Thursday 17 May 1660
Up early to write down my last two days’ observations. Dr. Clerke came to me to tell me that he heard this morning, by some Dutch that are come on board already to see the ship, that there was a Portuguese taken yesterday at the Hague, that had a design to kill the King. But this I heard afterwards was only the mistake upon one being observed to walk with his sword naked, he having lost his scabbard.
Before dinner Mr. Edw. Pickering and I, W. Howe, Pim, and my boy, to Scheveling, where we took coach, and so to the Hague, where walking, intending to find one that might show us the King incognito, I met with Captain Whittington (that had formerly brought a letter to my Lord from the Mayor of London) and he did promise me to do it, but first we went and dined at a French house, but paid 16s. for our part of the club. At dinner in came Dr. Cade, a merry mad parson of the King’s. And they two after dinner got the child and me (the others not being able to crowd in) to see the King, who kissed the child very affectionately. Then we kissed his, and the Duke of York’s, and the Princess Royal’s hands. The King seems to be a very sober man; and a very splendid Court he hath in the number of persons of quality that are about him, English very rich in habit. From the King to the Lord Chancellor, who did lie bed-rid of the gout: he spoke very merrily to the child and me. After that, going to see the Queen of Bohemia, I met with Dr. Fullers whom I sent to a tavern with Mr. Edw. Pickering, while I and the rest went to see the Queen, who used us very respectfully; her hand we all kissed. She seems a very debonaire, but plain lady.
After that to the Dr.’s, where we drank a while or so. In a coach of a friend’s of Dr. Cade we went to see a house of the Princess Dowager’s in a park about half-a-mile or a mile from the Hague, where there is one, the most beautiful room for pictures in the whole world. She had here one picture upon the top, with these words, dedicating it to the memory of her husband:— “Incomparabili marito, inconsolabilis vidua.” Here I met with Mr. Woodcock of Cambridge, Mr. Hardy and another, and Mr. Woodcock beginning we had two or three fine songs, he and I, and W. Howe to the Echo, which was very pleasant, and the more because in a heaven of pleasure and in a strange country, that I never was taken up more with a sense of pleasure in my life. After that we parted and back to the Hague and took a tour or two about the Forehault,1 where the ladies in the evening do as our ladies do in Hide Park. But for my life I could not find one handsome, but their coaches very rich and themselves so too. From thence, taking leave of the Doctor, we took wagon to Scheveling, where we had a fray with the Boatswain of the Richmond, who would not freely carry us on board, but at last he was willing to it, but then it was so late we durst not go. So we returned between 10 and 11 at night in the dark with a wagon with one horse to the Hague, where being come we went to bed as well as we could be accommodated, and so to sleep.