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27th. Going to my office I met with Tom Newton, my old comrade, and took him to the Crown in the Palace, and gave him his morning draft. And as he always did, did talk very high what he would do with the Parliament, that he would have what place he would, and that he might be one of the Clerks to the Council if he would. Here I staid talking with him till the offices were all shut, and then I looked in the Hall, and was told by my bookseller, Mrs. Michell, that Mr. G. Montagu had inquired there for me. So I went to his house, and was forced by him to dine with him, and had a plenteous brave dinner and the greatest civility that ever I had from any man. Thence home and so to Mrs. Jem, and played with her at cards, and coming home again my wife told me that Mr. Hawly had been there to speak with me, and seemed angry that I had not been at the office that day, and she told me she was afraid that Mr. Downing may have a mind to pick some hole in my coat. So I made haste to him, but found no such thing from him, but he sent me to Mr. Sherwin's about getting Mr. Squib to come to him tomorrow, and I carried him an answer. So home and fell a writing the characters for Mr. Downing, and about nine at night Mr. Hawly came, and after he was gone I sat up till almost twelve writing, and--wrote two of them. In the morning up early and wrote another, my wife lying in bed and reading to me.
27th (Lord's day). Before I rose, letters come to me from Portsmouth, telling me that the Princess is now well, and my Lord Sandwich set sail with the Queen and her yesterday from thence for France. To church, leaving my wife sick . . . . at home, a poor dull sermon of a stranger. Home, and at dinner was very angry at my people's eating a fine pudding (made me by Slater, the cook, last Thursday) without my wife's leave. To church again, a good sermon of Mr. Mills, and after sermon Sir W. Pen and I an hour in the garden talking, and he did answer me to many things, I asked Mr. Coventry's opinion of me, and Sir W. Batten's of my Lord Sandwich, which do both please me. Then to Sir W. Batten's, where very merry, and here I met the Comptroller and his lady and daughter (the first time I ever saw them) and Mrs. Turner, who and her husband supped with us here (I having fetched my wife thither), and after supper we fell to oysters, and then Mr. Turner went and fetched some strong waters, and so being very merry we parted, and home to bed. This day the parson read a proclamation at church, for the keeping of Wednesday next, the 30th of January, a fast for the murther of the late King.
27th. This morning, both Sir Williams and I by barge to Deptford-yard to give orders in businesses there; and called on several ships, also to give orders, and so to Woolwich, and there dined at Mr. Falconer's of victuals we carried ourselves, and one Mr. Dekins, the father of my Morena, of whom we have lately bought some hemp. That being done we went home again. This morning, going to take water upon Tower-hill, we met with three sleddes standing there to carry my Lord Monson and Sir H. Mildmay and another, to the gallows and back again, with ropes about their necks; which is to be repeated every year, this being the day of their sentencing the King.
27th. Up and to the office, where sat till two o'clock, and then home to dinner, whither by and by comes Mr. Creed, and he and I talked of our Tangier business, and do find that there is nothing in the world done with true integrity, but there is design along with it, as in my Lord Rutherford, who designs to have the profit of victualling of the garrison himself, and others to have the benefit of making the Mole, so that I am almost discouraged from coming any more to the Committee, were it not that it will possibly hereafter bring me to some acquaintance of great men. Then to the office again, where very busy till past ten at night, and so home to supper and to bed. I have news this day from Cambridge that my brother hath had his bachelor's cap put on; but that which troubles me is, that he hath the pain of the stone, and makes bloody water with great pain, it beginning just as mine did. I pray God help him.
27th. Up and to the office, and at noon to the Coffeehouse, where I sat with Sir G. AscueSir George Ayscue or Askew. After his return from his imprisonment he declined to go to sea again, although he was twice afterwards formally appointed. He sat on the court-martial on the loss of the "Defiance" in 1668.
and Sir William Petty, who in discourse is, methinks, one of the most rational men that ever I heard speak with a tongue, having all his notions the most distinct and clear, and, among other things (saying, that in all his life these three books were the most esteemed and generally cried up for wit in the world "Religio Medici," "Osborne's Advice to a Son,"Francis Osborne, an English writer of considerable abilities and popularity, was the author of "Advice to a Son," in two parts, Oxford, 1656-8, 8vo. He died in 1659. He is the same person mentioned as "My Father Osborne," October 19th, 1661.--B.
and "Hudibras "), did say that in these--in the two first principally--the wit lies, and confirming some pretty sayings, which are generally like paradoxes, by some argument smartly and pleasantly urged, which takes with people who do not trouble themselves to examine the force of an argument, which pleases them in the delivery, upon a subject which they like; whereas, as by many particular instances of mine, and others, out of Osborne, he did really find fault and weaken the strength of many of Osborne's arguments, so as that in downright disputation they would not bear weight; at least, so far, but that they might be weakened, and better found in their rooms to confirm what is there said. He shewed finely whence it happens that good writers are not admired by the present age; because there are but few in any age that do mind anything that is abstruse and curious; and so longer before any body do put the true praise, and set it on foot in the world, the generality of mankind pleasing themselves in the easy delights of the world, as eating, drinking, dancing, hunting, fencing, which we see the meanest men do the best, those that profess it. A gentleman never dances so well as the dancing master, and an ordinary fiddler makes better musique for a shilling than a gentleman will do after spending forty, and so in all the delights of the world almost. Thence to the 'Change, and after doing much business, home, taking Commissioner Pett with me, and all alone dined together. He told me many stories of the yard, but I do know him so well, and had his character given me this morning by Hempson, as well as my own too of him before, that I shall know how to value any thing he says either of friendship or other business. He was mighty serious with me in discourse about the consequence of Sir W. Petty's boat, as the most dangerous thing in the world, if it should be practised by endangering our losse of the command of the seas and our trade, while the Turkes and others shall get the use of them, which, without doubt, by bearing more sayle will go faster than any other ships, and, not being of burden, our merchants cannot have the use of them and so will be at the mercy of their enemies. So that I perceive he is afeard that the honour of his trade will down, though (which is a truth) he pretends this consideration to hinder the growth of this invention. He being gone my wife and I took coach and to Covent Garden, to buy a maske at the French House, Madame Charett's, for my wife; in the way observing the streete full of coaches at the new play, "The Indian Queene;" which for show, they say, exceeds "Henry the Eighth." Thence back to Mrs. Turner's and sat a while with them talking of plays and I know not what, and so called to see Tom, but not at home, though they say he is in a deep consumption, and Mrs. Turner and Dike and they say he will not live two months to an end. So home and to the office, and then to supper and to bed.
27th. Called up by Mr. Creed to discourse about some Tangier business, and he gone I made me ready and found Jane Welsh, Mr. Jervas his mayde, come to tell me that she was gone from her master, and is resolved to stick to this sweetheart of hers, one Harbing (a very sorry little fellow, and poor), which I did in a word or two endeavour to dissuade her from, but being unwilling to keep her long at my house, I sent her away and by and by followed her to the Exchange, and thence led her about down to the 3 Cranes, and there took boat for the Falcon, and at a house looking into the fields there took up and sat an hour or two talking and discoursing . . . . Thence having endeavoured to make her think of making herself happy by staying out her time with her master and other counsels, but she told me she could not do it, for it was her fortune to have this man, though she did believe it would be to her ruine, which is a strange, stupid thing, to a fellow of no kind of worth in the world and a beggar to boot. Thence away to boat again and landed her at the Three Cranes again, and I to the Bridge, and so home, and after shifting myself, being dirty, I to the 'Change, and thence to Mr. Povy's and there dined, and thence with him and Creed to my Lord Bellasses', and there debated a great while how to put things in order against his going, and so with my Lord in his coach to White Hall, and with him to my Lord Duke of Albemarle, finding him at cards. After a few dull words or two, I away to White Hall again, and there delivered a letter to the Duke of Yorke about our Navy business, and thence walked up and down in the gallery, talking with Mr. Slingsby, who is a very ingenious person, about the Mint and coynage of money. Among other things, he argues that there being £700,000 coined in the Rump time, and by all the Treasurers of that time, it being their opinion that the Rump money was in all payments, one with another, about a tenth part of all their money. Then, says he, to my question, the nearest guess we can make is, that the money passing up and down in business is £7,000,000. To another question of mine he made me fully understand that the old law of prohibiting bullion to be exported, is, and ever was a folly and an injury, rather than good. Arguing thus, that if the exportations exceed importations, then the balance must be brought home in money, which, when our merchants know cannot be carried out again, they will forbear to bring home in money, but let it lie abroad for trade, or keepe in foreign banks: or if our importations exceed our exportations, then, to keepe credit, the merchants will and must find ways of carrying out money by stealth, which is a most easy thing to do, and is every where done; and therefore the law against it signifies nothing in the world. Besides, that it is seen, that where money is free, there is great plenty; where it is restrained, as here, there is a great want, as in Spayne. These and many other fine discourses I had from him. Thence by coach home (to see Sir J. Minnes first), who is still sick, and I doubt worse than he seems to be. Mrs. Turner here took me into her closet, and there did give me a glass of most pure water, and shewed me her Rocke, which indeed is a very noble thing but a very bawble. So away to my office, where late, busy, and then home to supper and to bed.
27th. Up very betimes to finish my letter and writ it fair to Mr. Gawden, it being to demand several arrears in the present state of the victualling, partly to the King's and partly to give him occasion to say something relating to the want of money on his own behalf. This done I to the office, where all the morning. At noon after a bit of dinner back to the office and there fitting myself in all points to give an account to the Duke and Mr. Coventry in all things, and in my Tangier business, till three o'clock in the morning, and so to bed,
27th (Lord's day). Up betimes, and leaving my wife to go by coach to hear Mr. Frampton preach, which I had a mighty desire she should, I down to the Old Swan, and there to Michell and staid while he and she dressed themselves, and here had a 'baiser' or two of her, whom I love mightily; and then took them in a sculler (being by some means or other disappointed of my own boat) to White Hall, and so with them to Westminster, Sir W. Coventry, Bruncker and I all the morning together discoursing of the office business, and glad of the Controller's business being likely to be put into better order than formerly, and did discourse of many good things, but especially of having something done to bringing the Surveyor's matters into order also. Thence I up to the King's closet, and there heard a good Anthem, and discoursed with several people here about business, among others with Lord Bellasses, and so from one to another after sermon till the King had almost dined, and then home with Sir G. Carteret and dined with him, being mightily ashamed of my not having seen my Lady Jemimah so long, and my wife not at all yet since she come, but she shall soon do it. I thence to Sir Philip Warwicke, by appointment, to meet Lord Bellasses, and up to his chamber, but find him unwilling to discourse of business on Sundays; so did not enlarge, but took leave, and went down and sat in a low room, reading Erasmus "de scribendis epistolis," a very good book, especially one letter of advice to a courtier most true and good, which made me once resolve to tear out the two leaves that it was writ in, but I forebore it. By and by comes Lord Bellasses, and then he and I up again to Sir P. Warwicke and had much discourse of our Tangier business, but no hopes of getting any money. Thence I through the garden into the Park, and there met with Roger Pepys, and he and I to walk in the Pell Mell. I find by him that the House of Parliament continues full of ill humours, and he seems to dislike those that are troublesome more than needs, and do say how, in their late Poll Bill, which cost so much time, the yeomanry, and indeed two-thirds of the nation, are left out to be taxed, that there is not effectual provision enough made for collecting of the money; and then, that after a man his goods are distrained and sold, and the overplus returned, I am to have ten days to make my complaints of being over-rated if there be cause, when my goods are sold, and that is too late. These things they are resolved to look into again, and mend them before they rise, which they expect at furthest on Thursday next. Here we met with Mr. May, and he and we to talk of several things, of building, and such like matters; and so walked to White Hall, and there I skewed my cozen Roger the Duchesse of York sitting in state, while her own mother stands by her; he had a desire, and I shewed him my Lady Castlemayne, whom he approves to be very handsome, and wonders that she cannot be as good within as she is fair without. Her little black boy came by him; and, a dog being in his way, the little boy called to the dog: "Pox of this dog!"--"Now," says he, blessing himself, "would I whip this child till the blood come, if it were my child!" and I believe he would. But he do by no means like the liberty of the Court, and did come with expectation of finding them playing at cards to-night, though Sunday; for such stories he is told, but how true I know not.There is little reason to doubt that it was such as Evelyn describes it at a later time. "I can never forget the inexpressible luxury and prophaneness, gaming, and all dissoluteness, and, as it were, total forgetfulness of God (it being Sunday evening) which this day se'nnight I was witness of; the King sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleveland, Mazarin, &c. A French boy singing love songs in that glorious gallery, whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other dissolute persons were at basset round a large table, a bank of at least £2,000 in gold before them; upon which two gentlemen who were with me made reflexions with astonishment. Six days after was all in the dust."--Diary, February, 1685.--B.
After walking up and down the Court with him, it being now dark and past six at night, I walked to the Swan in the Palace yard and there with much ado did get a waterman, and so I sent for the Michells, and they come, and their father Howlett and his wife with them, and there we drank, and so into the boat, poor Betty's head aching. We home by water, a fine moonshine and warm night, it having been also a very summer's day for warmth. I did get her hand to me under my cloak . . . . So there we parted at their house, and he walked almost home with me, and then I home and to supper, and to read a little and to bed. My wife tells me Mr. Frampton is gone to sea, and so she lost her labour to-day in thinking to hear him preach, which I am sorry for.
27th. It being weather like the beginning of a frost and the ground dry, I walked as far as the Temple, and there took coach and to White Hall, but the Committee not being met I to Westminster, and there I do hear of the letter that is in the pamphlet this day of the King of France, declaring his design to go on against Flanders, and the grounds of it, which do set us mightily at rest. So to White Hall, and there a committee of Tangier, but little done there, only I did get two or three little jobs done to the perfecting two or three papers about my Tangier accounts. Here Mr. Povy do tell me how he is like to lose his £400 a-year pension of the Duke of York, which he took in consideration of his place which was taken from him. He tells me the Duchesse is a devil against him, and do now come like Queen Elizabeth, and sits with the Duke of York's Council, and sees what they do; and she crosses out this man's wages and prices, as she sees fit, for saving money; but yet, he tells me, she reserves £5000 a-year for her own spending; and my Lady Peterborough, by and by, tells me that the Duchesse do lay up, mightily, jewells. Thence to my Lady Peterborough's, she desiring to speak with me. She loves to be taken dressing herself, as I always find her; and there, after a little talk, to please her, about her husband's pension, which I do not think he will ever get again, I away thence home, and all the afternoon mighty busy at the office, and late, preparing a letter to the Commissioners of Accounts, our first letter to them, and so home to supper, where Betty Turner was (whose brother Frank did set out toward the East Indies this day, his father and mother gone down with him to Gravesend), and there was her little brother Moses, whom I examined, and he is a pretty good scholar for a child, and so after supper to talk and laugh, and to bed.
27th. Up, and with Sir John Minnes in his coach to White Hall, where first we waited on the Lords of the Treasury about finishing the Victualling Contract; and there also I was put to it to make good our letter complaining against my Lord Anglesey's failing us in the payment of the moneys assigned us upon the Customs, where Mr. Fenn was, and I know will tell my Lord; but it is no matter, I am over shy already, and therefore must not fear. Then we up to a Committee of the Council for the Navy, about a business of Sir D. Gawden's relating to the Victualling, and thence I by hackney to the Temple to the Auditor's man, and with him to a tavern to meet with another under-auditor to advise about the clearing of my Lord Bellasses' accounts without injuring myself and perplexing my accounts, and so thence away to my cozen Turner's, where I find Roger Pepys come last night to town, and here is his mistress, Mrs. Dickenson, and by and by comes in Mr. Turner, a worthy, sober, serious man--I honour him mightily. And there we dined, having but an ordinary dinner; and so, after dinner, she, and I, and Roger, and his mistress, to the Duke of York's playhouse, and there saw "The Five Hours' Adventure," which hath not been acted a good while before, but once, and is a most excellent play, I must confess. My wife and The. come after us, after they had been to buy some things abroad, and so after the play done we to see them home, and then home ourselves, and my wife to read to me, and so to supper and to bed.