Up before day, and by coach to Westminster, and there first to Sir H. Cholmly, and there I did to my great content deliver him up his little several papers for sums of money paid him, and took his regular receipts upon his orders, wherein I am safe. Thence to White Hall, and there to visit Sir G. Carteret, and there was with him a great while, and my Lady and they seem in very good humour, but by and by Sir G. Carteret and I alone, and there we did talk of the ruinous condition we are in, the King being going to put out of the Council so many able men; such as my Lord Anglesey, Ashly, Hollis, Secretary Morrice (to bring in Mr. Trevor), and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and my Lord Bridgewater. He tells me that this is true, only the Duke of York do endeavour to hinder it, and the Duke of York himself did tell him so: that the King and the Duke of York do not in company disagree, but are friendly; but that there is a core in their hearts, he doubts, which is not to be easily removed; for these men do suffer only for their constancy to the Chancellor, or at least from the King’s ill-will against him: that they do now all they can to vilify the clergy, and do accuse Rochester [Dolben] … and so do raise scandals, all that is possible, against other of the Bishops. He do suggest that something is intended for the Duke of Monmouth, and it may be, against the Queene also: that we are in no manner sure against an invasion the next year: that the Duke of Buckingham do rule all now, and the Duke of York comes indeed to the Caball, but signifies little there. That this new faction do not endure, nor the King, Sir W. Coventry; but yet that he is so usefull that they cannot be without him; but that he is not now called to the Caball. That my Lord of Buckingham, Bristoll, and Arlington, do seem to agree in these things; but that they do not in their hearts trust one another, but do drive several ways, all of them. In short, he do bless himself that he is no more concerned in matters now; and the hopes he hath of being at liberty, when his accounts are over, to retire into the country. That he do give over the kingdom for wholly lost. So after some other little discourse, I away, meeting with Mr. Cooling. I with him by coach to the Wardrobe, where I never was since the fire in Hatton Garden, but did not ‘light: and he tells me he fears that my Lord Sandwich will suffer much by Mr. Townsend’s being untrue to him, he being now unable to give the Commissioners of the Treasury an account of his money received by many thousands of pounds, which I am troubled for. Thence to the Old Exchange together, he telling me that he believes there will be no such turning out of great men as is talked of, but that it is only to fright people, but I do fear there may be such a thing doing. He do mightily inveigh against the folly of the King to bring his matters to wrack thus, and that we must all be undone without help. I met with Cooling at the Temple-gate, after I had been at both my booksellers and there laid out several pounds in books now against the new year. From the ‘Change (where I met with Captain Cocke, who would have borrowed money of me, but I had the grace to deny him, he would have had 3 or 400l.) I with Cocke and Mr. Temple (whose wife was just now brought to bed of a boy, but he seems not to be at all taken with it, which is a strange consideration how others do rejoice to have a child born), to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and there did dine together, there being there, among other company, Mr. Attorney Montagu, and his fine lady, a fine woman. After dinner, I did understand from my Lady Jemimah that her brother Hinchingbroke’s business was to be ended this day, as she thinks, towards his match, and they do talk here of their intent to buy themselves some new clothes against the wedding, which I am very glad of. After dinner I did even with Sir G. Carteret the accounts of the interest of the money which I did so long put out for him in Sir R. Viner’s hands, and by it I think I shall be a gainer about 28l., which is a very good reward for the little trouble I have had in it. Thence with Sir Philip Carteret to the King’s playhouse, there to see “Love’s Cruelty,” an old play, but which I have not seen before; and in the first act Orange Moll come to me, with one of our porters by my house, to tell me that Mrs. Pierce and Knepp did dine at my house to-day, and that I was desired to come home. So I went out presently, and by coach home, and they were just gone away so, after a very little stay with my wife, I took coach again, and to the King’s playhouse again, and come in the fourth act; and it proves to me a very silly play, and to everybody else, as far as I could judge. But the jest is, that here telling Moll how I had lost my journey, she told me that Mrs. Knepp was in the house, and so shews me to her, and I went to her, and sat out the play, and then with her to Mrs. Manuel’s, where Mrs. Pierce was, and her boy and girl; and here I did hear Mrs. Manuel and one of the Italians, her gallant, sing well. But yet I confess I am not delighted so much with it, as to admire it: for, not understanding the words, I lose the benefit of the vocalitys of the musick, and it proves only instrumental; and therefore was more pleased to hear Knepp sing two or three little English things that I understood, though the composition of the other, and performance, was very fine. Thence, after sitting and talking a pretty while, I took leave and left them there, and so to my bookseller’s, and paid for the books I had bought, and away home, where I told my wife where I had been. But she was as mad as a devil, and nothing but ill words between us all the evening while we sat at cards — W. Hewer and the girl by — even to gross ill words, which I was troubled for, but do see that I must use policy to keep her spirit down, and to give her no offence by my being with Knepp and Pierce, of which, though she will not own it, yet she is heartily jealous. At last it ended in few words and my silence (which for fear of growing higher between us I did forbear), and so to supper and to bed without one word one to another. This day I did carry money out, and paid several debts. Among others, my tailor, and shoemaker, and draper, Sir W. Turner, who begun to talk of the Commission of accounts, wherein he is one; but though they are the greatest people that ever were in the nation as to power, and like to be our judges, yet I did never speak one word to him of desiring favour, or bidding him joy in it, but did answer him to what he said, and do resolve to stand or fall by my silent preparing to answer whatever can be laid to me, and that will be my best proceeding, I think. This day I got a little rent in my new fine camlett cloak with the latch of Sir G. Carteret’s door; but it is darned up at my tailor’s, that it will be no great blemish to it; but it troubled me. I could not but observe that Sir Philip Carteret would fain have given me my going into a play; but yet, when he come to the door, he had no money to pay for himself, I having refused to accept of it for myself, but was fain; and I perceive he is known there, and do run upon the score for plays, which is a shame; but I perceive always he is in want of money.1 In the pit I met with Sir Ch. North, formerly Mr. North, who was with my Lord at sea; and he, of his own accord, was so silly as to tell me he is married; and for her quality (being a Lord’s daughter, my Lord Grey), and person, and beauty, and years, and estate, and disposition, he is the happiest man in the world. I am sure he is an ugly fellow; but a good scholar and sober gentleman; and heir to his father, now Lord North, the old Lord being dead.
The practice of gallants attending the theatre without payment is illustrated by Mr. Lowe in his “Betterton,” from Shadwell’s “True Widow”:
1st Doorkeeper. Pray, sir, pay me: my masters will make me pay it.
3d Man. Impudent rascal, do you ask me for money? Take that, sirrah.
2nd Doorkeeper. Will you pay me, sir?
4th Man. No; I don’t intend to stay.
2nd Doorkeeper. So you say every day, and see two or three acts for nothing.