A new diary entry appears here at the end of each day.

Saturday 21 December 1661

To White Hall to the Privy Seal, where my Lord Privy Seal did tell us he could seal no more this month, for that he goes thirty miles out of town to keep his Christmas. At which I was glad, but only afeard lest any thing of the King’s should force us to go after him to get a seal in the country.

Thence to Westminster Hall (having by the way drank with Mrs. Sarah and Mrs. Betty at my Lord’s lodgings), and thence taken by some Exchequer men to the Dogg, where, being St. Thomas’s day, by custom they have a general meeting at dinner. There I was and all very merry, and there I spoke to Mr. Falconberge to look whether he could out of Domesday Book, give me any thing concerning the sea, and the dominion thereof; which he says he will look after. Thence taking leave to my brother’s, and there by appointment met with Prior of Brampton who had money to pay me, but desiring some advice he stays till Monday. So by coach home to the office, where I was vexed to see Sir Williams both seem to think so much that I should be a little out of the way, saying that without their Register they were not a Committee, which I took in some dudgeon, and see clearly that I must keep myself at a little distance with them and not crouch, or else I shall never keep myself up even with them. So home and wrote letters by the post. This evening my wife come home from christening Mrs. Hunt’s son, his name John, and a merchant in Mark Lane came along with her, that was her partner. So after my business was done, and read something in Mr. Selden, I went to bed.

Friday 20 December 1661

Lay long in bed, and then up, and so to the Wardrobe to dinner, and from thence out with Mr. Moore towards my house, and in our way met with Mr. Swan (my old acquaintance), and we to a tavern, where we had enough of his old simple religious talk, and he is still a coxcomb in these things as he ever was, and tells me he is setting out a book called “The unlawfull use of lawfull things;” but a very simple fellow he is, and so I leave him. So we drank and at last parted, and Mr. Moore and I into Cornhill, it being dark night, and in the street and on the Exchange discoursed about Dominion of the Sea, wherein I am lately so much concerned, and so I home and sat late up reading of Mr. Selden, and so to bed.

Thursday 19 December 1661

This morning my wife dressed herself fine to go to the christening of Mrs. Hunt’s child, and so she and I in the way in the morning went to the Paynter’s, and there she sat till noon, and I all the while looking over great variety of good prints which he had, and by and by comes my boy to tell us that Mrs. Hunt has been at our house to tell us that the christening is not till Saturday next. So after the Paynter had done I did like the picture pretty well, and my wife and I went by coach home, but in the way I took occasion to fall out with my wife very highly about her ribbands being ill matched and of two colours, and to very high words, so that, like a passionate fool, I did call her whore, for which I was afterwards sorry. But I set her down at home, and went myself by appointment to the Dolphin, where Sir W. Warren did give us all a good dinner, and that being done, to the office, and there sat late, and so home.

Monday 16 December 1661

Up by five o’clock this morning by candlelight (which I have not done for many a day), being called upon by one Mr. Bollen by appointment, who has business to be done with my Lord Privy Seal this morning, and so by coach, calling Mr. Moore at the Wardrobe, to Chelsy, and there did get my Lord to seal it. And so back again to Westminster Hall, and thence to my Lord Sandwich’s lodging, where I met my wife (who had been to see Mrs. Hunt who was brought to bed the other day of a boy), and got a joint of meat thither from the Cook’s, and she and I and Sarah dined together, and after dinner to the Opera, where there was a new play (“Cutter of Coleman Street”), made in the year 1658, with reflections much upon the late times; and it being the first time, the pay was doubled, and so to save money, my wife and I went up into the gallery, and there sat and saw very well; and a very good play it is. It seems of Cowly’s making. From thence by coach home, and to bed.

Sunday 15 December 1661

(Lord’s day). To church in the morning, where our young Reader begun the first day to read. Sir W. Pen dined with me and we were merry. Again to church and so home, and all alone read till bedtime, and so to prayers and to bed.

I have been troubled this day about a difference between my wife and her maid Nell, who is a simple slut, and I am afeard we shall find her a cross-grained wench. I am now full of study about writing something about our making of strangers strike to us at sea; and so am altogether reading Selden and Grotius, and such other authors to that purpose.

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