Sunday 21 April 1667
(Lord’s day). Up, and John, a hackney coachman whom of late I have much used, as being formerly Sir W. Pen’s coachman, coming to me by my direction to see whether I would use him to-day or no, I took him to our backgate to look upon the ground which is to be let there, where I have a mind to buy enough to build a coach-house and stable; for I have had it much in my thoughts lately that it is not too much for me now, in degree or cost, to keep a coach, but contrarily, that I am almost ashamed to be seen in a hackney, and therefore if I can have the conveniency, I will secure the ground at least till peace comes, that I do receive encouragement to keep a coach, or else that I may part with the ground again. The place I like very well, being close to my owne house, and so resolve to go about it, and so home and with my wife to church, and then to dinner, Mercer with us, with design to go to Hackney to church in the afternoon. So after dinner she and I sung “Suo Moro,” which is one of the best pieces of musique to my thinking that ever I did hear in my life; then took coach and to Hackney church, where very full, and found much difficulty to get pews, I offering the sexton money, and he could not help me. So my wife and Mercer ventured into a pew, and I into another. A knight and his lady very civil to me when they come, and the like to my wife in hers, being Sir G. Viner and his lady — rich in jewells, but most in beauty — almost the finest woman that ever I saw. That which we went chiefly to see was the young ladies of the schools,1 whereof there is great store, very pretty; and also the organ, which is handsome, and tunes the psalm, and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty, and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church, I having almost a mind to give them a pair, if they would settle a maintenance on them for it. I am mightily taken with them. So, church done, we to coach and away to Kingsland and Islington, and there eat and drank at the Old House, and so back, it raining a little, which is mighty welcome, it having not rained in many weeks, so that they say it makes the fields just now mighty sweet. So with great pleasure home by night. Set down Mercer, and I to my chamber, and there read a great deal in Rycaut’s Turkey book with great pleasure, and so eat and to bed. My sore throat still troubling me, but not so much. This night I do come to full resolution of diligence for a good while, and I hope God will give me the grace and wisdom to perform it.
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