September 1st (Lord’s day). Up, and betimes by water from the Tower, and called at the Old Swan for a glass of strong water, and sent word to have little Michell and his wife come and dine with us today; and so, taking in a gentleman and his lady that wanted a boat, I to Westminster. Setting them on shore at Charing Cross, I to Mrs. Martin’s, where I had two pair of cuffs which I bespoke, and there did sit and talk with her. . . . and here I did see her little girle my goddaughter, which will be pretty, and there having staid a little I away to Creed’s chamber, and when he was ready away to White Hall, where I met with several people and had my fill of talk. Our new Lord-keeper, Bridgeman, did this day, the first time, attend the King to chapel with his Seal. Sir H. Cholmly tells me there are hopes that the women will also have a rout, and particularly that my Lady Castlemayne is coming to a composition with the King to be gone; but how true this is, I know not. Blancfort is made Privy-purse to the Duke of York; the Attorney-general is made Chief justice, in the room of my Lord Bridgeman; the Solicitor-general is made Attorney-general; and Sir Edward Turner made Solicitor-general. It is pretty to see how strange every body looks, nobody knowing whence this arises; whether from my Lady Castlemayne, Bab. May, and their faction; or from the Duke of York, notwithstanding his great appearance of defence of the Chancellor; or from Sir William Coventry, and some few with him. But greater changes are yet expected. So home and by water to dinner, where comes Pelting and young Michell and his wife, whom I have not seen a great while, poor girle, and then comes Mr. Howe, and all dined with me very merry, and spent all the afternoon, Pelting, Howe, and I, and my boy, singing of Lock’s response to the Ten Commandments, which he hath set very finely, and was a good while since sung before the King, and spoiled in the performance, which occasioned his printing them for his vindication, and are excellent good. They parted, in the evening my wife and I to walk in the garden and there scolded a little, I being doubtful that she had received a couple of fine pinners (one of point de Gesne), which I feared she hath from some [one] or other of a present; but, on the contrary, I find she hath bought them for me to pay for them, without my knowledge. This do displease me much; but yet do so much please me better than if she had received them the other way, that I was not much angry, but fell to other discourse, and so to my chamber, and got her to read to me for saving of my eyes, and then, having got a great cold, I know not how, I to bed and lay ill at ease all the night.
2nd. This day is kept in the City as a publick fast for the fire this day twelve months: but I was not at church, being commanded, with the rest, to attend the Duke of York; and, therefore, with Sir J. Minnes to St. James’s, where we had much business before the Duke of York, and observed all things to be very kind between the Duke of York and W. Coventry, which did mightily joy me. When we had done, Sir W. Coventry called me down with him to his chamber, and there told me that he is leaving the Duke of York’s service, which I was amazed at. But he tells me that it is not with the least unkindness on the Duke of York’s side, though he expects, and I told him he was in the right, it will be interpreted otherwise, because done just at this time; “but,” says he, “I did desire it a good while since, and the Duke of York did, with much entreaty, grant it, desiring that I would say nothing of it, that he might have time and liberty to choose his successor, without being importuned for others whom he should not like:” and that he hath chosen Mr. Wren, which I am glad of, he being a very ingenious man; and so Sir W. Coventry says of him, though he knows him little; but particularly commends him for the book he writ in answer to “Harrington’s Oceana,” which, for that reason, I intend to buy. He tells me the true reason is, that he, being a man not willing to undertake more business than he can go through, and being desirous to have his whole time to spend upon the business of the Treasury, and a little for his own ease, he did desire this of the Duke of York. He assures me that the kindness with which he goes away from the Duke of York is one of the greatest joys that ever he had in the world. I used some freedom with him, telling him how the world hath discoursed of his having offended the Duke of York, about the late business of the Chancellor. He do not deny it, but says that perhaps the Duke of York might have some reason for it, he opposing him in a thing wherein he was so earnest but tells me, that, notwithstanding all that, the Duke of York does not now, nor can blame him; for he tells me that he was the man that did propose the removal of the Chancellor; and that he did still persist in it, and at this day publickly owns it, and is glad of it; but that the Duke of York knows that he did first speak of it to the Duke of York, before he spoke to any mortal creature besides, which was fair dealing: and the Duke of York was then of the same mind with him, and did speak of it to the King; though since, for reasons best known to himself, he was afterwards altered. I did then desire to know what was the great matter that grounded his desire of the Chancellor’s removal? He told me many things not fit to be spoken, and yet not any thing of his being unfaithful to the King; but, ‘instar omnium’, he told me, that while he was so great at the Council-board, and in the administration of matters, there was no room for any body to propose any remedy to what was amiss, or to compass any thing, though never so good for the kingdom, unless approved of by the Chancellor, he managing all things with that greatness which now will be removed, that the King may have the benefit of others’ advice. I then told him that the world hath an opinion that he hath joined himself with my Lady Castlemayne’s faction in this business; he told me, he cannot help it, but says they are in an errour: but for first he will never, while he lives, truckle under any body or any faction, but do just as his own reason and judgment directs; and, when he cannot use that freedom, he will have nothing to do in public affairs but then he added, that he never was the man that ever had any discourse with my Lady Castlemayne, or with others from her, about this or any public business, or ever made her a visit, or at least not this twelvemonth, or been in her lodgings but when called on any business to attend the King there, nor hath had any thing to do in knowing her mind in this business. He ended all with telling me that he knows that he that serves a Prince must expect, and be contented to stand, all fortunes, and be provided to retreat, and that that he is most willing to do whenever the King shall please. And so we parted, he setting me down out of his coach at Charing Cross, and desired me to tell Sir W. Pen what he had told me of his leaving the Duke of York’s service, that his friends might not be the last that know it. I took a coach and went homewards; but then turned again, and to White Hall, where I met with many people; and, among other things, do learn that there is some fear that Mr. Bruncker is got into the King’s favour, and will be cherished there; which will breed ill will between the King and Duke of York, he lodging at this time in White Hall since he was put away from the Duke of York: and he is great with Bab. May, my Lady Castlemayne, and that wicked crew. But I find this denied by Sir G. Carteret, who tells me that he is sure he hath no kindness from the King; that the King at first, indeed, did endeavour to persuade the Duke of York from putting him away; but when, besides this business of his ill words concerning his Majesty in the business of the Chancellor, he told him that he hath had, a long time, a mind to put him away for his ill offices, done between him and his wife, the King held his peace, and said no more, but wished him to do what he pleased with him; which was very noble. I met with Fenn; and he tells me, as I do hear from some others, that the business of the Chancellor’s had proceeded from something of a mistake, for the Duke of York did first tell the King that the Chancellor had a desire to be eased of his great trouble; and that the King, when the Chancellor come to him, did wonder to hear him deny it, and the Duke of York was forced to deny to the King that ever he did tell him so in those terms: but the King did answer that he was sure that he did say some such thing to him; but, however, since it had gone so far, did desire him to be contented with it, as a thing very convenient for him as well as for himself (the King), and so matters proceeded, as we find. Now it is likely the Chancellor might, some time or other, in a compliment or vanity, say to the Duke of York, that he was weary of this burden, and I know not what; and this comes of it. Some people, and myself among them, are of good hope from this change that things are reforming; but there are others that do think but that it is a hit of chance, as all other our greatest matters are, and that there is no general plot or contrivance in any number of people what to do next, though, I believe, Sir W. Coventry may in himself have further designs; and so that, though other changes may come, yet they shall be accidental and laid upon [not] good principles of doing good. Mr. May shewed me the King’s new buildings, in order to their having of some old sails for the closing of the windows this winter. I dined with Sir G. Carteret, with whom dined Mr. Jack Ashburnham and Dr. Creeton, who I observe to be a most good man and scholar. In discourse at dinner concerning the change of men’s humours and fashions touching meats, Mr. Ashburnham told us, that he remembers since the only fruit in request, and eaten by the King and Queen at table as the best fruit, was the Katharine payre, though they knew at the time other fruits of France and our own country. After dinner comes in Mr. Townsend; and there I was witness of a horrid rateing, which Mr. Ashburnham, as one of the Grooms of the King’s Bedchamber, did give him for want of linen for the King’s person; which he swore was not to be endured, and that the King would not endure it, and that the King his father, would have hanged his Wardrobe-man should he have been served so the King having at this day no handkerchers, and but three bands to his neck, he swore. Mr. Townsend answered want of money, and the owing of the linen-draper £5000; and that he hath of late got many rich things made — beds, and sheets, and saddles, and all without money, and he can go no further but still this old man, indeed, like an old loving servant, did cry out for the King’s person to be neglected. But, when he was gone, Townsend told me that it is the grooms taking away the King’s linen at the quarter’s end, as their fees, which makes this great want: for, whether the King can get it or no, they will run away at the quarter’s end with what he hath had, let the King get more as he can. All the company gone, Sir G. Carteret and I to talk: and it is pretty to observe how already he says that he did always look upon the Chancellor indeed as his friend, though he never did do him any service at all, nor ever got any thing by him, nor was he a man apt, and that, I think, is true, to do any man any kindness of his own nature; though I do know that he was believed by all the world to be the greatest support of Sir G. Carteret with the King of any man in England: but so little is now made of it! He observes that my Lord Sandwich will lose a great friend in him; and I think so too, my Lord Hinchingbroke being about a match calculated purely out of respect to my Lord Chancellor’s family. By and by Sir G. Carteret, and Townsend, and I, to consider of an answer to the Commissioners of the Treasury about my Lord Sandwich’s profits in the Wardrobe; which seem, as we make them, to be very small, not £1000 a-year; but only the difference in measure at which he buys and delivers out to the King, and then 6d. in the pound from the tradesmen for what money he receives for him; but this, it is believed, these Commissioners will endeavour to take away. From him I went to see a great match at tennis, between Prince Rupert and one Captain Cooke, against Bab. May and the elder Chichly; where the King was, and Court; and it seems are the best players at tennis in the nation. But this puts me in mind of what I observed in the morning, that the King, playing at tennis, had a steele-yard carried to him, and I was told it was to weigh him after he had done playing; and at noon Mr. Ashburnham told me that it is only the King’s curiosity, which he usually hath of weighing himself before and after his play, to see how much he loses in weight by playing: and this day he lost 4 lbs. Thence home and took my wife out to Mile End Green, and there I drank, and so home, having a very fine evening. Then home, and I to Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen, and there discoursed of Sir W. Coventry’s leaving the Duke of York, and Mr. Wren’s succeeding him. They told me both seriously, that they had long cut me out for Secretary to the Duke of York, if ever [Sir] W. Coventry left him; which, agreeing with what I have heard from other hands heretofore, do make me not only think that something of that kind hath been thought on, but do comfort me to see that the world hath such an esteem of my qualities as to think me fit for any such thing. Though I am glad, with all my heart, that I am not so; for it would never please me to be forced to the attendance that that would require, and leave my wife and family to themselves, as I must do in such a case; thinking myself now in the best place that ever man was in to please his own mind in, and, therefore, I will take care to preserve it. So to bed, my cold remaining though not so much upon me. This day Nell, an old tall maid, come to live with us, a cook maid recommended by Mr. Batelier.
3rd. All the morning, business at the office, dined at home, then in the afternoon set my wife down at the Exchange, and I to St. James’s, and there attended the Duke of York about the list of ships that we propose to sell: and here there attended Mr. Wren the first time, who hath not yet, I think, received the Duke of York’s seal and papers. At our coming hither, we found the Duke and Duchesse all alone at dinner, methought melancholy; or else I thought so, from the late occasion of the Chancellor’s fall, who, they say, however, takes it very contentedly. Thence I to White Hall a little, and so took up my wife at the ‘Change, and so home, and at the office late, and so home to supper and to bed, our boy ill.
4th. By coach to White Hall to the Council-chamber; and there met with Sir W. Coventry going in, who took me aside, and told me that he was just come from delivering up his seal and papers to Mr. Wren; and told me he must now take his leave of me as a naval man, but that he shall always bear respect to his friends there, and particularly to myself, with great kindness; which I returned to him with thanks, and so, with much kindness parted: and he into, the Council. I met with Sir Samuel Morland, who chewed me two orders upon the Exchequer, one of £600, and another of £400, for money assigned to him, which he would have me lend him money upon, and he would allow 12 per cent. I would not meddle with them, though they are very good; and would, had I not so much money out already on public credit. But I see by this his condition all trade will be bad. I staid and heard Alderman Barker’s case of his being abused by the Council of Ireland, touching his lands there: all I observed there is the silliness of the King, playing with his dog all the while, and not minding the business,1 and what he said was mighty weak; but my Lord Keeper I observe to be a mighty able man. The business broke off without any end to it, and so I home, and thence with my wife and W. Hewer to Bartholomew fayre, and there Polichinelli, where we saw Mrs. Clerke and all her crew; and so to a private house, and sent for a side of pig, and eat it at an acquaintance of W. Hewer’s, where there was some learned physic and chymical books, and among others, a natural “Herball” very fine. Here we staid not, but to the Duke of York’s play house, and there saw “Mustapha,” which, the more I see, the more I like; and is a most admirable poem, and bravely acted; only both Betterton and Harris could not contain from laughing in the midst of a most serious part from the ridiculous mistake of one of the men upon the stage; which I did not like. Thence home, where Batelier and his sister Mary come to us and sat and talked, and so, they gone, we to supper and to bed.
1 Lord Rochester wrote
“His very dog at council board
Sits grave and wise as any lord.”
Poems, 1697; p. 150. — The king’s dogs were constantly stolen from him, and he advertised for their return. Some of these amusing advertisements are printed in “Notes and Queries” (seventh series, vol. vii., p. 26).
5th. Up, and all the morning at the office, where we sat till noon, and then I home to dinner, where Mary Batelier and her brother dined with us, who grows troublesome in his talking so much of his going to Marseilles, and what commissions he hath to execute as a factor, and a deal of do of which I am weary. After dinner, with Sir W. Pen, my wife, and Mary Batelier to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “Heraclius,” which is a good play; but they did so spoil it with their laughing, and being all of them out, and with the noise they made within the theatre, that I was ashamed of it, and resolve not to come thither again a good while, believing that this negligence, which I never observed before, proceeds only from their want of company in the pit, that they have no care how they act. My wife was ill, and so I was forced to go out of the house with her to Lincoln’s Inn walks, and there in a corner she did her business, and was by and by well, and so into the house again, but sick of their ill acting. So home and to the office, where busy late, then home to supper and to bed. This morning was told by Sir W. Batten, that he do hear from Mr. Grey, who hath good intelligence, that our Queen is to go into a nunnery, there to spend her days; and that my Lady Castlemayne is going into France, and is to have a pension of £4000 a-year. This latter I do more believe than the other, it being very wise in her to do it, and save all she hath, besides easing the King and kingdom of a burden and reproach.
6th. Up, and to Westminster to the Exchequer, and then into the Hall, and there bought “Guillim’s Heraldry” for my wife, and so to the Swan, and thither come Doll Lane, and je did toucher her, and drank, and so away, I took coach and home, where I find my wife gone to Walthamstow by invitation with Sir W. Batten, and so I followed, taking up Mrs. Turner, and she and I much discourse all the way touching the baseness of Sir W. Pen and sluttishness of his family, and how the world do suspect that his son Lowther, who is sick of a sore mouth, has got the pox. So we come to Sir W. Batten’s, where Sir W. Pen and his Lady, and we and Mrs. Shipman, and here we walked and had an indifferent good dinner, the victuals very good and cleanly dressed and good linen, but no fine meat at all. After dinner we went up and down the house, and I do like it very well, being furnished with a great deal of very good goods. And here we staid, I tired with the company, till almost evening, and then took leave, Turner and I together again, and my wife with [Sir] W. Pen. At Aldgate I took my wife into our coach, and so to Bartholomew fair, and there, it being very dirty, and now night, we saw a poor fellow, whose legs were tied behind his back, dance upon his hands with his arse above his head, and also dance upon his crutches, without any legs upon the ground to help him, which he did with that pain that I was sorry to see it, and did pity him and give him money after he had done. Then we to see a piece of clocke-work made by an Englishman — indeed, very good, wherein all the several states of man’s age, to 100 years old, is shewn very pretty and solemne; and several other things more cheerful, and so we ended, and took a link, the women resolving to be dirty, and walked up and down to get a coach; and my wife, being a little before me, had been like to be taken up by one, whom we saw to be Sam Hartlib. My wife had her wizard on: yet we cannot say that he meant any hurt; for it was as she was just by a coach-side, which he had, or had a mind to take up; and he asked her, “Madam, do you go in this coach?” but, soon as he saw a man come to her (I know not whether he knew me) he departed away apace. By and by did get a coach, and so away home, and there to supper, and to bed.
7th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Goodgroome was teaching my wife, and dined with us, and I did tell him of my intention to learn to trill, which he will not promise I shall obtain, but he will do what can be done, and I am resolved to learn. All the afternoon at the office, and towards night out by coach with my wife, she to the ‘Change, and I to see the price of a copper cisterne for the table, which is very pretty, and they demand £6 or £7 for one; but I will have one. Then called my wife at the ‘Change, and bought a nightgown for my wife: cost but 24s., and so out to Mile End to drink, and so home to the office to end my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.
8th (Lord’s day). Up, and walked to St. James’s; but there I find Sir W. Coventry gone from his chamber, and Mr. Wren not yet come thither. But I up to the Duke of York, and there, after being ready, my Lord Bruncker and I had an audience, and thence with my Lord Bruncker to White Hall, and he told me, in discourse, how that, though it is true that Sir W. Coventry did long since propose to the Duke of York the leaving his service, as being unable to fulfill it, as he should do, now he hath so much public business, and that the Duke of York did bid him to say nothing of it, but that he would take time to please himself in another to come in his place; yet the Duke’s doing it at this time, declaring that he hath found out another, and this one of the Chancellor’s servants, he cannot but think was done with some displeasure, and that it could not well be otherwise, that the Duke of York should keep one in that place, that had so eminently opposed him in the defence of his father-inlaw, nor could the Duchesse ever endure the sight of him, to be sure. But he thinks that the Duke of York and he are parted upon clear terms of friendship. He tells me he do believe that my Lady Castlemayne is compounding with the King for a pension, and to leave the Court; but that her demands are mighty high: but he believes the King is resolved, and so do every body else I speak with, to do all possible to please the Parliament; and he do declare that he will deliver every body up to them to give an account of their actions: and that last Friday, it seems, there was an Act of Council passed, to put out all Papists in office, and to keep out any from coming in. I went to the King’s Chapel to the closet, and there I hear Cresset sing a tenor part along with the Church musick very handsomely, but so loud that people did laugh at him, as a thing done for ostentation. Here I met Sir G. Downing, who would speak with me, and first to inquire what I paid for my kid’s leather gloves I had on my hand, and shewed me others on his, as handsome, as good in all points, cost him but 12d. a pair, and mine me 2s. He told me he had been seven years finding out a man that could dress English sheepskin as it should be-and, indeed, it is now as good, in all respects, as kid, and he says will save £100,000 a-year, that goes out to France for kid’s skins. Thus he labours very worthily to advance our own trade, but do it with mighty vanity and talking. But then he told me of our base condition, in the treaty with Holland and France, about our prisoners, that whereas before we did clear one another’s prisoners, man for man, and we upon the publication of the peace did release all our’s, 300 at Leith, and others in other places for nothing, the Dutch do keep theirs, and will not discharge them with[out] paying their debts according to the Treaty. That his instruments in Holland, writing to our Embassadors about this to Bredagh, they answer them that they do not know of any thing that they have done therein, but left it just as it was before. To which, when they answer, that by the treaty their Lordships had [not] bound our countrymen to pay their debts in prison, they answer they cannot help it, and we must get them off as cheap as we can. On this score, they demand £1100 for Sir G. Ascue, and £5000 for the one province of Zealand, for the prisoners that we have therein. He says that this is a piece of shame that never any nation committed, and that our very Lords here of the Council, when he related this matter to them, did not remember that they had agreed to this article; and swears that all their articles are alike, as the giving away Polleroon, and Surinam, and Nova Scotia, which hath a river 300 miles up the country, with copper mines more than Swedeland, and Newcastle coals, the only place in America that hath coals that we know of; and that Cromwell did value those places, and would for ever have made much of them; but we have given them away for nothing, besides a debt to the King of Denmarke. But, which is most of all, they have discharged those very particular demands of merchants of the Guinny Company and others, which he, when he was there, had adjusted with the Dutch, and come to an agreement in writing, and they undertaken to satisfy, and that this was done in black and white under their hands; and yet we have forgiven all these, and not so much as sent to Sir G. Downing to know what he had done, or to confer with him about any one point of the treaty, but signed to what they would have, and we here signed to whatever in grosse was brought over by Mr. Coventry. And [Sir G. Downing] tells me, just in these words, “My Lord Chancellor had a mind to keep himself from being questioned by clapping up a peace upon any terms.” When I answered that there was other privy-councillors to be advised with besides him, and that, therefore, this whole peace could not be laid to his charge, he answered that nobody durst say any thing at the council-table but himself, and that the King was as much afeard of saying any thing there as the meanest privy-councillor; and says more, that at this day the King, in familiar talk, do call the Chancellor “the insolent man,” and says that he would not let him speak himself in Council: which is very high, and do shew that the Chancellor is like to be in a bad state, unless he can defend himself better than people think. And yet Creed tells me that he do hear that my Lord Cornbury do say that his father do long for the coming of the Parliament, in order to his own vindication, more than any one of his enemies. And here it comes into my head to set down what Mr. Rawlinson, whom I met in Fenchurch Street on Friday last, looking over his ruines there, told me, that he was told by one of my Lord Chancellor’s gentlemen lately (———— byname), that a grant coming to him to be sealed, wherein the King hath given her [Lady Castlemaine], or somebody by her means, a place which he did not like well of, he did stop the grant; saying, that he thought this woman would sell everything shortly: which she hearing of, she sent to let him know that she had disposed of this place, and did not doubt, in a little time, to dispose of his. This Rawlinson do tell me my Lord Chancellor’s own gentleman did tell him himself. Thence, meeting Creed, I with him to the Parke, there to walk a little, and to the Queen’s Chapel and there hear their musique, which I liked in itself pretty well as to the composition, but their voices are very harsh and rough that I thought it was some instruments they had that made them sound so. So to White Hall, and saw the King and Queen at dinner; and observed (which I never did before), the formality, but it is but a formality, of putting a bit of bread wiped upon each dish into the mouth of every man that brings a dish; but it should be in the sauce. Here were some Russes come to see the King at dinner: among others, the interpreter, a comely Englishman, in the Envoy’s own clothes; which the Envoy, it seems, in vanity did send to show his fine clothes upon this man’s back, which is one, it seems, of a comelier presence than himself: and yet it is said that none of their clothes are their own, but taken out of the King’s own Wardrobe; and which they dare not bring back dirty or spotted, but clean, or are in danger of being beaten, as they say: insomuch that, Sir Charles Cotterell says, when they are to have an audience they never venture to put on their clothes till he appears to come to fetch them; and, as soon as ever they come home, put them off again. I to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner; where Mr. Cofferer Ashburnham; who told a good story of a prisoner’s being condemned at Salisbury for a small matter. While he was on the bench with his father-inlaw, judge Richardson, and while they were considering to transport him to save his life, the fellow flung a great stone at the judge, that missed him, but broke through the wainscoat. Upon this, he had his hand cut off, and was hanged presently! Here was a gentleman, one Sheres, one come lately from my Lord Sandwich, with an express; but, Lord! I was almost ashamed to see him, lest he should know that I have not yet wrote one letter to my Lord since his going. I had no discourse with him, but after dinner Sir G. Carteret and I to talk about some business of his, and so I to Mrs. Martin, where was Mrs. Burroughs, and also fine Mrs. Noble, my partner in the christening of Martin’s child, did come to see it, and there we sat and talked an hour, and then all broke up and I by coach home, and there find Mr. Pelling and Howe, and we to sing and good musique till late, and then to supper, and Howe lay at my house, and so after supper to bed with much content, only my mind a little troubled at my late breach of vowes, which however I will pay my forfeits, though the badness of my eyes, making me unfit to read or write long, is my excuse, and do put me upon other pleasures and employment which I should refrain from in observation of my vowes.
9th. Up; and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon comes Creed to dine with me. After dinner, he and I and my wife to the Bear–Garden, to see a prize fought there. But, coming too soon, I left them there and went on to White Hall, and there did some business with the Lords of the Treasury; and here do hear, by Tom Killigrew and Mr. Progers, that for certain news is come of Harman’s having spoiled nineteen of twenty-two French ships, somewhere about the Barbadoes, I think they said; but wherever it is, it is a good service, and very welcome. Here I fell in talk with Tom Killigrew about musick, and he tells me that he will bring me to the best musick in England (of which, indeed, he is master), and that is two Italians and Mrs. Yates, who, he says, is come to sing the Italian manner as well as ever he heard any: says that Knepp won’t take pains enough, but that she understands her part so well upon the stage, that no man or woman in the House do the like. Thence I by water to the Bear–Garden, where now the yard was full of people, and those most of them seamen, striving by force to get in, that I was afeard to be seen among them, but got into the ale-house, and so by a back-way was put into the bull-house, where I stood a good while all alone among the bulls, and was afeard I was among the bears, too; but by and by the door opened, and I got into the common pit; and there, with my cloak about my face, I stood and saw the prize fought, till one of them, a shoemaker, was so cut in both his wrists that he could not fight any longer, and then they broke off: his enemy was a butcher. The sport very good, and various humours to be seen among the rabble that is there. Thence carried Creed to White Hall, and there my wife and I took coach and home, and both of us to Sir W. Batten’s, to invite them to dinner on Wednesday next, having a whole buck come from Hampton Court, by the warrant which Sir Stephen Fox did give me. And so home to supper and to bed, after a little playing on the flageolet with my wife, who do outdo therein whatever I expected of her.
10th. Up, and all the morning at the Office, where little to do but bemoan ourselves under the want of money; and indeed little is, or can be done, for want of money, we having not now received one penny for any service in many weeks, and none in view to receive, saving for paying of some seamen’s wages. At noon sent to by my Lord Bruncker to speak with him, and it was to dine with him and his Lady Williams (which I have not now done in many months at their own table) and Mr. Wren, who is come to dine with them, the first time he hath been at the office since his being the Duke of York’s Secretary. Here we sat and eat and talked and of some matters of the office, but his discourse is as yet but weak in that matter, and no wonder, he being new in it, but I fear he will not go about understanding with the impatience that Sir W. Coventry did. Having dined, I away, and with my wife and Mercer, set my wife down at the ‘Change, and the other at White Hall, and I to St. James’s, where we all met, and did our usual weekly business with the Duke of York. But, Lord! methinks both he and we are mighty flat and dull over what we used to be, when Sir W. Coventry was among us. Thence I into St. James’s Park, and there met Mr. Povy; and he and I to walk an hour or more in the Pell Mell, talking of the times. He tells me, among other things, that this business of the Chancellor do breed a kind of inward distance between the King and the Duke of York, and that it cannot be avoided; for though the latter did at first move it through his folly, yet he is made to see that he is wounded by it, and is become much a less man than he was, and so will be: but he tells me that they are, and have always been, great dissemblers one towards another; and that their parting heretofore in France is never to be thoroughly reconciled between them. He tells me that he believes there is no such thing like to be, as a composition with my Lady Castlemayne, and that she shall be got out of the way before the Parliament comes; for he says she is as high as ever she was, though he believes the King is as weary of her as is possible, and would give any thing to remove her, but he is so weak in his passion that he dare not do it; that he do believe that my Lord Chancellor will be doing some acts in the Parliament which shall render him popular; and that there are many people now do speak kindly of him that did not before; but that, if he do do this, it must provoke the King, and that party that removed him. He seems to doubt what the King of France will do, in case an accommodation shall be made between Spain and him for Flanders, for then he will have nothing more easy to do with his army than to subdue us. Parted with him at White Hall, and, there I took coach and took up my wife and Mercer, and so home and I to the office, where ended my letters, and then to my chamber with my boy to lay up some papers and things that lay out of order against tomorrow, to make it clear against the feast that I am to have. Here Mr. Pelling come to sit with us, and talked of musique and the musicians of the town, and so to bed, after supper.
11th. Up, and with Mr. Gawden to the Exchequer. By the way, he tells me this day he is to be answered whether he must hold Sheriffe or no; for he would not hold unless he may keep it at his office, which is out of the city (and so my Lord Mayor must come with his sword down, whenever he comes thither), which he do, because he cannot get a house fit for him in the city, or else he will fine for it. Among others that they have in nomination for Sheriffe, one is little Chaplin, who was his servant, and a very young man to undergo that place; but as the city is now, there is no great honour nor joy to be had, in being a public officer. At the Exchequer I looked after my business, and when done went home to the ‘Change, and there bought a case of knives for dinner, and a dish of fruit for 5s., and bespoke other things, and then home, and here I find all things in good order, and a good dinner towards. Anon comes Sir W. Batten and his lady, and Mr. Griffith, their ward, and Sir W. Pen and his lady, and Mrs. Lowther, who is grown, either through pride or want of manners, a fool, having not a word to say almost all dinner; and, as a further mark of a beggarly, proud fool, hath a bracelet of diamonds and rubies about her wrist, and a sixpenny necklace about her neck, and not one good rag of clothes upon her back; and Sir John Chichly in their company, and Mrs. Turner. Here I had an extraordinary good and handsome dinner for them, better than any of them deserve or understand, saving Sir John Chichly and Mrs. Turner, and not much mirth, only what I by discourse made, and that against my genius. After dinner I took occasion to break up the company soon as I could, and all parted, Sir W. Batten and I by water to White Hall, there to speak with the Commissioners of the Treasury, who are mighty earnest for our hastening all that may be the paying off of the Seamen, now there is money, and are considering many other thins for easing of charge, which I am glad of, but vexed to see that J. Duncomb should be so pressing in it as if none of us had like care with him. Having done there, I by coach to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw part of “The Ungratefull Lovers;” and sat by Beck Marshall, who is very handsome near hand. Here I met Mrs. Turner and my wife as we agreed, and together home, and there my wife and I part of the night at the flageolet, which she plays now any thing upon almost at first sight and in good time. But here come Mr. Moore, and sat and discoursed with me of publique matters: the sum of which is, that he do doubt that there is more at the bottom than the removal of the Chancellor; that is, he do verily believe that the King do resolve to declare the Duke of Monmouth legitimate, and that we shall soon see it. This I do not think the Duke of York will endure without blows; but his poverty, and being lessened by having the Chancellor fallen and [Sir] W. Coventry gone from him, will disable him from being able to do any thing almost, he being himself almost lost in the esteem of people; and will be more and more, unless my Lord Chancellor, who is already begun to be pitied by some people, and to be better thought of than was expected, do recover himself in Parliament. He would seem to fear that this difference about the Crowne (if there be nothing else) will undo us. He do say that, that is very true; that my Lord [Chancellor] did lately make some stop of some grants of £2000 a-year to my Lord Grandison, which was only in his name, for the use of my Lady Castlemaine’s children; and that this did incense her, and she did speak very scornful words, and sent a scornful message to him about it. He gone, after supper, I to bed, being mightily pleased with my wife’s playing so well upon the flageolet, and I am resolved she shall learn to play upon some instrument, for though her eare be bad, yet I see she will attain any thing to be done by her hand.
12th. Up, and at the office all the morning till almost noon, and then I rode from the office (which I have not done five times I think since I come thither) and to the Exchequer for some tallies for Tangier; and that being done, to the Dog taverne, and there I spent half a piece upon the clerks, and so away, and I to Mrs. Martin’s, but she not at home, but staid and drunk with her sister and landlady, and by that time it was time to go to a play, which I did at the Duke’s house, where “Tu Quoque” was the first time acted, with some alterations of Sir W. Davenant’s; but the play is a very silly play, methinks; for I, and others that sat by me, Mr. Povy and Mr. Progers, were weary of it; but it will please the citizens. My wife also was there, I having sent for her to meet me there, and W. Hewer. After the play we home, and there I to the office and despatched my business, and then home, and mightily pleased with my wife’s playing on the flageolet, she taking out any tune almost at first sight, and keeping time to it, which pleases me mightily. So to supper and to bed.
13th. Called up by people come to deliver in ten chaldron of coals, brought in one of our prizes from Newcastle. The rest we intend to sell, we having above ten chaldron between us. They sell at about 28s. or 29s. per chaldron; but Sir W. Batten hath sworn that he was a cuckold that sells under 30s., and that makes us lay up all but what we have for our own spending, which is very pleasant; for I believe we shall be glad to sell them for less. To the office, and there despatched business till ten o’clock, and then with Sir W. Batten and my wife and Mrs. Turner by hackney-coach to Walthamstow, to Mr. Shipman’s to dinner, where Sir W. Pen and my Lady and Mrs. Lowther (the latter of which hath got a sore nose, given her, I believe, from her husband, which made me I could not look upon her with any pleasure), and here a very good and plentifull wholesome dinner, and, above all thing, such plenty of milk meats, she keeping a great dairy, and so good as I never met with. The afternoon proved very foul weather, the morning fair. We staid talking till evening, and then home, and there to my flageolet with my wife, and so to bed without any supper, my belly being full and dinner not digested. It vexed me to hear how Sir W. Pen, who come alone from London, being to send his coachman for his wife and daughter, and bidding his coachman in much anger to go for them (he being vexed, like a rogue, to do anything to please his wife), his coachman Tom was heard to say a pox, or God rot her, can she walk hither? These words do so mad me that I could find in my heart to give him or my Lady notice of them.
14th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon comes Mr. Pierce and dined with me to advise about several matters of his relating to the office and his purse, and here he told me that the King and Duke of York and the whole Court is mighty joyful at the Duchesse of York’s being brought to bed this day, or yesterday, of a son; which will settle men’s minds mightily. And he tells me that he do think that what the King do, of giving the Duke of Monmouth the command of his Guards, and giving my Lord Gerard £12,000 for it, is merely to find an employment for him upon which he may live, and not out of any design to bring him into any title to the Crowne; which Mr. Moore did the other day put me into great fear of. After dinner, he gone, my wife to the King’s play-house to see “The Northerne Castle,” which I think I never did see before. Knipp acted in it, and did her part very extraordinary well; but the play is but a mean, sorry play; but the house very full of gallants. It seems, it hath not been acted a good while. Thence to the Exchange for something for my wife, and then home and to the office, and then home to our flageolet, and so to bed, being mightily troubled in mind at the liberty I give myself of going to plays upon pretence of the weakness of my eyes, that cannot continue so long together at work at my office, but I must remedy it.
15th (Lord’s day). Up to my chamber, there to set some papers to rights. By and by to church, where I stood, in continual fear of Mrs. Markham’s coming to church, and offering to come into our pew, to prevent which, soon as ever I heard the great door open, I did step back, and clap my breech to our pew-door, that she might be forced to shove me to come in; but as God would have it, she did not come. Mr. Mills preached, and after sermon, by invitation, he and his wife come to dine with me, which is the first time they have been in my house; I think, these five years, I thinking it not amiss, because of their acquaintance in our country, to shew them some respect. Mr. Turner and his wife, and their son the Captain, dined with me, and I had a very good dinner for them, and very merry, and after dinner, he [Mr. Mills] was forced to go, though it rained, to Stepney, to preach. We also to church, and then home, and there comes Mr. Pelling, with two men, by promise, one Wallington and Piggott, the former whereof, being a very little fellow, did sing a most excellent bass, and yet a poor fellow, a working goldsmith, that goes without gloves to his hands. Here we sung several good things, but I am more and more confirmed that singing with many voices is not singing, but a sort of instrumental musique, the sense of the words being lost by not being heard, and especially as they set them with Fuges of words, one after another, whereas singing properly, I think, should be but with one or two voices at most and the counterpoint. They supped with me, and so broke, up, and then my wife and I to my chamber, where, through the badness of my eyes, she was forced to read to me, which she do very well, and was Mr. Boyle’s discourse upon the style of the Scripture,’ which is a very fine piece, and so to bed.
16th. Up, and several come to me, among others Mr. Yeabsly of Plymouth, to discourse about their matters touching Tangier, and by and by Sir H. Cholmly, who was with me a good while; who tells me that the Duke of York’s child is christened, the Duke of Albemarle and the Marquis of Worcester’ godfathers, and my Lady Suffolke godmother; and they have named it Edgar, which is a brave name. But it seems they are more joyful in the Chancellor’s family, at the birth of this Prince, than in wisdom they should, for fear it should give the King cause of jealousy. Sir H. Cholmly do not seem to think there is any such thing can be in the King’s intention as that of raising the Duke of Monmouth to the Crowne, though he thinks there may possibly be some persons that would, and others that would be glad to have the Queen removed to some monastery, or somewhere or other, to make room for a new wife; for they will all be unsafe under the Duke of York. He says the King and Parliament will agree; that is, that the King will do any thing that they will have him. We together to the Exchequer about our Tangier orders, and so parted at the New Exchange, where I staid reading Mrs. Phillips’s poems till my wife and Mercer called me to Mrs. Pierces, by invitation to dinner, where I find her painted, which makes me loathe her, and the nastiest poor dinner that made me sick, only here I met with a Fourth Advice to the Painter upon the coming in of the Dutch to the River and end of the war, that made my heart ake to read, it being too sharp, and so true. Here I also saw a printed account of the examinations taken, touching the burning of the City of London, shewing the plot of the Papists therein; which, it seems, hath been ordered and to have been burnt by the hands of the hangman, in Westminster Palace. I will try to get one of them. After dinner she showed us her closet, which is pretty, with her James’s picture done by Hales, but with a mighty bad hand, which is his great fault that he do do negligently, and the drapery also not very good. Being tired of being here, and sick of their damned sluttish dinner, my wife and Mercer and I away to the King’s play-house, to see the “Scornfull Lady;” but it being now three o’clock there was not one soul in the pit; whereupon, for shame, we would not go in, but, against our wills, went all to see “Tu Quoque” again, where there is a pretty store of company, and going with a prejudice the play appeared better to us. Here we saw Madam Morland, who is grown mighty fat, but is very comely. But one of the best arts of our sport was a mighty pretty lady that sat behind, that did laugh so heartily and constantly, that it did me good to hear her. Thence to the King’s house, upon a wager of mine with my wife, that there would be no acting there today, there being no company: so I went in and found a pretty good company there, and saw their dance at the end of he play, and so to the coach again, and to the Cock ale house, and there drank in our coach, and so home, and my wife read to me as last night, and so to bed vexed with our dinner today, and myself more with being convinced that Mrs. Pierce paints, so that henceforth to be sure I shall loathe her.
17th. Up, and at the office all the morning, where Mr. Wren come to us and sat with us, only to learn, and do intend to come once or twice a week and sit with us. In the afternoon walked to the Old Swan, the way mighty dirty, and there called at Michell’s, and there had opportunity para kiss su moher, but elle did receive it with a great deal of seeming regret, which did vex me. But however I do not doubt overcoming her as I did the moher of the monsieur at Deptford. So thence by water to Westminster, to Burgess, and there did receive my orders for £1500 more for Tangier. Thence to the Hall, and there talked a little with Mrs. Michell, and so to Mrs. Martin’s to pay for my cuffs and drink with her. . . . And by and by away by coach and met with Sir H. Cholmly, and with him to the Temple, and there in Playford’s shop did give him some of my Exchequer orders and took his receipts, and so parted and home, and there to my business hard at the office, and then home, my wife being at Mrs. Turner’s, who and her husband come home with her, and here staid and talked and staid late, and then went away and we to bed. But that which vexed me much this evening is that Captain Cocke and Sir W. Batten did come to me, and sat, and drank a bottle of wine, and told me how Sir W. Pen hath got an order for the “Flying Greyhound” for himself, which is so false a thing, and the part of a knave, as nothing almost can be more. This vexed me; but I resolve to bring it before the Duke, and try a pull for it.
18th. Up betimes and to Captain Cocke, in his coach which he sent for me, and he not being ready I walked in the Exchange, which is now made pretty, by having windows and doors before all their shops, to keep out the cold. By and by to him, and he being ready, he and I out in his coach to my Lord Chancellor’s; there to Mr. Wren’s chamber, who did tell us the whole of Sir W. Pen’s having the order for this ship of ours, and we went with him to St. James’s, and there I did see the copy of it, which is built upon a suggestion of his having given the King a ship of his, “The Prosperous,” wherein is such a cheat as I have the best advantage in the world over him, and will make him do reason, or lay him on his back. This I was very glad of, and having done as far as I could in it we returned, and I home, and there at the office all the morning, and at noon with my Lord Bruncker to the Treasurer’s office to look over the clerks who are there making up the books, but in such a manner as it is a shame to see. Then home to dinner, and after dinner, my mind mighty full of this business of Sir W. Pen’s, to the office, and there busy all the afternoon. This evening Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen and I met at [Sir] W. Batten’s house, and there I took an opportunity to break the business, at which [Sir] W. Pen is much disturbed, and would excuse it the most he can, but do it so basely, that though he do offer to let go his pretence to her, and resign up his order for her, and come in only to ask his share of her (which do very well please me, and give me present satisfaction), yet I shall remember him for a knave while I live. But thus my mind is quieted for the present more than I thought I should be, and am glad that I shall have no need of bidding him open defiance, which I would otherwise have done, and made a perpetual war between us. So to the office, and there busy pretty late, and so home and to supper with my wife, and so to bed.
19th. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner, W. Hewer and I and my wife, when comes my cozen, Kate Joyce, and an aunt of ours, Lettice, formerly Haynes, and now Howlett, come to town to see her friends, and also Sarah Kite, with her little boy in her armes, a very pretty little boy. The child I like very well, and could wish it my own. My wife being all unready, did not appear. I made as much of them as I could such ordinary company; and yet my heart was glad to see them, though their condition was a little below my present state, to be familiar with. She tells me how the lifeguard, which we thought a little while since was sent down into the country about some insurrection, was sent to Winchcombe, to spoil the tobacco there, which it seems the people there do plant contrary to law, and have always done, and still been under force and danger of having it spoiled, as it hath been oftentimes, and yet they will continue to plant it.1 The place, she says, is a miserable poor place. They gone, I to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and at night, when my eyes were weary of the light, I and my wife to walk in the garden, and then home to supper and pipe, and then to bed.
1 Winchcombe St. Peter, a market-town in Gloucestershire. Tobacco was first cultivated in this parish, after its introduction into England, in 1583, and it proved, a considerable source of profit to the inhabitants, till the trade was placed under restrictions. The cultivation was first prohibited during the Commonwealth, and various acts were passed in the reign of Charles II. for the same purpose. Among the king’s pamphlets in the British Museum is a tract entitled “Harry Hangman’s Honour, or Glostershire Hangman’s Request to the Smokers and Tobacconists of London,” dated June 11th, 1655. The author writes: “The very planting of tobacco hath proved the decay of my trade, for since it hath been planted in Glostershire, especially at Winchcomb, my trade hath proved nothing worth.” He adds: “Then ’twas a merry world with me, for indeed before tobacco was there planted, there being no kind of trade to employ men, and very small tillage, necessity compelled poor men to stand my friends by stealing of sheep and other cattel, breaking of hedges, robbing of orchards, and what not.”
20th. At the office doing business all the morning. At noon expected Creed to have come to dine with me and brought Mr. Sheres (the gentleman lately come from my Lord Sandwich) with him; but they come not, so there was a good dinner lost. After dinner my wife and Jane about some business of hers abroad, and then I to the office, where, having done my business, I out to pay some debts: among others to the taverne at the end of Billiter Lane, where my design was to see the pretty mistress of the house, which I did, and indeed is, as I always thought, one of the modestest, prettiest, plain women that ever I saw. Thence was met in the street by Sir W. Pen, and he and I by coach to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Mad Couple,” which I do not remember that I have seen; it is a pretty pleasant play. Thence home, and my wife and I to walk in the garden, she having been at the same play with Jane, in the 18d. seat, to shew Jane the play, and so home to supper and to bed.
21st. All the morning at the office, dined at home, and expected Sheres again, but he did not come, so another dinner lost by the folly of Creed. After having done some business at the office, I out with my wife to Sheres’s lodging and left an invitation for him to dine with me tomorrow, and so back and took up my wife at the Exchange, and then kissed Mrs. Smith’s pretty hand, and so with my wife by coach to take some ayre (but the way very dirty) as far as Bow, and so drinking (as usual) at Mile End of Byde’s ale, we home and there busy at my letters till late, and so to walk by moonshine with my wife, and so to bed. The King, Duke of York, and the men of the Court, have been these four or five days a-hunting at Bagshot.
22nd (Lord’s day). At my chamber all the morning making up some accounts, to my great content. At noon comes Mr. Sheres, whom I find a good, ingenious man, but do talk a little too much of his travels. He left my Lord Sandwich well, but in pain to be at home for want of money, which comes very hardly. Most of the afternoon talking of Spain, and informing him against his return how things are here, and so spent most of the afternoon, and then he parted, and then to my chamber busy till my eyes were almost blind with writing and reading, and I was fain to get the boy to come and write for me, and then to supper, and Pelling come to me at supper, and then to sing a Psalm with him, and so parted and to bed, after my wife had read some thing to me (to save my eyes) in a good book. This night I did even my accounts of the house, which I have to my great shame omitted now above two months or more, and therefore am content to take my wife’s and mayd’s accounts as they give them, being not able to correct them, which vexes me; but the fault being my own, contrary to my wife’s frequent desires, I cannot find fault, but am resolved never to let them come to that pass again. The truth is, I have indulged myself more in pleasure for these last two months than ever I did in my life before, since I come to be a person concerned in business; and I doubt, when I come to make up my accounts, I shall find it so by the expence.
23rd. Up, and walked to the Exchange, there to get a coach but failed, and so was forced to walk a most dirty walk to the Old Swan, and there took boat, and so to the Exchange, and there took coach to St. James’s and did our usual business with the Duke of York. Thence I walked over the Park to White Hall and took water to Westminster, and there, among other things, bought the examinations of the business about the Fire of London, which is a book that Mrs. Pierce tells me hath been commanded to be burnt. The examinations indeed are very plain. Thence to the Excise office, and so to the Exchange, and did a little business, and so home and took up my wife, and so carried her to the other end, where I ‘light at my Lord Ashly’s, by invitation, to dine there, which I did, and Sir H. Cholmly, Creed, and Yeabsly, upon occasion of the business of Yeabsly, who, God knows, do bribe him very well for it; and it is pretty to see how this great man do condescend to these things, and do all he can in his examining of his business to favour him, and yet with great cunning not to be discovered but by me that am privy to it. At table it is worth remembering that my Lord tells us that the House of Lords is the last appeal that a man can make, upon a poynt of interpretation of the law, and that therein they are above the judges; and that he did assert this in the Lords’ House upon the late occasion of the quarrel between my Lord Bristoll and the Chancellor, when the former did accuse the latter of treason, and the judges did bring it in not to be treason: my Lord Ashly did declare that the judgment of the judges was nothing in the presence of their Lordships, but only as far as they were the properest men to bring precedents; but not to interpret the law to their Lordships, but only the inducements of their persuasions: and this the Lords did concur in. Another pretty thing was my Lady Ashly’s speaking of the bad qualities of glass-coaches; among others, the flying open of the doors upon any great shake: but another was, that my Lady Peterborough being in her glass-coach, with the glass up, and seeing a lady pass by in a coach whom she would salute, the glass was so clear, that she thought it had been open, and so ran her head through the glass, and cut all her forehead! After dinner, before we fell to the examination of Yeabsly’s business, we were put into my Lord’s room before he could come to us, and there had opportunity to look over his state of his accounts of the prizes; and there saw how bountiful the King hath been to several people and hardly any man almost, Commander of the Navy of any note, but hath had some reward or other out of it; and many sums to the Privy-purse, but not so many, I see, as I thought there had been: but we could not look quite through it. But several Bedchamber-men and people about the Court had good sums; and, among others, Sir John Minnes and Lord Bruncker have £200 a-piece for looking to the East India prizes, while I did their work for them. By and by my Lord come, and we did look over Yeabsly’s business a little; and I find how prettily this cunning Lord can be partial and dissemble it in this case, being privy to the bribe he is to receive. This done; we away, and with Sir H. Cholmly to Westminster; who by the way told me how merry the king and Duke of York and Court were the other day, when they were abroad a-hunting. They come to Sir G. Carteret’s house at Cranbourne, and there were entertained, and all made drunk; and that all being drunk, Armerer did come to the King, and swore to him, “By God, Sir,” says he, “you are not so kind to the Duke of York of late as you used to be.”—“Not I?” says the King. “Why so?”—“Why,” says he, “if you are, let us drink his health.”—“Why, let us,” says the King. Then he fell on his knees, and drank it; and having done, the King began to drink it. “Nay, Sir,” says Armerer, “by God you must do it on your knees!” So he did, and then all the company: and having done it, all fell a-crying for joy, being all maudlin and kissing one another, the King the Duke of York, and the Duke of York the King: and in such a maudlin pickle as never people were: and so passed the day. But Sir H. Cholmly tells me, that the King hath this good luck, that the next day he hates to have any body mention what he had done the day before, nor will suffer any body to gain upon him that way; which is a good quality. Parted with Sir H. Cholmly at White Hall, and there I took coach and took up my wife at Unthanke’s, and so out for ayre, it being a mighty pleasant day, as far as Bow, and so drank by the way, and home, and there to my chamber till by and by comes Captain Cocke about business; who tells me that Mr. Bruncker is lost for ever, notwithstanding my Lord Bruncker hath advised with him, Cocke, how he might make a peace with the Duke of York and Chancellor, upon promise of serving him in the Parliament but Cocke says that is base to offer, and will have no success neither. He says that Mr. Wren hath refused a present of Tom Wilson’s for his place of Store-keeper of Chatham, and is resolved never to take any thing; which is both wise in him, and good to the King’s service. He stayed with me very late, here being Mrs. Turner and W. Batelier drinking and laughing, and then to bed.
24th. Up, and to the Office, where all the morning very busy. At noon home, where there dined with me Anthony Joyce and his wife, and Will and his wife, and my aunt Lucett, that was here the other day, and Sarah Kite, and I had a good dinner for them, and were as merry as I could be in that company where W. Joyce is, who is still the same impertinent fellow that ever he was. After dinner I away to St. James’s, where we had an audience of the Duke of York of many things of weight, as the confirming an establishment of the numbers of men on ships in peace and other things of weight, about which we stayed till past candle-light, and so Sir W. Batten and W. Pen and I fain to go all in a hackney-coach round by London Wall, for fear of cellars, this being the first time I have been forced to go that way this year, though now I shall begin to use it. We tired one coach upon Holborne–Conduit Hill, and got another, and made it a long journey home. Where to the office and then home, and at my business till twelve at night, writing in short hand the draught of a report to make to the King and Council tomorrow, about the reason of not having the book of the Treasurer made up. This I did finish to-night to the spoiling of my eyes, I fear. This done, then to bed. This evening my wife tells me that W. Batelier hath been here today, and brought with him the pretty girl he speaks of, to come to serve my wife as a woman, out of the school at Bow. My wife says she is extraordinary handsome, and inclines to have her, and I am glad of it — at least, that if we must have one, she should be handsome. But I shall leave it wholly to my wife, to do what she will therein.
25th. Up as soon as I could see and to the office to write over fair with Mr. Hater my last night’s work, which I did by nine o’clock, and got it signed, and so with Sir H. Cholmly, who come to me about his business, to White Hall: and thither come also my Lord Bruncker: and we by and by called in, and our paper read; and much discourse thereon by Sir G. Carteret, my Lord Anglesey, Sir W. Coventry, and my Lord Ashly, and myself: but I could easily discern that they none of them understood the business; and the King at last ended it with saying lazily, “Why,” says he, “after all this discourse, I now come to understand it; and that is, that there can nothing be done in this more than is possible,” which was so silly as I never heard: “and therefore,” says he, “I would have these gentlemen to do as much as possible to hasten the Treasurer’s accounts; and that is all.” And so we broke up: and I confess I went away ashamed, to see how slightly things are advised upon there. Here I saw the Duke of Buckingham sit in Council again, where he was readmitted, it seems, the last Council-day: and it is wonderful to see how this man is come again to his places, all of them, after the reproach and disgrace done him: so that things are done in a most foolish manner quite through. The Duke of Buckingham did second Sir W. Coventry in the advising the King that he would not concern himself in the owning or not owning any man’s accounts, or any thing else, wherein he had not the same satisfaction that would satisfy the Parliament; saying, that nothing would displease the Parliament more than to find him defending any thing that is not right, nor justifiable to the utmost degree but methought he spoke it but very poorly. After this, I walked up and down the Gallery till noon; and here I met with Bishop Fuller, who, to my great joy, is made, which I did not hear before, Bishop of Lincoln. At noon I took coach, and to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s-Inn–Fields, to the house that is my Lord’s, which my Lord lets him have: and this is the first day of dining there. And there dined with him and his lady my Lord Privy-seale, who is indeed a very sober man; who, among other talk, did mightily wonder at the reason of the growth of the credit of banquiers, since it is so ordinary a thing for citizens to break, out of knavery. Upon this we had much discourse; and I observed therein, to the honour of this City, that I have not heard of one citizen of London broke in all this war, this plague, this fire, and this coming up of the enemy among us; which he owned to be very considerable.1 After dinner I to the King’s playhouse, my eyes being so bad since last night’s straining of them, that I am hardly able to see, besides the pain which I have in them. The play was a new play; and infinitely full: the King and all the Court almost there. It is “The Storme,” a play of Fletcher’s;’ which is but so-so, methinks; only there is a most admirable dance at the end, of the ladies, in a military manner, which indeed did please me mightily. So, it being a mighty wet day and night, I with much ado got a coach, and, with twenty stops which he made, I got him to carry me quite through, and paid dear for it, and so home, and there comes my wife home from the Duke of York’s playhouse, where she hath been with my aunt and Kate Joyce, and so to supper, and betimes to bed, to make amends for my last night’s work and want of sleep.
1 This remarkable fact is confirmed by Evelyn, in a letter to Sir Samuel Tuke, September 27th, 1666. See “Correspondence,” vol. iii., p. 345, edit. 1879.
26th. Up, and to my chamber, whither Jonas Moore comes, and, among other things, after our business done, discoursing of matters of the office, I shewed him my varnished things, which he says he can outdo much, and tells me the mighty use of Napier’s bones;1 so that I will have a pair presently. To the office, where busy all the morning sitting, and at noon home to dinner, and then with my wife abroad to the King’s playhouse, to shew her yesterday’s new play, which I like as I did yesterday, the principal thing extraordinary being the dance, which is very good. So to Charing Cross by coach, about my wife’s business, and then home round by London Wall, it being very dark and dirty, and so to supper, and, for the ease of my eyes, to bed, having first ended all my letters at the office.
1 John Napier or Neper (1550–1617), laird of Merchiston (now swallowed up in the enlarged Edinburgh of today, although the old castle still stands), and the inventor of logarithms. He published his “Rabdologiae seu numerationis per virgulas libri duo” in 1617, and the work was reprinted and translated into Italian (1623) and Dutch (1626). In 1667 William Leybourn published “The Art of Numbering by Speaking Rods, vulgarly termed Napier’s Bones.”
27th. Up, and to the office, where very busy all the morning. While I was busy at the Office, my wife sends for me to come home, and what was it but to see the pretty girl which she is taking to wait upon her: and though she seems not altogether so great a beauty as she had before told me, yet indeed she is mighty pretty; and so pretty, that I find I shall be too much pleased with it, and therefore could be contented as to my judgement, though not to my passion, that she might not come, lest I may be found too much minding her, to the discontent of my wife. She is to come next week. She seems, by her discourse, to be grave beyond her bigness and age, and exceeding well bred as to her deportment, having been a scholar in a school at Bow these seven or eight years. To the office again, my head running on this pretty girl, and there till noon, when Creed and Sheres come and dined with me; and we had a great deal of pretty discourse of the ceremoniousness of the Spaniards, whose ceremonies are so many and so known, that, Sheres tells me, upon all occasions of joy or sorrow in a Grandee’s family, my Lord Embassador is fain to send one with an ‘en hora buena’, if it be upon a marriage, or birth of a child, or a ‘pesa me’, if it be upon the death of a child, or so. And these ceremonies are so set, and the words of the compliment, that he hath been sent from my Lord, when he hath done no more than send in word to the Grandee that one was there from the Embassador; and he knowing what was his errand, that hath been enough, and he never spoken with him: nay, several Grandees having been to marry a daughter, have wrote letters to my Lord to give him notice, and out of the greatness of his wisdom to desire his advice, though people he never saw; and then my Lord he answers by commending the greatness of his discretion in making so good an alliance, &c., and so ends. He says that it is so far from dishonour to a man to give private revenge for an affront, that the contrary is a disgrace; they holding that he that receives an affront is not fit to appear in the sight of the world till he hath revenged himself; and therefore, that a gentleman there that receives an affront oftentimes never appears again in the world till he hath, by some private way or other, revenged himself: and that, on this account, several have followed their enemies privately to the Indys, thence to Italy, thence to France and back again, watching for an opportunity to be revenged. He says my Lord was fain to keep a letter from the Duke of York to the Queen of Spain a great while in his hands, before he could think fit to deliver it, till he had learnt whether the Queen would receive it, it being directed to his cozen. He says that many ladies in Spain, after they are found to be with child, do never stir out of their beds or chambers till they are brought to bed: so ceremonious they are in that point also. He tells me of their wooing by serenades at the window, and that their friends do always make the match; but yet that they have opportunities to meet at masse at church, and there they make love: that the Court there hath no dancing, nor visits at night to see the King or Queen, but is always just like a cloyster, nobody stirring in it: that my Lord Sandwich wears a beard now, turned up in the Spanish manner. But that which pleases me most indeed is, that the peace which he hath made with Spain is now printed here, and is acknowledged by all the merchants to be the best peace that ever England had with them: and it appears that the King thinks it so, for this is printed before the ratification is gone over; whereas that with France and Holland was not in a good while after, till copys come over of it in English out of Holland and France, that it was a reproach not to have it printed here. This I am mighty glad of; and is the first and only piece of good news, or thing fit to be owned, that this nation hath done several years. After dinner I to the office, and they gone, anon comes Pelling, and he and I to Gray’s Inne Fields, thinking to have heard Mrs. Knight sing at her lodgings, by a friend’s means of his;1 but we come too late; so must try another time. So lost our labour, and I by coach home, and there to my chamber, and did a great deal of good business about my Tangier accounts, and so with pleasure discoursing with my wife of our journey shortly to Brampton, and of this little girle, which indeed runs in my head, and pleases me mightily, though I dare not own it, and so to supper and to bed.
1 Mrs. Knight, a celebrated singer and mistress of Charles II. There is in Waller’s “Poems” a song sung by her to the queen on her birthday. In her portrait, engraved by Faber, after Kneller, she is represented in mourning, and in a devout posture before a crucifix. Evelyn refers to her singing as incomparable, and adds that she had “the greatest reach of any English woman; she had been lately roaming in Italy, and was much improv’d in that quality” (“Diary,” December 2nd, 1674).
28th. Up, having slept not so much to-night as I used to do, for my thoughts being so full of this pretty little girle that is coming to live with us, which pleases me mightily. All the morning at the Office, busy upon an Order of Council, wherein they are mightily at a loss what to advise about our discharging of seamen by ticket, there being no money to pay their wages before January, only there is money to pay them since January, provided by the Parliament, which will be a horrid disgrace to the King and Crowne of England that no man shall reckon himself safe, but where the Parliament takes care. And this did move Mr. Wren at the table today to say, that he did believe if ever there be occasion more to raise money, it will become here, as it is in Poland, that there are two treasurers — one for the King, and the other for the kingdom. At noon dined at home, and Mr. Hater with me, and Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, dropped in, who I feared did come to bespeak me to be godfather to his son, which I am unwilling now to be, having ended my liking to his wife, since I find she paints. After dinner comes Sir Fr. Hollis to me about business; and I with him by coach to the Temple, and there I ‘light; all the way he telling me romantic lies of himself and his family, how they have been Parliamentmen for Grimsby, he and his forefathers, this 140 years; and his father is now: and himself, at this day, stands for to be, with his father, by the death of his fellow-burgess; and that he believes it will cost him as much as it did his predecessor, which was £300 in ale, and £52 in buttered ale; which I believe is one of his devilish lies. Here I ‘light and to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw a piece of “Sir Martin Marrall,” with great delight, though I have seen it so often, and so home, and there busy late, and so home to my supper and bed.
29th (Lord’s day). Up, and put off first my summer’s silk suit, and put on a cloth one. Then to church, and so home to dinner, my wife and I alone to a good dinner. All the afternoon talking in my chamber with my wife, about my keeping a coach the next year, and doing some things to my house, which will cost money — that is, furnish our best chamber with tapestry, and other rooms with pictures. In the evening read good books — my wife to me; and I did even my kitchen accounts. Then to supper, and so to bed.
30th. By water to White Hall, there to a committee of Tangier, but they not met yet, I went to St. James’s, there thinking to have opportunity to speak to the Duke of York about the petition I have to make to him for something in reward for my service this war, but I did waive it. Thence to White Hall, and there a Committee met, where little was done, and thence to the Duke of York to Council, where we the officers of the Navy did attend about the business of discharging the seamen by tickets, where several of the Lords spoke and of our number none but myself, which I did in such manner as pleased the King and Council. Speaking concerning the difficulty of pleasing of seamen and giving them assurance to their satisfaction that they should be paid their arrears of wages, my Lord Ashly did move that an assignment for money on the Act might be put into the hands of the East India Company, or City of London, which he thought the seamen would believe. But this my Lord Anglesey did very handsomely oppose, and I think did carry it that it will not be: and it is indeed a mean thing that the King should so far own his own want of credit as to borrow theirs in this manner. My Lord Anglesey told him that this was the way indeed to teach the Parliament to trust the King no more for the time to come, but to have a kingdom’s Treasurer distinct from the King’s. Home at noon to dinner, where I expected to have had our new girle, my wife’s woman, but she is not yet come. I abroad after dinner to White Hall, and there among other things do hear that there will be musique tomorrow night before the King. So to Westminster, where to the Swan. . . . and drank and away to the Hall, and thence to Mrs. Martin’s, to bespeak some linen, and there je did avoir all with her, and drank, and away, having first promised my goddaughter a new coat-her first coat. So by coach home, and there find our pretty girl Willet come, brought by Mr. Batelier, and she is very pretty, and so grave as I never saw a little thing in my life. Indeed I think her a little too good for my family, and so well carriaged as I hardly ever saw. I wish my wife may use her well. Now I begin to be full of thought for my journey the next week, if I can get leave, to Brampton. Tonight come and sat with me Mr. Turner and his wife and tell me of a design of sending their son Franke to the East Indy Company’s service if they can get him entertainment, which they are promised by Sir Andr. Rickard, which I do very well like of. So the company broke up and to bed.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59