Use the calendar on the right to navigate through the diary entries and the menus at the top to access other pages. We have also written a page that explains more about the site.
18th. A great while at my vial and voice, learning to sing "Fly boy, fly boy," without book. So to my office, where little to do. In the Hall I met with Mr. Eglin and one Looker, a famous gardener, servant to my Lord Salsbury, and among other things the gardener told a strange passage in good earnest . . . . Home to dinner, and then went to my Lord's lodgings to my turret there and took away most of my books, and sent them home by my maid. Thither came Capt. Holland to me who took me to the Half Moon tavern and Mr. Southorne, Blackburne's clerk. Thence he took me to the Mitre in Fleet Street, where we heard (in a room over the music room) very plainly through the ceiling. Here we parted and I to Mr. Wotton's, and with him to an alehouse and drank while he told me a great many stories of comedies that he had formerly seen acted, and the names of the principal actors, and gave me a very good account of it. Thence to Whitehall, where I met with Luellin and in the clerk's chamber wrote a letter to my Lord. So home and to bed. This day two soldiers were hanged in the Strand for their late mutiny at Somerset-house.
18th. At the office all the morning, dined at home with a very good dinner, only my wife and I, which is not yet very usual. In the afternoon my wife and I and Mrs. Martha Batten, my Valentine, to the Exchange, and there upon a payre of embroydered and six payre of plain white gloves I laid out 40s. upon her. Then we went to a mercer's at the end of Lombard Street, and there she bought a suit of Lutestring--More properly called "lustring"; a fine glossy silk.
--for herself, and so home. And at night I got the whole company and Sir Wm. Pen home to my house, and there I did give them Rhenish wine and sugar, and continued together till it was late, and so to bed. It is much talked that the King is already married to the niece of the Prince de Ligne,The Prince de Ligne had no niece, and probably Pepys has made some mistake in the name. Charles at one time made an offer of marriage to Mazarin's niece, Hortense Mancini.
and that he hath two sons already by her: which I am sorry to hear; but yet am gladder that it should be so, than that the Duke of York and his family should come to the crown, he being a professed friend to the Catholiques.
18th. Lay long in bed, then up to the office (we having changed our days to Tuesday and Saturday in the morning and Thursday at night), and by and by with Sir W. Pen, Mr. Kennard, and others to survey his house again, and to contrive for the alterations there, which will be handsome I think. After we had done at the office, I walked to the Wardrobe, where with Mr. Moore and Mr. Lewis Phillips after dinner we did agree upon the agreement between us and Prior and I did seal and sign it. Having agreed with Sir Wm. Pen and my wife to meet them at the Opera, and finding by my walking in the streets, which were every where full of brick-battes and tyles flung down by the extraordinary wind the last night (such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector), that it was dangerous to go out of doors; and hearing how several persons had been killed to-day by the fall of things in the streets, and that the pageant in Fleetstreet is most of it blown down, and hath broke down part of several houses, among others Dick Brigden's; and that one Lady Sanderson, a person of quality in Covent Garden, was killed by the fall of the house, in her bed, last night; I sent my boy home to forbid them to go forth. But he bringing me word that they are gone, I went thither and there saw "The Law against Lovers," a good play and well performed, especially the little girl's (whom I never saw act before) dancing and singing; and were it not for her, the loss of Roxalana would spoil the house. So home and to musique, and so to bed.
18th. Up, leaving my wife sick as last night in bed. I to my office all the morning, casting up with Captain Cocke their accounts of 500 tons of hemp brought from Riga, and bought by him and partners upon account, wherein are many things worth my knowledge. So at noon to dinner, taking Mr. Hater with me because of losing them, and in the afternoon he and I alone at the office, finishing our account of the extra charge of the Navy, not properly belonging to the Navy, since the King's coming in to Christmas last; and all extra things being abated, I find that the true charge of the Navy to that time hath been after the rate of £374,743 a-year. I made an end by eleven o'clock at night, and so home to bed almost weary. This day the Parliament met again, after their long prorogation; but I know not any thing what they have done, being within doors all day.
18th. Called up to the office and much against my will I rose, my head aching mightily, and to the office, where I did argue to good purpose for the King, which I have been fitting myself for the last night against Mr. Wood about his masts, but brought it to no issue. Very full of business till noon, and then with Mr. Coventry to the African House, and there fell to my Lord Peterborough's accounts, and by and by to dinner, where excellent discourse, Sir G. Carteret and others of the African Company with us, and then up to the accounts again, which were by and by done, and then I straight home, my head in great pain, and drowsy, so after doing a little business at the office I wrote to my father about sending him the mastiff was given me yesterday. I home and by daylight to bed about 6 o'clock and fell to sleep, wakened about 12 when my wife came to bed, and then to sleep again and so till morning, and then:
18th. Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning; at noon to the 'Change, and thence to the Royall Oake taverne in Lumbard Streete, where Sir William Petty and the owners of the double-bottomed boat (the Experiment) did entertain my Lord Brunkard, Sir R. Murrey, myself, and others, with marrow bones and a chine of beefe of the victuals they have made for this ship; and excellent company and good discourse: but, above all, I do value Sir William Petty. Thence home; and took my Lord Sandwich's draught of the harbour of Portsmouth down to Ratcliffe, to one Burston, to make a plate for the King, and another for the Duke, and another for himself; which will be very neat. So home, and till almost one o'clock in the morning at my office, and then home to supper and to bed. My Lord Sandwich, and his fleete of twenty-five ships in the Downes, returned from cruising, but could not meet with any Dutchmen.
18th (Lord's day). Lay long in bed discoursing with pleasure with my wife, among other things about Pall's coming up, for she must be here a little to be fashioned, and my wife hath a mind to go down for her, which I am not much against, and so I rose and to my chamber to settle several things. At noon comes my uncle Wight to dinner, and brings with him Mrs. Wight, sad company to me, nor was I much pleased with it, only I must shew respect to my uncle. After dinner they gone, and it being a brave day, I walked to White Hall, where the Queene and ladies are all come: I saw some few of them, but not the Queene, nor any of the great beauties. I endeavoured to have seen my Lord Hinchingbrooke, who come to town yesterday, but I could not. Met with Creed and walked with him a turne or two in the Parke, but without much content, having now designs of getting money in my head, which allow me not the leisure I used to have with him, besides an odde story lately told of him for a great truth, of his endeavouring to lie with a woman at Oxford, and her crying out saved her; and this being publickly known, do a little make me hate him. Thence took coach, and calling by the way at my bookseller's for a booke I writ about twenty years ago in prophecy of this year coming on, 1666, explaining it to be the marke of the beast, I home, and there fell to reading, and then to supper, and to bed.
18th. Up, and to my bookbinder's, and there mightily pleased to see some papers of the account we did give the Parliament of the expense of the Navy sewed together, which I could not have conceived before how prettily it was done. Then by coach to the Exchequer about some tallies, and thence back again home, by the way meeting Mr. Weaver, of Huntingdon, and did discourse our business of law together, which did ease my mind, for I was afeard I have omitted doing what I in prudence ought to have done. So home and to dinner, and after dinner to the office, where je had Mrs. Burrows all sola a my closet, and did there 'baiser and toucher ses mamelles' . . . . Thence away, and with my wife by coach to the Duke of York's play-house, expecting a new play, and so stayed not no more than other people, but to the King's house, to "The Mayd's Tragedy;" but vexed all the while with two talking ladies and Sir Charles Sedley; yet pleased to hear their discourse, he being a stranger. And one of the ladies would, and did sit with her mask on, all the play, and, being exceeding witty as ever I heard woman, did talk most pleasantly with him; but was, I believe, a virtuous woman, and of quality. He would fain know who she was, but she would not tell; yet did give him many pleasant hints of her knowledge of him, by that means setting his brains at work to find, out who she was, and did give him leave to use all means to find out who she was, but pulling off her mask. He was mighty witty, and she also making sport with him very inoffensively, that a more pleasant 'rencontre' I never heard. But by that means lost the pleasure of the play wholly, to which now and then Sir Charles Sedley's exceptions against both words and pronouncing were very pretty. So home and to the office, did much business, then home, to supper, and to bed.
18th. Up by break of day, and walked down to the old Swan, where I find little Michell building, his booth being taken down, and a foundation laid for a new house, so that that street is like to be a very fine place. I drank, but did not see Betty, and so to Charing Cross stairs, and thence walked to Sir W. Coventry's,Sir William Coventry's love of money is said by Sir John Denham to have influenced him in promoting naval officers, who paid him for their commissions.
"Then Painter! draw cerulian Coventry
Keeper, or rather Chancellor o' th' sea
And more exactly to express his hue,
Use nothing but ultra-mariuish blue.
To pay his fees, the silver trumpet spends,
And boatswain's whistle for his place depends.
Pilots in vain repeat their compass o'er,
Until of him they learn that one point more
The constant magnet to the pole doth hold,
Steel to the magnet, Coventry to gold.
Muscovy sells us pitch, and hemp, and tar;
Iron and copper, Sweden; Munster, war;
Ashley, prize; Warwick, custom;
But Coventry doth sell the fleet away."--B.
and talked with him, who tells me how he hath been persecuted, and how he is yet well come off in the business of the dividing of the fleete, and the sending of the letter. He expects next to be troubled about the business of bad officers in the fleete, wherein he will bid them name whom they call bad, and he will justify himself, having never disposed of any but by the Admiral's liking. And he is able to give an account of all them, how they come recommended, and more will be found to have been placed by the Prince and Duke of Albemarle than by the Duke of York during the war, and as no bad instance of the badness of officers he and I did look over the list of commanders, and found that we could presently recollect thirty-seven commanders that have been killed in actuall service this war. He tells me that Sir Fr. Hollis is the main man that hath persecuted him hitherto, in the business of dividing the fleete, saying vainly that the want of that letter to the Prince hath given him that, that he shall remember it by to his grave, meaning the loss of his arme; when, God knows! he is as idle and insignificant a fellow as ever come into the fleete. He tells me that in discourse on Saturday he did repeat Sir Rob. Howard's words about rowling out of counsellors, that for his part he neither cared who they rowled in, nor who they rowled out, by which the word is become a word of use in the House, the rowling out of officers. I will remember what, in mirth, he said to me this morning, when upon this discourse he said, if ever there was another Dutch war, they should not find a Secretary; "Nor," said I, "a Clerk of the Acts, for I see the reward of it; and, thanked God! I have enough of my own to buy me a good book and a good fiddle, and I have a good wife;"--"Why," says he, "I have enough to buy me a good book, and shall not need a fiddle, because I have never a one of your good wives." I understand by him that we are likely to have our business of tickets voted a miscarriage, buthe
cannot tell me what that will signify more than that he thinks they will report them to the King and there leave them, but I doubt they will do more. Thence walked over St. James's Park to White Hall, and thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked all the morning, and did speak with several Parliament-men-among others, Birch, who is very kind to me, and calls me, with great respect and kindness, a man of business, and he thinks honest, and so long will stand by me, and every such man, to the death. My business was to instruct them to keep the House from falling into any mistaken vote about the business of tickets, before they were better informed. I walked in the Hall all the morning with my Lord Brouncker, who was in great pain there, and, the truth is, his business is, without reason, so ill resented by the generality of the House, that I was almost troubled to be seen to walk with him, and yet am able to justify him in all, that he is under so much scandal for. Here I did get a copy of the report itself, about our paying off men by tickets; and am mightily glad to see it, now knowing the state of our case, and what we have to answer to, and the more for that the House is like to be kept by other business to-day and to-morrow, so that, against Thursday, I shall be able to draw up some defence to put into some Member's hands, to inform them, and I think we maymake
a very good one, and therefore my mind is mightily at ease about it. This morning they are upon a Bill, brought in to-day by Sir Richard Temple, for obliging the King to call Parliaments every three years; or, if he fail, for others to be obliged to do it, and to keep him from a power of dissolving any Parliament in less than forty days after their first day of sitting, which is such a Bill as do speak very high proceedings, to the lessening of the King; and this they will carry, and whatever else they desire, before they will give any money; and the King must have money, whatever it cost him. I stepped to the Dog Tavern, and thither come to me Doll Lane, and there we did drink together, and she tells me she is my valentine . . . . Thence, she being gone, and having spoke with Mr. Spicer here, whom I sent for hither to discourse about the security of the late Act of 11 months' tax on which I have secured part of my money lent to Tangier. I to the Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen, and he and I to the Beare, in Drury Lane, an excellent ordinary, after the French manner, but of Englishmen; and there had a good fricassee, our dinner coming to 8s., which was mighty pretty, to my great content; and thence, he and I to the King's house, and there, in one of the upper boxes, saw "Flora's Vagarys," which is a very silly play; and the more, I being out of humour, being at a play without my wife, and she ill at home, and having no desire also to be seen, and, therefore, could not look about me. Thence to the Temple, and there we parted, and I to see Kate Joyce, where I find her and her friends in great ease of mind, the jury having this day given in their verdict that her husband died of a feaver. Some opposition there was, the foreman pressing them to declare the cause of the feaver, thinking thereby to obstruct it: but they did adhere to their verdict, and would give no reason; so all trouble is now over, and she safe in her estate, which I am mighty glad of, and so took leave, and home, and up to my wife, not owning my being at a play, and there she shews me her ring of a Turky-stone set with little sparks of dyamonds,The turquoise. This stone was sometimes referred to simply as the turkey, and Broderip ("Zoological Recreations") conjectured that the bird (turkey) took its name from the blue or turquoise colour of the skin about its head.
which I am to give her, as my Valentine, and I am not much troubled at it. It will cost me near £5--she costing me but little compared with other wives, and I have not many occasions to spend on her. So to my office, where late, and to think upon my observations to-morrow, upon the report of the Committee to the Parliament about the business of tickets, whereof my head is full, and so home to supper and to bed.
18th. Up, and to the Office, and at noon home, expecting to have this day seen Bab. and Betty Pepys here, but they come not; and so after dinner my wife and I to the Duke of York's house, to a play, and there saw "The Mad Lover," which do not please me so well as it used to do, only Betterton's part still pleases me. But here who should we have come to us but Bab. and Betty and Talbot, the first play they were yet at; and going to see us, and hearing by my boy, whom I sent to them, that we were here, they come to us hither, and happened all of us to sit by my cozen Turner and The., and we carried them home first, and then took Bab. and Betty to our house, where they lay and supped, and pretty merry, and very fine with their new clothes, and good comely girls they are enough, and very glad I am of their being with us, though I would very well have been contented to have been without the charge. So they to bed and we to bed.