Friday 14 December 1666
Up, and very well again of my pain in my back, it having been nothing but cold. By coach to White Hall, seeing many smokes of the fire by the way yet, and took up into the coach with me a country gentleman, who asked me room to go with me, it being dirty — one come out of the North to see his son, after the burning his house: a merchant. Here endeavoured to wait on the Duke of York, but he would not stay from the Parliament. So I to Westminster Hall, and there met my good friend Mr. Evelyn, and walked with him a good while, lamenting our condition for want of good council, and the King’s minding of his business and servants. I out to the Bell Taverne, and thither comes Doll to me …, and after an hour’s stay, away and staid in Westminster Hall till the rising of the house, having told Mr. Evelyn, and he several others, of my Gazette which I had about me that mentioned in April last a plot for which several were condemned of treason at the Old Bayly for many things, and among others for a design of burning the city on the 3rd of September. The house sat till three o’clock, and then up: and I home with Sir Stephen Fox to his house to dinner, and the Cofferer with us. There I find Sir S. Fox’s lady, a fine woman, and seven the prettiest children of theirs that ever I knew almost. A very genteel dinner, and in great state and fashion, and excellent discourse; and nothing like an old experienced man and a courtier, and such is the Cofferer Ashburnham. The House have been mighty hot to-day against the Paper Bill, showing all manner of averseness to give the King money; which these courtiers do take mighty notice of, and look upon the others as bad rebells as ever the last were. But the courtiers did carry it against those men upon a division of the House, a great many, that it should be committed; and so it was: which they reckon good news. After dinner we three to the Excise Office, and there had long discourse about our monies, but nothing to satisfaction, that is, to shew any way of shortening the time which our tallies take up before they become payable, which is now full two years, which is 20 per, cent. for all the King’s money for interest, and the great disservice of his Majesty otherwise. Thence in the evening round by coach home, where I find Foundes his present, of a fair pair of candlesticks, and half a dozen of plates come, which cost him full 50l., and is a very good present; and here I met with, sealed up, from Sir H. Cholmly, the lampoone, or the Mocke-Advice to a Paynter,1 abusing the Duke of York and my Lord Sandwich, Pen, and every body, and the King himself, in all the matters of the navy and warr. I am sorry for my Lord Sandwich’s having so great a part in it. Then to supper and musique, and to bed.