When between two and three in the morning we were waked with my maids crying out, “Fire, fire, in Markelane!” So I rose and looked out, and it was dreadful; and strange apprehensions in me, and us all, of being presently burnt. So we all rose; and my care presently was to secure my gold, and plate, and papers, and could quickly have done it, but I went forth to see where it was; and the whole town was presently in the streets; and I found it in a new-built house that stood alone in Minchin-lane, over against the Cloth-workers’-hall, which burned furiously: the house not yet quite finished; and the benefit of brick was well seen, for it burnt all inward, and fell down within itself; so no fear of doing more hurt. So homeward, and stopped at Mr. Mills’s, where he and she at the door, and Mrs. Turner, and Betty, and Mrs. Hollworthy, and there I stayed and talked, and up to the church leads, and saw the fire, which spent itself, till all fear over. I home, and there we to bed again, and slept pretty well, and about nine rose, and then my wife fell into her blubbering again, and at length had a request to make to me, which was, that she might go into France, and live there, out of trouble; and then all come out, that I loved pleasure and denied her any, and a deal of do; and I find that there have been great fallings out between my father and her, whom, for ever hereafter, I must keep asunder, for they cannot possibly agree. And I said nothing, but, with very mild words and few, suffered her humour to spend, till we begun to be very quiet, and I think all will be over, and friends, and so I to the office, where all the morning doing business. Yesterday I heard how my Lord Ashly is like to die, having some imposthume in his breast, that he hath been fain to be cut into the body.1 At noon home to dinner, and thence by coach to White Hall, where we attended the Duke of York in his closet, upon our usual business. And thence out, and did see many of the Knights of the Garter, with the King and Duke of York, going into the Privychamber, to elect the Elector of Saxony into that Order, who, I did hear the Duke of York say, was a good drinker: I know not upon what score this compliment is done him. Thence with W. Pen, who is in great pain of the gowte, by coach round by Holborne home, he being at every kennel —[?? D.W.]— full of pain. Thence home, and by and by comes my wife and Deb. home, have been at the King’s playhouse to-day, thinking to spy me there; and saw the new play, “Evening Love,” of Dryden’s, which, though the world commends, she likes not. So to supper and talk, and all in good humour, and then to bed, where I slept not well, from my apprehensions of some trouble about some business of Mr. Povy’s he told me of the other day.
Such an operation was performed in this year, after a consultation of medical men, and chiefly by Locke’s advice, and the wound was afterwards always kept open, a silver pipe being inserted. This saved Lord Ashley’s life, and gave him health
Christie’s Life of the first Earl of Shaftesbury, vol. ii., p. 34. ‘Tapski’ was a name given to Shaftesbury in derision, and vile defamers described the abscess, which had originated in a carriage accident in Holland, as the result of extreme dissipation. Lines by Duke, a friend and imitator of Dryden:
The working ferment of his active mind, In his weak body’s cask with pain confined, Would burst the rotten vessel where ‘tis pent, But that ‘tis tapt to give the treason vent.