Monday 21 December 1663
Up betimes, my wife having a mind to have gone abroad with me, but I had not because of troubling me, and so left her, though against my will, to go and see her father and mother by herself, and I straight to my Lord Sandwich’s, and there I had a pretty kind salute from my Lord, and went on to the Duke’s, where my fellow officers by and by came, and so in with him to his closet, and did our business, and so broke up, and I with Sir W. Batten by coach to Salisbury Court, and there spoke with Clerk our Solicitor about Field’s business, and so parted, and I to Mrs. Turner’s, and there saw the achievement pretty well set up, and it is well done. Thence I on foot to Charing Crosse to the ordinary, and there, dined, meeting Mr. Gauden and Creed. Here variety of talk but to no great purpose. After dinner won a wager of a payre of gloves of a crowne of Mr. Gauden upon some words in his contract for victualling.
There parted in the street with them, and I to my Lord’s, but he not being within, took coach, and, being directed by sight of bills upon the walls, I did go to Shoe Lane to see a cocke-fighting at a new pit there, a sport I was never at in my life; but, Lord! to see the strange variety of people, from Parliament-man (by name Wildes, that was Deputy Governor of the Tower when Robinson was Lord Mayor) to the poorest ‘prentices, bakers, brewers, butchers, draymen, and what not; and all these fellows one with another in swearing, cursing, and betting. I soon had enough of it, and yet I would not but have seen it once, it being strange to observe the nature of these poor creatures, how they will fight till they drop down dead upon the table, and strike after they are ready to give up the ghost, not offering to run away when they are weary or wounded past doing further, whereas where a dunghill brood comes he will, after a sharp stroke that pricks him, run off the stage, and then they wring off his neck without more ado, whereas the other they preserve, though their eyes be both out, for breed only of a true cock of the game.
Sometimes a cock that has had ten to one against him will by chance give an unlucky blow, will strike the other starke dead in a moment, that he never stirs more; but the common rule is, that though a cock neither runs nor dies, yet if any man will bet 10l. to a crowne, and nobody take the bet, the game is given over, and not sooner. One thing more it is strange to see how people of this poor rank, that look as if they had not bread to put in their mouths, shall bet three or four pounds at one bet, and lose it, and yet bet as much the next battle (so they call every match of two cocks), so that one of them will lose 10l. or 20l. at a meeting.
Thence, having enough of it, by coach to my Lord Sandwich’s, where I find him within with Captain Cooke and his boys, Dr. Childe, Mr. Madge, and Mallard, playing and singing over my Lord’s anthem which he hath made to sing in the King’s Chappell: my Lord saluted me kindly and took me into the withdrawing-room, to hear it at a distance, and indeed it sounds very finely, and is a good thing, I believe, to be made by him, and they all commend it. And after that was done Captain Cooke and his two boys did sing some Italian songs, which I must in a word say I think was fully the best musique that I ever yet heard in all my life, and it was to me a very great pleasure to hear them.
After all musique ended, my Lord going to White Hall, I went along with him, and made a desire for to have his coach to go along with my cozen Edward Pepys’s hearse through the City on Wednesday next, which he granted me presently, though he cannot yet come to speak to me in the familiar stile that he did use to do, nor can I expect it. But I was the willinger of this occasion to see whether he would deny me or no, which he would I believe had he been at open defyance against me.
Being not a little pleased with all this, though I yet see my Lord is not right yet, I thanked his Lordship and parted with him in White Hall. I back to my Lord’s, and there took up W. Howe in a coach, and carried him as far as the Half Moone, and there set him down. By the way, talking of my Lord, who is come another and a better man than he was lately, and God be praised for it, and he says that I shall find my Lord as he used to be to me, of which I have good hopes, but I shall beware of him, I mean W. Howe, how I trust him, for I perceive he is not so discreet as I took him for, for he has told Captain Ferrers (as Mr. Moore tells me) of my letter to my Lord, which troubles me, for fear my Lord should think that I might have told him.
So called with my coach at my wife’s brother’s lodging, but she was gone newly in a coach homewards, and so I drove hard and overtook her at Temple Bar, and there paid off mine, and went home with her in her coach. She tells me how there is a sad house among her friends. Her brother’s wife proves very unquiet, and so her mother is, gone back to be with her husband and leave the young couple to themselves, and great trouble, and I fear great want, will be among them, I pray keep me from being troubled with them.
At home to put on my gowne and to my office, and there set down this day’s Journall, and by and by comes Mrs. Owen, Captain Allen’s daughter, and causes me to stay while the papers relating to her husband’s place, bought of his father, be copied out because of her going by this morning’s tide home to Chatham. Which vexes me, but there is no help for it. I home to supper while a young [man] that she brought with her did copy out the things, and then I to the office again and dispatched her, and so home to bed.