Tuesday 9 March 1668/69
Up, and to the Tower; and there find Sir W. Coventry alone, writing down his journal, which, he tells me, he now keeps of the material things; upon which I told him, and he is the only man I ever told it to, I think, that I kept it most strictly these eight or ten years; and I am sorry almost that I told it him, it not being necessary, nor may be convenient to have it known. Here he showed me the petition he had sent to the King by my Lord Keeper, which was not to desire any admittance to employment, but submitting himself therein humbly to his Majesty; but prayed the removal of his displeasure, and that he might be set free. He tells me that my Lord Keeper did acquaint the King with the substance of it, not shewing him the petition; who answered, that he was disposing of his employments, and when that was done, he might be led to discharge him: and this is what he expects, and what he seems to desire. But by this discourse he was pleased to take occasion to shew me and read to me his account, which he hath kept by him under his own hand, of all his discourse, and the King’s answers to him, upon the great business of my Lord Clarendon, and how he had first moved the Duke of York with it twice, at good distance, one after another, but without success; shewing me thereby the simplicity and reasons of his so doing, and the manner of it; and the King’s accepting it, telling him that he was not satisfied in his management, and did discover some dissatisfaction against him for his opposing the laying aside of my Lord Treasurer, at Oxford, which was a secret the King had not discovered. And really I was mighty proud to be privy to this great transaction, it giving me great conviction of the noble nature and ends of Sir W. Coventry in it, and considerations in general of the consequences of great men’s actions, and the uncertainty of their estates, and other very serious considerations. From this to other discourse, and so to the Office, where we sat all the morning, and after dinner by coach to my cozen Turner’s, thinking to have taken the young ladies to a play; but The. was let blood to-day; and so my wife and I towards the King’s playhouse, and by the way found Betty [Turner], and Bab., and Betty Pepys staying for us; and so took them all to see “Claricilla,” which do not please me almost at all, though there are some good things in it. And so to my cozen Turner’s again, and there find my Lady Mordaunt, and her sister Johnson; and by and by comes in a gentleman, Mr. Overbury, a pleasant man, who plays most excellently on the flagelette, a little one, that sounded as low as one of mine, and mighty pretty. Hence by and by away, and with my wife, and Bab. and Betty Pepys, and W. Hewer, whom I carried all this day with me, to my cozen Stradwick’s, where I have not been ever since my brother Tom died, there being some difference between my father and them, upon the account of my cozen Scott; and I was glad of this opportunity of seeing them, they being good and substantial people, and kind, and here met my cozen Roger and his wife, and my cozen Turner, and here, which I never did before, I drank a glass, of a pint, I believe, at one draught, of the juice of oranges, of whose peel they make comfits; and here they drink the juice as wine, with sugar, and it is very fine drink; but, it being new, I was doubtful whether it might not do me hurt. Having staid a while, my wife and I back, with my cozen Turner, etc., to her house, and there we took our leaves of my cozen Pepys, who goes with his wife and two daughters for Impington tomorrow. They are very good people, and people I love, and am obliged to, and shall have great pleasure in their friendship, and particularly in hers, she being an understanding and good woman. So away home, and there after signing my letters, my eyes being bad, to supper and to bed.