Monday 6 January 1667/68
Up, leaving my wife to get her ready, and the maids to get a supper ready against night for our company; and I by coach to White Hall, and there up and down the house, and among others met with Mr. Pierce, by whom I find, as I was afeard from the folly of my wife, that he understood that he and his wife was to dine at my house to-day, whereas it was to sup; and therefore I, having done my business at court, did go home to dinner, and there find Mr. Harris, by the like mistake, come to dine with me. However, we did get a pretty dinner ready for him; and there he and I to discourse of many things, and I do find him a very excellent person, such as in my whole [acquaintances] I do not know another better qualified for converse, whether in things of his own trade, or of other kinds, a man of great understanding and observation, and very agreeable in the manner of his discourse, and civil as far as is possible. I was mightily pleased with his company; and after dinner did take coach with him, and my wife and girl, to go to a play, and to carry him thither to his own house. But I ‘light by the way to return home, thinking to have spoke with Mrs. Bagwell, who I did see to-day in our entry, come from Harwich, whom I have not seen these twelve months, I think, and more, and voudrai avoir hazer alcun with her, sed she was gone, and so I took coach and away to my wife at the Duke of York’s house, in the pit, and so left her; and to Mrs. Pierce, and took her and her cozen Corbet, Knepp and little James, and brought them to the Duke’s house; and, the house being full, was forced to carry them to a box, which did cost me 20s., besides oranges, which troubled me, though their company did please me. Thence, after the play, stayed till Harris was undressed, there being acted “The Tempest,” and so he withall, all by coach, home, where we find my house with good fires and candles ready, and our Office the like, and the two Mercers, and Betty Turner, Pendleton, and W. Batelier. And so with much pleasure we into the house, and there fell to dancing, having extraordinary Musick, two viollins, and a base viollin, and theorbo, four hands, the Duke of Buckingham’s musique, the best in towne, sent me by Greeting, and there we set in to dancing. By and by to my house, to a very good supper, and mighty merry, and good musick playing; and after supper to dancing and singing till about twelve at night; and then we had a good sack posset for them, and an excellent cake, cost me near 20s., of our Jane’s making, which was cut into twenty pieces, there being by this time so many of our company, by the coming in of young Goodyer and some others of our neighbours, young men that could dance, hearing of our dancing; and anon comes in Mrs. Turner, the mother, and brings with her Mrs. Hollworthy, which pleased me mightily. And so to dancing again, and singing, with extraordinary great pleasure, till about two in the morning, and then broke up; and Mrs. Pierce and her family, and Harris and Knepp by coach home, as late as it was. And they gone, I took Mrs. Turner and Hollworthy home to my house, and there gave wine and sweetmeats; but I find Mrs. Hollworthy but a mean woman, I think, for understanding, only a little conceited, and proud, and talking, but nothing extraordinary in person, or discourse, or understanding. However, I was mightily pleased with her being there, I having long longed for to know her, and they being gone, I paid the fiddlers 3l. among the four, and so away to bed, weary and mightily pleased, and have the happiness to reflect upon it as I do sometimes on other things, as going to a play or the like, to be the greatest real comfort that I am to expect in the world, and that it is that that we do really labour in the hopes of; and so I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take pleasure in it, and so fill myself with vain expectation of pleasure and go without it.