Up, and by coach with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall, and there saw the Duke of Albemarle, who is not well, and do grow crazy. Thence I to St. James’s, to meet Sir G. Carteret, and did, and Lord Berkely, to get them (as we would have done the Duke of Albemarle) to the meeting of the Lords of Appeale in the business of one of our prizes. With them to the meeting of the Guinny Company, and there staid, and went with Lord Berkely. While I was waiting for him in the Matted Gallery, a young man was most finely working in Indian inke the great picture of the King and Queen sitting, by Van Dyke; and did it very finely. Thence to Westminster Hall to hear our cause, but [it] did not come before them to-day, so went down and walked below in the Hall, and there met with Ned Pickering, who tells me the ill newes of his nephew Gilbert, who is turned a very rogue, and then I took a turn with Mr. Evelyn, with whom I walked two hours, till almost one of the clock: talking of the badness of the Government, where nothing but wickedness, and wicked men and women command the King: that it is not in his nature to gainsay any thing that relates to his pleasures; that much of it arises from the sickliness of our Ministers of State, who cannot be about him as the idle companions are, and therefore he gives way to the young rogues; and then, from the negligence of the Clergy, that a Bishop shall never be seen about him, as the King of France hath always: that the King would fain have some of the same gang to be Lord Treasurer, which would be yet worse, for now some delays are put to the getting gifts of the King, as that whore my Lady Byron, who had been, as he called it, the King’s seventeenth whore abroad, did not leave him till she had got him to give her an order for 4000l. worth of plate to be made for her; but by delays, thanks be to God! she died before she had it. He tells me mighty stories of the King of France, how great a prince he is. He hath made a code to shorten the law; he hath put out all the ancient commanders of castles that were become hereditary; he hath made all the fryers subject to the bishops, which before were only subject to Rome, and so were hardly the King’s subjects, and that none shall become ‘religieux’ but at such an age, which he thinks will in a few, years ruin the Pope, and bring France into a patriarchate. He confirmed to me the business of the want of paper at the Council-table the other day, which I have observed; Wooly being to have found it, and did, being called, tell the King to his face the reason of it; and Mr. Evelyn tells me several of the menial servants of the Court lacking bread, that have not received a farthing wages since the King’s coming in. He tells me the King of France hath his mistresses, but laughs at the foolery of our King, that makes his bastards princes,1 and loses his revenue upon them, and makes his mistresses his masters and the King of France did never grant Lavalliere2 any thing to bestow on others, and gives a little subsistence, but no more, to his bastards. He told me the whole story of Mrs. Stewart’s going away from Court, he knowing her well; and believes her, up to her leaving the Court, to be as virtuous as any woman in the world: and told me, from a Lord that she told it to but yesterday, with her own mouth, and a sober man, that when the Duke of Richmond did make love to her, she did ask the King, and he did the like also; and that the King did not deny it, and [she] told this Lord that she was come to that pass as to resolve to have married any gentleman of 1500l. a-year that would have had her in honour; for it was come to that pass, that she could not longer continue at Court without prostituting herself to the King,3 whom she had so long kept off, though he had liberty more than any other had, or he ought to have, as to dalliance.4 She told this Lord that she had reflected upon the occasion she had given the world to think her a bad woman, and that she had no way but to marry and leave the Court, rather in this way of discontent than otherwise, that the world might see that she sought not any thing but her honour; and that she will never come to live at Court more than when she comes to town to come to kiss the Queene her Mistress’s hand: and hopes, though she hath little reason to hope, she can please her Lord so as to reclaim him, that they may yet live comfortably in the country on his estate. She told this Lord that all the jewells she ever had given her at Court, or any other presents, more than the King’s allowance of 700l. per annum out of the Privypurse for her clothes, were, at her first coming the King did give her a necklace of pearl of about 1100l. and afterwards, about seven months since, when the King had hopes to have obtained some courtesy of her, the King did give her some jewells, I have forgot what, and I think a pair of pendants. The Duke of York, being once her Valentine, did give her a jewell of about 800l.; and my Lord Mandeville, her Valentine this year, a ring of about 300l.; and the King of France would have had her mother, who, he says, is one of the most cunning women in the world, to have let her stay in France, saying that he loved her not as a mistress, but as one that he could marry as well as any lady in France; and that, if she might stay, for the honour of his Court he would take care she should not repent. But her mother, by command of the Queen-mother, thought rather to bring her into England; and the King of France did give her a jewell: so that Mr. Evelyn believes she may be worth in jewells about 6000l., and that that is all that she hath in the world: and a worthy woman; and in this hath done as great an act of honour as ever was done by woman. That now the Countesse Castlemayne do carry all before her: and among other arguments to prove Mrs. Stewart to have been honest to the last, he says that the King’s keeping in still with my Lady Castlemayne do show it; for he never was known to keep two mistresses in his life, and would never have kept to her had he prevailed any thing with Mrs. Stewart. She is gone yesterday with her Lord to Cobham. He did tell me of the ridiculous humour of our King and Knights of the Garter the other day, who, whereas heretofore their robes were only to be worn during their ceremonies and service, these, as proud of their coats, did wear them all day till night, and then rode into the Parke with them on. Nay, and he tells me he did see my Lord Oxford and the Duke of Monmouth in a hackney-coach with two footmen in the Parke, with their robes on; which is a most scandalous thing, so as all gravity may be said to be lost among us. By and by we discoursed of Sir Thomas Clifford, whom I took for a very rich and learned man, and of the great family of that name. He tells me he is only a man of about seven-score pounds a-year, of little learning more than the law of a justice of peace, which he knows well: a parson’s son, got to be burgess in a little borough in the West, and here fell into the acquaintance of my Lord Arlington, whose creature he is, and never from him; a man of virtue, and comely, and good parts enough; and hath come into his place with a great grace, though with a great skip over the heads of a great many, as Chichly and Duncum, and some Lords that did expect it. By the way, he tells me, that of all the great men of England there is none that endeavours more to raise those that he takes into favour than my Lord Arlington; and that, on that score, he is much more to be made one’s patron than my Lord Chancellor, who never did, nor never will do, any thing, but for money! After having this long discourse we parted, about one of the clock, and so away by water home, calling upon Michell, whose wife and girle are pretty well, and I home to dinner, and after dinner with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York before council, where we all met at his closet and did the little business we had, and here he did tell us how the King of France is intent upon his design against Flanders, and hath drawn up a remonstrance of the cause of the war, and appointed the 20th of the next month for his rendezvous, and himself to prepare for the campaign the 30th, so that this, we are in hopes, will keep him in employment. Turenne is to be his general. Here was Carcasses business unexpectedly moved by him, but what was done therein appears in my account of his case in writing by itself. Certain newes of the Dutch being abroad on our coast with twenty-four great ships. This done Sir W. Batten and I back again to London, and in the way met my Lady Newcastle going with her coaches and footmen all in velvet: herself, whom I never saw before, as I have heard her often described, for all the town-talk is now-a-days of her extravagancies, with her velvetcap, her hair about her ears; many black patches, because of pimples about her mouth; naked-necked, without any thing about it, and a black just-au-corps. She seemed to me a very comely woman: but I hope to see more of her on Mayday. My mind is mightily of late upon a coach. At home, to the office, where late spending all the evening upon entering in long hand our late passages with Carcasse for memory sake, and so home in great pain in my back by the uneasiness of Sir W. Batten’s coach driving hard this afternoon over the stones to prevent coming too late. So at night to supper in great pain, and to bed, where lay in great pain, not able to turn myself all night.
- Louis made his own bastards dukes and princes, and legitimatized them as much as he could, connecting them also by marriage with the real blood-royal. — B. ↩
- Louise Francoise de la Baume le Blanc de la Valliere had four children by Louis XIV., of whom only two survived - Marie Anne Bourbon, called Mademoiselle de Blois, born in 1666, afterwards married to the Prince de Conti, and the Comte de Vermandois, born in 1667. In that year (the very year in which Evelyn was giving this account to Pepys), the Duchy of Vaujour and two baronies were created in favour of La Valliere, and her daughter, who, in the deed of creation, was legitimatized, and styled princess. — B. ↩
- Even at a much later time Mrs. Godolphin well resolved “not to talk foolishly to men, more especially THE KING,”—” be sure never to talk to THE KING” (“Life,” by Evelyn). These expressions speak volumes as to Charles’s character. — B. ↩
- Evelyn evidently believed the Duchess of Richmond to be innocent; and his testimony, coupled with her own declaration, ought to weigh down all the scandal which Pepys reports from other sources. — B. ↩