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2d. This morning I went early to my Lord at Mr. Crew's, where I spoke to him. Here were a great many come to see him, as Secretary Thurlow who is now by this Parliament chosen again Secretary of State. There were also General Monk's trumpeters to give my Lord a sound of their trumpets this morning. Thence I went to my office, and wrote a letter to Mr. Downing about the business of his house. Then going home, I met with Mr. Eglin, Chetwind, and Thomas, who took me to the Leganother tavern
in King's street, where we had two brave dishes of meat, one of fish, a carp and some other fishes, as well done as ever I ate any. After that to the Swan tavern, where we drank a quart or two of wine, and so parted. So I to Mrs. Jem and took Mr. Moore with me (who I met in the street), and there I met W. Howe and Sheply. After that to Westminster Hall, where I saw Sir G. Booth at liberty. This day I hear the City militia is put into good posture, and it is thought that Monk will not be able to do any great matter against them now, if he have a mind. I understand that my Lord Lambert did yesterday send a letter to the Council, and that to-night he is to come and appear to the Council in person. Sir Arthur Haselrigge do not yet appear in the House. Great is the talk of a single person, and that it would now be Charles, George, or Richard again.--Charles II., or George Monk, or Richard Cromwell.
--For the last of which, my Lord St. John is said to speak high. Great also is the dispute now in the House, in whose name the writs shall run for the next Parliament; and it is said that Mr. Prin, in open House, said, "In King Charles's." From Westminster Hall home. Spent the evening in my study, and so after some talk with my wife, then to bed.
2d. Early with Mr. Moore about Sir Paul Neale's' business with my uncle and other things all the morning. Dined with him at Mr. Crew's, and after dinner I went to the Theatre, where I found so few people (which is strange, and the reason I did not know) that I went out again, and so to Salsbury Court, where the house as full as could be; and it seems it was a new play, "The Queen's Maske," wherein there are some good humours: among others, a good jeer to the old story of the Siege of Troy, making it to be a common country tale. But above all it was strange to see so little a boy as that was to act Cupid, which is one of the greatest parts in it. Then home and to bed.
2nd (Lord's day). With my mind much eased talking long in bed with my wife about our frugall life for the time to come, proposing to her what I could and would do if I were worth £2,000, that is, be a knight, and keep my coach, which pleased her,Lord Braybrooke wrote, "This reminds me of a story of my father's, when he was of Merton College, and heard Bowen the porter wish that he had £100 a-year, to enable him to keep a couple of hunters and a pack of foxhounds."
and so I do hope we shall hereafter live to save something, for I am resolved to keep myself by rules from expenses. To church in the morning: none in the pew but myself. So home to dinner, and after dinner came Sir William and talked with me till church time, and then to church, where at our going out I was at a loss by Sir W. Pen's putting me upon it whether to take my wife or Mrs. Martha (who alone was there), and I began to take my wife, but he jogged me, and so I took Martha, and led her down before him and my wife. So set her at home, and Sir William and my wife and I to walk in the garden, and anon hearing that Sir G. Carteret had sent to see whether we were at home or no, Sir William and I went to his house, where we waited a good while, they being at prayers, and by and by we went up to him; there the business was about hastening the East India ships, about which we are to meet to-morrow in the afternoon. So home to my house, and Sir William supped with me, and so to bed.
2nd. Up early and by water with Commissioner Pett to Deptford, and there took the Jemmy yacht (that the King and the Lords virtuosos built the other day) down to Woolwich, where we discoursed of several matters both there and at the Ropeyard, and so to the yacht again, and went down four or five miles with extraordinary pleasure, it being a fine day, and a brave gale of wind, and had some oysters brought us aboard newly taken, which were excellent, and ate with great pleasure. There also coming into the river two Dutchmen, we sent a couple of men on board and bought three Hollands cheeses, cost 4d. a piece, excellent cheeses, whereof I had two and Commissioner Pett one. So back again to Woolwich, and going aboard the Hulke to see the manner of the iron bridles, which we are making of for to save cordage to put to the chain, I did fall from the shipside into the ship (Kent), and had like to have broke my left hand, but I only sprained some of my fingers, which, when I came ashore I sent to Mrs. Ackworth for some balsam, and put to my hand, and was pretty well within a little while after. We dined at the White Hart with several officers with us, and after dinner went and saw the Royal James brought down to the stern of the Docke (the main business we came for), and then to the Ropeyard, and saw a trial between Riga hemp and a sort of Indian grass, which is pretty strong, but no comparison between it and the other for strength, and it is doubtful whether it will take tarre or no. So to the yacht again, and carried us almost to London, so by our oars home to the office, and thence Mr. Pett and I to Mr. Grant's coffee-house, whither he and Sir J. Cutler came to us and had much discourse, mixed discourse, and so broke up, and so home where I found my poor wife all alone at work, and the house foul, it being washing day, which troubled me, because that tomorrow I must be forced to have friends at dinner. So to my office, and then home to supper and to bed.
2nd. Up, my eye mightily out of order with the rheum that is fallen down into it, however, I by coach endeavoured to have waited on my Lord Sandwich, but meeting him in Chancery Lane going towards the City I stopped and so fairly walked home again, calling at St. Paul's Churchyarde, and there looked upon a pretty burlesque poem, called "Scarronides, or Virgile Travesty;" extraordinary good. At home to the office till dinner, and after dinner my wife cut my hair short, which is growne pretty long again, and then to the office, and there till 9 at night doing business. This afternoon we had a good present of tongues and bacon from Mr. Shales, of Portsmouth. So at night home to supper, and, being troubled with my eye, to bed. This morning Mr. Burgby, one of the writing clerks belonging to the Council, was with me about business, a knowing man, he complains how most of the Lords of the Council do look after themselves and their own ends, and none the publique, unless Sir Edward Nicholas. Sir G. Carteret is diligent, but all for his own ends and profit. My Lord Privy Scale, a destroyer of every body's business, and do no good at all to the publique. The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks very little, nor do much, being now come to the highest pitch that he can expect. He tells me, he believes that things will go very high against the Chancellor by Digby, and that bad things will be proved. Talks much of his neglecting the King; and making the King to trot every day to him, when he is well enough to go to visit his cozen Chief-Justice Hide, but not to the Council or King. He commends my Lord of Ormond mightily in Ireland; but cries out cruelly of Sir G. Lane for his corruption; and that he hath done my Lord great dishonour by selling of places here, which are now all taken away, and the poor wretches ready to starve. That nobody almost understands or judges of business better than the King, if he would not be guilty of his father's fault to be doubtfull of himself, and easily be removed from his own opinion. That my Lord Lauderdale is never from the King's care nor council, and that he is a most cunning fellow. Upon the whole, that he finds things go very bad every where; and even in the Council nobody minds the publique.
2nd. Begun this day to rise betimes before six o'clock, and, going down to call my people, found Besse and the girle with their clothes on, lying within their bedding upon the ground close by the fireside, and a candle burning all night, pretending they would rise to scoure. This vexed me, but Besse is going and so she will not trouble me long. Up, and by water to Burston about my Lord's plate, and then home to the office, so there all the morning sitting. At noon dined with Sir W. Batten (my wife being gone again to-day to buy things, having bought nothing yesterday for lack of Mrs. Pierces company), and thence to the office again, where very busy till 12 at night, and vexed at my wife's staying out so late, she not being at home at 9 o'clock, but at last she is come home, but the reason of her stay I know not yet. So shut up my books, and home to supper and to bed.
2nd. Up, as I have of late resolved before 7 in the morning and to the office, where all the morning, among other things setting my wife and Mercer with much pleasure to worke upon the ruling of some paper for the making of books for pursers, which will require a great deale of worke and they will earn a good deale of money by it, the hopes of which makes them worke mighty hard. At noon dined and to the office again, and about 4 o'clock took coach and to my Lord Treasurer's and thence to Sir Philip Warwicke's new house by appointment, there to spend an houre in talking and we were together above an hour, and very good discourse about the state of the King as to money, and particularly in the point of the Navy. He endeavours hard to come to a good understanding of Sir G. Carteret's accounts, and by his discourse I find Sir G. Carteret must be brought to it, and what a madman he is that he do not do it of himself, for the King expects the Parliament will call upon him for his promise of giving an account of the money, and he will be ready for it, which cannot be, I am sure, without Sir G. Carteret's accounts be better understood than they are. He seems to have a great esteem of me and my opinion and thoughts of things. After we had spent an houre thus discoursing and vexed that we do but grope so in the darke as we do, because the people, that should enlighten us, do not helpe us, we resolved fitting some things for another meeting, and so broke up. He shewed me his house, which is yet all unhung, but will be a very noble house indeed. Thence by coach calling at my bookseller's and carried home £10 worth of books, all, I hope, I shall buy a great while. There by appointment find Mr. Hill come to sup and take his last leave of me, and by and by in comes Mr. James Houbland to bear us company, a man I love mightily, and will not lose his acquaintance. He told me in my eare this night what he and his brothers have resolved to give me, which is £200, for helping them out with two or three ships. A good sum and that which I did believe they would give me, and I did expect little less. Here we talked and very good company till late, and then took leave of one another, and indeed I am heartily sorry for Mr. Hill's leaving us, for he is a very worthy gentleman, as most I know. God give him a good voyage and successe in his business. Thus we parted and my wife and I to bed, heavy for the losse of our friend.
2nd. Up, and to the office, where sitting all the morning, and among other things did agree upon a distribution of £30,000 and odd, which is the only sum we hear of like to come out of all the Poll Bill for the use of this office for buying of goods. I did herein some few courtesies for particular friends I wished well to, and for the King's service also, and was therefore well pleased with what was done. Sir W. Pen this day did bring an order from the Duke of York for our receiving from him a small vessel for a fireship, and taking away a better of the King's for it, it being expressed for his great service to the King. This I am glad of, not for his sake, but that it will give me a better ground, I believe, to ask something for myself of this kind, which I was fearful to begin. This do make Sir W. Pen the most kind to me that can be. I suppose it is this, lest it should find any opposition from me, but I will not oppose, but promote it. After dinner, with my wife, to the King's house to see "The Mayden Queene," a new play of Dryden's, mightily commended for the regularity of it, and the strain and wit; and, the truth is, there is a comical part done by Nell,"Her skill increasing with her years, other poets sought to obtain recommendations of her wit and beauty to the success of their writings. I have said that Dryden was one of the principal supporters of the King's house, and ere long in one of his new plays a principal character was set apart for the popular comedian. The drama was a tragi-comedy called 'Secret Love, or the Maiden Queen,' and an additional interest was attached to its production from the king having suggested the plot to its author, and calling it 'his play.'"--Cunningham's Story of Nell Gwyn, ed: 1892, pp. 38,39.
which is Florimell, that I never can hope ever to see the like done again, by man or woman. The King and Duke of York were at the play. But so great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before as Nell do this, both as a mad girle, then most and best of all when she comes in like a young gallant; and hath the notions and carriage of a spark the most that ever I saw any man have. It makes me, I confess, admire her. Thence home and to the office, where busy a while, and then home to read the lives of Henry 5th and 6th, very fine, in Speede, and to bed. This day I did pay a bill of £50 from my father, being so much out of my own purse gone to pay my uncle Robert's legacy to my aunt Perkins's child.
2nd. Up and betimes to the office, where I did much business, and several come to me, and among others I did prepare Mr. Warren, and by and by Sir D. Gawden, about what presents I have had from them, that they may not publish them, or if they do, that in truth I received none on the account of the Navy but Tangier, and this is true to the former, and in both that I never asked any thing of them. I must do the like with the rest. Mr. Moore was with me, and he do tell me, and so W. Hewer tells me, he hears this morning that all the town is full of the discourse that the Officers of the Navy shall be all turned out, but honest Sir John Minnes, who, God knows, is fitter to have been turned out himself than any of us, doing the King more hurt by his dotage and folly than all the rest can do by their knavery, if they had a mind to it. At noon home to dinner, where was Mercer, and very merry as I could be with my mind so full of business, and so with my wife, her and the girl, to the King's house to see the "Virgin Martyr" again, which do mightily please me, but above all the musique at the coming down of the angel, which at this hearing the second time, do still commend me as nothing ever did, and the other musique is nothing to it. Thence with my wife to the 'Change, and so, calling at the Cocke ale house, we home, and there I settle to business, and with my people preparing my great answer to the Parliament for the office about tickets till past 1 a o'clock at night, and then home to supper and to bed, keeping Mr. Gibson all night with me. This day I have the news that my sister was married on Thursday last to Mr. Jackson; so that work is, I hope, well over.
2nd. Up, and at the office till noon, when home, and there I find my company come, namely, Madam Turner, Dyke, The., and Betty Turner, and Mr. Bellwood, formerly their father's clerk, but now set up for himself--a conceited, silly fellow, but one they make mightily of--my cozen Roger Pepys, and his wife, and two daughters. I had a noble dinner for them, as I almost ever had, and mighty merry, and particularly myself pleased with looking on Betty Turner, who is mighty pretty. After dinner, we fell one to one talk, and another to another, and looking over my house, and closet, and things; and The. Turner to write a letter to a lady in the country, in which I did, now and then, put in half a dozen words, and sometimes five or six lines, and then she as much, and made up a long and good letter, she being mighty witty really, though troublesome-humoured with it. And thus till night, that our musick come, and the Office ready and candles, and also W. Batelier and his sister Susan come, and also Will. Howe and two gentlemen more, strangers, which, at my request yesterday, he did bring to dance, called Mr. Ireton and Mr. Starkey. We fell to dancing, and continued, only with intermission for a good supper, till two in the morning, the musick being Greeting, and another most excellent violin, and theorbo, the best in town. And so with mighty mirth, and pleased with their dancing of jigs afterwards several of them, and, among others, Betty Turner, who did it mighty prettily; and, lastly, W. Batelier's "Blackmore and Blackmore Mad;" and then to a country-dance again, and so broke up with extraordinary pleasure, as being one of the days and nights of my life spent with the greatest content; and that which I can but hope to repeat again a few times in my whole life. This done, we parted, the strangers home, and I did lodge my cozen Pepys and his wife in our blue chamber. My cozen Turner, her sister, and The., in our best chamber; Bab., Betty, and Betty Turner, in our own chamber; and myself and my wife in the maid's bed, which is very good. Our maids in the, coachman's bed; the coachman with the boy in his settlebed, and Tom where he uses to lie. And so I did, to my great content, lodge at once in my house, with the greatest ease, fifteen, and eight of them strangers of quality. My wife this day put on first her French gown, called a Sac, which becomes her very well, brought her over by W. Batelier.