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Monday, 12th March 1660

12th. This day the wench rose at two in the morning to wash, and my wife and I lay talking a great while. I by reason of my cold could not tell how to sleep. My wife and I to the Exchange, where we bought a great many things, where I left her and went into London, and at Bedells the bookseller's at the Temple gate I paid £12 10s. 6d. for Mr. Fuller by his direction. So came back and at Wilkinson's found Mr. Sheply and some sea people, as the cook of the Nazeby and others, at dinner. Then to the White Horse in King Street, where I got Mr. Buddle's horse to ride to Huntsmore to Mr. Bowyer's, where I found him and all well, and willing to have my wife come and board with them while I was at sea, which was the business I went about. Here I lay and took a thing for my cold, namely a spoonful of honey and a nutmeg scraped into it, by Mr. Bowyer's direction, and so took it into my mouth, which I found did do me much good.

Tuesday, 12th March 1661

12th. At the office about business all the morning, so to the Exchange, and there met with Nick Osborne lately married, and with him to the Fleece, where we drank a glass of wine. So home, where I found Mrs. Hunt in great trouble about her husband's losing of his place in the Excise. From thence to Guildhall, and there set my hand to the book before Colonel King for my sea pay, and blessed be God! they have cast me at midshipman's pay, which do make my heart very glad. So, home, and there had Sir W. Batten and my Lady and all their company and Capt. Browne and his wife to a collation at my house till it was late, and then to bed.

Wednesday, 12th March 1662

12th. At the office from morning till night putting of papers in order, that so I may have my office in an orderly condition. I took much pains in sorting and folding of papers. Dined at home, and there came Mrs. Goldsborough about her old business, but I did give her a short answer and sent away. This morning we had news from Mr. Coventry, that Sir G. Downing (like a perfidious rogue, though the action is good and of service to the King,    ("And hail the treason though we hate the traitor.") On the 21st Charles returned his formal thanks to the States for their assistance in the matter.--B.
yet he cannot with any good conscience do it) hath taken Okey, Corbet, and Barkestead at Delfe, in Holland, and sent them home in the Blackmore. Sir W. Pen, talking to me this afternoon of what a strange thing it is for Downing to do this, he told me of a speech he made to the Lords States of Holland, telling them to their faces that he observed that he was not received with the respect and observance now, that he was when he came from the traitor and rebell Cromwell: by whom, I am sure, he hath got all he hath in the world,--and they know it too.    Charles, when residing at Brussels, went to the Hague at night to pay a secret visit to his sister, the Princess of Orange. After his arrival, "an old reverend-like man, with a long grey beard and ordinary grey clothes," entered the inn and begged for a private interview. He then fell on his knees, and pulling off his disguise, discovered himself to be Mr. Downing, then ambassador from Cromwell to the States-General. He informed Charles that the Dutch had guaranteed to the English Commonwealth to deliver him into their hands should he ever set foot in their territory. This warning probably saved Charles's liberty.--M. B.

Thursday, 12th March 1663

12th. Up betimes and to my office all the morning with Captain Cocke ending their account of their Riga contract for hemp. So home to dinner, my head full of business against the office. After dinner comes my uncle Thomas with a letter to my father, wherein, as we desire, he and his son do order their tenants to pay their rents to us, which pleases me well. In discourse he tells me my uncle Wight thinks much that I do never see them, and they have reason, but I do apprehend that they have been too far concerned with my uncle Thomas against us, so that I have had no mind hitherto, but now I shall go see them. He being gone, I to the office, where at the choice of maisters and chyrurgeons for the fleet now going out, I did my business as I could wish, both for the persons I had a mind to serve, and in getting the warrants signed drawn by my clerks, which I was afeard of. Sat late, and having done I went home, where I found Mary Ashwell come to live with us, of whom I hope well, and pray God she may please us, which, though it cost me something, yet will give me much content. So to supper and to bed, and find by her discourse and carriage to-night that she is not proud, but will do what she is bid, but for want of being abroad knows not how to give the respect to her mistress, as she will do when she is told it, she having been used only to little children, and there was a kind of a mistress over them. Troubled all night with my cold, I being quite hoarse with it that I could not speak to be heard at all almost.

Saturday, 12th March 1664

12th. Lay long pleasantly entertaining myself with my wife, and then up and to the office, where busy till noon, vexed to see how Sir J. Minnes deserves rather to be pitied for his dotage and folly than employed at a great salary to ruin the King's business. At noon to the 'Change, and thence home to dinner, and then down to Deptford, where busy a while, and then walking home it fell hard a raining. So at Halfway house put in, and there meeting Mr. Stacy with some company of pretty women, I took him aside to a room by ourselves, and there talked with him about the several sorts of tarrs, and so by and by parted, and I walked home and there late at the office, and so home to supper and to bed.

Sunday, 12th March 1665

12th (Lord's day). Up, and borrowing Sir J. Minnes's coach, to my Lord Sandwich's, but he was gone abroad. I sent the coach back for my wife, my Lord a second time dining at home on purpose to meet me, he having not dined once at home but those times since his coming from sea. I sat down and read over the Bishop of Chichester's' sermon upon the anniversary of the King's death, much cried up, but, methinks, but a mean sermon. By and by comes in my Lord, and he and I to talke of many things in the Navy, one from another, in general, to see how the greatest things are committed to very ordinary men, as to parts and experience, to do; among others, my Lord Barkeley. We talked also of getting W. Howe to be put into the Muster-Mastershipp in the roome of Creed, if Creed will give way, but my Lord do it without any great gusto, calling Howe a proud coxcomb in passion. Down to dinner, where my wife in her new lace whiske, which, indeed, is very noble, and I much pleased with it, and so my Lady also. Here very pleasant my Lord was at dinner, and after dinner did look over his plate, which Burston hath brought him to-day, and is the last of the three that he will have made. After satisfied with that, he abroad, and I after much discourse with my Lady about Sir G. Carteret's son, of whom she hath some thoughts for a husband for my Lady Jemimah, we away home by coach again, and there sang a good while very pleasantly with Mr. Andrews and Hill. They gone; we to supper, and betimes to bed.

Monday, 12th March 1666

12th. Up betimes, and called on by abundance of people about business, and then away by water to Westminster, and there to the Exchequer about some business, and thence by coach calling at several places, to the Old Exchange, and there did much business, and so homeward and bought a silver salt for my ordinary table to use, and so home to dinner, and after dinner comes my uncle and aunt Wight, the latter I have not seen since the plague; a silly, froward, ugly woman she is. We made mighty much of them, and she talks mightily of her fear of the sicknesse, and so a deale of tittle tattle and I left them and to my office where late, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I hear my Uncle Talbot Pepys died the last week, and was buried. All the news now is, that Sir Jeremy Smith is at Cales--    Cadiz
--with his fleete, and Mings in the Elve.--    Elbe
--The King is come this noon to towne from Audly End, with the Duke of Yorke and a fine train of gentlemen.

Tuesday, 12th March 1667

12th. Up, and to the office, where all-the morning, and my Lord Bruncker mighty quiet, and no words all day, which I wonder at, expecting that he would have fallen again upon the business of Carcasse, and the more for that here happened that Perkins, who was the greatest witness of all against him, was brought in by Sir W. Batten to prove that he did really belong to The Prince, but being examined was found rather a fool than anything, as not being able to give any account when he come in nor when he come out of her, more than that he was taken by the Dutch in her, but did agree in earnest to Sir W. Pen's saying that she lay up all, the winter before at Lambeth. This I confess did make me begin to doubt the truth of his evidence, but not to doubt the faults of Carcasse, for he was condemned by, many other better evidences than his, besides the whole world's report. At noon home, and there find Mr. Goodgroome, whose teaching of my wife only by singing over and over again to her, and letting her sing with him, not by herself, to correct her faults, I do not like at all, but was angry at it; but have this content, that I do think she will come to sing pretty well, and to trill in time, which pleases me well. He dined with us, and then to the office, when we had a sorry meeting to little purpose, and then broke up, and I to my office, and busy late to good purpose, and so home to supper and to bed. This day a poor seaman, almost starved for want of food, lay in our yard a-dying. I sent him half-a-crown, and we ordered his ticket to be paid.

Thursday, 12th March 1668

12th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, at noon home, and after dinner with wife and Deb., carried them to Unthanke's, and I to Westminster Hall expecting our being with the Committee this afternoon about Victualling business, but once more waited in vain. So after a turn or two with Lord Brouncker, I took my wife up and left her at the 'Change while I to Gresham College, there to shew myself; and was there greeted by Dr. Wilkins, Whistler, and others, as the patron of the Navy Office, and one that got great fame by my late speech to the Parliament. Here I saw a great trial of the goodness of a burning glass, made of a new figure, not spherical (by one Smithys, I think, they call him), that did burn a glove of my Lord Brouncker's from the heat of a very little fire, which a burning glass of the old form, or much bigger, could not do, which was mighty pretty. Here I heard Sir Robert Southwell give an account of some things committed to him by the Society at his going to Portugall, which he did deliver in a mighty handsome manner.    At the meeting of the Royal Society on March 12th, 1668, "Mr. Smethwick's glasses were tried again; and his telescope being compared with another longer telescope, and the object-glasses exchanged, was still found to exceed the other in goodness; and his burning concave being compared with a spherical burning-glass of almost twice the diameter, and held to the fire, it burnt gloves, whereas the other spherical ones would not burn at all."--"Sir Robert Southwell being lately returned from Portugal, where he had been ambassador from the king, and being desired to acquaint the society with what he had done with respect to the instructions, which he had received from them before his departure from England, related, that he had lodged the astronomical quadrant, which the society had sent to Portugal to make observations with there, with a body of men at Lisbon, who had applied themselves among other kinds of literature to mathematics" (Birch's "History of the Royal Society," vol. ii., p. 256).
Thence went away home, and there at my office as long as my eyes would endure, and then home to supper, and to talk with Mr. Pelling, who tells me what a fame I have in the City for my late performance; and upon the whole I bless God for it. I think I have, if I can keep it, done myself a great deal of repute. So by and by to bed.

Friday, 12th March 1669

12th. Up, and abroad, with my own coach, to Auditor Beale's house, and thence with W. Hewer to his Office, and there with great content spent all the morning looking over the Navy accounts of several years, and the several patents of the Treasurers, which was more than I did hope to have found there. About noon I ended there, to my great content, and giving the clerks there 20s. for their trouble, and having sent for W. Howe to me to discourse with him about the Patent Office records, wherein I remembered his brother to be concerned, I took him in my coach with W. Hewer and myself towards Westminster; and there he carried me to Nott's, the famous bookbinder, that bound for my Lord Chancellor's library; and here I did take occasion for curiosity to bespeak a book to be bound, only that I might have one of his binding. Thence back to Graye's Inne: and, at the next door, at a cook's-shop of Howe's acquaintance, we bespoke dinner, it being now two o'clock; and in the meantime he carried us into Graye's Inne, to his chamber, where I never was before; and it is very pretty, and little, and neat, as he was always. And so, after a little stay, and looking over a book or two there, we carried a piece of my Lord Coke with us, and to our dinner, where, after dinner, he read at my desire a chapter in my Lord Coke about perjury, wherein I did learn a good deal touching oaths, and so away to the Patent Office; in Chancery Lane, where his brother Jacke, being newly broke by running in debt, and growing an idle rogue, he is forced to hide himself; and W. Howe do look after the Office, and here I did set a clerk to look out some things for me in their books, while W. Hewer and I to the Crowne Offices where we met with several good things that I most wanted, and did take short notes of the dockets, and so back to the Patent Office, and did the like there, and by candle-light ended. And so home, where, thinking to meet my wife with content, after my pains all this day, I find her in her closet, alone, in the dark, in a hot fit of railing against me, upon some news she has this day heard of Deb.'s living very fine, and with black spots, and speaking ill words of her mistress, which with good reason might vex her; and the baggage is to blame, but, God knows, I know nothing of her, nor what she do, nor what becomes of her, though God knows that my devil that is within me do wish that I could. Yet God I hope will prevent me therein, for I dare not trust myself with it if I should know it; but, what with my high words, and slighting it, and then serious, I did at last bring her to very good and kind terms, poor heart! and I was heartily glad of it, for I do see there is no man can be happier than myself, if I will, with her. But in her fit she did tell me what vexed me all the night, that this had put her upon putting off her handsome maid and hiring another that was full of the small pox, which did mightily vex me, though I said nothing, and do still. So down to supper, and she to read to me, and then with all possible kindness to bed.