Monday 30 March 1668
Up betimes, and so to the office, there to do business till about 10 o’clock, and then out with my wife and Deb. and W. Hewer by coach to Common-garden Coffee-house, where by appointment I was to meet Harris; which I did, and also Mr. Cooper, the great painter, and Mr. Hales: and thence presently to Mr. Cooper’s house, to see some of his work, which is all in little, but so excellent as, though I must confess I do think the colouring of the flesh to be a little forced, yet the painting is so extraordinary, as I do never expect to see the like again. Here I did see Mrs. Stewart’s picture as when a young maid, and now just done before her having the smallpox: and it would make a man weep to see what she was then, and what she is like to be, by people’s discourse, now. Here I saw my Lord Generall’s picture, and my Lord Arlington and Ashly’s, and several others; but among the rest one Swinfen, that was Secretary to my Lord Manchester, Lord Chamberlain, with Cooling, done so admirably as I never saw any thing: but the misery was, this fellow died in debt, and never paid Cooper for his picture; but, it being seized on by his creditors, among his other goods, after his death, Cooper himself says that he did buy it, and give 25l. out of his purse for it, for what he was to have had but 30l.. Being infinitely satisfied with this sight, and resolving that my wife shall be drawn by him when she comes out of the country, I away with Harris and Hales to the Coffee-house, sending my people away, and there resolve for Hales to begin Harris’s head for me, which I will be at the cost of. After a little talk, I away to White Hall and Westminster, where I find the Parliament still bogling about the raising of this money: and every body’s mouth full now; and Mr. Wren himself tells me that the Duke of York declares to go to sea himself this year; and I perceive it is only on this occasion of distaste of the Parliament against W. Pen’s going, and to prevent the Prince’s: but I think it is mighty hot counsel for the Duke of York at this time to go out of the way; but, Lord! what a pass are all our matters come to! At noon by appointment to Cursitor’s Alley, in Chancery Lane, to meet Captain Cocke and some other creditors of the Navy, and their Counsel, Pemberton, North, Offly, and Charles Porter; and there dined, and talked of the business of the assignments on the Exchequer of the 1,250,000l. on behalf of our creditors; and there I do perceive that the Counsel had heard of my performance in the Parliamenthouse lately, and did value me and what I said accordingly. At dinner we had a great deal of good discourse about Parliament: their number being uncertain, and always at the will of the King to encrease, as he saw reason to erect a new borough. But all concluded that the bane of the Parliament hath been the leaving off the old custom of the places allowing wages to those that served them in Parliament, by which they chose men that understood their business and would attend it, and they could expect an account from, which now they cannot; and so the Parliament is become a company of men unable to give account for the interest of the place they serve for.
Thence, the meeting of the Counsel with the King’s Counsel this afternoon being put off by reason of the death of Serjeant Maynard’s lady, I to White Hall, where the Parliament was to wait on the King; and they did: and it was to be told that he did think fit to tell them that they might expect to be adjourned at Whitsuntide, and that they might make haste to raise their money; but this, I fear, will displease them, who did expect to sit as long as they pleased, and whether this be done by the King upon some new counsel I know not, for the King must be beholding to them till they do settle this business of money. Great talk to-day as if Beaufort was come into the Channel with about 20 ships, and it makes people apprehensive, but yet the Parliament do not stir a bit faster in the business of money. Here I met with Creed, expecting a Committee of Tangier, but the Committee met not, so he and I up and down, having nothing to do, and particularly to the New Cockpit by the King’s Gate in Holborne, but seeing a great deal of rabble we did refuse to go in, but took coach and to Hide Park, and there till all the tour was empty, and so he and I to the Lodge in the Park, and there eat and drank till it was night, and then carried him to White Hall, having had abundance of excellent talk with him in reproach of the times and managements we live under, and so I home, and there to talk and to supper with my wife, and so to bed.