(Lord’s day). Up, and to set some papers to rights in my chamber, and the like in my office, and so to church, at our own church, and heard but a dull sermon of one Dr. Hicks, who is a suitor to Mrs. Howell, the widow of our turner of the Navy; thence home to dinner, staying till past one o’clock for Harris, whom I invited, and to bring Shadwell the poet with him; but they come not, and so a good dinner lost, through my own folly. And so to dinner alone, having since church heard the boy read over Dryden’s Reply to Sir R. Howard’s Answer, about his Essay of Poesy, and a letter in answer to that; the last whereof is mighty silly, in behalf of Howard.1 Thence walked forth and got a coach and to visit Mrs. Pierce, with whom, and him, I staid a little while, and do hear how the Duchesse of Monmouth is at this time in great trouble of the shortness of her lame leg, which is likely to grow shorter and shorter, that she will never recover it. Thence to St. Margaret’s Church, thinking to have seen Betty Michell, but she was not there. So back, and walked to Gray’s Inn walks a while, but little company; and so over the fields to Clerkenwell, to see whether I could find that the fair Botelers do live there still, I seeing Frances the other day in a coach with Cary Dillon, her old servant, but know not where she lives. So walked home, and there walked in the garden an hour, it being mighty pleasant weather, and so took my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham home with me and sent for Mrs. Turner, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen and supped with me, a good supper, part of my dinner to-day. They gone, Mrs. Turner staid an hour talking with me … So parted, and I to bed.
- The title of the letter is as follows: “A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honourable Ed. Howard, Esq., occasioned by a Civiliz’d Epistle of Mr. Dryden’s before his Second Edition of his Indian Emperour. In the Savoy, printed by Thomas Newcomb, 1668.” The “Civiliz’d Epistle” was a caustic attack on Sir Robert Howard; and the Letter is signed, “Sir, your faithful and humble servant, R. F.” — i.e., Richard Flecknoe. ↩