By coach to White Hall to the Council-chamber; and there met with Sir W. Coventry going in, who took me aside, and told me that he was just come from delivering up his seal and papers to Mr. Wren; and told me he must now take his leave of me as a naval man,1 but that he shall always bear respect to his friends there, and particularly to myself, with great kindness; which I returned to him with thanks, and so, with much kindness parted: and he into, the Council. I met with Sir Samuel Morland, who chewed me two orders upon the Exchequer, one of 600l., and another of 400l., for money assigned to him, which he would have me lend him money upon, and he would allow 12 per cent. I would not meddle with them, though they are very good; and would, had I not so much money out already on public credit. But I see by this his condition all trade will be bad. I staid and heard Alderman Barker’s case of his being abused by the Council of Ireland, touching his lands there: all I observed there is the silliness of the King, playing with his dog all the while, and not minding the business,2 and what he said was mighty weak; but my Lord Keeper I observe to be a mighty able man. The business broke off without any end to it, and so I home, and thence with my wife and W. Hewer to Bartholomew fayre, and there Polichinelli, where we saw Mrs. Clerke and all her crew; and so to a private house, and sent for a side of pig, and eat it at an acquaintance of W. Hewer’s, where there was some learned physic and chymical books, and among others, a natural “Herball” very fine. Here we staid not, but to the Duke of York’s play house, and there saw “Mustapha,” which, the more I see, the more I like; and is a most admirable poem, and bravely acted; only both Betterton and Harris could not contain from laughing in the midst of a most serious part from the ridiculous mistake of one of the men upon the stage; which I did not like. Thence home, where Batelier and his sister Mary come to us and sat and talked, and so, they gone, we to supper and to bed.
- One is reminded of Sir Winston Churchill referring to himself in his correspondence with Franklin Roosevelt in the early days of WW II., as “Former Naval Person.” D.W. ↩
Lord Rochester wrote
His very dog at council board Sits grave and wise as any lord.
Poems, 1697; p. 150. — The king’s dogs were constantly stolen from him, and he advertised for their return. Some of these amusing advertisements are printed in “Notes and Queries” (seventh series, vol. vii., p. 26). ↩