Sunday 11 April 1669
(Lord’s day. Easter day). Up, and to Church; where Alderman Backewell’s wife, and mother, and boy, and another gentlewoman, did come, and sit in our pew; but no women of our own there, and so there was room enough. Our Parson made a dull sermon, and so home to dinner; and, after dinner, my wife and I out by coach, and Balty with us, to Loton, the landscape-drawer, a Dutchman, living in St. James’s Market, but there saw no good pictures. But by accident he did direct us to a painter that was then in the house with him, a Dutchman, newly come over, one Evarelst, who took us to his lodging close by, and did shew us a little flower-pot of his doing, the finest thing that ever, I think, I saw in my life; the drops of dew hanging on the leaves, so as I was forced, again and again, to put my finger to it, to feel whether my eyes were deceived or no. He do ask 70l. for it: I had the vanity to bid him 20l.; but a better picture I never saw in my whole life; and it is worth going twenty miles to see it. Thence, leaving Balty there, I took my wife to St. James’s, and there carried her to the Queen’s Chapel, the first time I ever did it; and heard excellent musick, but not so good as by accident I did hear there yesterday, as I went through the Park from White Hall to see Sir W. Coventry, which I have forgot to set down in my journal yesterday. And going out of the Chapel, I did see the Prince of Tuscany come out, a comely, black, fat man, in a mourning suit; and my wife and I did see him this afternoon through a window in this Chapel. All that Sir W. Coventry yesterday did tell me new was, that the King would not yet give him leave to come to kiss his hand; and he do believe that he will not in a great while do it, till those about him shall see fit, which I am sorry for. Thence to the Park, my wife and I; and here Sir W. Coventry did first see me and my wife in a coach of our own; and so did also this night the Duke of York, who did eye my wife mightily. But I begin to doubt that my being so much seen in my own coach at this time, may be observed to my prejudice; but I must venture it now. So home, and by night home, and so to my office, and there set down my journal, with the help of my left eye through my tube, for fourteen days’ past; which is so much, as, I hope, I shall not run in arrear again, but the badness of my eyes do force me to it. So home to supper and to bed.