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28th. Early in the morning rose, and a boy brought me a letter from Poet Fisher, who tells me that he is upon a panegyrique of the King, and desired to borrow a piece of me; and I sent him half a piece. To Westminster, and there dined with Mr. Sheply and W. Howe, afterwards meeting with Mr. Henson, who had formerly had the brave clock that went with bullets (which is now taken away from him by the King, it being his goods).Some clocks are still made with a small ball, or bullet, on an inclined plane, which turns every minute. The King's clocks probably dropped bullets. Gainsborough the painter had a brother who was a dissenting minister at Henley-on-Thames, and possessed a strong genius for mechanics. He invented a clock of a very peculiar construction, which, after his death, was deposited in the British Museum. It told the hour by a little bell, and was kept in motion by a leaden bullet, which dropped from a spiral reservoir at the top of the clock, into a little ivory bucket. This was so contrived as to discharge it at the bottom, and by means of a counter-weight was carried up to the top of the clock, where it received another bullet, which was discharged as the former. This seems to have been an attempt at the perpetual motion.--Gentleman's Magazine, 1785, p. 931.--B.
I went with him to the Swan Tavern and sent for Mr. Butler, who was now all full of his high discourse in praise of Ireland, whither he and his whole family are going by Coll. Dillon's persuasion, but so many lies I never heard in praise of anything as he told of Ireland. So home late at night and to bed.
28th (Lord's day). This morning as my wife and I were going to church, comes Mrs. Ramsay to see us, so we sent her to church, and we went too, and came back to dinner, and she dined with us and was wellcome. To church again in the afternoon, and then come home with us Sir W. Pen, and drank with us, and then went away, and my wife after him to see his daughter that is lately come out of Ireland. I staid at home at my book; she came back again and tells me that whereas I expected she should have been a great beauty, she is a very plain girl. This evening my wife gives me all my linen, which I have put up, and intend to keep it now in my own custody. To supper and to bed.
28th. Up early, and by six o'clock, after my wife was ready, I walked with her to the George, at Holborn Conduit, where the coach stood ready to carry her and her maid to Bugden, but that not being ready, my brother Tom staid with them to see them gone, and so I took a troubled though willing goodbye, because of the bad condition of my house to have a family in it. So I took leave of her and walked to the waterside, and there took boat for the Tower; hearing that the Queen-Mother is come this morning already as high as Woolwich: and that my Lord Sandwich was with her; at which my heart was glad, and I sent the waterman, though yet not very certain of it, to my wife to carry news thereof to my Lady. So to my office all the morning abstracting the Duke's instructions in the margin thereof. So home all alone to dinner, and then to the office again, and in the evening Cooper comes, and he being gone, to my chamber a little troubled and melancholy, to my lute late, and so to bed, Will lying there at my feet, and the wench in my house in Will's bed.
28th. Up after sleeping very well, and so to my office setting down the Journall of this last three days, and so settled to business again, I hope with greater cheerfulness and success by this refreshment. At the office all the morning, and at noon to Wise's about my viall that is a-doing, and so home to dinner and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night, and I late at it till after the office was risen. Late came my Jane and her brother Will: to entreat for my taking of the boy again, but I will not hear her, though I would yet be glad to do anything for her sake to the boy, but receive him again I will not, nor give him anything. She would have me send him to sea; which if I could I would do, but there is no ship going out. The poor girl cried all the time she was with me, and would not go from me, staying about two hours with me till 10 or 11 o'clock, expecting that she might obtain something of me, but receive him I will not. So the poor girl was fain to go away crying and saying little. So from thence home, where my house of office was emptying, and I find they will do, it with much more cleanness than I expected. I went up and down among them a good while, but knowing that Mr. Coventry was to call me in the morning, I went to bed and left them to look after the people. So to bed.
28th. At the office all the morning, dined, after 'Change, at home, and then abroad, and seeing "The Bondman" upon the posts, I consulted my oaths and find I may go safely this time without breaking it; I went thither, notwithstanding my great desire to have gone to Fleet Alley, God forgive me, again. There I saw it acted. It is true, for want of practice, they had many of them forgot their parts a little; but Betterton and my poor Ianthe outdo all the world. There is nothing more taking in the world with me than that play. Thence to Westminster to my barber's, and strange to think how when I find that Jervas himself did intend to bring home my periwigg, and not Jane his maid, I did desire not to have it at all, for I had a mind to have her bring it home. I also went to Mr. Blagrave's about speaking to him for his kinswoman to come live with my wife, but they are not come to town, and so I home by coach and to my office, and then to supper and to bed. My present posture is thus: my wife in the country and my mayde Besse with her and all quiett there. I am endeavouring to find a woman for her to my mind, and above all one that understands musique, especially singing. I am the willinger to keepe one because I am in good hopes to get 2 or £300 per annum extraordinary by the business of the victualling of Tangier, and yet Mr. Alsopp, my chief hopes, is dead since my looking after it, and now Mr. Lanyon, I fear, is, falling sicke too. I am pretty well in health, only subject to wind upon any cold, and then immediate and great pains. All our discourse is of a Dutch warr and I find it is likely to come to it, for they are very high and desire not to compliment us at all, as far as I hear, but to send a good fleete to Guinny to oppose us there. My Lord Sandwich newly gone to sea, and I, I think, fallen into his very good opinion again, at least he did before his going, and by his letter since, show me all manner of respect and confidence. I am over-joyed in hopes that upon this month's account I shall find myself worth £1000, besides the rich present of two silver and gilt flaggons which Mr. Gauden did give me the other day. I do now live very prettily at home, being most seriously, quietly, and neatly served by my two mayds Jane and the girle Su, with both of whom I am mightily well pleased. My greatest trouble is the settling of Brampton Estate, that I may know what to expect, and how to be able to leave it when I die, so as to be just to my promise to my uncle Thomas and his son. The next thing is this cursed trouble my brother Tom is likely to put us to by his death, forcing us to law with his creditors, among others Dr. Tom Pepys, and that with some shame as trouble, and the last how to know in what manner as to saving or spending my father lives, lest they should run me in debt as one of my uncle's executors, and I never the wiser nor better for it. But in all this I hope shortly to be at leisure to consider and inform myself well.
28th. Up betimes, and down to Deptford, where, after a little discourse with Sir G. Carteret, who is much displeased with the order of our officers yesterday to remove the office to Deptford, pretending other things, but to be sure it is with regard to his own house (which is much because his family is going away). I am glad I was not at the order making, and so I will endeavour to alter it. Set out with my Lady all alone with her with six horses to Dagenhams; going by water to the Ferry. And a pleasant going, and good discourse; and when there, very merry, and the young couple now well acquainted. But, Lord! to see in what fear all the people here do live would make one mad, they are afeard of us that come to them, insomuch that I am troubled at it, and wish myself away. But some cause they have; for the chaplin, with whom but a week or two ago we were here mighty high disputing, is since fallen into a fever and dead, being gone hence to a friend's a good way off. A sober and a healthful man. These considerations make us all hasten the marriage, and resolve it upon Monday next, which is three days before we intended it. Mighty merry all of us, and in the evening with full content took coach again and home by daylight with great pleasure, and thence I down to Woolwich, where find my wife well, and after drinking and talking a little we to bed.
28th. Up, and to the office, where no more newes of the fleete than was yesterday. Here we sat and at noon to dinner to the Pope's Head, where my Lord Bruncker and his mistresse dined and Commissioner Pett, Dr. Charleton, and myself, entertained with a venison pasty by Sir W. Warren. Here very pretty discourse of Dr. Charleton's, concerning Nature's fashioning every creature's teeth according to the food she intends them; and that men's, it is plain, was not for flesh, but for fruit, and that he can at any time tell the food of a beast unknown by the teeth. My Lord Bruncker made one or two objections to it that creatures find their food proper for their teeth rather than that the teeth were fitted for the food, but the Doctor, I think, did well observe that creatures do naturally and from the first, before they have had experience to try, do love such a food rather than another, and that all children love fruit, and none brought to flesh, but against their wills at first. Thence with my Lord Bruncker to White Hall, where no news. So to St. James's to Sir W. Coventry, and there hear only of the Bredah's being come in and gives the same small account that the other did yesterday, so that we know not what is done by the body of the fleete at all, but conceive great reason to hope well. Thence with my Lord to his coach-house, and there put in his six horses into his coach, and he and I alone to Highgate. All the way going and coming I learning of him the principles of Optickes, and what it is that makes an object seem less or bigger and how much distance do lessen an object, and that it is not the eye at all, or any rule in optiques, that can tell distance, but it is only an act of reason comparing of one mark with another, which did both please and inform me mightily. Being come thither we went to my Lord Lauderdale's house to speake with him, about getting a man at Leith to joyne with one we employ to buy some prize goods for the King; we findhim
and his lady and some Scotch people at supper. Pretty odd company; though my Lord Bruncker tells me, my Lord Lauderdale is a man of mighty good reason and judgement. But at supper there played one of their servants upon the viallin some Scotch tunes only; several, and the best of their country, as they seemed to esteem them, by their praising and admiring them: but, Lord! the strangest ayre that ever I heard in my life, and all of one cast. But strange to hear my Lord Lauderdale say himself that he had rather hear a cat mew, than the best musique in the world; and the better the musique, the more sicke it makes him; and that of all instruments, he hates the lute most, and next to that, the baggpipe. Thence back with my Lord to his house, all the way good discourse, informing of myself about optiques still, and there left him and by a hackney home, and after writing three or four letters, home to supper and to bed.
28th (Lord's day). Up and to my chamber, where all the morning close, to draw up a letter to Sir W. Coventry upon the tidings of peace, taking occasion, before I am forced to it, to resign up to his Royall Highness my place of the Victualling, and to recommend myself to him by promise of doing my utmost to improve this peace in the best manner we may, to save the kingdom from ruin. By noon I had done this to my good content, and then with my wife all alone to dinner, and so to my chamber all the afternoon to write my letter fair, and sent it away, and then to talk with my wife, and read, and so by daylight (the only time I think I have done it this year) to supper, and then to my chamber to read and so to bed, my mind very much eased after what I have done to-day.
28th. All the morning at the office, and after dinner with my wife and Deb. to the Duke of York's playhouse, and there saw "The Slighted Maid," but a mean play; and thence home, there being little pleasure now in a play, the company being but little. Here we saw Gosnell, who is become very homely, and sings meanly, I think, to what I thought she did.