Wednesday 10 August 1664
Up, and, being ready, abroad to do several small businesses, among others to find out one to engrave my tables upon my new sliding rule with silver plates, it being so small that Browne that made it cannot get one to do it. So I find out Cocker, the famous writing-master, and get him to do it, and I set an hour by him to see him design it all; and strange it is to see him with his natural eyes to cut so small at his first designing it, and read it all over, without any missing, when for my life I could not, with my best skill, read one word or letter of it; but it is use. But he says that the best light for his life to do a very small thing by (contrary to Chaucer’s words to the Sun, “that he should lend his light to them that small seals grave”), it should be by an artificial light of a candle, set to advantage, as he could do it. I find the fellow, by his discourse, very ingenuous; and among other things, a great admirer and well read in all our English poets, and undertakes to judge of them all, and that not impertinently. Well pleased with his company and better with his judgement upon my Rule, I left him and home, whither Mr. Deane by agreement came to me and dined with me, and by chance Gunner Batters’s wife.
After dinner Deane and I [had] great discourse again about my Lord Chancellor’s timber, out of which I wish I may get well. Thence I to Cocker’s again, and sat by him with good discourse again for an hour or two, and then left him, and by agreement with Captain Silas Taylor (my old acquaintance at the Exchequer) to the Post Officer to hear some instrument musique of Mr. Berchenshaw’s before my Lord Brunkard and Sir Robert Murray. I must confess, whether it be that I hear it but seldom, or that really voice is better, but so it is that I found no pleasure at all in it, and methought two voyces were worth twenty of it.
So home to my office a while, and then to supper and to bed.