Friday 13 February 1662/63

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Lay very long with my wife in bed talking with great pleasure, and then rose. This morning Mr. Cole, our timber merchant, sent me five couple of ducks. Our maid Susan is very ill, and so the whole trouble of the house lies upon our maid Mary, who do it very contentedly and mighty well, but I am sorry she is forced to it.

Dined upon one couple of ducks to-day, and after dinner my wife and I by coach to Tom’s, and I to the Temple to discourse with my cozen Roger Pepys about my law business, and so back again, it being a monstrous thaw after the long great frost, so that there is no passing but by coach in the streets, and hardly that.

Took my wife home, and I to my office. Find myself pretty well but fearful of cold, and so to my office, where late upon business; Mr. Bland sitting with me, talking of my Lord Windsor’s being come home from Jamaica, unlooked-for; which makes us think that these young Lords are not fit to do any service abroad, though it is said that he could not have his health there, but hath razed a fort of the King of Spain upon Cuba, which is considerable, or said to be so, for his honour. So home to supper and to bed. This day I bought the second part of Dr. Bates’s Elenchus, which reaches to the fall of Richard, and no further, for which I am sorry. This evening my wife had a great mind to choose Valentines against to-morrow, I Mrs. Clerke, or Pierce, she Mr. Hunt or Captain Ferrers, but I would not because of getting charge both to me for mine and to them for her, which did not please her.

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Thursday 12 February 1662/63

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Up and find myself pretty well, and so to the office, and there all the morning. Rose at noon and home to dinner in my green chamber, having a good fire. Thither there came my wife’s brother and brought Mary Ashwell with him, whom we find a very likely person to please us, both for person, discourse, and other qualitys. She dined with us, and after dinner went away again, being agreed to come to us about three weeks or a month hence. My wife and I well pleased with our choice, only I pray God I may be able to maintain it.

Then came an old man from Mr. Povy, to give me some advice about his experience in the stone, which I [am] beholden to him for, and was well pleased with it, his chief remedy being Castle soap in a posset.

Then in the evening to the office, late writing letters and my Journall since Saturday, and so home to supper and to bed.

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Wednesday 11 February 1662/63

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Took a clyster in the morning and rose in the afternoon. My wife and I dined on a pullet and I eat heartily, having eat nothing since Sunday but water gruel and posset drink, but must needs say that our new maid Mary has played her part very well in her readiness and discretion in attending me, of which I am very glad.

In the afternoon several people came to see me, my uncle Thomas, Mr. Creed, Sir J. Minnes (who has been, God knows to what end, mighty kind to me and careful of me in my sickness). At night my wife read Sir H. Vane’s tryall to me, which she began last night, and I find it a very excellent thing, worth reading, and him to have been a very wise man.

So to supper and to bed.

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Tuesday 10 February 1662/63

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In the morning most of my disease, that is, itching and pimples, were gone. In the morning visited by Mr. Coventry and others, and very glad I am to see that I am so much inquired after and my sickness taken notice of as I did. I keep my bed all day and sweat again at night, by which I expect to be very well to-morrow.

This evening Sir W. Warren came himself to the door and left a letter and box for me, and went his way. His letter mentions his giving me and my wife a pair of gloves; but, opening the box, we found a pair of plain white gloves for my hand, and a fair state dish of silver, and cup, with my arms, ready cut upon them, worth, I believe, about 18l., which is a very noble present, and the best I ever had yet.

So after some contentful talk with my wife, she to bed and I to rest.

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Monday 9 February 1662/63

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Could not rise and go to the Duke, as I should have done with the rest, but keep my bed and by the Apothecary’s advice, Mr. Battersby, I am to sweat soundly, and that will carry all this matter away which nature would of itself eject, but they will assist nature, it being some disorder given the blood, but by what I know not, unless it be by my late quantitys of Dantzic-girkins that I have eaten.

In the evening came Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten to see me, and Sir J. Minnes advises me to the same thing, but would not have me take anything from the apothecary, but from him, his Venice treacle being better than the others, which I did consent to and did anon take and fell into a great sweat, and about 10 or 11 o’clock came out of it and shifted myself, and slept pretty well alone, my wife lying in the red chamber above.

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Sunday 8 February 1662/63

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(Lord’s day). Up, and it being a very great frost, I walked to White Hall, and to my Lord Sandwich’s by the fireside till chapel time, and so to chappell, where there preached little Dr. Duport, of Cambridge, upon Josiah’s words, — “But I and my house, we will serve the Lord.” But though a great scholler, he made the most flat dead sermon, both for matter and manner of delivery, that ever I heard, and very long beyond his hour, which made it worse.

Thence with Mr. Creed to the King’s Head ordinary, where we dined well, and after dinner Sir Thomas Willis and another stranger, and Creed and I, fell a-talking; they of the errours and corruption of the Navy, and great expence thereof, not knowing who I was, which at last I did undertake to confute, and disabuse them: and they took it very well, and I hope it was to good purpose, they being Parliament-men. By and by to my Lord’s, and with him a good while talking upon his want of money, and ways of his borrowing some, &c., and then by other visitants, I withdrew and away, Creed and I and Captn. Ferrers to the Park, and there walked finely, seeing people slide, we talking all the while; and Captn. Ferrers telling me, among other Court passages, how about a month ago, at a ball at Court, a child was dropped by one of the ladies in dancing, but nobody knew who, it being taken up by somebody in their handkercher. The next morning all the Ladies of Honour appeared early at Court for their vindication, so that nobody could tell whose this mischance should be. But it seems Mrs. Wells1 fell sick that afternoon, and hath disappeared ever since, so that it is concluded that it was her.

Another story was how my Lady Castlemaine, a few days since, had Mrs. Stuart to an entertainment, and at night began a frolique that they two must be married, and married they were, with ring and all other ceremonies of church service, and ribbands and a sack posset in bed, and flinging the stocking; but in the close, it is said that my Lady Castlemaine, who was the bridegroom, rose, and the King came and took her place with pretty Mrs. Stuart. This is said to be very true. Another story was how Captain Ferrers and W. Howe both have often, through my Lady Castlemaine’s window, seen her go to bed and Sir Charles Barkeley in the chamber all the while with her. But the other day Captn. Ferrers going to Sir Charles to excuse his not being so timely at his arms the other day, Sir Charles swearing and cursing told him before a great many other gentlemen that he would not suffer any man of the King’s Guards to be absent from his lodging a night without leave. Not but that, says he, once a week or so I know a gentleman must go …, and I am not for denying it to any man, but however he shall be bound to ask leave to lie abroad, and to give account of his absence, that we may know what guard the King has to depend upon.

The little Duke of Monmouth, it seems, is ordered to take place of all Dukes, and so to follow Prince Rupert now, before the Duke of Buckingham, or any else.

Whether the wind and the cold did cause it or no I know not, but having been this day or two mightily troubled with an itching all over my body which I took to be a louse or two that might bite me, I found this afternoon that all my body is inflamed, and my face in a sad redness and swelling and pimpled, so that I was before we had done walking not only sick but ashamed of myself to see myself so changed in my countenance, so that after we had thus talked we parted and I walked home with much ado (Captn. Ferrers with me as far as Ludgate Hill towards Mr. Moore at the Wardrobe), the ways being so full of ice and water by peoples’ trampling. At last got home and to bed presently, and had a very bad night of it, in great pain in my stomach, and in great fever.

Footnotes

  1. Winifred Wells, maid of honour to the Queen, who figures in the “Grammont Memoirs.” The king is supposed to have been father of the child. A similar adventure is told of Mary Kirke (afterwards married to Sir Thomas Vernon), who figures in the “Grammont Memoirs” as Miss Warmestre.

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Saturday 7 February 1662/63

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Up and to my office, whither by agreement Mr. Coventry came before the time of sitting to confer about preparing an account of the extraordinary charge of the Navy since the King’s coming, more than is properly to be applied and called the Navy charge.

So by and by we sat, and so till noon. Then home to dinner, and in the afternoon some of us met again upon something relating to the victualling, and thence to my writing of letters late, and making my Alphabet to my new Navy book very pretty. And so after writing to my father by the post about the endeavour to come to a composition with my uncle, though a very bad one, desiring him to be contented therewith, I went home to supper and to bed.

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Friday 6 February 1662/63

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Up and to my office about business, examining people what they could swear against Field, and the whole is, that he has called us cheating rogues and cheating knaves, for which we hope to be even with him.

Thence to Lincoln’s Inn Fields; and it being too soon to go to dinner, I walked up and down, and looked upon the outside of the new theatre, now a-building in Covent Garden, which will be very fine. And so to a bookseller’s in the Strand, and there bought Hudibras again, it being certainly some ill humour to be so against that which all the world cries up to be the example of wit; for which I am resolved once again to read him, and see whether I can find it or no. So to Mr. Povy’s, and there found them at dinner, and dined there, there being, among others, Mr. Williamson, Latin Secretary, who, I perceive, is a pretty knowing man and a scholler, but, it may be, thinks himself to be too much so. Thence, after dinner, to the Temple, to my cozen Roger Pepys, where met us my uncle Thomas and his son; and, after many high demands, we at last came to a kind of agreement upon very hard terms, which are to be prepared in writing against Tuesday next. But by the way promising them to pay my cozen Mary’s legacys at the time of her marriage, they afterwards told me that she was already married, and married very well, so that I must be forced to pay it in some time.

My cozen Roger was so sensible of our coming to agreement that he could not forbear weeping, and, indeed, though it is very hard, yet I am glad to my heart that we are like to end our trouble. So we parted for to-night.

And I to my Lord Sandwich and there staid, there being a Committee to sit upon the contract for the Mole, which I dare say none of us that were there understood, but yet they agreed of things as Mr. Cholmely and Sir J. Lawson demanded, who are the undertakers, and so I left them to go on to agree, for I understood it not.

So home, and being called by a coachman who had a fare in him, he carried me beyond the Old Exchange, and there set down his fare, who would not pay him what was his due, because he carried a stranger with him, and so after wrangling he was fain to be content with 6d., and being vexed the coachman would not carry me home a great while, but set me down there for the other 6d., but with fair words he was willing to it, and so I came home and to my office, setting business in order, and so to supper and to bed, my mind being in disorder as to the greatness of this day’s business that I have done, but yet glad that my trouble therein is like to be over.

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Thursday 5 February 1662/63

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Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, and found it so well done, above what I did expect from my mayde Susan, now Jane is gone, that I did call her in and give her sixpence. Thence walked to the Temple, and there at my cozen Roger Pepys’s chamber met by appointment with my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas, and there I shewing them a true state of my uncle’s estate as he has left it with the debts, &c., lying upon it, we did come to some quiett talk and fair offers against an agreement on both sides, though I do offer quite to the losing of the profit of the whole estate for 8 or 10 years together, yet if we can gain peace, and set my mind at a little liberty, I shall be glad of it. I did give them a copy of this state, and we are to meet tomorrow with their answer.

So walked home, it being a very great frost still, and to my office, there late writing letters of office business, and so home to supper and to bed.

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Wednesday 4 February 1662/63

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Up early and to Mr. Moore, and thence to Mr. Lovell about my law business, and from him to Paul’s School, it being Apposition-day there. I heard some of their speeches, and they were just as schoolboys’ used to be, of the seven liberal sciences; but I think not so good as ours were in our time. Away thence and to Bow Church, to the Court of Arches, where a judge sits, and his proctors about him in their habits, and their pleadings all in Latin. Here I was sworn to give a true answer to my uncle’s libells, and so paid my fee for swearing, and back again to Paul’s School, and went up to see the head forms posed in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, but I think they did not answer in any so well as we did, only in geography they did pretty well: Dr. Wilkins and Outram were examiners. So down to the school, where Dr. Crumlum did me much honour by telling many what a present I had made to the school, shewing my Stephanus, in four volumes, cost me 4l. 10s. He also shewed us, upon my desire, an old edition of the the grammar of Colett’s, where his epistle to the children is very pretty; and in rehearsing the creed it is said “borne of the cleane Virgin Mary.” Thence with Mr. Elborough (he being all of my old acquaintance that I could meet with here) to a cook’s shop to dinner, but I found him a fool, as he ever was, or worse. Thence to my cozen Roger Pepys and Mr. Phillips about my law businesses, which stand very bad, and so home to the office, where after doing some business I went home, where I found our new mayde Mary, that is come in Jane’s place.

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