Monday 23 March 1667/68
Up, and after discoursing with my wife about many things touching this day’s dinner, I abroad, and first to the taverne to pay what I owe there, but missed of seeing the mistress of the house, and there bespoke wine for dinner, and so away thence, and to Bishopsgate Streete, thinking to have found a Harpsicon-maker that used to live there before the fire, but he is gone, and I have a mind forthwith to have a little Harpsicon made me to confirm and help me in my musique notions, which my head is now-a-days full of, and I do believe will come to something that is very good. Thence to White Hall, expecting to have heard the Bishop of Lincolne, my friend, preach, for so I understood he would do yesterday, but was mistaken, and therefore away presently back again, and there find everything in good order against dinner, and at noon come Mr. Pierce and she, and Mrs. Manuel, the Jew’s wife, and Mrs. Corbet, and Mrs. Pierces boy and girl. But we are defeated of Knepp, by her being forced to act to-day, and also of Harris, which did trouble me, they being my chief guests. However, I had an extraordinary good dinner, and the better because dressed by my own servants, and were mighty merry; and here was Mr. Pelling by chance come and dined with me; and after sitting long at dinner, I had a barge ready at Tower-wharfe, to take us in, and so we went, all of us, up as high as Barne-Elms, a very fine day, and all the way sang; and Mrs. Manuel sings very finely, and is a mighty discreet, sober-carriaged woman, that both my wife and I are mightily taken with her, and sings well, and without importunity or the contrary. At Barne- Elms we walked round, and then to the barge again, and had much merry talk, and good singing; and come before it was dark to the New Exchange stairs, and there landed, and walked up to Mrs. Pierces, where we sat awhile, and then up to their dining-room. And so, having a violin and theorbo, did fall to dance, here being also Mrs. Floyd come hither, and by and by Mr. Harris. But there being so few of us that could dance, and my wife not being very well, we had not much pleasure in the dancing: there was Knepp also, by which with much pleasure we did sing a little, and so, about ten o’clock, I took coach with my wife and Deb., and so home, and there to bed.