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26th. In the morning to Alderman Backwell's for the candlesticks for Mr. Coventry, but they being not done I went away, and so by coach to Mr. Crew's, and there took some money of Mr. Moore's for my Lord, and so to my Lord's, where I found Sir Thomas Bond (whom I never saw before) with a message from the Queen about vessells for the carrying over of her goods, and so with him to Mr. Coventry, and thence to the office (being soundly washed going through the bridge) to Sir Wm. Batten and Pen (the last of whom took physic to-day), and so I went up to his chamber, and there having made an end of the business I returned to White Hall by water, and dined with my Lady Sandwich, who at table did tell me how much fault was laid upon Dr. Frazer and the rest of the Doctors, for the death of the Princess! My Lord did dine this day with Sir Henry Wright, in order to his going to sea with the Queen. Thence to my father Bowyer's where I met my wife, and with her home by water.
26th. This morning Sir W. Pen and I to the Treasury office, and there we paid off the Amity (Captain Stokes's ship that was at Guinny) and another ship, and so home, and after dinner Sir William came to me, and he and his son and Aaugliter, and I and my wife, by coach to Moorfields to walk; but it was most foul weather, and so we went into an alehouse and there eat some cakes and ale, and a washeallbowle"The wenches with their wassall bowls
About the streets are singing."
--Wither's Christmas Carol.
The old custom of carrying the wassail bowl from door to door, with songs and merriment, in Christmas week, is still observed in some of our rural districts.--B.
woman and girl came to us and sung to us. And after all was done I called my boy (Wayneman) to us to eat some cake that was left, and the woman of the house told us that he had called for two cakes and a pot of ale for himself, at which I was angry, and am resolved to correct him for it. So home, and Sir W. Pen and his son and daughter to supper to me to a good turkey, and were merry at cards, and so to bed.
26th. Up, my wife to the making of Christmas pies all day, being now pretty well again, and I abroad to several places about some businesses, among others bought a bake-pan in Newgate Market, and sent it home, it cost me 16s. So to Dr. Williams, but he is out of town, then to the Wardrobe. Hither come Mr. Battersby; and we falling into a discourse of a new book of drollery in verse called Hudebras,The first edition of Butler's "Hudibras" is dated 1663, and it probably had only been published a few days when Pepys bought it and sold it at a loss. He subsequently endeavoured to appreciate the work, but was not successful. The edition in the Pepysian Library is dated 1689.
I would needs go find it out, and met with it at the Temple: cost me 2s. 6d. But when I came to read it, it is so silly an abuse of the Presbyter Knight going to the warrs, that I am ashamed of it; and by and by meeting at Mr. Townsend's at dinner, I sold it to him for 18d. Here we dined with many tradesmen that belong to the Wardrobe, but I was weary soon of their company, and broke up dinner as soon as I could, and away, with the greatest reluctancy and dispute (two or three times my reason stopping my sense and I would go back again) within myself, to the Duke's house and saw "The Villaine," which I ought not to do without my wife, but that my time is now out that I did undertake it for. But, Lord! to consider how my natural desire is to pleasure, which God be praised that he has given me the power by my late oaths to curb so well as I have done, and will do again after two or three plays more. Here I was better pleased with the play than I was at first, understanding the design better than I did. Here I saw Gosnell and her sister at a distance, and could have found it in my heart to have accosted them, but thought not prudent. But I watched their going out and found that they came, she, her sister and another woman, alone, without any man, and did go over the fields a foot. I find that I have an inclination to have her come again, though it is most against my interest either of profit or content of mind, other than for their singing. Home on foot, in my way calling at Mr. Rawlinson's and drinking only a cup of ale there. He tells me my uncle has ended his purchase, which cost him £4,500, and how my uncle do express his trouble that he has with his wife's relations, but I understand his great intentions are for the Wights that hang upon him and by whose advice this estate is bought. Thence home, and found my wife busy among her pies, but angry for some saucy words that her mayde Jane has given her, which I will not allow of, and therefore will give her warning to be gone. As also we are both displeased for some slight words that Sarah, now at Sir W. Pen's, hath spoke of us, but it is no matter. We shall endeavour to joyne the lion's skin to the fox's tail. So to my office alone a while, and then home to my study and supper and bed. Being also vexed at my boy for his staying playing abroad when he is sent of errands, so that I have sent him to-night to see whether their country carrier be in town or no, for I am resolved to keep him no more.
26th. Up and walked forth first to the Minerys to Brown's, and there with great pleasure saw and bespoke several instruments, and so to Cornhill to Mr. Cades, and there went up into his warehouse to look for a map or two, and there finding great plenty of good pictures, God forgive me! how my mind run upon them, and bought a little one for my wife's closett presently, and concluded presently of buying £10 worth, upon condition he would give me the buying of them. Now it is true I did still within me resolve to make the King one way or other pay for them, though I saved it to him another way, yet I find myself too forward to fix upon the expense, and came away with a resolution of buying them, but do hope that I shall not upon second thoughts do it without a way made out before I buy them to myself how to doit
without charge to my main stock. Thence to the Coffee-house, and sat long in good discourse with some gentlemen concerning the Roman Empire. So home and found Mr. Hollyard there, and he stayed and dined with us, we having a pheasant to dinner. He gone, I all the afternoon with my wife to cards, and, God forgive me! to see how the very discourse of plays, which I shall be at liberty to see after New Year's Day next, do set my mind upon them, but I must be forced to stint myself very strictly before I begin, or else I fear I shall spoil all. In the evening came my aunt Wight's kinswoman to see how my wife do, with a compliment from my aunt, which I take kindly as it is unusual for her to do it, but I do perceive my uncle is very kind to me of late. So to my office writing letters, and then to read and make an end of Rushworth, which I did, and do say that it is a book the most worth reading for a man of my condition or any man that hopes to come to any publique condition in the world that I do know. So home to supper and to bed.
26th. Up, and with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and there with the rest did our usual business before the Duke, and then with Sir W. Batten back and to his house, where I by sicknesse excused my wife's coming to them to-day. Thence I to the Coffeehouse, where much good discourse, and all the opinion now is that the Dutch will avoid fighting with us at home, but do all the hurte they can to us abroad; which it may be they may for a while, but that, I think, cannot support them long. Thence to Sir W. Batten's, where Mr. Coventry and all our families here, women and all, and Sir R. Ford and his, and a great feast and good discourse and merry, there all the afternoon and evening till late, only stepped in to see my wife, then to my office to enter my day's work, and so home to bed, where my people and wife innocently at cards very merry, and I to bed, leaving them to their sport and blindman's buff.
26th. Up, and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes and my Lord Bruncker and I met, to give our directions to the Commanders of all the ships in the river to bring in lists of their ships' companies, with entries, discharges, &c., all the last voyage, where young Seymour, among 20 that stood bare, stood with his hat on, a proud, saucy young man. Thence with them to Mr. Cuttle's, being invited, and dined nobly and neatly; with a very pretty house and a fine turret at top, with winding stairs and the finest prospect I know about all Greenwich, save the top of the hill, and yet in some respects better than that. Here I also saw some fine writing worke and flourishing of Mr. Hore, he one that I knew long ago, an acquaintance of Mr. Tomson's at Westminster, that is this man's clerk. It is the story of the several Archbishops of Canterbury, engrossed in vellum, to hang up in Canterbury Cathedrall in tables, in lieu of the old ones, which are almost worn out. Thence to the office a while, and so to Captain Cocke's and there talked, and home to look over my papers, and so to bed.
26th. Up, and walked all the way (it being a most fine frost), to White Hall, to Sir W. Coventry's chamber, and thence with him up to the Duke of York, where among other things at our meeting I did offer my assistance to Sir J. Minnes to do the business of his office, relating to the Pursers' accounts, which was well accepted by the Duke of York, and I think I have and shall do myself good in it, if it be taken, for it will confirm me in the business of the victualling office, which I do now very little for. Thence home, carrying a barrel of oysters with me. Anon comes Mr. John Andrews and his wife by invitation from Bow to dine with me, and young Batelier and his wife with her great belly, which has spoiled her looks mightily already. Here was also Mercer and Creed, whom I met coming home, who tells me of a most bitter lampoone now out against the Court and the management of State from head to foot, mighty witty and mighty severe. By and by to dinner, a very good one, and merry. After dinner I put the women into a coach, and they to the Duke's house, to a play which was acted, "The--------." It was indifferently done, but was not pleased with the song, Gosnell not singing, but a new wench, that sings naughtily. Thence home, all by coach, and there Mr. Andrews to the vyall, who plays most excellently on it, which I did not know before. Then to dance, here being Pembleton come, by my wife's direction, and a fiddler; and we got, also, the elder Batelier to-night, and Nan Wright, and mighty merry we were, and I danced; and so till twelve at night, and to supper, and then to cross purposes, mighty merry, and then to bed, my eyes being sore. Creed lay here in Barker's bed.
26th. Up and to Westminster, and there to the Swan, and by chance met Mr. Spicer and another 'Chequer clerk, and there made them drink, and there talked of the credit the 'Chequer is now come to and will in a little time, and so away homeward, and called at my bookseller's, and there bought Mr. Harrington's works, "Oceana," &c., and two other books, which cost me £4, and so home, and there eat a bit, and then with my wife to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Surprizall;" which did not please me to-day, the actors not pleasing me; and especially Nell's acting of a serious part, which she spoils. Here met with Sir W. Pen, and sat by him, and home by coach with him, and there to my office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. I hear this day that Mrs. Stewart do at this day keep a great court at Somerset House, with her husband the Duke of Richmond, she being visited for her beauty's sake by people, as the Queen is, at nights; and they say also that she is likely to go to Court again, and there put my Lady Castlemayne's nose out of joynt. God knows that would make a great turn. This day I was invited to have gone to my cozen Mary Pepys' burial, my uncle Thomas' daughter, but could not.
26th. Lay long with pleasure, prating with my wife, and then up, and I a little to the Office, and my head busy setting some papers and accounts to rights, which being long neglected because of my eyes will take me up much time and care to do, but it must be done. So home at noon to dinner, and then abroad with my wife to a play, at the Duke of York's house, the house full of ordinary citizens. The play was "Women Pleased," which we had never seen before; and, though but indifferent, yet there is a good design for a good play. So home, and there to talk, and my wife to read to me, and so to bed.