Thursday 21 March 1666/67
Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and had some melancholy discourse with my wife about my mother’s being so ill and my father, and after dinner to cheer myself, I having the opportunity of Sir W. Coventry and the Duke of York’s being out of town, I alone out and to the Duke of York’s play-house, where unexpectedly I come to see only the young men and women of the house act; they having liberty to act for their own profit on Wednesdays and Fridays this Lent: and the play they did yesterday, being Wednesday, was so well-taken, that they thought fit to venture it publickly to-day; a play of my Lord Falkland’s called “The Wedding Night,” a kind of a tragedy, and some things very good in it, but the whole together, I thought, not so. I confess I was well enough pleased with my seeing it: and the people did do better, without the great actors, than I did expect, but yet far short of what they do when they are there, which I was glad to find the difference of. Thence to rights home, and there to the office to my business hard, being sorry to have made this scape without my wife, but I have a good salvo to my oath in doing it. By and by, in the evening, comes Sir W. Batten’s Mingo to me to pray me to come to his master and Sir Richard Ford, who have very ill news to tell me. I knew what it was, it was about our trial for a good prize to-day, “The Phoenix,” a worth two or 3000l.. I went to them, where they told me with much trouble how they had sped, being cast and sentenced to make great reparation for what we had embezzled, and they did it so well that I was much troubled at it, when by and by Sir W. Batten asked me whether I was mortified enough, and told me we had got the day, which was mighty welcome news to me and us all. But it is pretty to see what money will do. Yesterday, Walker was mighty cold on our behalf, till Sir W. Batten promised him, if we sped in this business of the goods, a coach; and if at the next trial we sped for the ship, we would give him a pair of horses. And he hath strove for us today like a prince, though the Swedes’ Agent was there with all the vehemence he could to save the goods, but yet we carried it against him. This put me in mighty good heart, and then we go to Sir W. Pen, who is come back to-night from Chatham, and did put him into the same condition, and then comforted him. So back to my office, and wrote an affectionate and sad letter to my father about his and my mother’s illness, and so home to supper and to bed late.