Samuel Pepys diary February 1667

FEBRUARY 1666-1667

February 1st. Up, and to the office, where I was all the morning doing
business, at noon home to dinner, and after dinner down by water, though
it was a thick misty and rainy day, and walked to Deptford from Redriffe,
and there to Bagwells by appointment, where the mulier etoit within
expecting me venir…. By and by su marido come in, and there without
any notice taken by him we discoursed of our business of getting him the
new ship building by Mr. Deane, which I shall do for him. Thence by and by
after a little talk I to the yard, and spoke with some of the officers,
but staid but little, and the new clerk of the Chequer, Fownes, did walk
to Redriffe back with me. I perceive he is a very child, and is led by the
nose by Cowly and his kinsman that was his clerk, but I did make him
understand his duty, and put both understanding and spirit into him, so
that I hope he will do well. [Much surprised to hear this day at Deptford
that Mrs. Batters is going already to be married to him, that is now the
Captain of her husbands ship. She seemed the most passionate mourner in
the world. But I believe it cannot be true.]—(The passage between
brackets is written in the margin of the MS.)—Thence by water to
Billingsgate; thence to the Old Swan, and there took boat, it being now
night, to Westminster Hall, there to the Hall, and find Doll Lane, and
con elle I went to the Bell Taverne, and ibi je did do what I would
con elle as well as I could, she sedendo sobre thus far and making
some little resistance. But all with much content, and je tenai much
pleasure cum ista. There parted, and I by coach home, and to the office,
where pretty late doing business, and then home, and merry with my wife,
and to supper. My brother and I did play with the base, and I upon my
viallin, which I have not seen out of the case now I think these three
years, or more, having lost the key, and now forced to find an expedient
to open it. Then to bed.

2nd February. Up, and to the office. This day I hear that Prince Rupert is to be
trepanned. God give good issue to it. Sir W. Pen looks upon me, and I on
him, and speak about business together at the table well enough, but no
friendship or intimacy since our late difference about his closet, nor do
I desire to have any. At noon dined well, and my brother and I to write
over once more with my own hand my catalogue of books, while he reads to
me. After something of that done, and dined, I to the office, where all
the afternoon till night busy. At night, having done all my office
matters, I home, and my brother and I to go on with my catalogue, and so
to supper. Mrs. Turner come to me this night again to condole her
condition and the ill usage she receives from my Lord Bruncker, which I
could never have expected from him, and shall be a good caution to me
while I live. She gone, I to supper, and then to read a little, and to
bed. This night comes home my new silver snuffe-dish, which I do give
myself for my closet, which is all I purpose to bestow in plate of myself,
or shall need, many a day, if I can keep what I have. So to bed. I am very
well pleased this night with reading a poem I brought home with me last
night from Westminster Hall, of Drydens upon the present war; a very
good poem.

3rd February (Lords day). Up, and with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen to White
Hall, and there to Sir W. Coventrys chamber, and there staid till
he was ready, talking, and among other things of the Princes being
trepanned, which was in doing just as we passed through the Stone
Gallery, we asking at the door of his lodgings, and were told so. We are
all full of wishes for the good success; though I dare say but few do
really concern ourselves for him in our hearts. Up to the Duke of York,
and with him did our business we come about, and among other things
resolve upon a meeting at the office to-morrow morning, Sir W. Coventry
to be there to determine of all things necessary for the setting of Sir
W. Pen to work in his Victualling business. This did awake in me some
thoughts of what might in discourse fall out touching my imployment, and
did give me some apprehension of trouble. Having done here, and after
our laying our necessities for money open to the Duke of York, but
nothing obtained concerning it, we parted, and I with others into the
House, and there hear that the work is done to the Prince in a few
minutes without any pain at all to him, he not knowing when it was done.
It was performed by Moulins. Having cut the outward table, as they call
corrupted, so as it come out without any force; and their fear is, that
the whole inside of his head is corrupted like that, which do yet make
them afeard of him; but no ill accident appeared in the doing of the
thing, but all with all imaginable success, as Sir Alexander Frazier did
tell me himself, I asking him, who is very kind to me. I to the Chapel a
little, but hearing nothing did take a turn into the Park, and then back
to Chapel and heard a very good Anthem to my hearts delight, and then
to Sir G. Carterets to dinner, and before dinner did walk with him
alone a good while, and from him hear our case likely for all these acts
to be bad for money, which troubles me, the year speeding so fast, and
he tells me that he believes the Duke of York will go to sea with the
fleete, which I am sorry for in respect to his person, but yet there is
no person in condition to command the fleete, now the Captains are
grown so great, but him, it being impossible for anybody else but him to
command any order or discipline among them. He tells me there is nothing
at all in the late discourse about my Lord Sandwich and the French
Embassador meeting and contending for the way, which I wonder at, to see
the confidence of report without any ground. By and by to dinner, where
very good company. Among other discourse, we talked much of Nostradamus

[Michael Nostradamus, a physician and astrologer, born in the
diocese of Avignon, 1503. Amongst other predictions, one was
interpreted as foreshowing the singular death of Hen. II. of France,
by which his reputation was increased.]

his prophecy of these times, and the burning of the City of London, some
of whose verses are put into Bookers Almanack this year; and Sir G.
Carteret did tell a story, how at his death he did make the town swear
that he should never be dug up, or his tomb opened, after he was buried;
but they did after sixty years do it, and upon his breast they found a
plate of brasse, saying what a wicked and unfaithful people the people of
that place were, who after so many vows should disturb and open him such a
day and year and hour; which, if true, is very strange. Then we fell to
talking of the burning of the City; and my Lady Carteret herself did tell
us how abundance of pieces of burnt papers were cast by the wind as far as
Cranborne; and among others she took up one, or had one brought her to
see, which was a little bit of paper that had been printed, whereon there
remained no more nor less than these words: Time is, it is done. After
dinner I went and took a turn into the Park, and then took boat and away
home, and there to my chamber and to read, but did receive some letters
from Sir W. Coventry, touching the want of victuals to Kempthornes
fleete going to the Streights and now in the Downes: which did trouble me,
he saying that this disappointment might prove fatal; and the more,
because Sir W. Coventry do intend to come to the office upon business
to-morrow morning, and I shall not know what answer to give him. This did
mightily trouble my mind; however, I fell to read a little in Hakewills
Apology, and did satisfy myself mighty fair in the truth of the saying
that the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all
respects as ever it was as to nature. I continued reading this book with
great pleasure till supper, and then to bed sooner than ordinary, for
rising betimes in the morning to-morrow. So after reading my usual vows to
bed, my mind full of trouble against to-morrow, and did not sleep any good
time of the night for thoughts of to-morrow mornings trouble.

4th February. I up, with my head troubled to think of the issue of this morning, so
made ready and to the office, where Mr. Gawden comes, and he and I
discoursed the business well, and thinks I shall get off well enough; but
I do by Sir W. Coventrys silence conclude that he is not satisfied in my
management of my place and the charge it puts the King to, which I confess
I am not in present condition through my late laziness to give any good
answer to. But here do D. Gawden give me a good cordiall this morning, by
telling me that he do give me five of the eight hundred pounds on his
account remaining in my hands to myself, for the service I do him in my
victualling business, and L100 for my particular share of the profits of
my Tangier imployment as Treasurer. This do begin to make my heart glad,
and I did dissemble it the better, so when Sir W. Coventry did come, and
the rest met, I did appear unconcerned, and did give him answer pretty
satisfactory what he asked me; so that I did get off this meeting without
any ground lost, but rather a great deal gained by interposing that which
did belong to my duty to do, and neither [Sir] W. Coventry nor (Sir) W.
Yen did oppose anything thereunto, which did make my heart very glad. All
the morning at this work, Sir W. Pen making a great deal of do for the
fitting him in his setting out in his employment, and I do yield to any
trouble that he gives me without any contradiction. Sir W. Coventry being
gone, we at noon to dinner to Sir W. Pens, he inviting me and my wife,
and there a pretty good dinner, intended indeed for Sir W. Coventry, but
he would not stay. So here I was mighty merry and all our differences
seemingly blown over, though he knows, if he be not a fool, that I love
him not, and I do the like that he hates me. Soon as dined, my wife and I
out to the Dukes playhouse, and there saw Heraclius, an excellent play,
to my extraordinary content; and the more from the house being very full,
and great company; among others, Mrs. Steward, very fine, with her locks
done up with puffes, as my wife calls them: and several other great ladies
had their hair so, though I do not like it; but my wife do mightily—but
it is only because she sees it is the fashion. Here I saw my Lord
Rochester and his lady, Mrs. Mallet, who hath after all this ado married
him; and, as I hear some say in the pit, it is a great act of charity, for
he hath no estate. But it was pleasant to see how every body rose up when
my Lord John Butler, the Duke of Ormonds son, come into the pit towards
the end of the play, who was a servant—[lover]—to Mrs. Mallet,
and now smiled upon her, and she on him. I had sitting next to me a woman,
the likest my Lady Castlemayne that ever I saw anybody like another; but
she is a whore, I believe, for she is acquainted with every fine fellow,
and called them by their name, Jacke, and Tom, and before the end of the
play frisked to another place. Mightily pleased with the play, we home by
coach, and there a little to the office, and then to my chamber, and there
finished my Catalogue of my books with my own hand, and so to supper and
to bed, and had a good nights rest, the last nights being troublesome,
but now my heart light and full of resolution of standing close to my
business.

5th February. Up, and to the office, where all the morning doing business, and then
home to dinner. Heard this morning that the Prince is much better, and
hath good rest. All the talk is that my Lord Sandwich hath perfected the
peace with Spayne, which is very good, if true. Sir H. Cholmly was with me
this morning, and told me of my Lord Bellassess base dealings with him by
getting him to give him great gratuities to near L2000 for his friendship
in the business of the Mole, and hath been lately underhand endeavouring
to bring another man into his place as Governor, so as to receive his
money of Sir H. Cholmly for nothing. Dined at home, and after dinner come
Mrs. Daniel and her sister and staid and talked a little, and then I to
the office, and after setting my things in order at the office I abroad
with my wife and little Betty Michell, and took them against my vowes, but
I will make good my forfeit, to the Kings house, to show them a play,
The Chances. A good play I find it, and the actors most good in it; and
pretty to hear Knipp sing in the play very properly, All night I weepe;
and sung it admirably. The whole play pleases me well: and most of all,
the sight of many fine ladies—among others, my Lady Castlemayne and
Mrs. Middleton: the latter of the two hath also a very excellent face and
body, I think. Thence by coach to the New Exchange, and there laid out
money, and I did give Betty Michell two pair of gloves and a dressing-box;
and so home in the dark, over the ruins, with a link. I was troubled with
my pain, having got a bruise on my right testicle, I know not how. But
this I did make good use of to make my wife shift sides with me, and I did
come to sit avec Betty Michell, and there had her main, which elle
did give me very frankly now, and did hazer whatever I voudrais avec la,
which did plaisir me grandement, and so set her at home with my mind
mighty glad of what I have prevailed for so far; and so home, and to the
office, and did my business there, and then home to supper, and after to
set some things right in my chamber, and so to bed. This morning, before I
went to the office, there come to me Mr. Young and Whistler, flaggmakers,
and with mighty earnestness did present me with, and press me to take a
box, wherein I could not guess there was less than L100 in gold: but I do
wholly refuse it, and did not at last take it. The truth is, not thinking
them safe men to receive such a gratuity from, nor knowing any
considerable courtesy that ever I did do them, but desirous to keep myself
free from their reports, and to have it in my power to say I had refused
their offer.

6th February. Up, lying a little long in bed, and by water to White Hall, and there
find the Duke of York gone out, he being in haste to go to the Parliament,
and so all my Brethren were gone to the office too. So I to Sir Ph.
Warwickes about my Tangier business, and then to Westminster Hall, and
walked up and down, and hear that the Prince do still rest well by day and
night, and out of pain; so as great hopes are conceived of him: though I
did meet Dr. Clerke and Mr. Pierce, and they do say they believe he will
not recover it, they supposing that his whole head within is eaten by this
corruption, which appeared in this piece of the inner table. Up to the
Parliament door, and there discoursed with Roger Pepys, who goes out of
town this week, the Parliament rising this week also. So down to the Hall
and there spied Betty Michell, and so I sent for burnt wine to Mrs.
Michells, and there did drink with the two mothers, and by that means
with Betty, poor girle, whom I love with all my heart. And God forgive me,
it did make me stay longer and hover all the morning up and down the Hall
to busquer occasions para ambulare con elle. But ego ne pouvoir. So home
by water and to dinner, and then to the office, where we sat upon Denis
Gawdens accounts, and before night I rose and by water to White Hall, to
attend the Council; but they sat not to-day. So to Sir W. Coventrys
chamber, and find him within, and with a letter from the Downes in his
hands, telling the loss of the St. Patricke coming from Harwich in her way
to Portsmouth; and would needs chase two ships (she having the Malago
fire-ship in company) which from English colours put up Dutch, and he
would clap on board the Vice-Admirall; and after long dispute the Admirall
comes on the other side of him, and both together took him. Our fire-ship
(Seely) not coming in to fire all three, but come away, leaving her in
their possession, and carried away by them: a ship built at Bristoll the
last year, of fifty guns and upwards, and a most excellent good ship. This
made him very melancholy. I to talk of our wants of money, but I do find
that he is not pleased with that discourse, but grieves to hear it, and do
seem to think that Sir G. Carteret do not mind the getting of money with
the same good cheer that he did heretofore, nor do I think he hath the
same reason. Thence to Westminster Hall, thinking to see Betty Michell,
she staying there all night, and had hopes to get her out alone, but
missed, and so away by coach home, and to Sir W. Battens, to tell him my
bad news, and then to the office, and home to supper, where Mrs. Hewer
was, and after supper and she gone, W. Hewer talking with me very late of
the ill manner of Sir G. Carterets accounts being kept, and in what a sad
condition he would be if either Fenn or Wayth should break or die, and am
resolved to take some time to tell Sir G. Carteret or my Lady of it, I do
love them so well and their family. So to bed, my pain pretty well gone.

7th February. Lay long with pleasure with my wife, and then up and to the office,
where all the morning, and then home to dinner, and before dinner I went
into my green dining room, and there talking with my brother upon matters
relating to his journey to Brampton to-morrow, and giving him good counsel
about spending the time when he shall stay in the country with my father,
I looking another way heard him fall down, and turned my head, and he was
fallen down all along upon the ground dead, which did put me into a great
fright; and, to see my brotherly love! I did presently lift him up from
the ground, he being as pale as death; and, being upon his legs, he did
presently come to himself, and said he had something come into his stomach
very hot. He knew not what it was, nor ever had such a fit before. I never
was so frighted but once, when my wife was ill at Ware upon the road, and
I did continue trembling a good while and ready to weepe to see him, he
continuing mighty pale all dinner and melancholy, that I was loth to let
him take his journey tomorrow; but he began to be pretty well, and after
dinner my wife and Barker fell to singing, which pleased me pretty well,
my wife taking mighty pains and proud that she shall come to trill, and
indeed I think she will. So to the office, and there all the afternoon
late doing business, and then home, and find my brother pretty well. So to
write a letter to my Lady Sandwich for him to carry, I having not writ to
her a great while. Then to supper and so to bed. I did this night give him
20s. for books, and as much for his pocket, and 15s. to carry him down,
and so to bed. Poor fellow! he is so melancholy, and withal, my wife says,
harmless, that I begin to love him, and would be loth he should not do
well.

8th February. This morning my brother John come up to my bedside, and took his
leave of us, going this day to Brampton. My wife loves him mightily as one
that is pretty harmless, and I do begin to fancy him from yesterdays
accident, it troubling me to think I should be left without a brother or
sister, which is the first time that ever I had thoughts of that kind in
my life. He gone, I up, and to the office, where we sat upon the
Victuallers accounts all the morning. At noon Lord Bruncker, Sir W.
Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and myself to the Swan in Leadenhall Street to
dinner, where an exceedingly good dinner and good discourse. Sir W. Batten
come this morning from the House, where the King hath prorogued this
Parliament to October next. I am glad they are up. The Bill for Accounts
was not offered, the party being willing to let it fall; but the King did
tell them he expected it. They are parted with great heartburnings, one
party against the other. Pray God bring them hereafter together in better
temper! It is said that the King do intend himself in this interval to
take away Lord Mordaunts government, so as to do something to appease the
House against they come together, and let them see he will do that of his
own accord which is fit, without their forcing him; and that he will have
his Commission for Accounts go on which will be good things. At dinner we
talked much of Cromwell; all saying he was a brave fellow, and did owe his
crowne he got to himself as much as any man that ever got one. Thence to
the office, and there begun the account which Sir W. Pen by his late
employment hath examined, but begun to examine it in the old manner, a
clerk to read the Petty warrants, my Lord Bruncker upon very good ground
did except against it, and would not suffer him to go on. This being Sir
W. Pens clerk he took it in snuff, and so hot they grew upon it that my
Lord Bruncker left the office. He gone (Sir) W. Pen ranted like a devil,
saying that nothing but ignorance could do this. I was pleased at heart
all this while. At last moved to have Lord Bruncker desired to return,
which he did, and I read the petty warrants all the day till late at
night, that I was very weary, and troubled to have my private business of
my office stopped to attend this, but mightily pleased at this falling
out, and the truth is [Sir] W. Pen do make so much noise in this business
of his, and do it so little and so ill, that I think the King will be
little the better by changing the hand. So up and to my office a little,
but being at it all day I could not do much there. So home and to supper,
to teach Barker to sing another piece of my song, and then to bed.

9th February. To the office, where we sat all the morning busy. At noon home to
dinner, and then to my office again, where also busy, very busy late, and
then went home and read a piece of a play, Every Man in his Humour,—[Ben
Jonsons well-known play.]—wherein is the greatest propriety of
speech that ever I read in my life: and so to bed. This noon come my
wifes watchmaker, and received L12 of me for her watch; but Captain Rolt
coming to speak with me about a little business, he did judge of the work
to be very good work, and so I am well contented, and he hath made very
good, that I knew, to Sir W. Pen and Lady Batten.

10th February (Lords day). Up and with my wife to church, where Mr. Mills made an
unnecessary sermon upon Original Sin, neither understood by himself nor
the people. Home, where Michell and his wife, and also there come Mr.
Carter, my old acquaintance of Magdalene College, who hath not been here
of many years. He hath spent his time in the North with the Bishop of
Carlisle much. He is grown a very comely person, and of good discourse,
and one that I like very much. We had much talk of our old acquaintance of
the College, concerning their various fortunes; wherein, to my joy, I met
not with any that have sped better than myself. After dinner he went away,
and awhile after them Michell and his wife, whom I love mightily, and then
I to my chamber there to my Tangier accounts, which I had let run a little
behind hand, but did settle them very well to my satisfaction, but it cost
me sitting up till two in the morning, and the longer by reason that our
neighbour, Mrs. Turner, poor woman, did come to take her leave of us, she
being to quit her house to-morrow to my Lord Bruncker, who hath used her
very unhandsomely. She is going to lodgings, and do tell me very odde
stories how Mrs. Williams do receive the applications of people, and hath
presents, and she is the hand that receives all, while my Lord Bruncker do
the business, which will shortly come to be loud talk if she continues
here, I do foresee, and bring my Lord no great credit. So having done all
my business, to bed.

11th February. Up, and by water to the Temple, and thence to Sir Ph. Warwickes
about my Tangier warrant for tallies, and there met my Lord Bellasses and
Creed, and discoursed about our business of money, but we are defeated as
to any hopes of getting [any] thing upon the Poll Bill, which I seem but
not much troubled at, it not concerning me much. Thence with Creed to
Westminster Hall, and there up and down, and heard that Prince Rupert is
still better and better; and that he did tell Dr. Troutbecke expressly
that my Lord Sandwich is ordered home. I hear, too, that Prince Rupert
hath begged the having of all the stolen prize-goods which he can find,
and that he is looking out anew after them, which at first troubled me;
but I do see it cannot come to anything, but is done by Hayes, or some of
his little people about him. Here, among other newes, I bought the Kings
speech at proroguing the House the other day, wherein are some words which
cannot but import some prospect of a peace, which God send us! After
walking a good while in the Hall, it being Term time, I home by water,
calling at Michells and giving him a fair occasion to send his wife to
the New Exchange to meet my wife and me this afternoon. So home to dinner,
and after dinner by coach to Lord Bellasses, and with him to Povys house,
whom we find with Auditor Beale and Vernatty about their accounts still,
which is never likely to have end. Our business was to speak with
Vernatty, who is certainly a most cunning knave as ever was born. Having
done what we had to do there, my Lord carried me and set me down at the
New Exchange, where I staid at Pottles shop till Betty Michell come,
which she did about five oclock, and was surprised not to trouver my
muger I there; but I did make an excuse good enough, and so I took elle
down, and over the water to the cabinet-makers, and there bought a
dressing-box for her for 20s., but would require an hours time to make
fit. This I was glad of, thinking to have got elle to enter to a casa
de biber, but elle would not, so I did not much press it, but suffered
elle to enter a la casa de uno de sus hermanos, and so I past my time
walking up and down, and among other places, to one Drumbleby, a maker of
flageolets, the best in towne. He not within, my design to bespeak a pair
of flageolets of the same tune, ordered him to come to me in a day or two,
and so I back to the cabinet-makers and there staid; and by and by Betty
comes, and here we staid in the shop and above seeing the workmen work,
which was pretty, and some exceeding good work, and very pleasant to see
them do it, till it was late quite dark, and the mistresse of the shop
took us into the kitchen and there talked and used us very prettily, and
took her for my wife, which I owned and her big belly, and there very
merry, till my thing done, and then took coach and home … But now comes
our trouble, I did begin to fear that su marido might go to my house to
enquire pour elle, and there, trouvant my muger—[wife in
Spanish.]—at home, would not only think himself, but give my femme
occasion to think strange things. This did trouble me mightily, so though
elle would not seem to have me trouble myself about it, yet did agree to
the stopping the coach at the streetes end, and je allois con elle
home, and there presently hear by him that he had newly sent su mayde to
my house to see for her mistresse. This do much perplex me, and I did go
presently home Betty whispering me behind the tergo de her mari, that if
I would say that we did come home by water, elle could make up la cose
well satis, and there in a sweat did walk in the entry ante my door,
thinking what I should say a my femme, and as God would have it, while I
was in this case (the worst in reference a my femme that ever I was in
in my life), a little woman comes stumbling to the entry steps in the
dark; whom asking who she was, she enquired for my house. So knowing her
voice, and telling her su donna is come home she went away. But, Lord!
in what a trouble was I, when she was gone, to recollect whether this was
not the second time of her coming, but at last concluding that she had not
been here before, I did bless myself in my good fortune in getting home
before her, and do verily believe she had loitered some time by the way,
which was my great good fortune, and so I in a-doors and there find all
well. So my heart full of joy, I to the office awhile, and then home, and
after supper and doing a little business in my chamber I to bed, after
teaching Barker a little of my song.

12th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, with several
things (among others) discoursed relating to our two new assistant
controllers, but especially Sir W. Pen, who is mighty troublesome in it.
At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, and there did much
business, and by and by comes Mr. Moore, who in discourse did almost
convince me that it is necessary for my Lord Sandwich to come home end
take his command at sea this year, for that a peace is like to be. Many
considerations he did give me hereupon, which were very good both in
reference to the publick and his private condition. By and by with Lord
Bruncker by coach to his house, there to hear some Italian musique: and
here we met Tom Killigrew, Sir Robert Murray, and the Italian Signor
Baptista, who hath composed a play in Italian for the Opera, which T.
Killigrew do intend to have up; and here he did sing one of the acts. He
himself is the poet as well as the musician; which is very much, and did
sing the whole from the words without any musique prickt, and played all
along upon a harpsicon most admirably, and the composition most excellent.
The words I did not understand, and so know not how they are fitted, but
believe very well, and all in the recitativo very fine. But I perceive
there is a proper accent in every countrys discourse, and that do reach
in their setting of notes to words, which, therefore, cannot be natural to
any body else but them; so that I am not so much smitten with it as, it
may be, I should be, if I were acquainted with their accent. But the whole
composition is certainly most excellent; and the poetry, T. Killigrew and
Sir R. Murray, who understood the words, did say was excellent. I confess
I was mightily pleased with the musique. He pretends not to voice, though
it be good, but not excellent. This done, T. Killigrew and I to talk: and
he tells me how the audience at his house is not above half so much as it
used to be before the late fire. That Knipp is like to make the best actor
that ever come upon the stage, she understanding so well: that they are
going to give her L30 a-year more. That the stage is now by his pains a
thousand times better and more glorious than ever heretofore. Now,
wax-candles, and many of them; then, not above 3 lbs. of tallow: now, all
things civil, no rudeness anywhere; then, as in a bear-garden then, two or
three fiddlers; now, nine or ten of the best then, nothing but rushes upon
the ground, and every thing else mean; and now, all otherwise: then, the
Queen seldom and the King never would come; now, not the King only for
state, but all civil people do think they may come as well as any. He
tells me that he hath gone several times, eight or ten times, he tells me,
hence to Rome to hear good musique; so much he loves it, though he never
did sing or play a note. That he hath ever endeavoured in the late Kings
time, and in this, to introduce good musique, but he never could do it,
there never having been any musique here better than ballads. Nay, says,
Hermitt poore and Chevy Chese

[Like hermit poor in pensive place obscure is found in The
Phoenix Nest, 1593, and in Harl. MS. No. 6910, written soon after
1596. It was set to music by Alfonso Ferrabosco, and published in
his Ayres, 1609. The song was a favourite with Izaak Walton, and
is alluded to in Hudibras (Part I., canto ii., line 1169). See
Rimbaults Little Book of Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 98. Both
versions of the famous ballad of Chevy Chase are printed in
Percys Reliques.]

was all the musique we had; and yet no ordinary fiddlers get so much money
as ours do here, which speaks our rudenesse still. That he hath gathered
our Italians from several Courts in Christendome, to come to make a
concert for the King, which he do give L200 a-year a-piece to: but badly
paid, and do come in the room of keeping four ridiculous gundilows,

[The gondolas mentioned before, as sent by the Doge of Venice. See
September 12th, 1661]

he having got, the King to put them away, and lay out money this way; and
indeed I do commend him for it, for I think it is a very noble
undertaking. He do intend to have some times of the year these operas to
be performed at the two present theatres, since he is defeated in what he
intended in Moorefields on purpose for it; and he tells me plainly that
the City audience was as good as the Court, but now they are most gone.
Baptista tells me that Giacomo Charissimi is still alive at Rome, who was
master to Vinnecotio, who is one of the Italians that the King hath here,
and the chief composer of them. My great wonder is, how this man do to
keep in memory so perfectly the musique of the whole act, both for the
voice and the instrument too. I confess I do admire it: but in recitativo
the sense much helps him, for there is but one proper way of discoursing
and giving the accents. Having done our discourse, we all took coaches, my
Lords and T. Killigrews, and to Mrs. Knipps chamber, where this Italian
is to teach her to sing her part. And so we all thither, and there she did
sing an Italian song or two very fine, while he played the bass upon a
harpsicon there; and exceedingly taken I am with her singing, and believe
that she will do miracles at that and acting. Her little girl is mighty
pretty and witty. After being there an hour, and I mightily pleased with
this evenings work, we all parted, and I took coach and home, where late
at my office, and then home to enter my last three days Journall; and so
to supper and to bed, troubled at nothing, but that these pleasures do
hinder me in my business, and the more by reason of our being to dine
abroad to-morrow, and then Saturday next is appointed to meet again at my
Lord Brunckers lodgings, and there to have the whole quire of Italians;
but then I do consider that this is all the pleasure I live for in the
world, and the greatest I can ever expect in the best of my life, and one
thing more, that by hearing this man to-night, and I think Captain Cooke
to-morrow, and the quire of Italians on Saturday, I shall be truly able to
distinguish which of them pleases me truly best, which I do much desire to
know and have good reason and fresh occasion of judging.

13th. Up, and by water to White Hall, where to the Duke of York, and there
did our usual business; but troubled to see that, at this time, after our
declaring a debt to the Parliament of L900,000, and nothing paid since,
but the debt increased, and now the fleete to set out; to hear that the
King hath ordered but L35,000 for the setting out of the fleete, out of
the Poll Bill, to buy all provisions, when five times as much had been
little enough to have done any thing to purpose. They have, indeed,
ordered more for paying off of seamen and the Yards to some time, but not
enough for that neither. Another thing is, the acquainting the Duke of
York with the case of Mr. Lanyon, our agent at Plymouth, who has trusted
us to L8000 out of purse; we are not in condition, after so many promises,
to obtain him a farthing, nor though a message was carried by Sir G.
Carteret and Sir W. Coventry to the Commissioners for Prizes, that he
might have L3000 out of L20,000 worth of prizes to be shortly sold there,
that he might buy at the candle and pay for the goods out of bills, and
all would [not] do any thing, but that money must go all another way,
while the Kings service is undone, and those that trust him perish. These
things grieve me to the heart. The Prince, I hear, is every day better and
better. So away by water home, stopping at Michells, where Mrs. Martin
was, and I there drank with them and whispered with Betty, who tells me
all is well, but was prevented in something she would have said, her
marido venant just then, a news which did trouble me, and so drank and
parted and home, and there took up my wife by coach, and to Mrs. Pierces,
there to take her up, and with them to Dr. Clerkes, by invitation, where
we have not been a great while, nor had any mind to go now, but that the
Dr., whom I love, would have us choose a day. Here was his wife, painted,
and her sister Worshipp, a widow now and mighty pretty in her mourning.
Here was also Mr. Pierce and Mr. Floyd, Secretary to the Lords
Commissioners of Prizes, and Captain Cooke, to dinner, an ill and little
mean one, with foul cloth and dishes, and everything poor. Discoursed most
about plays and the Opera, where, among other vanities, Captain Cooke had
the arrogance to say that he was fain to direct Sir W. Davenant in the
breaking of his verses into such and such lengths, according as would be
fit for musick, and how he used to swear at Davenant, and command him that
way, when W. Davenant would be angry, and find fault with this or that
note—but a vain coxcomb I perceive he is, though he sings and
composes so well. But what I wondered at, Dr. Clerke did say that Sir W.
Davenant is no good judge of a dramatick poem, finding fault with his
choice of Henry the 5th, and others, for the stage, when I do think, and
he confesses, The Siege of Rhodes as good as ever was writ. After dinner
Captain Cooke and two of his boys to sing, but it was indeed both in
performance and composition most plainly below what I heard last night,
which I could not have believed. Besides overlooking the words which he
sung, I find them not at all humoured as they ought to be, and as I
believed he had done all he had sett. Though he himself do indeed sing in
a manner as to voice and manner the best I ever heard yet, and a strange
mastery he hath in making of extraordinary surprising closes, that are
mighty pretty, but his bragging that he do understand tones and sounds as
well as any man in the world, and better than Sir W. Davenant or any body
else, I do not like by no means, but was sick of it and of him for it. He
gone, Dr. Clerke fell to reading a new play, newly writ, of a friends of
his; but, by his discourse and confession afterwards, it was his own. Some
things, but very few, moderately good; but infinitely far from the
conceit, wit, design, and language of very many plays that I know; so
that, but for compliment, I was quite tired with hearing it. It being
done, and commending the play, but against my judgment, only the prologue
magnifying the happiness of our former poets when such sorry things did
please the world as was then acted, was very good. So set Mrs. Pierce at
home, and away ourselves home, and there to my office, and then my chamber
till my eyes were sore at writing and making ready my letter and accounts
for the Commissioners of Tangier to-morrow, which being done, to bed,
hearing that there was a very great disorder this day at the Ticket
Office, to the beating and bruising of the face of Carcasse very much. A
foul evening this was to-night, and I mightily troubled to get a coach
home; and, which is now my common practice, going over the ruins in the
night, I rid with my sword drawn in the coach.

14th. Up and to the office, where Carcasse comes with his plaistered face,
and called himself Sir W. Battens martyr, which made W. Batten mad
almost, and mighty quarrelling there was. We spent the morning almost
wholly upon considering some way of keeping the peace at the Ticket
Office; but it is plain that the care of that office is nobodys work, and
that is it that makes it stand in the ill condition it do. At noon home to
dinner, and after dinner by coach to my Lord Chancellors, and there a
meeting: the Duke of York, Duke of Albemarle, and several other Lords of
the Commission of Tangier. And there I did present a state of my accounts,
and managed them well; and my Lord Chancellor did say, though he was, in
other things, in an ill humour, that no man in England was of more method,
nor made himself better understood than myself. But going, after the
business of money was over, to other businesses, of settling the garrison,
he did fling out, and so did the Duke of York, two or three severe words
touching my Lord Bellasses: that he would have no Governor come away from
thence in less than three years; no, though his lady were with child.
And, says the Duke of York, there should be no Governor continue so,
longer than three years. Nor, says Lord Arlington, when our rules are
once set, and upon good judgment declared, no Governor should offer to
alter them.—We must correct the many things that are amiss there;
for, says the Lord Chancellor, you must think we do hear of more things
amisse than we are willing to speak before our friends faces. My Lord
Bellasses would not take notice of their reflecting on him, and did
wisely, but there were also many reflections on him. Thence away by coach
to Sir H. Cholmly and Fitzgerald and Creed, setting down the two latter at
the New Exchange. And Sir H. Cholmly and I to the Temple, and there walked
in the dark in the walks talking of newes; and he surprises me with the
certain newes that the King did last night in Council declare his being in
treaty with the Dutch: that they had sent him a very civil letter,
declaring that, if nobody but themselves were concerned, they would not
dispute the place of treaty, but leave it to his choice; but that, being
obliged to satisfy therein a Prince of equal quality with himself, they
must except any place in England or Spayne. And so the King hath chosen
the Hague, and thither hath chose my Lord Hollis and Harry Coventry to go
Embassadors to treat; which is so mean a thing, as all the world will
believe, that we do go to beg a peace of them, whatever we pretend. And it
seems all our Court are mightily for a peace, taking this to be the time
to make one, while the King hath money, that he may save something of what
the Parliament hath given him to put him out of debt, so as he may need
the help of no more Parliaments, as to the point of money: but our debt is
so great, and expence daily so encreased, that I believe little of the
money will be saved between this and the making of the peace up. But that
which troubles me most is, that we have chosen a son of Secretary Morris,
a boy never used to any business, to go Embassador [Secretary] to the
Embassy, which shows how, little we are sensible of the weight of the
business upon us. God therefore give a good end to it, for I doubt it, and
yet do much more doubt the issue of our continuing the war, for we are in
no wise fit for it, and yet it troubles me to think what Sir H. Cholmly
says, that he believes they will not give us any reparation for what we
have suffered by the war, nor put us into any better condition than what
we were in before the war, for that will be shamefull for us. Thence
parted with him and home through the dark over the ruins by coach, with my
sword drawn, to the office, where dispatched some business; and so home to
my chamber and to supper and to bed. This morning come up to my wifes
bedside, I being up dressing myself, little Will Mercer to be her
Valentine; and brought her name writ upon blue paper in gold letters, done
by himself, very pretty; and we were both well pleased with it. But I am
also this year my wifes Valentine, and it will cost me L5; but that I
must have laid out if we had not been Valentines. So to bed.

15th. Up and with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] J. Minnes by coach to White
Hall, where we attended upon the Duke of York to complain of the disorders
the other day among the seamen at the Pay at the Ticket Office, and that
it arises from lack of money, and that we desire, unless better provided
for with money, to have nothing more to do with the payment of tickets, it
being not our duty; and the Duke of York and [Sir] W. Coventry did agree
to it, so that I hope we shall be rid of that trouble. This done, I moved
for allowance for a house for Mr. Turner, and got it granted. Then away to
Westminster Hall, and there to the Exchequer about my tallies, and so back
to White Hall, and so with Lord Bellasses to the Excise Office, where met
by Sir H. Cholmly to consider about our business of money there, and that
done, home and to dinner, where I hear Pegg Pen is married this day
privately; no friends, but two or three relations on his side and hers.
Borrowed many things of my kitchen for dressing their dinner. So after
dinner to the office, and there busy and did much business, and late at
it. Mrs. Turner come to me to hear how matters went; I told her of our
getting rent for a house for her. She did give me account of this wedding
to-day, its being private being imputed to its being just before Lent, and
so in vain to make new clothes till Easter, that they might see the
fashions as they are like to be this summer; which is reason good enough.
Mrs. Turner tells me she hears [Sir W. Pen] gives L4500 or 4000 with her.
They are gone to bed, so I wish them much sport, and home to supper and to
bed. They own the treaty for a peace publickly at Court, and the
Commissioners providing themselves to go over as soon as a passe comes for
them.

16th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. Among other things
great heat we were all in on one side or other in the examining witnesses
against Mr. Carcasse about his buying of tickets, and a cunning knave I do
believe he is, and will appear, though I have thought otherwise
heretofore. At noon home to dinner, and there find Mr. Andrews, and Pierce
and Hollyard, and they dined with us and merry, but we did rise soon for
saving of my wifes seeing a new play this afternoon, and so away by
coach, and left her at Mrs. Pierces, myself to the Excise Office about
business, and thence to the Temple to walk a little only, and then to
Westminster to pass away time till anon, and here I went to Mrs. Martins
to thank her for her oysters…. Thence away to my Lord Brunckers, and
there was Sir Robert Murray, whom I never understood so well as now by
this opportunity of discourse with him, a most excellent man of reason and
learning, and understands the doctrine of musique, and everything else I
could discourse of, very finely. Here come Mr. Hooke, Sir George Ent, Dr.
Wren, and many others; and by and by the musique, that is to say, Signor
Vincentio, who is the master-composer, and six more, whereof two eunuches,
so tall, that Sir T. Harvey said well that he believes they do grow large
by being gelt as our oxen do, and one woman very well dressed and handsome
enough, but would not be kissed, as Mr. Killigrew, who brought the company
in, did acquaint us. They sent two harpsicons before; and by and by, after
tuning them, they begun; and, I confess, very good musique they made; that
is, the composition exceeding good, but yet not at all more pleasing to me
than what I have heard in English by Mrs. Knipp, Captain Cooke, and
others. Nor do I dote on the eunuches; they sing, indeed, pretty high, and
have a mellow kind of sound, but yet I have been as well satisfied with
several womens voices and men also, as Crispe of the Wardrobe. The women
sung well, but that which distinguishes all is this, that in singing, the
words are to be considered, and how they are fitted with notes, and then
the common accent of the country is to be known and understood by the
hearer, or he will never be a good judge of the vocal musique of another
country. So that I was not taken with this at all, neither understanding
the first, nor by practice reconciled to the latter, so that their
motions, and risings and fallings, though it may be pleasing to an
Italian, or one that understands the tongue, yet to me it did not, but do
from my heart believe that I could set words in English, and make musique
of them more agreeable to any Englishmans eare (the most judicious) than
any Italian musique set for the voice, and performed before the same man,
unless he be acquainted with the Italian accent of speech. The composition
as to the musique part was exceeding good, and their justness in keeping
time by practice much before any that we have, unless it be a good band of
practised fiddlers. So away, here being Captain Cocke, who is stole away,
leaving them at it, in his coach, and to Mrs. Pierces, where I took up my
wife, and there I find Mrs. Pierces little girl is my Valentine, she
having drawn me; which I was not sorry for, it easing me of something more
that I must have given to others. But here I do first observe the fashion
of drawing of mottos as well as names; so that Pierce, who drew my wife,
did draw also a motto, and this girl drew another for me. What mine was I
have forgot; but my wifes was, Most virtuous and most fair; which, as
it may be used, or an anagram made upon each name, might be very pretty.
Thence with Cocke and my wife, set him at home, and then we home. To the
office, and there did a little business, troubled that I have so much been
hindered by matters of pleasure from my business, but I shall recover it I
hope in a little time. So home and to supper, not at all smitten with the
musique to-night, which I did expect should have been so extraordinary,
Tom Killigrew crying it up, and so all the world, above all things in the
world, and so to bed. One wonder I observed to-day, that there was no
musique in the morning to call up our new-married people, which is very
mean, methinks, and is as if they had married like dog and bitch.

17th February (Lords day). Up, and called at Michells, and took him and his wife
and carried them to Westminster, I landing at White Hall, and having no
pleasure in the way con elle; and so to the Dukes, where we all met and
had a hot encounter before the Duke of York about the business of our
payments at the Ticket Office, where we urged that we had nothing to do to
be troubled with the pay, having examined the tickets. Besides, we are
neglected, having not money sent us in time, but to see the baseness of my
brethren, not a man almost put in a word but Sir W. Coventry, though at
the office like very devils in this point. But I did plainly declare that,
without money, no fleete could be expected, and desired the Duke of York
to take notice of it, and notice was taken of it, but I doubt will do no
good. But I desire to remember it as a most prodigious thing that to this
day my Lord Treasurer hath not consulted counsel, which Sir W. Coventry
and I and others do think is necessary, about the late Poll act, enough to
put the same into such order as that any body dare lend money upon it,
though we have from this office under our hands related the necessity
thereof to the Duke of York, nor is like to be determined in, for ought I
see, a good while had not Sir W. Coventry plainly said that he did believe
it would be a better work for the King than going to church this morning,
to send for the Atturney Generall to meet at the Lord Treasurers this
afternoon and to bring the thing to an issue, saying that himself, were he
going to the Sacrament, would not think he should offend God to leave it
and go to the ending this work, so much it is of moment to the King and
Kingdom. Hereupon the Duke of York said he would presently speak to the
King, and cause it to be done this afternoon. Having done here we broke
up; having done nothing almost though for all this, and by and by I met
Sir G. Carteret, and he is stark mad at what has passed this morning, and
I believe is heartily vexed with me: I said little, but I am sure the King
will suffer if some better care be not taken than he takes to look after
this business of money. So parted, and I by water home and to dinner, W.
Hewer with us, a good dinner and-very merry, my wife and I, and after
dinner to my chamber, to fit some things against: the Council anon, and
that being done away to White Hall by water, and thence to my Lord
Chancellors, where I met with, and had much pretty discourse with, one of
the Progerss that knows me; and it was pretty to hear him tell me, of his
own accord, as a matter of no shame, that in Spayne he had a pretty woman,
his mistress, whom, when money grew scarce with him, he was forced to
leave, and afterwards heard how she and her husband lived well, she being
kept by an old fryer who used her as his whore; but this, says he, is
better than as our ministers do, who have wives that lay up their estates,
and do no good nor relieve any poor—no, not our greatest prelates,
and I think he is in the right for my part. Staid till the Council was up,
and attended the King and Duke of York round the Park, and was asked
several questions by both; but I was in pain, lest they should ask me what
I could not answer; as the Duke of York did the value of the hull of the
St. Patrick lately lost, which I told him I could not presently answer;
though I might have easily furnished myself to answer all those questions.
They stood a good while to see the ganders and geese tread one another in
the water, the goose being all the while kept for a great while: quite
under water, which was new to me, but they did make mighty sport of it,
saying (as the King did often) Now you shall see a marriage, between this
and that, which did not please me. They gone, by coach to my Lord
Treasurers, as the Duke of York told me, to settle the business of money
for the navy, I walked into the Court to and again till night, and there
met Colonell Reames, and he and I walked together a great while
complaining of the ill-management of things, whereof he is as full as I
am. We ran over many persons and things, and see nothing done like men
like to do well while the King minds his pleasures so much. We did bemoan
it that nobody would or had authority enough with the King to tell him how
all things go to rack and will be lost. Then he and I parted, and I to
Westminster to the Swan, and there staid till Michell and his wife come.
Old Michell and his wife come to see me, and there we drank and laughed a
little, and then the young ones and I took boat, it being fine moonshine.
I did to my trouble see all the way that elle did get as close a su
marido as elle could, and turn her mains away quand je did
endeavour to take one…. So that I had no pleasure at all con elle ce
night. When we landed I did take occasion to send him back a the bateau
while I did get a baiser or two, and would have taken la by la hand,
but elle did turn away, and quand I said shall I not toucher to
answered ego no love touching, in a slight mood. I seemed not to take
notice of it, but parted kindly; su marido did alter with me almost a my
case, and there we parted, and so I home troubled at this, but I think I
shall make good use of it and mind my business more. At home, by
appointment, comes Captain Cocke to me, to talk of State matters, and
about the peace; who told me that the whole business is managed between
Kevet, Burgomaster of Amsterdam, and my Lord Arlington, who hath, by the
interest of his wife there, some interest. We have proposed the Hague, but
know not yet whether the Dutch will like it; or; if they do, whether the
French will. We think we shall have the help of the information of their
affairs and state, and the helps of the Prince of Orange his faction; but
above all, that De Witt, who hath all this while said he cannot get peace,
his mouth will now be stopped, so that he will be forced to offer fit
terms for fear of the people; and, lastly, if France or Spayne do not
please us, we are in a way presently to clap up a peace with the Dutch,
and secure them. But we are also in treaty with France, as he says: but it
must be to the excluding our alliance with the King of Spayne or House of
Austria; which we do not know presently what will be determined in. He
tells me the Vice-Chamberlaine is so great with the King, that, let the
Duke of York, and Sir W. Coventry, and this office, do or say what they
will, while the King lives, Sir G. Carteret will do what he will; and
advises me to be often with him, and eat and drink with him.; and tells me
that he doubts he is jealous of me, and was mighty mad to-day at our
discourse to him before the Duke of York. But I did give him my reasons
that the office is concerned to declare that, without money, the Kings
work cannot go on. From that discourse we ran to others, and among the
others he assures me that Henry Bruncker is one of the shrewdest fellows
for parts in England, and a dangerous man; that if ever the Parliament
comes again Sir W. Coventry cannot stand, but in this I believe him not;
that, while we want money so much in the Navy, the Officers of the
Ordnance have at this day L300,000 good in tallys, which they can command
money upon, got by their over-estimating their charge in getting it
reckoned as a fifth part of the expense of the Navy; that Harry Coventry,
who is to go upon this treaty with Lord Hollis (who he confesses to be a
very wise man) into Holland, is a mighty quick, ready man, but not so
weighty as he should be, he knowing him so well in his drink as he do;
that, unless the King do do something against my Lord Mordaunt and the
Patent for the Canary Company, before the Parliament next meets, he do
believe there will be a civil war before there will be any more money
given, unless it may be at their perfect disposal; and that all things are
now ordered to the provoking of the Parliament against they come next, and
the spending the Kings money, so as to put him into a necessity of having
it at the time it is prorogued for, or sooner. Having discoursed all this
and much more, he away, and I to supper and to read my vows, and to bed.
My mind troubled about Betty Michell, pour sa carriage this night
envers moy, but do hope it will put me upon doing my business. This
evening, going to the Queens side to see the ladies, I did find the
Queene, the Duchesse of York, and another or two, at cards, with the room
full of great ladies and men; which I was amazed at to see on a Sunday,
having not believed it; but, contrarily, flatly denied the same a little
while since to my cozen Roger Pepys? I did this day, going by water, read
the answer to The Apology for Papists, which did like me mightily, it
being a thing as well writ as I think most things that ever I read in my
life, and glad I am that I read it.

18th. Up, and to my bookbinders, and there mightily pleased to see some
papers of the account we did give the Parliament of the expense of the
Navy sewed together, which I could not have conceived before how prettily
it was done. Then by coach to the Exchequer about some tallies, and thence
back again home, by the way meeting Mr. Weaver, of Huntingdon, and did
discourse our business of law together, which did ease my mind, for I was
afeard I have omitted doing what I in prudence ought to have done. So home
and to dinner, and after dinner to the office, where je had Mrs. Burrows
all sola a my closet, and did there baiser and toucher ses mamelles….
Thence away, and with my wife by coach to the Duke of Yorks play-house,
expecting a new play, and so stayed not no more than other people, but to
the Kings house, to The Mayds Tragedy; but vexed all the while with
two talking ladies and Sir Charles Sedley; yet pleased to hear their
discourse, he being a stranger. And one of the ladies would, and did sit
with her mask on, all the play, and, being exceeding witty as ever I heard
woman, did talk most pleasantly with him; but was, I believe, a virtuous
woman, and of quality. He would fain know who she was, but she would not
tell; yet did give him many pleasant hints of her knowledge of him, by
that means setting his brains at work to find, out who she was, and did
give him leave to use all means to find out who she was, but pulling off
her mask. He was mighty witty, and she also making sport with him very
inoffensively, that a more pleasant rencontre I never heard. But by that
means lost the pleasure of the play wholly, to which now and then Sir
Charles Sedleys exceptions against both words and pronouncing were very
pretty. So home and to the office, did much business, then home, to
supper, and to bed.

19th February. Up, and to the office, where all the morning doing little business,
our want of money being so infinite great. At noon home, and there find
old Mr. Michell and Howlett come to desire mine and my wifes company to
dinner to their sons, and so away by coach with them, it being Bettys
wedding-day a year, as also Shrove Tuesday. Here I made myself mighty
merry, the two old women being there also, and a mighty pretty dinner we
had in this little house, to my exceeding great content, and my wifes,
and my heart pleased to see Betty. But I have not been so merry a very
great while as with them, every thing pleasing me there as much as among
so mean company I could be pleased. After dinner I fell to read the Acts
about the building of the City again;

[Burnet wrote (History of his Own Time, book ii.): An act passed
in this session for rebuilding the city of London, which gave Lord
Chief Justice Hale a great reputation, for it was drawn with so true
a judgment, and so great foresight, that the whole city was raised
out of its ashes without any suits of law.]

and indeed the laws seem to be very good, and I pray God I may live to see
it built in that manner! Anon with much content home, walking with my wife
and her woman, and there to my office, where late doing much business, and
then home to supper and to bed. This morning I hear that our discourse of
peace is all in the dirt; for the Dutch will not like of the place, or at
least the French will not agree to it; so that I do wonder what we shall
do, for carry on the war we cannot. I long to hear the truth of it
to-morrow at Court.

20th February. Up, with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen by coach to White Hall, by the
way observing Sir W. Pens carrying a favour to Sir W. Coventry, for his
daughters wedding, and saying that there was others for us, when we will
fetch them, which vexed me, and I am resolved not to wear it when he
orders me one. His wedding hath been so poorly kept, that I am ashamed of
it; for a fellow that makes such a flutter as he do. When we come to the
Duke of York here, I heard discourse how Harris of his play-house is sick,
and everybody commends him, and, above all things, for acting the
Cardinall. Here they talk also how the Kings viallin,—[violin]—
Bannister, is mad that the King hath a Frenchman come to be chief of some
part of the Kings musique, at which the Duke of York made great mirth.
Then withdrew to his closett, all our business, lack of money and prospect
of the effects of it, such as made Sir W. Coventry say publickly before us
all, that he do heartily wish that his Royal Highness had nothing to do in
the Navy, whatever become of him; so much dishonour, he says, is likely to
fall under the management of it. The Duke of York was angry, as much as he
could be, or ever I saw him, with Sir G. Carteret, for not paying the
masters of some ships on Monday last, according to his promise, and I do
think Sir G. Carteret will make himself unhappy by not taking some course
either to borrow more money or wholly lay aside his pretence to the charge
of raising money, when he hath nothing to do to trouble himself with.
Thence to the Exchequer, and there find the people in readiness to
dispatch my tallies to-day, though Ash Wednesday. So I back by coach to
London to Sir Robt. Viners and there got L100, and come away with it and
pay my fees round, and so away with the Chequer men to the Leg in King
Street, and there had wine for them; and here was one in company with
them, that was the man that got the vessel to carry over the King from
Bredhemson, who hath a pension of 200 per annum, but ill paid, and the man
is looking after getting of a prizeship to live by; but the trouble is,
that this poor man, who hath received no part of his money these four
years, and is ready to starve almost, must yet pay to the Poll Bill for
this pension. He told me several particulars of the Kings coming thither,
which was mighty pleasant, and shews how mean a thing a king is, how
subject to fall, and how like other men he is in his afflictions. Thence
with my tallies home, and a little dinner, and then with my wife by coach
to Lincolns Inn Fields, sent her to her brothers, and I with Lord
Bellasses to the Lord Chancellors. Lord Bellasses tells me how the King
of France hath caused the stop to be made to our proposition of treating
in The Hague; that he being greater than they, we may better come and
treat at Paris: so that God knows what will become of the peace! He tells
me, too, as a grand secret, that he do believe the peace offensive and
defensive between Spayne and us is quite finished, but must not be known,
to prevent the King of Frances present falling upon Flanders. He do
believe the Duke of York will be made General of the Spanish armies there,
and Governor of Flanders, if the French should come against it, and we
assist the Spaniard: that we have done the Spaniard abundance of mischief
in the West Indys, by our privateers at Jamaica, which they lament
mightily, and I am sorry for it to have it done at this time. By and by,
come to my Lord Chancellor, who heard mighty quietly my complaints for
lack of money, and spoke mighty kind to me, but little hopes of help
therein, only his good word. He do prettily cry upon Povys account with
sometimes seeming friendship and pity, and this day quite the contrary. He
do confess our streights here and every where else arise from our
outspending our revenue. I mean that the King do do so. Thence away, took
up my wife; who tells me her brother hath laid out much money upon himself
and wife for clothes, which I am sorry to hear, it requiring great
expense. So home and to the office a while, and then home to supper, where
Mrs. Turner come to us, and sat and talked. Poor woman, I pity her, but
she is very cunning. She concurs with me in the falseness of Sir W. Pens
friendship, and she tells pretty storms of my Lord Bruncker since he come
to our end of the town, of peoples applications to Mrs. Williams. So, she
gone, I back to my accounts of Tangier, which I am settling, having my new
tallies from the Exchequer this day, and having set all right as I could
wish, then to bed.

21st February. Up, and to the Office, where sat all the morning, and there a most
furious conflict between Sir W. Pen and I, in few words, and on a sudden
occasion, of no great moment, but very bitter, and stared on one another,
and so broke off; and to our business, my heart as full of spite as it
could hold, for which God forgive me and him! At the end of the day come
witnesses on behalf of Mr. Carcasse; but, instead of clearing him, I find
they were brought to recriminate Sir W. Batten, and did it by oath very
highly, that made the old man mad, and, I confess, me ashamed, so that I
caused all but ourselves to withdraw; being sorry to have such things
declared in the open office, before 100 people. But it was done home, and
I do believe true, though (Sir) W. Batten denies all, but is cruel mad,
and swore one of them, he or Carcasse, should not continue in the Office,
which is said like a fool. He gone, for he would not stay, and [Sir] W.
Pen gone a good while before, Lord Bruncker, Sir T. Harvy, and I, staid
and examined the witnesses, though amounting to little more than a
reproaching of Sir W. Batten. I home, my head and mind vexed about the
conflict between Sir W. Pen and I, though I have got, nor lost any ground
by it. At home was Mr. Daniel and wife and sister, and dined with us, and
I disturbed at dinner, Colonell Fitzgerald coming to me about tallies,
which I did go and give him, and then to the office, where did much
business and walked an hour or two with Lord Bruncker, who is mightily
concerned in this business for Carcasse and against Sir W. Batten, and I
do hope it will come to a good height, for I think it will be good for the
King as well as for me, that they two do not agree, though I do, for ought
I see yet, think that my Lord is for the most part in the right. He gone,
I to the office again to dispatch business, and late at night comes in Sir
W. Batten, [Sir] W. Pen, and [Sir] J. Minnes to the office, and what was
it but to examine one Jones, a young merchant, who was said to have spoke
the worst against Sir W. Batten, but he do deny it wholly, yet I do
believe Carcasse will go near to prove all that was sworn in the morning,
and so it be true I wish it may. That done, I to end my letters, and then
home to supper, and set right some accounts of Tangier, and then to bed.

22nd February. Up, and to the office, where I awhile, and then home with Sir H.
Cholmly to give him some tallies upon the business of the Mole at Tangier,
and then out with him by coach to the Excise Office, there to enter them,
and so back again with him to the Exchange, and there I took another
coach, and home to the office, and to my business till dinner, the rest of
our officers having been this morning upon the Victuallers accounts. At
dinner all of us, that is to say, Lord Bruncker, [Sir] J. Minnes, [Sir] W.
Batten, [Sir] T. Harvy, and myself, to Sir W. Pens house, where some
other company. It is instead of a wedding dinner for his daughter, whom I
saw in palterly clothes, nothing new but a bracelet that her servant had
given her, and ugly she is, as heart can wish. A sorry dinner, not any
thing handsome or clean, but some silver plates they borrowed of me. My
wife was here too. So a great deal of talk, and I seemingly merry, but
took no pleasure at all. We had favours given us all, and we put them in
our hats, I against my will, but that my Lord and the rest did, I being
displeased that he did carry Sir W. Coventrys himself several days ago,
and the people up and down the town long since, and we must have them but
to-day. After dinner to talk a little, and then I away to my office, to
draw up a letter of the state of the Office and Navy for the Duke of York
against Sunday next, and at it late, and then home to supper and to bed,
talking with my wife of the poorness and meanness of all that Sir W. Pen
and the people about us do, compared with what we do.

23rd February. This day I am, by the blessing of God, 34 years old, in very good
health and minds content, and in condition of estate much beyond whatever
my friends could expect of a child of theirs, this day 34 years. The
Lords name be praised! and may I be ever thankful for it. Up betimes to
the office, in order to my letter to the Duke of York to-morrow, and then
the office met and spent the greatest part about this letter. At noon home
to dinner, and then to the office again very close at it all the day till
midnight, making an end and writing fair this great letter and other
things to my full content, it abundantly providing for the vindication of
this office, whatever the success be of our wants of money. This evening
Sir W. Batten come to me to the office on purpose, out of spleen (of which
he is full to Carcasse!), to tell me that he is now informed of many
double tickets now found of Carcasses making which quite overthrows him.
It is strange to see how, though I do believe this fellow to be a rogue,
and could be contented to have him removed, yet to see him persecuted by
Sir W. Batten, who is as bad himself, and that with so much rancour, I am
almost the fellows friend. But this good I shall have from it, that the
differences between Sir W. Batten and my Lord Bruncker will do me no hurt.

24th February (Lords day). Up, and with [Sir] W. Batten, by coach; he set me down
at my Lord Brunckers (his feud there not suffering him to light
himself), and I with my Lord by and by when ready to White Hall, and by
and by up to the Duke of York, and there presented our great letter and
other papers, and among the rest my report of the victualling, which is
good, I think, and will continue my pretence to the place, which I am
still afeard Sir W. Coventrys employment may extinguish. We have
discharged ourselves in this letter fully from blame in the bad success of
the Navy, if money do not come soon to us, and so my heart is at pretty
good rest in this point. Having done here, Sir W. Batten and I home by
coach, and though the sermon at our church was begun, yet he would light
to go home and eat a slice of roast beef off the spit, and did, and then
he and I to church in the middle of the sermon. My Lady Pen there saluted
me with great content to tell me that her daughter and husband are still
in bed, as if the silly woman thought it a great matter of honour, and
did, going out of the church, ask me whether we did not make a great show
at Court today, with all our favours in our hats. After sermon home, and
alone with my wife dined. Among other things my wife told me how ill a
report our Mercer hath got by her keeping of company, so that she will not
send for her to dine with us or be with us as heretofore; and, what is
more strange, tells me that little Mis. Tooker hath got a clap as young as
she is, being brought up loosely by her mother…. In the afternoon away
to White Hall by water, and took a turn or two in the Park, and then back
to White Hall, and there meeting my Lord Arlington, he, by I know not what
kindness, offered to carry me along with him to my Lord Treasurers,
whither, I told him, I was going. I believe he had a mind to discourse of
some Navy businesses, but Sir Thomas Clifford coming into the coach to us,
we were prevented; which I was sorry for, for I had a mind to begin an
acquaintance with him. He speaks well, and hath pretty slight superficial
parts, I believe. He, in our going, talked much of the plain habit of the
Spaniards; how the King and Lords themselves wear but a cloak of
Colchester bayze, and the ladies mantles, in cold weather, of white
flannell: and that the endeavours frequently of setting up the manufacture
of making these stuffs there have only been prevented by the Inquisition:
the English and Dutchmen that have been sent for to work, being taken with
a Psalmbook or Testament, and so clapped up, and the house pulled down by
the Inquisitors; and the greatest Lord in Spayne dare not say a word
against it, if the word Inquisition be but mentioned. At my Lord
Treasurers light and parted with them, they going into Council, and I
walked with Captain Cocke, who takes mighty notice of the differences
growing in our office between Lord Bruncker and [Sir] W. Batten, and among
others also, and I fear it may do us hurt, but I will keep out of them. By
and by comes Sir S. Fox, and he and I walked and talked together on many
things, but chiefly want of money, and the straits the King brings himself
and affairs into for want of it. Captain Cocke did tell me what I must not
forget: that the answer of the Dutch, refusing The Hague for a place of
treaty, and proposing the Boysse, Bredah, Bergen-op-Zoome, or Mastricht,
was seemingly stopped by the Swedes Embassador (though he did show it to
the King, but the King would take no notice of it, nor does not) from
being delivered to the King; and he hath wrote to desire them to consider
better of it: so that, though we know their refusal of the place, yet they
know not that we know it, nor is the King obliged to show his sense of the
affront. That the Dutch are in very great straits, so as to be said to be
not able to set out their fleete this year. By and by comes Sir Robert
Viner and my Lord Mayor to ask the Kings directions about measuring out
the streets according to the new Act for building of the City, wherein the
King is to be pleased.

[See Sir Christopher Wrens Proposals for rebuilding the City of
London after the great fire, with an engraved Plan of the principal
Streets and Public Buildings, in Elmess Memoirs of Sir
Christopher Wren, Appendix, p.61. The originals are in All Souls
College Library, Oxford.—B.]

But he says that the way proposed in Parliament, by Colonel Birch, would
have been the best, to have chosen some persons in trust, and sold the
whole ground, and let it be sold again by them, with preference to the old
owner, which would have certainly caused the City to be built where these
Trustees pleased; whereas now, great differences will be, and the streets
built by fits, and not entire till all differences be decided. This, as he
tells it, I think would have been the best way. I enquired about the
Frenchman

[One Hubert, a French papist, was seized in Essex, as he was
getting out of the way in great confusion. He confessed he had
begun the fire, and persisted in his confession to his death, for he
was hanged upon no other evidence but that of his own confession.
It is true he gave so broken an account of the whole matter that he
was thought mad. Yet he was blindfolded, and carried to several
places of the city, and then his eyes being opened, he was asked if
that was the place, and he being carried to wrong places, after he
looked round about for some time, he said that was not the place,
but when he was brought to the place where it first broke out, he
affirmed that was the true place. Burnets Own Time, book ii.
Archbishop Tillotson, according to Burnet, believed that London was
burnt by design.]

that was said to fire the City, and was hanged for it, by his own
confession, that he was hired for it by a Frenchman of Roane, and that he
did with a stick reach in a fire-ball in at a window of the house: whereas
the master of the house, who is the Kings baker, and his son, and
daughter, do all swear there was no such window, and that the fire did not
begin thereabouts. Yet the fellow, who, though a mopish besotted fellow,
did not speak like a madman, did swear that he did fire it: and did not
this like a madman; for, being tried on purpose, and landed with his
keeper at the Tower Wharf, he could carry the keeper to the very house.
Asking Sir R. Viner what he thought was the cause of the fire, he tells
me, that the baker, son, and his daughter, did all swear again and again,
that their oven was drawn by ten oclock at night; that, having occasion
to light a candle about twelve, there was not so much fire in the
bakehouse as to light a match for a candle, so that they were fain to go
into another place to light it; that about two in the morning they felt
themselves almost choked with smoke, and rising, did find the fire coming
upstairs; so they rose to save themselves; but that, at that time, the
bavins—[brushwood, or faggots used for lighting fires]—were
not on fire in the yard. So that they are, as they swear, in absolute
ignorance how this fire should come; which is a strange thing, that so
horrid an effect should have so mean and uncertain a beginning. By and by
called in to the King and Cabinet, and there had a few insipid words about
money for Tangier, but to no purpose. Thence away walked to my boat at
White Hall, and so home and to supper, and then to talk with W. Hewer
about business of the differences at present among the people of our
office, and so to my journall and to bed. This night going through bridge
by water, my waterman told me how the mistress of the Beare tavern, at the
bridge-foot, did lately fling herself into the Thames, and drowned
herself; which did trouble me the more, when they tell me it was she that
did live at the White Horse tavern in Lumbard Streete, which was a most
beautiful woman, as most I have seen. It seems she hath had long
melancholy upon her, and hath endeavoured to make away with herself often.

25th February. Lay long in bed, talking with pleasure with my poor wife, how she
used to make coal fires, and wash my foul clothes with her own hand for
me, poor wretch! in our little room at my Lord Sandwichs; for which I
ought for ever to love and admire her, and do; and persuade myself she
would do the same thing again, if God should reduce us to it. So up and by
coach abroad to the Duke of Albemarles about sending soldiers down to
some ships, and so home, calling at a belt-makers to mend my belt, and so
home and to dinner, where pleasant with my wife, and then to the office,
where mighty busy all the day, saving going forth to the Change to pay
for some things, and on other occasions, and at my goldsmiths did observe
the Kings new medall, where, in little, there is Mrs. Stewards face as
well done as ever I saw anything in my whole life, I think: and a pretty
thing it is, that he should choose her face to represent Britannia by. So
at the office late very busy and much business with great joy dispatched,
and so home to supper and to bed.

26th February. Up, and to the office, where all the morning. And here did receive
another reference from Sir W. Coventry about the business of some of the
Muster-Masters, concerning whom I had returned their small performances,
which do give me a little more trouble for fear [Sir] W. Coventry should
think I had a design to favour my brother Balty, and to that end to
disparage all the rest. But I shall clear all very well, only it do
exercise my thoughts more than I am at leisure for. At home find Balty and
his wife very fine, which I did not like, for fear he do spend too much of
his money that way, and lay [not] up anything. After dinner to the office
again, where by and by Lord Bruncker, [Sir] W. Batten, [Sir] J. Minnes and
I met about receiving Carcasses answers to the depositions against him.
Wherein I did see so much favour from my Lord to him that I do again begin
to see that my Lord is not right at the bottom, and did make me the more
earnest against him, though said little. My Lord rising, declaring his
judgement in his behalf, and going away, I did hinder our arguing it by
ourselves, and so broke up the meeting, and myself went full of trouble to
my office, there to write over the deposition and his answers side by
side, and then home to supper and to bed with some trouble of mind to
think of the issue of this, how it will breed ill blood among us here.

27th February. Up by candle-light, about six oclock, it being bitter cold weather
again, after all our warm weather, and by water down to Woolwich
rope-yard, I being this day at a leisure, the King and Duke of York being
gone down to Sheerenesse this morning to lay out the design for a
fortification there to the river Medway; and so we do not attend the Duke
of York as we should otherwise have done, and there to the Dock Yard to
enquire of the state of things, and went into Mr. Petts; and there,
beyond expectation, he did present me with a Japan cane, with a silver
head, and his wife sent me by him a ring, with a Woolwich stone;

[Woolwich stones, still collected in that locality, are simply
waterworn pebbles of flint, which, when broken with a hammer,
exhibit on the smooth surface some resemblance to the human face;
and their possessors are thus enabled to trace likenesses of
friends, or eminent public characters. The late Mr. Tennant, the
geologist, of the Strand, had a collection of such stones. In the
British Museum is a nodule of globular or Egyptian jasper, which, in
its fracture, bears a striking resemblance to the well-known
portrait of Chaucer. It is engraved in Rymsdyks Museum
Britannicum, tab. xxviii. A flint, showing Mr. Pitts face, used
once to be exhibited at the meetings of the Pitt Club.—B.]

now much in request; which I accepted, the values not being great, and
knowing that I had done them courtesies, which he did own in very high
terms; and then, at my asking, did give me an old draught of an
ancient-built ship, given him by his father, of the Beare, in Queen
Elizabeths time. This did much please me, it being a thing I much desired
to have, to shew the difference in the build of ships now and heretofore.
Being much taken with this kindness, I away to Blackwall and Deptford, to
satisfy myself there about the Kings business, and then walked to
Redriffe, and so home about noon; there find Mr. Hunt, newly come out of
the country, who tells me the country is much impoverished by the
greatness of taxes: the farmers do break every day almost, and L1000
a-year become not worth L500. He dined with us, and we had good discourse
of the general ill state of things, and, by the way, he told me some
ridiculous pieces of thrift of Sir G. Downings, who is his countryman, in
inviting some poor people, at Christmas last, to charm the country
peoples mouths; but did give them nothing but beef, porridge, pudding,
and pork, and nothing said all dinner, but only his mother would say,
Its good broth, son. He would answer, Yes, it is good broth. Then,
says his lady, Confirm all, and say, Yes, very good broth. By and by she
would begin and say, Good pork:—Yes, says the mother, good
pork. Then he cries, Yes, very good pork. And so they said of all
things; to which nobody made any answer, they going there not out of love
or esteem of them, but to eat his victuals, knowing him to be a niggardly
fellow; and with this he is jeered now all over the country. This day just
before dinner comes Captain Story, of Cambridge, to me to the office,
about a bill for prest money,

[Money paid to men who enlist into the public service; press money.
So called because those who receive it are to be prest or ready when
called on (Encyclopaedic Dictionary ).]

for men sent out of the country and the countries about him to the fleete
the last year; but, Lord! to see the natures of men; how this man, hearing
of my name, did ask me of my country, and told me of my cozen Roger, that
he was not so wise a man as his father; for that he do not agree in
Parliament with his fellow burgesses and knights of the shire, whereas I
know very well the reason; for he is not so high a flyer as Mr. Chichley
and others, but loves the King better than any of them, and to better
purpose. But yet, he says that he is a very honest gentleman, and thence
runs into a hundred stories of his own services to the King, and how he at
this day brings in the taxes before anybody here thinks they are
collected: discourse very absurd to entertain a stranger with. He being
gone, and I glad of it, I home then to dinner. After dinner with my wife
by coach abroad, andset Mr. Hunt down at the Temple and her at her
brothers, and I to White Hall to meet [Sir] W. Coventry, but found him
not, but met Mr. Cooling, who tells me of my Lord Duke of Buckinghams
being sent for last night, by a Serjeant at Armes, to the Tower, for
treasonable practices, and that the King is infinitely angry with him, and
declared him no longer one of his Council. I know not the reason of it, or
occasion. To Westminster Hall, and there paid what I owed for books, and
so by coach, took up my wife to the Exchange, and there bought things for
Mrs. Pierces little daughter, my Valentine, and so to their house, where
we find Knipp, who also challengeth me for her Valentine. She looks well,
sang well, and very merry we were for half an hour. Tells me Harris is
well again, having been very ill, and so we home, and I to the office;
then, at night, to Sir W. Pens, and sat with my Lady, and the young
couple (Sir William out of town) talking merrily; but they make a very
sorry couple, methinks, though rich. So late home and to bed.

28th February. Up, and there comes to me Drumbleby with a flageolet, made to suit
with my former and brings me one Greeting, a master, to teach my wife. I
agree by the whole with him to teach her to take out any lesson of herself
for L4. She was not ready to begin to-day, but do to-morrow. So I to the
office, where my Lord Bruncker and I only all the morning, and did
business. At noon to the Exchange and to Sir Rob. Viners about settling
my accounts there. So back home and to dinner, where Mr. Holliard dined
with us, and pleasant company he is. I love his company, and he secures me
against ever having the stone again. He gives it me, as his opinion, that
the City will never be built again together, as is expected, while any
restraint is laid upon them. He hath been a great loser, and would be a
builder again, but, he says, he knows not what restrictions there will be,
so as it is unsafe for him to begin. He gone, I to the office, and there
busy till night doing much business, then home and to my accounts,
wherein, beyond expectation, I succeeded so well as to settle them very
clear and plain, though by borrowing of monies this month to pay D.
Gawden, and chopping and changing with my Tangier money, they were become
somewhat intricate, and, blessed be God; upon the evening my accounts, I
do appear L6800 creditor: This done, I to supper about 12 at night, and so
to bed. The weather for three or four days being come to be exceeding cold
again as any time this year. I did within these six days see smoke still
remaining of the late fire in the City; and it is strange to think how, to
this very day, I cannot sleep at night without great terrors of fire, and
this very night I could not sleep till almost two in the morning through
thoughts of fire. Thus this month is ended with great content of mind to
me, thriving in my estate, and the affairs in my offices going pretty well
as to myself. This afternoon Mr. Gawden was with me and tells me more than
I knew before—that he hath orders to get all the victuals he can to
Plymouth, and the Western ports, and other outports, and some to Scotland,
so that we do intend to keep but a flying fleete this year; which, it may
be, may preserve us a year longer, but the end of it must be ruin. Sir J.
Minnes this night tells me, that he hears for certain, that ballads are
made of us in Holland for begging of a peace; which I expected, but am
vexed at. So ends this month, with nothing of weight upon my mind, but for
my father and mother, who are both very ill, and have been so for some
weeks: whom God help! but I do fear my poor father will hardly be ever
thoroughly well again.