At the office all the morning, and at noon took my Lord Bruncker into the garden, and there told him of his man Carcasses proceedings against the Office in the House of Commons. I did [not] desire nor advise him anything, but in general, that the end of this might be ruin to the Office, but that we shall be brought to fencing for ourselves, and that will be no profit to the office, but let it light where it would I thought I should be as well as any body. This I told him, and so he seeming to be ignorant of it, and not pleased with it, we broke off by Sir Thos. Harvy’s coming to us from the Pay Office, whither we had sent a smart letter we had writ to him this morning about keeping the clerks at work at the making up the books, which I did to place the fault somewhere, and now I let him defend himself. He was mighty angry, and particularly with me, but I do not care, but do rather desire it, for I will not spare him, that we shall bear the blame, and such an idle fellow as he have 500l. a year for nothing. So we broke off, and I home to dinner, and then to the office, and having spent the afternoon on letters, I took coach in the evening, and to White Hall, where there is to be a performance of musique of Pelham’s before the King. The company not come; but I did go into the musique-room, where Captain Cocke and many others; and here I did hear the best and the smallest organ go that ever I saw in my life, and such a one as, by the grace of God, I will have the next year, if I continue in this condition, whatever it cost me. I never was so pleased in my life. Thence, it being too soon, I to Westminster Hall, it being now about 7 at night, and there met Mr. Gregory, my old acquaintance, an understanding gentleman; and he and I walked an hour together, talking of the bad prospect of the times; and the sum of what I learn from him is this: That the King is the most concerned in the world against the Chancellor, and all people that do not appear against him, and therefore is angry with the Bishops, having said that he had one Bishop on his side (Crofts), and but one: that Buckingham and Bristoll are now his only Cabinet Council;1 and that, before the Duke of York fell sick, Buckingham was admitted to the King of his Cabinet, and there stayed with him several hours, and the Duke of York shut out. That it is plain that there is dislike between the King and Duke of York, and that it is to be feared that the House will go so far against the Chancellor, that they must do something to undo the Duke of York, or will not think themselves safe. That this Lord Vaughan, that is so great against the Chancellor, is one of the lewdest fellows of the age, worse than Sir Charles Sidly; and that he was heard to swear, God damn him, he would do my Lord Clarendon’s business. That he do find that my Lord Clarendon hath more friends in both Houses than he believes he would have, by reason that they do see what are the hands that pull him down; which they do not like. That Harry Coventry was scolded at by the King severely the other day; and that his answer was that, if he must not speak what he thought in this business in Parliament, he must not come thither. And he says that by this very business Harry Coventry hath got more fame and common esteem than any gentleman in England hath at this day, and is an excellent and able person. That the King, who not long ago did say of Bristoll, that he was a man able in three years to get himself a fortune in any kingdom in the world, and lose all again in three months, do now hug him, and commend his parts every where, above all the world. How fickle is this man [the King], and how unhappy we like to be! That he fears some furious courses will be taken against the Duke of York; and that he hath heard that it was designed, if they cannot carry matters against the Chancellor, to impeach the Duke of York himself, which God forbid! That Sir Edward Nicholas, whom he served while Secretary, is one of the best men in the world, but hated by the Queen-Mother, for a service he did the old King against her mind and her favourites; and that she and my Lady Castlemayne did make the King to lay him aside: but this man says that he is one of the most perfect heavenly and charitable men in the whole world. That the House of Commons resolve to stand by their proceedings, and have chosen a Committee to draw up the reasons thereof to carry to the Lords; which is likely to breed great heat between them. That the Parliament, after all this, is likely to give the King no money; and, therefore, that it is to be wondered what makes the King give way to so great extravagancies, which do all tend to the making him less than he is, and so will, every day more and more: and by this means every creature is divided against the other, that there never was so great an uncertainty in England, of what would, be the event of things, as at this day; nobody being at ease, or safe. Being full of his discourse, and glad of the rencontre, I to White Hall; and there got into the theater-room, and there heard both the vocall and instrumentall musick, where the little fellow’ stood keeping time; but for my part, I see no great matter, but quite the contrary in both sorts of musique. The composition I believe is very good, but no more of delightfulness to the eare or understanding but what is very ordinary. Here was the King and Queen, and some of the ladies; among whom none more jolly than my Lady Buckingham, her Lord being once more a great man. Thence by coach home and to my office, ended my letters, and then home to supper, and, my eyes being bad, to bed.
- The term Cabinet Council, as stated by Clarendon, originated thus, in 1640: “The bulk and burden of the state affairs lay principally upon the shoulders of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Strafford, and the Lord Cottington; some others being joined to them, as the Earl of Northumberland for ornament, the Bishop of London for his place, the two Secretaries, Sir H. Vane and Sir Francis Windebank, for service and communication of intelligence: only the Marquis of Hamilton, indeed, by his skill and interest, bore as great a part as be had a mind to do, and had the skill to meddle no further than he had a mind. These persons made up the committee of state, which was reproachfully after called the junto, and enviously then in the Court the Cabinet Council” (“History of the Rebellion,” vol. i., p. 211, edit. 1849). ↩