Tuesday 4 August 1663
We were called up about four a-clock, and being ready went and took a Gravesend boat, and to London by nine a-clock. By the way talking of several businesses of the navy. So to the office, where Sir Wm. Pen (the first time that he has been with us a great while, he having been long sick) met us, and there we sat all the morning.
My brother John I find come to town to my house, as I sent for him, on Saturday last; so at noon home and dined with him, and after dinner and the barber been with me I walked out with him to my viall maker’s and other places and then left him, and I by water to Blackbury’s, and there talked with him about some masts (and by the way he tells me that Paul’s is now going to be repaired in good earnest), and so with him to his garden close by his house, where I eat some peaches and apricots; a very pretty place. So over the water to Westminster hall, and not finding Mrs. Lane, with whom I purposed to be merry, I went to Jervas’s and took him and his wife over the water to their mother Palmer’s (the woman that speaks in the belly, and with whom I have two or three years ago made good sport with Mr. Mallard), thinking because I had heard that she is a woman of that sort that I might there have lit upon some lady of pleasure (for which God forgive me), but blest be God there was none, nor anything that pleased me, but a poor little house that she has set out as fine as she can, and for her singing which she pretends to is only some old body songs and those sung abominably, only she pretends to be able to sing both bass and treble, which she do something like, but not what I thought formerly and expected now; nor do her speaking in her belly take me now as it did then, but it may be that is because I know it and see her mouth when she speaks, which should not be.
After I had spent a shilling there in wine I took boat with Jervas and his wife and set them at Westminster, and it being late forbore Mrs. Lane and went by water to the Old Swan by a boat, where I had good sport with one of the young men about his travells as far as Voxhall, in mockery, which yet the fellow answered me most prettily and traveller-like unto my very good mirth. So home, and with my brother eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to bed, he with me.
This day I received a letter from my wife, which troubles me mightily, wherein she tells me how Ashwell did give her the lie to her teeth, and that thereupon my wife giving her a box on the eare, the other struck her again, and a deal of stir which troubles me, and that my Lady has been told by my father or mother something of my wife’s carriage, which altogether vexes me, and I fear I shall find a trouble of my wife when she comes home to get down her head again, but if Ashwell goes I am resolved to have no more, but to live poorly and low again for a good while, and save money and keep my wife within bounds if I can, or else I shall bid Adieu to all content in the world. So to bed, my mind somewhat disturbed at this, but yet I shall take care, by prudence, to avoid the ill consequences which I fear, things not being gone too far yet, and this height that my wife is come to being occasioned from my own folly in giving her too much head heretofore for the year past.