Friday 6 December 1667
Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to the Duke of York, the first time that I have seen him, or we waited on him, since his sickness; and, blessed be God! he is not at all the worse for the smallpox, but is only a little weak yet. We did much business with him, and so parted. My Lord Anglesey told me how my Lord Northampton brought in a Bill into the House of Lords yesterday, under the name of a Bill for the Honour and Privilege of the House, and Mercy to my Lord Clarendon: which, he told me, he opposed, saying that he was a man accused of treason by the House of Commons; and mercy was not proper for him, having not been tried yet, and so no mercy needful for him. However, the Duke of Buckingham and others did desire that the Bill might be read; and it, was for banishing my Lord Clarendon from all his Majesty’s dominions, and that it should be treason to have him found in any of them: the thing is only a thing of vanity, and to insult over him, which is mighty poor I think, and so do every body else, and ended in nothing, I think.
By and by home with Sir J. Minnes, who tells me that my Lord Clarendon did go away in a Custom-house boat, and is now at Callis (Calais): and, I confess, nothing seems to hang more heavy than his leaving of this unfortunate paper behind him, that hath angered both Houses, and hath, I think, reconciled them in that which otherwise would have broke them in pieces; so that I do hence, and from Sir W. Coventry’s late example and doctrine to me, learn that on these sorts of occasions there is nothing like silence; it being seldom any wrong to a man to say nothing, but, for the most part, it is to say anything. This day, in coming home, Sir J. Minnes told me a pretty story of Sir Lewes Dives, whom I saw this morning speaking with him, that having escaped once out of prison through a house of office, and another time in woman’s apparel, and leaping over a broad canal, a soldier swore, says he, this is a strange jade … He told me also a story of my Lord Cottington, who, wanting a son, intended to make his nephew his heir, a country boy; but did alter his mind upon the boy’s being persuaded by another young heir, in roguery, to crow like a cock at my Lord’s table, much company being there, and the boy having a great trick at doing that perfectly. My Lord bade them take away that fool from the table, and so gave over the thoughts of making him his heir, from this piece of folly. So home, and there to dinner, and after dinner abroad with my wife and girle, set them down at Unthanke’s, and I to White Hall to the Council chamber, where I was summoned about the business of paying of the seamen, where I heard my Lord Anglesey put to it by Sir W. Coventry before the King for altering the course set by the Council; which he like a wise man did answer in few words, that he had already sent to alter it according to the Council’s method, and so stopped it, whereas many words would have set the Commissioners of the Treasury on fire, who, I perceive, were prepared for it. Here I heard Mr. Gawden speak to the King and Council upon some business of his before them, but did it so well, in so good words and to the purpose, that I could never have expected from a man of no greater learning.
So went away, and in the Lobby met Mr. Sawyer, my old chamber fellow, and stayed and had an hour’s discourse of old things with him, and I perceive he do very well in the world, and is married he tells me and hath a child. Then home and to the office, where Captain Cocke come to me; and, among other discourse, tells me that he is told that an impeachment against Sir W. Coventry will be brought in very soon. He tells me, that even those that are against my Lord Chancellor and the Court, in the House, do not trust nor agree one with another. He tells me that my Lord Chancellor went away about ten at night, on Saturday last; and took boat at Westminster, and thence by a vessel to Callis, where he believes he now is: and that the Duke of York and Mr. Wren knew of it, and that himself did know of it on Sunday morning: that on Sunday his coach, and people about it, went to Twittenham, and the world thought that he had been there: that nothing but this unhappy paper hath undone him and that he doubts that this paper hath lost him everywhere that his withdrawing do reconcile things so far as, he thinks the heat of their fury will be over, and that all will be made well between the two [royal] brothers: that Holland do endeavour to persuade the King of France to break peace with us: that the Dutch will, without doubt, have sixty sail of ships out the next year; so knows not what will become of us, but hopes the Parliament will find money for us to have a fleete. He gone, I home, and there my wife made an end to me of Sir R. Cotton’s discourse of warr, which is indeed a very fine book. So to supper and to bed.
Captain Cocke did this night tell me also, among other discourses, that he did believe that there are jealousies in some of the House at this day against the Commissioners of the Treasury, that by their good husbandry they will bring the King to be out of debt and to save money, and so will not be in need of the Parliament, and then do what he please, which is a very good piece of news that there is such a thing to be hoped, which they would be afeard of.