Sunday 5 November 1665
(Lord’s day). Up, and after being trimmed, by boat to the Cockpitt, where I heard the Duke of Albemarle’s chaplin make a simple sermon: among other things, reproaching the imperfection of humane learning, he cried: “All our physicians cannot tell what an ague is, and all our arithmetique is not able to number the days of a man;” which, God knows, is not the fault of arithmetique, but that our understandings reach not the thing.
To dinner, where a great deale of silly discourse, but the worst is I hear that the plague increases much at Lambeth, St. Martin’s and Westminster, and fear it will all over the city. Thence I to the Swan, thinking to have seen Sarah but she was at church, and so I by water to Deptford, and there made a visit to Mr. Evelyn, who, among other things, showed me most excellent painting in little; in distemper, Indian incke, water colours: graveing; and, above all, the whole secret of mezzo-tinto, and the manner of it, which is very pretty, and good things done with it. He read to me very much also of his discourse, he hath been many years and now is about, about Guardenage; which will be a most noble and pleasant piece. He read me part of a play or two of his making, very good, but not as he conceits them, I think, to be. He showed me his Hortus Hyemalis; leaves laid up in a book of several plants kept dry, which preserve colour, however, and look very finely, better than any Herball. In fine, a most excellent person he is, and must be allowed a little for a little conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others. He read me, though with too much gusto, some little poems of his own, that were not transcendant, yet one or two very pretty epigrams; among others, of a lady looking in at a grate, and being pecked at by an eagle that was there.
Here comes in, in the middle of our discourse Captain Cocke, as drunk as a dogg, but could stand, and talk and laugh. He did so joy himself in a brave woman that he had been with all the afternoon, and who should it be but my Lady Robinson, but very troublesome he is with his noise and talke, and laughing, though very pleasant.
With him in his coach to Mr. Glanville’s, where he sat with Mrs. Penington and myself a good while talking of this fine woman again and then went away. Then the lady and I to very serious discourse and, among other things, of what a bonny lasse my Lady Robinson is, who is reported to be kind to the prisoners, and has said to Sir G. Smith, who is her great crony, “Look! there is a pretty man, I would be content to break a commandment with him,” and such loose expressions she will have often.
After an houre’s talke we to bed, the lady mightily troubled about a pretty little bitch she hath, which is very sicke, and will eat nothing, and the worst was, I could hear her in her chamber bemoaning the bitch, and by and by taking her into bed with her. The bitch pissed and shit a bed, and she was fain to rise and had coals out of my chamber to dry the bed again. This night I had a letter that Sir G. Carteret would be in towne to-morrow, which did much surprize me.