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28th. Called up at two in the morning for letters for my Lord from the Duke of York, but I went to bed again till 5. Trimmed early this morning. This morning the Captain did call over all the men in the ship (not the boys), and give every one of them a ducat of the King's money that he gave the ship, and the officers according to their quality. I received in the Captain's cabin, for my share, sixty ducats. The rest of the morning busy writing letters. So was my Lord that he would not come to dinner. After dinner to write again in order to sending to London, but my Lord did not finish his, so we did not send to London to-day. A great part of the afternoon at nine-pins with my Lord and Mr. Hetley. I lost about 4s. Supped with my Lord, and after that to bed. At night I had a strange dream of--myself, which I really did, and having kicked my clothes off, I got cold; and found myself all much wet in the morning, and had a great deal of pain . . . which made me very melancholy.
28th. This morning to the Wardrobe, and thence to a little alehouse hard by, to drink with John Bowies, who is now going to Hinchinbroke this day. Thence with Mr. Shepley to the Exchange about business, and there, by Mr. Rawlinson's favour, got into a balcone over against the Exchange; and there saw the hangman burn, by vote of Parliament, two old acts, the one for constituting us a Commonwealth, and the others I have forgot. Which still do make me think of the greatness of this late turn, and what people will do tomorrow against what they all, through profit or fear, did promise and practise this day. Then to the Mitre with Mr. Shepley, and there dined with D. Rawlinson and some friends of his very well. So home, and then to Cheapside about buying a piece of plate to give away to-morrow to Mrs. Browne's child. So to the Star in Cheapside, where I left Mr. Moore telling £5 out for me, who I found in a great strait for my coming back again, and so he went his way at my coming. Then home, where Mr. Cook I met and he paid me 30s., an old debt of his to me. So to Sir W. Pen's, and there sat alone with him till ten at night in talk with great content, he telling me things and persons that I did not understand in the late times, and so I home to bed. My cozen John Holcroft (whom I have not seen many years) this morning came to see me.
28th. Up early to put things in order in my chamber, and then to my Lord's, with whom I spoke about several things, and so up and down in several places about business with Mr. Creed, among others to Mr. Wotton's the shoemaker, and there drank our morning draft, and then home about noon, and by and by comes my father by appointment to dine with me, which we did very merrily, I desiring to make him as merry as I can, while the poor man is in town. After dinner comes my uncle Wight and sat awhile and talked with us, and thence we three to the Mum House at Leadenhall, and there sat awhile. Then I left them, and to the Wardrobe, where I found my Lord gone to Hampton Court. Here I staid all the afternoon till late with Creed and Captain Ferrers, thinking whether we should go to-morrow together to Hampton Court, but Ferrers his wife coming in by and by to the house with the young ladies (with whom she had been abroad), she was unwilling to go, whereupon I was willing to put off our going, and so home, but still my mind was hankering after our going to-morrow. So to bed.
28th. Up this morning, and my wife, I know not for what cause, being against going to Chelsey to-day, it being a holy day (Ascension Day) and I at leisure, it being the first holy day almost that we have observed ever since we came to the office, we did give Ashwell leave to go by herself, and I out to several places about business. Among others to Dr. Williams, to reckon with him for physique that my wife has had for a year or two, coming to almost £4. Then to the Exchange, where I hear that the King had letters yesterday from France that the King there is in away
of living again, which I am glad to hear. At the coffee-house in Exchange Alley I bought a little book, "Counsell to Builders," by Sir Balth. Gerbier. It is dedicated almost to all the men of any great condition in England, so that the Epistles are more than the book itself, and both it and them not worth a turd, that I am ashamed that I bought it. Home and there found Creed, who dined with us, and after dinner by water to the Royall Theatre; but that was so full they told us we could have no room. And so to the Duke's House; and there saw "Hamlett" done, giving us fresh reason never to think enough of Betterton. Who should we see come upon the stage but Gosnell, my wife's maid? but neither spoke, danced, nor sung; which I was sorry for. But she becomes the stage very well. Thence by water home, after we had walked to and fro, backwards and forwards, six or seven times in the Temple walks, disputing whether to go by land or water. By land home, and thence by water to Halfway House, and there eat some supper we carried with us, and so walked home again, it being late we were forced to land at the dock, my wife and they, but I in a humour not willing to daub my shoes went round by the Custom House. So home, and by and by to bed, Creed lying with me in the red chamber all night.
28th. Up pretty well as to pain and wind, and to the office, where we sat close and did much business. At noon I to the 'Change, and thence to Mr. Cutler's, where I heard Sir W. Rider was, where I found them at dinner and dined with them, he having yesterday and to-day a fit of a pain like the gout, the first time he ever had it. A good dinner. Good discourse, Sir W. Rider especially much fearing the issue of a Dutch warr, wherein I very highly commend him. Thence home, and at the office a while, and then with Mr. Deane to a second lesson upon my Shipwrightry, wherein I go on with great pleasure. He being gone I to the office late, and so home to supper and to bed. But, Lord! to see how my very going to the 'Change, and being without my gowne, presently brought me wind and pain, till I came home and was well again; but I am come to such a pass that I shall not know what to do with myself, but I am apt to think that it is only my legs that I take cold in from my having so long worn a gowne constantly.
28th (Lord's day). By water to the Duke of Albemarle, where I hear that Nixon is condemned to be shot to death, for his cowardice, by a Council of War. Went to chapel and heard a little musique, and there met with Creed, and with him a little while walking, and to Wilkinson's for me to drink, being troubled with winde, and at noon to Sir Philip Warwicke's to dinner, where abundance of company come in unexpectedly; and here I saw one pretty piece of household stuff, as the company increaseth, to put a larger leaf upon an oval table. After dinner much good discourse with Sir Philip, who I find, I think, a most pious, good man, and a professor of a philosophical manner of life and principles like Epictetus, whom he cites in many things. Thence to my Lady Sandwich's, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester's running away on Friday night last with Mrs. Mallett, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at White Hall with Mrs. Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and foot men, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no successe) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry, and the Lord sent to the Tower. Hereupon my Lady did confess to me, as a great secret, her being concerned in this story. For if this match breaks between my Lord Rochester and her, then, by the consent of all her friends, my Lord Hinchingbroke stands fair, and is invited for her. She is worth, and will be at her mother's death (who keeps but a little from her), £2500 per annum. Pray God give a good success to it! But my poor Lady, who is afeard of the sickness, and resolved to be gone into the country, is forced to stay in towne a day or two, or three about it, to see the event of it. Thence home and to see my Lady Pen, where my wife and I were shown a fine rarity: of fishes kept in a glass of water, that will live so for ever; and finely marked they are, being foreign.--Gold-fish introduced from China.
--So to supper at home and to bed, after many people being with me about business, among others the two Bellamys about their old debt due to them from the King for their victualling business, out of which I hope to get some money.
28th. Up and to my chamber to do some business there, and then to the office, where a while, and then by agreement to the Excise Office, where I waited all the morning for the Cofferer and Sir St. Foxe's coming, but they did not, so I and the Commissioners lost their labour and expectation of doing the business we intended. Thence home, where I find Mr. Lovett and his wife came to see us. They are a pretty couple, and she a fine bred woman. They dined with us, and Browne, the paynter, and she plays finely on the lute. My wife and I were well pleased with her company. After dinner broke up, I to the office and they abroad. All the afternoon I busy at the office, and down by water to Deptford. Walked back to Redriffe, and so home to the office again, being thoughtfull how to answer Sir W. Coventry against to-morrow in the business of the Victualling, but that I do trust to Tom Wilson, that he will be ready with a book for me to-morrow morning. So to bed, my wife telling me where she hath been to-day with my aunt Wight, and seen Mrs. Margaret Wight, and says that she is one of the beautifullest women that ever she saw in her life, the most excellent nose and mouth. They have been also to see pretty Mrs. Batelier, and conclude her to be a prettier woman than Mrs. Pierce, whom my wife led my aunt to see also this day.
28th. Up, and by coach to St. James's, where I find Sir W. Coventry, and he desirous to have spoke with me. It was to read over a draught of a letter which he hath made for his brother Commissioners and him to sign to us, demanding an account of the whole business of the Navy accounts; and I perceive, by the way he goes about it, that they will do admirable things. He tells me they have chosen Sir G. Downing their Secretary, who will be as fit a man as any in the world; and said, by the by, speaking of the bankers being fearful of Sir G. Downing's being Secretary, he being their enemy, that they did not intend to be ruled by their Secretary, but do the business themselves. My heart is glad to see so great hopes of good to the nation as will be by these men; and it do me good to see Sir W. Coventry so cheerfull as he now is on the same score. Thence home, and there fell to seeing my office and closet there made soundly clean, and the windows cleaned. At which all the morning, and so at noon to dinner. After dinner my wife away down with Jane and W. Hewer to Woolwich, in order to a little ayre and to lie there to-night, and so to gather May-dew to-morrow morning,If we are to credit the following paragraph, extracted from the "Morning Post" of May 2nd, 1791, the virtues of May dew were then still held in some estimation; for it records that "on the day preceding, according to annual and superstitious custom, a number of persons went into the fields, and bathed their faces with the dew on the grass, under the idea that it would render them beautiful" (Hone's "Every Day Book," vol. ii., p. 611). Aubrey speaks of May dew as "a great dissolvent" ("Miscellanies," p. 183).--B.
which Mrs. Turner hath taught her as the only thing in the world to wash her face with; and I am contented with it. Presently comes Creed, and he and I by water to Fox-hall, and there walked in Spring Garden. A great deal of company, and the weather and garden pleasant: that it is very pleasant and cheap going thither, for a man may go to spend what he will, or nothing, all is one. But to hear the nightingale and other birds, and here fiddles, and there a harp, and here a Jew's trump, and here laughing, and there fine people walking, is mighty divertising. Among others, there were two pretty women alone, that walked a great while, which being discovered by some idle gentlemen, they would needs take them up; but to see the poor ladies how they were put to it to run from them, and they after them, and sometimes the ladies put themselves along with other company, then the other drew back; at last, the last did get off out of the house, and took boat and away. I was troubled to see them abused so; and could have found in my heart, as little desire of fighting as I have, to have protected the ladies. So by water, set Creed down at White Hall, and I to the Old Swan, and so home. My father gone to bed, and wife abroad at Woolwich, I to Sir W. Pen, where he and his Lady and Pegg and pretty Mrs. Lowther her sister-in-law at supper, where I sat and talked, and Sir W. Pen, half drunk, did talk like a fool and vex his wife, that I was half pleased and half vexed to see so much folly and rudeness from him, and so late home to bed.
28th. Up, to set right some little matters of my Tangier accounts, and so to the office, where busy all the morning, and then home with my people to dinner, and after dinner comes about a petition for a poor woman whose-ticket she would get paid, and so talked a little and did baiser her, and so to the office, being pleased that this morning my bookseller brings me home Marcennus's book of musick,' which costs me £3 2s.; but is a very fine book. So to the office and did some business, and then by coach to the New Exchange, and there by agreement at my bookseller's shop met Mercer and Gayet, and took them by water, first to one of the Neat-houses, where walked in the garden, but nothing but a bottle of wine to be had, though pleased with seeing the garden; and so to Fox Hall, where with great pleasure we walked, and then to the upper end of the further retired walk, and there sat and sang, and brought great many gallants and fine people about us, and, upon the bench, we did by and by eat and drink what we had, and very merry: and so with much pleasure to the Old Swan, and walked with them home, and there left them, and so I home to my business at the office a little, and so to bed.
28th. To St. James's, where the King's being with the Duke of York prevented a meeting of the Tangier Commission. But, Lord! what a deal of sorry discourse did I hear between the King and several Lords about him here! but very mean methought. So with Creed to the Excise Office, and back to White Hall, where, in the Park, Sir G. Carteret did give me an account of his discourse lately, with the Commissioners of Accounts, who except against many things, but none that I find considerable; among others, that of the Officers of the Navy selling of the King's goods, and particularly my providing him with calico flags, which having been by order, and but once, when necessity, and the King's apparent profit, justified it, as conformable to my particular duty, it will prove to my advantage that it be enquired into. Nevertheless, having this morning received from them a demand of an account of all monies within their cognizance, received and issued by me, I was willing, upon this hint, to give myself rest, by knowing whether their meaning therein might reach only to my Treasurership for Tangier, or the monies employed on this occasion. I went, therefore, to them this afternoon, to understand what monies they meant, where they answered me, by saying, "The eleven months' tax, customs, and prizemoney," without mentioning, any more than I demanding, the service they respected therein; and so, without further discourse, we parted, upon very good terms of respect, and with few words, but my mind not fully satisfied about the monies they mean. At noon Mr. Gibson and I dined at the Swan, and thence doing this at Brook house, and thence caking at the Excise Office for an account of payment of my tallies for Tangier, I home, and thence with my wife and brother spent the evening on the water, carrying our supper with us, as high as Chelsea; so home, making sport with the Westerne bargees, and my wife and I singing, to my great content.