(Lord’s day). Up betimes, and leaving my wife to go by coach to hear Mr. Frampton preach, which I had a mighty desire she should, I down to the Old Swan, and there to Michell and staid while he and she dressed themselves, and here had a ‘baiser’ or two of her, whom I love mightily; and then took them in a sculler (being by some means or other disappointed of my own boat) to White Hall, and so with them to Westminster, Sir W. Coventry, Bruncker and I all the morning together discoursing of the office business, and glad of the Controller’s business being likely to be put into better order than formerly, and did discourse of many good things, but especially of having something done to bringing the Surveyor’s matters into order also. Thence I up to the King’s closet, and there heard a good Anthem, and discoursed with several people here about business, among others with Lord Bellasses, and so from one to another after sermon till the King had almost dined, and then home with Sir G. Carteret and dined with him, being mightily ashamed of my not having seen my Lady Jemimah so long, and my wife not at all yet since she come, but she shall soon do it. I thence to Sir Philip Warwicke, by appointment, to meet Lord Bellasses, and up to his chamber, but find him unwilling to discourse of business on Sundays; so did not enlarge, but took leave, and went down and sat in a low room, reading Erasmus “de scribendis epistolis,” a very good book, especially one letter of advice to a courtier most true and good, which made me once resolve to tear out the two leaves that it was writ in, but I forebore it. By and by comes Lord Bellasses, and then he and I up again to Sir P. Warwicke and had much discourse of our Tangier business, but no hopes of getting any money. Thence I through the garden into the Park, and there met with Roger Pepys, and he and I to walk in the Pell Mell. I find by him that the House of Parliament continues full of ill humours, and he seems to dislike those that are troublesome more than needs, and do say how, in their late Poll Bill, which cost so much time, the yeomanry, and indeed two-thirds of the nation, are left out to be taxed, that there is not effectual provision enough made for collecting of the money; and then, that after a man his goods are distrained and sold, and the overplus returned, I am to have ten days to make my complaints of being over-rated if there be cause, when my goods are sold, and that is too late. These things they are resolved to look into again, and mend them before they rise, which they expect at furthest on Thursday next. Here we met with Mr. May, and he and we to talk of several things, of building, and such like matters; and so walked to White Hall, and there I shewed my cozen Roger the Duchesse of York sitting in state, while her own mother stands by her; he had a desire, and I shewed him my Lady Castlemayne, whom he approves to be very handsome, and wonders that she cannot be as good within as she is fair without. Her little black boy came by him; and, a dog being in his way, the little boy called to the dog: “Pox of this dog!” — “Now,” says he, blessing himself, “would I whip this child till the blood come, if it were my child!” and I believe he would. But he do by no means like the liberty of the Court, and did come with expectation of finding them playing at cards to-night, though Sunday; for such stories he is told, but how true I know not.1 After walking up and down the Court with him, it being now dark and past six at night, I walked to the Swan in the Palace yard and there with much ado did get a waterman, and so I sent for the Michells, and they come, and their father Howlett and his wife with them, and there we drank, and so into the boat, poor Betty’s head aching. We home by water, a fine moonshine and warm night, it having been also a very summer’s day for warmth. I did get her hand to me under my cloak … So there we parted at their house, and he walked almost home with me, and then I home and to supper, and to read a little and to bed. My wife tells me Mr. Frampton is gone to sea, and so she lost her labour to-day in thinking to hear him preach, which I am sorry for.
- There is little reason to doubt that it was such as Evelyn describes it at a later time. “I can never forget the inexpressible luxury and prophaneness, gaming, and all dissoluteness, and, as it were, total forgetfulness of God (it being Sunday evening) which this day se’nnight I was witness of; the King sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleveland, Mazarin, &c. A French boy singing love songs in that glorious gallery, whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other dissolute persons were at basset round a large table, a bank of at least 2,000l. in gold before them; upon which two gentlemen who were with me made reflexions with astonishment. Six days after was all in the dust.”—Diary, February, 1685. — B. ↩