Friday 6 March 1667/68
Up betimes, and with Sir D. Gawden to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber: where the first word he said to me was, “Good-morrow, Mr. Pepys, that must be Speaker of the Parliament-house:” and did protest I had got honour for ever in Parliament. He said that his brother, that sat by him, admires me; and another gentleman said that I could not get less than 1000l. a-year if I would put on a gown and plead at the Chancery-bar; but, what pleases me most, he tells me that the Sollicitor-Generall did protest that he thought I spoke the best of any man in England. After several talks with him alone, touching his own businesses, he carried me to White Hall, and there parted; and I to the Duke of York’s lodgings, and find him going to the Park, it being a very fine morning, and I after him; and, as soon as he saw me, he told me, with great satisfaction, that I had converted a great many yesterday, and did, with great praise of me, go on with the discourse with me. And, by and by, overtaking the King, the King and Duke of York come to me both; and he —[The King]— said, “Mr. Pepys, I am very glad of your success yesterday;” and fell to talk of my well speaking; and many of the Lords there. My Lord Barkeley did cry me up for what they had heard of it; and others, Parliament-men there, about the King, did say that they never heard such a speech in their lives delivered in that manner. Progers, of the Bedchamber, swore to me afterwards before Brouncker, in the afternoon, that he did tell the King that he thought I might teach the Sollicitor-Generall. Every body that saw me almost come to me, as Joseph Williamson and others, with such eulogys as cannot be expressed. From thence I went to Westminster Hall, where I met Mr. G. Montagu, who come to me and kissed me, and told me that he had often heretofore kissed my hands, but now he would kiss my lips: protesting that I was another Cicero, and said, all the world said the same of me. Mr. Ashburnham, and every creature I met there of the Parliament, or that knew anything of the Parliament’s actings, did salute me with this honour:— Mr. Godolphin;— Mr. Sands, who swore he would go twenty mile, at any time, to hear the like again, and that he never saw so many sit four hours together to hear any man in his life, as there did to hear me; Mr. Chichly,— Sir John Duncomb,— and everybody do say that the kingdom will ring of my abilities, and that I have done myself right for my whole life: and so Captain Cocke, and others of my friends, say that no man had ever such an opportunity of making his abilities known; and, that I may cite all at once, Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower did tell me that Mr. Vaughan did protest to him, and that, in his hearing it, said so to the Duke of Albemarle, and afterwards to W. Coventry, that he had sat twenty-six years in Parliament and never heard such a speech there before: for which the Lord God make me thankful! and that I may make use of it not to pride and vain-glory, but that, now I have this esteem, I may do nothing that may lessen it!
I spent the morning thus walking in the Hall, being complimented by everybody with admiration: and at noon stepped into the Legg with Sir William Warren, who was in the Hall, and there talked about a little of his business, and thence into the Hall a little more, and so with him by coach as far as the Temple almost, and there ’light, to follow my Lord Brouncker’s coach, which I spied, and so to Madam Williams’s, where I overtook him, and agreed upon meeting this afternoon, and so home to dinner, and after dinner with W. Pen, who come to my house to call me, to White Hall, to wait on the Duke of York, where he again and all the company magnified me, and several in the Gallery: among others, my Lord Gerard, who never knew me before nor spoke to me, desires his being better acquainted with me; and [said] that, at table where he was, he never heard so much said of any man as of me, in his whole life.
We waited on the Duke of York, and thence into the Gallery, where the House of Lords waited the King’s coming out of the Park, which he did by and by; and there, in the Vane-room, my Lord Keeper delivered a message to the King, the Lords being about him, wherein the Barons of England, from many good arguments, very well expressed in the part he read out of, do demand precedence in England of all noblemen of either of the King’s other two kingdoms, be their title what it will; and did shew that they were in England reputed but as Commoners, and sat in the House of Commons, and at conferences with the Lords did stand bare. It was mighty worth my hearing: but the King did only say that he would consider of it, and so dismissed them. Thence Brouncker and I to the Committee of Miscarriages sitting in the Court of Wards, expecting with Sir D. Gawden to have been heard against Prince Rupert’s complaints for want of victuals. But the business of Holmes’s charge against Sir Jer. Smith, which is a most shameful scandalous thing for Flag officers to accuse one another of, and that this should be heard here before men that understand it not at all, and after it hath been examined and judged in before the King and Lord High Admirall and other able seamen to judge, it is very hard. But this business did keep them all the afternoon, so we not heard but put off to another day. Thence, with the Lieutenant of the Tower, in his coach home; and there, with great pleasure, with my wife, talking and playing at cards a little — she, and I, and W. Hewer, and Deb., and so, after a little supper, I to bed.