August 1st. Up betimes to the settling of my last month’s accounts, and I bless God I find them very clear, and that I am worth L5700, the most that ever my book did yet make out. So prepared to attend the Duke of Yorke as usual, but Sir W. Pen, just as I was going out, comes home from Sheernesse, and held me in discourse about publique business, till I come by coach too late to St. James’s, and there find that every thing stood still, and nothing done for want of me. Thence walked over the Parke with Sir W. Coventry, who I clearly see is not thoroughly pleased with the late management of the fight, nor with any thing that the Generalls do; only is glad to hear that De Ruyter is out of favour, and that this fight hath cost them 5,000 men, as they themselves do report. And it is a strange thing, as he observes, how now and then the slaughter runs on one hand; there being 5,000 killed on theirs, and not above 400 or 500 killed and wounded on ours, and as many flag-officers on theirs as ordinary captains in ours; there being Everson, and the Admiral and Vice-Admiral of Freezeland on theirs, and Seamour, Martin, and——-, on ours. I left him going to Chappell, it being the common fast day, and the Duke of York at Chappell. And I to Mrs. Martin’s, but she abroad, so I sauntered to or again to the Abbey, and then to the parish church, fearfull of being seen to do so, and so after the parish church was ended, I to the Swan and there dined upon a rabbit, and after dinner to Mrs. Martin’s, and there find Mrs. Burroughs, and by and by comes a pretty widow, one Mrs. Eastwood, and one Mrs. Fenton, a maid; and here merry kissing and looking on their breasts, and all the innocent pleasure in the world. But, Lord! to see the dissembling of this widow, how upon the singing of a certain jigg by Doll, Mrs. Martin’s sister, she seemed to be sick and fainted and God knows what, because the jigg, which her husband (who died this last sickness) loved. But by and by I made her as merry as is possible, and towzed and tumbled her as I pleased, and then carried her and her sober pretty kinswoman Mrs. Fenton home to their lodgings in the new market of my Lord Treasurer’s, and there left them. Mightily pleased with this afternoon’s mirth, but in great pain to ride in a coach with them, for fear of being seen. So home, and there much pleased with my wife’s drawing today in her pictures, and so to supper and to bed very pleasant.
2nd. [Up] and to the office, where we sat, and in discourse at the table with Sir W. Batten, I was obliged to tell him it was an untruth, which did displease him mightily, and parted at noon very angry with me. At home find Lovett, who brought me some papers varnished, and showed me my crucifix, which will be very fine when done. He dined with me and Balty’s wife, who is in great pain for her husband, not hearing of him since the fight; but I understand he was not in it, going hence too late, and I am glad of it. Thence to the office, and thither comes to me Creed, and he and I walked a good while, and then to the victualling office together, and there with Mr. Gawden I did much business, and so away with Creed again, and by coach to see my Lord Bruncker, who it seems was not well yesterday, but being come thither, I find his coach ready to carry him abroad, but Tom, his footman, whatever the matter was, was lothe to desire me to come in, but I walked a great while in the Piatza till I was going away, but by and by my Lord himself comes down and coldly received me. So I soon parted, having enough for my over officious folly in troubling myself to visit him, and I am apt to think that he was fearfull that my coming was out of design to see how he spent his time [rather] than to enquire after his health. So parted, and I with Creed down to the New Exchange Stairs, and there I took water, and he parted, so home, and then down to Woolwich, reading and making an end of the “Rival Ladys,” and find it a very pretty play. At Woolwich, it being now night, I find my wife and Mercer, and Mr. Batelier and Mary there, and a supper getting ready. So I staid, in some pain, it being late, and post night. So supped and merrily home, but it was twelve at night first. However, sent away some letters, and home to bed.
3rd. Up and to the office, where Sir W. Batten and I sat to contract for some fire-ships. I there close all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then abroad to Sir Philip Warwicke’s at White Hall about Tangier one quarter tallys, and there had some serious discourse touching money, and the case of the Navy, wherein all I could get of him was that we had the full understanding of the treasure as much as my Lord Treasurer himself, and knew what he can do, and that whatever our case is, more money cannot be got till the Parliament. So talked of getting an account ready as soon as we could to give the Parliament, and so very melancholy parted. So I back again, calling my wife at her sister’s, from whose husband we do now hear that he was safe this week, and going in a ship to the fleete from the buoy of the Nore, where he has been all this while, the fleete being gone before he got down. So home, and busy till night, and then to Sir W. Pen, with my wife, to sit and chat, and a small supper, and home to bed. The death of Everson, and the report of our success, beyond expectation, in the killing of so great a number of men, hath raised the estimation of the late victory considerably; but it is only among fools: for all that was but accidental. But this morning, getting Sir.W. Pen to read over the Narrative with me, he did sparingly, yet plainly, say that we might have intercepted their Zealand squadron coming home, if we had done our parts; and more, that we might have spooned before the wind as well as they, and have overtaken their ships in the pursuite, in all the while.
[To spoom, or spoon, is to go right before the wind, without any sail. Sea Dictionary. Dryden uses the word
“When virtue spooms before a prosperous gale, My heaving wishes help to fill the sail.” Hind and Panther, iii. 96.]
4th. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and, at noon to dinner, and Mr. Cooke dined with us, who is lately come from Hinchingbroke, [Lord Hinchingbrooke] who is also come to town: The family all well. Then I to the office, where very busy to state to Mr. Coventry the account of the victuals of the fleete, and late at it, and then home to supper and to bed. This evening, Sir W. Pen come into the garden, and walked with me, and told me that he had certain notice that at Flushing they are in great distraction. De Ruyter dares not come on shore for fear of the people; nor any body open their houses or shops for fear of the tumult: which is a every good hearing.
5th. (Lord’s day). Up, and down to the Old Swan, and there called Betty Michell and her husband, and had two or three a long salutes from her out of sight of ‘su mari’, which pleased me mightily, and so carried them by water to West minster, and I to St. James’s, and there had a meeting before the Duke of Yorke, complaining of want of money, but nothing done to any purpose, for want we shall, so that now our advices to him signify nothing. Here Sir W. Coventry did acquaint the Duke of Yorke how the world do discourse of the ill method of our books, and that we would consider how to answer any enquiry which shall be made after our practice therein, which will I think concern the Controller most, but I shall make it a memento to myself. Thence walked to the Parish Church to have one look upon Betty Michell, and so away homeward by water, and landed to go to the church, where, I believe, Mrs. Horsely goes, by Merchant-tailors’ Hall, and there I find in the pulpit Elborough, my old schoolfellow and a simple rogue, and yet I find him preaching a very good sermon, and in as right a parson-like manner, and in good manner too, as I have heard any body; and the church very full, which is a surprising consideration; but I did not see her. So home, and had a good dinner, and after dinner with my wife, and Mercer, and Jane by water, all the afternoon up as high as Morclaeke with great pleasure, and a fine day, reading over the second part of the “Siege of Rhodes,” with great delight. We landed and walked at Barne-elmes, and then at the Neat Houses I landed and bought a millon,—[melon]—and we did also land and eat and drink at Wandsworth, and so to the Old Swan, and thence walked home. It being a mighty fine cool evening, and there being come, my wife and I spent an houre in the garden, talking of our living in the country, when I shall be turned out of the office, as I fear the Parliament may find faults enough with the office to remove us all, and I am joyed to think in how good a condition I am to retire thither, and have wherewith very well to subsist. Nan, at Sir W. Pen’s, lately married to one Markeham, a kinsman of Sir W. Pen’s, a pretty wench she is.
6th. Up, and to the office a while, and then by water to my Lady Montagu’s, at Westminster, and there visited my Lard Hinchingbroke, newly come from Hinchingbroke, and find him a mighty sober gentleman, to my great content. Thence to Sir Ph. Warwicke and my Lord Treasurer’s, but failed in my business; so home and in Fenchurch-streete met with Mr. Battersby; says he, “Do you see Dan Rawlinson’s door shut up?” (which I did, and wondered). “Why,” says he, “after all the sickness, and himself spending all the last year in the country, one of his men is now dead of the plague, and his wife and one of his mayds sicke, and himself shut up;” which troubles me mightily. So home; and there do hear also from Mrs. Sarah Daniel, that Greenwich is at this time much worse than ever it was, and Deptford too: and she told us that they believed all the towne would leave the towne and come to London; which is now the receptacle of all the people from all infected places. God preserve us! So by and by to dinner, and, after dinner in comes Mrs. Knipp, and I being at the office went home to her, and there I sat and talked with her, it being the first time of her being here since her being brought to bed. I very pleasant with her; but perceive my wife hath no great pleasure in her being here, she not being pleased with my kindnesse to her. However, we talked and sang, and were very pleasant. By and by comes Mr. Pierce and his wife, the first time she also hath been here since her lying-in, both having been brought to bed of boys, and both of them dead. And here we talked, and were pleasant, only my wife in a chagrin humour, she not being pleased with my kindnesse to either of them, and by and by she fell into some silly discourse wherein I checked her, which made her mighty pettish, and discoursed mighty offensively to Mrs. Pierce, which did displease me, but I would make no words, but put the discourse by as much as I could (it being about a report that my wife said was made of herself and meant by Mrs. Pierce, that she was grown a gallant, when she had but so few suits of clothes these two or three years, and a great deale of that silly discourse), and by and by Mrs. Pierce did tell her that such discourses should not trouble her, for there went as bad on other people, and particularly of herself at this end of the towne, meaning my wife, that she was crooked, which was quite false, which my wife had the wit not to acknowledge herself to be the speaker of, though she has said it twenty times. But by this means we had little pleasure in their visit; however, Knipp and I sang, and then I offered them to carry them home, and to take my wife with me, but she would not go: so I with them, leaving my wife in a very ill humour, and very slighting to them, which vexed me. However, I would not be removed from my civility to them, but sent for a coach, and went with them; and, in our way, Knipp saying that she come out of doors without a dinner to us, I took them to Old Fish Streete, to the very house and woman where I kept my wedding dinner, where I never was since, and there I did give them a joie of salmon, and what else was to be had. And here we talked of the ill-humour of my wife, which I did excuse as much as I could, and they seemed to admit of it, but did both confess they wondered at it; but from thence to other discourse, and among others to that of my Lord Bruncker and Mrs. Williams, who it seems do speake mighty hardly of me for my not treating them, and not giving her something to her closett, and do speake worse of my wife, and dishonourably, but it is what she do of all the world, though she be a whore herself; so I value it not. But they told me how poorly my Lord carried himself the other day to his kinswoman, Mrs. Howard, and was displeased because she called him uncle to a little gentlewoman that is there with him, which he will not admit of; for no relation is to be challenged from others to a lord, and did treat her thereupon very rudely and ungenteely. Knipp tells me also that my Lord keeps another woman besides Mrs. Williams; and that, when I was there the other day, there was a great hubbub in the house, Mrs. Williams being fallen sicke, because my Lord was gone to his other mistresse, making her wait for him, till his return from the other mistresse; and a great deale of do there was about it; and Mrs. Williams swounded at it, at the very time when I was there and wondered at the reason of my being received so negligently. I set them both at home, Knipp at her house, her husband being at the doore; and glad she was to be found to have staid out so long with me and Mrs. Pierce, and none else; and Mrs. Pierce at her house, and am mightily pleased with the discretion of her during the simplicity and offensiveness of my wife’s discourse this afternoon. I perceive by the new face at Mrs. Pierces door that our Mary is gone from her. So I home, calling on W. Joyce in my coach, and staid and talked a little with him, who is the same silly prating fellow that ever he was, and so home, and there find my wife mightily out of order, and reproaching of Mrs. Pierce and Knipp as wenches, and I know not what. But I did give her no words to offend her, and quietly let all pass, and so to bed without any good looke or words to or from my wife. 7th. Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and home to dinner, and then to the office again, being pretty good friends with my wife again, no angry words passed; but she finding fault with Mercer, suspecting that it was she that must have told Mary, that must have told her mistresse of my wife’s saying that she was crooked. But the truth is, she is jealous of my kindnesse to her. After dinner, to the office, and did a great deale of business. In the evening comes Mr. Reeves, with a twelve-foote glasse, so I left the office and home, where I met Mr. Batelier with my wife, in order to our going to-morrow, by agreement, to Bow to see a dancing meeting. But, Lord! to see how soon I could conceive evil fears and thoughts concerning them; so Reeves and I and they up to the top of the house, and there we endeavoured to see the moon, and Saturne and Jupiter; but the heavens proved cloudy, and so we lost our labour, having taken pains to get things together, in order to the managing of our long glasse. So down to supper and then to bed, Reeves lying at my house, but good discourse I had from him: in his own trade, concerning glasses, and so all of us late to bed. I receive fresh intelligence that Deptford and Greenwich are now afresh exceedingly afflicted with the sickness more than ever.
8th. Up, and with Reeves walk as far as the Temple, doing some business in my way at my bookseller’s and elsewhere, and there parted, and I took coach, having first discoursed with Mr. Hooke a little, whom we met in the streete, about the nature of sounds, and he did make me understand the nature of musicall sounds made by strings, mighty prettily; and told me that having come to a certain number of vibrations proper to make any tone, he is able to tell how many strokes a fly makes with her wings (those flies that hum in their flying) by the note that it answers to in musique during their flying. That, I suppose, is a little too much refined; but his discourse in general of sound was mighty fine. There I left them, and myself by coach to St. James’s, where we attended with the rest of my fellows on the Duke, whom I found with two or three patches upon his nose and about his right eye, which come from his being struck with the bough of a tree the other day in his hunting; and it is a wonder it did not strike out his eye. After we had done our business with him, which is now but little, the want of money being such as leaves us little to do but to answer complaints of the want thereof, and nothing to offer to the Duke, the representing of our want of money being now become uselesse, I into the Park, and there I met with Mrs. Burroughs by appointment, and did agree (after discoursing of some business of her’s) for her to meet me at New Exchange, while I by coach to my Lord Treasurer’s, and then called at the New Exchange, and thence carried her by water to Parliament stayres, and I to the Exchequer about my Tangier quarter tallys, and that done I took coach and to the west door of the Abby, where she come to me, and I with her by coach to Lissen-greene where we were last, and staid an hour or two before dinner could be got for us, I in the meantime having much pleasure with her, but all honest. And by and by dinner come up, and then to my sport again, but still honest; and then took coach and up and down in the country toward Acton, and then toward Chelsy, and so to Westminster, and there set her down where I took her up, with mighty pleasure in her company, and so I by coach home, and thence to Bow, with all the haste I could, to my Lady Pooly’s, where my wife was with Mr. Batelier and his sisters, and there I found a noble supper, and every thing exceeding pleasant, and their mother, Mrs. Batelier, a fine woman, but mighty passionate upon sudden news brought her of the loss of a dog borrowed of the Duke of Albemarle’s son to line a bitch of hers that is very pretty, but the dog was by and by found, and so all well again, their company mighty innocent and pleasant, we having never been here before. About ten o’clock we rose from table, and sang a song, and so home in two coaches (Mr. Batelier and his sister Mary and my wife and I in one, and Mercer alone in the other); and after being examined at Allgate, whether we were husbands and wives, home, and being there come, and sent away Mr. Batelierand his sister, I find Reeves there, it being a mighty fine bright night, and so upon my leads, though very sleepy, till one in the morning, looking on the moon and Jupiter, with this twelve-foote glasse and another of six foote, that he hath brought with him to-night, and the sights mighty pleasant, and one of the glasses I will buy, it being very usefull. So to bed mighty sleepy, but with much pleasure. Reeves lying at my house again; and mighty proud I am (and ought to be thankfull to God Almighty) that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends.
9th. Up and to the office to prepare business for the Board, Reeves being gone and I having lent him upon one of the glasses. Here we sat, but to little purpose, nobody coming at us but to ask for money, not to offer us any goods. At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, being mightily pleased with a Virgin’s head that my wife is now doing of. In the evening to Lumbard-streete about money, to enable me to pay Sir G. Carteret’s L3000, which he hath lodged in my hands, in behalf of his son and my Lady Jemimah, toward their portion, which, I thank God, I am able to do at a minute’s warning. In my [way] I inquired, and find Mrs. Rawlinson is dead of the sickness, and her mayde continues mighty ill. He himself is got out of the house. I met also with Mr. Evelyn in the streete, who tells me the sad condition at this very day at Deptford for the plague, and more at Deale (within his precinct as one of the Commissioners for sick and wounded seamen), that the towne is almost quite depopulated. Thence back home again, and after some business at my office, late, home to supper and to bed, I being sleepy by my late want of rest, notwithstanding my endeavouring to get a nap of an hour this afternoon after dinner. So home and to bed.
10th. Up and to my chamber; there did some business and then to my office, and towards noon by water to the Exchequer about my Tangier order, and thence back again and to the Exchange, where little newes but what is in the book, and, among other things, of a man sent up for by the King and Council for saying that Sir W. Coventry did give intelligence to the Dutch of all our matters here. I met with Colvill, and he and I did agree about his lending me L1000 upon a tally of L1000 for Tangier. Thence to Sympson, the joyner, and I am mightily pleased with what I see of my presses for my books, which he is making for me. So homeward, and hear in Fanchurch-streete, that now the mayde also is dead at Mr. Rawlinson’s; so that there are three dead in all, the wife, a man-servant, and mayde-servant. Home to dinner, where sister Balty dined with us, and met a letter come to me from him. He is well at Harwich, going to the fleete. After dinner to the office, and anon with my wife and sister abroad, left them in Paternoster Row, while Creed, who was with me at the office, and I to Westminster; and leaving him in the Strand, I to my Lord Chancellor’s, and did very little business, and so away home by water, with more and more pleasure, I every time reading over my Lord Bacon’s “Faber Fortunae.” So home, and there did little business, and then walked an hour talking of sundry things in the garden, and find him a cunning knave, as I always observed him to be, and so home to supper, and to bed. Pleased that this day I find, if I please, I can have all my money in that I have out of my hands, but I am at a loss whether to take it in or no, and pleased also to hear of Mrs. Barbara Sheldon’s good fortune, who is like to have Mr. Wood’s son, the mast-maker, a very rich man, and to be married speedily, she being already mighty fine upon it.
11th. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where mighty pleased at my wife’s beginnings of a little Virgin’s head. To the office and did much business, and then to Mr. Colvill’s, and with him did come to an agreement about my L2600 assignment on the Exchequer, which I had of Sir W. Warren; and, to my great joy, I think I shall get above L100 by it, but I must leave it to be finished on Monday. Thence to the office, and there did the remainder of my business, and so home to supper and to bed. This afternoon I hear as if we had landed some men upon the Dutch coasts, but I believe it is but a foolery either in the report or the attempt.
12th (Lord’s day). Up and to my chamber, where busy all the morning, and my thoughts very much upon the manner of my removal of my closett things the next weeke into my present musique room, if I find I can spare or get money to furnish it. By and by comes Reeves, by appointment, but did not bring the glasses and things I expected for our discourse and my information to-day, but we have agreed on it for next Sunday. By and by, in comes Betty Michell and her husband, and so to dinner, I mightily pleased with their company. We passed the whole day talking with them, but without any pleasure, but only her being there. In the evening, all parted, and I and my wife up to her closett to consider how to order that the next summer, if we live to it; and then down to my chamber at night to examine her kitchen accounts, and there I took occasion to fall out with her for her buying a laced handkercher and pinner without my leave. Though the thing is not much, yet I would not permit her begin to do so, lest worse should follow. From this we began both to be angry, and so continued till bed, and did not sleep friends.
13th. Up, without being friends with my wife, nor great enemies, being both quiet and silent. So out to Colvill’s, but he not being come to town yet, I to Paul’s Church-yarde, to treat with a bookbinder, to come and gild the backs of all my books, to make them handsome, to stand in my new presses, when they come. So back again to Colvill’s, and there did end our treaty, to my full content, about my Exchequer assignment of L2600 of Sir W. Warren’s, for which I give him L170 to stand to the hazard of receiving it. So I shall get clear by it L230, which is a very good jobb. God be praised for it! Having done with him, then he and I took coach, and I carried him to Westminster, and there set him down, in our way speaking of several things. I find him a bold man to say any thing of any body, and finds fault with our great ministers of state that nobody looks after any thing; and I thought it dangerous to be free with him, for I do not think he can keep counsel, because he blabs to me what hath passed between other people and him. Thence I to St. James’s, and there missed Sir W. Coventry; but taking up Mr. Robinson in my coach, I towards London, and there in the way met Sir W. Coventry, and followed him to White Hall, where a little discourse very kind, and so I away with Robinson, and set him down at the ‘Change, and thence I to Stokes the goldsmith, and sent him to and again to get me L1000 in gold; and so home to dinner, my wife and I friends, without any words almost of last night. After dinner, I abroad to Stokes, and there did receive L1000 worth in gold, paying 18 1/2d. and 19d. for others exchange. Home with them, and there to my office to business, and anon home in the evening, there to settle some of my accounts, and then to supper and to bed.
14th. (Thanksgiving day.)
[A proclamation ordering August 14th to be observed in London and Westminster, and August 23rd in other places, as a day of thanksgiving for the late victory at sea over the Dutch, was published on August 6th.]
Up, and comes Mr. Foley and his man, with a box of a great variety of carpenter’s and joyner’s tooles, which I had bespoke, to me, which please me mightily; but I will have more. Then I abroad down to the Old Swan, and there I called and kissed Betty Michell, and would have got her to go with me to Westminster, but I find her a little colder than she used to be, methought, which did a little molest me. So I away not pleased, and to White Hall, where I find them at Chappell, and met with Povy, and he and I together, who tells me how mad my letter makes my Lord Peterborough, and what a furious letter he hath writ to me in answer, though it is not come yet. This did trouble me; for though there be no reason, yet to have a nobleman’s mouth open against a man may do a man hurt; so I endeavoured to have found him out and spoke with him, but could not. So to the chappell, and heard a piece of the Dean of Westminster’s sermon, and a special good anthemne before the king, after a sermon, and then home by coach with Captain Cocke, who is in pain about his hempe, of which he says he hath bought great quantities, and would gladly be upon good terms with us for it, wherein I promise to assist him. So we ‘light at the ‘Change, where, after a small turn or two, taking no pleasure now-a-days to be there, because of answering questions that would be asked there which I cannot answer; so home and dined, and after dinner, with my wife and Mercer to the Beare-garden,
[The Bear Garden was situated on Bankside, close to the precinct of the Clinke Liberty, and very near to the old palace of the bishops of Winchester. Stow, to his “Survey,” says: “There be two Bear Gardens, the old and new Places.” The name still exists in a street or lane at the foot of Southwark Bridge, and in Bear Garden Wharf.]
where I have not been, I think, of many years, and saw some good sport of the bull’s tossing of the dogs: one into the very boxes. But it is a very rude and nasty pleasure. We had a great many hectors in the same box with us (and one very fine went into the pit, and played his dog for a wager, which was a strange sport for a gentleman), where they drank wine, and drank Mercer’s health first, which I pledged with my hat off; and who should be in the house but Mr. Pierce the surgeon, who saw us and spoke to us. Thence home, well enough satisfied, however, with the variety of this afternoon’s exercise; and so I to my chamber, till in the evening our company come to supper. We had invited to a venison pasty Mr. Batelier and his sister Mary, Mrs. Mercer, her daughter Anne, Mr. Le Brun, and W. Hewer; and so we supped, and very merry. And then about nine o’clock to Mrs. Mercer’s gate, where the fire and boys expected us, and her son had provided abundance of serpents and rockets; and there mighty merry (my Lady Pen and Pegg going thither with us, and Nan Wright), till about twelve at night, flinging our fireworks, and burning one another and the people over the way. And at last our businesses being most spent, we into Mrs. Mercer’s, and there mighty merry, smutting one another with candle grease and soot, till most of us were like devils. And that being done, then we broke up, and to my house; and there I made them drink, and upstairs we went, and then fell into dancing (W. Batelier dancing well), and dressing, him and I and one Mr. Banister (who with his wife come over also with us) like women; and Mercer put on a suit of Tom’s, like a boy, and mighty mirth we had, and Mercer danced a jigg; and Nan Wright and my wife and Pegg Pen put on perriwigs. Thus we spent till three or four in the morning, mighty merry; and then parted, and to bed.
15th. Mighty sleepy; slept till past eight of the clock, and was called up by a letter from Sir W. Coventry, which, among other things, tells me how we have burned one hundred and sixty ships of the enemy within the Fly.
[On the 8th August the Duke of Albemarle reported to Lord Arlington that he had “sent 1000 good men under Sir R. Holmes and Sir William Jennings to destroy the islands of Vlie and Schelling.” On the 10th James Hayes wrote to Williamson: “On the 9th at noon smoke was seen rising from several places in the island of Vlie, and the 10th brought news that Sir Robert had burned in the enemy’s harbour 160 outward bound valuable merchant men and three men-of-war, and taken a little pleasure boat and eight guns in four hours. The loss is computed at a million sterling, and will make great confusion when the people see themselves in the power of the English at their very doors. Sir Robert then landed his forces, and is burning the houses in Vlie and Schelling as bonfires for his good success at sea” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666-67, pp. 21,27).]
I up, and with all possible haste, and in pain for fear of coming late, it being our day of attending the Duke of Yorke, to St. James’s, where they are full of the particulars; how they are generally good merchant ships, some of them laden and supposed rich ships. We spent five fire-ships upon them. We landed on the Schelling (Sir Philip Howard with some men, and Holmes, I think; with others, about 1000 in all), and burned a town; and so come away. By and by the Duke of Yorke with his books showed us the very place and manner, and that it was not our design or expectation to have done this, but only to have landed on the Fly, and burned some of their store; but being come in, we spied those ships, and with our long boats, one by one, fired them, our ships running all aground, it being so shoal water. We were led to this by, it seems, a renegado captain of the Hollanders, who found himself ill used by De Ruyter for his good service, and so come over to us, and hath done us good service; so that now we trust him, and he himself did go on this expedition. The service is very great, and our joys as great for it. All this will make the Duke of Albemarle in repute again, I doubt, though there is nothing of his in this. But, Lord! to see what successe do, whether with or without reason, and making a man seem wise, notwithstanding never so late demonstration of the profoundest folly in the world. Thence walked over the Parke with Sir W. Coventry, in our way talking of the unhappy state of our office; and I took an opportunity to let him know, that though the backwardnesses of all our matters of the office may be well imputed to the known want of money, yet, perhaps, there might be personal and particular failings; and that I did, therefore, depend still upon his promise of telling me whenever he finds any ground to believe any defect or neglect on my part, which he promised me still to do; and that there was none he saw, nor, indeed, says he, is there room now-a-days to find fault with any particular man, while we are in this condition for money. This, methought, did not so well please me; but, however, I am glad I have said this, thereby giving myself good grounds to believe that at this time he did not want an occasion to have said what he pleased to me, if he had had anything in his mind, which by his late distance and silence I have feared. But then again I am to consider he is grown a very great man, much greater than he was, and so must keep more distance; and, next, that the condition of our office will not afford me occasion of shewing myself so active and deserving as heretofore; and, lastly, the muchness of his business cannot suffer him to mind it, or give him leisure to reflect on anything, or shew the freedom and kindnesse that he used to do. But I think I have done something considerable to my satisfaction in doing this; and that if I do but my duty remarkably from this time forward, and not neglect it, as I have of late done, and minded my pleasures, I may be as well as ever I was. Thence to the Exchequer, but did nothing, they being all gone from their offices; and so to the Old Exchange, where the towne full of the good newes, but I did not stay to tell or hear any, but home, my head akeing and drowsy, and to dinner, and then lay down upon the couch, thinking to get a little rest, but could not. So down the river, reading “The Adventures of Five Houres,” which the more I read the more I admire. So down below Greenwich, but the wind and tide being against us, I back again to Deptford, and did a little business there, and thence walked to Redriffe; and so home, and to the office a while. In the evening comes W. Batelier and his sister, and my wife, and fair Mrs. Turner into the garden, and there we walked, and then with my Lady Pen and Pegg in a-doors, and eat and were merry, and so pretty late broke up, and to bed. The guns of the Tower going off, and there being bonefires also in the street for this late good successe.
16th. Up, having slept well, and after entering my journal, to the office, where all the morning, but of late Sir W. Coventry hath not come to us, he being discouraged from the little we have to do but to answer the clamours of people for money. At noon home, and there dined with me my Lady Pen only and W. Hewer at a haunch of venison boiled, where pretty merry, only my wife vexed me a little about demanding money to go with my Lady Pen to the Exchange to lay out. I to the office, where all the afternoon and very busy and doing much business; but here I had a most eminent experience of the evil of being behindhand in business. I was the most backward to begin any thing, and would fain have framed to myself an occasion of going abroad, and should, I doubt, have done it, but some business coming in, one after another, kept me there, and I fell to the ridding away of a great deale of business, and when my hand was in it was so pleasing a sight to [see] my papers disposed of, and letters answered, which troubled my book and table, that I could have continued there with delight all night long, and did till called away by my Lady Pen and Pegg and my wife to their house to eat with them; and there I went, and exceeding merry, there being Nan Wright, now Mrs. Markham, and sits at table with my Lady. So mighty merry, home and to bed. This day Sir W. Batten did show us at the table a letter from Sir T. Allen, which says that we have taken ten or twelve’ ships (since the late great expedition of burning their ships and towne), laden with hempe, flax, tarr, deales, &c. This was good newes; but by and by comes in Sir G. Carteret, and he asked us with full mouth what we would give for good newes. Says Sir W. Batten, “I have better than you, for a wager.” They laid sixpence, and we that were by were to give sixpence to him that told the best newes. So Sir W. Batten told his of the ten or twelve ships Sir G. Carteret did then tell us that upon the newes of the burning of the ships and towne the common people a Amsterdam did besiege De Witt’s house, and he was force to flee to the Prince of Orange, who is gone to Cleve to the marriage of his sister. This we concluded all the best newest and my Lord Bruncker and myself did give Sir G. Carteret our sixpence a-piece, which he did give Mr. Smith to give the poor. Thus we made ourselves mighty merry.
17th. Up and betimes with Captain Erwin down by water to Woolwich, I walking alone from Greenwich thither, making an end of the “Adventures of Five Hours,” which when all is done is the best play that ever I read in my life. Being come thither I did some business there and at the Rope Yarde, and had a piece of bride-cake sent me by Mrs. Barbary into the boate after me, she being here at her uncle’s, with her husband, Mr. Wood’s son, the mast-maker, and mighty nobly married, they say, she was, very fine, and he very rich, a strange fortune for so odd a looked mayde, though her hands and body be good, and nature very good, I think. Back with Captain Erwin, discoursing about the East Indys, where he hath often been. And among other things he tells me how the King of Syam seldom goes out without thirty or forty thousand people with him, and not a word spoke, nor a hum or cough in the whole company to be heard. He tells me the punishment frequently there for malefactors is cutting off the crowne of their head, which they do very dexterously, leaving their brains bare, which kills them presently. He told me what I remember he hath once done heretofore: that every body is to lie flat down at the coming by of the King, and nobody to look upon him upon pain of death. And that he and his fellows, being strangers, were invited to see the sport of taking of a wild elephant, and they did only kneel, and look toward the King. Their druggerman did desire them to fall down, for otherwise he should suffer for their contempt of the King. The sport being ended, a messenger comes from the King, which the druggerman thought had been to have taken away his life; but it was to enquire how the strangers liked the sport. The druggerman answered that they did cry it up to be the best that ever they saw, and that they never heard of any Prince so great in every thing as this King. The messenger being gone back, Erwin and his company asked their druggerman what he had said, which he told them. “But why,” say they, “would you say that without our leave, it being not true?”—“It is no matter for that,” says he, “I must have said it, or have been hanged, for our King do not live by meat, nor drink, but by having great lyes told him.” In our way back we come by a little vessel that come into the river this morning, and says he left the fleete in Sole Bay, and that he hath not heard (he belonging to Sir W. Jenings, in the fleete) of any such prizes taken as the ten or twelve I inquired about, and said by Sir W. Batten yesterday to be taken, so I fear it is not true. So to Westminster, and there, to my great content, did receive my L2000 of Mr. Spicer’s telling, which I was to receive of Colvill, and brought it home with me [to] my house by water, and there I find one of my new presses for my books brought home, which pleases me mightily. As, also, do my wife’s progresse upon her head that she is making. So to dinner, and thence abroad with my wife, leaving her at Unthanke’s; I to White Hall, waiting at the Council door till it rose, and there spoke with Sir W. Coventry, who and I do much fear our Victuallers, they having missed the fleete in their going. But Sir W. Coventry says it is not our fault, but theirs, if they have not left ships to secure them. This he spoke in a chagrin sort of way, methought. After a little more discourse of several businesses, I away homeward, having in the gallery the good fortune to see Mrs. Stewart, who is grown a little too tall, but is a woman of most excellent features. The narrative of the late expedition in burning the ships is in print, and makes it a great thing, and I hope it is so. So took up my wife and home, there I to the office, and thence with Sympson the joyner home to put together the press he hath brought me for my books this day, which pleases me exceedingly. Then to Sir W. Batten’s, where Sir Richard Ford did very understandingly, methought, give us an account of the originall of the Hollands Bank,
[This bank at Amsterdam is referred to in a tract entitled “An Appeal to Caesar,” 1660, p. 22. In 1640 Charles I. seized the money in the mint in the Tower entrusted to the safe keeping of the Crown. It was the practice of the London goldsmiths at this time to allow interest at the rate of six or eight per cent. on money deposited with them (J. Biddulph Martin, “The Grasshopper in Lombard Street,” 1892, p. 152).]
and the nature of it, and how they do never give any interest at all to any person that brings in their money, though what is brought in upon the public faith interest is given by the State for. The unsafe condition of a Bank under a Monarch, and the little safety to a Monarch to have any; or Corporation alone (as London in answer to Amsterdam) to have so great a wealth or credit, it is, that makes it hard to have a Bank here. And as to the former, he did tell us how it sticks in the memory of most merchants how the late King (when by the war between Holland and France and Spayne all the bullion of Spayne was brought hither, one-third of it to be coyned; and indeed it was found advantageous to the merchant to coyne most of it), was persuaded in a strait by my Lord Cottington to seize upon the money in the Tower, which, though in a few days the merchants concerned did prevail to get it released, yet the thing will never be forgot. So home to supper and to bed, understanding this evening, since I come home, that our Victuallers are all come in to the fleete, which is good newes. Sir John Minnes come home tonight not well, from Chatham, where he hath been at a pay, holding it at Upnor Castle, because of the plague so much in the towne of Chatham. He hath, they say, got an ague, being so much on the water.
18th. All the morning at my office; then to the Exchange (with my Lord Bruncker in his coach) at noon, but it was only to avoid Mr. Chr. Pett’s being invited by me to dinner. So home, calling at my little mercer’s in Lumbard Streete, who hath the pretty wench, like the old Queene, and there cheapened some stuffs to hang my roome, that I intend to turn into a closett. So home to dinner, and after dinner comes Creed to discourse with me about several things of Tangier concernments and accounts, among others starts the doubt, which I was formerly aware of, but did wink at it, whether or no Lanyon and his partners be not paid for more than they should be, which he presses, so that it did a little discompose me; but, however, I do think no harm will arise thereby. He gone, I to the office, and there very late, very busy, and so home to supper and to bed.
19th (Lord’s day). Up and to my chamber, and there began to draw out fair and methodically my accounts of Tangier, in order to shew them to the Lords. But by and by comes by agreement Mr. Reeves, and after him Mr. Spong, and all day with them, both before and after dinner, till ten o’clock at night, upon opticke enquiries, he bringing me a frame he closes on, to see how the rays of light do cut one another, and in a darke room with smoake, which is very pretty. He did also bring a lanthorne with pictures in glasse, to make strange things appear on a wall, very pretty. We did also at night see Jupiter and his girdle and satellites, very fine, with my twelve-foote glasse, but could not Saturne, he being very dark. Spong and I had also several fine discourses upon the globes this afternoon, particularly why the fixed stars do not rise and set at the same houre all the yeare long, which he could not demonstrate, nor I neither, the reason of. So, it being late, after supper they away home. But it vexed me to understand no more from Reeves and his glasses touching the nature and reason of the several refractions of the several figured glasses, he understanding the acting part, but not one bit the theory, nor can make any body understand it, which is a strange dullness, methinks. I did not hear anything yesterday or at all to confirm either Sir Thos. Allen’s news of the 10 or 12 ships taken, nor of the disorder at Amsterdam upon the news of the burning of the ships, that he [De Witt] should be fled to the Prince of Orange, it being generally believed that he was gone to France before.
20th. Waked this morning, about six o’clock, with a violent knocking at Sir J. Minnes’s doore, to call up Mrs. Hammon, crying out that Sir J. Minnes is a-dying. He come home ill of an ague on Friday night. I saw him on Saturday, after his fit of the ague, and then was pretty lusty. Which troubles me mightily, for he is a very good, harmless, honest gentleman, though not fit for the business. But I much fear a worse may come, that may be more uneasy to me. Up, and to Deptford by water, reading “Othello, Moore of Venice,” which I ever heretofore esteemed a mighty good play, but having so lately read “The Adventures of Five Houres,” it seems a mean thing. Walked back, and so home, and then down to the Old Swan and drank at Betty Michell’s, and so to Westminster to the Exchequer about my quarter tallies, and so to Lumbard Streete to choose stuff to hang my new intended closet, and have chosen purple. So home to dinner, and all the afternoon till almost midnight upon my Tangier accounts, getting Tom Wilson to help me in writing as I read, and at night W. Hewer, and find myself most happy in the keeping of all my accounts, for that after all the changings and turnings necessary in such an account, I find myself right to a farthing in an account of L127,000. This afternoon I visited Sir J. Minnes, who, poor man, is much impatient by these few days’ sickness, and I fear indeed it will kill him.
21st. Up, and to the office, where much business and Sir W. Coventry there, who of late hath wholly left us, most of our business being about money, to which we can give no answer, which makes him weary of coming to us. He made an experiment to-day, by taking up a heape of petitions that lay upon the table. They proved seventeen in number, and found them thus: one for money for reparation for clothes, four desired to have tickets made out to them, and the other twelve were for money. Dined at home, and sister Balty with us. My wife snappish because I denied her money to lay out this afternoon; however, good friends again, and by coach set them down at the New Exchange, and I to the Exchequer, and there find my business of my tallys in good forwardness. I passed down into the Hall, and there hear that Mr. Bowles, the grocer, after 4 or 5 days’ sickness, is dead, and this day buried. So away, and taking up my wife, went homewards. I ‘light and with Harman to my mercer’s in Lumbard Streete, and there agreed for, our purple serge for my closett, and so I away home. So home and late at the office, and then home, and there found Mr. Batelier and his sister Mary, and we sat chatting a great while, talking of witches and spirits, and he told me of his own knowledge, being with some others at Bourdeaux, making a bargain with another man at a taverne for some clarets, they did hire a fellow to thunder (which he had the art of doing upon a deale board) and to rain and hail, that is, make the noise of, so as did give them a pretence of undervaluing their merchants’ wines, by saying this thunder would spoil and turne them. Which was so reasonable to the merchant, that he did abate two pistolls per ton for the wine in belief of that, whereas, going out, there was no such thing. This Batelier did see and was the cause of to his profit, as is above said. By and by broke up and to bed.
22nd. Up and by coach with L100 to the Exchequer to pay fees there. There left it, and I to St. James’s, and there with; the Duke of Yorke. I had opportunity of much talk with Sir. W. Pen to-day (he being newly come from the fleete); and he, do much undervalue the honour that is given to the conduct of the late business of Holmes in burning the ships and town
[The town burned (see August 15th, ante) was Brandaris, a place of 1000 houses, on the isle of Schelling; the ships lay between that island and the Fly (i.e. Vlieland), the adjoining island. This attack probably provoked that by the Dutch on Chatham.]
saying it was a great thing indeed, and of great profit to us in bei ng of great losse to the enemy, but that it was wholly a business of chance, and no conduct employed in it. I find Sir W. Pen do hold up his head at this time higher than ever he did in his life. I perceive he do look after Sir J. Minnes’s place if he dies, and though I love him not nor do desire to have him in, yet I do think [he] is the first man in England for it. To the Exchequer, and there received my tallys, and paid my fees in good order, and so home, and there find Mrs. Knipp and my wife going to dinner. She tells me my song, of “Beauty Retire” is mightily cried up, which I am not a little proud of; and do think I have done “It is Decreed” better, but I have not finished it. My closett is doing by upholsters, which I am pleased with, but fear my purple will be too sad for that melancholy roome. After dinner and doing something at the office, I with my wife, Knipp, and Mercer, by coach to Moorefields, and there saw “Polichinello,” which pleases me mightily, and here I saw our Mary, our last chamber-maid, who is gone from Mrs. Pierces it seems. Thence carried Knipp home, calling at the Cocke alehouse at the doore and drank, and so home, and there find Reeves, and so up to look upon the stars, and do like my glasse very well, and did even with him for it and a little perspective and the Lanthorne that shows tricks, altogether costing me L9 5s. 0d. So to bed, he lying at our house.
23rd. At the office all the morning, whither Sir W. Coventry sent me word that the Dutch fleete is certainly abroad; and so we are to hasten all we have to send to our fleete with all speed. But, Lord! to see how my Lord Bruncker undertakes the despatch of the fire-ships, when he is no more fit for it than a porter; and all the while Sir W. Pen, who is the most fit, is unwilling to displease him, and do not look after it; and so the King’s work is like to be well done. At noon dined at home, Lovett with us; but he do not please me in his business, for he keeps things long in hand, and his paper do not hold so good as I expected—the varnish wiping off in a little time—a very sponge; and I doubt by his discourse he is an odde kind of fellow, and, in plain terms, a very rogue. He gone, I to the office (having seen and liked the upholsters’ work in my roome—which they have almost done), and there late, and in the evening find Mr. Batelier and his sister there and then we talked and eat and were merry, and so parted late, and to bed.
24th. Up, and dispatched several businesses at home in the morning, and then comes Sympson to set up my other new presses
[These presses still exist, and, according to Pepys’s wish, they are placed in the second court of Magdalene College in a room which they exactly fit, and the books are arranged in the presses just as they were when presented to the college.—M. B.]
for my books, and so he and I fell in to the furnishing of my new closett, and taking out the things out of my old, and I kept him with me all day, and he dined with me, and so all the afternoon till it was quite darke hanging things, that is my maps and pictures and draughts, and setting up my books, and as much as we could do, to my most extraordinary satisfaction; so that I think it will be as noble a closett as any man hath, and light enough—though, indeed, it would be better to have had a little more light. He gone, my wife and I to talk, and sup, and then to setting right my Tangier accounts and enter my Journall, and then to bed with great content in my day’s worke. This afternoon comes Mrs. Barbary Sheldon, now Mrs. Wood, to see my wife. I was so busy I would not see her. But she came, it seems, mighty rich in rings and fine clothes, and like a lady, and says she is matched mighty well, at which I am very glad, but wonder at her good fortune and the folly of her husband, and vexed at myself for not paying her the respect of seeing her, but I will come out of her debt another time.
25th. All the morning at the office. At noon dined at home, and after dinner up to my new closett, which pleases me mightily, and there I proceeded to put many things in order as far as I had time, and then set it in washing, and stood by myself a great while to see it washed; and then to the office, and then wrote my letters and other things, and then in mighty good humour home to supper and to bed.
26th (Lord’s day). Up betimes, and to the finishing the setting things in order in my new closett out of my old, which I did thoroughly by the time sermon was done at church, to my exceeding joy, only I was a little disturbed with newes my Lord Bruncker brought me, that we are to attend the King at White Hall this afternoon, and that it is about a complaint from the Generalls against us. Sir W. Pen dined by invitation with me, his Lady and daughter being gone into the country. We very merry. After dinner we parted, and I to my office, whither I sent for Mr. Lewes and instructed myself fully in the business of the Victualling, to enable me to answer in the matter; and then Sir W. Pen and I by coach to White Hall, and there staid till the King and Cabinet were met in the Green Chamber, and then we were called in; and there the King begun with me, to hear how the victualls of the fleete stood. I did in a long discourse tell him and the rest (the Duke of Yorke, Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, both the Secretarys, Sir G. Carteret, and Sir W. Coventry,) how it stood, wherein they seemed satisfied, but press mightily for more supplies; and the letter of the Generalls, which was read, did lay their not going or too soon returning from the Dutch coast, this next bout, to the want of victuals. They then proceeded to the enquiry after the fireships; and did all very superficially, and without any severity at all. But, however, I was in pain, after we come out, to know how I had done; and hear well enough. But, however, it shall be a caution to me to prepare myself against a day of inquisition. Being come out, I met with Mr. Moore, and he and I an houre together in the Gallery, telling me how far they are gone in getting my Lord [Sandwich’s] pardon, so as the Chancellor is prepared in it; and Sir H. Bennet do promote it, and the warrant for the King’s signing is drawn. The business between my Lord Hinchingbroke and Mrs. Mallett is quite broke off; he attending her at Tunbridge, and she declaring her affections to be settled; and he not being fully pleased with the vanity and liberty of her carriage. He told me how my Lord has drawn a bill of exchange from Spayne of L1200, and would have me supply him with L500 of it, but I avoyded it, being not willing to embarke myself in money there, where I see things going to ruine. Thence to discourse of the times; and he tells me he believes both my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry, as well as my Lord Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret, have reason to fear, and are afeard of this Parliament now coming on. He tells me that Bristoll’s faction is getting ground apace against my Lord Chancellor. He told me that my old Lord Coventry was a cunning, crafty man, and did make as many bad decrees in Chancery as any man; and that in one case, that occasioned many years’ dispute, at last when the King come in, it was hoped by the party grieved, to get my Lord Chancellor to reverse a decree of his. Sir W. Coventry took the opportunity of the business between the Duke of Yorke and the Duchesse, and said to my Lord Chancellor, that he had rather be drawn up Holborne to be hanged, than live to see his father pissed upon (in these very terms) and any decree of his reversed. And so the Chancellor did not think fit to do it, but it still stands, to the undoing of one Norton, a printer, about his right to the printing of the Bible, and Grammar, &c. Thence Sir W. Pen and I to Islington and there drank at the Katherine Wheele, and so down the nearest way home, where there was no kind of pleasure at all. Being come home, hear that Sir J. Minnes has had a very bad fit all this day, and a hickup do take him, which is a very bad sign, which troubles me truly. So home to supper a little and then to bed.
27th. Up, and to my new closett, which pleases me mightily, and there did a little business. Then to break open a window, to the leads’ side in my old closett, which will enlighten the room mightily, and make it mighty pleasant. So to the office, and then home about one thing or other, about my new closet, for my mind is full of nothing but that. So at noon to dinner, mightily pleased with my wife’s picture that she is upon. Then to the office, and thither come and walked an hour with me Sir G. Carteret, who tells me what is done about my Lord’s pardon, and is not for letting the Duke of Yorke know any thing of it beforehand, but to carry it as speedily and quietly as we can. He seems to be very apprehensive that the Parliament will be troublesome and inquisitive into faults, but seems not to value them as to himself. He gone, I to the Victualling Office, there with Lewes’ and Willson setting the business of the state of the fleete’s victualling even and plain, and that being done, and other good discourse about it over, Mr. Willson and I by water down the River for discourse only, about business of the office, and then back, and I home, and after a little at my office home to my new closet, and there did much business on my Tangier account and my Journall for three days. So to supper and to bed. We are not sure that the Dutch fleete is out. I have another memento from Sir W. Coventry of the want of provisions in the fleete, which troubles me, though there is no reason for it; but will have the good effect of making me more wary. So, full of thoughts, to bed.
28th. Up, and in my new closet a good while doing business. Then called on Mrs. Martin and Burroughs of Westminster about business of the former’s husband. Which done, I to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon I, with my wife and Mercer, to Philpott Lane, a great cook’s shop, to the wedding of Mr. Longracke, our purveyor, a good, sober, civil man, and hath married a sober, serious mayde. Here I met much ordinary company, I going thither at his great request; but there was Mr. Madden and his lady, a fine, noble, pretty lady, and he, and a fine gentleman seems to be. We four were most together; but the whole company was very simple and innocent. A good-dinner, and, what was best, good musique. After dinner the young women went to dance; among others Mr. Christopher Pett his daughter, who is a very pretty, modest girle, I am mightily taken with her; and that being done about five o’clock, home, very well pleased with the afternoon’s work. And so we broke up mightily civilly, the bride and bridegroom going to Greenwich (they keeping their dinner here only for my sake) to lie, and we home, where I to the office, and anon am on a sudden called to meet Sir W. Pen and Sir W. Coventry at the Victualling Office, which did put me out of order to be so surprised. But I went, and there Sir William Coventry did read me a letter from the Generalls to the King,
[The letter from Prince Rupert and the Duke of Albemarle to the king (dated August 27th, from the “Royal Charles,” Sole Bay) is among the State Papers. The generals complain of the want of supplies, in spite of repeated importunities. The demands are answered by accounts from Mr. Pepys of what has been sent to the fleet, which will not satisfy the ships, unless the provisions could be found “... Have not a month’s provision of beer, yet Sir Wm. Coventry assures the ministers that they are supplied till Oct. 3; unless this is quickened they will have to return home too soon.... Want provisions according to their own computation, not Sir Wm. Coventry’s, to last to the end of October” (“Calendar,” 1666-67, p. 71).]
a most scurvy letter, reflecting most upon Sir W. Coventry, and then upon me for my accounts (not that they are not true, but that we do not consider the expence of the fleete), and then of the whole office, in neglecting them and the King’s service, and this in very plain and sharp and menacing terms. I did give a good account of matters according to our computation of the expence of the fleete. I find Sir W. Coventry willing enough to accept of any thing to confront the Generalls. But a great supply must be made, and shall be in grace of God! But, however, our accounts here will be found the true ones. Having done here, and much work set me, I with greater content home than I thought I should have done, and so to the office a while, and then home, and a while in my new closet, which delights me every day more and more, and so late to bed.
29th. Up betimes, and there to fit some Tangier accounts, and then, by appointment, to my Lord Bellasses, but about Paul’s thought of the chant paper I should carry with me, and so fain to come back again, and did, and then met with Sir W. Pen, and with him to my Lord Bellasses, he sitting in the coach the while, while I up to my Lord and there offered him my account of the bills of exchange I had received and paid for him, wherein we agree all but one L200 bill of Vernatty’s drawing, wherein I doubt he hath endeavoured to cheate my Lord; but that will soon appear. Thence took leave, and found Sir W. Pen talking to Orange Moll, of the King’s house, who, to our great comfort, told us that they begun to act on the 18th of this month. So on to St. James’s, in the way Sir W. Pen telling me that Mr. Norton, that married Sir J. Lawson’s daughter, is dead. She left L800 a year jointure, a son to inherit the whole estate. She freed from her father-in-law’s tyranny, and is in condition to helpe her mother, who needs it; of which I am glad, the young lady being very pretty. To St. James’s, and there Sir W. Coventry took Sir W. Pen and me apart, and read to us his answer to the Generalls’ letter to the King that he read last night; wherein he is very plain, and states the matter in full defence of himself and of me with him, which he could not avoid; which is a good comfort to me, that I happen to be involved with him in the same cause. And then, speaking of the supplies which have been made to this fleete, more than ever in all kinds to any, even that wherein the Duke of Yorke himself was, “Well,” says he, “if this will not do, I will say, as Sir J. Falstaffe did to the Prince, ‘Tell your father, that if he do not like this let him kill the next Piercy himself,’”—[“King Henry IV.,” Part I, act v., sc. 4.]—and so we broke up, and to the Duke, and there did our usual business. So I to the Parke and there met Creed, and he and I walked to Westminster to the Exchequer, and thence to White Hall talking of Tangier matters and Vernatty’s knavery, and so parted, and then I homeward and met Mr. Povy in Cheapside, and stopped and talked a good while upon the profits of the place which my Lord Bellasses hath made this last year, and what share we are to have of it, but of this all imperfect, and so parted, and I home, and there find Mrs. Mary Batelier, and she dined with us; and thence I took them to Islington, and there eat a custard; and so back to Moorfields, and shewed Batelier, with my wife, “Polichinello,” which I like the more I see it; and so home with great content, she being a mighty good-natured, pretty woman, and thence I to the Victualling office, and there with Mr. Lewes and Willson upon our Victualling matters till ten at night, and so I home and there late writing a letter to Sir W. Coventry, and so home to supper and to bed. No newes where the Dutch are. We begin to think they will steale through the Channel to meet Beaufort. We think our fleete sayled yesterday, but we have no newes of it.
30th. Up and all the morning at the office, dined at home, and in the afternoon, and at night till two in the morning, framing my great letter to Mr. Hayes about the victualling of the fleete, about which there has been so much ado and exceptions taken by the Generalls.
31st. To bed at 2 or 3 in the morning and up again at 6 to go by appointment to my Lord Bellasses, but he out of town, which vexed me. So back and got Mr. Poynter to enter into, my book while I read from my last night’s notes the letter, and that being done to writing it fair. At noon home to dinner, and then the boy and I to the office, and there he read while I writ it fair, which done I sent it to Sir W. Coventry to peruse and send to the fleete by the first opportunity; and so pretty betimes to bed. Much pleased to-day with thoughts of gilding the backs of all my books alike in my new presses.