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4th. I did many things this morning at home before I went out, as looking over the joiners, who are flooring my diningroom, and doing business with Sir Williams"Both Sir Williams" is a favourite expression with Pepys, meaning Sir William Batten and Sir William Penn.
both at the office, and so to Whitehall, and so to the Bullhead, where we had the remains of our pasty, where I did give my verdict against Mr. Moore upon last Saturday's wager, where Dr. Fuller coming in do confirm me in my verdict. From thence to my Lord's and despatched Mr. Cooke away with the things to my Lord. From thence to Axe Yard to my house, where standing at the door Mrs. Diana comes by, whom I took into my house upstairs, and there did dally with her a great while, and found that in Latin "Nulla puella negat." So home by water, and there sat up late setting my papers in order, and my money also, and teaching my wife her music lesson, in which I take great pleasure. So to bed.
4th. In the morning to the Privy Seal to do some things of the last month, my Lord Privy Seal having been some time out of town. Then my wife came to me to Whitehall, and we went and walked a good while in St. James's Park to see the brave alterations, and so to Wilkinson's, the Cook's, to dinner, where we sent for Mrs. Sarah and there dined and had oysters, the first I have eat this year, and were pretty good. After dinner by agreement to visit Mrs. Symonds, but she is abroad, which I wonder at, and so missing her my wife again to my mother's (calling at Mrs. Pierce's, who we found brought to bed of a girl last night) and there staid and drank, and she resolves to be going to-morrow without fail. Many friends come in to take their leave of her, but a great deal of stir I had again tonight about getting her to go to see my Lady Sandwich before she goes, which she says she will do tomorrow. So I home.
4th. Which I did, and by water betimes to the Tower and so home, where I shifted myself, being to dine abroad, and so being also trimmed, which is a thing I have very seldom done of late, I gat to my office and then met and sit all the morning, and at noon we all to the Trinity House, where we treated, very dearly, I believe, the officers of the Ordnance; where was Sir W. Compton and the rest and the Lieutenant of the Tower. We had much and good music, which was my best entertainment. Sir Wm. Compton I heard talk with great pleasure of the difference between the fleet now and in Queen Elisabeth's days; where, in 88, she had but 36 sail great and small, in the world; and ten rounds of powder was their allowance at that time against the Spaniard. After Sir W. Compton and Mr. Coventry, and some of the best of the rest were gone, I grew weary of staying with Sir Williams both, and the more for that my Lady Batten and her crew, at least half a score, come into the room, and I believe we shall pay size for it; but 'tis very pleasant to see her in her hair under her hood, and how by little and little she would fain be a gallant; but, Lord! the company she keeps about her are like herself, that she may be known by them what she is. Being quite weary I stole from them and to my office, where I did business till 9 at night, and so to my lodgings to bed.
4th. Up betimes, and an hour at my viall, and then abroad by water to White Hall and Westminster Hall, and there bought the first newes-books of L'Estrange's writing;Roger L'Estrange, a voluminous writer of pamphlets and periodical papers, and translator of classics, &c. Born 1616. He was Licenser of the Press to Charles II. and James II.; and M.P. for Winchester in James II.'s parliament. L'Estrange was knighted in the reign of James II., and died 1704. In 1663 L'Estrange set up a paper called "The Public Intelligencer," which came out on August 31st, and continued to be published twice a week till January 19th, 1665, when it was superseded by the scheme of publishing the "London Gazette," the first number of which appeared on February 4th following.
he beginning this week; and makes, methinks, but a simple beginning. Then to speak to Mrs. Lane, who seems desirous to have me come to see her and to have her company as I had a little while ago, which methinks if she were very modest, considering how I tumbled her and tost her, she should not. Thence to Mrs. Harper, and sent for Creed, and there Mrs. Harper sent for a maid for me to come to live with my wife. I like the maid's looks well enough, and I believe may do well, she looking very modestly and speaking so too. I directed her to speak with my wife, and so Creed and I away to Mr. Povy's, and he not being at home, walked to Lincoln's Inn walks, which they are making very fine, and about one o'clock went back to Povy's; and by and by in comes he, and so we sat and down to dinner, and his lady, whom I never saw before (a handsome old woman that brought him money that makes him do as he does), and so we had plenty of meat and drink, though I drunk no wine, though mightily urged to it, and in the exact manner that I never saw in my life any where, and he the most full and satisfied in it that man can be in this world with any thing. After dinner done, to see his new cellars, which he has made so fine with so noble an arch and such contrivances for his barrels and bottles, and in a room next to it such a grotto and fountayne, which in summer will be so pleasant as nothing in the world can be almost. But to see how he himself do pride himself too much in it, and command and expect to have all admiration, though indeed everything do highly deserve it, is a little troublesome. Thence Creed and I away, and by his importunity away by coach to Bartholomew Fayre, where I have no mind to go without my wife, and therefore rode through the fayre without 'lighting, and away home, leaving him there; and at home made my wife get herself presently ready, and so carried her by coach to the fayre, and showed her the monkeys dancing on the ropes, which was strange, but such dirty sport that I was not pleased with it. There was also a horse with hoofs like rams hornes, a goose with four feet, and a cock with three. Thence to another place, and saw some German Clocke works, the Salutation of the Virgin Mary, and several Scriptural stories; but above all there was at last represented the sea, with Neptune, Venus, mermaids, and Ayrid on a dolphin, the sea rocking, so well done, that had it been in a gaudy manner and place, and at a little distance, it had been admirable. Thence home by coach with my wife, and I awhile to the office, and so to supper and to bed. This day I read a Proclamation for calling in and commanding every body to apprehend my Lord Bristoll.
Pepys did not make an entry for today.
4th. Writing letters all the morning, among others to my Lady Carteret, the first I have wrote to her, telling her the state of the city as to health and other sorrowfull stories, and thence after dinner to Greenwich, to Sir J. Minnes, where I found my Lord Bruncker, and having staid our hour for the justices by agreement, the time being past we to walk in the Park with Mr. Hammond and Turner, and there eat some fruit out of the King's garden and walked in the Parke, and so back to Sir J. Minnes, and thence walked home, my Lord Bruncker giving me a very neat cane to walk with; but it troubled me to pass by Coome farme where about twenty-one people have died of the plague, and three or four days since I saw a dead corps in a coffin lie in the Close unburied, and a watch is constantly kept there night and day to keep the people in, the plague making us cruel, as doggs, one to another.
4th. Up by break of day to get away the remainder of my things; which I did by a lighter at the Iron gate and my hands so few, that it was the afternoon before we could get them all away. Sir W. Pen and I to Tower-streete, and there met the fire burning three or four doors beyond Mr. Howell's, whose goods, poor man, his trayes, and dishes, shovells, &c., were flung all along Tower-street in the kennels, and people working therewith from one end to the other; the fire coming on in that narrow streete, on both sides, with infinite fury. Sir W. Batten not knowing how to remove his wine, did dig a pit in the garden, and laid it in there; and I took the opportunity of laying all the papers of my office that I could not otherwise dispose of. And in the evening Sir W. Pen and I did dig another, and put our wine in it; and I my Parmazan cheese, as well as my wine and some other things. The Duke of Yorke was at the office this day, at Sir W. Pen's; but I happened not to be within. This afternoon, sitting melancholy with Sir W. Pen in our garden, and thinking of the certain burning of this office, without extraordinary means, I did propose for the sending up of all our workmen from Woolwich and Deptford yards (none whereof yet appeared), and to write to Sir W. Coventry to have the Duke of Yorke's permission to pull down houses, rather than lose this office, which would, much hinder, the King's business. So Sir W. Pen he went down this night, in order to the sending them up to-morrow morning; and I wrote to Sir W. Coventry about the business, but received no answer. This night Mrs. Turner (who, poor woman, was removing her goods all this day, good goods into the garden, and knows not how to dispose of them), and her husband supped with my wife and I at night, in the office; upon a shoulder of mutton from the cook's, without any napkin or any thing, in a sad manner, but were merry. Only now and then walking into the garden, and saw how horridly the sky looks, all on a fire in the night, was enough to put us out of our wits; and, indeed, it was extremely dreadful, for it looks just as if it was at us; and the whole heaven on fire. I after supper walked in the darke down to Tower-streete, and there saw it all on fire, at the Trinity House on that side, and the Dolphin Taverne on this side, which was very near us; and the fire with extraordinary vehemence. Now begins the practice of blowing up of houses in Tower-streete, those next the Tower, which at first did frighten people more than anything, but it stopped the fire where it was done, it bringing down theA copy of this letter, preserved among the Pepys MSS. in the author's own handwriting, is subjoined:
"SIR, The fire is now very neere us as well on Tower Streete as Fanchurch Street side, and we little hope of our escape but by this remedy, to ye want whereof we doe certainly owe ye loss of ye City namely, ye pulling down of houses, in ye way of ye fire. This way Sir W. Pen and myself have so far concluded upon ye practising, that he is gone to Woolwich and Deptford to supply himself with men and necessarys in order to the doeing thereof, in case at his returne our condition be not bettered and that he meets with his R. Hs. approbation, which I had thus undertaken to learn of you. Pray please to let me have this night (at whatever hour it is) what his R. Hs. directions are in this particular; Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten having left us, we cannot add, though we are well assured of their, as well as all ye neighbourhood's concurrence.
"Yr. obedient servnt. "S. P.
"Sir W. Coventry, "Septr. 4, 1666."
houses to the ground in the same places they stood, and then it was easy to quench what little fire was in it, though it kindled nothing almost. W. Newer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes late home, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye-corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way, and all the Old Bayly, and was running down to Fleete-streete; and Paul's is burned, and all Cheapside. I wrote to my father this night, but the post-house being burned, the letter could not go.J. Hickes wrote to Williamson on September 3rd from the "Golden Lyon," Red Cross Street Posthouse. Sir Philip Frowde and his lady fled from the letter office at midnight for: safety; stayed himself till 1 am. till his wife and childrens' patience could stay, no longer, fearing lest they should be quite stopped up; the passage was so tedious they had much ado to get where they are. The Chester and Irish, mails have come-in; sends him his letters, knows not how to dispose of the business ("Calendar of State Papers," 1666-67, p. 95).
4th. By coach to White Hall to the Council-chamber; and there met with Sir W. Coventry going in, who took me aside, and told me that he was just come from delivering up his seal and papers to Mr. Wren; and told me he must now take his leave of me as a naval man, but that he shall always bear respect to his friends there, and particularly to myself, with great kindness; which I returned to him with thanks, and so, with much kindness parted: and he into, the Council. I met with Sir Samuel Morland, who chewed me two orders upon the Exchequer, one of £600, and another of £400, for money assigned to him, which he would have me lend him money upon, and he would allow 12 per cent. I would not meddle with them, though they are very good; and would, had I not so much money out already on public credit. But I see by this his condition all trade will be bad. I staid and heard Alderman Barker's case of his being abused by the Council of Ireland, touching his lands there: all I observed there is the silliness of the King, playing with his dog all the while, and not minding the business,Lord Rochester wrote
"His very dog at council board
Sits grave and wise as any lord."
Poems, 1697; p. 150.--The king's dogs were constantly stolen from him, and he advertised for their return. Some of these amusing advertisements are printed in "Notes and Queries" (seventh series, vol. vii., p. 26).
and what he said was mighty weak; but my Lord Keeper I observe to be a mighty able man. The business broke off without any end to it, and so I home, and thence with my wife and W. Hewer to Bartholomew fayre, and there Polichinelli, where we saw Mrs. Clerke and all her crew; and so to a private house, and sent for a side of pig, and eat it at an acquaintance of W. Hewer's, where there was some learned physic and chymical books, and among others, a natural "Herball" very fine. Here we staid not, but to the Duke of York's play house, and there saw "Mustapha," which, the more I see, the more I like; and is a most admirable poem, and bravely acted; only both Betterton and Harris could not contain from laughing in the midst of a most serious part from the ridiculous mistake of one of the men upon the stage; which I did not like. Thence home, where Batelier and his sister Mary come to us and sat and talked, and so, they gone, we to supper and to bed.
4th. Up, and met at the Office all the morning; and at noon my wife, and Deb., and Mercer, and W. Hewer and I to the Fair, and there, at the old house, did eat a pig, and was pretty merry, but saw no sights, my wife having a mind to see the play "Bartholomew-Fayre," with puppets. Which we did, and it is an excellent play; the more I see it, the more I love the wit of it; only the business of abusing the Puritans begins to grow stale, and of no use, they being the people that, at last, will be found the wisest. And here Knepp come to us, and sat with us, and thence took coach in two coaches, and losing one another, my wife, and Knepp, and I to Hercules Pillars, and there supped, and I did take from her mouth the words and notes of her song of "the Larke," which pleases me mightily. And so set her at home, and away we home, where our company come home before us. This night Knepp tells us that there is a Spanish woman lately come over, that pretends to sing as well as Mrs. Knight; both of which I must endeavour to hear. So, after supper, to bed.