Saturday 25 July 1663
Up and to my office setting papers in order for these two or three days, in which I have been hindered a little, and then having intended this day to go to Banstead Downs to see a famous race, I sent Will to get himself ready to go with me, and I also by and by home and put on my riding suit, and being ready came to the office to Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and did a little of course at the office this morning, and so by boat to White Hall, where I hear that the race is put off, because the Lords do sit in Parliament to-day. However, having appointed Mr. Creed to come to me to Fox Hall, I went over thither, and after some debate, Creed and I resolved to go to Clapham, to Mr. Gauden’s, who had sent his coach to their place for me because I was to have my horse of him to go to the race. So I went thither by coach and my Will by horse with me; Mr. Creed he went over back again to Westminster to fetch his horse. When I came to Mr. Gauden’s one first thing was to show me his house, which is almost built, wherein he and his family live. I find it very regular and finely contrived, and the gardens and offices about it as convenient and as full of good variety as ever I saw in my life. It is true he hath been censured for laying out so much money; but he tells me that he built it for his brother, who is since dead (the Bishop), who when he should come to be Bishop of Winchester, which he was promised (to which bishoprick at present there is no house), he did intend to dwell here. Besides, with the good husbandry in making his bricks and other things I do not think it costs him so much money as people think and discourse.
By and by to dinner, and in comes Mr. Creed. I saluted Mr. Gauden’s lady, and the young ladies, he having many pretty children, and his sister, the Bishop’s widow; who was, it seems, Sir W. Russel’s daughter, the Treasurer of the Navy; who by her discourse at dinner I find to be very well-bred, and a woman of excellent discourse, even so much as to have my attention all dinner with much more pleasure than I did give to Mr. Creed, whose discourse was mighty merry in inveighing at Mr. Gauden’s victuals that they had at sea the last voyage that he prosecuted, till methought the woman began to take it seriously.
After dinner by Mr. Gauden’s motion we got Mrs. Gauden and her sister to sing to a viall, on which Mr. Gauden’s eldest son (a pretty man, but a simple one methinks) played but very poorly, and the musique bad, but yet I commended it. Only I do find that the ladies have been taught to sing and do sing well now, but that the viall puts them out. I took the viall and played some things from one of their books, Lyra lessons, which they seemed to like well.
Thus we pass an hour or two after dinner and towards the evening we bade them Adieu! and took horse; being resolved that, instead of the race which fails us, we would go to Epsum. So we set out, and being gone a little way I sent home Will to look to the house, and Creed and I rode forward; the road being full of citizens going and coming toward Epsum, where, when we came, we could hear of no lodging, the town so full; but which was better, I went towards Ashted, my old place of pleasure; and there by direction of one goodman Arthur, whom we met on the way, we went to Farmer Page’s, at which direction he and I made good sport, and there we got a lodging in a little hole we could not stand upright in, but rather than go further to look we staid there, and while supper was getting ready I took him to walk up and down behind my cozen Pepys’s house that was, which I find comes little short of what I took it to be when I was a little boy, as things use commonly to appear greater than then when one comes to be a man and knows more, and so up and down in the closes, which I know so well methinks, and account it good fortune that I lie here that I may have opportunity to renew my old walks. It seems there is one Mr. Rouse, they call him the Queen’s Tailor, that lives there now. So to our lodging to supper, and among other meats had a brave dish of cream, the best I ever eat in my life, and with which we pleased ourselves much, and by and by to bed, where, with much ado yet good sport, we made shift to lie, but with little ease, and a little spaniel by us, which has followed us all the way, a pretty dogg, and we believe that follows my horse, and do belong to Mrs. Gauden, which we, therefore, are very careful of.