July 1st, 1665. Called up betimes, though weary and sleepy, by appointment by Mr. Povy and Colonell Norwood to discourse about some payments of Tangier. They gone, I to the office and there sat all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then to the Duke of Albemarle’s, by appointment, to give him an account of some disorder in the Yarde at Portsmouth, by workmen’s going away of their owne accord, for lacke of money, to get work of hay-making, or any thing else to earne themselves bread.1 Thence to Westminster, where I hear the sicknesse encreases greatly, and to the Harp and Ball with Mary talking, who tells me simply her losing of her first love in the country in Wales, and coming up hither unknown to her friends, and it seems Dr. Williams do pretend love to her, and I have found him there several times. Thence by coach and late at the office, and so to bed. Sad at the newes that seven or eight houses in Bazing Hall street, are shut up of the plague.
1 There are several letters among the State Papers from Commissioner Thomas Middleton relating to the want of workmen at Portsmouth Dockyard. On June 29th Middleton wrote to Pepys, “The ropemakers have discharged themselves for want of money, and gone into the country to make hay.” The blockmakers, the joiners, and the sawyers all refused to work longer without money (“Calendar,” 1664–65, p. 453).
2nd (Sunday). Up, and all the morning dressing my closet at the office with my plates, very neatly, and a fine place now it is, and will be a pleasure to sit in, though I thank God I needed none before. At noon dined at home, and after dinner to my accounts and cast them up, and find that though I have spent above £90 this month yet I have saved £17, and am worth in all above £1450, for which the Lord be praised! In the evening my Lady Pen and daughter come to see, and supped with us, then a messenger about business of the office from Sir G. Carteret at Chatham, and by word of mouth did send me word that the business between my Lord and him is fully agreed on,1 and is mightily liked of by the King and the Duke of Yorke, and that he sent me this word with great joy; they gone, we to bed. I hear this night that Sir J. Lawson was buried late last night at St. Dunstan’s by us, without any company at all, and that the condition of his family is but very poor, which I could be contented to be sorry for, though he never was the man that ever obliged me by word or deed.
1 The arrangements for the marriage of Lady Jemimah Montagu to Philip Carteret were soon settled, for the wedding took place on July 31st
3rd. Up and by water with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes to White Hall to the Duke of Albemarle, where, after a little business, we parted, and I to the Harp and Ball, and there staid a while talking to Mary, and so home to dinner. After dinner to the Duke of Albemarle’s again, and so to the Swan, and there ‘demeurais un peu’de temps con la fille’, and so to the Harp and Ball, and alone ‘demeurais un peu de temps baisant la’, and so away home and late at the office about letters, and so home, resolving from this night forwards to close all my letters, if possible, and end all my business at the office by daylight, and I shall go near to do it and put all my affairs in the world in good order, the season growing so sickly, that it is much to be feared how a man can escape having a share with others in it, for which the good Lord God bless me, or to be fitted to receive it. So after supper to bed, and mightily troubled in my sleep all night with dreams of Jacke Cole, my old schoolfellow, lately dead, who was born at the same time with me, and we reckoned our fortunes pretty equal. God fit me for his condition!
4th. Up, and sat at the office all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change and thence to the Dolphin, where a good dinner at the cost of one Mr. Osbaston, who lost a wager to Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Rider, and Sir R. Ford, a good while since and now it is spent. The wager was that ten of our ships should not have a fight with ten of the enemy’s before Michaelmas. Here was other very good company, and merry, and at last in come Mr. Buckeworth, a very fine gentleman, and proves to be a Huntingdonshire man. Thence to my office and there all the afternoon till night, and so home to settle some accounts of Tangier and other papers. I hear this day the Duke and Prince Rupert are both come back from sea, and neither of them go back again. The latter I much wonder at, but it seems the towne reports so, and I am very glad of it. This morning I did a good piece of work with Sir W. Warren, ending the business of the lotterys, wherein honestly I think I shall get above £100. Bankert, it seems, is come home with the little fleete he hath been abroad with, without doing any thing, so that there is nobody of an enemy at sea. We are in great hopes of meeting with the Dutch East India fleete, which is mighty rich, or with De Ruyter, who is so also. Sir Richard Ford told me this day, at table, a fine account, how the Dutch were like to have been mastered by the present Prince of Orange1 his father to be besieged in Amsterdam, having drawn an army of foot into the towne, and horse near to the towne by night, within three miles of the towne, and they never knew of it; but by chance the Hamburgh post in the night fell among the horse, and heard their design, and knowing the way, it being very dark and rainy, better than they, went from them, and did give notice to the towne before the others could reach the towne, and so were saved. It seems this De Witt and another family, the Beckarts, were among the chief of the familys that were enemys to the Prince, and were afterwards suppressed by the Prince, and continued so till he was, as they say, poysoned; and then they turned all again, as it was, against the young Prince, and have so carried it to this day, it being about 12 and 14 years, and De Witt in the head of them.
1 The period alluded to is 1650, when the States–General disbanded part of the forces which the Prince of Orange (William) wished to retain. The prince attempted, but unsuccessfully, to possess himself of Amsterdam. In the same year he died, at the early age of twenty-four; some say of the small-pox; others, with Sir Richard Ford, say of poison. — B.
5th. Up, and advised about sending of my wife’s bedding and things to Woolwich, in order to her removal thither. So to the office, where all the morning till noon, and so to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner. In the afternoon I abroad to St. James’s, and there with Mr. Coventry a good while, and understand how matters are ordered in the fleete: that is, my Lord Sandwich goes Admiral; under him Sir G. Ascue, and Sir T. Teddiman; Vice–Admiral, Sir W. Pen; and under him Sir W. Barkeley, and Sir Jos. Jordan: Reere–Admiral, Sir Thomas Allen; and under him Sir Christopher Mings,1 and Captain Harman. We talked in general of business of the Navy, among others how he had lately spoken to Sir G. Carteret, and professed great resolution of friendship with him and reconciliation, and resolves to make it good as well as he can, though it troubles him, he tells me, that something will come before him wherein he must give him offence, but I do find upon the whole that Mr. Coventry do not listen to these complaints of money with the readiness and resolvedness to remedy that he used to do, and I think if he begins to draw in it is high time for me to do so too. From thence walked round to White Hall, the Parke being quite locked up; and I observed a house shut up this day in the Pell Mell, where heretofore in Cromwell’s time we young men used to keep our weekly clubs. And so to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret, who is come this day from Chatham, and mighty glad he is to see me, and begun to talk of our great business of the match, which goes on as fast as possible, but for convenience we took water and over to his coach to Lambeth, by which we went to Deptford, all the way talking, first, how matters are quite concluded with all possible content between my Lord and him and signed and sealed, so that my Lady Sandwich is to come thither tomorrow or next day, and the young lady is sent for, and all likely to be ended between them in a very little while, with mighty joy on both sides, and the King, Duke, Lord Chancellor, and all mightily pleased. Thence to newes, wherein I find that Sir G. Carteret do now take all my Lord Sandwich’s business to heart, and makes it the same with his owne. He tells me how at Chatham it was proposed to my Lord Sandwich to be joined with the Prince in the command of the fleete, which he was most willing to; but when it come to the Prince, he was quite against it; saying, there could be no government, but that it would be better to have two fleetes, and neither under the command of the other, which he would not agree to. So the King was not pleased; but, without any unkindnesse, did order the fleete to be ordered as above, as to the Admirals and commands: so the Prince is come up; and Sir G. Carteret, I remember, had this word thence, that, says he, by this means, though the King told him that it would be but for this expedition, yet I believe we shall keepe him out for altogether. He tells me how my Lord was much troubled at Sir W. Pen’s being ordered forth (as it seems he is, to go to Solebay, and with the best fleete he can, to go forth), and no notice taken of my Lord Sandwich going after him, and having the command over him. But after some discourse Mr. Coventry did satisfy, as he says, my Lord, so as they parted friends both in that point and upon the other wherein I know my Lord was troubled, and which Mr. Coventry did speak to him of first thinking that my Lord might justly take offence at, his not being mentioned in the relation of the fight in the news book, and did clear all to my Lord how little he was concerned in it, and therewith my Lord also satisfied, which I am mightily glad of, because I should take it a very great misfortune to me to have them two to differ above all the persons in the world. Being come to Deptford, my Lady not being within, we parted, and I by water to Woolwich, where I found my wife come, and her two mayds, and very prettily accommodated they will be; and I left them going to supper, grieved in my heart to part with my wife, being worse by much without her, though some trouble there is in having the care of a family at home in this plague time, and so took leave, and I in one boat and W. Hewer in another home very late, first against tide, we having walked in the dark to Greenwich. Late home and to bed, very lonely.
1 The son of a shoemaker, bred to the sea-service; he rose to the rank of an admiral, and was killed in the fight with the Dutch, June, 1666. — B. See post, June 10th, 1666.
6th. Up and forth to give order to my pretty grocer’s wife’s house, who, her husband tells me, is going this day for the summer into the country. I bespoke some sugar, &c., for my father, and so home to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret about money for the office, a sad thought, for in a little while all must go to wracke, winter coming on apace, when a great sum must be ready to pay part of the fleete, and so far we are from it that we have not enough to stop the mouths of poor people and their hands from falling about our eares here almost in the office. God give a good end to it! Sir G. Carteret told me one considerable thing: Alderman Backewell is ordered abroad upon some private score with a great sum of money; wherein I was instrumental the other day in shipping him away. It seems some of his creditors have taken notice of it, and he was like to be broke yesterday in his absence; Sir G. Carteret telling me that the King and the kingdom must as good as fall with that man at this time; and that he was forced to get £4000 himself to answer Backewell’s people’s occasions, or he must have broke; but committed this to me as a great secret and which I am heartily sorry to hear. Thence, after a little merry discourse of our marrying business, I parted, and by coach to several places, among others to see my Lord Brunkerd, who is not well, but was at rest when I come. I could not see him, nor had much mind, one of the great houses within two doors of him being shut up: and, Lord! the number of houses visited, which this day I observed through the town quite round in my way by Long Lane and London Wall. So home to the office, and thence to Sir W. Batten, and spent the evening at supper; and, among other discourse, the rashness of Sir John Lawson, for breeding up his daughter so high and proud, refusing a man of great interest, Sir W. Barkeley, to match her with a melancholy fellow, Colonell Norton’s’ son, of no interest nor good nature nor generosity at all, giving her £6000, when the other would have taken her with two; when he himself knew that he was not worth the money himself in all the world, he did give her that portion, and is since dead, and left his wife and two daughters beggars, and the other gone away with £6000, and no content in it, through the ill qualities of her father-inlaw and husband, who, it seems, though a pretty woman, contracted for her as if he had been buying a horse; and, worst of all, is now of no use to serve the mother and two little sisters in any stead at Court, whereas the other might have done what he would for her: so here is an end of this family’s pride, which, with good care, might have been what they would, and done well. Thence, weary of this discourse, as the act of the greatest rashness that ever I heard of in all my little conversation, we parted, and I home to bed. Sir W. Pen, it seems, sailed last night from Solebay with, about sixty sail of ship, and my Lord Sandwich in “The Prince” and some others, it seems, going after them to overtake them, for I am sure my Lord Sandwich will do all possible to overtake them, and will be troubled to the heart if he do it not.
7th. Up, and having set my neighbour, Mr. Hudson, wine coopers, at work drawing out a tierce of wine for the sending of some of it to my wife, I abroad, only taking notice to what a condition it hath pleased God to bring me that at this time I have two tierces of Claret, two quarter casks of Canary, and a smaller vessel of Sack; a vessel of Tent, another of Malaga, and another of white wine, all in my wine cellar together; which, I believe, none of my friends of my name now alive ever had of his owne at one time. To Westminster, and there with Mr. Povy and Creed talking of our Tangier business, and by and by I drew Creed aside and acquainted him with what Sir G. Carteret did tell me about Backewell the other day, because he hath money of his in his hands. So home, taking some new books, £5 worth, home to my great content. At home all the day after busy. Some excellent discourse and advice of Sir W. Warren’s in the afternoon, at night home to look over my new books, and so late to bed.
8th. All day very diligent at the office, ended my letters by 9 at night, and then fitted myself to go down to Woolwich to my wife, which I did, calling at Sir G. Carteret’s at Deptford, and there hear that my Lady Sandwich is come, but not very well. By 12 o’clock to Woolwich, found my wife asleep in bed, but strange to think what a fine night I had down, but before I had been one minute on shore, the mightiest storm come of wind and rain that almost could be for a quarter of an houre and so left. I to bed, being the first time I come to her lodgings, and there lodged well.
9th (Lord’s day). Very pleasant with her and among my people, while she made her ready, and, about 10 o’clock, by water to Sir G. Carteret, and there find my Lady [Sandwich] in her chamber, not very well, but looks the worst almost that ever I did see her in my life. It seems her drinking of the water at Tunbridge did almost kill her before she could with most violent physique get it out of her body again. We are received with most extraordinary kindnesse by my Lady Carteret and her children, and dined most nobly. Sir G. Carteret went to Court this morning. After dinner I took occasion to have much discourse with Mr. Ph. Carteret, and find him a very modest man; and I think verily of mighty good nature, and pretty understanding. He did give me a good account of the fight with the Dutch. My Lady Sandwich dined in her chamber. About three o’clock I, leaving my wife there, took boat and home, and there shifted myself into my black silke suit, and having promised Harman yesterday, I to his house, which I find very mean, and mean company. His wife very ill; I could not see her. Here I, with her father and Kate Joyce, who was also very ill, were godfathers and godmother to his boy, and was christened Will. Mr. Meriton christened him. The most observable thing I found there to my content, was to hear him and his clerk tell me that in this parish of Michell’s, Cornhill, one of the middlemost parishes and a great one of the towne, there hath, notwithstanding this sickliness, been buried of any disease, man, woman, or child, not one for thirteen months last past; which [is] very strange. And the like in a good degree in most other parishes, I hear, saving only of the plague in them, but in this neither the plague nor any other disease. So back again home and reshifted myself, and so down to my Lady Carteret’s, where mighty merry and great pleasantnesse between my Lady Sandwich and the young ladies and me, and all of us mighty merry, there never having been in the world sure a greater business of general content than this match proposed between Mr. Carteret and my Lady Jemimah. But withal it is mighty pretty to think how my poor Lady Sandwich, between her and me, is doubtfull whether her daughter will like of it or no, and how troubled she is for fear of it, which I do not fear at all, and desire her not to do it, but her fear is the most discreet and pretty that ever I did see. Late here, and then my wife and I, with most hearty kindnesse from my Lady Carteret by boat to Woolwich, come thither about 12 at night, and so to bed.
10th. Up, and with great pleasure looking over a nest of puppies of Mr. Shelden’s, with which my wife is most extraordinary pleased, and one of them is promised her. Anon I took my leave, and away by water to the Duke of Albemarle’s, where he tells me that I must be at Hampton Court anon. So I home to look over my Tangier papers, and having a coach of Mr. Povy’s attending me, by appointment, in order to my coming to dine at his country house at Brainford, where he and his family is, I went and Mr. Tasbrough with me therein, it being a pretty chariot, but most inconvenient as to the horses throwing dust and dirt into one’s eyes and upon one’s clothes. There I staid a quarter of an houre, Creed being there, and being able to do little business (but the less the better). Creed rode before, and Mr. Povy and I after him in the chariot; and I was set down by him at the Parke pale, where one of his saddle horses was ready for me, he himself not daring to come into the house or be seen, because that a servant of his, out of his horse, happened to be sicke, but is not yet dead, but was never suffered to come into his house after he was ill. But this opportunity was taken to injure Povy, and most horribly he is abused by some persons hereupon, and his fortune, I believe, quite broke; but that he hath a good heart to bear, or a cunning one to conceal his evil. There I met with Sir W. Coventry, and by and by was heard by my Lord Chancellor and Treasurer about our Tangier money, and my Lord Treasurer had ordered me to forbear meddling with the £15,000 he offered me the other day, but, upon opening the case to them, they did offer it again, and so I think I shall have it, but my Lord General must give his consent in it, this money having been promised to him, and he very angry at the proposal. Here though I have not been in many years, yet I lacke time to stay, besides that it is, I perceive, an unpleasing thing to be at Court, everybody being fearful one of another, and all so sad, enquiring after the plague, so that I stole away by my horse to Kingston, and there with trouble was forced, to press two sturdy rogues to carry me to London, and met at the waterside with Mr. Charnocke, Sir Philip Warwicke’s clerke, who had been in company and was quite foxed. I took him with me in my boat, and so away to Richmond, and there, by night, walked with him to Moreclacke, a very pretty walk, and there staid a good while, now and then talking and sporting with Nan the servant, who says she is a seaman’s wife, and at last bade good night.
11th. And so all night down by water, a most pleasant passage, and come thither by two o’clock, and so walked from the Old Swan home, and there to bed to my Will, being very weary, and he lodging at my desire in my house. At 6 o’clock up and to Westminster (where and all the towne besides, I hear, the plague encreases), and, it being too soon to go to the Duke of Albemarle, I to the Harp and Ball, and there made a bargain with Mary to go forth with me in the afternoon, which she with much ado consented to. So I to the Duke of Albemarle’s, and there with much ado did get his consent in part to my having the money promised for Tangier, and the other part did not concur. So being displeased with this, I back to the office and there sat alone a while doing business, and then by a solemn invitation to the Trinity House, where a great dinner and company, Captain Dobbin’s feast for Elder Brother. But I broke up before the dinner half over and by water to the Harp and Ball, and thence had Mary meet me at the New Exchange, and there took coach and I with great pleasure took the ayre to Highgate, and thence to Hampstead, much pleased with her company, pretty and innocent, and had what pleasure almost I would with her, and so at night, weary and sweaty, it being very hot beyond bearing, we back again, and I set her down in St. Martin’s Lane, and so I to the evening ‘Change, and there hear all the towne full that Ostend is delivered to us, and that Alderman Backewell1 did go with £50,000 to that purpose. But the truth of it I do not know, but something I believe there is extraordinary in his going. So to the office, where I did what I could as to letters, and so away to bed, shifting myself, and taking some Venice treakle, feeling myself out of order, and thence to bed to sleep.
1 Among the State Papers is a letter from the king to the Lord General (dated August 8th, 1665): “Alderman Backwell being in great straits for the second payment he has to make for the service in Flanders, as much tin is to be transmitted to him as will raise the sum. Has authorized him and Sir George Carteret to treat with the tin farmers for 500 tons of tin to be speedily transported under good convoy; but if, on consulting with Alderman Backwell, this plan of the tin seems insufficient, then without further difficulty he is to dispose for that purpose of the £10,000 assigned for pay of the Guards, not doubting that before that comes due, other ways will be found for supplying it; the payment in Flanders is of such importance that some means must be found of providing for it” (“Calendar,” Domestic, 1664–65, pp. 508, 509)
12th. After doing what business I could in the morning, it being a solemn fast-day1 for the plague growing upon us, I took boat and down to Deptford, where I stood with great pleasure an houre or two by my Lady Sandwich’s bedside, talking to her (she lying prettily in bed) of my Lady Jemimah’s being from my Lady Pickering’s when our letters come to that place; she being at my Lord Montagu’s, at Boughton. The truth is, I had received letters of it two days ago, but had dropped them, and was in a very extraordinary straite what to do for them, or what account to give my Lady, but sent to every place; I sent to Moreclacke, where I had been the night before, and there they were found, which with mighty joy come safe to me; but all ending with satisfaction to my Lady and me, though I find my Lady Carteret not much pleased with this delay, and principally because of the plague, which renders it unsafe to stay long at Deptford. I eat a bit (my Lady Carteret being the most kind lady in the world), and so took boat, and a fresh boat at the Tower, and so up the river, against tide all the way, I having lost it by staying prating to and with my Lady, and, from before one, made it seven ere we got to Hampton Court; and when I come there all business was over, saving my finding Mr. Coventry at his chamber, and with him a good while about several businesses at his chamber, and so took leave, and away to my boat, and all night upon the water, staying a while with Nan at Moreclacke, very much pleased and merry with her, and so on homeward, and come home by two o’clock, shooting the bridge at that time of night, and so to bed, where I find Will is not, he staying at Woolwich to come with my wife to dinner tomorrow to my Lady Carteret’s. Heard Mr. Williamson repeat at Hampton Court today how the King of France hath lately set out a most high arrest against the Pope, which is reckoned very lofty and high.2
1 “A form of Common Prayer; together with an order for fasting for the averting of God’s heavy visitation upon many places of this realm. The fast to be observed within the cities of London and Westminster and places adjacent, on Wednesday the twelfth of this instant July, and both there and in all parts of this realm on the first Wednesday in every month during the visitation” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1664–65, p. 466).
2 Arret. The rupture between Alexander VII. and Louis XIV. was healed in 1664, by the treaty signed at Pisa, on February 12th. On August 9th, the pope’s nephew, Cardinal Chigi, made his entry into Paris, as legate, to give the king satisfaction for the insult offered at Rome by the Corsican guard to the Duc de Crequi, the French ambassador; (see January 25th, 1662–63). Cardinal Imperiali, Governor of Rome, asked pardon of the king in person, and all the hard conditions of the treaty were fulfilled. But no arret against the pope was set forth in 1665. On the contrary, Alexander, now wishing to please the king, issued a constitution on February 2nd, 1665, ordering all the clergy of France, without any exception, to sign a formulary condemning the famous five propositions extracted from the works of Jansenius; and on April 29th, the king in person ordered the parliament to register the bull. The Jansenist party, of course, demurred to this proceeding; the Bishops of Alais, Angers, Beauvais, and Pamiers, issuing mandates calling upon their clergy to refuse. It was against these mandates, as being contrary to the king’s declaration and the pope’s intentions, that the arret was directed. — B.
13th. Lay long, being sleepy, and then up to the office, my Lord Brunker (after his sickness) being come to the office, and did what business there was, and so I by water, at night late, to Sir G. Carteret’s, but there being no oars to carry me, I was fain to call a skuller that had a gentleman already in it, and he proved a man of love to musique, and he and I sung together the way down with great pleasure, and an incident extraordinary to be met with. There come to dinner, they haveing dined, but my Lady caused something to be brought for me, and I dined well and mighty merry, especially my Lady Slaning and I about eating of creame and brown bread, which she loves as much as I. Thence after long discourse with them and my Lady alone, I and [my] wife, who by agreement met here, took leave, and I saw my wife a little way down (it troubling me that this absence makes us a little strange instead of more fond), and so parted, and I home to some letters, and then home to bed. Above 700 died of the plague this week.
14th. Up, and all the morning at the Exchequer endeavouring to strike tallys for money for Tangier, and mightily vexed to see how people attend there, some out of towne, and others drowsy, and to others it was late, so that the King’s business suffers ten times more than all their service is worth. So I am put off to tomorrow. Thence to the Old Exchange, by water, and there bespoke two fine shirts of my pretty seamstress, who, she tells me, serves Jacke Fenn. Upon the ‘Change all the news is that guns have been heard and that news is come by a Dane that my Lord was in view of De Ruyter, and that since his parting from my Lord of Sandwich he hath heard guns, but little of it do I think true. So home to dinner, where Povy by agreement, and after dinner we to talk of our Tangier matters, about keeping our profit at the pay and victualling of the garrison, if the present undertakers should leave it, wherein I did [not] nor will do any thing unworthy me and any just man, but they being resolved to quit it, it is fit I should suffer Mr. Povy to do what he can with Mr. Gauden about it to our profit. Thence to the discoursing of putting some sums of money in order and tallys, which we did pretty well. So he in the evening gone, I by water to Sir G. Carteret’s, and there find my Lady Sandwich and her buying things for my Lady Jem.‘s wedding; and my Lady Jem. is beyond expectation come to Dagenhams, where Mr. Carteret is to go to visit her tomorrow; and my proposal of waiting on him, he being to go alone to all persons strangers to him, was well accepted, and so I go with him. But, Lord! to see how kind my Lady Carteret is to her! Sends her most rich jewells, and provides bedding and things of all sorts most richly for her, which makes my Lady and me out of our wits almost to see the kindnesse she treats us all with, as if they would buy the young lady. Thence away home and, foreseeing my being abroad two days, did sit up late making of letters ready against tomorrow, and other things, and so to bed, to be up betimes by the helpe of a larum watch, which by chance I borrowed of my watchmaker today, while my owne is mending.
15th. Up, and after all business done, though late, I to Deptford, but before I went out of the office saw there young Bagwell’s wife returned, but could not stay to speak to her, though I had a great mind to it, and also another great lady, as to fine clothes, did attend there to have a ticket signed; which I did do, taking her through the garden to my office, where I signed it and had a salute —[kiss]— of her, and so I away by boat to Redriffe, and thence walked, and after dinner, at Sir G. Carteret’s, where they stayed till almost three o’clock for me, and anon took boat, Mr. Carteret and I to the ferry-place at Greenwich, and there staid an hour crossing the water to and again to get our coach and horses over; and by and by set out, and so toward Dagenhams. But, Lord! what silly discourse we had by the way as to love-matters, he being the most awkerd man I ever met with in my life as to that business. Thither we come, by that time it begun to be dark, and were kindly received by Lady Wright and my Lord Crew. And to discourse they went, my Lord discoursing with him, asking of him questions of travell, which he answered well enough in a few words; but nothing to the lady from him at all. To supper, and after supper to talk again, he yet taking no notice of the lady. My Lord would have had me have consented to leaving the young people together to-night, to begin their amours, his staying being but to be little. But I advised against it, lest the lady might be too much surprised. So they led him up to his chamber, where I staid a little, to know how he liked the lady, which he told me he did mightily; but, Lord! in the dullest insipid manner that ever lover did. So I bid him good night, and down to prayers with my Lord Crew’s family, and after prayers, my Lord, and Lady Wright, and I, to consult what to do; and it was agreed at last to have them go to church together, as the family used to do, though his lameness was a great objection against it. But at last my Lady Jem. sent me word by my Lady Wright that it would be better to do just as they used to do before his coming; and therefore she desired to go to church, which was yielded then to.
16th (Lord’s day). I up, having lain with Mr. Moore in the chaplin’s chamber. And having trimmed myself, down to Mr. Carteret; and he being ready we down and walked in the gallery an hour or two, it being a most noble and pretty house that ever, for the bigness, I saw. Here I taught him what to do: to take the lady always by the hand to lead her, and telling him that I would find opportunity to leave them two together, he should make these and these compliments, and also take a time to do the like to Lord Crew and Lady Wright. After I had instructed him, which he thanked me for, owning that he needed my teaching him, my Lord Crew come down and family, the young lady among the rest; and so by coaches to church four miles off; where a pretty good sermon, and a declaration of penitence of a man that had undergone the Churches censure for his wicked life. Thence back again by coach, Mr. Carteret having not had the confidence to take his lady once by the hand, coming or going, which I told him of when we come home, and he will hereafter do it. So to dinner. My Lord excellent discourse. Then to walk in the gallery, and to sit down. By and by my Lady Wright and I go out (and then my Lord Crew, he not by design), and lastly my Lady Crew come out, and left the young people together. And a little pretty daughter of my Lady Wright’s most innocently come out afterward, and shut the door to, as if she had done it, poor child, by inspiration; which made us without, have good sport to laugh at. They together an hour, and by and by church-time, whither he led her into the coach and into the church, and so at church all the afternoon, several handsome ladies at church. But it was most extraordinary hot that ever I knew it. So home again and to walk in the gardens, where we left the young couple a second time; and my Lady Wright and I to walk together, who to my trouble tells me that my Lady Jem. must have something done to her body by Scott before she can be married, and therefore care must be had to send him, also that some more new clothes must of necessity be made her, which and other things I took care of. Anon to supper, and excellent discourse and dispute between my Lord Crew and the chaplin, who is a good scholler, but a nonconformist. Here this evening I spoke with Mrs. Carter, my old acquaintance, that hath lived with my Lady these twelve or thirteen years, the sum of all whose discourse and others for her, is, that I would get her a good husband; which I have promised, but know not when I shall perform. After Mr. Carteret was carried to his chamber, we to prayers again and then to bed.
17th. Up all of us, and to billiards; my Lady Wright, Mr. Carteret, myself, and every body. By and by the young couple left together. Anon to dinner; and after dinner Mr. Carteret took my advice about giving to the servants, and I led him to give £10 among them, which he did, by leaving it to the chief man-servant, Mr. Medows, to do for him. Before we went, I took my Lady Jem. apart, and would know how she liked this gentleman, and whether she was under any difficulty concerning him. She blushed, and hid her face awhile; but at last I forced her to tell me. She answered that she could readily obey what her father and mother had done; which was all she could say, or I expect. So anon I took leave, and for London. But, Lord! to see, among other things, how all these great people here are afeard of London, being doubtfull of anything that comes from thence, or that hath lately been there, that I was forced to say that I lived wholly at Woolwich. In our way Mr. Carteret did give me mighty thanks for my care and pains for him, and is mightily pleased, though the truth is, my Lady Jem. hath carried herself with mighty discretion and gravity, not being forward at all in any degree, but mighty serious in her answers to him, as by what he says and I observed, I collect. To London to my office, and there took letters from the office, where all well, and so to the Bridge, and there he and I took boat and to Deptford, where mighty welcome, and brought the good newes of all being pleased to them. Mighty mirth at my giving them an account of all; but the young man could not be got to say one word before me or my Lady Sandwich of his adventures, but, by what he afterwards related to his father and mother and sisters, he gives an account that pleases them mightily. Here Sir G. Carteret would have me lie all night, which I did most nobly, better than ever I did in my life, Sir G. Carteret being mighty kind to me, leading me to my chamber; and all their care now is, to have the business ended, and they have reason, because the sicknesse puts all out of order, and they cannot safely stay where they are.
18th. Up and to the office, where all the morning, and so to my house and eat a bit of victuals, and so to the ‘Change, where a little business and a very thin Exchange; and so walked through London to the Temple, where I took water for Westminster to the Duke of Albemarle, to wait on him, and so to Westminster Hall, and there paid for my newes-books, and did give Mrs. Michell, who is going out of towne because of the sicknesse, and her husband, a pint of wine, and so Sir W. Warren coming to me by appointment we away by water home, by the way discoursing about the project I have of getting some money and doing the King good service too about the mast docke at Woolwich, which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it. After dispatching letters at the office, I by water down to Deptford, where I staid a little while, and by water to my wife, whom I have not seen 6 or 5 days, and there supped with her, and mighty pleasant, and saw with content her drawings, and so to bed mighty merry. I was much troubled this day to hear at Westminster how the officers do bury the dead in the open Tuttle-fields, pretending want of room elsewhere; whereas the New Chappell churchyard was walled-in at the publick charge in the last plague time, merely for want of room and now none, but such as are able to pay dear for it, can be buried there.
19th. Up and to the office, and thence presently to the Exchequer, and there with much trouble got my tallys, and afterwards took Mr. Falconer, Spicer, and another or two to the Leg and there give them a dinner, and so with my tallys and about 30 dozen of bags, which it seems are my due, having paid the fees as if I had received the money I away home, and after a little stay down by water to Deptford, where I find all full of joy, and preparing to go to Dagenhams tomorrow. To supper, and after supper to talk without end. Very late I went away, it raining, but I had a design ‘pour aller a la femme de Bagwell’ and did so. . . . So away about 12, and it raining hard I back to Sir G. Carteret and there called up the page, and to bed there, being all in a most violent sweat.
20th. Up, in a boat among other people to the Tower, and there to the office, where we sat all the morning. So down to Deptford and there dined, and after dinner saw my Lady Sandwich and Mr. Carteret and his two sisters over the water, going to Dagenhams, and my Lady Carteret towards Cranburne.1 So all the company broke up in most extraordinary joy, wherein I am mighty contented that I have had the good fortune to be so instrumental, and I think it will be of good use to me. So walked to Redriffe, where I hear the sickness is, and indeed is scattered almost every where, there dying 1089 of the plague this week. My Lady Carteret did this day give me a bottle of plague-water home with me. So home to write letters late, and then home to bed, where I have not lain these 3 or 4 nights. I received yesterday a letter from my Lord Sandwich, giving me thanks for my care about their marriage business, and desiring it to be dispatched, that no disappointment may happen therein, which I will help on all I can. This afternoon I waited on the Duke of Albemarle, and so to Mrs. Croft’s, where I found and saluted Mrs. Burrows, who is a very pretty woman for a mother of so many children. But, Lord! to see how the plague spreads. It being now all over King’s Streete, at the Axe, and next door to it, and in other places.
1 The royal lodge of that name in Windsor Forest, occupied by Sir George Carteret as Vice–Chamberlain to the King. — B.
21st. Up and abroad to the goldsmiths, to see what money I could get upon my present tallys upon the advance of the Excise, and I hope I shall get £10,000. I went also and had them entered at the Excise Office. Alderman Backewell is at sea. Sir R. Viner come to towne but this morning. So Colvill was the only man I could yet speak withal to get any money of. Met with Mr. Povy, and I with him and dined at the Custom House Taverne, there to talk of our Tangier business, and Stockedale and Hewet with us. So abroad to several places, among others to Anthony Joyce’s, and there broke to him my desire to have Pall married to Harman, whose wife, poor woman, is lately dead, to my trouble, I loving her very much, and he will consider it. So home and late at my chamber, setting some papers in order; the plague growing very raging, and my apprehensions of it great. So very late to bed.
22nd. As soon as up I among my goldsmiths, Sir Robert Viner and Colvill, and there got £10,000 of my new tallys accepted, and so I made it my work to find out Mr. Mervin and sent for others to come with their bills of Exchange, as Captain Hewett, &c., and sent for Mr. Jackson, but he was not in town. So all the morning at the office, and after dinner, which was very late, I to Sir R. Viner’s, by his invitation in the morning, and got near £5000 more accepted, and so from this day the whole, or near, £15,000, lies upon interest. Thence I by water to Westminster, and the Duke of Albemarle being gone to dinner to my Lord of Canterbury’s, I thither, and there walked and viewed the new hall, a new old-fashion hall as much as possible. Begun, and means left for the ending of it, by Bishop Juxon. Not coming proper to speak with him, I to Fox-hall, where to the Spring garden; but I do not see one guest there, the town being so empty of any body to come thither. Only, while I was there, a poor woman come to scold with the master of the house that a kinswoman, I think, of hers, that was newly dead of the plague, might be buried in the church-yard; for, for her part, she should not be buried in the commons, as they said she should. Back to White Hall, and by and by comes the Duke of Albemarle, and there, after a little discourse, I by coach home, not meeting with but two coaches, and but two carts from White Hall to my own house, that I could observe; and the streets mighty thin of people. I met this noon with Dr. Burnett, who told me, and I find in the newsbook this week that he posted upon the ‘Change, that whoever did spread the report that, instead of the plague, his servant was by him killed, it was forgery, and shewed me the acknowledgment of the master of the pest-house, that his servant died of a bubo on his right groine, and two spots on his right thigh, which is the plague. To my office, where late writing letters, and getting myself prepared with business for Hampton Court tomorrow, and so having caused a good pullet to be got for my supper, all alone, I very late to bed. All the news is great: that we must of necessity fall out with France, for He will side with the Dutch against us. That Alderman Backewell is gone over (which indeed he is) with money, and that Ostend is in our present possession. But it is strange to see how poor Alderman Backewell is like to be put to it in his absence, Mr. Shaw his right hand being ill. And the Alderman’s absence gives doubts to people, and I perceive they are in great straits for money, besides what Sir G. Carteret told me about fourteen days ago. Our fleet under my Lord Sandwich being about the latitude 55 (which is a great secret) to the Northward of the Texell. So to bed very late. In my way I called upon Sir W. Turner, and at Mr. Shelcrosse’s (but he was not at home, having left his bill with Sir W. Turner), that so I may prove I did what I could as soon as I had money to answer all bills.
23rd (Lord’s day). Up very betimes, called by Mr. Cutler, by appointment, and with him in his coach and four horses over London Bridge to Kingston, a very pleasant journey, and at Hampton Court by nine o’clock, and in our way very good and various discourse, as he is a man, that though I think he be a knave, as the world thinks him, yet a man of great experience and worthy to be heard discourse. When we come there, we to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there discoursed long with him, he and I alone, the others being gone away, and so walked together through the garden to the house, where we parted, I observing with a little trouble that he is too great now to expect too much familiarity with, and I find he do not mind me as he used to do, but when I reflect upon him and his business I cannot think much of it, for I do not observe anything but the same great kindness from him. I followed the King to chappell, and there hear a good sermon; and after sermon with my Lord Arlington, Sir Thomas Ingram and others, spoke to the Duke about Tangier, but not to much purpose. I was not invited any whither to dinner, though a stranger, which did also trouble me; but yet I must remember it is a Court, and indeed where most are strangers; but, however, Cutler carried me to Mr. Marriott’s the house-keeper, and there we had a very good dinner and good company, among others Lilly, the painter. Thence to the councill-chamber, where in a back room I sat all the afternoon, but the councill begun late to sit, and spent most of the time upon Morisco’s Tarr businesse. They sat long, and I forced to follow Sir Thomas Ingram, the Duke, and others, so that when I got free and come to look for Cutler, he was gone with his coach, without leaving any word with any body to tell me so; so that I was forced with great trouble to walk up and down looking of him, and at last forced to get a boat to carry me to Kingston, and there, after eating a bit at a neat inne, which pleased me well, I took boat, and slept all the way, without intermission, from thence to Queenhive, where, it being about two o’clock, too late and too soon to go home to bed, I lay and slept till about four,
24th. And then up and home, and there dressed myself, and by appointment to Deptford, to Sir G. Carteret’s, between six and seven o’clock, where I found him and my Lady almost ready, and by and by went over to the ferry, and took coach and six horses nobly for Dagenhams, himself and lady and their little daughter, Louisonne, and myself in the coach; where, when we come, we were bravely entertained and spent the day most pleasantly with the young ladies, and I so merry as never more. Only for want of sleep, and drinking of strong beer had a rheum in one of my eyes, which troubled me much. Here with great content all the day, as I think I ever passed a day in my life, because of the contentfulnesse of our errand, and the noblenesse of the company and our manner of going. But I find Mr. Carteret yet as backward almost in his caresses, as he was the first day. At night, about seven o’clock, took coach again; but, Lord! to see in what a pleasant humour Sir G. Carteret hath been both coming and going; so light, so fond, so merry, so boyish (so much content he takes in this business), it is one of the greatest wonders I ever saw in my mind. But once in serious discourse he did say that, if he knew his son to be a debauchee, as many and, most are now-a-days about the Court, he would tell it, and my Lady Jem. should not have him; and so enlarged both he and she about the baseness and looseness of the Court, and told several stories of the Duke of Monmouth, and Richmond, and some great person, my Lord of Ormond’s second son, married to a lady of extraordinary quality (fit and that might have been made a wife for the King himself), about six months since, that this great person hath given the pox to ———; and discoursed how much this would oblige the Kingdom if the King would banish some of these great persons publiquely from the Court, and wished it with all their hearts. We set out so late that it grew dark, so as we doubted the losing of our way; and a long time it was, or seemed, before we could get to the water-side, and that about eleven at night, where, when we come, all merry (only my eye troubled me, as I said), we found no ferryboat was there, nor no oares to carry us to Deptford. However, afterwards oares was called from the other side at Greenwich; but, when it come, a frolique, being mighty merry, took us, and there we would sleep all night in the coach in the Isle of Doggs. So we did, there being now with us my Lady Scott, and with great pleasure drew up the glasses, and slept till daylight, and then some victuals and wine being brought us, we ate a bit, and so up and took boat, merry as might be; and when come to Sir G. Carteret’s, there all to bed.
25th. Our good humour in every body continuing, and there I slept till seven o’clock. Then up and to the office, well refreshed, my eye only troubling me, which by keeping a little covered with my handkercher and washing now and then with cold water grew better by night. At noon to the ‘Change, which was very thin, and thence homeward, and was called in by Mr. Rawlinson, with whom I dined and some good company very harmlessly merry. But sad the story of the plague in the City, it growing mightily. This day my Lord Brunker did give me Mr. Grant’s’ book upon the Bills of Mortality, new printed and enlarged. Thence to my office awhile, full of business, and thence by coach to the Duke of Albemarle’s, not meeting one coach going nor coming from my house thither and back again, which is very strange. One of my chief errands was to speak to Sir W. Clerke about my wife’s brother, who importunes me, and I doubt he do want mightily, but I can do little for him there as to employment in the army, and out of my purse I dare not for fear of a precedent, and letting him come often to me is troublesome and dangerous too, he living in the dangerous part of the town, but I will do what I can possibly for him and as soon as I can. Mightily troubled all this afternoon with masters coming to me about Bills of Exchange and my signing them upon my Goldsmiths, but I did send for them all and hope to ease myself this weeke of all the clamour. These two or three days Mr. Shaw at Alderman Backewell’s hath lain sick, like to die, and is feared will not live a day to an end. At night home and to bed, my head full of business, and among others, this day come a letter to me from Paris from my Lord Hinchingbroke, about his coming over; and I have sent this night an order from the Duke of Albemarle for a ship of 36 guns to [go] to Calais to fetch him.
26th. Up, and after doing a little business, down to Deptford with Sir W. Batten, and there left him, and I to Greenwich to the Park, where I hear the King and Duke are come by water this morn from Hampton Court. They asked me several questions. The King mightily pleased with his new buildings there. I followed them to Castle’s ship in building, and there, met Sir W. Batten, and thence to Sir G. Carteret’s, where all the morning with them; they not having any but the Duke of Monmouth, and Sir W. Killigrew, and one gentleman, and a page more. Great variety of talk, and was often led to speak to the King and Duke. By and by they to dinner, and all to dinner and sat down to the King saving myself, which, though I could not in modesty expect, yet, God forgive my pride! I was sorry I was there, that Sir W. Batten should say that he could sit down where I could not, though he had twenty times more reason than I, but this was my pride and folly. I down and walked with Mr. Castle, who told me the design of Ford and Rider to oppose and do all the hurt they can to Captain Taylor in his new ship “The London,” and how it comes, and that they are a couple of false persons, which I believe, and withal that he himself is a knave too. He and I by and by to dinner mighty nobly, and the King having dined, he come down, and I went in the barge with him, I sitting at the door. Down to Woolwich (and there I just saw and kissed my wife, and saw some of her painting, which is very curious; and away again to the King) and back again with him in the barge, hearing him and the Duke talk, and seeing and observing their manner of discourse. And God forgive me! though I admire them with all the duty possible, yet the more a man considers and observes them, the less he finds of difference between them and other men, though (blessed be God!) they are both princes of great nobleness and spirits. The barge put me into another boat that come to our side, Mr. Holder with a bag of gold to the Duke, and so they away and I home to the office. The Duke of Monmouth is the most skittish leaping gallant that ever I saw, always in action, vaulting or leaping, or clambering. Thence mighty full of the honour of this day, I took coach and to Kate Joyce’s, but she not within, but spoke with Anthony, who tells me he likes well of my proposal for Pall to Harman, but I fear that less than £500 will not be taken, and that I shall not be able to give, though I did not say so to him. After a little other discourse and the sad news of the death of so many in the parish of the plague, forty last night, the bell always going, I back to the Exchange, where I went up and sat talking with my beauty, Mrs. Batelier, a great while, who is indeed one of the finest women I ever saw in my life. After buying some small matter, I home, and there to the office and saw Sir J. Minnes now come from Portsmouth, I home to set my Journall for these four days in order, they being four days of as great content and honour and pleasure to me as ever I hope to live or desire, or think any body else can live. For methinks if a man would but reflect upon this, and think that all these things are ordered by God Almighty to make me contented, and even this very marriage now on foot is one of the things intended to find me content in, in my life and matter of mirth, methinks it should make one mightily more satisfied in the world than he is. This day poor Robin Shaw at Backewell’s died, and Backewell himself now in Flanders. The King himself asked about Shaw, and being told he was dead, said he was very sorry for it. The sicknesse is got into our parish this week, and is got, indeed, every where; so that I begin to think of setting things in order, which I pray God enable me to put both as to soul and body.
27th. Called up at 4 o’clock. Up and to my preparing some papers for Hampton Court, and so by water to Fox Hall, and there Mr. Gauden’s coach took me up, and by and by I took up him, and so both thither, a brave morning to ride in and good discourse with him. Among others he begun with me to speak of the Tangier Victuallers resigning their employment, and his willingness to come on. Of which I was glad, and took the opportunity to answer him with all kindness and promise of assistance. He told me a while since my Lord Berkeley did speak of it to him, and yesterday a message from Sir Thomas Ingram. When I come to Hampton Court I find Sir T. Ingram and Creed ready with papers signed for the putting of Mr. Gawden in, upon a resignation signed to by Lanyon and sent to Sir Thos. Ingram. At this I was surprized but yet was glad, and so it passed but with respect enough to those that are in, at least without any thing ill taken from it. I got another order signed about the boats, which I think I shall get something by. So dispatched all my business, having assurance of continuance of all hearty love from Sir W. Coventry, and so we staid and saw the King and Queene set out toward Salisbury, and after them the Duke and Duchesse, whose hands I did kiss. And it was the first time I did ever, or did see any body else, kiss her hand, and it was a most fine white and fat hand. But it was pretty to see the young pretty ladies dressed like men, in velvet coats, caps with ribbands, and with laced bands, just like men. Only the Duchesse herself it did not become. They gone, we with great content took coach again, and hungry come to Clapham about one o’clock, and Creed there too before us, where a good dinner, the house having dined, and so to walk up and down in the gardens, mighty pleasant. By and by comes by promise to me Sir G. Carteret, and viewed the house above and below, and sat and drank there, and I had a little opportunity to kiss and spend some time with the ladies above, his daughter, a buxom lass, and his sister Fissant, a serious lady, and a little daughter of hers, that begins to sing prettily. Thence, with mighty pleasure, with Sir G. Carteret by coach, with great discourse of kindnesse with him to my Lord Sandwich, and to me also; and I every day see more good by the alliance. Almost at Deptford I ‘light and walked over to Half-way House, and so home, in my way being shown my cozen Patience’s house, which seems, at distance, a pretty house. At home met the weekly Bill, where above 1000 encreased in the Bill, and of them, in all about 1,700 of the plague, which hath made the officers this day resolve of sitting at Deptford, which puts me to some consideration what to do. Therefore home to think and consider of every thing about it, and without determining any thing eat a little supper and to bed, full of the pleasure of these 6 or 7 last days.
28th. Up betimes, and down to Deptford, where, after a little discourse with Sir G. Carteret, who is much displeased with the order of our officers yesterday to remove the office to Deptford, pretending other things, but to be sure it is with regard to his own house (which is much because his family is going away). I am glad I was not at the order making, and so I will endeavour to alter it. Set out with my Lady all alone with her with six horses to Dagenhams; going by water to the Ferry. And a pleasant going, and good discourse; and when there, very merry, and the young couple now well acquainted. But, Lord! to see in what fear all the people here do live would make one mad, they are afeard of us that come to them, insomuch that I am troubled at it, and wish myself away. But some cause they have; for the chaplin, with whom but a week or two ago we were here mighty high disputing, is since fallen into a fever and dead, being gone hence to a friend’s a good way off. A sober and a healthful man. These considerations make us all hasten the marriage, and resolve it upon Monday next, which is three days before we intended it. Mighty merry all of us, and in the evening with full content took coach again and home by daylight with great pleasure, and thence I down to Woolwich, where find my wife well, and after drinking and talking a little we to bed.
29th. Up betimes, and after viewing some of my wife’s pictures, which now she is come to do very finely to my great satisfaction beyond what I could ever look for, I went away and by water to the office, where nobody to meet me, but busy all the morning. At noon to dinner, where I hear that my Will is come in thither and laid down upon my bed, ill of the headake, which put me into extraordinary fear; and I studied all I could to get him out of the house, and set my people to work to do it without discouraging him, and myself went forth to the Old Exchange to pay my fair Batelier for some linnen, and took leave of her, they breaking up shop for a while; and so by coach to Kate Joyce’s, and there used all the vehemence and rhetorique I could to get her husband to let her go down to Brampton, but I could not prevail with him; he urging some simple reasons, but most that of profit, minding the house, and the distance, if either of them should be ill. However, I did my best, and more than I had a mind to do, but that I saw him so resolved against it, while she was mightily troubled at it. At last he yielded she should go to Windsor, to some friends there. So I took my leave of them, believing that it is great odds that we ever all see one another again; for I dare not go any more to that end of the towne. So home, and to writing of letters — hard, and then at night home, and fell to my Tangier papers till late, and then to bed, in some ease of mind that Will is gone to his lodging, and that he is likely to do well, it being only the headake.
30th (Lord’s day). Up, and in my night gowne, cap and neckcloth, undressed all day long, lost not a minute, but in my chamber, setting my Tangier accounts to rights. Which I did by night to my very heart’s content, not only that it is done, but I find every thing right, and even beyond what, after so long neglecting them, I did hope for. The Lord of Heaven be praised for it! Will was with me today, and is very well again. It was a sad noise to hear our bell to toll and ring so often today, either for deaths or burials; I think five or six times. At night weary with my day’s work, but full of joy at my having done it, I to bed, being to rise betimes tomorrow to go to the wedding at Dagenhams. So to bed, fearing I have got some cold sitting in my loose garments all this day.
31st. Up, and very betimes by six o’clock at Deptford, and there find Sir G. Carteret, and my Lady ready to go: I being in my new coloured silk suit, and coat trimmed with gold buttons and gold broad lace round my hands, very rich and fine. By water to the Ferry, where, when we come, no coach there; and tide of ebb so far spent as the horse-boat could not get off on the other side the river to bring away the coach. So we were fain to stay there in the unlucky Isle of Doggs, in a chill place, the morning cool, and wind fresh, above two if not three hours to our great discontent. Yet being upon a pleasant errand, and seeing that it could not be helped, we did bear it very patiently; and it was worth my observing, I thought, as ever any thing, to see how upon these two scores, Sir G. Carteret, the most passionate man in the world, and that was in greatest haste to be gone, did bear with it, and very pleasant all the while, at least not troubled much so as to fret and storm at it. Anon the coach comes: in the mean time there coming a News thither with his horse to go over, that told us he did come from Islington this morning; and that Proctor the vintner of the Miter in Wood-street, and his son, are dead this morning there, of the plague; he having laid out abundance of money there, and was the greatest vintner for some time in London for great entertainments. We, fearing the canonicall hour would be past before we got thither, did with a great deal of unwillingness send away the license and wedding ring. So that when we come, though we drove hard with six horses, yet we found them gone from home; and going towards the church, met them coming from church, which troubled us. But, however, that trouble was soon over; hearing it was well done: they being both in their old cloaths; my Lord Crew giving her, there being three coach fulls of them. The young lady mighty sad, which troubled me; but yet I think it was only her gravity in a little greater degree than usual. All saluted her, but I did not till my Lady Sandwich did ask me whether I had saluted her or no. So to dinner, and very merry we were; but yet in such a sober way as never almost any wedding was in so great families: but it was much better. After dinner company divided, some to cards, others to talk. My Lady Sandwich and I up to settle accounts, and pay her some money. And mighty kind she is to me, and would fain have had me gone down for company with her to Hinchingbroke; but for my life I cannot. At night to supper, and so to talk; and which, methought, was the most extraordinary thing, all of us to prayers as usual, and the young bride and bridegroom too and so after prayers, soberly to bed; only I got into the bridegroom’s chamber while he undressed himself, and there was very merry, till he was called to the bride’s chamber, and into bed they went. I kissed the bride in bed, and so the curtaines drawne with the greatest gravity that could be, and so good night. But the modesty and gravity of this business was so decent, that it was to me indeed ten times more delightfull than if it had been twenty times more merry and joviall. Whereas I feared I must have sat up all night, we did here all get good beds, and I lay in the same I did before with Mr. Brisband, who is a good scholler and sober man; and we lay in bed, getting him to give me an account of home, which is the most delightfull talke a man can have of any traveller: and so to sleep. My eyes much troubled already with the change of my drink. Thus I ended this month with the greatest joy that ever I did any in my life, because I have spent the greatest part of it with abundance of joy, and honour, and pleasant journeys, and brave entertainments, and without cost of money; and at last live to see the business ended with great content on all sides. This evening with Mr. Brisband, speaking of enchantments and spells; I telling him some of my charms; he told me this of his owne knowledge, at Bourdeaux, in France. The words these:
Voyci un Corps mort,
Royde come un Baston,
Froid comme Marbre,
Leger come un esprit,
Levons to au nom de Jesus Christ.
He saw four little girles, very young ones, all kneeling, each of them, upon one knee; and one begun the first line, whispering in the eare of the next, and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth, and she to the first. Then the first begun the second line, and so round quite through, and, putting each one finger only to a boy that lay flat upon his back on the ground, as if he was dead; at the end of the words, they did with their four fingers raise this boy as high as they could reach, and he [Mr. Brisband] being there, and wondering at it, as also being afeard to see it, for they would have had him to have bore a part in saying the words, in the roome of one of the little girles that was so young that they could hardly make her learn to repeat the words, did, for feare there might be some sleight used in it by the boy, or that the boy might be light, call the cook of the house, a very lusty fellow, as Sir G. Carteret’s cook, who is very big, and they did raise him in just the same manner. This is one of the strangest things I ever heard, but he tells it me of his owne knowledge, and I do heartily believe it to be true. I enquired of him whether they were Protestant or Catholique girles; and he told me they were Protestant, which made it the more strange to me. Thus we end this month, as I said, after the greatest glut of content that ever I had; only under some difficulty because of the plague, which grows mightily upon us, the last week being about 1700 or 1800 of the plague. My Lord Sandwich at sea with a fleet of about 100 sail, to the Northward, expecting De Ruyter, or the Dutch East India fleet. My Lord Hinchingbroke coming over from France, and will meet his sister at Scott’s-hall. Myself having obliged both these families in this business very much; as both my Lady, and Sir G. Carteret and his Lady do confess exceedingly, and the latter do also now call me cozen, which I am glad of. So God preserve us all friends long, and continue health among us.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53