May 1st (Lord’s day). Lay long in bed. Went not to church, but staid at home to examine my last night’s accounts, which I find right, and that I am £908 creditor in the world, the same I was last month. Dined, and after dinner down by water with my wife and Besse with great pleasure as low as Greenwich and so back, playing as it were leisurely upon the water to Deptford, where I landed and sent my wife up higher to land below Half-way house. I to the King’s yard and there spoke about several businesses with the officers, and so with Mr. Wayth consulting about canvas, to Half-way house where my wife was, and after eating there we broke and walked home before quite dark. So to supper, prayers, and to bed.
2nd. Lay pretty long in bed. So up and by water to St. James’s, and there attended the Duke with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, and having done our work with him walked to Westminster Hall, and after walking there and talking of business met Mr. Rawlinson and by coach to the ‘Change, where I did some business, and home to dinner, and presently by coach to the King’s Play-house to see “The Labyrinth,” but, coming too soon, walked to my Lord’s to hear how my Lady do, who is pretty well; at least past all fear. There by Captain Ferrers meeting with an opportunity of my Lord’s coach, to carry us to the Parke anon, we directed it to come to the play-house door; and so we walked, my wife and I and Madamoiselle. I paid for her going in, and there saw “The Labyrinth,” the poorest play, methinks, that ever I saw, there being nothing in it but the odd accidents that fell out, by a lady’s being bred up in man’s apparel, and a man in a woman’s. Here was Mrs. Stewart, who is indeed very pretty, but not like my Lady Castlemayne, for all that. Thence in the coach to the Parke, where no pleasure; there being much dust, little company, and one of our horses almost spoiled by falling down, and getting his leg over the pole; but all mended presently, and after riding up and down, home. Set Madamoiselle at home; and we home, and to my office, whither comes Mr. Bland, and pays me the debt he acknowledged he owed me for my service in his business of the Tangier Merchant, twenty pieces of new gold, a pleasant sight. It cheered my heart; and he being gone, I home to supper, and shewed them my wife; and she, poor wretch, would fain have kept them to look on, without any other design but a simple love to them; but I thought it not convenient, and so took them into my own hand. So, after supper, to bed.
3rd. Up, and being ready, went by agreement to Mr. Bland’s and there drank my morning draft in good chocollatte, and slabbering my band sent home for another, and so he and I by water to White Hall, and walked to St. James’s, where met Creed and Vernatty, and by and by Sir W. Rider, and so to Mr. Coventry’s chamber, and there upon my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, where I endeavoured to shew the folly and punish it as much as I could of Mr. Povy; for, of all the men in the world, I never knew any man of his degree so great a coxcomb in such imployments. I see I have lost him forever, but I value it not; for he is a coxcomb, and, I doubt, not over honest, by some things which I see; and yet, for all his folly, he hath the good lucke, now and then, to speak his follies in as good words, and with as good a show, as if it were reason, and to the purpose, which is really one of the wonders of my life. Thence walked to Westminster Hall; and there, in the Lords’ House, did in a great crowd, from ten o’clock till almost three, hear the cause of Mr. Roberts, my Lord Privy Seal’s son, against Win, who by false ways did get the father of Mr. Roberts’s wife (Mr. Bodvill) to give him the estate and disinherit his daughter. The cause was managed for my Lord Privy Seal by Finch the Solicitor [General]; but I do really think that he is truly a man of as great eloquence as ever I heard, or ever hope to hear in all my life. Thence, after long staying to speak with my Lord Sandwich, at last he coming out to me and speaking with me about business of my Lord Peterborough, I by coach home to the office, where all the afternoon, only stept home to eat one bit and to the office again, having eaten nothing before today. My wife abroad with my aunt Wight and Norbury. I in the evening to my uncle Wight’s, and not finding them come home, they being gone to the Parke and the Mulberry garden, I went to the ‘Change, and there meeting with Mr. Hempson, whom Sir W. Batten has lately turned out of his place, merely because of his coming to me when he came to town before he went to him, and there he told me many rogueries of Sir W. Batten, how he knows and is able to prove that Captain Cox of Chatham did give him £10 in gold to get him to certify for him at the King’s coming in, and that Tom Newborne did make [the] poor men give him £3 to get Sir W. Batten to cause them to be entered in the yard, and that Sir W. Batten had oftentimes said: “by God, Tom, you shall get something and I will have some on’t.” His present clerk that is come in Norman’s’ room has given him something for his place; that they live high and (as Sir Francis Clerk’s lady told his wife) do lack money as well as other people, and have bribes of a piece of sattin and cabinetts and other things from people that deal with him, and that hardly any body goes to see or hath anything done by Sir W. Batten but it comes with a bribe, and that this is publickly true that his wife was a whore, and that he had libells flung within his doors for a cuckold as soon as he was married; that he received £100 in money and in other things to the value of £50 more of Hempson, and that he intends to give him back but £50; that he hath abused the Chest and hath now some £1000 by him of it. I met also upon the ‘Change with Mr. Cutler, and he told me how for certain Lawson hath proclaimed warr again with Argier, though they had at his first coming given back the ships which they had taken, and all their men; though they refused afterwards to make him restitution for the goods which they had taken out of them. Thence to my uncle Wight’s, and he not being at home I went with Mr. Norbury near hand to the Fleece, a mum house in Leadenhall, and there drunk mum and by and by broke up, it being about 11 o’clock at night, and so leaving them also at home, went home myself and to bed.
4th. Up, and my new Taylor, Langford, comes and takes measure of me for a new black cloth suit and cloake, and I think he will prove a very carefull fellow and will please me well. Thence to attend my Lord Peterborough in bed and give him an account of yesterday’s proceeding with Povy. I perceive I labour in a business will bring me little pleasure; but no matter, I shall do the King some service. To my Lord’s lodgings, where during my Lady’s sickness he is, there spoke with him about the same business. Back and by water to my cozen Scott’s. There condoled with him the loss of my cozen, his wife, and talked about his matters, as atturney to my father, in his administering to my brother Tom. He tells me we are like to receive some shame about the business of his bastarde with Jack Noble; but no matter, so it cost us no money. Thence to the Coffee-house and to the ‘Change a while. News uncertain how the Dutch proceed. Some say for, some against a war. The plague increases at Amsterdam. So home to dinner, and after dinner to my office, where very late, till my eyes (which begin to fail me nowadays by candlelight) begin to trouble me. Only in the afternoon comes Mr. Peter Honiwood to see me and gives me 20s., his and his friends’ pence for my brother John, which, God forgive my pride, methinks I think myself too high to take of him; but it is an ungratefull pitch of pride in me, which God forgive. Home at night to supper and to bed.
5th. Up betimes to my office, busy, and so abroad to change some plate for my father to send today by the carrier to Brampton, but I observe and do fear it may be to my wrong that I change spoons of my uncle Robert’s into new and set a P upon them that thereby I cannot claim them hereafter, as it was my brother Tom’s practice. However, the matter of this is not great, and so I did it. So to the ‘Change, and meeting Sir W. Warren, with him to a taverne, and there talked, as we used to do, of the evils the King suffers in our ordering of business in the Navy, as Sir W. Batten now forces us by his knavery. So home to dinner, and to the office, where all the afternoon, and thence betimes home, my eyes beginning every day to grow less and less able to bear with long reading or writing, though it be by daylight; which I never observed till now. So home to my wife, and after supper to bed.
6th. This morning up and to my office, where Sympson my joyner came to work upon altering my closet, which I alter by setting the door in another place, and several other things to my great content. Busy at it all day, only in the afternoon home, and there, my books at the office being out of order, wrote letters and other businesses. So at night with my head full of the business of my closet home to bed, and strange it is to think how building do fill my mind and put out all other things out of my thoughts.
7th. Betimes at my office with the joyners, and giving order for other things about it. By and by we sat all the morning. At noon to dinner, and after dinner comes Deane of Woolwich, and I spent, as I had appointed, all the afternoon with him about instructions which he gives me to understand the building of a ship, and I think I shall soon understand it. In the evening a little to my office to see how the work goes forward there, and then home and spent the evening also with Mr. Deane, and had a good supper, and then to bed, he lying at my house.
8th (Lord’s day). This day my new tailor, Mr. Langford, brought me home a new black cloth suit and cloake lined with silk moyre, and he being gone, who pleases me very well with his work and I hope will use me pretty well, then Deane and I to my chamber, and there we repeated my yesterday’s lesson about ships all the morning, and I hope I shall soon understand it. At noon to dinner, and strange how in discourse he cries up chymistry from some talk he has had with an acquaintance of his, a chymist, when, poor man, he understands not one word of it. But I discern very well that it is only his good nature, but in this of building ships he hath taken great pains, more than most builders I believe have. After dinner he went away, and my wife and I to church, and after church to Sir W. Pen, and there sat and talked with him, and the perfidious rogue seems, as he do always, mightily civil to us, though I know he hates and envies us. So home to supper, prayers, and to bed.
9th. Up and to my office all the morning, and there saw several things done in my work to my great content, and at noon home to dinner, and after dinner in Sir W. Pen’s coach he set my wife and I down at the New Exchange, and after buying some things we walked to my Lady Sandwich’s, who, good lady, is now, thanks be to God! so well as to sit up, and sent to us, if we were not afeard, to come up to her. So we did; but she was mightily against my wife’s coming so near her; though, poor wretch! she is as well as ever she was, as to the meazles, and nothing can I see upon her face. There we sat talking with her above three hours, till six o’clock, of several things with great pleasure and so away, and home by coach, buying several things for my wife in our way, and so after looking what had been done in my office today, with good content home to supper and to bed. But, strange, how I cannot get any thing to take place in my mind while my work lasts at my office. This day my wife and I in our way to Paternoster Row to buy things called upon Mr. Hollyard to advise upon her drying up her issue in her leg, which inclines of itself to dry up, and he admits of it that it should be dried up.
10th. Up and at my office looking after my workmen all the morning, and after the office was done did the same at night, and so home to supper and to bed.
11th. Up and all day, both forenoon and afternoon, at my office to see it finished by the joyners and washed and every thing in order, and indeed now my closet is very convenient and pleasant for me. My uncle Wight came to me to my office this afternoon to speak with me about Mr. Maes’s business again, and from me went to my house to see my wife, and strange to think that my wife should by and by send for me after he was gone to tell me that he should begin discourse of her want of children and his also, and how he thought it would be best for him and her to have one between them, and he would give her £500 either in money or jewells beforehand, and make the child his heir. He commended her body, and discoursed that for all he knew the thing was lawful. She says she did give him a very warm answer, such as he did not excuse himself by saying that he said this in jest, but told her that since he saw what her mind was he would say no more to her of it, and desired her to make no words of it. It seemed he did say all this in a kind of counterfeit laugh, but by all words that passed, which I cannot now so well set down, it is plain to me that he was in good earnest, and that I fear all his kindness is but only his lust to her. What to think of it of a sudden I know not, but I think not to take notice yet of it to him till I have thought better of it. So with my mind and head a little troubled I received a letter from Mr. Coventry about a mast for the Duke’s yacht, which with other business makes me resolve to go betimes to Woolwich tomorrow. So to supper and to bed.
12th. Up by 4 o’clock and by water to Woolwich, where did some business and walked to Greenwich, good discourse with Mr. Deane best part of the way; there met by appointment Commissioner Pett, and with him to Deptford, where did also some business, and so home to my office, and at noon Mrs. Hunt and her cozens child and mayd came and dined with me. My wife sick . . . in bed. I was troubled with it, but, however, could not help it, but attended them till after dinner, and then to the office and there sat all the afternoon, and by a letter to me this afternoon from Mr. Coventry I saw the first appearance of a warr with Holland. So home; and betimes to bed because of rising tomorrow.
13th. Up before three o’clock, and a little after upon the water, it being very light as at noon, and a bright sunrising; but by and by a rainbow appeared, the first that ever in a morning I saw, and then it fell a-raining a little, but held up again, and I to Woolwich, where before all the men came to work I with Mr. Deane spent two hours upon the new ship, informing myself in the names and natures of many parts of her to my great content, and so back again, without doing any thing else, and after shifting myself away to Westminster, looking after Mr. Maes’s business and others. In the Painted Chamber I heard a fine conference between some of the two Houses upon the Bill for Conventicles. The Lords would be freed from having their houses searched by any but the Lord Lieutenant of the County; and upon being found guilty, to be tried only by their peers; and thirdly, would have it added, that whereas the Bill says, “That that, among other things, shall be a conventicle wherein any such meeting is found doing any thing contrary to the Liturgy of the Church of England,” they would have it added, “or practice.” The Commons to the Lords said, that they knew not what might hereafter be found out which might be called the practice of the Church of England; for there are many things may be said to be the practice of the Church, which were never established by any law, either common, statute, or canon; as singing of psalms, binding up prayers at the end of the Bible, and praying extempore before and after sermon: and though these are things indifferent, yet things for aught they at present know may be started, which may be said to be the practice of the Church which would not be fit to allow. For the Lords’ priviledges, Mr. Walter told them how tender their predecessors had been of the priviledges of the Lords; but, however, where the peace of the kingdom stands in competition with them, they apprehend those priviledges must give place. He told them that he thought, if they should owne all to be the priviledges of the Lords which might be demanded, they should be led like the man (who granted leave to his neighbour to pull off his horse’s tail, meaning that he could not do it at once) that hair by hair had his horse’s tail pulled off indeed: so the Commons, by granting one thing after another, might be so served by the Lords. Mr. Vaughan, whom I could not to my grief perfectly hear, did say, if that they should be obliged in this manner to, exempt the Lords from every thing, it would in time come to pass that whatever (be [it] never so great) should be voted by the Commons as a thing penall for a commoner, the contrary should be thought a priviledge to the Lords: that also in this business, the work of a conventicle being but the work of an hour, the cause of a search would be over before a Lord Lieutenant, who may be many miles off, can be sent for; and that all this dispute is but about £100; for it is said in the Act, that it shall be banishment or payment of £100. I thereupon heard the Duke of Lenox say, that there might be Lords who could not always be ready to lose £100, or some such thing: They broke up without coming to any end in it. There was also in the Commons’ House a great quarrel about Mr. Prin, and it was believed that he should have been sent to the Towre, for adding something to a Bill (after it was ordered to be engrossed) of his own head — a Bill for measures for wine and other things of that sort, and a Bill of his owne bringing in; but it appeared he could not mean any hurt in it. But, however, the King was fain to write in his behalf, and all was passed over. But it is worth my remembrance, that I saw old Ryly the Herald, and his son; and spoke to his son, who told me in very bad words concerning Mr. Prin, that the King had given him an office of keeping the Records; but that he never comes thither, nor had been there these six months: so that I perceive they expect to get his imployment from him. Thus every body is liable to be envied and supplanted. At noon over to the Leg, where Sir G. Ascue, Sir Robt. Parkhurst and Sir W. Pen dined. A good dinner and merry. Thence to White Hall walking up and down a great while, but the Council not meeting soon enough I went homeward, calling upon my cozen Roger Pepys, with whom I talked and heard so much from him of his desire that I would see my brother’s debts paid, and things still of that nature tending to my parting with what I get with pain to serve others’ expenses that I was cruelly vexed. Thence to Sir R. Bernard, and there heard something of Pigott’s delay of paying our money, that that also vexed me mightily. So home and there met with a letter from my cozen Scott, which tells me that he is resolved to meddle no more with our business, of administering for my father, which altogether makes me almost distracted to think of the trouble that I am like to meet with by other folks’ business more than ever I hope to have by my owne. So with great trouble of mind to bed.
14th. Up, full of pain, I believe by cold got yesterday. So to the office, where we sat, and after office home to dinner, being in extraordinary pain. After dinner my pain increasing I was forced to go to bed, and by and by my pain rose to be as great for an hour or two as ever I remember it was in any fit of the stone, both in the lower part of my belly and in my back also. No wind could I break. I took a glyster, but it brought away but a little, and my height of pain followed it. At last after two hours lying thus in most extraordinary anguish, crying and roaring, I know not what, whether it was my great sweating that may do it, but upon getting by chance, among my other tumblings, upon my knees, in bed, my pain began to grow less and less, till in an hour after I was in very little pain, but could break no wind, nor make any water, and so continued, and slept well all night.
15th (Lord’s day). Rose, and as I had intended without reference to this pain, took physique, and it wrought well with me, my wife lying from me to-night, the first time she did in the same house ever since we were married, I think (unless while my father was in town, that he lay with me). She took physique also today, and both of our physiques wrought well, so we passed our time today, our physique having done working, with some pleasure talking, but I was not well, for I could make no water yet, but a drop or two with great pain, nor break any wind. In the evening came Mr. Vernatty to see me and discourse about my Lord Peterborough’s business, and also my uncle Wight and Norbury, but I took no notice nor showed any different countenance to my uncle Wight, or he to me, for all that he carried himself so basely to my wife the last week, but will take time to make my use of it. So, being exceeding hot, to bed, and slept well.
16th. Forced to rise because of going to the Duke to St. James’s, where we did our usual business, and thence by invitation to Mr. Pierces the chyrurgeon, where I saw his wife, whom I had not seen in many months before. She holds her complexion still, but in everything else, even in this her new house and the best rooms in it, and her closet which her husband with some vainglory took me to show me, she continues the eeriest slattern that ever I knew in my life. By and by we to see an experiment of killing a dogg by letting opium into his hind leg. He and Dr. Clerke did fail mightily in hitting the vein, and in effect did not do the business after many trials; but with the little they got in, the dogg did presently fall asleep, and so lay till we cut him up, and a little dogg also, which they put it down his throate; he also staggered first, and then fell asleep, and so continued. Whether he recovered or no, after I was gone, I know not, but it is a strange and sudden effect. Thence walked to Westminster Hall, where the King was expected to come to prorogue the House, but it seems, afterwards I hear, he did not come. I promised to go again to Mr. Pierce’s, but my pain grew so great, besides a bruise I got today in my right testicle, which now vexes me as much as the other, that I was mighty melancholy, and so by coach home and there took another glyster, but find little good by it, but by sitting still my pain of my bruise went away, and so after supper to bed, my wife and I having talked and concluded upon sending my father an offer of having Pall come to us to be with us for her preferment, if by any means I can get her a husband here, which, though it be some trouble to us, yet it will be better than to have her stay there till nobody will have her and then be flung upon my hands.
17th. Slept well all night and lay long, then rose and wrote my letter to my father about Pall, as we had resolved last night. So to dinner and then to the office, finding myself better than I was, and making a little water, but not yet breaking any great store of wind, which I wonder at, for I cannot be well till I do do it. After office home and to supper and with good ease to bed, and endeavoured to tie my hands that I might not lay them out of bed, by which I believe I have got cold, but I could not endure it.
18th. Up and within all the morning, being willing to keep as much as I could within doors, but receiving a very wakening letter from Mr. Coventry about fitting of ships, which speaks something like to be done, I went forth to the office, there to take order in things, and after dinner to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, but did little. So home again and to Sir W. Pen, who, among other things of haste in this new order for ships, is ordered to be gone presently to Portsmouth to look after the work there. I staid to discourse with him, and so home to supper, where upon a fine couple of pigeons, a good supper; and here I met a pretty cabinet sent me by Mr. Shales, which I give my wife, the first of that sort of goods I ever had yet, and very conveniently it comes for her closett. I staid up late finding out the private boxes, but could not do some of them, and so to bed, afraid that I have been too bold today in venturing in the cold. This day I begun to drink butter-milke and whey, and I hope to find great good by it.
19th. Up, and it being very rayny weather, which makes it cooler than it was, by coach to Charing Cross with Sir W. Pen, who is going to Portsmouth this day, and left him going to St. James’s to take leave of the Duke, and I to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier; where God forgive how our Report of my Lord Peterborough’s accounts was read over and agreed to by the Lords, without one of them understanding it! And had it been what it would, it had gone: and, besides, not one thing touching the King’s profit in it minded or hit upon. Thence by coach home again, and all the morning at the office, sat, and all the afternoon till 9 at night, being fallen again to business, and I hope my health will give me leave to follow it. So home to supper and to bed, finding myself pretty well. A pretty good stool, which I impute to my whey today, and broke wind also.
20th. Up and to my office, whither by and by comes Mr. Cholmely, and staying till the rest of the company come he told me how Mr. Edward Montagu is turned out of the Court, not [to] return again. His fault, I perceive, was his pride, and most of all his affecting to seem great with the Queene and it seems indeed had more of her eare than any body else, and would be with her talking alone two or three hours together; insomuch that the Lords about the King, when he would be jesting with them about their wives, would tell the King that he must have a care of his wife too, for she hath now the gallant: and they say the King himself did once ask Montagu how his mistress (meaning the Queene) did. He grew so proud, and despised every body, besides suffering nobody, he or she, to get or do any thing about the Queene, that they all laboured to do him a good turn. They also say that he did give some affront to the Duke of Monmouth, which the King himself did speak to him of. But strange it is that this man should, from the greatest negligence in the world, come to be the miracle of attendance, so as to take all offices from everybody, either men or women, about the Queene. Insomuch that he was observed as a miracle, but that which is the worst, that which in a wise manner performed [would] turn to his greatest advantage, was by being so observed employed to his greatest wrong, the world concluding that there must be something more than ordinary to cause him to do this. So he is gone, nobody pitying but laughing at him; and he pretends only that he is gone to his father, that is sick in the country. By and by comes Povy, Creed, and Vernatty, and so to their accounts, wherein more trouble and vexation with Povy. That being done, I sent them going and myself fell to business till dinner. So home to dinner very pleasant. In the afternoon to my office, where busy again, and by and by came a letter from my father so full of trouble for discontents there between my mother and servants, and such troubles to my father from hence from Cave that hath my brother’s bastard that I know not what in the world to do, but with great trouble, it growing night, spent some time walking, and putting care as much as I could out of my head, with my wife in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed.
21st. Up, called by Mr. Cholmely, and walked with him in the garden till others came to another Committee of Tangier, as we did meet as we did use to do, to see more of Povy’s folly, and so broke up, and at the office sat all the morning, Mr. Coventry with us, and very hot we are getting out some ships. At noon to the ‘Change, and there did some business, and thence home to dinner, and so abroad with my wife by coach to the New Exchange, and there laid out almost 40s. upon her, and so called to see my Lady Sandwich, whom we found in her dining-room, which joyed us mightily; but she looks very thin, poor woman, being mightily broke. She told us that Mr. Montagu is to return to Court, as she hears, which I wonder at, and do hardly believe. So home and to my office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed.
22nd (Lord’s day). Up and by water to White Hall to my Lord’s lodgings, and with him walked to White Hall without any great discourse, nor do I find that he do mind business at all. Here the Duke of Yorke called me to him, to ask me whether I did intend to go with him to Chatham or no. I told him if he commanded, but I did believe there would be business here for me, and so he told me then it would be better to stay, which I suppose he will take better than if I had been forward to go. Thence, after staying and seeing the throng of people to attend the King to Chappell (but, Lord! what a company of sad, idle people they are) I walked to St. James’s with Colonell Remes, where staid a good while and then walked to White Hall with Mr. Coventry, talking about business. So meeting Creed, took him with me home and to dinner, a good dinner, and thence by water to Woolwich, where mighty kindly received by Mrs. Falconer and her husband, who is now pretty well again, this being the first time I ever carried my wife thither. I walked to the Docke, where I met Mrs. Ackworth alone at home, and God forgive me! what thoughts I had, but I had not the courage to stay, but went to Mr. Pett’s and walked up and down the yard with him and Deane talking about the dispatch of the ships now in haste, and by and by Creed and my wife and a friend of Mr. Falconer’s came with the boat and called me, and so by water to Deptford, where I landed, and after talking with others walked to Half-way house with Mr. Wayth talking about the business of his supplying us with canvas, and he told me in discourse several instances of Sir W. Batten’s cheats. So to Half-way house, whither my wife and them were gone before, and after drinking there we walked, and by water home, sending Creed and the other with the boat home. Then wrote a letter to Mr. Coventry, and so a good supper of pease, the first I eat this year, and so to bed.
23rd. Up and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and myself met and did business, we being in a mighty hurry. The King is gone down with the Duke and a great crew this morning by break of day to Chatham. Towards noon I and my wife by water to Woolwich, leaving my wife at Mr. Falconer’s, and Mr. Hater and I with some officers of the yard on board to see several ships how ready they are. Then to Mr. Falconer’s to a good dinner, having myself carried them a vessel of sturgeon and a Lamprey pie, and then to the Yarde again, and among other things did at Mr. Ackworth’s obtain a demonstration of his being a knave; but I did not discover it, till it be a little more seasonable. So back to the Ropeyard and took my wife and Mr. Hater back, it raining mighty hard of a sudden, but we with the tilt1 kept ourselves dry. So to Deptford, did some business there; but, Lord! to see how in both places the King’s business, if ever it should come to a warr, is likely to be done, there not being a man that looks or speaks like a man that will take pains, or use any forecast to serve the King, at which I am heartily troubled. So home, it raining terribly, but we still dry, and at the office late discoursing with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, who like a couple of sots receive all I say but to little purpose. So late home to supper and to bed.
1 Tilt (A.S. teld) represents a tent or awning. It was used for a cloth covering for a cart or waggon, or for a canopy or awning over a portion of a boat.
24th. Up and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes and I sat all the morning, and after dinner thither again, and all the afternoon hard at the office till night, and so tired home to supper and to bed. This day I heard that my uncle Fenner is dead, which makes me a little sad, to see with what speed a great many of my friends are gone, and more, I fear, for my father’s sake, are going.
25th. Took physique betimes and to sleep, then up, it working all the morning. At noon dined, and in the afternoon in my chamber spending two or three hours to look over some unpleasant letters and things of trouble to answer my father in, about Tom’s business and others, that vexed me, but I did go through it and by that means eased my mind very much. This afternoon also came Tom and Charles Pepys by my sending for, and received of me £40 in part towards their £70 legacy of my uncle’s. Spent the evening talking with my wife, and so to bed.
26th. Up to the office, where we sat, and I had some high words with Sir W. Batten about canvas, wherein I opposed him and all his experience, about seams in the middle, and the profit of having many breadths and narrow, which I opposed to good purpose, to the rejecting of the whole business. At noon home to dinner, and thence took my wife by coach, and she to my Lady Sandwich to see her. I to Tom Trice, to discourse about my father’s giving over his administration to my brother, and thence to Sir R. Bernard, and there received £19 in money, and took up my father’s bond of £21, that is £40, in part of Piggot’s £209 due to us, which £40 he pays for 7 roods of meadow in Portholme. Thence to my wife, and carried her to the Old Bayly, and there we were led to the Quest House, by the church, where all the kindred were by themselves at the buriall of my uncle Fenner; but, Lord! what a pitiful rout of people there was of them, but very good service and great company the whole was. And so anon to church, and a good sermon, and so home, having for ease put my £19 into W. Joyce’s hand, where I left it. So to supper and to bed, being in a little pain from some cold got last night lying without anything upon my feet.
27th. Up, not without some pain by cold, which makes me mighty melancholy, to think of the ill state of my health. To the office, where busy till my brains ready to drop with variety of business, and vexed for all that to see the service like to suffer by other people’s neglect. Vexed also at a letter from my father with two troublesome ones enclosed from Cave and Noble, so that I know not what to do therein. At home to dinner at noon. But to comfort my heart, Captain Taylor this day brought me £20 he promised me for my assistance to him about his masts. After dinner to the office again, and thence with Mr. Wayth to St. Catherine’s to see some variety of canvas’s, which indeed was worth my seeing, but only I was in some pain, and so took not the delight I should otherwise have done. So home to the office, and there busy till late at night, and so home to supper and to bed. This morning my taylor brought me a very tall mayde to be my cook-mayde; she asked £5, but my wife offered her but £3 10s. — whether she will take it or no I know not till tomorrow, but I am afeard she will be over high for us, she having last been a chamber mayde, and holds up her head, as my little girle Su observed.
28th. Up pretty well as to pain and wind, and to the office, where we sat close and did much business. At noon I to the ‘Change, and thence to Mr. Cutler’s, where I heard Sir W. Rider was, where I found them at dinner and dined with them, he having yesterday and today a fit of a pain like the gout, the first time he ever had it. A good dinner. Good discourse, Sir W. Rider especially much fearing the issue of a Dutch warr, wherein I very highly commend him. Thence home, and at the office a while, and then with Mr. Deane to a second lesson upon my Shipwrightry, wherein I go on with great pleasure. He being gone I to the office late, and so home to supper and to bed. But, Lord! to see how my very going to the ‘Change, and being without my gowne, presently brought me wind and pain, till I came home and was well again; but I am come to such a pass that I shall not know what to do with myself, but I am apt to think that it is only my legs that I take cold in from my having so long worn a gowne constantly.
29th (Whitsunday. King’s Birth and Restauration day). Up, and having received a letter last night desiring it from Mr. Coventry, I walked to St. James’s, and there he and I did long discourse together of the business of the office, and the warr with the Dutch; and he seemed to argue mightily with the little reason that there is for all this. For first, as to the wrong we pretend they have done us: that of the East Indys, for their not delivering of Poleron, it is not yet known whether they have failed or no; that of their hindering the Leopard cannot amount to above £3,000 if true; that of the Guinny Company, all they had done us did not amount to above £200 or £300 he told me truly; and that now, from what Holmes, without any commission, hath done in taking an island and two forts, hath set us much in debt to them; and he believes that Holmes will have been so puffed up with this, that he by this time hath been enforced with more strength than he had then, hath, I say, done a great deale more wrong to them. He do, as to the effect of the warr, tell me clearly that it is not any skill of the Dutch that can hinder our trade if we will, we having so many advantages over them, of winds, good ports, and men; but it is our pride, and the laziness of the merchant. He seems to think that there may be some negotiation which may hinder a warr this year, but that he speaks doubtfully as unwilling I perceive to be thought to discourse any such thing. The main thing he desired to speake with me about was, to know whether I do understand my Lord Sandwich’s intentions as to going to sea with this fleete; saying, that the Duke, if he desires it, is most willing to it; but thinking that twelve ships is not a fleete fit for my Lord to be troubled to go out with, he is not willing to offer it to him till he hath some intimations of his mind to go, or not. He spoke this with very great respect as to my Lord, though methinks it is strange they should not understand one another better at this time than to need another’s mediation. Thence walked over the Parke to White Hall, Mr. Povy with me, and was taken in a very great showre in the middle of the Parke that we were very wet. So up into, the house and with him to the King’s closett, whither by and by the King came, my Lord Sandwich carrying the sword. A Bishopp preached, but he speaking too low for me to hear behind the King’s closett, I went forth and walked and discoursed with Colonell Reames, who seems a very willing man to be informed in his business of canvas, which he is undertaking to strike in with us to serve the Navy. By and by my Lord Sandwich came forth, and called me to him: and we fell into discourse a great while about his business, wherein he seems to be very open with me, and to receive my opinion as he used to do; and I hope I shall become necessary to him again. He desired me to think of the fitness, or not, for him to offer himself to go to sea; and to give him my thoughts in a day or two. Thence after sermon among the ladies on the Queene’s side; where I saw Mrs. Stewart, very fine and pretty, but far beneath my Lady Castlemayne. Thence with Mr. Povy home to dinner; where extraordinary cheer. And after dinner up and down to see his house. And in a word, methinks, for his perspective upon his wall in his garden, and the springs rising up with the perspective in the little closett; his room floored above with woods of several colours, like but above the best cabinet-work I ever saw; his grotto and vault, with his bottles of wine, and a well therein to keep them cool; his furniture of all sorts; his bath at the top of his house, good pictures, and his manner of eating and drinking; do surpass all that ever I did see of one man in all my life. Thence walked home and found my uncle Wight and Mr. Rawlinson, who supped with me. They being gone, I to bed, being in some pain from my being so much abroad today, which is a most strange thing that in such warm weather the least ayre should get cold and wind in me. I confess it makes me mighty sad and out of all content in the world.
30th. Lay long, the bells ringing, it being holiday, and then up and all the day long in my study at home studying of shipmaking with great content till the evening, and then came Mr. Howe and sat and then supped with me. He is a little conceited, but will make a discreet man. He being gone, a little to my office, and then home to bed, being in much pain from yesterday’s being abroad, which is a consideration of mighty sorrow to me.
31st. Up, and called upon Mr. Hollyard, with whom I advised and shall fall upon some course of doing something for my disease of the wind, which grows upon me every day more and more. Thence to my Lord Sandwich’s, and while he was dressing I below discoursed with Captain Cooke, and I think if I do find it fit to keep a boy at all I had as good be supplied from him with one as any body. By and by up to my Lord, and to discourse about his going to sea, and the message I had from Mr. Coventry to him. He wonders, as he well may, that this course should be taken, and he every day with the Duke, who, nevertheless, seems most friendly to him, who hath not yet spoke one word to my Lord of his desire to have him go to sea. My Lord do tell me clearly that were it not that he, as all other men that were of the Parliament side, are obnoxious to reproach, and so is forced to bear what otherwise he would not, he would never suffer every thing to be done in the Navy, and he never be consulted; and it seems, in the naming of all these commanders for this fleete, he hath never been asked one question. But we concluded it wholly inconsistent with his honour not to go with this fleete, nor with the reputation which the world hath of his interest at Court; and so he did give me commission to tell Mr. Coventry that he is most willing to receive any commands from the Duke in this fleete, were it less than it is, and that particularly in this service. With this message I parted, and by coach to the office, where I found Mr. Coventry, and told him this. Methinks, I confess, he did not seem so pleased with it as I expected, or at least could have wished, and asked me whether I had told my Lord that the Duke do not expect his going, which I told him I had. But now whether he means really that the Duke, as he told me the other day, do think the Fleete too small for him to take or that he would not have him go, I swear I cannot tell. But methinks other ways might have been used to put him by without going in this manner about it, and so I hope it is out of kindness indeed. Dined at home, and so to the office, where a great while alone in my office, nobody near, with Bagwell’s wife of Deptford, but the woman seems so modest that I durst not offer any courtship to her, though I had it in my mind when I brought her in to me. But I am resolved to do her husband a courtesy, for I think he is a man that deserves very well. So abroad with my wife by coach to St. James’s, to one Lady Poultny’s, where I found my Lord, I doubt, at some vain pleasure or other. I did give him a short account of what I had done with Mr. Coventry, and so left him, and to my wife again in the coach, and with her to the Parke, but the Queene being gone by the Parke to Kensington, we staid not but straight home and to supper (the first time I have done so this summer), and so to my office doing business, and then to my monthly accounts, where to my great comfort I find myself better than I was still the last month, and now come to £930. I was told today, that upon Sunday night last, being the King’s birth-day, the King was at my Lady Castlemayne’s lodgings (over the hither-gates at Lambert’s lodgings) dancing with fiddlers all night almost; and all the world coming by taking notice of it, which I am sorry to hear. The discourse of the town is only whether a warr with Holland or no, and we are preparing for it all we can, which is but little. Myself subject more than ordinary to pain by winde, which makes me very sad, together with the trouble which at present lies upon me in my father’s behalf, rising from the death of my brother, which are many and great. Would to God they were over!
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59