Friday 1 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy. Then to Westminster Hall, and there met Sir W. Pen, who labours to have his answer to his impeachment, and sent down from the Lords’ House, read by the House of Commons; but they are so busy on other matters, that he cannot, and thereby will, as he believes, by design, be prevented from going to sea this year. Here met my cozen Thomas Pepys of Deptford, and took some turns with him; who is mightily troubled for this Act now passed against Conventicles, and in few words, and sober, do lament the condition we are in, by a negligent Prince and a mad Parliament. Thence I by coach to the Temple, and there set him down, and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dine, but he not being at home, I back again to the New Exchange a little, and thence back again to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, and then to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Surprizall;” and a disorder in the pit by its raining in, from the cupola at top, it being a very foul day, and cold, so as there are few I believe go to the Park to-day, if any. Thence to Westminster Hall, and there I understand how the Houses of Commons and Lords are like to disagree very much, about the business of the East India Company and one Skinner; to the latter of which the Lords have awarded 5000l. from the former, for some wrong done him heretofore; and the former appealing to the Commons, the Lords vote their petition a libell; and so there is like to follow very hot work. Thence by water, not being able to get a coach, nor boat but a sculler, and that with company, is being so foul a day, to the Old Swan, and so home, and there spent the evening, making Balty read to me, and so to supper and to bed.

Saturday 2 May 1668

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon with Lord Brouncker in his coach as far as the Temple, and there ‘light and to Hercules Pillars, and there dined, and thence to the Duke of York’s playhouse, at a little past twelve, to get a good place in the pit, against the new play, and there setting a poor man to keep my place, I out, and spent an hour at Martin’s, my bookseller’s, and so back again, where I find the house quite full. But I had my place, and by and by the King comes and the Duke of York; and then the play begins, called “The Sullen Lovers; or, The Impertinents,” having many good humours in it, but the play tedious, and no design at all in it. But a little boy, for a farce, do dance Polichinelli, the best that ever anything was done in the world, by all men’s report: most pleased with that, beyond anything in the world, and much beyond all the play. Thence to the King’s house to see Knepp, but the play done; and so I took a hackney alone, and to the park, and there spent the evening, and to the lodge, and drank new milk. And so home to the Office, ended my letters, and, to spare my eyes, home, and played on my pipes, and so to bed.

Sunday 3 May 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where I saw Sir A. Rickard, though he be under the Black Rod, by order of the Lords’ House, upon the quarrel between the East India Company and Skinner, which is like to come to a very great heat between the two Houses. At noon comes Mr. Mills and his wife, and Mr. Turner and his wife, by invitation to dinner, and we were mighty merry, and a very pretty dinner, of my Bridget and Nell’s dressing, very handsome. After dinner to church again … So home and with Sir W. Pen took a hackney, and he and I to Old Street, to a brew-house there, to see Sir Thomas Teddiman, who is very ill in bed of a fever, got, I believe, by the fright the Parliament have put him into, of late. But he is a good man, a good seaman, and stout. Thence Pen and I to Islington, and there, at the old house, eat, and drank, and merry, and there by chance giving two pretty fat boys each of them a cake, they proved to be Captain Holland’s children, whom therefore I pity. So round by Hackney home, having good discourse, he [Pen] being very open to me in his talk, how the King ought to dissolve this Parliament, when the Bill of Money is passed, they being never likely to give him more; how he [the King] hath great opportunity of making himself popular by stopping this Act against Conventicles; and how my Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, if the Parliament continue, will undoubtedly fall, he having managed that place with so much self-seeking, and disorder, and pleasure, and some great men are designing to overthrow [him], as, among the rest, my Lord Orrery; and that this will try the King mightily, he being a firm friend to my Lord Lieutenant. So home; and to supper a little, and then to bed, having stepped, after I come home, to Alderman Backewell’s about business, and there talked a while with him and his wife, a fine woman of the country, and how they had bought an estate at Buckeworth, within four mile of Brampton.

Monday 4 May 1668

Up betimes, and by water to Charing Cross, and so to W. Coventry, and there talked a little with him, and thence over the Park to White Hall, and there did a little business at the Treasury, and so to the Duke, and there present Balty to the Duke of York and a letter from the Board to him about him, and the Duke of York is mightily pleased with him, and I doubt not his continuance in employment, which I am glad of. Thence with Sir H. Cholmly to Westminster Hall talking, and he crying mightily out of the power the House of Lords usurps in this business of the East India Company. Thence away home and there did business, and so to dinner, my sister Michell and I, and thence to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Impertinents” again, and with less pleasure than before, it being but a very contemptible play, though there are many little witty expressions in it; and the pit did generally say that of it. Thence, going out, Mrs. Pierce called me from the gallery, and there I took her and Mrs. Corbet by coach up and down, and took up Captain Rolt in the street; and at last, it being too late to go to the Park, I carried them to the Beare in Drury Lane, and there did treat them with a dish of mackrell, the first I have seen this year, and another dish, and mighty merry; and so carried her home, and thence home myself, well pleased with this evening’s pleasure, and so to bed.

Tuesday 5 May 1668

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon home to dinner and Creed with me, and after dinner he and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; and there coming late, he and I up to the balcony-box, where we find my Lady Castlemayne and several great ladies; and there we sat with them, and I saw “The Impertinents” once more, now three times, and the three only days it hath been acted. And to see the folly how the house do this day cry up the play more than yesterday! and I for that reason like it, I find, the better, too; by Sir Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard. My Lady [Castlemaine] pretty well pleased with it; but here I sat close to her fine woman, Willson, who indeed is very handsome, but, they say, with child by the King. I asked, and she told me this was the first time her Lady had seen it, I having a mind to say something to her. One thing of familiarity I observed in my Lady Castlemayne: she called to one of her women, another that sat by this, for a little patch off her face, and put it into her mouth and wetted it, and so clapped it upon her own by the side of her mouth, I suppose she feeling a pimple rising there. Thence with Creed to Westminster Hall, and there met with cozen Roger, who tells me of the great conference this day between the Lords and Commons, about the business of the East India Company, as being one of the weightiest conferences that hath been, and managed as weightily. I am heartily sorry I was not there, it being upon a mighty point of the privileges of the subjects of England, in regard to the authority of the House of Lords, and their being condemned by them as the Supreme Court, which, we say, ought not to be, but by appeal from other Courts. And he tells me that the Commons had much the better of them, in reason and history there quoted, and believes the Lords will let it fall. Thence to walk in the Hall, and there hear that Mrs. Martin’s child, my god-daughter, is dead, and so by water to the Old Swan, and thence home, and there a little at Sir W. Pen’s, and so to bed.

Wednesday 6 May 1668

Up, and to the office, and thence to White Hall, but come too late to see the Duke of York, with whom my business was, and so to Westminster Hall, where met with several people and talked with them, and among other things understand that my Lord St. John is meant by Mr. Woodcocke, in “The Impertinents.”1 Here met with Mrs. Washington, my old acquaintance of the Hall, whose husband has a place in the Excise at Windsor, and it seems lives well. I have not seen her these 8 or 9 years, and she begins to grow old, I perceive, visibly. So time do alter, and do doubtless the like in myself. This morning the House is upon the City Bill, and they say hath passed it, though I am sorry that I did not think to put somebody in mind of moving for the churches to be allotted according to the convenience of the people, and not to gratify this Bishop, or that College. Thence by water to the New Exchange, where bought a pair of shoe-strings, and so to Mr. Pierces, where invited, and there was Knepp and Mrs. Foster and here dined, but a poor, sluttish dinner, as usual, and so I could not be heartily merry at it: here saw her girl’s picture, but it is mighty far short of her boy’s, and not like her neither; but it makes Hales’s picture of her boy appear a good picture. Thence to White Hall, walked with Brisband, who dined there also, and thence I back to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Virgin Martyr,” and heard the musick that I like so well, and intended to have seen Knepp, but I let her alone; and having there done, went to Mrs. Pierces back again, where she was, and there I found her on a pallet in the dark …, that is Knepp. And so to talk; and by and by did eat some curds and cream, and thence away home, and it being night, I did walk in the dusk up and down, round through our garden, over Tower Hill, and so through Crutched Friars, three or four times, and once did meet Mercer and another pretty lady, but being surprized I could say little to them, although I had an opportunity of pleasing myself with them, but left them, and then I did see our Nell, Payne’s daughter, and her je did desire venir after me, and so elle did see me to, Tower Hill to our back entry there that comes upon the degres entrant into nostra garden …, and so parted, and je home to put up things against to-morrow’s carrier for my wife; and, among others, a very fine salmon-pie, sent me by Mr. Steventon, W. Hewer’s uncle, and so to bed.

  1. Whilst Positive walks, like Woodcock in the park, Contriving projects with a brewer’s clerk.

    Andrew Marvell’s “Instructions to a Painter,” part iii., to which is subjoined the following note: “Sir Robert Howard, and Sir William Bucknell, the brewer.” — Works, ed. by Capt. E. Thompson, vol. iii., p. 405.—B.

Thursday 7 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and thither I sent for Mercer to dine with me, and after dinner she and I called Mrs. Turner, and I carried them to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Man’s the Master,” which proves, upon my seeing it again, a very good play. Thence called Knepp from the King’s house, where going in for her, the play being done, I did see Beck Marshall come dressed, off of the stage, and looks mighty fine, and pretty, and noble: and also Nell, in her boy’s clothes, mighty pretty. But, Lord! their confidence! and how many men do hover about them as soon as they come off the stage, and how confident they are in their talk! Here I did kiss the pretty woman newly come, called Pegg, that was Sir Charles Sidly’s mistress, a mighty pretty woman, and seems, but is not, modest. Here took up Knepp into our coach, and all of us with her to her lodgings, and thither comes Bannister with a song of hers, that he hath set in Sir Charles Sidly’s play for her, which is, I think, but very meanly set; but this he did, before us, teach her, and it being but a slight, silly, short ayre, she learnt it presently. But I did get him to prick me down the notes of the Echo in “The Tempest,” which pleases me mightily. Here was also Haynes, the incomparable dancer of the King’s house, and a seeming civil man, and sings pretty well, and they gone, we abroad to Marrowbone, and there walked in the garden, the first time I ever was there; and a pretty place it is, and here we eat and drank and stayed till 9 at night, and so home by moonshine … And so set Mrs. Knepp at her lodging, and so the rest, and I home talking with a great deal of pleasure, and so home to bed.

Friday 8 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. Towards noon I to Westminster and there understand that the Lords’ House did sit till eleven o’clock last night, about the business in difference between them and the Commons, in the matter of the East India Company. Here took a turn or two, and up to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined; where Mr. Case, the minister, a dull fellow in his talk, and all in the Presbyterian manner; a great deal of noise and a kind of religious tone, but very dull. After dinner my Lord and I together. He tells me he hears that there are great disputes like to be at Court, between the factions of the two women, my Lady Castlemayne and Mrs. Stewart, who is now well again, and the King hath made several public visits to her, and like to come to Court: the other is to go to Barkeshire-house, which is taken for her, and they say a Privy-Seal is passed for 5000l. for it. He believes all will come to ruin. Thence I to White Hall, where the Duke of York gone to the Lords’ House, where there is to be a conference on the Lords’ side to the Commons this afternoon, giving in their Reasons, which I would have been at, but could not; for, going by direction to the Prince’s chamber, there Brouncker, W. Pen, and Mr. Wren, and I, met, and did our business with the Duke of York. But, Lord! to see how this play of Sir Positive At-all, —[“The Impertinents.”]— in abuse of Sir Robert Howard, do take, all the Duke’s and every body’s talk being of that, and telling more stories of him, of the like nature, that it is now the town and country talk, and, they say, is most exactly true. The Duke of York himself said that of his playing at trap-ball is true, and told several other stories of him. This being done, Brouncker, Pen, and I to Brouncker’s house, and there sat and talked, I asking many questions in mathematics to my Lord, which he do me the pleasure to satisfy me in, and here we drank and so spent an hour, and so W. Pen and I home, and after being with W. Pen at his house an hour, I home and to bed.

Saturday 9 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning we sat. Here I first hear that the Queene hath miscarryed of a perfect child, being gone about ten weeks, which do shew that she can conceive, though it be unfortunate that she cannot bring forth. Here we are told also that last night the Duchesse of Monmouth, dancing at her lodgings, hath sprained her thigh. Here we are told also that the House of Commons sat till five o’clock this morning, upon the business of the difference between the Lords and them, resolving to do something therein before they rise, to assert their privileges. So I at noon by water to Westminster, and there find the King hath waited in the Prince’s chamber these two hours, and the Houses are not ready for him. The Commons having sent this morning, after their long debate therein the last night, to the Lords, that they do think the only expedient left to preserve unity between the two Houses is, that they do put a stop to any proceedings upon their late judgement against the East India Company, till their next meeting; to which the Lords returned answer that they would return answer to them by a messenger of their own, which they not presently doing, they were all inflamed, and thought it was only a trick, to keep them in suspense till the King come to adjourne them; and, so, rather than lose the opportunity of doing themselves right, they presently with great fury come to this vote: “That whoever should assist in the execution of the judgement of the Lords against the Company, should be held betrayers of the liberties of the people of England, and of the privileges of that House.” This the Lords had notice of, and were mad at it; and so continued debating without any design to yield to the Commons, till the King come in, and sent for the Commons, where the Speaker made a short but silly speech, about their giving Him 300,000l.; and then the several Bills, their titles were read, and the King’s assent signified in the proper terms, according to the nature of the Bills, of which about three or four were public Bills, and seven or eight private ones, the additional Bills for the building of the City and the Bill against Conventicles being none of them. The King did make a short, silly speech, which he read, giving them thanks for the money, which now, he said, he did believe would be sufficient, because there was peace between his neighbours, which was a kind of a slur, methought, to the Commons; and that he was sorry for what he heard of difference between the two Houses, but that he hoped their recesse would put them into a way of accommodation; and so adjourned them to the 9th of August, and then recollected himself, and told them the 11th; so imperfect a speaker he is. So the Commons went to their House, and forthwith adjourned; and the Lords resumed their House, the King being gone, and sat an hour or two after, but what they did, I cannot tell; but every body expected they would commit Sir Andrew Rickard, Sir Samuel Barnardiston, Mr. Boone, and Mr. Wynne, who were all there, and called in, upon their knees, to the bar of the House; and Sir John Robinson I left there, endeavouring to prevent their being committed to the Tower, lest he should thereby be forced to deny their order, because of this vote of the Commons, whereof he is one, which is an odde case.1 Thence I to the Rose Taverne in Covent Garden, and there sent for a pullet and dined all alone, being to meet Sir W. Pen, who by and by come, and he and I into the King’s house, and there “The Mayd’s Tragedy,” a good play, but Knepp not there; and my head and eyes out of order, the first from my drinking wine at dinner, and the other from my much work in the morning. Thence parted, and I towards the New Exchange and there bought a pair of black silk stockings at the hosier’s that hath the very pretty woman to his wife, about ten doors on this side of the ‘Change, and she is indeed very pretty, but I think a notable talking woman by what I heard to others there. Thence to Westminster Hall, where I hear the Lords are up, but what they have done I know not, and so walked toward White Hall and thence by water to the Tower, and so home and there to my letters, and so to Sir W. Pen’s; and there did talk with Mrs. Lowther, who is very kind to me, more than usual, and I will make use of it. She begins to draw very well, and I think do as well, if not better, than my wife, if it be true that she do it herself, what she shews me, and so to bed, and my head akeing all night with the wine I drank to-day, and my eyes ill. So lay long, my head pretty well in the morning.

  1. This “odd case” was that of Thomas Skinner and the East India Company. According to Ralph, the Commons had ordered Skinner, the plaintiff, into the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Lords did the same by Sir Samuel Barnadiston, deputy-governor of the company, as likewise Sir Andrew Rickard, Mr. Rowland Gwynn, and Mr. Christopher Boone. — B.

Sunday 10 May 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and to the office, there to do business till church time, when Mr. Shepley, newly come to town, come to see me, and we had some discourse of all matters, and particularly of my Lord Sandwich’s concernments, and here did by the by as he would seem tell me that my Lady —[Lady Sandwich.]— had it in her thoughts, if she had occasion, to, borrow 100l. of me, which I did not declare any opposition to, though I doubt it will be so much lost. But, however, I will not deny my Lady, if she ask it, whatever comes of it, though it be lost; but shall be glad that it is no bigger sum. And yet it vexes me though, and the more because it brings into my head some apprehensions what trouble I may here after be brought to when my Lord comes home, if he should ask me to come into bonds with him, as I fear he will have occasions to make money, but I hope I shall have the wit to deny it. He being gone, I to church, and so home, and there comes W. Hewer and Balty, and by and by I sent for Mercer to come and dine with me, and pretty merry, and after dinner I fell to teach her “Canite Jehovae,” which she did a great part presently, and so she away, and I to church, and from church home with my Lady Pen; and, after being there an hour or so talking, I took her, and Mrs. Lowther, and old Mrs. Whistler, her mother-in-law, by water with great pleasure as far as Chelsy, and so back to Spring Garden, at Fox-hall, and there walked, and eat, and drank, and so to water again, and set down the old woman at home at Durham Yard: and it raining all the way, it troubled us; but, however, my cloak kept us all dry, and so home, and at the Tower wharf there we did send for a pair of old shoes for Mrs. Lowther, and there I did pull the others off and put them on, elle being peu shy, but do speak con mighty kindness to me that she would desire me pour su mari if it were to be done … Here staid a little at Sir W. Pen’s, who was gone to bed, it being about eleven at night, and so I home to bed.

Monday 11 May 1668

Up, and to my office, where alone all the morning. About noon comes to me my cousin Sarah, and my aunt Livett, newly come out of Gloucestershire, good woman, and come to see me; I took them home, and made them drink, but they would not stay dinner, I being alone. But here they tell me that they hear that this day Kate Joyce was to be married to a man called Hollingshed, whom she indeed did once tell me of, and desired me to enquire after him. But, whatever she said of his being rich, I do fear, by her doing this without my advice, it is not as it ought to be; but, as she brews, let her bake. They being gone, I to dinner with Balty and his wife, who is come to town to-day from Deptford to see us, and after dinner I out and took a coach, and called Mercer, and she and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “The Tempest,” and between two acts, I went out to Mr. Harris, and got him to repeat to me the words of the Echo, while I writ them down, having tried in the play to have wrote them; but, when I had done it, having done it without looking upon my paper, I find I could not read the blacklead. But now I have got the words clear, and, in going in thither, had the pleasure to see the actors in their several dresses, especially the seamen and monster, which were very droll: so into the play again. But there happened one thing which vexed me, which is, that the orange-woman did come in the pit, and challenge me for twelve oranges, which she delivered by my order at a late play, at night, to give to some ladies in a box, which was wholly untrue, but yet she swore it to be true. But, however, I did deny it, and did not pay her; but, for quiet, did buy 4s. worth of oranges of her, at 6d. a-piece. Here I saw first my Lord Ormond since his coming from Ireland, which is now about eight days. After the play done, I took Mercer by water to Spring Garden; and there with great pleasure walked, and eat, and drank, and sang, making people come about us, to hear us, and two little children of one of our neighbours that happened to be there, did come into our arbour, and we made them dance prettily. So by water, with great pleasure, down to the Bridge, and there landed, and took water again on the other side; and so to the Tower, and I saw her home, I myself home to my chamber, and by and by to bed.

Tuesday 12 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where we sat, and sat all the morning. Here Lord Anglesey was with us, and in talk about the late difference between the two Houses, do tell us that he thinks the House of Lords may be in an error, at least, it is possible they may, in this matter of Skinner; and he doubts they may, and did declare his judgement in the House of Lords against their proceedings therein, he having hindered 100 originall causes being brought into their House, notwithstanding that he was put upon defending their proceedings: but that he is confident that the House of Commons are in the wrong, in the method they take to remedy an error of the Lords, for no vote of theirs can do it; but, in all like cases, the Commons have done it by petition to the King, sent up to the Lords, and by them agreed to, and so redressed, as they did in the Petition of Right. He says that he did tell them indeed, which is talked of, and which did vex the Commons, that the Lords were “Judices nati et Conciliarii nati;” but all other judges among us are under salary, and the Commons themselves served for wages; and therefore the Lords, in reason, were the freer judges. At noon to dinner at home, and after dinner, where Creed dined with me, he and I, by water to the Temple, where we parted, and I both to the King’s and Duke of York’s playhouses, and there went through the houses to see what faces I could spy that I knew, and meeting none, I away by coach to my house, and then to Mrs. Mercer’s, where I met with her two daughters, and a pretty-lady I never knew yet, one Mrs. Susan Gayet, a very pretty black lady, that speaks French well, and is a Catholick, and merchant’s daughter, by us, and here was also Mrs. Anne Jones, and after sitting and talking a little, I took them out, and carried them through Hackney to Kingsland, and there walked to Sir G. Whitmore’s house, where I have not been many a day; and so to the old house at Islington, and eat, and drank, and sang, and mighty merry; and so by moonshine with infinite pleasure home, and there sang again in Mercer’s garden. And so parted, I having there seen a mummy in a merchant’s warehouse there, all the middle of the man or woman’s body, black and hard. I never saw any before, and, therefore, it pleased me much, though an ill sight; and he did give me a little bit, and a bone of an arme, I suppose, and so home, and there to bed.

Wednesday 13 May 1668

Up, and by water to White Hall, and so to Sir H. Cholmly’s, who not being up I made a short visit to Sir W. Coventry, and he and I through the Park to White Hall, and thence I back into the Park, and there met Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to Sir Stephen Fox’s, where we met and considered the business of the Excise, how far it is charged in reference to the payment of the Guards and Tangier. Thence he and I walked to Westminster Hall and there took a turn, it being holyday, and so back again, and I to the mercer’s, and my tailor’s about a stuff suit that I am going to make. Thence, at noon, to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, and so to White Hall, some of us attended the Duke of York as usual, and so to attend the Council about the business of Hemskirke’s project of building a ship that sails two feet for one of any other ship, which the Council did agree to be put in practice, the King to give him, if it proves good, 5000l. in hand, and 15,000l. more in seven years, which, for my part, I think a piece of folly for them to meddle with, because the secret cannot be long kept. So thence, after Council, having drunk some of the King’s wine and water with Mr. Chevins, my Lord Brouncker, and some others, I by water to the Old Swan, and there to Michell’s, and did see her and drink there, but he being there je ne baiser la; and so back again by water to Spring Garden all alone, and walked a little, and so back again home, and there a little to my viall, and so to bed, Mrs. Turner having sat and supped with me. This morning I hear that last night Sir Thomas Teddiman, poor man! did die by a thrush in his mouth: a good man, and stout and able, and much lamented; though people do make a little mirth, and say, as I believe it did in good part, that the business of the Parliament did break his heart, or, at least, put him into this fever and disorder, that caused his death.

Thursday 14 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner with my people, but did not stay to dine out with them, but rose and straight by water to the Temple, and so to Penny’s, my tailor’s, where by and by by agreement Mercer, and she, to my great content, brings Mrs. Gayet, and I carried them to the King’s house; but, coming too soon, we out again to the Rose taverne, and there I did give them a tankard of cool drink, the weather being very hot, and then into the playhouse again, and there saw “The Country Captain,” a very dull play, that did give us no content, and besides, little company there, which made it very unpleasing. Thence to the waterside, at Strand bridge, and so up by water and to Fox-hall, where we walked a great while, and pleased mightily with the pleasure thereof, and the company there, and then in, and eat and drank, and then out again and walked, and it beginning to be dark, we to a corner and sang, that everybody got about us to hear us; and so home, where I saw them both at their doors, and, full of the content of this afternoon’s pleasure, I home and to walk in the garden a little, and so home to bed.

Friday 15 May 1668

Up, and betimes to White Hall, and there met with Sir H. Cholmly at Sir Stephen Fox’s, and there was also the Cofferer, and we did there consider about our money and the condition of the Excise, and after much dispute agreed upon a state thereof and the manner of our future course of payments. Thence to the Duke of York, and there did a little navy business as we used to do, and so to a Committee for Tangier, where God knows how my Lord Bellasses’s accounts passed; understood by nobody but my Lord Ashly, who, I believe, was mad to let them go as he pleased. But here Sir H. Cholmly had his propositions read, about a greater price for his work of the Mole, or to do it upon account, which, being read, he was bid to withdraw. But, Lord! to see how unlucky a man may be, by chance; for, making an unfortunate minute when they were almost tired with the other business, the Duke of York did find fault with it, and that made all the rest, that I believe he had better have given a great deal, and had nothing said to it to-day; whereas, I have seen other things more extravagant passed at first hearing, without any difficulty. Thence I to my Lord Brouncker’s, at Mrs. Williams’s, and there dined, and she did shew me her closet, which I was sorry to see, for fear of her expecting something from me; and here she took notice of my wife’s not once coming to see her, which I am glad of; for she shall not — a prating, vain, idle woman. Thence with Lord Brouncker to Loriners’-hall, by Mooregate, a hall I never heard of before, to Sir Thomas Teddiman’s burial, where most people belonging to the sea were. And here we had rings: and here I do hear that some of the last words that he said were, that he had a very good King, God bless him! but that the Parliament had very ill rewarded him for all the service he had endeavoured to do them and his country; so that, for certain, this did go far towards his death. But, Lord! to see among [the company] the young commanders, and Thomas Killigrew and others that come, how unlike a burial this was, O’Brian taking out some ballads out of his pocket, which I read, and the rest come about me to hear! and there very merry we were all, they being new ballets. By and by the corpse went; and I, with my Lord Brouncker, and Dr. Clerke, and Mr. Pierce, as far as the foot of London-bridge; and there we struck off into Thames Street, the rest going to Redriffe, where he is to be buried. And we ‘light at the Temple, and there parted; and I to the King’s house, and there saw the last act of “The Committee,” thinking to have seen Knepp there, but she did not act. And so to my bookseller’s, and there carried home some books-among others, “Dr. Wilkins’s Reall Character,” and thence to Mrs. Turner’s, and there went and sat, and she showed me her house from top to bottom, which I had not seen before, very handsome, and here supped, and so home, and got Mercer, and she and I in the garden singing till ten at night, and so home to a little supper, and then parted, with great content, and to bed. The Duchesse of Monmouth’s hip is, I hear, now set again, after much pain. I am told also that the Countess of Shrewsbury is brought home by the Duke of Buckingham to his house, where his Duchess saying that it was not for her and the other to live together in a house, he answered, Why, Madam, I did think so, and, therefore, have ordered your coach to be ready, to carry you to your father’s, which was a devilish speech, but, they say, true; and my Lady Shrewsbury is there, it seems.

Saturday 16 May 1668

Up; and to the Office, where we sat all the morning; and at noon, home with my people to dinner; and thence to the Office all the afternoon, till, my eyes weary, I did go forth by coach to the King’s playhouse, and there saw the best part of “The Sea Voyage,” where Knepp I see do her part of sorrow very well. I afterwards to her house; but she did not come presently home; and there je did kiss her ancilla, which is so mighty belle; and I to my tailor’s, and to buy me a belt for my new suit against to-morrow; and so home, and there to my Office, and afterwards late walking in the garden; and so home to supper, and to bed, after Nell’s cutting of my hair close, the weather being very hot.

Sunday 17 May 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and put on my new stuff-suit, with a shoulder- belt, according to the new fashion, and the bands of my vest and tunique laced with silk lace, of the colour of my suit: and so, very handsome, to Church, where a dull sermon and of a stranger, and so home; and there I find W. Howe, and a younger brother of his, come to dine with me; and there comes Mercer, and brings with her Mrs. Gayet, which pleased me mightily; and here was also W. Hewer, and mighty merry; and after dinner to sing psalms. But, Lord! to hear what an excellent base this younger brother of W. Howe’s sings, even to my astonishment, and mighty pleasant. By and by Gayet goes away, being a Catholick, to her devotions, and Mercer to church; but we continuing an hour or two singing, and so parted; and I to Sir W. Pen’s, and there sent for a hackney-coach; and he and she [Lady Pen] and I out, to take the ayre. We went to Stepney, and there stopped at the Trinity House, he to talk with the servants there against to-morrow, which is a great day for the choice of a new Master, and thence to Mile End, and there eat and drank, and so home; and I supped with them — that is, eat some butter and radishes, which is my excuse for not eating any other of their victuals, which I hate, because of their sluttery: and so home, and made my boy read to me part of Dr. Wilkins’s new book of the “Real Character;” and so to bed.

Monday 18 May 1668

Up, and to my office, where most of the morning doing business and seeing my window-frames new painted, and then I out by coach to my Lord Bellasses, at his new house by my late Lord Treasurer’s, and there met him and Mr. Sherwin, Auditor Beale, and Creed, about my Lord’s accounts, and here my Lord shewed me his new house, which, indeed, is mighty noble, and good pictures — indeed, not one bad one in it. Thence to my tailor’s, and there did find Mercer come with Mrs. Horsfield and Gayet according to my desire, and there I took them up, it being almost twelve o’clock, or a little more, and carried them to the King’s playhouse, where the doors were not then open; but presently they did open; and we in, and find many people already come in, by private ways, into the pit, it being the first day of Sir Charles Sidly’s new play, so long expected, “The Mullberry Guarden,” of whom, being so reputed a wit, all the world do expect great matters. I having sat here awhile, and eat nothing to-day, did slip out, getting a boy to keep my place; and to the Rose Tavern, and there got half a breast of mutton, off of the spit, and dined all alone. And so to the play again, where the King and Queen, by and by, come, and all the Court; and the house infinitely full. But the play, when it come, though there was, here and there, a pretty saying, and that not very many neither, yet the whole of the play had nothing extraordinary in it, at all, neither of language nor design; insomuch that the King I did not see laugh, nor pleased the whole play from the beginning to the end, nor the company; insomuch that I have not been less pleased at a new play in my life, I think. And which made it the worse was, that there never was worse musick played — that is, worse things composed, which made me and Captain Rolt, who happened to sit near me, mad. So away thence, very little satisfied with the play, but pleased with my company. I carried them to Kensington, to the Grotto, and there we sang, to my great content, only vexed, in going in, to see a son of Sir Heneage Finch’s beating of a poor little dog to death, letting it lie in so much pain that made me mad to see it, till, by and by, the servants of the house chiding of their young master, one of them come with a thong, and killed the dog outright presently. Thence to Westminster palace, and there took boat and to Fox Hall, where we walked, and eat, and drank, and sang, and very merry. But I find Mrs. Horsfield one of the veriest citizen’s wives in the world, so full of little silly talk, and now and then a little sillily bawdy, that I believe if you had her sola a man might hazer all with her. So back by water to Westminster Palace, and there got a coach which carried us as far as the Minorys, and there some thing of the traces broke, and we forced to ‘light, and walked to Mrs. Horsfield’s house, it being a long and bad way, and dark, and having there put her in a doors, her husband being in bed, we left her and so back to our coach, where the coachman had put it in order, but could not find his whip in the dark a great while, which made us stay long. At last getting a neighbour to hold a candle out of their window Mercer found it, and so away we home at almost 12 at night, and setting them both at their homes, I home and to bed.

Tuesday 19 May 1668

Up, and called on Mr. Pierce, who tells me that after all this ado Ward is come to town, and hath appeared to the Commissioners of Accounts and given such answers as he thinks will do every body right, and let the world see that their great expectations and jealousies have been vain in this matter of the prizes. The Commissioners were mighty inquisitive whether he was not instructed by letters or otherwise from hence from my Lord Sandwich’s friends what to say and do, and particularly from me, which he did wholly deny, as it was true, I not knowing the man that I know of. He tells me also that, for certain, Mr. Vaughan is made Lord Chief justice, which I am glad of. He tells me, too; that since my Lord of Ormond’s coming over, the King begins to be mightily reclaimed, and sups every night with great pleasure with the Queene: and yet, it seems, he is mighty hot upon the Duchess of Richmond; insomuch that, upon Sunday was se’nnight, at night, after he had ordered his Guards and coach to be ready to carry him to the Park, he did, on a sudden, take a pair of oars or sculler, and all alone, or but one with him, go to Somersett House, and there, the garden-door not being open, himself clamber over the walls to make a visit to her, which is a horrid shame. He gone, I to the office, where we sat all the morning, Sir W. Pen sick of the gout comes not out. After dinner at home, to White Hall, it being a very rainy day, and there a Committee for Tangier, where I was mightily pleased to see Sir W. Coventry fall upon my Lord Bellasses’ business of the 3d. in every piece of it which he would get to himself, making the King pay 4s. 9d, while he puts them off for 4s. 6d., so that Sir W. Coventry continues still the same man for the King’s good. But here Creed did vex me with saying that I ought first to have my account past by the Commissioners of Tangier before in the Exchequer. Thence W. Coventry and I in the Matted gallery, and there he did talk very well to me about the way to save the credit of the officers of the Navy, and their places too, by making use of this interval of Parliament to be found to be mending of matters in the Navy, and that nothing but this will do it, and gives an instance in themselves of the Treasury, whereof himself and Sir John Duncombe all the world knows have enemies, and my Lord Ashly a man obnoxious to most, and Sir Thomas Clifford one that as a man suddenly rising and a creature of my Lord Arlington’s hath enemies enough (none of them being otherwise but the Duke of Albemarle), yet with all this fault they hear nothing of the business of the Treasury, but all well spoken of there. He is for the removal of Sir John Minnes, thinking that thereby the world will see a greater change in the hands than now they do; and I will endeavour it, and endeavour to do some good in the office also. So home by coach, and to the office, where ended my letters, and then home, and there got Balty to read to me out of Sorbiere’s Observations in his Voyage into England, and then to bed.

Wednesday 20 May 1668

Up, and with Colonell Middleton, in a new coach he hath made him, very handsome, to White Hall, where the Duke of York having removed his lodgings for this year to St. James’s, we walked thither; and there find the Duke of York coming to White Hall, and so back to the Council- chamber, where the Committee of the Navy sat; and here we discoursed several things; but, Lord! like fools; so as it was a shame to see things of this importance managed by a Council that understand nothing of them: and, among other things, one was about this building of a ship with Hemskirke’s secret, to sail a third faster than any other ship; but he hath got Prince Rupert on his side, and by that means, I believe, will get his conditions made better than he would otherwise, or ought indeed. Having done there, I met with Sir Richard Browne, and he took me to dinner with him to a new tavern, above Charing Cross, where some clients of his did give him a good dinner, and good company; among others, one Bovy, a solicitor, and lawyer and merchant all together, who hath travelled very much, did talk some things well; but only he is a “Sir Positive:” but the talk of their travels over the Alps very fine. Thence walked to the King’s playhouse, and saw “The Mulberry Garden” again, and cannot be reconciled to it, but only to find here and there an independent sentence of wit, and that is all. Here met with Creed; and took him to Hales’s, and there saw the beginnings of Harris’s head which he draws for me, which I do not yet like. So he and I down to the New Exchange, and there cheapened ribbands for my wife, and so down to the Whey house and drank some and eat some curds, which did by and by make my belly ake mightily. So he and I to White Hall, and walked over the Park to the Mulberry-Garden, where I never was before; and find it a very silly place, worse than Spring-garden, and but little company, and those a rascally, whoring, roguing sort of people, only a wilderness here, that is somewhat pretty, but rude. Did not stay to drink, but walked an hour and so away to Charing Cross, and there took coach and away home, in my way going into Bishopsgate Street, to bespeak places for myself and boy to go to Cambridge in the coach this week, and so to Brampton, to see my wife. So home, and to supper and to bed.

Thursday 21 May 1668

Up, and busy to send some things into the country, and then to the Office, where meets me Sir Richard Ford, who among other things congratulates me, as one or two did yesterday, [on] my great purchase; and he advises me rather to forbear, if it be not done, as a thing that the world will envy me in: and what is it but my cozen Tom Pepys’s buying of Martin Abbey, in Surry! which is a mistake I am sorry for, and yet do fear that it may spread in the world to my prejudice. All the morning at the office, and at noon my clerks dined with me, and there do hear from them how all the town is full of the talk of a meteor, or some fire, that did on Saturday last fly over the City at night, which do put me in mind that, being then walking in the dark an hour or more myself in the garden, after I had done writing, I did see a light before me come from behind me, which made me turn back my head; and I did see a sudden fire or light running in the sky, as it were towards Cheapside ward, and it vanished very quick, which did make me bethink myself what holyday it was, and took it for some rocket, though it was much brighter than any rocket, and so thought no more of it, but it seems Mr. Hater and Gibson going home that night did meet with many clusters of people talking of it, and many people of the towns about the city did see it, and the world do make much discourse of it, their apprehensions being mighty full of the rest of the City to be burned, and the Papists to cut our throats. Which God prevent! Thence after dinner I by coach to the Temple, and there bought a new book of songs set to musique by one Smith of Oxford, some songs of Mr. Cowley’s, and so to Westminster, and there to walk a little in the Hall, and so to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did hazer cet que je voudrai mit her, and drank and sat most of the afternoon with her and her sister, and here she promises me her fine starling, which was the King’s, and speaks finely, which I shall be glad of, and so walked to the Temple, meeting in the street with my cozen Alcocke, the young man, that is a good sober youth, I have not seen these four or five years, newly come to town to look for employment: but I cannot serve him, though I think he deserves well, and so I took coach and home to my business, and in the evening took Mrs. Turner and Mercer out to Mile End and drank, and then home, and sang; and eat a dish of greene pease, the first I have seen this year, given me by Mr. Gibson, extraordinary young and pretty, and so saw them at home, and so home to bed. Sir W. Pen continues ill of the gout.

Friday 22 May 1668

Up, and all the morning at the office busy. At noon home with my people to dinner, where good discourse and merry. After dinner comes Mr. Martin, the purser, and brings me his wife’s starling, which was formerly the King’s bird, that do speak and whistle finely, which I am mighty proud of and shall take pleasure in it. Thence to the Duke of York’s house to a play, and saw Sir Martin Marr-all, where the house is full; and though I have seen it, I think, ten times, yet the pleasure I have is yet as great as ever, and is undoubtedly the best comedy ever was wrote. Thence to my tailor’s and a mercer’s for patterns to carry my wife of cloth and silk for a bed, which I think will please her and me, and so home, and fitted myself for my journey to-morrow, which I fear will not be pleasant, because of the wet weather, it raining very hard all this day; but the less it troubles me because the King and Duke of York and Court are at this day at Newmarket, at a great horse-race, and proposed great pleasure for two or three days, but are in the same wet. So from the office home to supper, and betimes to bed.

Saturday 23 May 1668

Up by four o’clock; and, getting my things ready, and recommending the care of my house to W. Hewer, I with my boy Tom, whom I take with me, to the Bull, in Bishopsgate Street, and there, about six, took coach, he and I, and a gentleman and his man, there being another coach also, with as many more, I think, in it; and so away to Bishop’s Stafford, and there dined, and changed horses and coach, at Mrs. Aynsworth’s; but I took no knowledge of her. Here the gentleman and I to dinner, and in comes Captain Forster, an acquaintance of his, he that do belong to my Lord Anglesey, who had been at the late horse-races at Newmarket, where the King now is, and says that they had fair weather there yesterday, though we here, and at London, had nothing but rain, insomuch that the ways are mighty full of water, so as hardly to be passed. Here I hear Mrs. Aynsworth is going to live at London: but I believe will be mistaken in it; for it will be found better for her to be chief where she is, than to have little to do at London. There being many finer than she there. After dinner away again and come to Cambridge, after much bad way, about nine at night; and there, at the Rose, I met my father’s horses, with a man, staying for me. But it is so late, and the waters so deep, that I durst not go to-night; but after supper to bed; and there lay very ill, by reason of some drunken scholars making a noise all night, and vexed for fear that the horses should not be taken up from grass, time enough for the morning. Well pleased all this journey with the conversation of him that went with me, who I think is a lawyer, and lives about Lynne, but his name I did not ask.

Sunday 24 May 1668

(Lord’s day). I up, at between two and three in the morning, and, calling up my boy, and father’s boy, we set out by three o’clock, it being high day; and so through the water with very good success, though very deep almost all the way, and got to Brampton, where most of them in bed, and so I weary up to my wife’s chamber, whom I find in bed, and pretended a little not well, and indeed she hath those upon her, but fell to talk and mightily pleased both of us, and upgot the rest, Betty Turner and Willet and Jane, all whom I was glad to see, and very merry, and got me ready in my new stuff clothes that I send down before me, and so my wife and they got ready too, while I to my father, poor man, and walked with him up and down the house — it raining a little, and the waters all over Portholme and the meadows, so as no pleasure abroad. Here I saw my brothers and sister Jackson, she growing fat, and, since being married, I think looks comelier than before: but a mighty pert woman she is, and I think proud, he keeping her mighty handsome, and they say mighty fond, and are going shortly to live at Ellington of themselves, and will keep malting, and grazing of cattle. At noon comes Mr. Phillips and dines with us, and a pretty odd-humoured man he seems to be; but good withal, but of mighty great methods in his eating and drinking, and will not kiss a woman since his wife’s death. After dinner my Lady Sandwich sending to see whether I was come, I presently took horse, and find her and her family at chapel; and thither I went in to them, and sat out the sermon, where I heard Jervas Fullwood, now their chaplain, preach a very good and seraphic kind of sermon, too good for an ordinary congregation. After sermon, I with my Lady, and my Lady Hinchingbroke, and Paulina, and Lord Hinchingbroke, to the dining-room, saluting none of them, and there sat and talked an hour or two, with great pleasure and satisfaction, to my Lady, about my Lord’s matters; but I think not with that satisfaction to her, or me, that otherwise would, she knowing that she did design tomorrow, and I remaining all the while in fear, of being asked to lend her some money, as I was afterward, when I had taken leave of her, by Mr. Shepley, 100l., which I will not deny my Lady, and am willing to be found when my Lord comes home to have done something of that kind for them, and so he riding to Brampton and supping there with me he did desire it of me from my Lady, and I promised it, though much against my will, for I fear it is as good as lost. After supper, where very merry, we to bed, myself very weary and to sleep all night.

Monday 25 May 1668

Waked betimes, and lay long … and there fell to talking, and by and by rose, it being the first fair day, and yet not quite fair, that we have had some time, and so up, and to walk with my father again in the garden, consulting what to do with him and this house when Pall and her husband go away; and I think it will be to let it, and he go live with her, though I am against letting the house for any long time, because of having it to retire to, ourselves. So I do intend to think more of it before I resolve. By and by comes Mr. Cooke to see me and so spent the morning, and he gone by and by at noon to dinner, where Mr. Shepley come and we merry, all being in good humour between my wife and her people about her, and after dinner took horse, I promising to fetch her away about fourteen days hence, and so calling all of us, we men on horseback, and the women and my father, at Goody Gorum’s, and there in a frolic drinking I took leave, there going with me and my boy, my two brothers, and one Browne, whom they call in mirth Colonell, for our guide, and also Mr. Shepley, to the end of Huntingdon, and another gentleman who accidentally come thither, one Mr. Castle; and I made them drink at the Chequers, where I observed the same tapster, Tom, that was there when I was a little boy and so we, at the end of the town, took leave of Shepley and the other gentleman, and so we away and got well to Cambridge, about seven to the Rose, the waters not being now so high as before. And here ‘lighting, I took my boy and two brothers, and walked to Magdalene College: and there into the butterys, as a stranger, and there drank my bellyfull of their beer, which pleased me, as the best I ever drank: and hear by the butler’s man, who was son to Goody Mulliner over against the College, that we used to buy stewed prunes of, concerning the College and persons in it; and find very few, only Mr. Hollins and Pechell, I think, that were of my time. But I was mightily pleased to come in this condition to see and ask, and thence, giving the fellow something, away walked to Chesterton, to see our old walk, and there into the Church, the bells ringing, and saw the place I used to sit in, and so to the ferry, and ferried over to the other side, and walked with great pleasure, the river being mighty high by Barnewell Abbey: and so by Jesus College to the town, and so to our quarters, and to supper, and then to bed, being very weary and sleepy and mightily pleased with this night’s walk.

Tuesday 26 May 1668

Up by four o’clock; and by the time we were ready, and had eat, we were called to the coach, where about six o’clock we set out, there being a man and two women of one company, ordinary people, and one lady alone, that is tolerably handsome, but mighty well spoken, whom I took great pleasure in talking to, and did get her to read aloud in a book she was reading, in the coach, being the King’s Meditations;1 and then the boy and I to sing, and so about noon come to Bishop’s Stafford, to another house than what we were at the other day, and better used. And here I paid for the reckoning 11s., we dining together, and pretty merry; and then set out again, sleeping most part of the way; and got to Bishopsgate Street before eight o’clock, the waters being now most of them down, and we avoiding the bad way in the forest by a privy way, which brought us to Hodsden; and so to Tibalds, that road, which was mighty pleasant. So home, where we find all well, and brother Balty and his wife looking to the house, she mighty fine, in a new gold-laced ‘just a cour’. I shifted myself, and so to see Mrs. Turner, and Mercer appearing over the way, called her in, and sat and talked, and then home to my house by and by, and there supped and talked mighty merry, and then broke up and to bed, being a little vexed at what W. Hewer tells me Sir John Shaw did this day in my absence say at the Board, complaining of my doing of him injury and the board permitting it, whereas they had more reason to except against his attributing that to me alone which I could not do but with their condent and direction, it being to very good service to the King, and which I shall be proud to have imputed to me alone. The King I hear come to town last night.

  1. The meditations on death, and prayers used by Charles I. shortly before his execution.

Wednesday 27 May 1668

Up, and to the office, where some time upon Sir D. Gawden’s accounts, and then I by water to Westminster for some Tangier orders, and so meeting with Mr. Sawyers my old chamber-fellow, he and I by water together to the Temple, he giving me an account of the base, rude usage, which he and Sir G. Carteret had lately, before the Commissioners of Accounts, where he was, as Counsel to Sir G. Carteret, which I was sorry to hear, they behaving themselves like most insolent and ill-mannered men. Thence by coach to the Exchange, and there met with Sir H. Cholmly at Colvill’s; and there did give him some orders, and so home, and there to the office again, where busy till two o’clock, and then with Sir D. Gawden to his house, with my Lord Brouncker and Sir J. Minnes, to dinner, where we dined very well, and much good company, among others, a Dr., a fat man, whom by face I know, as one that uses to sit in our church, that after dinner did take me out, and walked together, who told me that he had now newly entered himself into Orders, in the decay of the Church, and did think it his duty so to do, thereby to do his part toward the support and reformation thereof; and spoke very soberly, and said that just about the same age Dr. Donne did enter into Orders. I find him a sober gentleman, and a man that hath seen much of the world, and I think may do good. Thence after dinner to the office, and there did a little business, and so to see Sir W. Pen, who I find still very ill of the goute, sitting in his great chair, made on purpose for persons sick of that disease, for their ease; and this very chair, he tells me, was made for my Lady Lambert! Thence I by coach to my tailor’s, there to direct about the making of me another suit, and so to White Hall, and through St. James’s Park to St. James’s, thinking to have met with Mr. Wren, but could not, and so homeward toward the New Exchange, and meeting Mr. Creed he and I to drink some whey at the whey-house, and so into the ‘Change and took a walk or two, and so home, and there vexed at my boy’s being out of doors till ten at night, but it was upon my brother Jackson’s business, and so I was the less displeased, and then made the boy to read to me out of Dr. Wilkins his “Real Character,” and particularly about Noah’s arke, where he do give a very good account thereof, shewing how few the number of the several species of beasts and fowls were that were to be in the arke, and that there was room enough for them and their food and dung, which do please me mightily and is much beyond what ever I heard of the subject, and so to bed.

Thursday 28 May 1668

Up, to set right some little matters of my Tangier accounts, and so to the office, where busy all the morning, and then home with my people to dinner, and after dinner [L&M have a blank space here. P.G.] comes about a petition for a poor woman whose ticket she would get paid, and so talked a little and did baiser her, and so to the office, being pleased that this morning my bookseller brings me home Marcennus’s book of musick, which costs me 3l. 2s.; but is a very fine book. So to the office and did some business, and then by coach to the New Exchange, and there by agreement at my bookseller’s shop met Mercer and Gayet, and took them by water, first to one of the Neat-houses, where walked in the garden, but nothing but a bottle of wine to be had, though pleased with seeing the garden; and so to Fox Hall, where with great pleasure we walked, and then to the upper end of the further retired walk, and there sat and sang, and brought great many gallants and fine people about us, and, upon the bench, we did by and by eat and drink what we had, and very merry: and so with much pleasure to the Old Swan, and walked with them home, and there left them, and so I home to my business at the office a little, and so to bed.

Friday 29 May 1668

Betimes up, and up to my Tangier accounts, and then by water to the Council Chamber, and there received some directions from the Duke of York and the Committee of the Navy there about casting up the charge of the present summer’s fleete, that so they may come within the bounds of the sum given by the Parliament. But it is pretty to see how Prince Rupert and other mad, silly people, are for setting out but a little fleete, there being no occasion for it; and say it will be best to save the money for better uses. But Sir W. Coventry did declare that, in wisdom, it was better to do so; but that, in obedience to the Parliament, he was [for] setting out the fifty sail talked on, though it spent all the money, and to little purpose; and that this was better than to leave it to the Parliament to make bad construction of their thrift, if any trouble should happen. Thus wary the world is grown! Thence back again presently home, and did business till noon: and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner, with much good company, it being the King’s birthday, and many healths drunk: and here I did receive another letter from my Lord Sandwich, which troubles me to see how I have neglected him, in not writing, or but once, all this time of his being abroad; and I see he takes notice, but yet gently, of it, that it puts me to great trouble, and I know not how to get out of it, having no good excuse, and too late now to mend, he being coming home. Thence home, whither, by agreement, by and by comes Mercer and Gayet, and two gentlemen with them, Mr. Monteith and Pelham, the former a swaggering young handsome gentleman, the latter a sober citizen merchant. Both sing, but the latter with great skill - the other, no skill, but a good voice, and a good basse, but used to sing only tavern tunes; and so I spent all this evening till eleven at night singing with them, till I was tired of them, because of the swaggering fellow with the base, though the girl Mercer did mightily commend him before to me. This night je had agreed par’ alter at Deptford, there par’ avoir lain con the moher de Bagwell, but this company did hinder me.

Saturday 30 May 1668

Up, and put on a new summer black bombazin suit, and so to the office; and being come now to an agreement with my barber, to keep my perriwig in good order at 20s. a-year, I am like to go very spruce, more than I used to do. All the morning at the office and at noon home to dinner, and so to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “Philaster;” where it is pretty to see how I could remember almost all along, ever since I was a boy, Arethusa, the part which I was to have acted at Sir Robert Cooke’s; and it was very pleasant to me, but more to think what a ridiculous thing it would have been for me to have acted a beautiful woman. Thence to Mr. Pierces, and there saw Knepp also, and were merry; and here saw my little Lady Katherine Montagu come to town, about her eyes, which are sore, and they think the King’s evil, poor, pretty lady. Here I was freed from a fear that Knepp was angry or might take advantage to declare the essay that je did the other day, quand je was con her … Thence to the New Exchange, and there met Harris and Rolt, and one Richards, a tailor and great company-keeper, and with these over to Fox Hall, and there fell into the company of Harry Killigrew, a rogue newly come back out of France, but still in disgrace at our Court, and young Newport and others, as very rogues as any in the town, who were ready to take hold of every woman that come by them. And so to supper in an arbour: but, Lord! their mad bawdy talk did make my heart ake! And here I first understood by their talk the meaning of the company that lately were called Ballets; Harris telling how it was by a meeting of some young blades, where he was among them, and my Lady Bennet1 and her ladies; and their there dancing naked, and all the roguish things in the world. But, Lord! what loose cursed company was this, that I was in to-night, though full of wit; and worth a man’s being in for once, to know the nature of it, and their manner of talk, and lives. Thence set Rolt and some of [them] at the New Exchange, and so I home, and my business being done at the office, I to bed.

  1. Evidently adopted as a cant expression. The woman here alluded to was a procuress well known in her day, and described in the “Tatler” (No. 84) as “the celebrated Madam Bennet.” We further learn, from the “Spectator” (No. 266), that she was the Lady B. to whom Wycherley addressed his ironical dedication of “The Plain Dealer,” which is considered as a masterpiece of raillery. It is worthy of remark that the fair sex may justly complain of almost every word in the English language designating a woman having, at some time or another, been used as a term of reproach; for we find Mother, Madam, Mistress, and Miss, all denoting women of bad character; and here Pepys adds the title of my Lady to the number, and completes the ungracious catalogue. — B.

Sunday 31 May 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church in the morning. At noon I sent for Mr. Mills and his wife and daughter to dine, and they dined with me, and W. Hewer, and very good company, I being in good humour. They gone to church, comes Mr. Tempest, and he and I sang a psalm or two, and so parted, and I by water to the New Exchange, and there to Mrs. Pierces, where Knepp, and she, and W. Howe, and Mr. Pierce, and little Betty, over to Fox Hall, and there walked and supped with great pleasure. Here was Mrs. Manuel also, and mighty good company, and good mirth in making W. Howe spend his six or seven shillings, and so they called him altogether “Cully.” So back, and at Somerset-stairs do understand that a boy is newly drowned, washing himself there, and they cannot find his body. So seeing them home, I home by water, W. Howe going with me, and after some talk he lay at my house, and all to bed. Here I hear that Mrs. Davis is quite gone from the Duke of York’s house, and Gosnell comes in her room, which I am glad of. At the play at Court the other night, Mrs. Davis was there; and when she was to come to dance her jigg, the Queene would not stay to see it, which people do think it was out of displeasure at her being the King’s whore, that she could not bear it. My Lady Castlemayne is, it seems, now mightily out of request, the King coming little to her, and thus she mighty melancholy and discontented.