Tuesday 10 September 1667

Up, and all the morning at the Office, where little to do but bemoan ourselves under the want of money; and indeed little is, or can be done, for want of money, we having not now received one penny for any service in many weeks, and none in view to receive, saving for paying of some seamen’s wages. At noon sent to by my Lord Bruncker to speak with him, and it was to dine with him and his Lady Williams (which I have not now done in many months at their own table) and Mr. Wren, who is come to dine with them, the first time he hath been at the office since his being the Duke of York’s Secretary. Here we sat and eat and talked and of some matters of the office, but his discourse is as yet but weak in that matter, and no wonder, he being new in it, but I fear he will not go about understanding with the impatience that Sir W. Coventry did. Having dined, I away, and with my wife and Mercer, set my wife down at the ’Change, and the other at White Hall, and I to St. James’s, where we all met, and did our usual weekly business with the Duke of York. But, Lord! methinks both he and we are mighty flat and dull over what we used to be, when Sir W. Coventry was among us. Thence I into St. James’s Park, and there met Mr. Povy; and he and I to walk an hour or more in the Pell Mell, talking of the times. He tells me, among other things, that this business of the Chancellor do breed a kind of inward distance between the King and the Duke of York, and that it cannot be avoided; for though the latter did at first move it through his folly, yet he is made to see that he is wounded by it, and is become much a less man than he was, and so will be: but he tells me that they are, and have always been, great dissemblers one towards another; and that their parting heretofore in France is never to be thoroughly reconciled between them. He tells me that he believes there is no such thing like to be, as a composition with my Lady Castlemayne, and that she shall be got out of the way before the Parliament comes; for he says she is as high as ever she was, though he believes the King is as weary of her as is possible, and would give any thing to remove her, but he is so weak in his passion that he dare not do it; that he do believe that my Lord Chancellor will be doing some acts in the Parliament which shall render him popular; and that there are many people now do speak kindly of him that did not before; but that, if he do do this, it must provoke the King, and that party that removed him. He seems to doubt what the King of France will do, in case an accommodation shall be made between Spain and him for Flanders, for then he will have nothing more easy to do with his army than to subdue us. Parted with him at White Hall, and, there I took coach and took up my wife and Mercer, and so home and I to the office, where ended my letters, and then to my chamber with my boy to lay up some papers and things that lay out of order against to-morrow, to make it clear against the feast that I am to have. Here Mr. Pelling come to sit with us, and talked of musique and the musicians of the town, and so to bed, after supper.

6 Annotations

First Reading

cum salis grano  •  Link

"...we having not now received one penny for any service in many weeks,..."
Needs a solution as a guide line to 21st Century governments suffering from the same disease.

Banks scared to loan.

Mary  •  Link

"set my wife down at the 'Change"

Elizabeth seems to be spending an awful lot of time at Unthankes and the New Exchange in recent weeks. Can she be waiting for a particular cargo of silks or chintzes to arrive in port?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting that Bess seems on very good terms with Mercer since firing her. Perhaps she was far more jealous when Mercer and her finest breasts (Sam) were on display in the house than Sam let out and with pressure off can now be friends with a woman who has always seemed an enormously kind-hearted and gay companion. In any case Mary seems to have been willing to say little or nothing to incriminate our boy...Though Sam's casualness about her suggests either he doesn't think Bess would take much note of his fondling a breast or two or that he has complete faith in Mercer's good-natured willingness to say nothing that would hurt Bess or him.

cum salis grano  •  Link

The 'change or the mall of the day or bettr yet, Harrods of the day, the Ladies dothe like to see fine merchandise and speak of important ideas, out ear shot of the male of the species.
The gathering classes for those that have the leisure of having all the mundane chores done by the hungry ones, all time will be occupied.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Mr Pelling has been a frequent dropper-in of late, but Sam never seems to complain of this: he must have been a cheerful guest: one who could sing for his supper. maybe he was a lonely single man.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and that their parting heretofore in France is never to be thoroughly reconciled between them."

L&M note they had quarreled (in 1656) in the Spanish Netherlands, not in France. Charles had forced James to leave the French army against his will, and James against the King's wishes had insisted on having Sir John Berkeley accompany him to Bruges. James had taken himself off to Holland for a few months until tempers cooled. See his Life (ed. J.S. Clark), i. p. 275+

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