Monday 1 February 1668/69

Up, and by water from the Tower to White Hall, the first time that I have gone to that end of the town by water, for two or three months, I think, since I kept a coach, which God send propitious to me; but it is a very great convenience. I went to a Committee of Tangier, but it did not meet, and so I meeting Mr. Povy, he and I away to Dancre’s, to speak something touching the pictures I am getting him to make for me. And thence he carried me to Mr. Streeter’s, the famous history-painter over the way, whom I have often heard of, but did never see him before; and there I found him, and Dr. Wren, and several Virtuosos, looking upon the paintings which he is making for the new Theatre at Oxford: and, indeed, they look as if they would be very fine, and the rest think better than those of Rubens in the Banqueting-house at White Hall, but I do not so fully think so. But they will certainly be very noble; and I am mightily pleased to have the fortune to see this man and his work, which is very famous; and he a very civil little man, and lame, but lives very handsomely. So thence to my Lord Bellassis, and met him within: my business only to see a chimney-piece of Dancre’s doing, in distemper, with egg to keep off the glaring of the light, which I must have done for my room: and indeed it is pretty, but, I must confess, I do think it is not altogether so beautiful as the oyle pictures; but I will have some of one, and some of another. Thence set him down at Little Turnstile, and so I home, and there eat a little dinner, and away with my wife by coach to the King’s playhouse, thinking to have seen “The Heyresse,” first acted on Saturday last; but when we come thither, we find no play there; Kinaston, that did act a part therein, in abuse to Sir Charles Sedley, being last night exceedingly beaten with sticks, by two or three that assaulted him, so as he is mightily bruised, and forced to keep his bed. So we to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “She Would if She Could,” and so home and to my office to business, and then to supper and to bed. This day, going to the play, The. Turner met us, and carried us to her mother, at my Lady Mordaunt’s; and I did carry both mother and daughter with us to the Duke of York’s playhouse, at next door.

Tuesday 2 February 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and home to dinner at noon, where I find Mr. Sheres; and there made a short dinner, and carried him with us to the King’s playhouse, where “The Heyresse,” not- withstanding Kinaston’s being beaten, is acted; and they say the King is very angry with Sir Charles Sedley for his being beaten, but he do deny it. But his part is done by Beeston, who is fain to read it out of a book all the while, and thereby spoils the part, and almost the play, it being one of the best parts in it; and though the design is, in the first conception of it, pretty good, yet it is but an indifferent play, wrote, they say, by my Lord Newcastle. But it was pleasant to see Beeston come in with others, supposing it to be dark, and yet he is forced to read his part by the light of the candles: and this I observing to a gentleman that sat by me, he was mightily pleased therewith, and spread it up and down. But that, that pleased me most in the play is, the first song that Knepp sings, she singing three or four; and, indeed, it was very finely sung, so as to make the whole house clap her. Thence carried Sheres to White Hall, and there I stepped in, and looked out Mr. May, who tells me that he and his company cannot come to dine with me to- morrow, whom I expected only to come to see the manner of our Office and books, at which I was not very much displeased, having much business at the Office, and so away home, and there to the office about my letters, and then home to supper and to bed, my wife being in mighty ill humour all night, and in the morning I found it to be from her observing Knepp to wink and smile on me; and she says I smiled on her; and, poor wretch! I did perceive that she did, and do on all such occasions, mind my eyes. I did, with much difficulty, pacify her, and were friends, she desiring that hereafter, at that house, we might always sit either above in a box, or, if there be [no] room, close up to the lower boxes.

Wednesday 3 February 1668/69

So up, and to the Office till noon, and then home to a little dinner, and thither again till night, mighty busy, to my great content, doing a great deal of business, and so home to supper, and to bed; I finding this day that I may be able to do a great deal of business by dictating, if I do not read myself, or write, without spoiling my eyes, I being very well in my eyes after a great day’s work.

Thursday 4 February 1668/69

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home with my people to dinner, and then after dinner comes Mr. Spong to see me, and brings me my Parallelogram, in better order than before, and two or three draughts of the port of Brest, to my great content, and I did call Mr. Gibson to take notice of it, who is very much pleased therewith; and it seems this Parallelogram is not, as Mr. Sheres would, the other day, have persuaded me, the same as a Protractor, which do so much the more make me value it, but of itself it is a most usefull instrument. Thence out with my wife and him, and carried him to an instrument-maker’s shop in Chancery Lane, that was once a ‘Prentice of Greatorex’s, but the master was not within, and there he [Gibson] shewed me a Parallelogram in brass, which I like so well that I will buy, and therefore bid it be made clean and fit for me. And so to my cozen Turner’s, and there just spoke with The., the mother not being at home; and so to the New Exchange, and thence home to my letters; and so home to supper and to bed. This morning I made a slip from the Office to White Hall, expecting Povy’s business at a Committee of Tangier, at which I would be, but it did not meet, and so I presently back.

Friday 5 February 1668/69

Up betimes, by coach to Sir W. Coventry’s, and with him by coach to White Hall, and there walked in the garden talking of several things, and by my visit to keep fresh my interest in him; and there he tells me how it hath been talked that he was to go one of the Commissioners to Ireland, which he was resolved never to do, unless directly commanded; for he told me that for to go thither, while the Chief Secretary of State was his professed enemy, was to undo himself; and, therefore, it were better for him to venture being unhappy here, than to go further off, to be undone by some obscure instructions, or whatever other way of mischief his enemies should cut out for him. He mighty kind to me, and so parted, and thence home, calling in two or three places — among others, Dancre’s, where I find him beginning of a piece for me, of Greenwich, which will please me well, and so home to dinner, and very busy all the afternoon, and so at night home to supper, and to bed.

Saturday 6 February 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and thence after dinner to the King’s playhouse, and there, — in an upper box, where come in Colonel Poynton and Doll Stacey, who is very fine, and, by her wedding-ring, I suppose he hath married her at last, — did see “The Moor of Venice:” but ill acted in most parts; Mohun, which did a little surprise me, not acting Iago’s part by much so well as Clun used to do; nor another Hart’s, which was Cassio’s; nor, indeed, Burt doing the Moor’s so well as I once thought he did. Thence home, and just at Holborn Conduit the bolt broke, that holds the fore-wheels to the perch, and so the horses went away with them, and left the coachman and us; but being near our coachmaker’s, and we staying in a little ironmonger’s shop, we were presently supplied with another, and so home, and there to my letters at the office, and so to supper and to bed.

Sunday 7 February 1668/69

(Lord’s day). My wife mighty peevish in the morning about my lying unquietly a-nights, and she will have it that it is a late practice, from my evil thoughts in my dreams, … and mightily she is troubled about it; but all blew over, and I up, and to church, and so home to dinner, where she in a worse fit, which lasted all the afternoon, and shut herself up, in her closet, and I mightily grieved and vexed, and could not get her to tell me what ayled her, or to let me into her closet, but at last she did, where I found her crying on the ground, and I could not please her; but I did at last find that she did plainly expound it to me. It was, that she did believe me false to her with Jane, and did rip up three or four silly circumstances of her not rising till I come out of my chamber, and her letting me thereby see her dressing herself; and that I must needs go into her chamber and was naught with her; which was so silly, and so far from truth, that I could not be troubled at it, though I could not wonder at her being troubled, if she had these thoughts, and therefore she would lie from me, and caused sheets to be put on in the blue room, and would have Jane to lie with her lest I should come to her. At last, I did give her such satisfaction, that we were mighty good friends, and went to bed betimes …

Monday 8 February 1668/69

Up, and dressed myself; and by coach, with W. Hewer and my wife, to White Hall, where she set us two down; and in the way, our little boy, at Martin, my bookseller’s shop, going to ‘light, did fall down; and, had he not been a most nimble boy (I saw how he did it, and was mightily pleased with him for it), he had been run over by the coach. I to visit my Lord Sandwich; and there, while my Lord was dressing himself, did see a young Spaniard, that he hath brought over with him, dance, which he is admired for, as the best dancer in Spain, and indeed he do with mighty mastery; but I do not like his dancing as the English, though my Lord commends it mightily: but I will have him to my house, and show it my wife. Here I met with Mr. Moore, who tells me the state of my Lord’s accounts of his embassy, which I find not so good as I thought: for, though it be passed the King and his Cabal (the Committee for Foreign Affairs as they are called), yet they have cut off from 9000l. full 8000l., and have now sent it to the Lords of the Treasury, who, though the Committee have allowed the rest, yet they are not obliged to abide by it. So that I do fear this account may yet be long ere it be passed — much more, ere that sum be paid: I am sorry for the family, and not a little for what it owes me. So to my wife, took her up at Unthank’s, and in our way home did shew her the tall woman in Holborne, which I have seen before; and I measured her, and she is, without shoes, just six feet five inches high, and they say not above twenty-one years old. Thence home, and there to dinner, and my wife in a wonderful ill humour; and, after dinner, I staid with her alone, being not able to endure this life, and fell to some angry words together; but by and by were mighty good friends, she telling me plain it was still about Jane, whom she cannot believe but I am base with, which I made a matter of mirth at; but at last did call up Jane, and confirm her mistress’s directions for her being gone at Easter, which I find the wench willing to be, but directly prayed that Tom might go with her, which I promised, and was but what I designed; and she being thus spoke with, and gone, my wife and I good friends, and mighty kind, I having promised, and I will perform it, never to give her for the time to come ground of new trouble; and so I to the Office, with a very light heart, and there close at my business all the afternoon. This day I was told by Mr. Wren, that Captain Cox, Master- Attendant at Deptford, is to be one of us very soon, he and Tippets being to take their turns for Chatham and Portsmouth, which choice I like well enough; and Captain Annesley is to come in his room at Deptford. This morning also, going to visit Roger Pepys, at the potticary’s in King’s Street, he tells me that Roger is gone to his wife’s, so that they have been married, as he tells me, ever since the middle of last week: it was his design, upon good reasons, to make no noise of it; but I am well enough contented that it is over. Dispatched a great deal of business at the office, and there pretty late, till finding myself very full of wind, by my eating no dinner to-day, being vexed, I was forced to go home, and there supped W. Batelier with us, and so with great content to bed.

Tuesday 9 February 1668/69

Up, and all the morning busy at the office, and after dinner abroad with my wife to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Island Princesse,” which I like mighty well, as an excellent play: and here we find Kinaston to be well enough to act again, which he do very well, after his beating by Sir Charles Sedley’s appointment; and so thence home, and there to my business at the Office, and after my letters done, then home to supper and to bed, my mind being mightily eased by my having this morning delivered to the Office a letter of advice about our answers to the Commissioners of Accounts, whom we have neglected, and I have done this as a record in my justification hereafter, when it shall come to be examined.

Wednesday 10 February 1668/69

Up, and with my wife and W. Hewer, she set us down at White Hall, where the Duke of York was gone a-hunting: and so, after I had done a little business there, I to my wife, and with her to the plaisterer’s at Charing Cross, that casts heads and bodies in plaister: and there I had my whole face done; but I was vexed first to be forced to daub all my face over with pomatum: but it was pretty to feel how soft and easily it is done on the face, and by and by, by degrees, how hard it becomes, that you cannot break it, and sits so close, that you cannot pull it off, and yet so easy, that it is as soft as a pillow, so safe is everything where many parts of the body do bear alike. Thus was the mould made; but when it came off there was little pleasure in it, as it looks in the mould, nor any resemblance whatever there will be in the figure, when I come to see it cast off, which I am to call for a day or two hence, which I shall long to see. Thence to Hercules Pillars, and there my wife and W. Hewer and I dined, and back to White Hall, where I staid till the Duke of York come from hunting, which he did by and by, and, when dressed, did come out to dinner; and there I waited: and he did tell me that to-morrow was to be the great day that the business of the Navy would be dis coursed of before the King and his Caball, and that he must stand on his guard, and did design to have had me in readiness by, but that upon second thoughts did think it better to let it alone, but they are now upon entering into the economical part of the Navy. Here he dined, and did mightily magnify his sauce, which he did then eat with every thing, and said it was the best universal sauce in the world, it being taught him by the Spanish Embassador; made of some parsley and a dry toast, beat in a mortar, together with vinegar, salt, and a little pepper: he eats it with flesh, or fowl, or fish: and then he did now mightily commend some new sort of wine lately found out, called Navarre wine, which I tasted, and is, I think, good wine: but I did like better the notion of the sauce, and by and by did taste it, and liked it mightily. After dinner, I did what I went for, which was to get his consent that Balty might hold his Muster- Master’s place by deputy, in his new employment which I design for him, about the Storekeeper’s accounts; which the Duke of York did grant me, and I was mighty glad of it. Thence home, and there I find Povy and W. Batelier, by appointment, met to talk of some merchandize of wine and linnen; but I do not like of their troubling my house to meet in, having no mind to their pretences of having their rendezvous here, but, however, I was not much troubled, but went to the office, and there very busy, and did much business till late at night, and so home to supper, and with great pleasure to bed. This day, at dinner, I sent to Mr. Spong to come to me to Hercules Pillars, who come to us, and there did bring with him my new Parallelogram of brass, which I was mightily pleased with, and paid for it 25s., and am mightily pleased with his ingenious and modest company.

Thursday 11 February 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and at noon home and heard that the last night Colonel Middleton’s wife died, a woman I never saw since she come hither, having never been within their house since. Home at noon to dinner, and thence to work all the afternoon with great pleasure, and did bring my business to a very little compass in my day book, which is a mighty pleasure, and so home to supper and get my wife to read to me, and then to bed.

Friday 12 February 1668/69

Up, and my wife with me to White Hall, and Tom, and there she sets us down, and there to wait on the Duke of York, with the rest of us, at the Robes, where the Duke of York did tell us that the King would have us prepare a draught of the present administration of the Navy, and what it was in the late times, in order to his being able to distinguish between the good and the bad, which I shall do, but to do it well will give me a great deal of trouble. Here we shewed him Sir J. Minnes’s propositions about balancing Storekeeper’s accounts; and I did shew him Hosier’s, which did please him mightily, and he will have it shewed the Council and King anon, to be put in practice. Thence to the Treasurer’s; and I and Sir J. Minnes and Mr. Tippets down to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and there had a hot debate from Sir Thomas Clifford and my Lord Ashly (the latter of which, I hear, is turning about as fast as he can to the Duke of Buckingham’s side, being in danger, it seems, of being otherwise out of play, which would not be convenient for him), against Sir W. Coventry and Sir J. Duncomb, who did uphold our Office against an accusation of our Treasurers, who told the Lords that they found that we had run the King in debt 50,000l. or more, more than the money appointed for the year would defray, which they declared like fools, and with design to hurt us, though the thing is in itself ridiculous. But my Lord Ashly and Clifford did most horribly cry out against the want of method in the Office. At last it come that it should be put in writing what they had to object; but I was devilish mad at it, to see us thus wounded by our own members, and so away vexed, and called my wife, and to Hercules Pillars, Tom and I, there dined; and here there coming a Frenchman by with his Shew, we did make him shew it us, which he did just as Lacy acts it, which made it mighty pleasant to me. So after dinner we away and to Dancre’s, and there saw our picture of Greenwich in doing, which is mighty pretty, and so to White Hall, my wife to Unthank’s, and I attended with Lord Brouncker the King and Council, about the proposition of balancing Storekeeper’s accounts and there presented Hosier’s book, and it was mighty well resented and approved of. So the Council being up, we to the Queen’s side with the King and Duke of York: and the Duke of York did take me out to talk of our Treasurers, whom he is mighty angry with: and I perceive he is mighty desirous to bring in as many good motions of profit and reformation in the Navy as he can, before the Treasurers do light upon them, they being desirous, it seems, to be thought the great reformers: and the Duke of York do well. But to my great joy he is mighty open to me in every thing; and by this means I know his whole mind, and shall be able to secure myself, if he stands. Here to-night I understand, by my Lord Brouncker, that at last it is concluded on by the King and Buckingham that my Lord of Ormond shall not hold his government of Ireland, which is a great stroke, to shew the power of Buckingham and the poor spirit of the King, and little hold that any man can have of him. Thence I homeward, and calling my wife called at my cozen Turner’s, and there met our new cozen Pepys (Mrs. Dickenson), and Bab. and Betty come yesterday to town, poor girls, whom we have reason to love, and mighty glad we are to see them; and there staid and talked a little, being also mightily pleased to see Betty Turner, who is now in town, and her brothers Charles and Will, being come from school to see their father, and there talked a while, and so home, and there Pelling hath got me W. Pen’s book against the Trinity. I got my wife to read it to me; and I find it so well writ as, I think, it is too good for him ever to have writ it; and it is a serious sort of book, and not fit for every body to read. So to supper and to bed.

Sunday 14 February 1668/69

(Lord’s day). Up, and by coach to Sir W. Coventry, and there, he taking physic, I with him all the morning, full of very good discourse of the Navy and publick matters, to my great content, wherein I find him doubtful that all will be bad, and, for his part, he tells me he takes no more care for any thing more than in the Treasury; and that, that being done, he goes to cards and other delights, as plays, and in summertime to bowles. But here he did shew me two or three old books of the Navy, of my Lord Northumberland’s times, which he hath taken many good notes out of, for justifying the Duke of York and us, in many things, wherein, perhaps, precedents will be necessary to produce, which did give me great content. At noon home, and pleased mightily with my morning’s work, and coming home, I do find a letter from Mr. Wren, to call me to the Duke of York after dinner. So dined in all haste, and then W. Hewer and my wife and I out, we set her at my cozen Turner’s while we to White Hall, where the Duke of York expected me; and in his closet Wren and I. He did tell me how the King hath been acquainted with the Treasurers’ discourse at the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, the other day, and is dissatisfied with our running him in debt, which I removed; and he did, carry me to the King, and I did satisfy him also; but his satisfaction is nothing worth, it being easily got, and easily removed; but I do purpose to put in writing that which shall make the Treasurers ashamed. But the Duke of York is horrid angry against them; and he hath cause, for they do all they can to bring dishonour upon his management, as do vainly appear in all they do. Having done with the Duke of York, who do repose all in me, I with Mr. Wren to his, chamber, to talk; where he observed, that these people are all of them a broken sort of people, that have not much to lose, and therefore will venture all to make their fortunes better: that Sir Thomas Osborne is a beggar, having 11 of 1200l. a-year, but owes above 10,000l.. The Duke of Buckingham’s condition is shortly this: that he hath about 19,600l. a-year, of which he pays away about 7,000l. a-year in interest, about 2000l. in fee-farm rents to the King, about 6000l. wages and pensions, and the rest to live upon, and pay taxes for the whole. Wren says, that for the Duke of York to stir in this matter, as his quality might justify, would but make all things worse, and that therefore he must bend, and suffer all, till time works it out: that he fears they will sacrifice the Church, and that the King will take anything, and so he will hold up his head a little longer, and then break in pieces. But Sir W. Coventry did today mightily magnify my late Lord Treasurer, for a wise and solid, though infirm man: and, among other things, that when he hath said it was impossible in nature to find this or that sum of money, and my Lord Chancellor hath made sport of it, and tell the King that when my Lord hath said it [was] impossible, yet he hath made shift to find it, and that was by Sir G. Carteret’s getting credit, my Lord did once in his hearing say thus, which he magnifies as a great saying — that impossible would be found impossible at last; meaning that the King would run himself out, beyond all his credit and funds, and then we should too late find it impossible; which is, he says, now come to pass. For that Sir W. Coventry says they could borrow what money they would, if they had assignments, and funds to secure it with, which before they had enough of, and then must spend it as if it would never have an end. From White Hall to my cozen Turner’s, and there took up my wife; and so to my uncle Wight’s, and there sat and supped, and talked pretty merry, and then walked home, and to bed.

Monday 15 February 1668/69

Up, and with Tom to White Hall; and there at a Committee of Tangier, where a great instance of what a man may lose by the neglect of a friend: Povy never had such an opportunity of passing his accounts, the Duke of York being there, and everybody well disposed, and in expectation of them; but my Lord Ashly, on whom he relied, and for whose sake this day was pitched on, that he might be sure to be there, among the rest of his friends, staid too long, till the Duke of York and the company thought unfit to stay longer and so the day lost, and God knows when he will ever have so good a one again, as long as he lives; and this was the man of the whole company that he hath made the most interest to gain, and now most depended upon him. So up and down the house a while, and then to the plaisterer’s, and there saw the figure of my face taken from the mould: and it is most admirably like, and I will have another made, before I take it away, and therefore I away and to the Temple, and thence to my cozen Turner’s, where, having the last night been told by her that she had drawn me for her Valentine, I did this day call at the New Exchange, and bought her a pair of green silk stockings and garters and shoe-strings, and two pair of jessimy gloves, all coming to about 28s., and did give them her this noon. At the ‘Change, I did at my bookseller’s shop accidentally fall into talk with Sir Samuel Tuke about trees, and Mr. Evelyn’s garden; and I do find him, I think, a little conceited, but a man of very fine discourse as any I ever heard almost, which I was mighty glad of. I dined at my cozen Turner’s, and my wife also and her husband there, and after dinner, my wife and I endeavoured to make a visit to Ned Pickering; but he not at home, nor his lady; and therefore back again, and took up my cozen Turner, and to my cozen Roger’s lodgings, and there find him pretty well again, and his wife mighty kind and merry, and did make mighty much of us, and I believe he is married to a very good woman. Here was also Bab. and Betty, who have not their clothes yet, and therefore cannot go out, otherwise I would have had them abroad to-morrow; but the poor girls mighty kind to us, and we must shew them kindness also. Here in Suffolk Street lives Moll Davis; and we did see her coach come for her to her door, a mighty pretty fine coach. Here we staid an hour or two, and then carried Turner home, and there staid and talked a while, and then my wife and I to White Hall; and there, by means of Mr. Cooling, did get into the play, the only one we have seen this winter: it was “The Five Hours’ Adventure:” but I sat so far I could not hear well, nor was there any pretty woman that I did see, but my wife, who sat in my Lady Fox’s pew1 with her. The house very full; and late before done, so that it was past eleven before we got home. But we were well pleased with seeing it, and so to supper, where it happened that there was no bread in the house, which was an unusual case, and so to bed.

Tuesday 16 February 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, my head full of business of the office now at once on my hands, and so at noon home to dinner, where I find some things of W. Batelier’s come out of France, among which some clothes for my wife, wherein she is likely to lead me to the expence of so much money as vexed me; but I seemed so, more than I at this time was, only to prevent her taking too much, and she was mighty calm under it. But I was mightily pleased with another picture of the King of France’s head, of Nanteuil’s, bigger than the other which he brought over, that pleases me infinitely: and so to the Office, where busy all the afternoon, though my eyes mighty bad with the light of the candles last night, which was so great as to make my eyes sore all this day, and do teach me, by a manifest experiment, that it is only too much light that do make my eyes sore. Nevertheless, with the help of my tube, and being desirous of easing my mind of five or six days journall, I did venture to write it down from ever since this day se’nnight, and I think without hurting my eyes any more than they were before, which was very much, and so home to supper and to bed.

Wednesday 17 February 1668/69

Up, and with W. Hewer with me to Lincoln’s Inn, by appointment, to have spoke with Mr. Pedley about Mr. Goldsborough’s business and Mr. Weaver’s, but he was gone out, and so I with Mr. Castle, the son-in-law of Weaver, to White Hall to look for him, but did not find him, but here I did meet with several and talked, and do hear only that the King dining yesterday at the Dutch Embassador’s, after dinner they drank, and were pretty merry; and, among the rest of the King’s company, there was that worthy fellow my lord of Rochester, and Tom Killigrew, whose mirth and raillery offended the former so much, that he did give Tom Killigrew a box on the ear in the King’s presence, which do much give offence to the people here at Court, to see how cheap the King makes himself, and the more, for that the King hath not only passed by the thing, and pardoned it to Rochester already, but this very morning the King did publickly walk up and down, and Rochester I saw with him as free as ever, to the King’s everlasting shame, to have so idle a rogue his companion. How Tom Killigrew takes it, I do not hear. I do also this day hear that my Lord Privy Seale do accept to go Lieutenant into Ireland; but whether it be true or no, I cannot tell. So calling at my shoemaker’s, and paying him to this day, I home to dinner, and in the afternoon to Colonel Middleton’s house, to the burial of his wife, where we are all invited, and much more company, and had each of us a ring: and so towards evening to our church, where there was a sermon preached by Mills, and so home. At church there was my Lord Brouncker and Mrs. Williams in our pew, the first time they were ever there or that I knew that either of them would go to church. At home comes Castle to me, to desire me to go to Mr. Pedly, this night, he being to go out of town to-morrow morning, which I, therefore, did, by hackney-coach, first going to White Hall to meet with Sir W. Coventry, but missed him. But here I had a pleasant rencontre of a lady in mourning, that, by the little light I had, seemed handsome. I passing by her, I did observe she looked back again and again upon me, I suffering her to go before, and it being now duske. I observed she went into the little passage towards the Privy Water-Gate, and I followed, but missed her; but coming back again, I observed she returned, and went to go out of the Court. I followed her, and took occasion, in the new passage now built, where the walke is to be, to take her by the hand, to lead her through, which she willingly accepted, and I led her to the Great Gate, and there left her, she telling me, of her own accord, that she was going as far as, Charing Cross; but my boy was at the gate, and so je durst not go out con her, which vexed me, and my mind (God forgive me) did run apres her toute that night, though I have reason to thank God, and so I do now, that I was not tempted to go further. So to Lincoln’s Inn, where to Mr. Pedly, with whom I spoke, and did my business presently: and I find him a man of very good language, and mighty civil, and I believe very upright: and so home, where W. Batelier was, and supped with us, and I did reckon this night what I owed him; and I do find that the things my wife, of her own head, hath taken (together with my own, which comes not to above 5l.), comes to above 22l.. But it is the last, and so I am the better contented; and they are things that are not trifles, but clothes, gloves, shoes, hoods, &c. So after supper, to bed.

Thursday 18 February 1668/69

Up, and to the Office, and at noon home, expecting to have this day seen Bab. and Betty Pepys here, but they come not; and so after dinner my wife and I to the Duke of York’s house, to a play, and there saw “The Mad Lover,” which do not please me so well as it used to do, only Betterton’s part still pleases me. But here who should we have come to us but Bab. and Betty and Talbot, the first play they were yet at; and going to see us, and hearing by my boy, whom I sent to them, that we were here, they come to us hither, and happened all of us to sit by my cozen Turner and The., and we carried them home first, and then took Bab. and Betty to our house, where they lay and supped, and pretty merry, and very fine with their new clothes, and good comely girls they are enough, and very glad I am of their being with us, though I would very well have been contented to have been without the charge. So they to bed and we to bed.

Friday 19 February 1668/69

Up, and after seeing the girls, who lodged in our bed, with their maid Martha, who hath been their father’s maid these twenty years and more, I with Lord Brouncker to White Hall, where all of us waited on the Duke of York; and after our usual business done, W. Hewer and I to look my wife at the Black Lion, Mercer’s, but she is gone home, and so I home and there dined, and W. Batelier and W. Hewer with us. All the afternoon I at the Office, while the young people went to see Bedlam, and at night home to them and to supper, and pretty merry, only troubled with a great cold at this time, and my eyes very bad ever since Monday night last that the light of the candles spoiled me. So to bed. This morning, among other things, talking with Sir W. Coventry, I did propose to him my putting in to serve in Parliament, if there should, as the world begins to expect, be a new one chose: he likes it mightily, both for the King’s and Service’s sake, and the Duke of York, and will propound it to the Duke of York: and I confess, if there be one, I would be glad to be in.

Saturday 20 February 1668/69

Up, and all the morning at the office, and then home to dinner, and after dinner out with my wife and my two girls to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Gratefull Servant,” a pretty good play, and which I have forgot that ever I did see. And thence with them to Mrs. Gotier’s, the Queen’s tire-woman, for a pair of locks for my wife; she is an oldish French woman, but with a pretty hand as most I have seen; and so home, and to supper, W. Batelier and W. Hewer with us, and so my cold being great, and greater by my having left my coat at my tailor’s to-night and come home in a thinner that I borrowed there, I went to bed before them and slept pretty well.

Sunday 21 February 1668/69

(Lord’s day). Up, and with my wife and two girls to church, they very fine; and so home, where comes my cozen Roger and his wife, I having sent for them, to dine with us, and there comes in by chance also Mr. Shepley, who is come to town with my Lady Paulina, who is desperately sick, and is gone to Chelsey, to the old house where my Lord himself was once sick, where I doubt my Lord means to visit hers more for young Mrs. Beck’s sake than for hers. Here we dined with W. Batelier, and W. Hewer with us, these two girls making it necessary that they be always with us, for I am not company light enough to be always merry with them and so sat talking all the afternoon, and then Shepley went away first, and then my cozen Roger and his wife. And so I, to my Office, to write down my Journall, and so home to my chamber and to do a little business there, my papers being in mighty disorder, and likely so to continue while these girls are with us. In the evening comes W. Batelier and his sisters and supped and talked with us, and so spent the evening, myself being somewhat out of order because of my eyes, which have never been well since last Sunday’s reading at Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and so after supper to bed.

Monday 22 February 1668/69

Up, and betimes to White Hall; but there the Duke of York is gone abroad a-hunting, and therefore after a little stay there I into London, with Sir H. Cholmly, talking all the way of Tangier matters, wherein I find him troubled from some reports lately from Norwood (who is his great enemy and I doubt an ill man), of some decay of the Mole, and a breach made therein by the sea to a great value. He set me down at the end of Leadenhall Street, and so I home, and after dinner, with my wife, in her morning-gown, and the two girls dressed, to Unthanke’s, where my wife dresses herself, having her gown this day laced, and a new petticoat; and so is indeed very fine. And in the evening I do carry them to White Hall, and there did without much trouble get into the playhouse, there in a good place among the Ladies of Honour, and myself also sat in the pit; and there by and by come the King and Queen, and they begun “Bartholomew Fayre.” But I like no play here so well as at the common playhouse; besides that, my eyes being very ill since last Sunday and this day se’nnight, with the light of the candles, I was in mighty pain to defend myself now from the light of the candles. After the play done, we met with W. Batelier and W. Hewer and Talbot Pepys, and they follow us in a hackney-coach: and we all stopped at Hercules’ Pillars; and there I did give them the best supper I could, and pretty merry; and so home between eleven and twelve at night, and so to bed, mightily well pleased with this day’s work.

Tuesday 23 February 1668/69

Up: and to the Office, where all the morning, and then home, and put a mouthfull of victuals in my mouth; and by a hackney-coach followed my wife and the girls, who are gone by eleven o’clock, thinking to have seen a new play at the Duke of York’s house. But I do find them staying at my tailor’s, the play not being to-day, and therefore I now took them to Westminster Abbey, and there did show them all the tombs very finely, having one with us alone, there being other company this day to see the tombs, it being Shrove Tuesday; and here we did see, by particular favour, the body of Queen Katherine of Valois; and I had the upper part of her body in my hands, and I did kiss her mouth, reflecting upon it that I did kiss a Queen,1 and that this was my birth-day, thirty-six years old, that I did first kiss a Queen. But here this man, who seems to understand well, tells me that the saying is not true that says she was never buried, for she was buried; only, when Henry the Seventh built his chapel, it was taken up and laid in this wooden coffin; but I did there see that, in it, the body was buried in a leaden one, which remains under the body to this day. Thence to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there, finding the play begun, we homeward to the Glass-House, and there shewed my cozens the making of glass, and had several things made with great content; and, among others, I had one or two singing-glasses made, which make an echo to the voice, the first that ever I saw; but so thin, that the very breath broke one or two of them. So home, and thence to Mr. Batelier’s, where we supped, and had a good supper, and here was Mr. Gumbleton; and after supper some fiddles, and so to dance; but my eyes were so out of order, that I had little pleasure this night at all, though I was glad to see the rest merry, and so about midnight home and to bed.

Wednesday 24 February 1668/69

Lay long in bed, both being sleepy and my eyes bad, and myself having a great cold so as I was hardly able to speak, but, however, by and by up and to the office, and at noon home with my people to dinner, and then I to the office again, and there till the evening doing of much business, and at night my wife sends for me to W. Hewer’s lodging, where I find two best chambers of his so finely furnished, and all so rich and neat, that I was mightily pleased with him and them and here only my wife, and I, and the two girls, and had a mighty neat dish of custards and tarts, and good drink and talk. And so away home to bed, with infinite content at this his treat; for it was mighty pretty, and everything mighty rich.

Thursday 25 February 1668/69

All the morning at the office. At noon home and eat a bit myself, and then followed my wife and girls to the Duke of York’s house, and there before one, but the house infinite full, where, by and by, the King and Court come, it being a new play, or an old one new vamped, by Shadwell, called “The Royall Shepherdesse;” but the silliest for words and design, and everything, that ever I saw in my whole life, there being nothing in the world pleasing in it, but a good martial dance of pikemen, where Harris and another do handle their pikes in a dance to admiration; but never less satisfied with a play in my life. Thence to the office I, and did a little business, and so home to supper with my girls, and pretty merry, only my eyes, which continue very bad, and my cold, that I cannot speak at all, do trouble me.

Friday 26 February 1668/69

Was forced to send my excuse to the Duke of York for my not attending him with my fellows this day because of my cold, and was the less troubled because I was thereby out of the way to offer my proposals about Pursers till the Surveyor hath delivered his notions, which he is to do to-day about something he has to offer relating to the Navy in general, which I would be glad to see and peruse before I offer what I have to say. So lay long in bed, and then up and to my office, and so to dinner, and then, though I could not speak, yet I went with my wife and girls to the King’s playhouse, to shew them that, and there saw “The Faithfull Shepherdesse.” But, Lord! what an empty house, there not being, as I could tell the people, so many as to make up above 10l. in the whole house! The being of a new play at the other house, I suppose, being the cause, though it be so silly a play that I wonder how there should be enough people to go thither two days together, and not leave more to fill this house. The emptiness of the house took away our pleasure a great deal, though I liked it the better; for that I plainly discern the musick is the better, by how much the house the emptier. Thence home, and again to W. Hewer’s, and had a pretty little treat, and spent an hour or two, my voice being wholly taken away with my cold, and so home and to bed.

Saturday 27 February 1668/69

Up, and at the office all the morning, where I could speak but a little. At noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon till night busy at the office again, where forced to speak low and dictate. But that that troubles me most is my eyes, which are still mighty bad night and day, and so home at night to talk and sup with my cozens, and so all of us in mighty good humour to bed.

Sunday 28 February 1668/69

(Lord’s day). Up, and got my wife to read to me a copy of what the Surveyor offered to the Duke of York on Friday, he himself putting it into my hands to read; but, Lord! it is a poor, silly thing ever to think to bring it in practice, in the King’s Navy. It is to have the Captains to account for all stores and victuals; but upon so silly grounds, to my thinking; and ignorance of the present instructions of Officers, that I am ashamed to hear it. However, I do take a copy of it, for my future use and answering; and so to church, where, God forgive me! I did most of the time gaze on the fine milliner’s wife, in Fenchurch Street, who was at our church to-day; and so home to dinner. And after dinner to write down my Journall; and then abroad by coach with my cozens, to their father’s, where we are kindly received, but he is an great pain for his man Arthur, who, he fears, is now dead, having been desperately sick, and speaks so much of him that my cozen, his wife, and I did make mirth of it, and call him Arthur O’Bradly. After staying here a little, and eat and drank, and she gave me some ginger-bread made in cakes, like chocolate, very good, made by a friend, I carried him and her to my cozen Turner’s, where we staid, expecting her coming from church; but she coming not, I went to her husband’s chamber in the Temple, and thence fetched her, she having been there alone ever since sermon staying till the evening to walk home on foot, her horses being ill. This I did, and brought her home. And after talking there awhile, and agreeing to be all merry at my house on Tuesday next, I away home; and there spent the evening talking and reading, with my wife and Mr. Pelling, and yet much troubled with my cold, it hardly suffering me to speak, we to bed.