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

Thursday 10 December 1663

Up, pretty well, the weather being become pretty warm again, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and I confess having received so lately a token from Mrs. Russell, I did find myself concerned for our not buying some tallow of her (which she bought on purpose yesterday most unadvisedly to her great losse upon confidence of putting it off to us). So hard it is for a man not to be warped against his duty and master’s interest that receives any bribe or present, though not as a bribe, from any body else. But she must be contented, and I to do her a good turn when I can without wrong to the King’s service.

Then home to dinner (and did drink a glass of wine and beer, the more for joy that this is the shortest day in the year, —[Old Style]— which is a pleasant consideration) with my wife. She in bed but pretty well, and having a messenger from my brother, that he is not well nor stirs out of doors, I went forth to see him, and found him below, he has not been well, but is not ill. I found him taking order for the distribution of Mrs. Ramsey’s coals, a thing my father for many years did, and now he after him, which I was glad to see, as also to hear that Mr. Wheatly begins to look after him. I hope it is about his daughter.

Thence to St. Paul’s Church Yard, to my bookseller’s, and having gained this day in the office by my stationer’s bill to the King about 40s. or 3l., I did here sit two or three hours calling for twenty books to lay this money out upon, and found myself at a great losse where to choose, and do see how my nature would gladly return to laying out money in this trade. I could not tell whether to lay out my money for books of pleasure, as plays, which my nature was most earnest in; but at last, after seeing Chaucer, Dugdale’s History of Paul’s, Stows London, Gesner, History of Trent, besides Shakespeare, Jonson, and Beaumont’s plays, I at last chose Dr. Fuller’s Worthys, the Cabbala or Collections of Letters of State, and a little book, Delices de Hollande, with another little book or two, all of good use or serious pleasure: and Hudibras, both parts, the book now in greatest fashion for drollery, though I cannot, I confess, see enough where the wit lies. My mind being thus settled, I went by linke home, and so to my office, and to read in Rushworth; and so home to supper and to bed.

Calling at Wotton’s, my shoemaker’s, today, he tells me that Sir H. Wright is dying; and that Harris is come to the Duke’s house again; and of a rare play to be acted this week of Sir William Davenant’s: the story of Henry the Eighth with all his wives.

Wednesday 9 December 1663

Lay very long in bed for fear of my pain, and then rose and went to stool (after my wife’s way, who by all means would have me sit long and upright) very well, and being ready to the office. From thence I was called by and by to my wife, she not being well. So to her, and found her in great pain. … So by and by to my office again, and then abroad to look out a cradle to burn charcoal in at my office, and I found one to my mind in Newgate Market, and so meeting Hoby’s man in the street, I spoke to him to serve it in to the office for the King. So home to dinner, and after talk with my wife, she in bed and pain all day, I to my office most of the evening, and then home to my wife. This day Mrs. Russell did give my wife a very fine St. George, in alabaster, which will set out my wife’s closett mightily.

This evening at the office, after I had wrote my day’s passages, there came to me my cozen Angier of Cambridge, poor man, making his moan, and obtained of me that I would send his son to sea as a Reformado, which I will take care to do. But to see how apt every man is to forget friendship in time of adversity. How glad was I when he was gone, for fear he should ask me to be bond for him, or to borrow money of me.

Tuesday 8 December 1663

Lay long in bed, and then up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and among other things my Lord Barkely called in question his clerk Mr. Davy for something which Sir W. Batten and I did tell him yesterday, but I endeavoured to make the least of it, and so all was put up.

At noon to the ‘Change, and among other businesses did discourse with Captain Taylor, and I think I shall safely get 20l. by his ship’s freight at present, besides what it may be I may get hereafter.

So home to dinner, and thence by coach to White Hall, where a great while walked with my Lord Tiviott, whom I find a most carefull, thoughtfull, and cunning man, as I also ever took him to be. He is this day bringing in an account where he makes the King debtor to him 10,000l. already on the garrison of Tangier account; but yet demands not ready money to pay it, but offers such ways of paying it out of the sale of old decayed provisions as will enrich him finely.

Anon came my Lord Sandwich, and then we fell to our business at the Committee about my Lord Tiviott’s accounts, wherein I took occasion to speak now and then, so as my Lord Sandwich did well seem to like of it, and after we were up did bid me good night in a tone that, methinks, he is not so displeased with me as I did doubt he is; however, I will take a course to know whether he be or no.

The Committee done, I took coach and home to my office, and there late, and so to supper at home, and to bed, being doubtful of my pain through the very cold weather which we have, but I will take all the care I can to prevent it.

Monday 7 December 1663

Up betimes, and, it being a frosty morning, walked on foot to White Hall, but not without some fear of my pain coming. At White Hall I hear and find that there was the last night the greatest tide that ever was remembered in England to have been in this river: all White Hall having been drowned, of which there was great discourse.

Anon we all met, and up with the Duke and did our business, and by and by my Lord of Sandwich came in, but whether it be my doubt or no I cannot tell, but I do not find that he made any sign of kindnesse or respect to me, which troubles me more than any thing in the world. After done there Sir W. Batten and Captain Allen and I by coach to the Temple, where I ‘light, they going home, and indeed it being my trouble of mind to try whether I could meet with my Lord Sandwich and try him to see how he will receive me. I took coach and back again to Whitehall, but there could not find him. But here I met Dr. Clerke, and did tell him my story of my health; how my pain comes to me now-a-days. He did write something for me which I shall take when there is occasion. I then fell to other discourse of Dr. Knapp, who tells me he is the King’s physician, and is become a solicitor for places for people, and I am mightily troubled with him. He tells me he is the most impudent fellow in the world, that gives himself out to be the King’s physician, but it is not so, but is cast out of the Court. From thence I may learn what impudence there is in the world, and how a man may be deceived in persons.

Anon the King and Duke and Duchesse came to dinner in the Vane-roome, where I never saw them before; but it seems since the tables are done, he dines there all together.

The Queene is pretty well, and goes out of her chamber to her little chappell in the house. The King of France, they say, is hiring of sixty sail of ships of the Dutch, but it is not said for what design.

By and by, not hoping to see my Lord, I went to the King’s Head ordinary, where a good dinner but no discourse almost, and after dinner by coach, home, and found my wife this cold day not yet out of bed, and after a little good talk with her to my office, and there spent my time till late.

Sir W. Warren two or three hours with me talking of trade, and other very good discourse, which did please me very, well, and so, after reading in Rushworth, home to supper and to bed.

Sunday 6 December 1663

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and then up and to church alone, which is the greatest trouble that I have by not having a man or, boy to wait on me, and so home to dinner, my wife, it being a cold day, and it begun to snow (the first snow we have seen this year) kept her bed till after dinner, and I below by myself looking over my arithmetique books and timber rule.

So my wife rose anon, and she and I all the afternoon at arithmetique, and she is come to do Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplicacion very well, and so I purpose not to trouble her yet with Division, but to begin with the Globes to her now.

At night came Captain Grove to discourse with me about Field’s business and of other matters, and so, he being gone, I to my office, and spent an houre or two reading Rushworth, and so to supper home, and to prayers and bed, finding myself by cold to have some pain begin with me, which God defend should increase.

Saturday 5 December 1663

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then with the whole board, viz., Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and myself along with Captain Allen home to dinner, where he lives hard by in Mark Lane, where we had a very good plain dinner and good welcome, in a pretty little house but so smoky that it was troublesome to us all till they put out the fire, and made one of charcoale.

I was much pleased with this dinner for the many excellent stories told by Mr. Coventry, which I have put down in my book of tales and so shall not mention them here.

We staid till night, and then Mr. Coventry away, and by and by I home to my office till 9 or 10 at night, and so home to supper and to bed after some talke and Arithmetique with my poor wife, with whom now-a-days I live with great content, out of all trouble of mind by jealousy (for which God forgive me), or any other distraction more than my fear of my Lord Sandwich’s displeasure.

Friday 4 December 1663

Up pretty betimes, that is about 7 o’clock, it being now dark then, and so got me ready, with my clothes, breeches and warm stockings, and by water with Henry Russell, cold and wet and windy to Woolwich, to a hempe ship there, and staid looking upon it and giving direction as to the getting it ashore, and so back again very cold, and at home without going on shore anywhere about 12 o’clock, being fearful of taking cold, and so dined at home and shifted myself, and so all the afternoon at my office till night, and then home to keep my poor wife company, and so to supper and to bed.

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