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14th (Office day). I got £42 15s. appointed me by bill for my employment of Secretary to the 4th of this month, it being the last money I shall receive upon that score. My wife went this afternoon to see my mother, who I hear is very ill, at which my heart is very sad. In the afternoon Luellin comes to my house, and takes me out to the Mitre in Wood Street, where Mr. Samford, W. Symons and his wife, and Mr. Scobell, Mr. Mount and Chetwind, where they were very merry, Luellin being drunk, and I being to defend the ladies from his kissing them, I kissed them myself very often with a great deal of mirth. Parted very late, they by coach to Westminster, and I on foot.
14th. At the office all the morning, at noon to the Change, and then home again. To dinner, where my uncle Fenner by appointment came and dined with me, thinking to go together to my aunt Kite's that is dead; but before we had dined comes Sir R. Slingsby and his lady, and a great deal of company, to take my wife and I out by barge to shew them the King's and Duke's yachts. So I was forced to leave my uncle and brother Tom at dinner and go forth with them, and we had great pleasure, seeing all four yachts, viz., these two and the two Dutch ones. And so home again, and after writing letters by post, to bed.
14th (Lord's day). Up very early, and Mr. Moore taking leave of me the barber came and trimmed me (I having him now to come to me again after I have used a pumice-stone a good while, not but what I like this where I cannot conveniently have a barber, but here I cannot keep my hair dry without one), and so by water to White Hall, by the way hearing that the Bishop of London had given a very strict order against boats going on Sundays, and as I come back again, we were examined by the masters of the company in another boat; but I told them who I was. But the door not being open to Westminster stairs there, called in at the Legg and drank a cup of ale and a toast, which I have not done many a month before, but it served me for my two glasses of wine to-day. Thence to St. James's to Mr. Coventry, and there staid talking privately with him an hour in his chamber of the business of our office, and found him to admiration good and industrious, and I think my most true friend in all things that are fair. He tells me freely his mind of every man and in every thing. Thence to White Hall chapel, where sermon almost done, and I heard Captain Cooke's new musique. This the first day of having vialls and other instruments to play a symphony between every verse of the anthem; but the musique more full than it was the last Sunday, and very fine it is.Charles II. determined to form his own chapel on the model of that at Versailles. Twenty-four instrumentalists were engaged, and this was the first day upon which they were brought into requisition. Evelyn alludes to the change in his Diary, but he puts the date down as the 21st instead of the 14th. "Instead of the antient, grave and solemn wind musiq accompanying the organ, was introduc'd a concert of 24 violins between every pause after the French fantastical light way, better suiting a tavern or playhouse than a church. This was the first time of change, and now we no more heard the cornet which gave life to the organ, that instrument quite left off in which the English were so skilful." A list of the twenty-four fiddlers in 1674, taken from an Exchequer document, "The names of the Gents of his Majesties Private Musick paid out of the Exchequer," is printed in North's "Memoires of Musick," ed. Rimbault, 1846, p. 98 (note).
But yet I could discern Captain Cooke to overdo his part at singing, which I never did before. Thence up into the Queen's presence, and there saw the Queen again as I did last Sunday, and some fine ladies with her; but, my troth, not many. Thence to Sir G. Carteret's, and find him to have sprained his foot and is lame, but yet hath been at chappell, and my Lady much troubled for one of her daughters that is sick. I dined with them, and a very pretty lady, their kinswoman, with them. My joy is, that I do think I have good hold on Sir George and Mr. Coventry. Sir George told me of a chest of drawers that were given Sir W. B. by Hughes the rope-maker, whom he has since put out of his employment, and now the fellow do cry out upon Sir W. for his cabinet. So home again by water and to church, and from church Sir Williams both and Sir John Minnes into the garden, and anon Sir W. Pen and I did discourse about my lodgings and Sir J. Minnes, and I did open all my mind to him, and he told me what he had heard, and I do see that I shall hardly keep my best lodging chamber, which troubles me, but I did send for Goodenough the plasterer, who tells me that it did ever belong to my lodgings, but lent by Mr. Payles to Mr. Smith, and so I will strive hard for it before I lose it. So to supper with them at Sir W. Batten's, and do counterfeit myself well pleased, but my heart is troubled and offended at the whole company. So to my office to prepare notes to read to the Duke to-morrow morning, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind a little eased because I am resolved to know the worst concerning my lodgings tomorrow. Among other things Sir W. Pen did tell me of one of my servants looking into Sir J. Minnes' window when my Lady Batten lay there, which do much trouble them, and me also, and I fear will wholly occasion my loosing the leads. One thing more he told me of my Jane's cutting off a carpenter's long mustacho, and how the fellow cried, and his wife would not come near him a great while, believing that he had been among some of his wenches. At which I was merry, though I perceive they discourse of it as a crime of hers, which I understand not.
14th. Up betimes, and my wife's mind and mine holding for her going, so she to get her ready, and I abroad to do the like for myself, and so home, and after setting every thing at my office and at home in order, by coach to Bishop's Gate, it being a very promising fair day. There at the Dolphin we met my uncle Thomas and his son-in-law, which seems a very sober man, and Mr. Moore. So Mr. Moore and my wife set out before, and my uncle and I staid for his son Thomas, who, by a sudden resolution, is preparing to go with us, which makes me fear something of mischief which they design to do us. He staying a great while, the old man and I before, and about eight miles off, his son comes after us, and about six miles further we overtake Mr. Moore and my wife, which makes me mightily consider what a great deal of ground is lost in a little time, when it is to be got up again by another, that is to go his own ground and the other's too; and so after a little bayte (I paying all the reckonings the whole journey) at Ware, to Buntingford, where my wife, by drinking some cold beer, being hot herself, presently after 'lighting, begins to be sick, and became so pale, and I alone with her in a great chamber there, that I thought she would have died, and so in great horror, and having a great tryall of my true love and passion for her, called the mayds and mistresse of the house, and so with some strong water, and after a little vomit, she came to be pretty well again; and so to bed, and I having put her to bed with great content, I called in my company, and supped in the chamber by her, and being very merry in talk, supped and then parted, and I to bed and lay very well. This day my cozen Thomas dropped his hanger, and it was lost.
14th. Up, and wanting some things that should be laid ready for my dressing myself I was angry, and one thing after another made my wife give Besse warning to be gone, which the jade, whether out of fear or ill-nature or simplicity I know not, but she took it and asked leave to go forth to look a place, and did, which vexed me to the heart, she being as good a natured wench as ever we shall have, but only forgetful. At the office all the morning and at noon to the 'Change, and there went off with Sir W. Warren and took occasion to desire him to lend me £100, which he said he would let the have with all his heart presently, as he had promised me a little while ago to give me for my pains in his two great contracts for masts £100, and that this should be it. To which end I did move it to him, and by this means I hope to be, possessed of the £100 presently within 2 or 3 days. So home to dinner, and then to the office, and down to Blackwall by water to view a place found out for laying of masts, and I think it will be most proper. So home and there find Mr. Pen come to visit my wife, and staid with them till sent for to Mr. Bland's, whither by appointment I was to go to supper, and against my will left them together, but, God knows, without any reason of fear in my conscience of any evil between them, but such is my natural folly. Being thither come they would needs have my wife, and so Mr. Bland and his wife (the first time she was ever at my house or my wife at hers) very civilly went forth and brought her and W. Pen, and there Mr. Povy and we supped nobly and very merry, it being to take leave of Mr. Bland, who is upon going soon to Tangier. So late home and to bed.
14th. Up, and walked to Greenwich, and there fitted myself in several businesses to go to London, where I have not been now a pretty while. But before I went from the office newes is brought by word of mouth that letters are now just now brought from the fleete of our taking a great many more of the Dutch fleete, in which I did never more plainly see my command of my temper in my not admitting myself to receive any kind of joy from it till I had heard the certainty of it, and therefore went by water directly to the Duke of Albemarle, where I find a letter of the Lath from Solebay, from my Lord Sandwich, of the fleete's meeting with about eighteen more of the Dutch fleete, and his taking of most of them; and the messenger says, they had taken three after the letter was wrote and sealed; which being twenty-one, and the fourteen took the other day, is forty-five sail; some of which are good, and others rich ships, which is so great a cause of joy in us all that my Lord and everybody is highly joyed thereat. And having taken a copy of my Lord's letter, I away back again to the Beare at the Bridge foot, being full of wind and out of order, and there called for a biscuit and a piece of cheese and gill of sacke, being forced to walk over the Bridge, toward the 'Change, and the plague being all thereabouts. Here my news was highly welcome, and I did wonder to see the 'Change so full, I believe 200 people; but not a man or merchant of any fashion, but plain men all. And Lord! to see how I did endeavour all I could to talk with as few as I could, there being now no observation of shutting up of houses infected, that to be sure we do converse and meet with people that have the plague upon them. I to Sir Robert Viner's, where my main business was about settling the business of Debusty's £5000 tallys, which I did for the present to enable me to have some money, and so home, buying some things for my wife in the way. So home, and put up several things to carry to Woolwich, and upon serious thoughts I am advised by W. Griffin to let my money and plate rest there, as being as safe as any place, nobody imagining that people would leave money in their houses now, when all their families are gone. So for the present that being my opinion, I did leave them there still. But, Lord! to see the trouble that it puts a man to, to keep safe what with pain a man hath been getting together, and there is good reason for it. Down to the office, and there wrote letters to and again about this good newes of our victory, and so by water home late. Where, when I come home I spent some thoughts upon the occurrences of this day, giving matter for as much content on one hand and melancholy on another, as any day in all my life. For the first; the finding of my money and plate, and all safe at London, and speeding in my business of money this day. The hearing of this good news to such excess, after so great a despair of my Lord's doing anything this year; adding to that, the decrease of 500 and more, which is the first decrease we have yet had in the sickness since it begun: and great hopes that the next week it will be greater. Then, on the other side, my finding that though the Bill in general is abated, yet the City within the walls is encreased, and likely to continue so, and is close to our house there. My meeting dead corpses of the plague, carried to be buried close to me at noon-day through the City in Fanchurch-street. To see a person sick of the sores, carried close by me by Gracechurch in a hackney-coach. My finding the Angell tavern, at the lower end of Tower-hill, shut up, and more than that, the alehouse at the Tower-stairs, and more than that, the person was then dying of the plague when I was last there, a little while ago, at night, to write a short letter there, and I overheard the mistresse of the house sadly saying to her husband somebody was very ill, but did not think it was of the plague. To hear that poor Payne, my waiter, hath buried a child, and is dying himself. To hear that a labourer I sent but the other day to Dagenhams, to know how they did there, is dead of the plague; and that one of my own watermen, that carried me daily, fell sick as soon as he had landed me on Friday morning last, when I had been all night upon the water (and I believe he did get his infection that day at Brainford), and is now dead of the plague. To hear that Captain Lambert and Cuttle are killed in the taking these ships; and that Mr. Sidney Montague is sick of a desperate fever at my Lady Carteret's, at Scott's-hall. To hear that Mr. Lewes hath another daughter sick. And, lastly, that both my servants, W. Hewer and Tom Edwards, have lost their fathers, both in St. Sepulchre's parish, of the plague this week, do put me into great apprehensions of melancholy, and with good reason. But I put off the thoughts of sadness as much as I can, and the rather to keep my wife in good heart and family also. After supper (having eat nothing all this day) upon a fine tench of Mr. Shelden's taking, we to bed.
14th. Up, and to work, having carpenters come to helpe in setting up bedsteads and hangings; and at that trade my people and I all the morning, till pressed by publique business to leave them against my will in the afternoon: and yet I was troubled in being at home, to see all my goods lie up and down the house in a bad condition, and strange workmen going to and fro might take what they would almost. All the afternoon busy; and Sir W. Coventry come to me, and found me, as God would have it, in my office, and people about me setting my papers to rights; and there discoursed about getting an account ready against the Parliament, and thereby did create me infinite of business, and to be done on a sudden; which troubled me: but, however, he being gone, I about it late, and to good purpose. And so home, having this day also got my wine out of the ground again, and set in my cellar; but with great pain to keep the porters that carried it in from observing the money-chests there. So to bed as last night, only my wife and I upon a bedstead with curtains in that which was Mercer's chamber, and Balty and his wife (who are here and do us good service), where we lay last night. This day, poor Tom Pepys, the turner, was with me, and Kate, Joyce, to bespeake places; one for himself, the other for her husband. She tells me he hath lost £140 per annum, but have seven houses left.
14th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. At noon comes Mr. Pierce and dined with me to advise about several matters of his relating to the office and his purse, and here he told me that the King and Duke of York and the whole Court is mighty joyful at the Duchesse of York's being brought to bed this day, or yesterday, of a son; which will settle men's minds mightily. And he tells me that he do think that what the King do, of giving the Duke of Monmouth the command of his Guards, and giving my Lord Gerard £12,000 for it, is merely to find an employment for him upon which he may live, and not out of any design to bring him into any title to the Crowne; which Mr. Moore did the other day put me into great fear of. After dinner, he gone, my wife to the King's play-house to see "The Northerne Castle," which I think I never did see before. Knipp acted in it, and did her part very extraordinary well; but the play is but a mean, sorry play; but the house very full of gallants. It seems, it hath not been acted a good while. Thence to the Exchange for something for my wife, and then home and to the office, and then home to our flageolet, and so to bed, being mightily troubled in mind at the liberty I give myself of going to plays upon pretence of the weakness of my eyes, that cannot continue so long together at work at my office, but I must remedy it.
14th. Up betimes, and walked to the Temple, and stopped, viewing the Exchange, and Paul's, and St. Fayth's, where strange how the very sight of the stones falling from the top of the steeple do make me sea-sick! But no hurt, I hear, hath yet happened in all this work of the steeple, which is very much. So from the Temple I by coach to St. James's, where I find Sir W. Pen and Lord Anglesey, who delivered this morning his answer to the Duke of York, but I could not see it. But after being above with the Duke of York, but said nothing, I down with Mr. Wren; and he and I read all over that I had, and I expounded them to him, and did so order it that I had them home with me, so that I shall, to my heart's wish, be able to take a copy of them. After dinner, I by water to, White Hall; and there, with the Cofferer and Sir Stephen Fox, attended the Commissioners of the Treasury, about bettering our fund; and are promised it speedily. Thence by water home, and so all the afternoon and evening late busy at the office, and then home to supper, and Mrs. Turner comes to see my wife before her journey to-morrow, but she is in bed, and so sat talking to little purpose with me a great while, and, she gone, I to bed.