at the time, furnished the plot for Addison’s play of “The Drummer,” or the “Haunted House.” In the “Mercurius Publicus,” April 16–23, 1663, there is a curious examination on this subject, by which it appears that one William Drury, of Uscut, Wilts, was the invisible drummer. — B.
16th. Up, but not so early as I intend now, and to my office, where doing business all the morning. At noon by desire I dined with Sir W. Batten, who tells me that the House have voted the supply, intended for the King, shall be by subsidy. After dinner with Sir J. Minnes to see some pictures at Brewer’s, said to be of good hands, but I do not like them. So I to the office and thence to Stacy’s, his Tar merchant, whose servant with whom I agreed yesterday for some tar do by combination with Bowyer and Hill fall from our agreement, which vexes us all at the office, even Sir W. Batten, who was so earnest for it. So to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night, and then to Sir W. Pen, who continues ill, and so to bed about 10 o’clock.
17th. Up before 4 o’clock, which is the hour I intend now to rise at, and to my office a while, and with great pleasure I fell to my business again. Anon went with money to my tar merchant to pay for the tar, which he refuses to sell me; but now the master is come home, and so he speaks very civilly, and I believe we shall have it with peace. I brought back my money to my office, and thence to White Hall, and in the garden spoke to my Lord Sandwich, who is in his gold-buttoned suit, as the mode is, and looks nobly. Captain Ferrers, I see, is come home from France. I only spoke one word to him, my Lord being there. He tells me the young gentlemen are well there; so my Lord went to my Lord Albemarle’s to dinner, and I by water home and dined alone, and at the office (after half an hour’s viallin practice after dinner) till late at night, and so home and to bed. This day I sent my cozen Edward Pepys his Lady, at my cozen Turner’s, a piece of venison given me yesterday, and Madam Turner I sent for a dozen bottles of her’s, to fill with wine for her. This day I met with Pierce the surgeon, who tells me that the King has made peace between Mr. Edward Montagu and his father Lord Montagu, and that all is well again; at which; for the family’s sake, I am very glad, but do not think it will hold long.
18th. Up by four o’clock and to my office, where all the morning writing out in my Navy collections the ordinary estimate of the Navy, and did it neatly. Then dined at home alone, my mind pleased with business, but sad for the absence of my wife. After dinner half an hour at my viallin, and then all the afternoon sitting at the office late, and so home and to bed. This morning Mr. Cutler came and sat in my closet half an hour with me, his discourse very excellent, being a wise man, and I do perceive by him as well as many others that my diligence is taken notice of in the world, for which I bless God and hope to continue doing so. Before I went into my house this night I called at Sir W. Batten’s, where finding some great ladies at table at supper with him and his lady, I retreated and went home, though they called to me again and again, and afterwards sent for me. So I went, and who should it be but Sir Fr. Clerke and his lady and another proper lady at supper there, and great cheer, where I staid till 11 o’clock at night, and so home and to bed.
19th. Lay till 6 o’clock, and then up and to my office, where all the morning, and at noon to the Exchange, and coming home met Mr. Creed, and took him back, and he dined with me, and by and by came Mr. Moore, whom I supplied with £30, and then abroad with them by water to Lambeth, expecting to have seen the Archbishop lie in state; but it seems he is not laid out yet. And so over to White Hall, and at the Privy Seal Office examined the books, and found the grant of increase of salary to the principall officers in the year 1639, £300 among the Controller, Surveyor, and Clerk of the Shippes. Thence to Wilkinson’s after a good walk in the Park, where we met on horseback Captain Ferrers; who tells us that the King of France is well again, and that he saw him train his Guards, all brave men, at Paris; and that when he goes to his mistress, Madame la Valiere, a pretty little woman, now with child by him, he goes with his guards with him publiquely, and his trumpets and kettle-drums with him, who stay before the house while he is with her; and yet he says that, for all this, the Queen do not know of it, for that nobody dares to tell her; but that I dare not believe. Thence I to Wilkinson’s, where we had bespoke a dish of pease, where we eat them very merrily, and there being with us the little gentleman, a friend of Captain Ferrers, that was with my wife and I at a play a little while ago, we went thence to the Rhenish wine-house, where we called for a red Rhenish wine called Bleahard, a pretty wine, and not mixed, as they say. Here Mr. Moore showed us the French manner, when a health is drunk, to bow to him that drunk to you, and then apply yourself to him, whose lady’s health is drunk, and then to the person that you drink to, which I never knew before; but it seems it is now the fashion. Thence by water home and to bed, having played out of my chamber window on my pipe before I went to bed, and making Will read a part of a Latin chapter, in which I perceive in a little while he will be pretty ready, if he spends but a little pains in it.
20th. Up and to my office, where all the morning, and dined at home, Mr. Deane, of Woolwich, with me, and he and I all the afternoon down by water, and in a timber yard, measuring of timber, which I now understand thoroughly, and shall be able in a little time to do the King great service. Home in the evening, and after Will’s reading a little in the Latin Testament, to bed.
21st (Lord’s day). Up betimes, and fell to reading my Latin grammar, which I perceive I have great need of, having lately found it by my calling Will to the reading of a chapter in Latin, and I am resolved to go through it. After being trimmed, I by water to White Hall, and so over the Park, it raining hard, to Mr. Coventry’s chamber, where I spent two hours with him about business of the Navy, and how by his absence things are like to go with us, and with good content from my being with him he carried me by coach and set me down at Whitehall, and thence to right home by water. He shewed me a list, which he hath prepared for the Parliament’s view, if the business of his selling of offices should be brought to further hearing, wherein he reckons up, as I remember, 236 offices of ships which have been disposed of without his taking one farthing. This, of his own accord, he opened his cabinet on purpose to shew me, meaning, I suppose, that I should discourse abroad of it, and vindicate him therein, which I shall with all my power do. At home, being wet, shifted my band and things, and then to dinner, and after dinner went up and tried a little upon my tryangle, which I understand fully, and with a little use I believe could bring myself to do something. So to church, and slept all the sermon, the Scot, to whose voice I am not to be reconciled, preaching. Thence with Sir J. Minnes (who poor man had forgot that he carried me the other day to the painter’s to see some pictures which he has since bought and are brought home) to his Jodgings to see some base things he calls them of great masters of painting. So I said nothing that he had shown me them already, but commended them, and I think they are indeed good enough. Thence to see Sir W. Pen, who continues ill of the gout still. Here we staid a good while, and then I to my office, and read my vows seriously and with content, and so home to supper, to prayers, and to bed.
22nd. Up betimes and to my office, reading over all our letters of the office that we have wrote since I came into the Navy, whereby to bring the whole series of matters into my memory, and to enter in my manuscript some of them that are needful and of great influence. By and by with Sir W. Batten by coach to Westminster, where all along I find the shops evening with the sides of the houses, even in the broadest streets; which will make the City very much better than it was. I walked in the Hall from one man to another. Hear that the House is still divided about the manner of levying the subsidys which they intend to give the King, both as to the manner, the time, and the number. It seems the House do consent to send to the King to desire that he would be graciously pleased to let them know who it was that did inform him of what words Sir Richard Temple should say, which were to this purpose: “That if the King would side with him, or be guided by him and his party, that he should not lack money:” but without knowing who told it, they do not think fit to call him to any account for it. Thence with Creed and bought a lobster, and then to an alehouse, where the maid of the house is a confident merry lass, and if modest is very pleasant to the customers that come thither. Here we eat it, and thence to walk in the Park a good while. The Duke being gone a-hunting, and by and by came in and shifted himself; he having in his hunting, rather than go about, ‘light and led his horse through a river up to his breast, and came so home: and when we were come, which was by and by, we went on to him, and being ready he retired with us, and we had a long discourse with him. But Mr. Creed’s accounts stick still through the perverse ignorance of Sir G. Carteret, which I cannot safely control as I would. Thence to the Park again, and there walked up and down an hour or two till night with Creed, talking, who is so knowing, and a man of that reason, that I cannot but love his company, though I do not love the man, because he is too wise to be made a friend of, and acts all by interest and policy, but is a man fit to learn of. So to White Hall, and by water to the Temple, and calling at my brother’s and several places, but to no purpose, I came home, and meeting Strutt, the purser, he tells me for a secret that he was told by Field that he had a judgment against me in the Exchequer for £400. So I went to Sir W. Batten, and taking Mr. Batten, his son the counsellor, with me, by coach, I went to Clerke, our Solicitor, who tells me there can be no such thing, and after conferring with them two together, who are resolved to look well after the business, I returned home and to my office, setting down this day’s passages, and having a letter that all is well in the country I went home to supper, and then a Latin chapter of Will and to bed.
23rd. Up by four o’clock, and so to my office; but before I went out, calling, as I have of late done, for my boy’s copybook, I found that he had not done his task; so I beat him, and then went up to fetch my rope’s end, but before I got down the boy was gone. I searched the cellar with a candle, and from top to bottom could not find him high nor low. So to the office; and after an hour or two, by water to the Temple, to my cozen Roger; who, I perceive, is a deadly high man in the Parliament business, and against the Court, showing me how they have computed that the King hath spent, at least hath received, about four millions of money since he came in: and in Sir J. Winter’s case, in which I spoke to him, he is so high that he says he deserves to be hanged, and all the high words he could give, which I was sorry to see, though I am confident he means well. Thence by water home, and to the ‘Change; and by and by comes the King and the Queen by in great state, and the streets full of people. I stood in Mr. ————‘s balcone. They dine all at my Lord Mayor’s; but what he do for victuals, or room for them, I know not. So home to dinner alone, and there I found that my boy had got out of doors, and came in for his hat and band, and so is gone away to his brother; but I do resolve even to let him go away for good and all. So I by and by to the office, and there had a great fray with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, who, like an old dotard, is led by the nose by him. It was in Captain Cocke’s business of hemp, wherein the King is absolutely abused; but I was for peace sake contented to be quiet and to sign to his bill, but in my manner so as to justify myself, and so all was well; but to see what a knave Sir W. Batten is makes my heart ake. So late at my office, and then home to supper and to bed, my man Will not being well.
24th. Up before 4 o’clock, and so to my lute an hour or more, and then by water, drinking my morning draft alone at an alehouse in Thames Street, to the Temple, and thence after a little discourse with my cozen Roger about some business, away by water to St. James’s, and there an hour’s private discourse with Mr. Coventry, where he told me one thing to my great joy, that in the business of Captain Cocke’s hemp, disputed before him the other day, Mr. Coventry absent, the Duke did himself tell him since, that Mr. Pepys and he did stand up and carry it against the rest that were there, Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten, which do please me much to see that the Duke do take notice of me. We did talk highly of Sir W. Batten’s corruption, which Mr. Coventry did very kindly say that it might be only his heaviness and unaptness for business, that he do things without advice and rashly, and to gratify people that do eat and drink and play with him, and that now and then he observes that he signs bills only in anger and fury to be rid of men. Speaking of Sir G. Carteret, of whom I perceive he speaks but slightly, and diminishing of him in his services for the King in Jersey; that he was well rewarded, and had good lands and rents, and other profits from the King, all the time he was there; and that it was always his humour to have things done his way. He brought an example how he would not let the Castle there be victualled for more than a month, that so he might keep it at his beck, though the people of the town did offer to supply it more often themselves, which, when one did propose to the King, Sir George Carteret being by, says Sir George, “Let me know who they are that would do it, I would with all my heart pay them.” “Ah, by God,” says the Commander that spoke of it, “that is it that they are afeard of, that you would hug them,” meaning that he would not endure them. Another thing he told me, how the Duke of York did give Sir G. Carteret and the Island his profits as Admirall, and other things, toward the building of a pier there. But it was never laid out, nor like to be. So it falling out that a lady being brought to bed, the Duke was to be desired to be one of the godfathers; and it being objected that that would not be proper, there being no peer of the land to be joyned with him, the lady replied, “Why, let him choose; and if he will not be a godfather without a peer, then let him even stay till he hath made a pier of his own.”1 He tells me, too, that he hath lately been observed to tack about at Court, and to endeavour to strike in with the persons that are against the Chancellor; but this he says of him, that he do not say nor do anything to the prejudice of the Chancellor. But he told me that the Chancellor was rising again, and that of late Sir G. Carteret’s business and employment hath not been so full as it used to be while the Chancellor stood up. From that we discoursed of the evil of putting out men of experience in business as the Chancellor, and from that to speak of the condition of the King’s party at present, who, as the Papists, though otherwise fine persons, yet being by law kept for these fourscore years out of employment, they are now wholly uncapable of business; and so the Cavaliers for twenty years, who, says he, for the most part have either given themselves over to look after country and family business, and those the best of them, and the rest to debauchery, &c.; and that was it that hath made him high against the late Bill brought into the House for the making all men incapable of employment that had served against the King. Why, says he, in the sea-service, it is impossible to do any thing without them, there being not more than three men of the whole King’s side that are fit to command almost; and these were Captain Allen, Smith, and Beech; and it may be Holmes, and Utber, and Batts might do something. I desired him to tell me if he thought that I did speak anything that I do against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes out of ill will or design. He told me quite the contrary, and that there was reason enough. After a good deal of good and fine discourse, I took leave, and so to my Lord Sandwich’s house, where I met my Lord, and there did discourse of our office businesses, and how the Duke do show me kindness, though I have endeavoured to displease more or less of my fellow officers, all but Mr. Coventry and Pett; but it matters not. Yes, says my Lord, Sir J. Minnes, who is great with the Chancellor; I told him the Chancellor I have thought was declining, and however that the esteem he has among them is nothing but for a jester or a ballad maker; at which my Lord laughs, and asks me whether I believe he ever could do that well. Thence with Mr. Creed up and down to an ordinary, and, the King’s Head being full, went to the other over against it, a pretty man that keeps it, and good and much meat, better than the other, but the company and room so small that he must break, and there wants the pleasure that the other house has in its company. Here however dined an old courtier that is now so, who did bring many examples and arguments to prove that seldom any man that brings any thing to Court gets any thing, but rather the contrary; for knowing that they have wherewith to live, will not enslave themselves to the attendance, and flattery, and fawning condition of a courtier, whereas another that brings nothing, and will be contented to cog, and lie, and flatter every man and woman that has any interest with the persons that are great in favour, and can cheat the King, as nothing is to be got without offending God and the King, there he for the most part, and he alone, saves any thing. Thence to St. James Park, and there walked two or three hours talking of the difference between Sir G. Carteret and Mr. Creed about his accounts, and how to obviate him, but I find Creed a deadly cunning fellow and one that never do any thing openly, but has intrigues in all he do or says. Thence by water home to see all well, and thence down to Greenwich, and there walked into a pretty common garden and there played with him at nine pins for some drink, and to make the fellows drink that set up the pins, and so home again being very cold, and taking a very great cold, being today the first time in my tabby doublet this year. Home, and after a small supper Creed and I to bed. This day I observed the house, which I took to be the new tennis-court, newly built next my Lord’s lodgings, to be fallen down by the badness of the foundation or slight working, which my cozen Roger and his discontented party cry out upon, as an example how the King’s work is done, which I am sorry to see him and others so apt to think ill of things. It hath beaten down a good deal of my Lord’s lodgings, and had like to have killed Mrs. Sarah, she having but newly gone out of it.
1 In the same spirit, long after this, some question arising as to the best material to be used in building Westminster Bridge, Lord Chesterfield remarked, that there were too many wooden piers (peers) at Westminster already. — B.
25th. Up both of us pretty early and to my chamber, where he and I did draw up a letter to Sir G. Carteret in excuse and preparation for Creed against we meet before the Duke upon his accounts, which I drew up and it proved very well, but I am pleased to see with what secret cunning and variety of artifice this Creed has carried on his business even unknown to me, which he is now forced by an accident to communicate to me. So that taking up all the papers of moment which lead to the clearing of his accounts unobserved out of the Controller’s hand, which he now makes great use of; knowing that the Controller has not wherewith to betray him. About this all the morning, only Mr. Bland came to me about some business of his, and told me the news, which holds to be true, that the Portuguese did let in the Spaniard by a plot, and they being in the midst of the country and we believing that they would have taken the whole country, they did all rise and kill the whole body, near 8,000 men, and Don John of Austria having two horses killed under him, was forced with one man to flee away. Sir George Carteret at the office (after dinner, and Creed being gone, for both now and yesterday I was afraid to have him seen by Sir G. Carteret with me, for fear that he should increase his doubt that I am of a plot with Creed in the business of his accounts) did tell us that upon Tuesday last, being with my Lord Treasurer, he showed him a letter from Portugall speaking of the advance of the Spaniards into their country, and yet that the Portuguese were never more courageous than now; for by an old prophecy, from France, sent thither some years, though not many since, from the French King, it is foretold that the Spaniards should come into their country, and in such a valley they should be all killed, and then their country should be wholly delivered from the Spaniards. This was on Tuesday last, and yesterday came the very first news that in this very valley they had thus routed and killed the Spaniards, which is very strange but true. So late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed. This noon I received a letter from the country from my wife, wherein she seems much pleased with the country; God continue that she may have pleasure while she is there. She, by my Lady’s advice, desires a new petticoat of the new silk striped stuff, very pretty. So I went to Paternoster Row’ presently, and bought her one, with Mr. Creed’s help, a very fine rich one, the best I did see there, and much better than she desires or expects, and sent it by Creed to Unthanke to be made against tomorrow to send by the carrier, thinking it had been but Wednesday today, but I found myself mistaken, and also the taylor being out of the way, it could not be done, but the stuff was sent me back at night by Creed to dispose of some other way to make, but now I shall keep it to next week.
26th. Up betimes, and Mr. Moore coming to see me, he and1 I discoursed of going to Oxford this Commencement, Mr. Nathaniel Crew being Proctor and Mr. Childe commencing Doctor of Musique this year, which I have a great mind to do, and, if I can, will order my matters so that I may do it. By and by, he and I to the Temple, it raining hard, my cozen Roger being got out, he and I walked a good while among the Temple trees discoursing of my getting my Lord to let me have security upon his estate for £100 per ann. for two lives, my own and my wife, for my money. But upon second thoughts Mr. Moore tells me it is very likely my Lord will think that I beg something, and may take it ill, and so we resolved not to move it there, but to look for it somewhere else. Here it raining hard he and I walked into the King’s Bench Court, where I never was before, and there staid an hour almost, till it had done raining, which is a sad season, that it is said there hath not been one fair day these three months, and I think it is true, and then by water to Westminster, and at the Parliament House I spoke with Roger Pepys. The House is upon the King’s answer to their message about Temple, which is, that my Lord of Bristoll did tell him that Temple did say those words; so the House are resolved upon sending some of their members to him to know the truth, and to demand satisfaction if it be not true. So by water home, and after a little while getting me ready, Sir W. Batten, Sir J. Minnes, my Lady Batten, and I by coach to Bednall Green, to Sir W. Rider’s to dinner, where a fine place, good lady mother, and their daughter, Mrs. Middleton, a fine woman. A noble dinner, and a fine merry walk with the ladies alone after dinner in the garden, which is very pleasant; the greatest quantity of strawberrys I ever saw, and good, and a collation of great mirth, Sir J. Minnes reading a book of scolding very prettily. This very house2 was built by the Blind Beggar of Bednall Green, so much talked of and sang in ballads; but they say it was only some of the outhouses of it. We drank great store of wine, and a beer glass at last which made me almost sick. At table, discoursing of thunder and lightning, they told many stories of their own knowledge at table of their masts being shivered from top to bottom, and sometimes only within and the outside whole, but among the rest Sir W. Rider did tell a story of his own knowledge, that a Genoese gaily in Leghorn Roads was struck by thunder, so as the mast was broke a-pieces, and the shackle upon one of the slaves was melted clear off of his leg without hurting his leg. Sir William went on board the vessel, and would have contributed towards the release of the slave whom Heaven had thus set free, but he could not compass it, and so he was brought to his fetters again. In the evening home, and a little to my Tryangle, and so to bed.
1 Paternoster Row, now famous as the headquarters of the publishing houses, was at this time chiefly inhabited by mercers. “This street, before the Fire of London, was taken up by eminent Mercers, Silkmen and Lacemen; and their shops were so resorted to by the nobility and gentry in their coaches, that oft times the street was so stop’d up that there was no passage for foot passengers” (Strype’s “Stow,” book iii., p. 195)].
2 Sir William Rider’s house was known as Kirby Castle, and was supposed to have been built in 1570 by John Thorpe for John Kirby. It was associated in rhyme with other follies of the time in bricks and mortar, as recorded by Stow
“Kirkebyes Castell, and Fisher’s Follie,
Spinila’s pleasure, and Megse’s glorie.”
The place was known in Strype’s time as the “Blind Beggar’s House,” but he knew nothing of the ballad, “The Beggar’s Daughter of Bednall Green,” for he remarks, “perhaps Kirby beggared himself by it.” Sr. William Rider died at this house in 1669.
27th. Up by 4 o’clock and a little to my office. Then comes by agreement Sir W. Warren, and he and I from ship to ship to see deals of all sorts, whereby I have encreased my knowledge and with great pleasure. Then to his yard and house, where I staid two hours or more discoursing of the expense of the navy and the corruption of Sir W. Batten and his man Wood that he brings or would bring to sell all that is to be sold by the Navy. Then home to the office, where we sat a little, and at noon home to dinner, alone, and thence, it raining hard, by water to the Temple, and so to Lincoln’s Inn, and there walked up and down to see the new garden which they are making, and will be very pretty, and so to walk under the Chappell by agreement, whither Mr. Clerke our Solicitor came to me, and he fetched Mr. Long, our Attorney in the Exchequer in the business against Field, and I directed him to come to the best and speediest composition he could, which he will do. So home on foot, calling upon my brother’s and elsewhere upon business, and so home to my office, and there wrote letters to my father and wife, and so home to bed, taking three pills overnight.
28th (Lord’s day). Early in the morning my last night’s physic worked and did give me a good stool, and then I rose and had three or four stools, and walked up and down my chamber. Then up, my maid rose and made me a posset, and by and by comes Mr. Creed, and he and I spent all the morning discoursing against tomorrow before the Duke the business of his pieces of eight, in which the Treasurer makes so many queries. At noon, my physic having done working, I went down to dinner, and then he and I up again and spent most of the afternoon reading in Cicero and other books of good discourse, and then he went away, and then came my brother Tom to see me, telling me how the Joyces do make themselves fine clothes against Mary is brought to bed. He being gone I went to cast up my monthly accounts, and to my great trouble I find myself £7 worse than I was the last month, but I confess it is by my reckoning beforehand a great many things, yet however I am troubled to see that I can hardly promise myself to lay up much from month’s end to month’s end, about £4 or £5 at most, one month with another, without some extraordinary gettings, but I must and I hope I shall continue to have a care of my own expenses. So to the reading my vows seriously and then to supper. This evening there came my boy’s brother to see for him, and tells me he knows not where he is, himself being out of town this week and is very sorry that he is gone, and so am I, but he shall come no more. So to prayers, and to bed.
29th. Up betimes and to my office, and by and by to the Temple, and there appointed to meet in the evening about my business, and thence I walked home, and up and down the streets is cried mightily the great victory got by the Portugalls against the Spaniards, where 10,000 slain, 3 or 4,000 taken prisoners, with all the artillery, baggage, money, &c., and Don John of Austria1 forced to flee with a man or two with him, which is very great news. Thence home and at my office all the morning, and then by water to St. James’s, but no meeting today being holy day, but met Mr. Creed in the Park, and after a walk or two, discoursing his business, took leave of him in Westminster Hall, whither we walked, and then came again to the Hall and fell to talk with Mrs. Lane, and after great talk that she never went abroad with any man as she used heretofore to do, I with one word got her to go with me and to meet me at the further Rhenish wine-house, where I did give her a Lobster and do so touse her and feel her all over, making her believe how fair and good a skin she has, and indeed she has a very white thigh and leg, but monstrous fat. When weary I did give over and somebody, having seen some of our dalliance, called aloud in the street, “Sir! why do you kiss the gentlewoman so?” and flung a stone at the window, which vexed me, but I believe they could not see my touzing her, and so we broke up and I went out the back way, without being observed I think, and so she towards the Hall and I to White Hall, where taking water I to the Temple with my cozen Roger and Mr. Goldsborough to Gray’s Inn to his counsel, one Mr. Rawworth, a very fine man, where it being the question whether I as executor should give a warrant to Goldsborough in my reconveying her estate back again, the mortgage being performed against all acts of the testator, but only my own, my cozen said he never heard it asked before; and the other that it was always asked, and he never heard it denied, or scrupled before, so great a distance was there in their opinions, enough to make a man forswear ever having to do with the law; so they agreed to refer it to Serjeant Maynard. So we broke up, and I by water home from the Temple, and there to Sir W. Batten and eat with him, he and his lady and Sir J. Minnes having been below today upon the East India men that are come in, but never tell me so, but that they have been at Woolwich and Deptford, and done great deal of business. God help them. So home and up to my lute long, and then, after a little Latin chapter with Will, to bed. But I have used of late, since my wife went, to make a bad use of my fancy with whatever woman I have a mind to, which I am ashamed of, and shall endeavour to do so no more. So to sleep.
1 He was natural son of Philip IV., King of Spain, who, after his father’s death in 1665, exerted his whole influence to overthrow the Regency appointed during the young king’s minority. — B.
30th. Up betimes yesterday and today, the sun rising very bright and glorious; and yet yesterday, as it hath been these two months and more, was a foul day the most part of the day. By and by by water to White Hall, and there to my Lord’s lodgings by appointment, whither Mr. Creed comes to me, having been at Chelsey this morning to fetch my Lord to St. James’s. So he and I to the Park, where we understand that the King and Duke are gone out betimes this morning on board the East India ships lately come in, and so our meeting appointed is lost. But he and I walked at the further end of the Park, not to be observed, whither by and by comes my Lord Sandwich, and he and we walked two hours and more in the Park and then in White Hall Gallery, and lastly in White Hall garden, discoursing of Mr. Creed’s accounts, and how to answer the Treasurer’s objections. I find that the business is £500 deep, the advantage of Creed, and why my Lord and I should be concerned to promote his profit with so much dishonour and trouble to us I know not, but however we shall do what we can, though he deserves it not, for there is nothing even to his own advantage that can be got out of him, but by mere force. So full of policy he is in the smallest matters, that I perceive him to be made up of nothing but design. I left him here, being in my mind vexed at the trouble that this business gets me, and the distance that it makes between Sir G. Carteret and myself, which I ought to avoyd. Thence by water home and to dinner, and afterwards to the office, and there sat till evening, and then I by water to Deptford to see Sir W. Pen, who lies ill at Captain Rooth’s, but in a way to be well again this weather, this day being the only fair day we have had these two or three months. Among other discourse I did tell him plainly some of my thoughts concerning Sir W. Batten. and the office in general, upon design for him to understand that I do mind things and will not balk to take notice of them, that when he comes to be well again he may know how to look upon me. Thence homeward walked, and in my way met Creed coming to meet me, and then turned back and walk a while, and so to boat and home by water, I being not very forward to talk of his business, and he by design the same, to see how I would speak of it, but I did not, but in general terms, and so after supper with general discourse to bed and sleep. Thus, by God’s blessing, ends this book of two years; I being in all points in good health and a good way to thrive and do well. Some money I do and can lay up, but not much, being worth now above £700, besides goods of all sorts. My wife in the country with Ashwell, her woman, with my father; myself at home with W. Hewer and my cooke-maid Hannah, my boy Wayneman being lately run away from me. In my office, my repute and understanding good, especially with the Duke and Mr. Coventry; only the rest of the officers do rather envy than love me, I standing in most of their lights, specially Sir W. Batten, whose cheats I do daily oppose to his great trouble, though he appears mighty kind and willing to keep friendship with me, while Sir J. Minnes, like a dotard, is led by the nose by him. My wife and I, by my late jealousy, for which I am truly to be blamed, have not the kindness between us which we used and ought to have, and I fear will be lost hereafter if I do not take course to oblige her and yet preserve my authority. Publique matters are in an ill condition; Parliament sitting and raising four subsidys for the King, which is but a little, considering his wants; and yet that parted withal with great hardness. They being offended to see so much money go, and no debts of the publique’s paid, but all swallowed by a luxurious Court: which the King it is believed and hoped will retrench in a little time, when he comes to see the utmost of the revenue which shall be settled on him: he expecting to have his £1,200,000 made good to him, which is not yet done by above £150,000, as he himself reports to the House. My differences with my uncle Thomas at a good quiett, blessed be God! and other matters. The town full of the great overthrow lately given to the Spaniards by the Portugalls, they being advanced into the very middle of Portugall. The weather wet for two or three months together beyond belief, almost not one fair day coming between till this day, which has been a very pleasant [day] and the first pleasant [day] this summer. The charge of the Navy intended to be limited to £200,000 per annum, the ordinary charge of it, and that to be settled upon the Customs. The King yet greatly taken up with Madam Castlemaine and Mrs. Stewart, which God of Heaven put an end to! Myself very studious to learn what I can of all things necessary for my place as an officer of the Navy, reading lately what concerns measuring of timber and knowledge of the tides. I have of late spent much time with Creed, being led to it by his business of his accounts, but I find him a fellow of those designs and tricks, that there is no degree of true friendship to be made with him, and therefore I must cast him off, though he be a very understanding man, and one that much may be learned of as to cunning and judging of other men. Besides, too, I do perceive more and more that my time of pleasure and idleness of any sort must be flung off to attend to getting of some money and the keeping of my family in order, which I fear by my wife’s liberty may be otherwise lost.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59