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10th. This morning many or most of the commanders in the Fleet came on board and dined here, so that some of them and I dined together in the Round-house, where we were very merry. Hither came the Vice-Admiral to us, and sat and talked and seemed a very good-natured man. At night as I was all alone in my cabin, in a melancholy fit playing on my viallin, my Lord and Sir R. Stayner came into the coach"A sort of chamber or apartment in a large ship of war, just before the great cabin. The floor of it is formed by the aftmost part of the quarter deck, and the roof of it by the poop: it is generally the habitation of the flag-captain."--Smyth's Sailor's Word-Book.
and supped there, and called me out to supper with them. After that up to the Lieutenant's cabin, where he and I and Sir Richard sat till 11 o'clock talking, and so to bed. This day my Lord Goring returned from France, and landed at Dover.
10th. In the morning to see the Dockhouses. First, Mr. Pett's, the builder, and there was very kindly received, and among other things he did offer my Lady Batten a parrot, the best I ever saw, that knew Mingo so soon as it saw him, having been bred formerly in the house with them; but for talking and singing I never heard the like. My Lady did accept of it: Then to see Commissioner Pett's house, he and his family being absent, and here I wondered how my Lady Batten walked up and down with envious looks to see how neat and rich everything is (and indeed both the house and garden is most handsome), saying that she would get it, for it belonged formerly to the Surveyor of the Navy. Then on board the Prince, now in the dock, and indeed it has one and no more rich cabins for carved work, but no gold in her. After that back home, and there eat a little dinner. Then to Rochester, and there saw the Cathedrall, which is now fitting for use, and the organ then a-tuning. Then away thence, observing the great doors of the church, which, they say, was covered with the skins of the Danes,Traditions similar to that at Rochester, here alluded to, are to be found in other places in England. Sir Harry Englefield, in a communication made to the Society of Antiquaries, July 2nd, 1789, called attention to the curious popular tale preserved in the village of Hadstock, Essex, that the door of the church had been covered with the skin of a Danish pirate, who had plundered the church. At Worcester, likewise, it was asserted that the north doors of the cathedral had been covered with the skin of a person who had sacrilegiously robbed the high altar. The date of these doors appears to be the latter part of the fourteenth century, the north porch having been built about 1385. Dart, in his "History of the Abbey Church of St. Peter's, Westminster," 1723 (vol. i., book ii., p. 64), relates a like tradition then preserved in reference to a door, one of three which closed off a chamber from the south transept--namely, a certain building once known as the Chapel of Henry VIII., and used as a "Revestry." This chamber, he states, "is inclosed with three doors, the inner cancellated, the middle, which is very thick, lined with skins like parchment, and driven full of nails. These skins, they by tradition tell us, were some skins of the Danes, tann'd and given here as a memorial of our delivery from them." Portions of this supposed human skin were examined under the microscope by the late Mr. John Quekett of the Hunterian Museum, who ascertained, beyond question, that in each of the cases the skin was human. From a communication by the late Mr. Albert Way, F.S.A., to the late Lord Braybrooke.
and also had much mirth at a tomb, on which was "Come sweet Jesu," and I read "Come sweet Mall," &c., at which Captain Pett and I had good laughter. So to the Salutacion tavern, where Mr. Alcock and many of the town came and entertained us with wine and oysters and other things, and hither come Sir John Minnes to us, who is come to-day to see "the Henery," in which he intends to ride as Vice-Admiral in the narrow seas all this summer. Here much mirth, but I was a little troubled to stay too long, because of going to Hempson's, which afterwards we did, and found it in all things a most pretty house, and rarely furnished, only it had a most ill access on all sides to it, which is a greatest fault that I think can be in a house. Here we had, for my sake, two fiddles, the one a base viall, on which he that played, played well some lyra lessons, but both together made the worst musique that ever I heard. We had a fine collacion, but I took little pleasure in that, for the illness of the musique and for the intentness of my mind upon Mrs. Rebecca Allen. After we had done eating, the ladies went to dance, and among the men we had, I was forced to dance too; and did make an ugly shift. Mrs. R. Allen danced very well, and seems the best humoured woman that ever I saw. About 9 o'clock Sir William and my Lady went home, and we continued dancing an hour or two, and so broke up very pleasant and merry, and so walked home, I leading Mrs. Rebecca, who seemed, I know not why, in that and other things, to be desirous of my favours and would in all things show me respects. Going home, she would needs have me sing, and I did pretty well and was highly esteemed by them. So to Captain Allen's (where we were last night, and heard him play on the harpsicon, and I find him to be a perfect good musician), and there, having no mind to leave Mrs. Rebecca, what with talk and singing (her father and I), Mrs. Turner and I staid there till 2 o'clock in the morning and was most exceeding merry, and I had the opportunity of kissing Mrs. Rebecca very often. Among other things Captain Pett was saying that he thought that he had got his wife with child since I came thither. Which I took hold of and was merrily asking him what he would take to have it said for my honour that it was of my getting? He merrily answered that he would if I would promise to be godfather to it if it did come within the time just, and I said that I would. So that I must remember to compute it when the time comes.
10th. To Westminster with the two Sir Williams by water, and did several businesses, and so to the Wardrobe with Mr. Moore to dinner. Yesterday came Col. Talbot with letters from Portugall, that the Queen is resolved to embarque for England this week. Thence to the office all the afternoon. My Lord Windsor came to us to discourse of his affairs, and to take his leave of us; he being to go Governor of Jamaica with this fleet that is now going. Late at the office. Home with my mind full of business. So to bed.
10th. Up very betimes and to my office, where most hard at business alone all the morning. At noon to the Exchange, where I hear that after great expectation from Ireland, and long stop of letters, there is good news come, that all is quiett after our great noise of troubles there, though some stir hath been as was reported. Off the Exchange with Sir J. Cutler and Mr. Grant to the Royall Oak Tavern, in Lumbard Street, where Alexander Broome the poet was, a merry and witty man, I believe, if he be not a little conceited, and here drank a sort of French wine, called Ho Bryan,Haut Brion, a claret; one of the first growths of the red wines of Medoc.
that hath a good and most particular taste that I never met with. Home to dinner, and then by water abroad to Whitehall, my wife to see Mrs. Ferrers, I to Whitehall and the Park, doing no business. Then to my Lord's lodgings, met my wife, and walked to the New Exchange. There laid out 10s. upon pendents and painted leather gloves, very pretty and all the mode. So by coach home and to my office till late, and so to supper and to bed.
10th (Lord's day). Lay long in bed, and then up and my wife dressed herself, it being Easter day, but I not being so well as to go out, she, though much against her will, staid at home with me; for she had put on her new best gowns, which indeed is very fine now with the lace; and this morning her taylor brought home her other new laced silks gowns with a smaller lace, and new petticoats, I bought the other day both very pretty. We spent the day in pleasant talks and company one with another, reading in Dr. Fuller's book what he says of the family of the Cliffords and Kingsmills, and at night being myself better than I was by taking a glyster, which did carry away a great deal of wind, I after supper at night went to bed and slept well.
10th. Up, and to the Duke of Albemarle's, and thence to White Hall to a Committee for Tangier, where new disorder about Mr. Povy's accounts, that I think I shall never be settled in my business of Treasurer for him. Here Captain Cooke met me, and did seem discontented about my boy Tom's having no time to mind his singing nor lute, which I answered him fully in, that he desired me that I would baste his coate. So home and to the 'Change, and thence to the "Old James" to dine with Sir W. Rider, Cutler, and Mr. Deering, upon the business of hemp, and so hence to White Hall to have attended the King and Lord Chancellor about the debts of the navy and to get some money, but the meeting failed. So my Lord Brunkard took me and Sir Thomas Harvy in his coach to the Parke, which is very troublesome with the dust; and ne'er a great beauty there to-day but Mrs. Middleton, and so home to my office, where Mr. Warren proposed my getting of £100 to get him a protection for a ship to go out, which I think I shall do. So home to supper and to bed.
10th. Up betimes, and many people to me about business. To the office and there sat till noon, and then home and dined, and to the office again all the afternoon, where we sat all, the first time of our resolution to sit both forenoons and afternoons. Much business at night and then home, and though late did see some work done by the plasterer to my new window in the boy's chamber plastered. Then to supper, and after having my head combed by the little girle to bed. Bad news that the plague is decreased in the general again and two increased in the sickness.
10th. Up, and to my office a little, and then, in the garden, find Sir W. Pen; and he and I to Sir W. Batten, where he tells us news of the new disorders of Hogg and his men in taking out of 30 tons of wine out of a prize of ours, which makes us mad; and that, added to the unwillingness of the men to go longer abroad without money, do lead us to conclude not to keep her abroad any longer, of which I am very glad, for I do not like our doings with what we have already got, Sir W. Batten ordering the disposal of our wines and goods, and he leaves it to Morrice the cooper, who I take to be a cunning proud knave, so that I am very desirous to adventure no further. So away by water from the Old Swan to White Hall, and there to Sir W. Coventry's, with whom I staid a great while longer than I have done these many months, and had opportunity of talking with him, and he do declare himself troubled that he hath any thing left him to do in the Navy, and would be glad to part with his whole profits and concernments in it, his pains and care being wholly ineffectual during this lack of money; the expense growing infinite, the service not to be done, and discipline and order not to be kept, only from want of money. I begun to discourse with him the business of Tangier, which by the removal of my Lord Bellasses, is now to have a new Governor; and did move him, that at this season all the business of reforming the garrison might be considered, while nobody was to be offended; and I told him it is plain that we do overspend our revenue: that the place is of no more profit to the King than it was the first day, nor in itself of better credit; no more people of condition willing to live there, nor any thing like a place likely to turn his Majesty to account: that it hath been hitherto, and, for aught I see, likely only to be used as a job to do a kindness to some Lord, or he that can get to be Governor. Sir W. Coventry agreed with me, so as to say, that unless the King hath the wealth of the Mogul, he would be a beggar to have his businesses ordered in the manner they now are: that his garrisons must be made places only of convenience to particular persons that he hath moved the Duke of York in it; and that it was resolved to send no Governor thither till there had been Commissioners sent to put the garrison in order, so as that he that goes may go with limitations and rules to follow, and not to do as he please, as the rest have hitherto done. That he is not afeard to speak his mind, though to the displeasure of any man; and that I know well enough; but that, when it is come, as it is now, that to speak the truth in behalf of the King plainly do no good, but all things bore down by other measures than by what is best for the King, he hath no temptation to be perpetually fighting of battles, it being more easy to him do those terms to suffer things to go on without giving any man offence, than to have the same thing done, and he contract the displeasure of all the world, as he must do, that will be for the King. I did offer him to draw up my thoughts in this matter to present to the Duke of York, which he approved of, and I do think to do it. So away, and by coach going home saw Sir G. Carteret going towards White Hall. So 'light and by water met him, and with him to the King's little chapel; and afterwards to see the King heal the King's Evil, wherein no pleasure, I having seen it before; and then to see him and the Queene and Duke of York and his wife, at dinner in the Queene's lodgings; and so with Sir G. Carteret to his lodgings to dinner; where very good company; and after dinner he and I to talk alone how things are managed, and to what ruin we must come if we have not a peace. He did tell me one occasion, how Sir Thomas Allen, which I took for a man of known courage and service on the King's side, was tried for his life in Prince Rupert's fleete, in the late times, for cowardice, and condemned to be hanged, and fled to Jersey; where Sir G. Carteret received him, not knowing the reason of his coming thither: and that thereupon Prince Rupert wrote to the Queen-Mother his dislike of Sir G. Carteret's receiving a person that stood condemned; and so Sir G. Carteret was forced to bid him betake himself to some other place. This was strange to me. Our Commissioners are preparing to go to Bredah to the treaty, and do design to be going the next week. So away by coach home, where there should have been a meeting about Carcasse's business, but only my Lord and I met, and so broke up, Carcasse having only read his answer to his charge, which is well writ, but I think will not prove to his advantage, for I believe him to be a very rogue. So home, and Balty and I to look Mr. Fenn at Sir G. Carteret's office in Broad Streete, and there missing him and at the banker's hard by, we home, and I down by water to Deptford Dockyard, and there did a little business, and so home back again all the way reading a little piece I lately bought, called "The Virtuoso, or the Stoicke," proposing many things paradoxical to our common opinions, wherein in some places he speaks well, but generally is but a sorry man. So home and to my chamber to enter my two last days' journall, and this, and then to supper and to bed. Blessed be God! I hear that my father is better and better, and will, I hope, live to enjoy some cheerful days more; but it is strange what he writes me, that Mr. Weaver, of Huntingdon, who was a lusty, likely, and but a youngish man, should be dead.
10th (Friday) All the morning at Office. At noon with W. Pen to Duke of York, and attended Council. So to piper and Duck Lane, and there kissed bookseller's wife, and bought Legend. So home, coach. Sailor. Mrs. Hannam dead. News of Peace. Conning my gamut.
10th. Up, and to the Excise-Office, and thence to White Hall a little, and so back again to the 'Change, but nobody there, it being over, and so walked home to dinner, and after dinner comes Mr. Seymour to visit me, a talking fellow: but I hear by him that Captain Trevanion do give it out every where, that I did overrule the whole Court-martiall against him, as long as I was there; and perhaps I may receive, this time, some wrong by it: but I care not, for what I did was out of my desire of doing justice. So the office, where late, and then home to supper and to bed.