Up betimes and to my Lord Bruncker to consider the late instructions sent us for the method of our signing bills hereafter and paying them. By and by, by agreement, comes Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and then to read them publicly and consider of putting them in execution. About this all the morning, and, it appearing necessary for the Controller to have another Clerke, I recommended Poynter to him, which he accepts, and I by that means rid of one that I fear would not have been fit for my turne, though he writes very well. At noon comes Mr. Hill to towne, and finds me out here, and brings Mr. Houbland, who met him here. So I was compelled to leave my Lord and his dinner and company, and with them to the Beare, and dined with them and their brothers, of which Hill had his and the other two of his, and mighty merry and very fine company they are, and I glad to see them. After dinner I forced to take leave of them by being called upon by Mr. Andrews, I having sent for him, and by a fine glosse did bring him to desire tallys for what orders I have to pay him and his company for Tangier victualls, and I by that means cleared to myself 210l. coming to me upon their two orders, which is also a noble addition to my late profits, which have been very considerable of late, but how great I know not till I come to cast up my accounts, which burdens my mind that it should be so backward, but I am resolved to settle to nothing till I have done it. He gone, I to my Lord Bruncker’s, and there spent the evening by my desire in seeing his Lordship open to pieces and make up again his watch, thereby being taught what I never knew before; and it is a thing very well worth my having seen, and am mightily pleased and satisfied with it. So I sat talking with him till late at night, somewhat vexed at a snappish answer Madam Williams did give me to herself, upon my speaking a free word to her in mirthe, calling her a mad jade. She answered, we were not so well acquainted yet. But I was more at a letter from my Lord Duke of Albemarle to-day, pressing us to continue our meetings for all Christmas, which, though every body intended not to have done, yet I am concluded in it, who intended nothing else. But I see it is necessary that I do make often visits to my Lord Duke, which nothing shall hinder after I have evened my accounts, and now the river is frozen I know not how to get to him. Thence to my lodging, making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days, and so my mind being eased of it, I to supper and to bed. The weather hath been frosty these eight or nine days, and so we hope for an abatement of the plague the next weeke, or else God have mercy upon us! for the plague will certainly continue the next year if it do not.