Sunday 24 March 1666/67
(Lord’s day). With Sir W. Batten to White Hall, and there I to Sir G. Carteret, who is mighty cheerful, which makes me think and by some discourse that there is expectation of a peace, but I did not ask [him]. Here was Sir J. Minnes also: and they did talk of my Lord Bruncker, whose father, it seems, did give Mr. Ashburnham and the present Lord Digby 1200l. to be made an Irish lord, and swore the same day that he had not 12d. left to pay for his dinner: they make great mirth at this, my Lord Bruncker having lately given great matter of offence both to them and us all, that we are at present mightily displeased with him. By and by to the Duke of York, where we all met, and there was the King also; and all our discourse was about fortifying of the Medway and Harwich, which is to be entrenched quite round, and Portsmouth: and here they advised with Sir Godfry Lloyd and Sir Bernard de Gum, the two great engineers, and had the plates drawn before them; and indeed all their care they now take is to fortify themselves, and are not ashamed of it: for when by and by my Lord Arlington come in with letters, and seeing the King and Duke of York give us and the officers of the Ordnance directions in this matter, he did move that we might do it as privately as we could, that it might not come into the Dutch Gazette presently, as the King’s and Duke of York’s going down the other day to Sheerenesse was, the week after, in the Harlem Gazette. The King and Duke of York both laughed at it, and made no matter, but said, “Let us be safe, and let them talk, for there is nothing will trouble them more, nor will prevent their coming more, than to hear that we are fortifying ourselves.” And the Duke of York said further, “What said Marshal Turenne, when some in vanity said that the enemies were afraid, for they entrenched themselves? `Well,’ says he, ‘I would they were not afraid, for then they would not entrench themselves, and so we could deal with them the better.’”
Away thence, and met with Sir H. Cholmly, who tells me that he do believe the government of Tangier is bought by my Lord Allington for a sum of money to my Lord Arlington, and something to Lord Bellasses, who (he did tell me particularly how) is as very a false villain as ever was born, having received money of him here upon promise and confidence of his return, forcing him to pay it by advance here, and promising to ask no more there, when at the same time he was treating with my Lord Allington to sell his command to him, and yet told Sir H. Cholmly nothing of it, but when Sir H. Cholmly told him what he had heard, he confessed that my Lord Allington had spoken to him of it, but that he was a vain man to look after it, for he was nothing fit for it, and then goes presently to my Lord Allington and drives on the bargain, yet tells Lord Allington what he himself had said of him, as [though] Sir H. Cholmly had said them. I am glad I am informed hereof, and shall know him for a Lord, &c. Sir H. Cholmly tells me further that he is confident there will be a peace, and that a great man did tell him that my Lord Albemarle did tell him the other day at White Hall as a secret that we should have a peace if any thing the King of France can ask and our King can give will gain it, which he is it seems mad at.
Thence back with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen home, and heard a piece of sermon, and so home to dinner, where Balty come, very fine, and dined with us, and after dinner with me by water to White Hall, and there he and I did walk round the Park, I giving him my thoughts about the difficulty of getting employment for him this year, but advised him how to employ himself, and I would do what I could. So he and I parted, and I to Martin’s, where I find her within, and ‘su hermano’ and ‘la veuve’ Burroughs. Here I did ‘demeurer toda’ the afternoon … [bezando las and drank; and among other things, did by a trick arrive at tocando el poil de la thing de the veuve abovesaid. – L&M] By and by come up the mistress of the house, Crags, a pleasant jolly woman. I staid all but a little, and away home by water through bridge, a brave evening, and so home to read, and anon to supper, W. Hewer with us, and then to read myself to sleep again, and then to bed, and mightily troubled the most of the night with fears of fire, which I cannot get out of my head to this day since the last great fire. I did this night give the waterman who uses to carry me 10s. at his request, for the painting of his new boat, on which shall be my arms.