November 1st. Up betimes, and down to the waterside (calling and drinking a dram of the bottle at Michell’s, but saw not Betty), and thence to White Hall and to Sir W. Coventry’s lodging, where he and I alone a good while, where he gives me the full of the Duke of Albemarle’s and Prince’s narratives, given yesterday by the House, wherein they fall foul of him and Sir G. Carteret in something about the dividing of the fleete, and the Prince particularly charging the Commissioners of the Navy with negligence, he says the Commissioners of the Navy whereof Sir W. Coventry is one. He tells me that he is prepared to answer any particular most thoroughly, but the quality of the persons do make it difficult for him, and so I do see is in great pain, poor man, though he deserves better than twenty such as either of them, for his abilities and true service to the King and kingdom. He says there is incoherences, he believes, to be found between their two reports, which will be pretty work to consider. The Duke of Albemarle charges W. Coventry that he should tell him, when he come down to the fleete with Sir G. Carteret, to consult about dividing the fleete, that the Dutch would not be out in six weeks, which W. Coventry says is as false as is possible, and he can prove the contrary by the Duke of Albemarle’s own letters. The Duke of Albemarle says that he did upon sight of the Dutch call a council of officers, and they did conclude they could not avoid fighting the Dutch; and yet we did go to the enemy, and found them at anchor, which is a pretty contradiction. And he tells me that Spragg did the other day say in the House, that the Prince, at his going from the Duke of Albemarle with his fleete, did tell him that if the Dutch should come on, the Duke was to follow him, the Prince, with his fleete, and not fight the Dutch. Out of all this a great deal of good might well be picked. But it is a sad consideration that all this picking of holes in one another’s coats — nay, and the thanks of the House to the Prince and the Duke of Albemarle, and all this envy and design to ruin Sir W. Coventry — did arise from Sir W. Coventry’s unfortunate mistake the other day, in producing of a letter from the Duke of Albemarle, touching the good condition of all things at Chatham just before the Dutch come up, and did us that fatal mischiefe; for upon this they are resolved to undo him, and I pray God they do not. He tells me upon my demanding it that he thinks the King do not like this their bringing these narratives, and that they give out that they would have said more but that the King hath hindered them, that I suppose is about my Lord Sandwich. He is getting a copy of the Narratives, which I shall then have, and so I parted from him and away to White Hall, where I met Mr. Creed and Yeabsly, and discoursed a little about Mr. Yeabsly’s business and accounts, and so I to chapel and there staid, it being All–Hallows day, and heard a fine anthem, made by Pelham (who is come over) in France, of which there was great expectation, and indeed is a very good piece of musique, but still I cannot call the Anthem anything but instrumentall musique with the voice, for nothing is made of the words at all. I this morning before chapel visited Sir G. Carteret, who is vexed to see how things are likely to go, but cannot help it, and yet seems to think himself mighty safe. I also visited my Lord Hinchingbroke, at his chamber at White Hall, where I found Mr. Turner, Moore, and Creed, talking of my Lord Sandwich, whose case I doubt is but bad, and, I fear, will not escape being worse, though some of the company did say otherwise. But I am mightily pleased with my Lord Hinchingbroke’s sobriety and few words. After chapel I with Creed to the Exchange, and after much talk he and I there about securing of some money either by land or goods to be always at our command, which we think a thing advisable in this critical time, we parted, and I to the Sun Taverne with Sir W. Warren (with whom I have not drank many a day, having for some time been strange to him), and there did put it to him to advise me how to dispose of my prize, which he will think of and do to my best advantage. We talked of several other things relating to his service, wherein I promise assistance, but coldly, thinking it policy to do so, and so, after eating a short dinner, I away home, and there took out my wife, and she and I alone to the King’s playhouse, and there saw a silly play and an old one, “The Taming of a Shrew,” and so home and I to my office a little, and then home to supper and to bed.
2nd. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning; at noon home, and after dinner my wife and Willett and I to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “Henry the Fourth:” and contrary to expectation, was pleased in nothing more than in Cartwright’s speaking of Falstaffe’s speech about “What is Honour?” The house full of Parliament-men, it being holyday with them: and it was observable how a gentleman of good habit, sitting just before us, eating of some fruit in the midst of the play, did drop down as dead, being choked; but with much ado Orange Moll did thrust her finger down his throat, and brought him to life again. After the play, we home, and I busy at the office late, and then home to supper and to bed.
3rd (Lord’s day). Up, and with my wife to church, and thither comes Roger Pepys to our pew, and thence home to dinner, whither comes by invitation Mr. Turner, the minister, and my cozen Roger brought with him Jeffrys, the apothecary at Westminster, who is our kinsman, and we had much discourse of Cottenhamshire, and other things with great pleasure. My cozen Roger did tell me of a bargain which I may now have in Norfolke, that my she-cozen, Nan Pepys, is going to sell, the title whereof is very good, and the pennyworth is also good enough; but it is out of the way so of my life, that I shall never enjoy it, nor, it may be, see it, and so I shall have nothing to do with it. After dinner to talk, and I find by discourse Mr. Turner to be a man mighty well read in the Roman history, which is very pleasant. By and by Roger went, and Mr. Turner spent an hour talking over my Lord Sandwich’s condition as to this Parliament, which we fear may be bad, and the condition of his family, which can be no better, and then having little to comfort ourselves but that this humour will not last always in the Parliament, and that [it] may well have a great many more as great men as he enquired into, and so we parted, and I to my chamber, and there busy all the evening, and then my wife and I to supper, and so to bed, with much discourse and pleasure one with another.
4th. Up betimes, and by water with Sir R. Ford (who is going to Parliament) to Westminster; and there landing at the New Exchange stairs, I to Sir W. Coventry: and there he read over to me the Prince’s and the Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives; wherein they are very severe against him and our Office. But [Sir] W. Coventry do contemn them; only that their persons and qualities are great, and so I do perceive [he] is afeard of them, though he will not confess it. But he do say that, if he can get out of these briars, he will never trouble himself with Princes nor Dukes again. He finds several things in their Narratives, which are both inconsistent and foolish, as well as untrue, especially as to what the Duke of Albemarle avers of his knowing of the enemy’s being abroad sooner than he says it, which [Sir] W. Coventry will shew him his own letter against him, for I confess I do see so much, that, were I but well possessed of what I should have in the world, I think I could willingly retreat, and trouble myself no more with it. Thence home, and there met Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to the Excise Office to see what tallies are paying, and thence back to the Old Exchange, by the way talking of news, and he owning Sir W. Coventry, in his opinion, to be one of the worthiest men in the nation, as I do really think he is. He tells me he do think really that they will cut off my Lord Chancellor’s head, the Chancellor at this day showing as much pride as is possible to those few that venture their fortunes by coming to see him; and that the Duke of York is troubled much, knowing that those that fling down the Chancellor cannot stop there, but will do something to him, to prevent his having it in his power hereafter to avenge himself and father-inlaw upon them. And this Sir H. Cholmly fears may be by divorcing the Queen and getting another, or declaring the Duke of Monmouth legitimate; which God forbid! He tells me he do verily believe that there will come in an impeachment of High Treason against my Lord of Ormond; among other things, for ordering the quartering of soldiers in Ireland on free quarters; which, it seems, is High Treason in that country, and was one of the things that lost the Lord Strafford his head, and the law is not yet repealed; which, he says, was a mighty oversight of him not to have it repealed, which he might with ease have done, or have justified himself by an Act. From the Exchange I took a coach, and went to Turlington, the great spectacle-maker, for advice, who dissuades me from using old spectacles, but rather young ones, and do tell me that nothing can wrong my eyes more than for me to use reading-glasses, which do magnify much. Thence home, and there dined, and then abroad and left my wife and Willett at her tailor’s, and I to White Hall, where the Commissioners of the Treasury do not sit, and therefore I to Westminster to the Hall, and there meeting with Col. Reames I did very cheaply by him get copies of the Prince’s and Duke of Albemarle’s Narratives, which they did deliver the other day to the House, of which I am mighty glad, both for my present information and for my future satisfaction. So back by coach, and took up my wife, and away home, and there in my chamber all the evening among my papers and my accounts of Tangier to my great satisfaction, and so to supper and to bed.
5th. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner, and thence out with my wife and girle, and left them at her tailor’s, and I to the Treasury, and there did a little business for Tangier, and so took them up again, and home, and when I had done at the office, being post night, I to my chamber, and there did something more, and so to supper and to bed.
6th. Up, and to Westminster, where to the Parliament door, and there spoke with Sir G. Downing, to see what was done yesterday at the Treasury for Tangier, and it proved as good as nothing, so that I do see we shall be brought to great straits for money there. He tells me here that he is passing a Bill to make the Excise and every other part of the King’s Revenue assignable on the Exchequer, which indeed will be a very good thing. This he says with great glee as an act of his, and how poor a thing this was in the beginning, and with what envy he carried it on, and how my Lord Chancellor could never endure him for it since he first begun it. He tells me that the thing the House is just now upon is that of taking away the charter from the Company of Woodmongers, whose frauds, it seems, have been mightily laid before them. He tells me that they are like to fly very high against my Lord Chancellor. Thence I to the House of Lords, and there first saw Dr. Fuller, as Bishop of Lincoln, to sit among the Lords. Here I spoke with the Duke of York and the Duke of Albemarle about Tangier; but methinks both of them do look very coldly one upon another, and their discourse mighty cold, and little to the purpose about our want of money. Thence homeward, and called at Allestry’s, the bookseller, who is bookseller to the Royal Society, and there did buy three or four books, and find great variety of French and foreign books. And so home and to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to a play, and the girl —“Macbeth,” which we still like mightily, though mighty short of the content we used to have when Betterton acted, who is still sick. So home, troubled with the way and to get a coach, and so to supper and to bed. This day, in the Paynted-chamber, I met and walked with Mr. George Montagu, who thinks it may go hard with my Lord Sandwich, but he says the House is offended with Sir W. Coventry much, and that he do endeavour to gain them again in the most precarious manner in all things that is possible.
7th. Up, and at the office hard all the morning, and at noon resolved with Sir W. Pen to go see “The Tempest,” an old play of Shakespeare’s, acted, I hear, the first day; and so my wife, and girl, and W. Hewer by themselves, and Sir W. Pen and I afterwards by ourselves; and forced to sit in the side balcone over against the musique-room at the Duke’s house, close by my Lady Dorset and a great many great ones. The house mighty full; the King and Court there and the most innocent play that ever I saw; and a curious piece of musique in an echo of half sentences, the echo repeating the former half, while the man goes on to the latter; which is mighty pretty. The play [has] no great wit, but yet good, above ordinary plays. Thence home with [Sir] W. Pen, and there all mightily pleased with the play; and so to supper and to bed, after having done at the office.
8th. Called up betimes by Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to good purpose most of the morning — I in my dressing-gown with him, on our Tangier accounts, and stated them well; and here he tells me that he believes it will go hard with my Lord Chancellor. Thence I to the office, where met on some special, business; and here I hear that the Duke of York is very ill; and by and by word brought us that we shall not need to attend today the Duke of York, for he is not well, which is bad news. They being gone, I to my workmen, who this day come to alter my office, by beating down the wall, and making me a fayre window both there, and increasing the window of my closet, which do give me some present trouble; but will be mighty pleasant. So all the whole day among them to very late, and so home weary, to supper, and to bed, troubled for the Duke of York his being sick.
9th. Up and to my workmen, who are at work close again, and I at the office all the morning, and there do hear by a messenger that Roger Pepys would speak with me, so before the office up I to Westminster, and there find the House very busy, and like to be so all day, about my Lord Chancellor’s impeachment, whether treason or not, where every body is mighty busy. I spoke with my cozen Roger, whose business was only to give me notice that Carcasse hath been before the Committee; and to warn me of it, which is a great courtesy in him to do, and I desire him to continue to do so. This business of this fellow, though it may be a foolish thing, yet it troubles me, and I do plainly see my weakness that I am not a man able to go through trouble, as other men, but that I should be a miserable man if I should meet with adversity, which God keep me from! He desirous to get back into the House, he having his notes in his hand, the lawyers being now speaking to the point of whether treason or not treason, the article of advising the King to break up the Parliament, and to govern by the sword. Thence I down to the Hall, and there met Mr. King, the Parliament-man for Harwich, and there he did shew, and let me take a copy of, all the articles against my Lord Chancellor, and what members they were that undertook to bring witnesses to make them good, of which I was mighty glad, and so away home, and to dinner and to my workmen, and in the afternoon out to get Simpson the joyner to come to work at my office, and so back home and to my letters by the post to-night, and there, by W. Pen, do hear that this article was overvoted in the House not to be a ground of impeachment of treason, at which I was glad, being willing to have no blood spilt, if I could help it. So home to supper, and glad that the dirty bricklayers’ work of my office is done, and home to supper and to bed.
10th (Lord’s day). Mighty cold, and with my wife to church, where a lazy sermon. Here was my Lady Batten in her mourning at church, but I took no notice of her. At noon comes Michell and his wife to dine with us, and pretty merry. I glad to see her still. After dinner Sir W. Pen and I to White Hall, to speak with Sir W. Coventry; and there, beyond all we looked for, do hear that the Duke of York hath got, and is full of, the small-pox; and so we to his lodgings; and there find most of the family going to St. James’s, and the gallery doors locked up, that nobody might pass to nor fro and a sad house, I am sure. I am sad to consider the effects of his death, if he should miscarry; but Dr. Frazier tells me that he is in as good condition as a man can be in his case. The eruption appeared last night; it seems he was let blood on Friday. Thence, not finding [Sir] W. Coventry, and going back again home, we met him coming with the Lord Keeper, and so returned and spoke with him in White Hall Garden, two or three turns, advising with him what we should do about Carcasse’s bringing his letter into the Committee of Parliament, and he told us that the counsel he hath too late learned is, to spring nothing in the House, nor offer anything, but just what is drawn out of a man: that this is the best way of dealing with a Parliament, and that he hath paid dear, and knows not how much more he may pay, for not knowing it sooner, when he did unnecessarily produce the Duke of Albemarle’s letter about Chatham, which if demanded would have come out with all the advantages in the world to Sir W. Coventry, but, as he brought it out himself, hath drawn much evil upon him. After some talk of this kind, we back home, and there I to my chamber busy all the evening, and then to supper and to bed, my head running all night upon our businesses in Parliament and what examinations we are likely to go under before they have done with us, which troubles me more than it should a wise man and a man the best able to defend himself, I believe, of our own whole office, or any other, I am apt to think.
11th. Up, and to Simpson at work in my office, and thence with Sir G. Carteret (who come to talk with me) to Broad Streete, where great crowding of people for money, at which he blamed himself. Thence with him and Lord Bruncker to Captain Cocke’s (he out of doors), and there drank their morning draught, and thence [Sir] G. Carteret and I toward the Temple in coach together; and there he did tell me how the King do all he can in the world to overthrow my Lord Chancellor, and that notice is taken of every man about the King that is not seen to promote the ruine of the Chancellor; and that this being another great day in his business, he dares not but be there. He tells me that as soon as Secretary Morrice brought the Great Seale from my Lord Chancellor, Bab. May fell upon his knees, and catched the King about the legs, and joyed him, and said that this was the first time that ever he could call him King of England, being freed from this great man: which was a most ridiculous saying. And he told me that, when first my Lord Gerard, a great while ago, come to the King, and told him that the Chancellor did say openly that the King was a lazy person and not fit to govern, which is now made one of the things in the people’s mouths against the Chancellor, “Why,” says the King, “that is no news, for he hath told me so twenty times, and but the other day he told me so;” and made matter of mirth at it: but yet this light discourse is likely to prove bad to him. I ‘light at the Temple, and went to my tailor’s and mercer’s about a cloake, to choose the stuff, and so to my bookseller’s and bought some books, and so home to dinner, and Simpson my joyner with me, and after dinner, my wife, and I, and Willett, to the King’s play-house, and there saw “The Indian Emperour,” a good play, but not so good as people cry it up, I think, though above all things Nell’s ill speaking of a great part made me mad. Thence with great trouble and charge getting a coach (it being now and having been all this day a most cold and foggy, dark, thick day), we home, and there I to my office, and saw it made clean from top to bottom, till I feared I took cold in walking in a damp room while it is in washing, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I had a whole doe sent me by Mr. Hozier, which is a fine present, and I had the umbles of it for dinner. This day I hear Kirton, my bookseller, poor man, is dead, I believe, of grief for his losses by the fire.
12th. Up, and to the Office, where sat all the morning; and there hear the Duke of York do yet do very well with his smallpox: pray God he may continue to do so! This morning also, to my astonishment, I hear that yesterday my Lord Chancellor, to another of his Articles, that of betraying the King’s councils to his enemies, is voted to have matter against him for an impeachment of High Treason, and that this day the impeachment is to be carried up to the House of Lords which is very high, and I am troubled at it; for God knows what will follow, since they that do this must do more to secure themselves against any that will revenge this, if it ever come in their power! At noon home to dinner, and then to my office, and there saw every thing finished, so as my papers are all in order again and my office twice as pleasant as ever it was, having a noble window in my closet and another in my office, to my great content, and so did business late, and then home to supper and to bed.
13th. Up, and down to the Old Swan, and so to Westminster; where I find the House sitting, and in a mighty heat about Commissioner Pett, that they would have him impeached, though the Committee have yet brought in but part of their Report: and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester. The House was in a great heat all this day about it; and at last it was carried, however, that it should be referred back to the Committee to make further enquiry. I here spoke with Roger Pepys, who sent for me, and it was to tell me that the Committee is mighty full of the business of buying and selling of tickets, and to caution me against such an enquiry (wherein I am very safe), and that they have already found out Sir Richard Ford’s son to have had a hand in it, which they take to be the same as if the father had done it, and I do believe the father may be as likely to be concerned in it as his son. But I perceive by him they are resolved to find out the bottom of the business if it be possible. By and by I met with Mr. Wren, who tells me that the Duke of York is in as good condition as is possible for a man, in his condition of the smallpox. He, I perceive, is mightily concerned in the business of my Lord Chancellor, the impeachment against whom is gone up to the House of Lords; and great differences there are in the Lords’ House about it, and the Lords are very high one against another. Thence home to dinner, and as soon as dinner done I and my wife and Willet to the Duke of York’s, house, and there saw the Tempest again, which is very pleasant, and full of so good variety that I cannot be more pleased almost in a comedy, only the seamen’s part a little too tedious. Thence home, and there to my chamber, and do begin anew to bind myself to keep my old vows, and among the rest not to see a play till Christmas but once in every other week, and have laid aside £10, which is to be lost to the poor, if I do. This I hope in God will bind me, for I do find myself mightily wronged in my reputation, and indeed in my purse and business, by my late following of my pleasure for so long time as I have done. So to supper and then to bed. This day Mr. Chichly told me, with a seeming trouble, that the House have stopped his son Jack (Sir John) his going to France, that he may be a witness against my Lord Sandwich: which do trouble me, though he can, I think, say little.
14th. At the office close all the morning. At noon, all my clerks with me to dinner, to a venison pasty; and there comes Creed, and dined with me, and he tells me how high the Lords were in the Lords’ House about the business of the Chancellor, and that they are not yet agreed to impeach him. After dinner, he and I, and my wife and girl, the latter two to their tailor’s, and he and I to the Committee of the Treasury, where I had a hearing, but can get but £6000 for the pay of the garrison, in lieu of above £16,000; and this Alderman Backewell gets remitted there, and I am glad of it. Thence by coach took up my wife and girl, and so home, and set down Creed at Arundell House, going to the Royal Society, whither I would be glad to go, but cannot. Thence home, and to the Office, where about my letters, and so home to supper, and to bed, my eyes being bad again; and by this means, the nights, now-a-days, do become very long to me, longer than I can sleep out.
15th. Up, and to Alderman Backewell’s1 and there discoursed with him about the remitting of this £6000 to Tangier, which he hath promised to do by the first post, and that will be by Monday next, the 18th, and he and I agreed that I would take notice of it that so he may be found to have done his best upon the desire of the Lords Commissioners. From this we went to discourse of his condition, and he with some vain glory told me that the business of Sheernesse did make him quite mad, and indeed might well have undone him; but yet that he did the very next day pay here and got bills to answer his promise to the King for the Swedes Embassadors (who were then doing our business at the treaty at Breda) £7000, and did promise the Bankers there, that if they would draw upon him all that he had of theirs and £10,000 more, he would answer it. He told me that Serjeant Maynard come to him for a sum of money that he had in his hands of his, and so did many others, and his answer was, What countrymen are you? And when they told him, why then, says he, here is a tally upon the Receiver of your country for so [much], and to yours for so much, and did offer to lay by tallies to the full value of all that he owed in the world, and £40,000 more for the security thereof, and not to touch a penny of his own till the full of what he owed was paid, which so pleased every body that he hath mastered all, so that he hath lent the Commissioners of the Treasury above £40,000 in money since that business, and did this morning offer to a lady who come to give him notice that she should need her money £3000, in twenty days, he bid her if she pleased send for it today and she should have it. Which is a very great thing, and will make them greater than ever they were, I am apt to think, in some time. Thence to Westminster, and there I walked with several, and do hear that there is to be a conference between the two Houses today; so I stayed: and it was only to tell the Commons that the Lords cannot agree to the confining or sequestring of the Earle of Clarendon from the Parliament, forasmuch as they do not specify any particular crime which they lay upon him and call Treason. This the House did receive, and so parted: at which, I hear, the Commons are like to grow very high, and will insist upon their privileges, and the Lords will own theirs, though the Duke of Buckingham, Bristoll, and others, have been very high in the House of Lords to have had him committed. This is likely to breed ill blood. Thence I away home, calling at my mercer’s and tailor’s, and there find, as I expected, Mr. Caesar and little Pelham Humphreys, lately returned from France, and is an absolute Monsieur, as full of form, and confidence, and vanity, and disparages everything, and everybody’s skill but his own. The truth is, every body says he is very able, but to hear how he laughs at all the King’s musick here, as Blagrave and others, that they cannot keep time nor tune, nor understand anything; and that Grebus, the Frenchman, the King’s master of the musick, how he understands nothing, nor can play on any instrument, and so cannot compose: and that he will give him a lift out of his place; and that he and the King are mighty great! and that he hath already spoke to the King of Grebus would make a man piss. I had a good dinner for them, as a venison pasty and some fowl, and after dinner we did play, he on the theorbo. Mr. Caesar on his French lute, and I on the viol, but made but mean musique, nor do I see that this Frenchman do so much wonders on the theorbo, but without question he is a good musician, but his vanity do offend me. They gone, towards night, I to the office awhile, and then home and to my chamber, where busy till by and by comes Mr. Moore, and he staid and supped and talked with me about many things, and tells me his great fear that all things will go to ruin among us, for that the King hath, as he says Sir Thomas Crew told him, been heard to say that the quarrel is not between my Lord Chancellor and him, but his brother and him; which will make sad work among us if that be once promoted, as to be sure it will, Buckingham and Bristoll being now the only counsel the King follows, so as Arlington and Coventry are come to signify little. He tells me they are likely to fall upon my Lord Sandwich; but, for my part, sometimes I am apt to think they cannot do him much harm, he telling me that there is no great fear of the business of Resumption! By and by, I got him to read part of my Lord Cooke’s chapter of treason, which is mighty well worth reading, and do inform me in many things, and for aught I see it is useful now to know what these crimes are. And then to supper, and after supper he went away, and so I got the girl to comb my head, and then to bed, my eyes bad. This day, Poundy, the waterman, was with me, to let me know that he was summonsed to bear witness against me to Prince Rupert’s people (who have a commission to look after the business of prize-goods) about the business of the prize-goods I was concerned in: but I did desire him to speak all he knew, and not to spare me, nor did promise nor give him any thing, but sent him away with good words, to bid him say all he knew to be true. This do not trouble me much.
1 Edward Backwell, goldsmith and alderman of the City of London. He was a man of considerable wealth during the Commonwealth. After the Restoration he negotiated Charles II.‘s principal money transactions. He was M.P. for Wendover in the parliament of 1679, and in the Oxford parliament of 1680. According to the writer of the life in the “Diet. of Nat. Biog. “his heirs did not ultimately suffer any pecuniary loss by the closure of the Exchequer. Mr. Hilton Price stated that Backwell removed to Holland in 1676, and died therein 1679; but this is disproved by the pedigree in Lipscomb’s “Hist. of Bucks,” where the date of his death is given as 1683, as well as by the fact that he sat for Wendover in 1679 and 1680, as stated above.
16th. At the office all the morning, and at noon took my Lord Bruncker into the garden, and there told him of his man Carcasses proceedings against the Office in the House of Commons. I did [not] desire nor advise him anything, but in general, that the end of this might be ruin to the Office, but that we shall be brought to fencing for ourselves, and that will be no profit to the office, but let it light where it would I thought I should be as well as any body. This I told him, and so he seeming to be ignorant of it, and not pleased with it, we broke off by Sir Thos. Harvy’s coming to us from the Pay Office, whither we had sent a smart letter we had writ to him this morning about keeping the clerks at work at the making up the books, which I did to place the fault somewhere, and now I let him defend himself. He was mighty angry, and particularly with me, but I do not care, but do rather desire it, for I will not spare him, that we shall bear the blame, and such an idle fellow as he have £500 a year for nothing. So we broke off, and I home to dinner, and then to the office, and having spent the afternoon on letters, I took coach in the evening, and to White Hall, where there is to be a performance of musique of Pelham’s before the King. The company not come; but I did go into the musique-room, where Captain Cocke and many others; and here I did hear the best and the smallest organ go that ever I saw in my life, and such a one as, by the grace of God, I will have the next year, if I continue in this condition, whatever it cost me. I never was so pleased in my life. Thence, it being too soon, I to Westminster Hall, it being now about 7 at night, and there met Mr. Gregory, my old acquaintance, an understanding gentleman; and he and I walked an hour together, talking of the bad prospect of the times; and the sum of what I learn from him is this: That the King is the most concerned in the world against the Chancellor, and all people that do not appear against him, and therefore is angry with the Bishops, having said that he had one Bishop on his side (Crofts ), and but one: that Buckingham and Bristoll are now his only Cabinet Council;1 and that, before the Duke of York fell sick, Buckingham was admitted to the King of his Cabinet, and there stayed with him several hours, and the Duke of York shut out. That it is plain that there is dislike between the King and Duke of York, and that it is to be feared that the House will go so far against the Chancellor, that they must do something to undo the Duke of York, or will not think themselves safe. That this Lord Vaughan, that is so great against the Chancellor, is one of the lewdest fellows of the age, worse than Sir Charles Sidly; and that he was heard to swear, God damn him, he would do my Lord Clarendon’s business. That he do find that my Lord Clarendon hath more friends in both Houses than he believes he would have, by reason that they do see what are the hands that pull him down; which they do not like. That Harry Coventry was scolded at by the King severely the other day; and that his answer was that, if he must not speak what he thought in this business in Parliament, he must not come thither. And he says that by this very business Harry Coventry hath got more fame and common esteem than any gentleman in England hath at this day, and is an excellent and able person. That the King, who not long ago did say of Bristoll, that he was a man able in three years to get himself a fortune in any kingdom in the world, and lose all again in three months, do now hug him, and commend his parts every where, above all the world. How fickle is this man [the King], and how unhappy we like to be! That he fears some furious courses will be taken against the Duke of York; and that he hath heard that it was designed, if they cannot carry matters against the Chancellor, to impeach the Duke of York himself, which God forbid! That Sir Edward Nicholas, whom he served while Secretary, is one of the best men in the world, but hated by the Queen–Mother, for a service he did the old King against her mind and her favourites; and that she and my Lady Castlemayne did make the King to lay him aside: but this man says that he is one of the most perfect heavenly and charitable men in the whole world. That the House of Commons resolve to stand by their proceedings, and have chosen a Committee to draw up the reasons thereof to carry to the Lords; which is likely to breed great heat between them. That the Parliament, after all this, is likely to give the King no money; and, therefore, that it is to be wondered what makes the King give way to so great extravagancies, which do all tend to the making him less than he is, and so will, every day more and more: and by this means every creature is divided against the other, that there never was so great an uncertainty in England, of what would, be the event of things, as at this day; nobody being at ease, or safe. Being full of his discourse, and glad of the rencontre, I to White Hall; and there got into the theater-room, and there heard both the vocall and instrumentall musick, where the little fellow’ stood keeping time; but for my part, I see no great matter, but quite the contrary in both sorts of musique. The composition I believe is very good, but no more of delightfulness to the eare or understanding but what is very ordinary. Here was the King and Queen, and some of the ladies; among whom none more jolly than my Lady Buckingham, her Lord being once more a great man. Thence by coach home and to my office, ended my letters, and then home to supper, and, my eyes being bad, to bed.
1 The term Cabinet Council, as stated by Clarendon, originated thus, in 1640: “The bulk and burden of the state affairs lay principally upon the shoulders of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Strafford, and the Lord Cottington; some others being joined to them, as the Earl of Northumberland for ornament, the Bishop of London for his place, the two Secretaries, Sir H. Vane and Sir Francis Windebank, for service and communication of intelligence: only the Marquis of Hamilton, indeed, by his skill and interest, bore as great a part as he had a mind to do, and had the skill to meddle no further than he had a mind. These persons made up the committee of state, which was reproachfully after called the junto, and enviously then in the Court the Cabinet Council” (“History of the Rebellion,” vol. i., p. 211, edit. 1849).
17th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church with my wife. A dull sermon of Mr. Mills, and then home, without strangers to dinner, and then my wife to read, and I to the office, enter my journall to this day, and so home with great content that it is done, but with sorrow to my eyes. Then home, and got my wife to read to me out of Fuller’s Church History, when by and by comes Captain Cocke, who sat with me all the evening, talking, and I find by him, as by all others, that we are like to expect great confusions, and most of our discourse was the same, and did agree with that the last night, particularly that about the difference between the King and the Duke of York which is like to be. He tells me that he hears that Sir W. Coventry was, a little before the Duke of York fell sick, with the Duke of York in his closet, and fell on his knees, and begged his pardon for what he hath done to my Lord Chancellor; but this I dare not soon believe. But he tells me another thing, which he says he had from the person himself who spoke with the Duke of Buckingham, who, he says, is a very sober and worthy man, that he did lately speak with the Duke of Buckingham about his greatness now with the King, and told him-“But, sir, these things that the King do now, in suffering the Parliament to do all this, you know are not fit for the King to suffer, and you know how often you have said to me that the King was a weak man, and unable to govern, but to be governed, and that you could command him as you listed; why do you suffer him to go on in these things?”—“Why,” says the Duke of Buckingham, “I do suffer him to do this, that I may hereafter the better command him.” This he swears to me the person himself to whom the Duke of Buckingham said this did tell it him, and is a man of worth, understanding, and credit. He told me one odd passage by the Duke of Albemarle, speaking how hasty a man he is, and how for certain he would have killed Sir W. Coventry, had he met him in a little time after his shewing his letter in the House. He told me that a certain lady, whom he knows, did tell him that, she being certainly informed that some of the Duke of Albemarle’s family did say that the Earl of Torrington was a bastard, [she] did think herself concerned to tell the Duke of Albemarle of it, and did first tell the Duchesse, and was going to tell the old man, when the Duchesse pulled her back by the sleeve, and hindered her, swearing to her that if he should hear it, he would certainly kill the servant that should be found to have said it, and therefore prayed her to hold her peace. One thing more he told me, which is, that Garraway is come to town, and is thinking how to bring the House to mind the public state of the nation and to put off these particular piques against man and man, and that he propounding this to Sir W. Coventry, Sir W. Coventry did give no encouragement to it: which he says is that by their running after other men he may escape. But I do believe this is not true neither. But however I am glad that Garraway is here, and that he do begin to think of the public condition in reference to our neighbours that we are in, and in reference to ourselves, whereof I am mightily afeard of trouble. So to supper, and he gone and we to bed.
18th. Up, and all the morning at my office till 3 after noon with Mr. Hater about perfecting my little pocket market book of the office, till my eyes were ready to fall out of my head, and then home to dinner, glad that I had done so much, and so abroad to White Hall, to the Commissioners of the Treasury, and there did a little business with them, and so home, leaving multitudes of solicitors at their door, of one sort or other, complaining for want of such despatch as they had in my Lord Treasurer’s time, when I believe more business was despatched, but it was in his manner to the King’s wrong. Among others here was Gresham College coming about getting a grant of Chelsey College for their Society, which the King, it seems, hath given them his right in; but they met with some other pretences, I think; to it, besides the King’s. Thence took up my wife, whom I had left at her tailor’s, and home, and there, to save my eyes, got my wife at home to read again, as last night, in the same book, till W. Batelier come and spent the evening talking with us, and supped with us, and so to bed.
19th. To the office, and thence before noon I, by the Board’s direction, to the Parliament House to speak with Sir R. Brookes about the meaning of an order come to us this day to bring all the books of the office to the Committee. I find by him that it is only about the business of an order of ours for paying off the ships by ticket, which they think I on behalf of my Lord Bruncker do suppress, which vexes me, and more at its occasioning the bringing them our books. So home and to dinner, where Mr. Shepley with me, newly come out of the country, but I was at little liberty to talk to him, but after dinner with two contracts to the Committee, with Lord Bruncker and Sir T. Harvy, and there did deliver them, and promised at their command more, but much against my will. And here Sir R. Brookes did take me alone, and pray me to prevent their trouble, by discovering the order he would have. I told him I would suppress none, nor could, but this did not satisfy him, and so we parted, I vexed that I should bring on myself this suspicion. Here I did stand by unseen, and did hear their impertinent yet malicious examinations of some rogues about the business of Bergen, wherein they would wind in something against my Lord Sandwich (it was plain by their manner of examining, as Sir Thomas Crew did afterwards observe to me, who was there), but all amounted to little I think. But here Sir Thomas Crew and W. Hewer, who was there also, did tell me that they did hear Captain Downing give a cruel testimony against my Lord Bruncker, for his neglect, and doing nothing, in the time of straits at Chatham, when he was spoke to, and did tell the Committee that he, Downing, did presently after, in Lord Bruncker’s hearing, tell the Duke of Albemarle, that if he might advise the King, he should hang both my Lord Bruncker and Pett. This is very hard. Thence with W. Hewer and our messenger, Marlow, home by coach, and so late at letters, and then home to supper, and my wife to read and then to bed. This night I wrote to my father, in answer to a new match which is proposed (the executor of Ensum, my sister’s former servant) for my sister, that I will continue my mind of giving her £500, if he likes of the match. My father did also this week, by Shepley, return me up a ‘guinny, which, it seems, upon searching the ground, they have found since I was there. I was told this day that Lory Hide,1 second son of my Lord Chancellor, did some time since in the House say, that if he thought his father was guilty but of one of the things then said against him, he would be the first that should call for judgement against him: which Mr. Waller, the poet, did say was spoke like the old Roman, like Brutus, for its greatness and worthiness.
1 Laurence Hyde, second son of Lord Chancellor Clarendon (1614–1711). He held many important offices, and was First Lord of the Treasury, 1679–84; created Earl of Rochester in 1681, and K.G. 1685.
20th. Up, and all the morning at my office shut up with Mr. Gibson, I walking and he reading to me the order books of the office from the beginning of the war, for preventing the Parliament’s having them in their hands before I have looked them over and seen the utmost that can be said against us from any of our orders, and to my great content all the morning I find none. So at noon home to dinner with my clerks, who have of late dined frequently with me, and I do purpose to have them so still, by that means I having opportunity to talk with them about business, and I love their company very well. All the morning Mr. Hater and the boy did shut up themselves at my house doing something towards the finishing the abstract book of our contracts for my pocket, which I shall now want very much. After dinner I stayed at home all the afternoon, and Gibson with me; he and I shut up till about ten at night. We went through all our orders, and towards the end I do meet with two or three orders for our discharging of two or three little vessels by ticket without money, which do plunge me; but, however, I have the advantage by this means to study an answer and to prepare a defence, at least for myself. So he gone I to supper, my mind busy thinking after our defence in this matter, but with vexation to think that a thing of this kind, which in itself brings nothing but trouble and shame to us, should happen before all others to become a charge against us. This afternoon Mr. Mills come and visited me, and stayed a little with me (my wife being to be godmother to his child tomorrow), and among other talk he told me how fully satisfactory my first Report was to the House in the business of Chatham: which I am glad to hear; and the more, for that I know that he is a great creature of Sir R. Brookes’s.
21st. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home, where my wife not very well, but is to go to Mr. Mills’s child’s christening, where she is godmother, Sir J. Minnes and Sir R. Brookes her companions. I left her after dinner (my clerks dining with me) to go with Sir J. Minnes, and I to the office, where did much business till after candlelight, and then my eyes beginning to fail me, I out and took coach to Arundell House, where the meeting of Gresham College was broke up; but there meeting Creed, I with him to the taverne in St. Clement’s Churchyard, where was Deane Wilkins, Dr. Whistler, Dr. Floyd, a divine admitted, I perceive, this day, and other brave men; and there, among other things of news, I do hear, that upon the reading of the House of Commons’s Reasons of the manner of their proceedings in the business of my Lord Chancellor, the Reasons were so bad, that my Lord Bristoll himself did declare that he would not stand to what he had, and did still, advise the Lords to concur to, upon any of the Reasons of the House of Commons; but if it was put to the question whether it should be done on their Reasons, he would be against them; and indeed it seems the Reasons — however they come to escape the House of Commons, which shews how slightly the greatest matters are done in this world, and even in Parliaments were none of them of strength, but the principle of them untrue; they saying, that where any man is brought before a judge, accused of Treason in general, without specifying the particular, the judge do there constantly and is obliged to commit him. Whereas the question being put by the Lords to my Lord Keeper, he said that quite the contrary was true: and then, in the Sixth Article (I will get a copy of them if I can) there are two or three things strangely asserted to the diminishing of the King’s power, as is said, at least things that heretofore would not have been heard of. But then the question being put among the Lords, as my Lord Bristoll advised, whether, upon the whole matter and Reasons that had been laid before them, they would commit my Lord Clarendon, it was carried five to one against it; there being but three Bishops against him, of whom Cosens and Dr. Reynolds were two, and I know not the third. This made the opposite Lords, as Bristoll and Buckingham, so mad, that they declared and protested against it, speaking very broad that there was mutiny and rebellion in the hearts of the Lords, and that they desired they might enter their dissents, which they did do, in great fury. So that upon the Lords sending to the Commons, as I am told, to have a conference for them to give their answer to the Commons’s Reasons, the Commons did desire a free conference: but the Lords do deny it; and the reason is, that they hold not the Commons any Court, but that themselves only are a Court, and the Chief Court of judicature, and therefore are not to dispute the laws and method of their own Court with them that are none, and so will not submit so much as to have their power disputed. And it is conceived that much of this eagerness among the Lords do arise from the fear some of them have, that they may be dealt with in the same manner themselves, and therefore do stand upon it now. It seems my Lord Clarendon hath, as is said and believed, had his horses several times in his coach, ready to carry him to the Tower, expecting a message to that purpose; but by this means his case is like to be laid by. From this we fell to other discourse, and very good; among the rest they discourse of a man that is a little frantic, that hath been a kind of minister, Dr. Wilkins saying that he hath read for him in his church, that is poor and a debauched man, that the College’ have hired for 20s. to have some of the blood of a sheep let into his body; and it is to be done on Saturday next.1 They purpose to let in about twelve ounces; which, they compute, is what will be let in in a minute’s time by a watch. They differ in the opinion they have of the effects of it; some think it may have a good effect upon him as a frantic man by cooling his blood, others that it will not have any effect at all. But the man is a healthy man, and by this means will be able to give an account what alteration, if any, he do find in himself, and so may be usefull. On this occasion, Dr. Whistler told a pretty story related by Muffet, a good author, of Dr. Caius, that built Keys College; that, being very old, and living only at that time upon woman’s milk, he, while he fed upon the milk of an angry, fretful woman, was so himself; and then, being advised to take it of a good-natured, patient woman, he did become so, beyond the common temper of his age. Thus much nutriment, they observed, might do. Their discourse was very fine; and if I should be put out of my office, I do take great content in the liberty I shall be at of frequenting these gentlemen’s company. Broke up thence and home, and there to my wife in her chamber, who is not well (of those), and there she tells me great stories of the gossiping women of the parish — what this, and what that woman was; and, among the rest, how Mrs. Hollworthy is the veriest confident bragging gossip of them all, which I should not have believed; but that Sir R. Brookes, her partner, was mighty civil to her, and taken with her, and what not. My eyes being bad I spent the evening with her in her chamber talking and inventing a cypher to put on a piece of plate, which I must give, better than ordinary, to the Parson’s child, and so to bed, and through my wife’s illness had a bad night of it, and she a worse, poor wretch!
1 This was Arthur Coga, who had studied at Cambridge, and was said to be a bachelor of divinity. He was indigent, and “looked upon as a very freakish and extravagant man.” Dr. King, in a letter to the Hon. Robert Boyle, remarks “that Mr. Coga was about thirty-two years of age; that he spoke Latin well, when he was in company, which he liked, but that his brain was sometimes a little too warm.” The experiment was performed on November 23rd, 1667, by Dr. King, at Arundel House, in the presence of many spectators of quality, and four or five physicians. Coga wrote a description of his own case in Latin, and when asked why he had not the blood of some other creature, instead of that of a sheep, transfused into him, answered, “Sanguis ovis symbolicam quandam facultatem habet cum sanguine Christi, quia Christus est agnus Dei” (Birch’s “History of the Royal Society,” vol. ii., pp. 214–16). Coga was the first person in England to be experimented upon; previous experiments were made by the transfusion of the blood of one dog into another. See November 14th, 1666 (vol. vi., p. 64).
22nd. Up betimes, and drinking my morning draught of strong water with Betty Michell, I had not opportunity para baiser la, I by water to White Hall, and there met Creed, and thence with him to Westminster Hall, where we talked long together of news, and there met with Cooling, my Lord Chamberlain’s Secretary, and from him learn the truth of all I heard last night; and understand further, that this stiffness of the Lords is in no manner of kindness to my Lord Chancellor, for he neither hath, nor do, nor for the future likely can oblige any of them, but rather the contrary; but that they do fear what the consequence may be to themselves, should they yield in his case, as many of them have reason. And more, he shewed me how this is rather to the wrong and prejudice of my Lord Chancellor; for that it is better for him to come to be tried before the Lords, where he can have right and make interest, than, when the Parliament is up, be committed by the King, and tried by a Court on purpose made by the King, of what Lords the King pleases, who have a mind to have his head. So that my Lord [Cornbury] himself, his son, he tells me, hath moved, that if they have Treason against my Lord of Clarendon, that they would specify it and send it up to the Lords, that he might come to his trial; so full of intrigues this business is! Having now a mind to go on and to be rid of Creed, I could not, but was forced to carry him with me to the Excise Office, and thence to the Temple, and there walked a good while in the Temple church, observing the plainness of Selden’s tomb, and how much better one of his executors hath, who is buried by him, and there I parted with him and took coach and home, where to dinner.
23rd. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon also busy till late preparing things to fortify myself and fellows against the Parliament; and particularly myself against what I fear is thought, that I have suppressed the Order of the Board by which the discharging the great ships off at Chatham by tickets was directed; whereas, indeed, there was no such Order. So home at night to supper and to bed.
24th (Lord’s day). In my chamber all the morning (having lain long in bed) till Mr. Shepley come to dine with me, and there being to return to Hinchinbroke speedily, I did give him as good account how matters go here as I could. After dinner, he being gone, I to the office, and there for want of other of my clerks, sent to Mr. Gibbs, whom I never used till now, for the writing over of my little pocket Contract-book; and there I laboured till nine at night with him, in drawing up the history of all that hath passed concerning tickets, in order to the laying the whole, and clearing myself and Office, before Sir R. Brookes; and in this I took great pains, and then sent him away, and proceeded, and had W. Hewer come to me, and he and I till past twelve at night in the Office, and he, which was a good service, did so inform me in the consequences of my writing this report, and that what I said would not hold water, in denying this Board to have ever ordered the discharging out of the service whole ships by ticket, that I did alter my whole counsel, and fall to arme myself with good reasons to justify the Office in so doing, which hath been but rare, and having done this, I went, with great quiet in my mind, home, though vexed that so honest a business should bring me so much trouble; but mightily was pleased to find myself put out of my former design; and so, after supper, to bed.
25th. Up, and all the morning finishing my letter to Sir Robert Brookes, which I did with great content, and yet at noon when I come home to dinner I read it over again after it was sealed and delivered to the messenger, and read it to my clerks who dined with me, and there I did resolve upon some alteration, and caused it to be new writ, and so to the office after dinner, and there all the afternoon mighty busy, and at night did take coach thinking to have gone to Westminster, but it was mighty dark and foul, and my business not great, only to keep my eyes from reading by candle, being weary, but being gone part of my way I turned back, and so home, and there to read, and my wife to read to me out of Sir Robert Cotton’s book about warr, which is very fine, showing how the Kings of England have raised money by the people heretofore upon the people, and how they have played upon the kings also. So after supper I to bed. This morning Sir W. Pen tells me that the House was very hot on Saturday last upon the business of liberty of speech in the House, and damned the vote in the beginning of the Long Parliament against it; I so that he fears that there may be some bad thing which they have a mind to broach, which they dare not do without more security than they now have. God keep us, for things look mighty ill!
26th. Up, all the morning at the office, and then home to dinner, where dined Mr. Clerke, solicitor, with me, to discourse about my Tangier accounts, which I would fain make up, but I have not time. After dinner, by coach as far as the Temple, and there saw a new book, in folio, of all that suffered for the King in the late times, which I will buy, it seems well writ, and then back to the Old Exchange, and there at my goldsmith’s bought a basin for my wife to give the Parson’s child, to which the other day she was godmother. It cost me; £10 14s. besides graving, which I do with the cypher of the name, Daniel Mills, and so home to the office, and then home to supper and hear my wife read, and then to bed. This afternoon, after dinner, come to me Mr. Warren, and there did tell me that he come to pay his debt to me for the kindness I did him in getting his last ship out, which I must also remember was a service to the King, though I did not tell him so, as appeared by my advising with the board, and there writing to Sir W. Coventry to get the pass for the ship to go for it to Genoa. Now that which he had promised me for the courtesy was I take it 100 pieces or more, I think more, and also for the former courtesy I had done for the getting of his first ship out for this hemp he did promise me a consideration upon the return of the goods, but I never did to this day demand any thing of him, only about a month ago he told me that now his ship was come, and he would come out of my debt, but told me that whereas he did expect to have had some profit by the voyage, it had proved of loss to him, by the loss of some ships, or some accidents, I know not what, and so that he was not able to do what he intended, but told me that he would present me with sixty pieces in gold. I told him I would demand nothing of his promises, though they were much greater, nor would have thus much, but if he could afford to give me but fifty pieces, it should suffice me. So now he brought something in a paper, which since proves to be fifty pieces. But before I would take them I told him that I did not insist on anything, and therefore prayed him to consult his ability before he did part with them: and so I refused them once or twice till he did the third time offer them, and then I took them, he saying that he would present me with as many more if I would undertake to get him £500 paid on his bills. I told him I would by no means have any promise of the kind, nor would have any kindness from him for any such service, but that I should do my utmost for nothing to do him that justice, and would endeavour to do what I could for him, and so we parted, he owning himself mightily engaged to me for my kind usage of him in accepting of so small a matter in satisfaction of all that he owed me; which I enter at large for my justification if anything of this should be hereafter enquired after. This evening also comes to me to my closet at the Office Sir John Chichly, of his own accord, to tell me what he shall answer to the Committee, when, as he expects, he shall be examined about my Lord Sandwich; which is so little as will not hurt my Lord at all, I know. He do profess great generousness towards my Lord, and that this jealousy of my Lord’s of him is without ground, but do mightily inveigh against Sir Roger Cuttance, and would never have my Lord to carry him to sea again, as being a man that hath done my Lord more hurt than ever he can repair by his ill advice, and disobliging every body. He will by no means seem to crouch to my Lord, but says that he hath as good blood in his veins as any man, though not so good a title, but that he will do nothing to wrong or prejudice my Lord, and I hope he will not, nor I believe can; but he tells me that Sir E. Spragg and Utber are the men that have done my Lord the most wrong, and did bespatter him the most at Oxford, and that my Lord was misled to believe that all that was there said was his, which indeed it was not, and says that he did at that time complain to his father of this his misfortune. This I confess is strange to me touching these two men, but yet it may well enough as the world goes, though I wonder I confess at the latter of the two, who always professes great love to my Lord. Sir Roger Cuttance was with me in the morning, and there gives me an account so clear about Bergen and the other business against my Lord, as I do not see what can be laid to my Lord in either, and tells me that Pen, however he now dissembles it, did on the quarter deck of my Lord’s ship, after he come on board, when my Lord did fire a gun for the ships to leave pursuing the enemy, Pen did say, before a great many, several times, that his heart did leap in his belly for joy when he heard the gun, and that it was the best thing that could be done for securing the fleet. He tells me also that Pen was the first that did move and persuade my Lord to the breaking bulke, as a thing that was now the time to do right to the commanders of the great ships, who had no opportunity of getting anything by prizes, now his Lordship might distribute to everyone something, and he himself did write down before my Lord the proportions for each man. This I am glad of, though it may be this dissembling fellow may, twenty to one, deny it.
27th. Up, and all the morning at my Lord Bruncker’s lodgings with Sir J. Minnes and [Sir] W. Pen about Sir W. Warren’s accounts, wherein I do not see that they are ever very likely to come to an understanding of them, as Sir J. Minnes hath not yet handled them. Here till noon, and then home to dinner, where Mr. Pierce comes to me, and there, in general, tells me how the King is now fallen in and become a slave to the Duke of Buckingham, led by none but him, whom he, Mr. Pierce, swears he knows do hate the very person of the King, and would, as well as will, certainly ruin him. He do say, and I think with right, that the King do in this do the most ungrateful part of a master to a servant that ever was done, in this carriage of his to my Lord Chancellor: that, it may be, the Chancellor may have faults, but none such as these they speak of; that he do now really fear that all is going to ruin, for he says he hears that Sir W. Coventry hath been, just before his sickness, with the Duke of York, to ask his forgiveness and peace for what he had done; for that he never could foresee that what he meant so well, in the councilling to lay by the Chancellor, should come to this. As soon as dined, I with my boy Tom to my bookbinder’s, where all the afternoon long till 8 or 9 at night seeing him binding up two or three collections of letters and papers that I had of him, but above all things my little abstract pocket book of contracts, which he will do very neatly. Then home to read, sup, and to bed.
28th. Up, and at the office all this morning, and then home to dinner, and then by coach sent my wife to the King’s playhouse, and I to White Hall, there intending, with Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and Sir T. Harvy to have seen the Duke of York, whom it seems the King and Queen have visited, and so we may now well go to see him. But there was nobody could speak with him, and so we parted, leaving a note in Mr. Wren’s chamber that we had been there, he being at the free conference of the two Houses about this great business of my Lord Chancellor’s, at which they were at this hour, three in the afternoon, and there they say my Lord Anglesey do his part admirablyably, and each of us taking a copy of the Guinny Company’s defence to a petition against them to the Parliament the other day. So I away to the King’s playhouse, and there sat by my wife, and saw “The Mistaken Beauty,” which I never, I think, saw before, though an old play; and there is much in it that I like, though the name is but improper to it — at least, that name, it being also called “The Lyer,” which is proper enough. Here I met with Sir. Richard Browne, who wondered to find me there, telling the that I am a man of so much business, which character, I thank God, I have ever got, and have for a long time had and deserved, and yet am now come to be censured in common with the office for a man of negligence. Thence home and to the office to my letters, and then home to supper and to bed.
29th. Waked about seven o’clock this morning with a noise I supposed I heard, near our chamber, of knocking, which, by and by, increased: and I, more awake, could, distinguish it better. I then waked my wife, and both of us wondered at it, and lay so a great while, while that increased, and at last heard it plainer, knocking, as if it were breaking down a window for people to get out; and then removing of stools and chairs; and plainly, by and by, going up and down our stairs. We lay, both of us, afeard; yet I would have rose, but my wife would not let me. Besides, I could not do it without making noise; and we did both conclude that thieves were in the house, but wondered what our people did, whom we thought either killed, or afeard, as we were. Thus we lay till the clock struck eight, and high day. At last, I removed my gown and slippers safely to the other side of the bed over my wife: and there safely rose, and put on my gown and breeches, and then, with a firebrand in my hand, safely opened the door, and saw nor heard any thing. Then (with fear, I confess) went to the maid’s chamber-door, and all quiet and safe. Called Jane up, and went down safely, and opened my chamber door, where all well. Then more freely about, and to the kitchen, where the cook-maid up, and all safe. So up again, and when Jane come, and we demanded whether she heard no noise, she said, “yes, and was afeard,” but rose with the other maid, and found nothing; but heard a noise in the great stack of chimnies that goes from Sir J. Minnes through our house; and so we sent, and their chimnies have been swept this morning, and the noise was that, and nothing else. It is one of the most extraordinary accidents in my life, and gives ground to think of Don Quixote’s adventures how people may be surprised, and the more from an accident last night, that our young gibb-cat1 did leap down our stairs from top to bottom, at two leaps, and frighted us, that we could not tell well whether it was the cat or a spirit, and do sometimes think this morning that the house might be haunted. Glad to have this so well over, and indeed really glad in my mind, for I was much afeard, I dressed myself and to the office both forenoon and afternoon, mighty hard putting papers and things in order to my extraordinary satisfaction, and consulting my clerks in many things, who are infinite helps to my memory and reasons of things, and so being weary, and my eyes akeing, having overwrought them today reading so much shorthand, I home and there to supper, it being late, and to bed. This morning Sir W. Pen and I did walk together a good while, and he tells me that the Houses are not likely to agree after their free conference yesterday, and he fears what may follow.
1 A male cat. “Gib” is a contraction of the Christian name Gilbert (Old French), “Tibert”.
“I am melancholy as a gib-cat”
Shakespeare, I Henry IV, act i., sc. 3.
Gib alone is also used, and a verb made from it —“to gib,” or act like a cat.
30th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and then by coach to Arundel House, to the election of Officers for the next year; where I was near being chosen of the Council, but am glad I was not, for I could not have attended, though, above all things, I could wish it; and do take it as a mighty respect to have been named there. The company great, and the elections long, and then to Cary House, a house now of entertainment, next my Lord Ashly’s; and there, where I have heretofore heard Common Prayer in the time of Dr. Mossum, we after two hours’ stay, sitting at the table with our napkins open, had our dinners brought, but badly done. But here was good company. I choosing to sit next Dr. Wilkins, Sir George Ent, and others whom I value, there talked of several things. Among others Dr. Wilkins, talking of the universal speech, of which he hath a book coming out, did first inform me how man was certainly made for society, he being of all creatures the least armed for defence, and of all creatures in the world the young ones are not able to do anything to help themselves, nor can find the dug without being put to it, but would die if the mother did not help it; and, he says, were it not for speech man would be a very mean creature. Much of this good discourse we had. But here, above all, I was pleased to see the person who had his blood taken out. He speaks well, and did this day give the Society a relation thereof in Latin, saying that he finds himself much better since, and as a new man, but he is cracked a little in his head, though he speaks very reasonably, and very well. He had but 20s. for his suffering it, and is to have the same again tried upon him: the first sound man that ever had it tried on him in England, and but one that we hear of in France, which was a porter hired by the virtuosos. Here all the afternoon till within night. Then I took coach and to the Exchange, where I was to meet my wife, but she was gone home, and so I to Westminster Hall, and there took a turn or two, but meeting with nobody to discourse with, returned to Cary House, and there stayed and saw a pretty deception of the sight by a glass with water poured into it, with a stick standing up with three balls of wax upon it, one distant from the other. How these balls did seem double and disappear one after another, mighty pretty! Here Mr. Carcasse did come to me, and brought first Mr. Colwall, our Treasurer, and then Dr. Wilkins to engage me to be his friend, and himself asking forgiveness and desiring my friendship, saying that the Council have now ordered him to be free to return to the Office to be employed. I promised him my friendship, and am glad of this occasion, having desired it; for there is nobody’s ill tongue that I fear like his, being a malicious and cunning bold fellow. Thence, paying our shot, 6s. apiece, I home, and there to the office and wrote my letters, and then home, my eyes very sore with yesterday’s work, and so home and tried to make a piece by my eare and viall to “I wonder what the grave,” &c., and so to supper and to bed, where frighted a good while and my wife again with noises, and my wife did rise twice, but I think it was Sir John Minnes’s people again late cleaning their house, for it was past I o’clock in the morning before we could fall to sleep, and so slept. But I perceive well what the care of money and treasure in a man’s house is to a man that fears to lose it. My Lord Anglesey told me this day that he did believe the House of Commons would, the next week, yield to the Lords; but, speaking with others this day, they conclude they will not, but that rather the King will accommodate it by committing my Lord Clarendon himself. I remember what Mr. Evelyn said, that he did believe we should soon see ourselves fall into a Commonwealth again. Joseph Williamson I find mighty kind still, but close, not daring to say anything almost that touches upon news or state of affairs.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53