Tuesday 26 March 1667
Up with a sad heart in reference to my mother, of whose death I undoubtedly expect to hear the next post, if not of my father’s also, who by his pain as well as his grief for her is very ill, but on my own behalf I have cause to be joyful this day, it being my usual feast day, for my being cut of the stone this day nine years, and through God’s blessing am at this day and have long been in as good condition of health as ever I was in my life or any man in England is, God make me thankful for it! But the condition I am in, in reference to my mother, makes it unfit for me to keep my usual feast. Unless it shall please God to send her well (which I despair wholly of), and then I will make amends for it by observing another day in its room. So to the office, and at the office all the morning, where I had an opportunity to speak to Sir John Harman about my desire to have my brother Balty go again with him to sea as he did the last year, which he do seem not only contented but pleased with, which I was glad of. So at noon home to dinner, where I find Creed, who dined with us, but I had not any time to talk with him, my head being busy, and before I had dined was called away by Sir W. Batten, and both of us in his coach (which I observe his coachman do always go now from hence towards White Hall through Tower Street, and it is the best way) to Exeter House, where the judge was sitting, and after several little causes comes on ours, and while the several depositions and papers were at large reading (which they call the preparatory), and being cold by being forced to sit with my hat off close to a window in the Hall, Sir W. Pen and I to the Castle Tavern hard by and got a lobster, and he and I staid and eat it, and drank good wine; I only burnt wine, as my whole custom of late hath been, as an evasion, God knows, for my drinking of wine (but it is an evasion which will not serve me now hot weather is coming, that I cannot pretend, as indeed I really have done, that I drank it for cold), but I will leave it off, and it is but seldom, as when I am in women’s company, that I must call for wine, for I must be forced to drink to them. Having done here then we back again to the Court, and there heard our cause pleaded; Sir [Edward] Turner, Sir W. Walker, and Sir Ellis Layton being our counsel against only Sir Robert Wiseman on the other. The second of our three counsel was the best, and indeed did speak admirably, and is a very shrewd man. Nevertheless, as good as he did make our case, and the rest, yet when Wiseman come to argue (nay, and though he did begin so sillily that we laughed in scorn in our sleeves at him), yet he did so state the case, that the judge did not think fit to decide the cause to-night, but took to to-morrow, and did stagger us in our hopes, so as to make us despair of the success. I am mightily pleased with the judge, who seems a very rational, learned, and uncorrupt man, and much good reading and reason there is heard in hearing of this law argued, so that the thing pleased me, though our success doth shake me. Thence Sir W. Pen and I home and to write letters, among others a sad one to my father upon fear of my mother’s death, and so home to supper and to bed.