Up, and to the office; whence Lord Bruncker, J. Minnes, W. Pen, and I, went to examine some men that are put in there, for rescuing of men that were pressed into the service: and we do plainly see that the desperate condition that we put men into for want of their pay, makes them mad, they being as good men as ever were in the world, and would as readily serve the King again, were they but paid. Two men leapt overboard, among others, into the Thames, out of the vessel into which they were pressed, and were shot by the soldiers placed there to keep them, two days since; so much people do avoid the King’s service! And then these men are pressed without money, and so we cannot punish them for any thing, so that we are forced only to make a show of severity by keeping them in prison, but are unable to punish them. Returning to the office, did ask whether we might visit Commissioner Pett, to which, I confess, I have no great mind; and it was answered that he was close prisoner, and we could not; but the Lieutenant of the Tower would send for him to his lodgings, if we would: so we put it off to another time. Returned to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon to Captain Cocke’s to dinner; where Lord Bruncker and his Lady, Matt. Wren, and Bulteale, and Sir Allen Apsly; the last of whom did make good sport, he being already fallen under the retrenchments of the new Committee, as he is Master Falconer;1 which makes him mad, and swears that we are doing that the Parliament would have done — that is, that we are now endeavouring to destroy one another. But it was well observed by some at the table, that they do not think this retrenching of the King’s charge will be so acceptable to the Parliament, they having given the King a revenue of so many 100,000l.‘s a-year more than his predecessors had, that he might live in pomp, like a king. After dinner with my Lord Bruncker and his mistress to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Indian Emperour;” where I find Nell come again, which I am glad of; but was most infinitely displeased with her being put to act the Emperour’s daughter; which is a great and serious part, which she do most basely. The rest of the play, though pretty good, was not well acted by most of them, methought; so that I took no great content in it. But that, that troubled me most was, that Knipp sent by Moll to desire to speak to me after the play; and she beckoned to me at the end of the play, and I promised to come; but it was so late, and I forced to step to Mrs. Williams’s lodgings with my Lord Bruncker and her, where I did not stay, however, for fear of her shewing me her closet, and thereby forcing me to give her something; and it was so late, that for fear of my wife’s coming home before me, I was forced to go straight home, which troubled me. Home and to the office a little, and then home and to my chamber to read, and anon, late, comes home my wife, with Mr. Turner and Mrs. Turner, with whom she supped, having been with Mrs. Turner to-day at her daughter’s school, to see her daughters dancing, and the rest, which she says is fine. They gone, I to supper and to bed. My wife very fine to-day, in her new suit of laced cuffs and perquisites. This evening Pelling comes to me, and tells me that this night the Dutch letters are come, and that the peace was proclaimed there the 19th inst., and that all is finished; which, for my life, I know not whether to be glad or sorry for, a peace being so necessary, and yet the peace is so bad in its terms.
- The post of Master Falconer was afterwards granted to Charles’s son by Nell Gwyn, and it is still held by the Duke of St. Albans, as an hereditary office. — B. ↩