Tuesday 18 October 1664
Up and to the office, where among other things we made a very great contract with Sir W. Warren for 3,000 loade of timber. At noon dined at home. In the afternoon to the Fishery, where, very confused and very ridiculous, my Lord Craven’s proceedings, especially his finding fault with Sir J. Collaton and Colonell Griffin’s’ report in the accounts of the lottery-men. Thence I with Mr. Gray in his coach to White Hall, but the King and Duke being abroad, we returned to Somersett House. In discourse I find him a very worthy and studious gentleman in the business of trade, and among-other things he observed well to me, how it is not the greatest wits, but the steady man, that is a good merchant: he instanced in Ford and Cocke, the last of whom he values above all men as his oracle, as Mr. Coventry do Mr. Jolliffe. He says that it is concluded among merchants, that where a trade hath once been and do decay, it never recovers again, and therefore that the manufacture of cloath of England will never come to esteem again; that, among other faults, Sir Richard Ford cannot keepe a secret, and that it is so much the part of a merchant to be guilty of that fault that the Duke of Yoke is resolved to commit no more secrets to the merchants of the Royall Company; that Sir Ellis Layton is, for a speech of forty words, the wittiest man that ever he knew in his life, but longer he is nothing, his judgment being nothing at all, but his wit most absolute. At Somersett House he carried me in, and there I saw the Queene’s new rooms, which are most stately and nobly furnished; and there I saw her, and the Duke of Yorke and Duchesse were there. The Duke espied me, and came to me, and talked with me a very great while about our contract this day with Sir W. Warren, and among other things did with some contempt ask whether we did except Polliards, which Sir W. Batten did yesterday (in spite, as the Duke I believe by my Lord Barkely do well enough know) among other things in writing propose. Thence home by coach, it raining hard, and to my office, where late, then home to supper and to bed. This night the Dutch Embassador desired and had an audience of the King. What the issue of it was I know not. Both sides I believe desire peace, but neither will begin, and so I believe a warr will follow. The Prince is with his fleet at Portsmouth, and the Dutch are making all preparations for warr.