Monday 1 December 1662
Up and by coach with Sir John Minnes and Sir W. Batten to White Hall to the Duke’s chamber, where, as is usual, my Lord Sandwich and all of us, after his being ready, to his closett, and there discoursed of matters of the Navy, and here Mr. Coventry did do me the great kindness to take notice to the Duke of my pains in making a collection of all contracts about masts, which have been of great use to us. Thence I to my Lord Sandwich’s, to Mr. Moore, to talk a little about business; and then over the Parke (where I first in my life, it being a great frost, did see people sliding with their skeates, which is a very pretty art), to Mr. Coventry’s chamber to St. James’s, where we all met to a venison pasty, and were very merry, Major Norwood being with us, whom they did play upon for his surrendering of Dunkirk.
Here we staid till three or four o’clock; and so to the Council Chamber, where there met the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Duke of Albemarle, my Lord Sandwich, Sir Wm. Compton, Mr. Coventry, Sir J. Minnes, Sir R. Ford, Sir W. Rider, myself, and Captain Cuttance, as Commissioners for Tangier. And after our Commission was read by Mr. Creed, who I perceive is to be our Secretary, we did fall to discourse of matters: as, first, the supplying them forthwith with victualls; then the reducing it to make way for the money, which upon their reduction is to go to the building of the Mole; and so to other matters, ordered as against next meeting.
This done we broke up, and I to the Cockpitt, with much crowding and waiting, where I saw “The Valiant Cidd” —[Translated from the “Cid” of Corneille]— acted, a play I have read with great delight, but is a most dull thing acted, which I never understood before, there being no pleasure in it, though done by Betterton and by Ianthe, And another fine wench that is come in the room of Roxalana nor did the King or queen once smile all the whole play, nor any of the company seem to take any pleasure but what was in the greatness and gallantry of the company.