May 1st. Up, it being a fine day, and after doing a little business in my chamber I left my wife to go abroad with W. Hewer and his mother in a Hackney coach incognito to the Park, while I abroad to the Excise Office first, and there met the Cofferer and Sir Stephen Fox about our money matters there, wherein we agreed, and so to discourse of my Lord Treasurer, who is a little better than he was of the stone, having rested a little this night. I there did acquaint them of my knowledge of that disease, which I believe will be told my Lord Treasurer. Thence to Westminster; in the way meeting many milk-maids with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before them;1 and saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodgings’ door in Drury-lane in her smock sleeves and bodice, looking upon one: she seemed a mighty pretty creature. To the Hall and there walked a while, it being term. I thence home to the Rose, and then had Doll Lane venir para me. . . . To my Lord Crew’s, where I found them at dinner, and among others. Mrs. Bocket, which I have not seen a long time, and two little dirty children, and she as idle a prating and impertinent woman as ever she was. After dinner my Lord took me alone and walked with me, giving me an account of the meeting of the Commissioners for Accounts, whereof he is one. How some of the gentlemen, Garraway, Littleton, and others, did scruple at their first coming there, being called thither to act, as Members of Parliament, which they could not do by any authority but that of Parliament, and therefore desired the King’s direction in it, which was sent for by my Lord Bridgewater, who brought answer, very short, that the King expected they should obey his Commission. Then they went on, and observed a power to be given them of administering and framing an oath, which they thought they could not do by any power but Act of Parliament; and the whole Commission did think fit to have the judges’ opinion in it; and so, drawing up their scruples in writing, they all attended the King, who told them he would send to the judges to be answered, and did so; who have, my Lord tells me, met three times about it, not knowing what answer to give to it; and they have met this week, doing nothing but expecting the solution of the judges in this point. My Lord tells me he do believe this Commission will do more hurt than good; it may undo some accounts, if these men shall think fit; but it can never clear an account, for he must come into the Exchequer for all this. Besides, it is a kind of inquisition that hath seldom ever been granted in England; and he believes it will never, besides, give any satisfaction to the People or Parliament, but be looked upon as a forced, packed business of the King, especially if these Parliament-men that are of it shall not concur with them: which he doubts they will not, and, therefore, wishes much that the King would lay hold of this fit occasion, and let the Commission fall. Then to talk of my Lord Sandwich, whom my Lord Crew hath a great desire might get to be Lord Treasurer if the present Lord should die, as it is believed he will, in a little time; and thinks he can have no competitor but my Lord Arlington, who, it is given out, desires it: but my Lord thinks it is not so, for that the being Secretary do keep him a greater interest with the King than the other would do at least, do believe, that if my Lord would surrender him his Wardrobe place, it would be a temptation to Arlington to assist my Lord in getting the Treasurer’s. I did object to my Lord [Crew] that it would be no place of content, nor safety, nor honour for my Lord, the State being so indigent as it is, and the [King] so irregular, and those about him, that my Lord must be forced to part with anything to answer his warrants; and that, therefore, I do believe the King had rather have a man that may be one of his vicious caball, than a sober man that will mind the publick, that so they may sit at cards and dispose of the revenue of the kingdom. This my Lord was moved at, and said he did not indeed know how to answer it, and bid me think of it; and so said he himself would also do. He do mightily cry out of the bad management of our monies, the King having had so much given him; and yet, when the Parliament do find that the King should have £900,000 in his purse by the best account of issues they have yet seen, yet we should report in the Navy a debt due from the King of £900,000; which, I did confess, I doubted was true in the first, and knew to be true in the last, and did believe that there was some great miscarriages in it: which he owned to believe also, saying, that at this rate it is not in the power of the kingdom to make a war, nor answer the King’s wants. Thence away to the King’s playhouse, by agreement met Sir W. Pen, and saw “Love in a Maze” but a sorry play: only Lacy’s clowne’s part, which he did most admirably indeed; and I am glad to find the rogue at liberty again. Here was but little, and that ordinary, company. We sat at the upper bench next the boxes; and I find it do pretty well, and have the advantage of seeing and hearing the great people, which may be pleasant when there is good store. Now was only Prince Rupert and my Lord Lauderdale, and my Lord, the naming of whom puts me in mind of my seeing, at Sir Robert Viner’s, two or three great silver flagons, made with inscriptions as gifts of the King to such and such persons of quality as did stay in town the late great plague, for the keeping things in order in the town, which is a handsome thing. But here was neither Hart, Nell, nor Knipp; therefore, the play was not likely to please me. Thence Sir W. Pen and I in his coach, Tiburne way, into the Park, where a horrid dust, and number of coaches, without pleasure or order. That which we, and almost all went for, was to see my Lady Newcastle; which we could not, she being followed and crowded upon by coaches all the way she went, that nobody could come near her; only I could see she was in a large black coach, adorned with silver instead of gold, and so white curtains, and every thing black and white, and herself in her cap, but other parts I could not make [out]. But that which I did see, and wonder at with reason, was to find Pegg Pen in a new coach, with only her husband’s pretty sister with her, both patched and very fine, and in much the finest coach in the park, and I think that ever I did see one or other, for neatness and richness in gold, and everything that is noble. My Lady Castlemayne, the King, my Lord St. Albans, nor Mr. Jermyn, have so neat a coach, that ever I saw. And, Lord! to have them have this, and nothing else that is correspondent, is to me one of the most ridiculous sights that ever I did see, though her present dress was well enough; but to live in the condition they do at home, and be abroad in this coach, astonishes me. When we had spent half an hour in the Park, we went out again, weary of the dust, and despairing of seeing my Lady Newcastle; and so back the same way, and to St. James’s, thinking to have met my Lady Newcastle before she got home, but we staying by the way to drink, she got home a little before us: so we lost our labours, and then home; where we find the two young ladies come home, and their patches off, I suppose Sir W. Pen do not allow of them in his sight, and going out of town to-night, though late, to Walthamstow. So to talk a little at Sir W. Batten’s, and then home to supper, where I find Mrs. Hewer and her son, who have been abroad with my wife in the Park, and so after supper to read and then to bed. Sir W. Pen did give me an account this afternoon of his design of buying Sir Robert Brooke’s fine house at Wansted; which I so wondered at, and did give him reasons against it, which he allowed of: and told me that he did intend to pull down the house and build a less, and that he should get £1500 by the old house, and I know not what fooleries. But I will never believe he ever intended to buy it, for my part; though he troubled Mr. Gawden to go and look upon it, and advise him in it.
1 On the 1st of May milkmaids used to borrow silver cups, tankards, &c., to hang them round their milkpails, with the addition of flowers and ribbons, which they carried upon their heads, accompanied by a bagpipe or fiddle, and went from door to door, dancing before the houses of their customers, in order to obtain a small gratuity from each of them.
“In London thirty years ago,
When pretty milkmaids went about,
It was a goodly sight to see
Their May-day pageant all drawn out.
“Such scenes and sounds once blest my eyes
And charm’d my ears; but all have vanish’d,
On May-day now no garlands go,
For milkmaids and their dance are banish’d.”
Hone’s Every–Day Book, vol. i., pp. 569, 570.
2nd. To the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then abroad to my Lord Treasurer’s, who continues so ill as not to be troubled with business. So Mr. Gawden and I to my Lord Ashly’s and spoke with him, and then straight home, and there I did much business at the office, and then to my own chamber and did the like there, to my great content, but to the pain of my eyes, and then to supper and to bed, having a song with my wife with great pleasure, she doing it well.
3rd. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes, [Sir] W. Batten, and [Sir] W. Pen in the last man’s coach to St. James’s, and thence up to the Duke of York’s chamber, which, as it is now fretted at the top, and the chimney-piece made handsome, is one of the noblest and best-proportioned rooms that ever, I think, I saw in my life, and when ready, into his closet and did our business, where, among other things, we had a proposition of Mr. Pierces, for being continued in pay, or something done for him, in reward of his pains as Chyrurgeon–Generall; forasmuch as Troutbecke, that was never a doctor before, hath got £200 a year settled on him for nothing but that one voyage with the Duke of Albemarle. The Duke of York and the whole company did shew most particular kindness to Mr. Pierce, every body moving for him, and the Duke himself most, that he is likely to be a very great man, I believe. Here also we had another mention of Carcasses business, and we directed to bring in a report of our opinion of his case, which vexes us that such a rogue shall make us so much trouble. Thence I presently to the Excise Office, and there met the Cofferer and [Sir] Stephen Fox by agreement, and agreed upon a method for our future payments, and then we three to my Lord Treasurer, who continues still very ill. I had taken my stone with me on purpose, and Sir Philip Warwicke carried it in to him to see, but was not in a condition to talk with me about it, poor man. So I with them to Westminster by coach; the Cofferer telling us odd stories how he was dealt with by the men of the Church at Westminster in taking a lease of them at the King’s coming in, and particularly the devilish covetousness of Dr. Busby. Sir Stephen Fox, in discourse, told him how he is selling some land he hath, which yields him not above three per cent., if so much, and turning it into money, which he can put out at ten per cent.; and, as times go, if they be like to continue, it is the best way for me to keep money going so, for aught I see. I to Westminster Hall, and there took a turn with my old acquaintance Mr. Pechell, whose red nose makes me ashamed to be seen with him, though otherwise a good-natured man. So away, I not finding of Mr. Moore, with whom I should have met and spoke about a letter I this day received from him from my Lord Hinchingbroke, wherein he desires me to help him to £1900 to pay a bill of exchange of his father’s, which troubles me much, but I will find some way, if I can do it, but not to bring myself in bonds or disbursements for it, whatever comes of it. So home to dinner, where my wife hath ‘ceux la’ upon her and is very ill with them, and so forced to go to bed, and I sat by her a good while, then down to my chamber and made an end of Rycaut’s History of the Turks, which is a very good book. Then to the office, and did some business, and then my wife being pretty well, by coach to little Michell’s, and there saw my poor Betty and her little child, which slept so soundly we could hardly wake it in an hour’s time without hurting it, and they tell me what I did not know, that a child (as this do) will hunt and hunt up and down with its mouth if you touch the cheek of it with your finger’s end for a nipple, and fit its mouth for sucking, but this hath not sucked yet, she having no nipples. Here sat a while, and then my wife and I, it being a most curious clear evening, after some rain today, took a most excellent tour by coach to Bow, and there drank and back again, and so a little at the office, and home to read a little, and to supper and bed mightily refreshed with this evening’s tour, but troubled that it hath hindered my doing some business which I would have done at the office. This day the newes is come that the fleete of the Dutch, of about 20 ships, which come upon our coasts upon design to have intercepted our colliers, but by good luck failed, is gone to the Frith — [Frith of Forth. See 5th of this month.]— and there lies, perhaps to trouble the Scotch privateers, which have galled them of late very much, it may be more than all our last year’s fleete.
4th. Up and to the office, where sat all the morning, among other things a great conflict I had with Sir W. Warren, he bringing a letter to the Board, flatly in words charging them with their delays in passing his accounts, which have been with them these two years, part of which I said was not true, and the other undecent. The whole Board was concerned to take notice of it, as well as myself, but none of them had the honour to do it, but suffered me to do it alone, only Sir W. Batten, who did what he did out of common spite to him. So I writ in the margin of the letter, “Returned as untrue,” and, by consent of the Board, did give it him again, and so parted. Home to dinner, and there came a woman whose husband I sent for, one Fisher, about the business of Perkins and Carcasse, and I do think by her I shall find the business as bad as ever it was, and that we shall find Commissioner Pett a rogue, using foul play on behalf of Carcasse. After dinner to the office again, and there late all the afternoon, doing much business, and with great content home to supper and to bed.
5th (Lord’s day). Up, and going down to the water side, I met Sir John Robinson, and so with him by coach to White Hall, still a vain, prating, boasting man as any I know, as if the whole City and Kingdom had all its work done by him. He tells me he hath now got a street ordered to be continued, forty feet broad, from Paul’s through Cannon Street to the Tower, which will be very fine. He and others this day, where I was in the afternoon, do tell me of at least six or eight fires within these few days; and continually stirs of fires, and real fires there have been, in one place or other, almost ever since the late great fire, as if there was a fate sent people for fire. I walked over the Park to Sir W. Coventry’s. Among other things to tell him what I hear of people being forced to sell their bills before September for 35 and 40 per cent. loss, and what is worst, that there are some courtiers that have made a knot to buy them, in hopes of some ways to get money of the King to pay them, which Sir W. Coventry is amazed at, and says we are a people made up for destruction, and will do what he can to prevent all this by getting the King to provide wherewith to pay them. We talked of Tangier, of which he is ashamed; also that it should put the King to this charge for no good in the world: and now a man going over that is a good soldier, but a debauched man, which the place need not to have. And so used these words: “That this place was to the King as my Lord Carnarvon says of wood, that it is an excrescence of the earth provided by God for the payment of debts.” Thence away to Sir G. Carteret, whom I find taking physic. I staid talking with him but a little, and so home to church, and heard a dull sermon, and most of the best women of our parish gone into the country, or at least not at church. So home, and find my boy not there, nor was at church, which vexed me, and when he come home I enquired, he tells me he went to see his mother. I send him back to her to send me some token that he was with her. So there come a man with him back of good fashion. He says he saw him with her, which pacified me, but I did soundly threaten him before him, and so to dinner, and then had a little scolding with my wife for not being fine enough to go to the christening today, which she excused by being ill, as she was indeed, and cried, but I was in an ill humour and ashamed, indeed, that she should not go dressed. However, friends by and by, and we went by water to Michell’s, and there his little house full of his father and mothers and the kindred, hardly any else, and mighty merry in this innocent company, and Betty mighty pretty in bed, but, her head akeing, not very merry, but the company mighty merry, and I with them, and so the child was christened; my wife, his father, and her mother, the witnesses, and the child’s name Elizabeth. So we had gloves and wine and wafers, very pretty, and talked and tattled, and so we away by water and up with the tide, she and I and Barker, as high as Barne Eimes, it being a fine evening, and back again to pass the bridges at standing water between 9 and 10 at might, and then home and to supper, and then to bed with much pleasure. This day Sir W. Coventry tells me the Dutch fleete shot some shot, four or five hundred, into Burnt–Island in the Frith, but without any hurt; and so are gone.
6th. Up and angry with my mayds for letting in watermen, and I know not who, anybody that they are acquainted with, into my kitchen to talk and prate with them, which I will not endure. Then out and by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, who continues still very ill, then to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s house, and there did a little business about my Tangier tallies, and so to Westminster Hall, and there to the Exchequer to consult about some way of getting our poor Creditors of the Navy (who served in their goods before the late Session of Parliament) paid out of the 11 months tax, which seems to relate only for goods to be then served in, and I think I have found out a way to bring them into the Act, which, if it do, I shall think a good service done. Thence by coach home with Captain Cocke, in our way talking of my Lord Bruncker and his Lady, who are mighty angry with us all of the office, about Carcasse’s business, but especially with me, and in great confidence he bids me have a care of him, for he hath said that he would wound me with the person where my greatest interest is. I suppose he means Sir W. Coventry, and therefore I will beware of him, and am glad, though vexed to hear it. So home to dinner, where Creed come, whom I vexed devilishly with telling him a wise man, and good friend of his and mine, did say that he lately went into the country to Hinchingbroke; and, at his coming to town again, hath shifted his lodgings, only to avoid paying to the Poll Bill, which is so true that he blushed, and could not in words deny it, but the fellow did think to have not had it discovered. He is so devilish a subtle false rogue, that I am really weary and afeard of his company, and therefore after dinner left him in the house, and to my office, where busy all the afternoon despatching much business, and in the evening to Sir R. Viner’s to adjust accounts there, and so home, where some of our old Navy creditors come to me by my direction to consider of what I have invented for their help as I have said in the morning, and like it mighty well, and so I to the office, where busy late, then home to supper and sing with my wife, who do begin to give me real pleasure with her singing, and so to bed.
7th. Up betimes, and by coach to St. James’s; but there find Sir W. Coventry gone out betimes this morning, on horseback, with the King and Duke of York, to Putney-heath — to run some horses, and so back again to the office, where some witnesses from Chatham which I sent for are come up, and do give shrewd testimonies against Carcasse, which put my Lord into a new flame, and he and I to high words, and so broke up. Then home to dinner, where W. Hewer dined with us, and he and I after dinner to discourse of Carcasses business, wherein I apparently now do manage it wholly against my Lord Bruncker, Sir W. Pen, like a false rogue, shrinking out of the collar, Sir J. Minnes, afoot, being easily led either way, and Sir W. Batten, a malicious fellow that is not able to defend any thing, so that the whole odium must fall on me, which I will therefore beware how I manage that I may not get enemies to no purpose. It vexes me to see with what a company I am mixed, but then it pleases me to see that I am reckoned the chief mover among them, as they do, confess and esteem me in every thing. Thence to the office, and did business, and then by coach to St. James’s again, but [Sir] W. Coventry not within, so I wrote something to him, and then straight back again and to Sir W. Batten’s, and there talked with him and [Sir] J. Minnes, who are mighty hot in Carcasses business, but their judgment’s not to be trusted. However, I will go through with it, or otherwise we shall be all slaves to my Lord Bruncker and his man’s impudence. So to the office a little, and then home to supper and to bed, after hearing my wife sing, who is manifestly come to be more musical in her eare than ever I thought she could have been made, which rejoices me to the heart, for I take great delight now to hear her sing.
8th. Up pretty betimes and out of doors, and in Fen Church street met Mr. Lovett going with a picture to me, but I could not stand to discourse or see it, but on to the next hackney coach and so to Sir W. Coventry, where he and I alone a while discoursing of some businesses of the office, and then up to the Duke of York to his chamber with my fellow brethren who are come, and so did our usual weekly business, which was but little today, and I was glad that the business of Carcasse was not mentioned because our report was not ready, but I am resolved it shall against the next coming to the Duke of York. Here was discourse about a way of paying our old creditors which did please me, there being hopes of getting them comprehended within the 11 months Tax, and this did give occasion for Sir G. Carteret’s and my going to Sir Robert Long to discourse it, who do agree that now the King’s Council do say that they may be included in the Act, which do make me very glad, not so much for the sake of the poor men as for the King, for it would have been a ruin to him and his service not to have had a way to have paid the debt. There parted with Sir G. Carteret and into Westminster Hall, where I met with Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to Sir Ph. Warwicke’s to speak a little about our Tangier business, but to little purpose, my Lord Treasurer being so ill that no business can be done. Thence with Sir H. Cholmly to find out Creed from one lodging to another, which he hath changed so often that there is no finding him, but at last do come to his lodging that he is entering into this day, and do find his goods unlading at the door, by Scotland Yard, and there I set down Sir H. Cholmly, and I away to the ‘Change, where spoke about several things, and then going home did meet Mr. Andrews our neighbour, and did speak with him to enquire about the ground behind our house, of which I have a mind to buy enough to make a stable and coach-house; for I do see that my condition do require it, as well as that it is more charge to my purse to live as I do than to keep one, and therefore I am resolved before winter to have one, unless some extraordinary thing happens to hinder me. He promises me to look after it for me, and so I home to dinner, where I find my wife’s flageolette master, and I am so pleased with her proceeding, though she hath lost time by not practising, that I am resolved for the encouragement of the man to learn myself a little for a month or so, for I do foresee if God send my wife and I to live, she will become very good company for me. He gone, comes Lovett with my little print of my dear Lady Castlemayne varnished, and the frame prettily done like gold, which pleases me well. He dined with me, but by his discourse I do still see that he is a man of good wit but most strange experience, and acquaintance with all manner of subtleties and tricks, that I do think him not fit for me to keep any acquaintance with him, lest he some time or other shew me a slippery trick. After dinner, he gone, I to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and so in the evening to Sir R. Viner’s, thinking to finish my accounts there, but am prevented, and so back again home, and late at my office at business, and so home to supper and sing a little with my dear wife, and so to bed.
9th. Up, and to the office, and at noon home to dinner, and then with my wife and Barker by coach, and left them at Charing Cross, and I to St. James’s, and there found Sir W. Coventry alone in his chamber, and sat and talked with him more than I have done a great while of several things of the Navy, how our debts and wants do unfit us for doing any thing. He tells me he hears stories of Commissioner Pett, of selling timber to the Navy under other names, which I told him I believe is true, and did give him an instance. He told me also how his clerk Floyd he hath put away for his common idlenesse and ill company, and particularly that yesterday he was found not able to come and attend him, by being run into the arme in a squabble, though he pretends it was done in the streets by strangers, at nine at night, by the Maypole in the Strand. Sir W. Coventry did write to me this morning to recommend him another, which I could find in my heart to do W. Hewer for his good; but do believe he will not part with me, nor have I any mind to let him go. I would my brother were fit for it, I would adventure him there. He insists upon an unmarried man, that can write well, and hath French enough to transcribe it only from a copy, and may write shorthand, if it may be. Thence with him to my Lord Chancellor at Clarendon House, to a Committee for Tangier, where several things spoke of and proceeded on, and particularly sending Commissioners thither before the new Governor goes, which I think will signify as much good as any thing else that hath been done about the place, which is none at all. I did again tell them the badness of their credit by the time their tallies took before they become payable, and their spending more than their fund. They seem well satisfied with what I said, and I am glad that I may be remembered that I do tell them the case plain; but it troubled me that I see them hot upon it, that the Governor shall not be paymaster, which will force me either to the providing one there to do it (which I will never undertake), or leave the employment, which I had rather do. Mightily pleased with the noblenesse of this house, and the brave furniture and pictures, which indeed is very noble, and, being broke up, I with Sir G. Carteret in his coach into Hide Park, to discourse of things, and spent an hour in this manner with great pleasure, telling me all his concernments, and how he is gone through with the purchase for my Lady Jemimah and her husband; how the Treasury is like to come into the hands of a Committee; but that not that, nor anything else, will do our business, unless the King himself will mind his business, and how his servants do execute their parts; he do fear an utter ruin in the state, and that in a little time, if the King do not mind his business soon; that the King is very kind to him, and to my Lord Sandwich, and that he doubts not but at his coming home, which he expects about Michaelmas, he will be very well received. But it is pretty strange how he began again the business of the intention of a marriage of my Lord Hinchingbroke to a daughter of my Lord Burlington’s to my Lord Chancellor, which he now tells me as a great secret, when he told it me the last Sunday but one; but it may be the poor man hath forgot, and I do believe he do make it a secret, he telling me that he has not told it to any but myself, end this day to his daughter my Lady Jemimah, who looks to lie down about two months hence. After all this discourse we turned back and to White Hall, where we parted, and I took up my wife at Unthanke’s, and so home, and in our street, at the Three Tuns’ Tavern’ door, I find a great hubbub; and what was it but two brothers have fallen out, and one killed the other. And who should they be but the two Fieldings; one whereof, Bazill, was page to my Lady Sandwich; and he hath killed the other, himself being very drunk, and so is sent to Newgate. I to the office and did as much business as my eyes would let me, and so home to supper and to bed.
10th. Up and to the office, where a meeting about the Victuallers’ accounts all the morning, and at noon all of us to Kent’s, at the Three Tuns’ Tavern, and there dined well at Mr. Gawden’s charge; and, there the constable of the parish did show us the picklocks and dice that were found in the dead man’s pocket, and but 18d. in money; and a table-book, wherein were entered the names of several places where he was to go; and among others Kent’s house, where he was to dine, and did dine yesterday: and after dinner went into the church, and there saw his corpse with the wound in his left breast; a sad spectacle, and a broad wound, which makes my hand now shake to write of it. His brother intending, it seems, to kill the coachman, who did not please him, this fellow stepped in, and took away his sword; who thereupon took out his knife, which was of the fashion, with a falchion blade, and a little cross at the hilt like a dagger; and with that stabbed him. So to the office again, very busy, and in the evening to Sir Robert Viner’s, and there took up all my notes and evened our balance to the 7th of this month, and saw it entered in their ledger, and took a receipt for the remainder of my money as the balance of an account then adjusted. Then to my Lord Treasurer’s, but missed Sir Ph. Warwicke, and so back again, and drove hard towards Clerkenwell,1 thinking to have overtaken my Lady Newcastle, whom I saw before us in her coach, with 100 boys and girls running looking upon her but I could not: and so she got home before I could come up to her. But I will get a time to see her. So to the office and did more business, and then home and sang with pleasure with my wife, and to supper and so to bed.
1 At Newcastle House, Clerkenwell Close, the duke and duchess lived in great state. The house was divided, and let in tenements in the eighteenth century.
11th. Up, and being called on by Mr. Commander, he and I out to the ground behind Sir W. Pen’s, where I am resolved to take a lease of some of it for a stable and coach [house], and so to keep a coach, unless some change come before I can do it, for I do see it is a greater charge to me now in hackneys, and I am a little dishonoured by going in them. We spoke with him that hath the letting it, and I do believe when I can tell how much it will be fit for me to have we shall go near to agree. So home, and there found my door open, which makes me very angry with Nell, and do think to put her away for it, though it do so go against me to part with a servant that it troubles me more than anything in the world. So to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Mr. Goodgroome and Creed, and I have great hopes that my wife will come to sing to my mind. After dinner my wife and Creed and I being entered a hackney coach to go to the other end of the town, we espied The. Turner coming in her coach to see us, which we were surprised at, and so ‘light and took her and another young lady home, and there sat and talked with The., she being lately come out of the North after two or three years absence. She is come to put out her sister and brothers to school at Putney. After a little talk, I over Tower Hill with them to a lady’s they go to visit, and so away with my wife, whose being dressed this day in fair hair did make me so mad, that I spoke not one word to her in our going, though I was ready to burst with anger. So to White Hall to the Committee of Tangier, where they were discoursing about laws for the civil government of the place, but so dull and so little to the purpose that I fell to slumber, when the fear of being seen by Sir W. Coventry did trouble me much afterwards, but I hope he did not. After that broke up. Creed and I into the Park, and walked, a most pleasant evening, and so took coach, and took up my wife, and in my way home discovered my trouble to my wife for her white locks,1 swearing by God, several times, which I pray God forgive me for, and bending my fist, that I would not endure it. She, poor wretch,2 was surprized with it, and made me no answer all the way home; but there we parted, and I to the office late, and then home, and without supper to bed, vexed.
1 Randle Holmes says the ladies wore “false locks set on wyres, to make them stand at a distance from the head,” and accompanies the information with the figure of a lady “with a pair of locks and curls which were in great fashion in 1670” (Planche’s “Cyclopaedia of Costume;” Vol. i., p. 248).
2 A new light is thrown upon this favourite expression of Pepys’s when speaking of his wife by the following quotation from a Midland wordbook: “Wretch, n., often used as an expression of endearment or sympathy. Old Woman to Young Master: ‘An”ow is the missis today, door wretch?’ Of a boy going to school a considerable distance off ‘I met ’im with a bit o’ bread in ‘is bag, door wretch’” (“A Glossary of Words and Phrases used in S.E. Worcestershire,” by Jesse Salisbury. Published by the English Dialect Society, 1894).
12th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber, to settle some accounts there, and by and by down comes my wife to me in her night-gown, and we begun calmly, that upon having money to lace her gown for second mourning, she would promise to wear white locks no more in my sight, which I, like a severe fool, thinking not enough, begun to except against, and made her fly out to very high terms and cry, and in her heat told me of keeping company with Mrs. Knipp, saying, that if I would promise never to see her more — of whom she hath more reason to suspect than I had heretofore of Pembleton — she would never wear white locks more. This vexed me, but I restrained myself from saying anything, but do think never to see this woman — at least, to have her here more, but by and by I did give her money to buy lace, and she promised to wear no more white locks while I lived, and so all very good friends as ever, and I to my business, and she to dress herself. Against noon we had a coach ready for us, and she and I to White Hall, where I went to see whether Sir G. Carteret was at dinner or no, our design being to make a visit there, and I found them set down, which troubled me, for I would not then go up, but back to the coach to my wife, and she and I homeward again, and in our way bethought ourselves of going alone, she and I, to go to a French house to dinner, and so enquired out Monsieur Robins, my perriwigg-maker, who keeps an ordinary, and in an ugly street in Covent Garden, did find him at the door, and so we in; and in a moment almost had the table covered, and clean glasses, and all in the French manner, and a mess of potage first, and then a couple of pigeons a la esterve, and then a piece of boeuf-a-la-mode, all exceeding well seasoned, and to our great liking; at least it would have been anywhere else but in this bad street, and in a perriwigg-maker’s house; but to see the pleasant and ready attendance that we had, and all things so desirous to please, and ingenious in the people, did take me mightily. Our dinner cost us 6s., and so my wife and I away to Islington, it being a fine day, and thence to Sir G. Whitmore’s house, where we ‘light, and walked over the fields to Kingsland, and back again; a walk, I think, I have not taken these twenty years; but puts me in mind of my boy’s time, when I boarded at Kingsland, and used to shoot with my bow and arrows in these fields. A very pretty place it is; and little did any of my friends think I should come to walk in these fields in this condition and state that I am. Then took coach again, and home through Shoreditch; and at home my wife finds Barker to have been abroad, and telling her so many lies about it, that she struck her, and the wench said she would not stay with her: so I examined the wench, and found her in so many lies myself, that I was glad to be rid of her, and so resolved having her go away tomorrow. So my wife and W. Hewer and I to supper, and then he and I to my chamber to begin the draught of the report from this office to the Duke of York in the case of Mr. Carcasse, which I sat up till midnight to do, and then to bed, believing it necessary to have it done, and to do it plainly, for it is not to be endured the trouble that this rascal hath put us to, and the disgrace he hath brought upon this office.
13th. Up, and when ready, to the office (my wife rising to send away Barker, according to our resolution last night, and she did do it with more clothes than have cost us £10, and 20s. in her purse, which I did for the respect I bear Mr. Falconbridge, otherwise she had not deserved half of it, but I am the more willing to do it to be rid of one that made work and trouble in the house, and had not qualities of any honour or pleasure to me or my family, but what is a strange thing did always declare to her mistress and others that she had rather be put to drudgery and to wash the house than to live as she did like a gentlewoman), and there I and Gibson all the morning making an end of my report against Carcasse, which I think will do our business, but it is a horrid shame such a rogue should give me and all of us this trouble. This morning come Sir H. Cholmly to me for a tally or two; and tells me that he hears that we are by agreement to give the King of France Nova Scotia, which he do not like: but I do not know the importance of it.1 Then abroad with my wife to my Lord Treasurer’s, and she to her tailor’s. I find Sir Philip Warwicke, who I perceive do give over my Lord Treasurer for a man of this world, his pain being grown great again upon him, and all the rest he hath is by narcotiques, and now Sir Philip Warwicke do please himself, like a good man, to tell some of the good ejaculations of my Lord Treasurer concerning the little worth of this world, to buy it with so much pain, and other things fit for a dying man. So finding no business likely to be done here for Tangier, I having a warrant for tallies to be signed, I away to the New Exchange, and there staid a little, and then to a looking-glass shop to consult about covering the wall in my closet over my chimney, which is darkish, with looking-glasses, and then to my wife’s tailor’s, but find her not ready to go home, but got to buy things, and so I away home to look after my business and finish my report of Carcasse, and then did get Sir W. Batten, Sir J. Minnes, and [Sir] W. Pen together, and read it over with all the many papers relating to the business, which they do wonder at, and the trouble I have taken about it, and like the report, so as that they do unanimously resolve to sign it, and stand by it, and after a great deal of discourse of the strange deportment of my Lord Bruncker in this business to withstand the whole board in behalf of such an impudent rogue as this is, I parted, and home to my wife, and supped and talked with her, and then to bed, resolving to rise betimes tomorrow to write fair the report.
1 Nova Scotia and the adjoining countries were called by the French Acadie. Pepys is not the only official personage whose ignorance of Nova Scotia is on record. A story is current of a prime minister (Duke of Newcastle) who was surprised at hearing Cape Breton was an island. “Egad, I’ll go tell the King Cape Breton is an island!” Of the same it is said, that when told Annapolis was in danger, and ought to be defended: “Oh! certainly Annapolis must be defended — where is Annapolis?”— B.
14th. Up by 5 o’clock, and when ready down to my chamber, and there with Mr. Fist, Sir W. Batten’s clerk, who writes mighty well, writing over our report in Mr. Carcasses business, in which we continued till 9 o’clock, that the office met, and then to the office, where all the morning, and so at noon home to dinner, where Mr. Holliard come and eat with us, who among other things do give me good hopes that we shall give my father some ease as to his rupture when he comes to town, which I expect tomorrow. After dinner comes Fist, and he and I to our report again till 9 o’clock, and then by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, where I met Mr. Povy, expecting the coming of the rest of the Commissioners for Tangier. Here I understand how the two Dukes, both the only sons of the Duke of York, are sick even to danger, and that on Sunday last they were both so ill, as that the poor Duchess was in doubt which would die first: the Duke of Cambridge of some general disease; the other little Duke, whose title I know not, of the convulsion fits, of which he had four this morning. Fear that either of them might be dead, did make us think that it was the occasion that the Duke of York and others were not come to the meeting of the Commission which was designed, and my Lord Chancellor did expect. And it was pretty to observe how, when my Lord sent down to St. James’s to see why the Duke of York come not, and Mr. Povy, who went, returned, my Lord (Chancellor) did ask, not how the Princes or the Dukes do, as other people do, but “How do the children?” which methought was mighty great, and like a great man and grandfather. I find every body mightily concerned for these children, as a matter wherein the State is much concerned that they should live. At last it was found that the meeting did fail from no known occasion, at which my Lord Chancellor was angry, and did cry out against Creed that he should give him no notice. So Povy and I went forth, and staid at the gate of the house by the streete, and there stopped to talk about the business of the Treasury of Tangier, which by the badness of our credit, and the resolution that the Governor shall not be paymaster, will force me to provide one there to be my paymaster, which I will never do, but rather lose my place, for I will not venture my fortune to a fellow to be employed so far off, and in that wicked place. Thence home, and with Fist presently to the finishing the writing fair of our report. And by and by to Sir W. Batten’s, and there he and I and [Sir] J. Minnes and [Sir] W. Pen did read and sign it with great good liking, and so away to the office again to look over and correct it, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind being pretty well settled, having this report done, and so to supper and to bed.
15th. [This morning my wife had some things brought home by a new woman of the New Exchange, one Mrs. Smith, which she would have me see for her fine hand, and indeed it is a fine hand, and the woman I have observed is a mighty pretty looked woman.] Up, and with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] J. Minnes to St. James’s, and stopt at Temple Bar for Sir J. Minnes to go into the Devil’s Taverne to shit, he having drunk whey, and his belly wrought. Being come, we up to the Duke of York’s chamber, who, when ready, we to our usual business, and being very glad, we all that signed it, that is, Sir J. Minnes, W. Batten, W. Pen, and myself, and then Sir G. Carteret and [Sir] W. Coventry, Bruncker, and T. Harvy, and the officers of the Ordnance, Sir J. Duncombe, and Mr. Cholmely presented our report about Carcasse, and did afterwards read it with that success that the Duke of York was for punishing him, not only with turning him out of the office, but with what other punishment he could, which nobody did forward, and so he escaped, only with giving security to secure the King against double tickets of his and other things that he might have wronged the King or subject in before his dismission. Yet, Lord! to see how our silly Lord Bruncker would have stood to have justified this rogue, though to the reproach of all us who have signed, which I shall never forget to have been a most malicious or a most silly act, and I do think it is as much the latter as the other, for none but a fool could have done as this silly Lord hath done in this business. So the Duke of York did like our report, and ordered his being secured till he did give his security, which did fully content me, and will I hope vindicate the office. It happened that my Lord Arlington coming in by chance was at the hearing of all this, which I was not sorry for, for he did move or did second the Duke of York that this roguery of his might be put in the News-book that it might be made publique to satisfy for the wrong the credit of this office hath received by this rogue’s occasion. So with utmost content I away with Sir G. Carteret to London, talking all the way; and he do tell me that the business of my Lord Hinchingbroke his marriage with my Lord Burlington’s daughter is concluded on by all friends; and that my Lady is now told of it, and do mightily please herself with it; which I am mighty glad of. So home, and there I find that my wife hath been at my desire at the Inne, thinking that my father might be come up with the coach, but he is not come this week, poor man, but will be here the next. At noon to dinner, and then to Sir W. Batten’s, where I hear the news how our Embassadors were but ill received at Flushing, nor at Bredah itself, there being only a house and no furniture provided for them, though it be said that they have as much as the French. Here we staid talking a little, and then I to the office about my business, and thence to the office, where busy about my own papers of my office, and by and by comes the office full to examine Sir W. Warren’s account, which I do appear mighty fierce in against him, and indeed am, for his accounts are so perplexed that I am sure he cannot but expect to get many a £1000 in it before it passes our hands, but I will not favour him, but save what I can to the King. At his accounts, wherein I very high against him, till late, and then we broke up with little done, and so broke up, and I to my office, where late doing of business, and then home to supper and to bed. News still that my Lord Treasurer is so ill as not to be any man of this world; and it is said that the Treasury shall be managed by Commission. I would to God Sir G. Carteret, or my Lord Sandwich, be in it! But the latter is the more fit for it. This day going to White Hall, Sir W. Batten did tell me strange stories of Sir W. Pen, how he is already ashamed of the fine coach which his son-inlaw and daughter have made, and indeed it is one of the most ridiculous things for people of their low, mean fashion to make such a coach that ever I saw. He tells me how his people come as they do to mine every day to borrow one thing or other, and that his Lady hath been forced to sell some coals (in the late dear time) only to enable her to pay money that she hath borrowed of Griffin to defray her family expense, which is a strange story for a rogue that spends so much money on clothes and other occasions himself as he do, but that which is most strange, he tells me that Sir W. Pen do not give £6000, as is usually [supposed], with his daughter to him, and that Mr. Lowder is come to use the tubb, that is to bathe and sweat himself, and that his lady is come to use the tubb too, which he takes to be that he hath, and hath given her the pox, but I hope it is not so, but, says Sir W. Batten, this is a fair joynture, that he hath made her, meaning by that the costs the having of a bath.
16th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and, among other things, comes in Mr. Carcasse, and after many arguings against it, did offer security as was desired, but who should this be but Mr. Powell, that is one other of my Lord Bruncker’s clerks; and I hope good use will be made of it. But then he began to fall foul upon the injustice of the Board, which when I heard I threatened him with being laid by the heels, which my Lord Bruncker took up as a thing that I could not do upon the occasion he had given, but yet did own that it was ill said of him. I made not many words of it, but have let him see that I can say what I will without fear of him, and so we broke off, leaving the bond to be drawn by me, which I will do in the best manner I can. At noon, this being Holy Thursday, that is, Ascension Day, when the boys go on procession round the parish, we were to go to the Three Tuns’ Tavern, to dine with the rest of the parish; where all the parish almost was, Sir Andrew Rickard and others; and of our house, J. Minnes, W. Batten, W. Pen, and myself; and Mr. Mills did sit uppermost at the table. Here we were informed that the report of our Embassadors being ill received in their way to Bredah is not true, but that they are received with very great civility, which I am glad to hear. But that that did vex me was that among all us there should come in Mr. Carcasse to be a guest for his money (5s. a piece) as well as any of us. This did vex me, and I would have gone, and did go to my house, thinking to dine at home, but I was called away from them, and so we sat down, and to dinner. Among other things Sir John Fredericke and Sir R. Ford did talk of Paul’s School, which, they tell me, must be taken away; and then I fear it will be long before another place, as they say is promised, is found; but they do say that the honour of their company is concerned in the doing of it, and that it is a thing that they are obliged to do. Thence home, and to my office, where busy; anon at 7 at night I and my wife and Sir W. Pen in his coach to Unthanke’s, my wife’s tailor, for her to speak one word, and then we to my Lord Treasurer’s, where I find the porter crying, and suspected it was that my Lord is dead; and, poor Lord! we did find that he was dead just now; and the crying of the fellow did so trouble me, that considering I was not likely to trouble him any more, nor have occasion to give any more anything, I did give him 3s.; but it may be, poor man, he hath lost a considerable hope by the death of his Lord, whose house will be no more frequented as before, and perhaps I may never come thither again about any business. There is a good man gone: and I pray God that the Treasury may not be worse managed by the hand or hands it shall now be put into; though, for certain, the slowness, though he was of great integrity, of this man, and remissness, have gone as far to undo the nation, as anything else that hath happened; and yet, if I knew all the difficulties that he hath lain under, and his instrument Sir Philip Warwicke, I might be brought to another mind. Thence we to Islington, to the Old House, and there eat and drank, and then it being late and a pleasant evening, we home, and there to my chamber, and to bed. It is remarkable that this afternoon Mr. Moore come to me, and there, among other things, did tell me how Mr. Moyer, the merchant, having procured an order from the King and Duke of York and Council, with the consent of my Lord Chancellor, and by assistance of Lord Arlington, for the releasing out of prison his brother, Samuel Moyer, who was a great man in the late times in Haberdashers’-hall, and was engaged under hand and seal to give the man that obtained it so much in behalf of my Lord Chancellor; but it seems my Lady Duchess of Albemarle had before undertaken it for so much money, but hath not done it. The Duke of Albemarle did the next day send for this Moyer, to tell him, that notwithstanding this order of the King and Council’s being passed for release of his brother, yet, if he did not consider the pains of some friends of his, he would stop that order. This Moyer being an honest, bold man, told him that he was engaged to the hand that had done the thing to give him a reward; and more he would not give, nor could own any kindness done by his Grace’s interest; and so parted. The next day Sir Edward Savage did take the said Moyer in tax about it, giving ill words of this Moyer and his brother; which he not being able to bear, told him he would give to the person that had engaged him what he promised, and not any thing to any body else; and that both he and his brother were as honest men as himself, or any man else; and so sent him going, and bid him do his worst. It is one of the most extraordinary cases that ever I saw or understood; but it is true. This day Mr. Sheply is come to town and to see me, and he tells me my father is very well only for his pain, so that he is not able to stir; but is in great pain. I would to God that he were in town that I might have what help can be got for him, for it troubles me to have him live in that condition of misery if I can help it.
17th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning upon some accounts of Mr. Gawden’s, and at noon to the Three Tuns to dinner with Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, W. Batten, W. Pen, and T. Harvy, where very merry, and my Lord Bruncker in appearance as good friends as ever, though I know he has a hatred to me in heart. After dinner to my house, where Mr. Sheply dined, and we drank and talked together. He, poor man, hath had his arm broke the late frost, slipping in going over Huntingdon Bridge. He tells me that jasper Trice and Lewes Phillips and Mr. Ashfield are gone from Brampton, and he thinks chiefly from the height of Sir J. Bernard’s carriage, who carries all things before him there, which they cannot bear with, and so leave the town, and this is a great instance of the advantage a man of the law hath over all other people, which would make a man to study it a little. Sheply being gone, there come the flageolet master, who having had a bad bargain of teaching my wife by the year, she not practising so much as she should do, I did think that the man did deserve some more consideration, and so will give him an opportunity of 20s. a month more, and he shall teach me, and this afternoon I begun, and I think it will be a few shillings well spent. Then to Sir R. Viner’s with 600 pieces of gold to turn into silver, for the enabling me to answer Sir G. Carteret’s £3000; which he now draws all out of my hand towards the paying for a purchase he hath made for his son and my Lady Jemimah, in Northamptonshire, of Sir Samuel Luke, in a good place; a good house, and near all her friends; which is a very happy thing. Thence to St. James’s, and there spoke with Sir W. Coventry, and give him some account of some things, but had little discourse with him, there being company with him, and so directly home again and then to my office, doing some business, and so to my house, and with my wife to practice on the flageolet a little, and with great pleasure I see she can readily hit her notes, but only want of practice makes her she cannot go through a whole tune readily. So to supper and to bed.
18th. Up, and all the morning at the office, and then to dinner, and after dinner to the office to dictate some letters, and then with my wife to Sir W. Turner’s to visit The., but she being abroad we back again home, and then I to the office, finished my letters, and then to walk an hour in the garden talking with my wife, whose growth in musique do begin to please me mightily, and by and by home and there find our Luce drunk, and when her mistress told her of it would be gone, and so put up some of her things and did go away of her accord, nobody pressing her to it, and the truth is, though she be the dirtiest, homeliest servant that ever I kept, yet I was sorry to have her go, partly through my love to my servants, and partly because she was a very drudging, working wench, only she would be drunk. But that which did a little trouble me was that I did hear her tell her mistress that she would tell her master something before she was aware of her that she would be sorry to have him know; but did it in such a silly, drunken manner, that though it trouble me a little, yet not knowing what to suspect she should know, and not knowing well whether she said it to her mistress or Jane, I did not much think of it. So she gone, we to supper and to bed, my study being made finely clean.
19th (Lord’s day). Up, and to my chamber to set some papers in order, and then, to church, where my old acquaintance, that dull fellow, Meriton, made a good sermon, and hath a strange knack of a grave, serious delivery, which is very agreeable. After church to White Hall, and there find Sir G. Carteret just set down to dinner, and I dined with them, as I intended, and good company, the best people and family in the world I think. Here was great talk of the good end that my Lord Treasurer made; closing his owne eyes and setting his mouth, and bidding adieu with the greatest content and freedom in the world; and is said to die with the cleanest hands that ever any Lord Treasurer did. After dinner Sir G. Carteret and I alone, and there, among other discourse, he did declare that he would be content to part with his place of Treasurer of the Navy upon good terms. I did propose my Lord Belasses as a man likely to buy it, which he listened to, and I did fully concur and promote his design of parting with it, for though I would have my father live, I would not have him die Treasurer of the Navy, because of the accounts which must be uncleared at his death, besides many other circumstances making it advisable for him to let it go. He tells me that he fears all will come to naught in the nation soon if the King do not mind his business, which he do not seem likely to do. He says that the Treasury will be managed for a while by a Commission, whereof he thinks my Lord Chancellor for the honour of it, and my Lord Ashly, and the two Secretaries will be, and some others he knows not. I took leave of him, and directly by water home, and there to read the life of Mr. Hooker, which pleases me as much as any thing I have read a great while, and by and by comes Mr. Howe to see us, and after him a little Mr. Sheply, and so we all to talk, and, Mercer being there, we some of us to sing, and so to supper, a great deal of silly talk. Among other things, W. Howe told us how the Barristers and Students of Gray’s Inne rose in rebellion against the Benchers the other day, who outlawed them, and a great deal of do; but now they are at peace again. They being gone, I to my book again, and made an end of Mr. Hooker’s Life, and so to bed.
20th. Up betimes, and comes my flagelette master to set me a new tune, which I played presently, and shall in a month do as much as I desire at it. He being gone, I to several businesses in my chamber, and then by coach to the Commissioners of Excise, and so to Westminster Hall, and there spoke with several persons I had to do with. Here among other news, I hear that the Commissioners for the Treasury were named by the King yesterday; but who they are nobody could tell: but the persons are the Lord Chancellor, the two Secretaries, Lord Ashly, and others say Sir W. Coventry and Sir John Duncomb, but all conclude the Duke of Albemarle; but reports do differ, but will be known in a day or two. Having done my business, I then homeward, and overtook Mr. Commander; so took him into a coach with me, and he and I into Lincoln’s Inne Fields, there to look upon the coach-houses to see what ground is necessary for coach-house and horses, because of that that I am going about to do, and having satisfied myself in this he and I to Mr. Hide’s to look upon the ground again behind our house, and concluded upon his going along with us tomorrow to see some stables, he thinking that we demand more than is necessary. So away home, and then, I, it being a broken day, and had power by my vows, did walk abroad, first through the Minorys, the first time I have been over the Hill to the postern-gate, and seen the place, since the houses were pulled down about that side of the Tower, since the fire, to find where my young mercer with my pretty little woman to his wife lives, who lived in Lumbard streete, and I did espy them, but took no notice now of them, but may do hereafter. Thence down to the Old Swan, and there saw Betty Michell, whom I have not seen since her christening. But, Lord! how pretty she is, and looks as well as ever I saw her, and her child (which I am fain to seem very fond of) is pretty also, I think, and will be. Thence by water to Westminster Hall, and there walked a while talking at random with Sir W. Doyly, and so away to Mrs. Martin’s lodging, who was gone before, expecting me, and there je hazer what je vellem cum her and drank, and so by coach home (but I have forgot that I did in the morning go to the Swan, and there tumbling of la little fille, son uncle did trouver her cum su neckcloth off, which I was ashamed of, but made no great matter of it, but let it pass with a laugh), and there spent the evening with my wife at our flagelets, and so to supper, and after a little reading to bed. My wife still troubled with her cold. I find it everywhere now to be a thing doubted whether we shall have peace or no, and the captain of one of our ships that went with the Embassadors do say, that the seamen of Holland to his hearing did defy us, and called us English dogs, and cried out against peace, and that the great people there do oppose peace, though he says the common people do wish it.
21st. Up and to the office, where sat all the morning. At noon dined at home with my wife and find a new girle, a good big girle come to us, got by Payne to be our girle; and his daughter Nell we make our cook. This wench’s name is Mary, and seems a good likely maid. After dinner I with Mr. Commander and Mr. Hide’s brother to Lincolne’s Inne Fields, and there viewed several coach-houses, and satisfied ourselves now fully in it, and then there parted, leaving the rest to future discourse between us. Thence I home; but, Lord! how it went against my heart to go away from the very door of the Duke’s play-house, and my Lady Castlemayne’s coach, and many great coaches there, to see “The Siege of Rhodes.” I was very near making a forfeit, but I did command myself, and so home to my office, and there did much business to my good content, much better than going to a play, and then home to my wife, who is not well with her cold, and sat and read a piece of Grand Cyrus in English by her, and then to my chamber and to supper, and so to bed. This morning the Captain come from Holland did tell us at the board what I have said he reported yesterday. This evening after I come from the office Mrs. Turner come to see my wife and me, and sit and talk with us, and so, my wife not being well and going to bed, Mrs. Turner and I sat up till 12 at night talking alone in my chamber, and most of our discourse was of our neighbours. As to my Lord Bruncker, she says how Mrs. Griffin, our housekeeper’s wife, hath it from his maid, that comes to her house often, that they are very poor; that the other day Mrs. Williams was fain to send a jewell to pawn; that their maid hath said herself that she hath got £50 since she come thither, and £17 by the payment of one bill; that they have a most lewd and nasty family here in the office, but Mrs. Turner do tell me that my Lord hath put the King to infinite charge since his coming thither in alterations, and particularly that Mr. Harper at Deptford did himself tell her that my Lord hath had of Foly, the ironmonger, £50 worth in locks and keys for his house, and that it is from the fineness of them, having some of £4 and £5 a lock, such as is in the Duke’s closet; that he hath several of these; that he do keep many of her things from her of her own goods, and would have her bring a bill into the office for them; that Mrs. Griffin do say that he do not keep Mrs. Williams now for love, but need, he having another whore that he keeps in Covent Garden; that they do owe money everywhere almost for every thing, even Mrs. Shipman for her butter and cheese about £3, and after many demands cannot get it. Mrs. Turner says she do believe their coming here is only out of a belief of getting purchase by it, and that their servants (which was wittily said of her touching his clerks) do act only as privateers, no purchase, no pay. And in my conscience she is in the right. Then we fell to talk of Sir W. Pen, and his family and rise. She [Mrs. Turner] says that he was a pityfull [fellow] when she first knew them; that his lady was one of the sourest, dirty women, that ever she saw; that they took two chambers, one over another, for themselves and child, in Tower Hill; that for many years together they eat more meals at her house than at their own; did call brothers and sisters the husbands and wives; that her husband was godfather to one, and she godmother to another (this Margaret) of their children, by the same token that she was fain to write with her own hand a letter to Captain Twiddy, to stand for a godfather for her; that she brought my Lady, who then was a dirty slattern, with her stockings hanging about her heels, so that afterwards the people of the whole Hill did say that Mrs. Turner had made Mrs. Pen a gentlewoman, first to the knowledge of my Lady Vane, Sir Henry’s lady, and him to the knowledge of most of the great people that then he sought to, and that in short his rise hath been his giving of large bribes, wherein, and she agrees with my opinion and knowledge before therein, he is very profuse. This made him General; this got him out of the Tower when he was in; and hath brought him into what he is now, since the King’s coming in: that long ago, indeed, he would drink the King’s health privately with Mr. Turner; but that when he saw it fit to turn Roundhead, and was offered by Mr. Turner to drink the King’s health, he answered “No;” he was changed, and now, he that would make him drink the King’s health, or any health but the Protector’s and the State’s, or to that purpose, he would be the first man should sheath his sword in his guts. That at the King’s coming in, he did send for her husband, and told him what a great man Sir W. Coventry was like to be, and that he having all the records in his hands of the Navy, if he would transcribe what was of most present use of the practice of the Navy, and give them him to give Sir W. Coventry from him, it would undoubtedly do his business of getting him a principal officer’s place; that her husband was at £5 charge to get these presently writ; that Sir W. Pen did give them Sir W. Coventry as from himself, which did set him up with W. Coventry, and made him what he is, and never owned any thing of Mr. Turner in them; by which he left him in the lurch, though he did promise the Duke of Albemarle to do all that was possible, and made no question of Mr. Turner’s being what he desired; and when afterwards, too, did propose to him the getting of the Purveyor’s place for him, he did tell Mr. Turner it was necessary to present Sir W. Coventry 100 pieces, which he did, and W. Coventry took 80 of them: so that he was W. Coventry’s mere broker, as Sir W. Batten and my Lady did once tell my Lady Duchess of Albemarle, in the case of Mr. Falconer, whom W. Pen made to give W. Coventry £200 for his place of Clerk of the Rope Yard of Woolwich, and to settle £80 a year upon his daughter Pegg, after the death of his wife, and a gold watch presently to his wife. Mrs. Turner do tell me that my Lady and Pegg have themselves owned to her that Sir W. Coventry and Sir W. Pen had private marks to write to one another by, that when they in appearance writ a fair letter in behalf of anybody, that they had a little mark to show they meant it only in shew: this, these silly people did confess themselves of him. She says that their son, Mr. William Pen, did tell her that his father did observe the commanders did make their addresses to me and applications, but they should know that his father should be the chief of the office, and that she hath observed that Sir W. Pen never had a kindness to her son, since W. Pen told her son that he had applied himself to me. That his rise hath been by her and her husband’s means, and that it is a most inconceivable thing how this man can have the face to use her and her family with the neglect that he do them. That he was in the late war a most devilish plunderer, and that got him his estate, which he hath in Ireland, and nothing else, and that he hath always been a very liberal man in his bribes, that upon his coming into this part of the Controller’s business wherein he is, he did send for T. Willson and told him how against his knowledge he was put in, and had so little wit as to say to him, “This will make the pot boyle, will it not, Mr. Willson? will it not make the pot boyle?” and do offer him to come in and do his business for him, and he would reward him. This Mr. Willson did come and tell her presently, he having been their servant, and to this day is very faithful to them. That her husband’s not being forward to make him a bill for Rere Admirall’s pay and Generall’s pay both at the same time after he was first made Generall did first give him occasion of keeping a distance from him, since which they have never been great friends, Pen having by degrees been continually growing higher and higher, till now that he do wholly slight them and use them only as servants. Upon the whole, she told me stories enough to confirm me that he is the most false fellow that ever was born of woman, and that so she thinks and knows him to be.
22nd. Up, and by water to White Hall to Sir G. Carteret, who tells me now for certain how the Commission for the Treasury is disposed of: viz., to Duke of Albemarle, Lord Ashly, Sir W. Coventry, Sir John Duncomb, and Sir Thomas Clifford: at which, he says, all the whole Court is disturbed; it having been once concluded otherwise into the other hands formerly mentioned in yesterday’s notes, but all of a sudden the King’s choice was changed, and these are to be the men; the first of which is only for a puppet to give honour to the rest. He do presage that these men will make it their business to find faults in the management of the late Lord Treasurer, and in discouraging the bankers: but I am, whatever I in compliance do say to him, of another mind, and my heart is very glad of it, for I do expect they will do much good, and that it is the happiest thing that hath appeared to me for the good of the nation since the King come in. Thence to St. James’s, and up to the Duke of York; and there in his chamber Sir W. Coventry did of himself take notice of this business of the Treasury, wherein he is in the Commission, and desired that I would be thinking of any thing fit for him to be acquainted with for the lessening of charge and bettering of our credit, and what our expence bath been since the King’s coming home, which he believes will be one of the first things they shall enquire into: which I promised him, and from time to time, which he desires, will give him an account of what I can think of worthy his knowledge. I am mighty glad of this opportunity of professing my joy to him in what choice the King hath made, and the hopes I have that it will save the kingdom from perishing and how it do encourage me to take pains again, after my having through despair neglected it! which he told me of himself that it was so with him, that he had given himself up to more ease than ever he expected, and that his opinion of matters was so bad, that there was no publick employment in the kingdom should have been accepted by him but this which the King hath now given him; and therein he is glad, in hopes of the service he may do therein; and in my conscience he will. So into the Duke of York’s closet; and there, among other things, Sir W. Coventry did take notice of what he told me the other day, about a report of Commissioner Pett’s dealing for timber in the Navy, and selling it to us in other names; and, besides his own proof, did produce a paper I had given him this morning about it, in the case of Widow Murford and Morecocke, which was so handled, that the Duke of York grew very angry, and commanded us presently to fall into the examination of it, saying that he would not trust a man for his sake that lifts up the whites of his eyes. And it was declared that if he be found to have done so, he should be reckoned unfit to serve the Navy; and I do believe he will be turned out; and it was, methought, a worthy saying of Sir W. Coventry to the Duke of York, “Sir,” says he, “I do not make this complaint out of any disrespect to Commissioner Pett, but because I do love to do these things fairly and openly.” Thence I to Westminster Hall with Sir G. Carteret to the Chequer Chamber to hear our cause of the Lindeboome prize there before the Lords of Appeal, where was Lord Ashly, Arlington, Barkely, and Sir G. Carteret, but the latter three signified nothing, the former only either minding or understanding what was said. Here was good pleading of Sir Walter Walker’s and worth hearing, but little done in our business. Thence by coach to the Red Lyon, thinking to meet my father, but I come too soon, but my wife is gone out of town to meet him. I am in great pain, poor man, for him, lest he should come up in pain to town. So I staid not, but to the ‘Change, and there staid a little, where most of the newes is that the Swedes are likely to fall out with the Dutch, which we wish, but how true I know not. Here I met my uncle Wight, the second day he hath been abroad, having been sick these two months even to death, but having never sent to me even in the greatest of his danger. I do think my Aunt had no mind I should come, and so I never went to see him, but neither he took notice of it to me, nor I made any excuse for it to him, but past two or three How do you’s, and so parted and so home, and by and by comes my poor father, much better than I expected, being at ease by fits, according as his truss sits, and at another time in as much pain. I am mighty glad to see him come well to town. So to dinner, where Creed comes. After dinner my wife and father abroad, and Creed and I also by water, and parted at the Temple stairs, where I landed, and to the King’s house, where I did give 18d., and saw the two last acts of “The Goblins,” a play I could not make any thing of by these two acts, but here Knipp spied me out of the tiring-room, and come to the pit door, and I out to her, and kissed her, she only coming to see me, being in a country-dress, she, and others having, it seemed, had a country-dance in the play, but she no other part: so we parted, and I into the pit again till it was done. The house full, but I had no mind to be seen, but thence to.my cutler’s, and two or three other places on small, errands, and so home, where my father and wife come home, and pretty well my father, who to supper and betimes to bed at his country hours. I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there got some more part of my dividend of the prize-money. So home and to set down in writing the state of the account, and then to supper, and my wife to her flageolet, wherein she did make out a tune so prettily of herself, that I was infinitely pleased beyond whatever I expected from her, and so to bed. This day coming from Westminster with W. Batten, we saw at White Hall stairs a fisher-boat, with a sturgeon that he had newly catched in the River; which I saw, but it was but a little one; but big enough to prevent my mistake of that for a colt, if ever I become Mayor of Huntingdon!1
1 During a very high flood in the meadows between Huntingdon and Godmanchester, something was seen floating, which the Godmanchester people thought was a black pig, and the Huntingdon folk declared it was a sturgeon; when rescued from the waters, it proved to be a young donkey. This mistake led to the one party being styled “Godmanchester black pigs,” and the other “Huntingdon sturgeons,” terms not altogether forgotten at this day. Pepys’s colt must be taken to be the colt of an ass. — B.
23rd. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home, and with my father dined, and, poor man! he hath put off his travelling-clothes today, and is mighty spruce, and I love to see him cheerful. After dinner I to my chamber, and my wife and I to talk, and by and by they tell Mrs. Daniel would speak with me, so I down to the parlour to her, and sat down together and talked about getting her husband a place. . . . I do promise, and mean to do what kindness I can to her husband. After having been there hasti je was ashamed de peur that my people pensait. . . . de it, or lest they might espy us through some trees, we parted and I to the office, and presently back home again, and there was asked by my wife, I know not whether simply or with design, how I come to look as I did, car ego was in much chaleur et de body and of animi, which I put off with the heat of the season, and so to other business, but I had some fear hung upon me lest alcuno had sidi decouvert. So to the office, and then to Sir R. Viner’s about some part of my accounts now going on with him, and then home and ended my letters, and then to supper and my chamber to settle many things there, and then to bed. This noon I was on the ‘Change, where I to my astonishment hear, and it is in the Gazette, that Sir John Duncomb is sworn yesterday a Privy-councillor. This day I hear also that last night the Duke of Kendall, second son of the Duke of York, did die; and that the other, Duke of Cambridge, continues very ill still. This afternoon I had opportunity para jouer with Mrs. Pen, tokendo her mammailles and baisando elle, being sola in the casa of her pater, and she fort willing.
24th. Up, and to the office, where, by and by, by appointment, we met upon Sir W. Warren’s accounts, wherein I do appear in every thing as much as I can his enemy, though not so far but upon good conditions from him I may return to be his friend, but I do think it necessary to do what I do at present. We broke off at noon without doing much, and then home, where my wife not well, but yet engaged by invitation to go with Sir W. Pen. I got her to go with him by coach to Islington to the old house, where his lady and Madam Lowther, with her exceeding fine coach and mean horses, and her mother-inlaw, did meet us, and two of Mr. Lowther’s brothers, and here dined upon nothing but pigeon-pyes, which was such a thing for him to invite all the company to, that I was ashamed of it. But after dinner was all our sport, when there come in a juggler, who, indeed, did shew us so good tricks as I have never seen in my life, I think, of legerdemaine, and such as my wife hath since seriously said that she would not believe but that he did them by the help of the devil. Here, after a bad dinner, and but ordinary company, saving that I discern good parts in one of the sons, who, methought, did take me up very prettily in one or two things that I said, and I was so sensible of it as to be a caution to me hereafter how I do venture to speak more than is necessary in any company, though, as I did now, I do think them incapable to censure me. We broke up, they back to Walthamstow, and only my wife and I and Sir W. Pen to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Mayden Queene,” which, though I have often seen, yet pleases me infinitely, it being impossible, I think, ever to have the Queen’s part, which is very good and passionate, and Florimel’s part, which is the most comicall that ever was made for woman, ever done better than they two are by young Marshall and Nelly. Home, where I spent the evening with my father and wife, and late at night some flagillette with my wife, and then to supper and to bed.
25th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, and there come Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, and dined with me, telling me that the Duke of Cambridge continues very ill, so as they do despair of his living. So to the office again, where all the afternoon. About 4 o’clock comes Mrs. Pierce to see my wife, and I into them, and there find Pierce very fine, and in her own hair, which do become her, and so says my wife, ten times better than lighter hair, her complexion being mighty good. With them talked a little, and was invited by her to come with my wife on Wednesday next in the evening, to be merry there, which we shall do. Then to the office again, where dispatched a great deal of business till late at night, to my great content, and then home and with my wife to our flageolets a little, and so to supper and to bed, after having my chamber a little wiped up.
26th (Lord’s day). Up sooner than usual on Sundays, and to walk, it being exceeding hot all night (so as this night I begun to leave off my waistcoat this year) and this morning, and so to walk in the garden till toward church time, when my wife and I to church, where several strangers of good condition come to our pew, where the pew was full. At noon dined at home, where little Michell come and his wife, who continues mighty pretty. After dinner I by water alone to Westminster, where, not finding Mrs. Martin within, did go towards the parish church, and in the way did overtake her, who resolved to go into the church with her that she was going with (Mrs. Hargrave, the little crooked woman, the vintner’s wife of the Dog) and then go out again, and so I to the church, and seeing her return did go out again myself, but met with Mr. Howlett, who, offering me a pew in the gallery, I had no excuse but up with him I must go, and then much against my will staid out the whole church in pain while she expected me at home, but I did entertain myself with my perspective glass up and down the church, by which I had the great pleasure of seeing and gazing at a great many very fine women; and what with that, and sleeping, I passed away the time till sermon was done, and then to Mrs. Martin, and there staid with her an hour or two, and there did what I would with her, and after been here so long I away to my boat, and up with it as far as Barne Elmes, reading of Mr. Evelyn’s late new book against Solitude, in which I do not find much excess of good matter, though it be pretty for a bye discourse. I walked the length of the Elmes, and with great pleasure saw some gallant ladies and people come with their bottles, and basket, and chairs, and form, to sup under the trees, by the waterside, which was mighty pleasant. I to boat again and to my book, and having done that I took another book, Mr. Boyle’s of Colours, and there read, where I laughed, finding many fine things worthy observation, and so landed at the Old Swan, and so home, where I find my poor father newly come out of an unexpected fit of his pain, that they feared he would have died. They had sent for me to White Hall and all up and down, and for Mr. Holliard also, who did come, but W. Hewer being here did I think do the business in getting my father’s bowel, that was fallen down, into his body again, and that which made me more sensible of it was that he this morning did show me the place where his bowel did use to fall down and swell, which did trouble me to see. But above all things the poor man’s patience under it, and his good heart and humour, as soon as he was out of it, did so work upon me, that my heart was sad to think upon his condition, but do hope that a way will be found by a steel truss to relieve him. By and by to supper, all our discourse about Brampton, and my intentions to build there if I could be free of my engagement to my Uncle Thomas and his son, that they may not have what I have built, against my will, to them whether I will or no, in case of me and my brothers being without heirs male; which is the true reason why I am against laying out money upon that place, together with my fear of some inconvenience by being so near Hinchingbroke; being obliged to be a servant to that family, and subject to what expence they shall cost me; and to have all that I shall buy, or do, esteemed as got by the death of my uncle, when indeed what I have from him is not worth naming. After supper to read and then to bed.
27th. Up, and there comes Greeting my flagelette master, and I practised with him. There come also Richardson, the bookbinder, with one of Ogilby’s Bibles in quires for me to see and buy, it being Mr. Cade’s, my stationer’s; but it is like to be so big that I shall not use it, it being too great to stir up and down without much trouble, which I shall not like nor do intend it for. So by water to White Hall, and there find Sir G. Carteret at home, and talked with him a while, and find that the new Commissioners of the Treasury did meet this morning. So I to find out Sir W. Coventry, but missed, only I do hear that they have chosen Sir G. Downing for their Secretary; and I think in my conscience they have done a great thing in it; for he is a business active man, and values himself upon having of things do well under his hand; so that I am mightily pleased in their choice. Here I met Mr. Pierce, who tells me that he lately met Mr. Carcasse, who do mightily inveigh against me, for that all that has been done against him he lays on me, and I think he is in the right and I do own it, only I find what I suspected, that he do report that Sir W. Batten and I, who never agreed before, do now, and since this business agree even more, which I did fear would be thought, and therefore will find occasion to undeceive the world in that particular by promoting something shortly against [Sir] W. Batten. So home, and there to sing with my wife before dinner, and then to dinner, and after dinner comes Carcasse to speak with me, but I would not give him way to enlarge on anything, but he would have begun to have made a noise how I have undone him and used all the wit I could in the drawing up of his report, wherein he told me I had taken a great deal of pains to undo him. To which I did not think fit to enter into any answer, but dismissed him, and so I again up to my chamber, vexed at the impudence of this rogue, but I think I shall be wary enough for him: So to my chamber, and there did some little business, and then abroad, and stopped at the Bear-garden-stairs, there to see a prize fought. But the house so full there was no getting in there, so forced to go through an alehouse into the pit, where the bears are baited; and upon a stool did see them fight, which they did very furiously, a butcher and a waterman. The former had the better all along, till by and by the latter dropped his sword out of his hand, and the butcher, whether not seeing his sword dropped I know not, but did give him a cut over the wrist, so as he was disabled to fight any longer. But, Lord! to see how in a minute the whole stage was full of watermen to revenge the foul play, and the butchers to defend their fellow, though most blamed him; and there they all fell to it to knocking down and cutting many on each side. It was pleasant to see, but that I stood in the pit, and feared that in the tumult I might get some hurt. At last the rabble broke up, and so I away to White Hall and so to St. James’s, but I found not Sir W. Coventry, so into the Park and took a turn or two, it being a most sweet day, and so by water home, and with my father and wife walked in the garden, and then anon to supper and to bed. The Duke of Cambridge very ill still.
28th. Up, and by coach to St. James’s, where I find Sir W. Coventry, and he desirous to have spoke with me. It was to read over a draught of a letter which he hath made for his brother Commissioners and him to sign to us, demanding an account of the whole business of the Navy accounts; and I perceive, by the way he goes about it, that they will do admirable things. He tells me they have chosen Sir G. Downing their Secretary, who will be as fit a man as any in the world; and said, by the by, speaking of the bankers being fearful of Sir G. Downing’s being Secretary, he being their enemy, that they did not intend to be ruled by their Secretary, but do the business themselves. My heart is glad to see so great hopes of good to the nation as will be by these men; and it do me good to see Sir W. Coventry so cheerfull as he now is on the same score. Thence home, and there fell to seeing my office and closet there made soundly clean, and the windows cleaned. At which all the morning, and so at noon to dinner. After dinner my wife away down with Jane and W. Hewer to Woolwich, in order to a little ayre and to lie there to-night, and so to gather May-dew tomorrow morning,1 which Mrs. Turner hath taught her as the only thing in the world to wash her face with; and I am contented with it. Presently comes Creed, and he and I by water to Fox-hall, and there walked in Spring Garden. A great deal of company, and the weather and garden pleasant: that it is very pleasant and cheap going thither, for a man may go to spend what he will, or nothing, all is one. But to hear the nightingale and other birds, and here fiddles, and there a harp, and here a Jew’s trump, and here laughing, and there fine people walking, is mighty divertising. Among others, there were two pretty women alone, that walked a great while, which being discovered by some idle gentlemen, they would needs take them up; but to see the poor ladies how they were put to it to run from them, and they after them, and sometimes the ladies put themselves along with other company, then the other drew back; at last, the last did get off out of the house, and took boat and away. I was troubled to see them abused so; and could have found in my heart, as little desire of fighting as I have, to have protected the ladies. So by water, set Creed down at White Hall, and I to the Old Swan, and so home. My father gone to bed, and wife abroad at Woolwich, I to Sir W. Pen, where he and his Lady and Pegg and pretty Mrs. Lowther her sister-inlaw at supper, where I sat and talked, and Sir W. Pen, half drunk, did talk like a fool and vex his wife, that I was half pleased and half vexed to see so much folly and rudeness from him, and so late home to bed.
1 If we are to credit the following paragraph, extracted from the “Morning Post” of May 2nd, 1791, the virtues of May dew were then still held in some estimation; for it records that “on the day preceding, according to annual and superstitious custom, a number of persons went into the fields, and bathed their faces with the dew on the grass, under the idea that it would render them beautiful” (Hone’s “Every Day Book,” vol. ii., p. 611). Aubrey speaks of May dew as “a great dissolvent” (“Miscellanies,” p. 183). — B.
29th. Up, and by coach to St. James’s, where by and by up to the Duke of York, where, among other things, our parson Mills having the offer of another benefice by Sir Robert Brookes, who was his pupil, he by my Lord Barkeley [of Stratton] is made one of the Duke’s Chaplains, which qualifies him for two livings. But to see how slightly such things are done, the Duke of York only taking my Lord Barkeley’s word upon saying, that we the officers of the Navy do say he is a good man and minister of our parish, and the Duke of York admits him to kiss his hand, but speaks not one word to him; but so a warrant will be drawn from the Duke of York to qualify him, and there’s an end of it. So we into the Duke’s closett, where little to do, but complaint for want of money and a motion of Sir W. Coventry’s that we should all now bethink ourselves of lessening charge to the King, which he said was the only way he saw likely to put the King out of debt, and this puts me upon thinking to offer something presently myself to prevent its being done in a worse manner without me relating to the Victualling business, which, as I may order it, I think may be done and save myself something. Thence home, and there settle to some accounts of mine in my chamber I all the morning till dinner. My wife comes home from Woolwich, but did not dine with me, going to dress herself against night, to go to Mrs. Pierce’s to be merry, where we are to have Knepp and Harris and other good people. I at my accounts all the afternoon, being a little lost in them as to reckoning interest. Anon comes down my wife, dressed in her second mourning, with her black moyre waistcoat, and short petticoat, laced with silver lace so basely that I could not endure to see her, and with laced lining, which is too soon, so that I was horrid angry, and went out of doors to the office and there staid, and would not go to our intended meeting, which vexed me to the blood, and my wife sent twice or thrice to me, to direct her any way to dress her, but to put on her cloth gown, which she would not venture, which made me mad: and so in the evening to my chamber, vexed, and to my accounts, which I ended to my great content, and did make amends for the loss of our mirth this night, by getting this done, which otherwise I fear I should not have done a good while else. So to bed.
30th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, being without any words friends with my wife, though last night I was very angry, and do think I did give her as much cause to be angry with me. After dinner I walked to Arundell House, the way very dusty, the day of meeting of the Society being changed from Wednesday to Thursday, which I knew not before, because the Wednesday is a Council-day, and several of the Council are of the Society, and would come but for their attending the King at Council; where I find much company, indeed very much company, in expectation of the Duchesse of Newcastle, who had desired to be invited to the Society; and was, after much debate, pro and con., it seems many being against it; and we do believe the town will be full of ballads of it. Anon comes the Duchesse with her women attending her; among others, the Ferabosco,2 of whom so much talk is that her lady would bid her show her face and kill the gallants. She is indeed black, and hath good black little eyes, but otherwise but a very ordinary woman I do think, but they say sings well. The Duchesse hath been a good, comely woman; but her dress so antick, and her deportment so ordinary, that I do not like her at all, nor did I hear her say any thing that was worth hearing, but that she was full of admiration, all admiration. Several fine experiments were shown her of colours, loadstones, microscopes, and of liquors among others, of one that did, while she was there, turn a piece of roasted mutton into pure blood, which was very rare. Here was Mrs. Moore of Cambridge, whom I had not seen before, and I was glad to see her; as also a very pretty black boy that run up and down the room, somebody’s child in Arundell House. After they had shown her many experiments, and she cried still she was full of admiration, she departed, being led out and in by several Lords that were there; among others Lord George Barkeley and Earl of Carlisle, and a very pretty young man, the Duke of Somerset. She gone, I by coach home, and there busy at my letters till night, and then with my wife in the evening singing with her in the garden with great pleasure, and so home to supper and to bed.
31st. Up, and there came young Mrs. Daniel in the morning as I expected about business of her husband’s. I took her into the office to discourse with her about getting some employment for him. . . . By water to White Hall to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, the first time I ever was there and I think the second that they have met at the Treasury chamber there. Here I saw Duncomb look as big, and take as much state on him, as if he had been born a lord. I was in with him about Tangier, and at present received but little answer from them, they being in a cloud of business yet, but I doubt not but all will go well under them. Here I met with Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me that he is told this day by Secretary Morris that he believes we are, and shall be, only fooled by the French; and that the Dutch are very high and insolent, and do look upon us as come over only to beg a peace; which troubles me very much, and I do fear it is true. Thence to Sir G. Carteret at his lodgings; who, I perceive, is mightily displeased with this new Treasury; and he hath reason, for it will eclipse him; and he tells me that my Lord Ashly says they understand nothing; and he says he believes the King do not intend they shall sit long. But I believe no such thing, but that the King will find such benefit by them as he will desire to have them continue, as we see he hath done, in the late new Act that was so much decried about the King; but yet the King hath since permitted it, and found good by it. He says, and I believe, that a great many persons at Court are angry at the rise of this Duncomb, whose father, he tells me, was a long-Parliamentman, and a great Committee-man; and this fellow used to carry his papers to Committees after him: he was a kind of an atturny: but for all this, I believe this man will be a great man, in spite of all. Thence I away to Holborne to Mr. Gawden, whom I met at Bernard’s Inn gate, and straight we together to the Navy Office, where we did all meet about some victualling business, and so home to dinner and to the office, where the weather so hot now-a-days that I cannot but sleep before I do any business, and in the evening home, and there, to my unexpected satisfaction, did get my intricate accounts of interest, which have been of late much perplexed by mixing of some moneys of Sir G. Carteret’s with mine, evened and set right: and so late to supper, and with great quiet to bed; finding by the balance of my account that I am creditor £6900, for which the Lord of Heaven be praised!
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53