Saturday 28 December 1667
Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning, at noon home, and there to dinner with my clerks and Mr. Pelling, and had a very good dinner, among others a haunch of venison boiled, and merry we were, and I rose soon from dinner, and with my wife and girle to the King’s house, and there saw “The Mad Couple,” which is but an ordinary play; but only Nell’s and Hart’s mad parts are most excellently done, but especially hers: which makes it a miracle to me to think how ill she do any serious part, as, the other day, just like a fool or changeling; and, in a mad part, do beyond all imitation almost. [It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor woman, the mother of one of the children brought on the stage: the child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child and carried it away off of the stage from Hart.] Many fine faces here to-day. Thence home, and there to the office late, and then home to supper and to bed. I am told to-day, which troubles me, that great complaint is made upon the ‘Change, among our merchants, that the very Ostend little pickaroon men-of-war do offer violence to our merchant-men, and search them, beat our masters, and plunder them, upon pretence of carrying Frenchmen’s goods. Lord! what a condition are we come to, and that so soon after a war!