Wednesday 18 March 1667/68
Up betimes to Westminster, where met with cozen Roger and Creed and walked with them, and Roger do still continue of the mind that there is no other way of saving this nation but by dissolving this Parliament and calling another; but there are so many about the King that will not be able to stand, if a new Parliament come, that they will not persuade the King to it. I spent most of the morning walking with one or other, and anon met Doll Lane at the Dog tavern, and there je did hater what I did desire with her … and I did give her as being my valentine 20s. to buy what elle would. Thence away by coach to my bookseller’s, and to several places to pay my debts, and to Ducke Lane, and there bought Montaigne’s Essays, in English, and so away home to dinner, and after dinner with W. Pen to White Hall, where we and my Lord Brouncker attended the Council, to discourse about the fitness of entering of men presently for the manning of the fleete, before one ship is in condition to receive them. W. Coventry did argue against it: I was wholly silent, because I saw the King, upon the earnestness of the Prince, was willing to it, crying very sillily, “If ever you intend to man the fleete, without being cheated by the captains and pursers, you may go to bed, and resolve never to have it manned;” and so it was, like other things, over-ruled that all volunteers should be presently entered. Then there was another great business about our signing of certificates to the Exchequer for [prize] goods, upon the 1,250,000l. Act, which the Commissioners of the Treasury did all oppose, and to the laying fault upon us. But I did then speak to the justifying what we had done, even to the angering of Duncomb and Clifford, which I was vexed at: but, for all that, I did set the Office and myself right, and went away with the victory, my Lord Keeper saying that he would not advise the Council to order us to sign no more certificates. But, before I began to say anything in this matter, the King and the Duke of York talking at the Council-table, before all the Lords, of the Committee of Miscarriages, how this entering of men before the ships could be ready would be reckoned a miscarriage; “Why,” says the King, “it is then but Mr. Pepys making of another speech to them;” which made all the Lords, and there were by also the Atturny and Sollicitor-Generall, look upon me. Thence Sir W. Coventry, W. Pen and I, by hackney-coach to take a little ayre in Hyde Parke, the first time I have been there this year; and we did meet many coaches going and coming, it being mighty pleasant weather; and so, coming back again, I ’light in the Pell Mell; and there went to see Sir H. Cholmly, who continues very ill of his cold. And there come in Sir H. Yelverton, whom Sir H. Cholmly commended me to his acquaintance, which the other received, but without remembering to me, or I him, of our being school-fellows together; and I said nothing of it. But he took notice of my speech the other day at the bar of the House; and indeed I perceive he is a wise man by his manner of discourse, and here he do say that the town is full of it, that now the Parliament hath resolved upon 300,000l., the King, instead of fifty, will set out but twenty-five ships, and the Dutch as many; and that Smith is to command them, who is allowed to have the better of Holmes in the late dispute, and is in good esteem in the Parliament, above the other. Thence home, and there, in favour to my eyes, stayed at home, reading the ridiculous History of my Lord Newcastle, wrote by his wife, which shews her to be a mad, conceited, ridiculous woman, and he an asse to suffer her to write what she writes to him, and of him. Betty Turner sent my wife the book to read, and it being a fair print, to ease my eyes, which would be reading, I read that. Anon comes Mrs. Turner and sat and talked with us, and most about the business of Ackworth,1 which comes before us to-morrow, that I would favour it, but I do not think, notwithstanding all the friendship I can shew him, that he can escape, and therefore it had been better that he had followed the advice I sent him the other day by Mrs. Turner, to make up the business. So parted, and I to bed, my eyes being very bad; and I know not how in the world to abstain from reading.