Sunday 9 February 1667/68
(Lord’s day). Up, and at my chamber all the morning and the office doing business, and also reading a little of “L’escholle des filles,” which is a mighty lewd book, but yet not amiss for a sober man once to read over to inform himself in the villainy of the world. At noon home to dinner, where by appointment Mr. Pelling come and with him three friends, Wallington, that sings the good base, and one Rogers, and a gentleman, a young man, his name Tempest, who sings very well indeed, and understands anything in the world at first sight. After dinner we into our dining-room, and there to singing all the afternoon. (By the way, I must remember that Pegg Pen was brought to bed yesterday of a girl; and, among other things, if I have not already set it down, that hardly ever was remembered such a season for the smallpox as these last two months have been, people being seen all up and down the streets, newly come out after the smallpox.) But though they sang fine things, yet I must confess that I did take no pleasure in it, or very little, because I understood not the words, and with the rests that the words are set, there is no sense nor understanding in them though they be English, which makes me weary of singing in that manner, it being but a worse sort of instrumental musick. We sang until almost night, and drank mighty good store of wine, and then they parted, and I to my chamber, where I did read through “L’escholle des filles,” a lewd book, but what do no wrong once to read for information sake … And after I had done it I burned it, that it might not be among my books to my shame, and so at night to supper and to bed.