Wednesday 23 October 1667
Up, and Sir W. Pen and I in his coach to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York; but come a little too late, and so missed it: only spoke with him, and heard him correct my Lord Barkeley, who fell foul on Sir Edward Spragg, who, it seems, said yesterday to the House, that if the Officers of the Ordnance had done as much work at Shereness in ten weeks as “The Prince” did in ten days, he could have defended the place against the Dutch: but the Duke of York told him that every body must have liberty, at this time, to make their own defence, though it be to the charging of the fault upon any other, so it be true; so I perceive the whole world is at work in blaming one another. Thence Sir W. Pen and I back into London; and there saw the King, with his kettle-drums and trumpets, going to the Exchange, to lay the first stone of the first pillar of the new building of the Exchange; which, the gates being shut, I could not get in to see: but, with Sir W. Pen, to Captain Cocke’s to drink a dram of brandy, and so he to the Treasury office about Sir G. Carteret’s accounts, and I took coach and back again toward Westminster; but in my way stopped at the Exchange, and got in, the King being newly gone; and there find the bottom of the first pillar laid. And here was a shed set up, and hung with tapestry, and a canopy of state, and some good victuals and wine, for the King, who, it seems, did it; and so a great many people, as Tom Killigrew, and others of the Court there, and there I did eat a mouthful and drink a little, and do find Mr. Gawden in his gowne as Sheriffe, and understand that the King hath this morning knighted him upon the place, which I am mightily pleased with; and I think the other Sheriffe, who is Davis, the little fellow, my schoolfellow, — the bookseller, who was one of Audley’s Executors, and now become Sheriffe; which is a strange turn, methinks. Here mighty merry (there being a good deal of good company) for a quarter of an hour, and so I away and to Westminster Hall, where I come just as the House rose; and there, in the Hall, met with Sir W. Coventry, who is in pain to defend himself in the business of tickets, it being said that the paying of the ships at Chatham by ticket was by his direction, and he hath wrote to me to find his letters, and shew them him, but I find none; but did there argue the case with him, and I think no great blame can be laid on us for that matter, only I see he is fearfull. And he tells me his mistake in the House the other day, which occasions him much trouble, in shewing of the House the Duke of Albemarle’s letter about the good condition of Chatham, which he is sorry for, and, owns as a mistake, the thing not being necessary to have been done; and confesses that nobody can escape from such error, some times or other. He says the House was well satisfied with my Report yesterday; and so several others told me in the Hall that my Report was very good and satisfactory, and that I have got advantage by it in the House: I pray God it may prove so! And here, after the Hall pretty empty, I did walk a few turns with Commissioner Pett, and did give the poor weak man some advice for his advantage how to better his pleading for himself, which I think he will if he can remember and practise, for I would not have the man suffer what he do not deserve, there being enough of what he do deserve to lie upon him. Thence to Mrs. Martin’s, and there staid till two o’clock, and drank and talked, and did give her 3l. to buy my goddaughter her first new gowne … and so away homeward, and in my way met Sir W. Pen in Cheapside, and went into his coach, and back again and to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Black Prince” again: which is now mightily bettered by that long letter being printed, and so delivered to every body at their going in, and some short reference made to it in heart in the play, which do mighty well; but, when all is done, I think it the worst play of my Lord Orrery’s. But here, to my great satisfaction, I did see my Lord Hinchingbroke and his mistress, with her father and mother; and I am mightily pleased with the young lady, being handsome enough — and, indeed, to my great liking, as I would have her. I could not but look upon them all the play; being exceeding pleased with my good hap to see them, God bring them together! and they are now already mighty kind to one another, and he is as it were one of their family. The play done I home, and to the office a while, and then home to supper, very hungry, and then to my chamber, to read the true story, in Speed, of the Black Prince, and so to bed.
This day, it was moved in the House that a day might be appointed to bring in an, impeachment against the Chancellor, but it was decried as being irregular; but that, if there was ground for complaint, it might be brought to the Committee for miscarriages, and, if they thought good, to present it to the House; and so it was carried. They did also vote this day thanks to be given to the Prince and Duke of Albemarle, for their care and conduct in the last year’s war, which is a strange act; but, I know not how, the blockhead Albemarle hath strange luck to be loved, though he be, and every man must know it, the heaviest man in the world, but stout and honest to his country.
This evening late, Mr. Moore come to me to prepare matters for my Lord Sandwich’s defence; wherein I can little assist, but will do all I can; and am in great fear of nothing but the damned business of the prizes, but I fear my Lord will receive a cursed deal of trouble by it.