Samuel Pepys.

The diary of Samuel Pepys : with selections from his correspondence (Volume 4) online

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at this time. To several places to buy a hat, and
books, and neckcloths, and several errands I did before
I got home, and, among others, bought me two new pairs
of spectacles of Turlington, who, it seems, is famous for
them ; and his daughter, he being out of the way, do
advise me two very young sights, and that they will
help me most, and promises me great ease from them,

1667.1 PEPYS'S OIAAY. 23

and I will try them. I met Creed, and he tells me that
Sir Robert Brookes is the man that did mention the busi-
ness in Parliament yesterday about my Lord Sandwich,
but that it was seconded by nobody, but that the matter
will come before the Committee for Miscarriages. To
the King's house, and saw Brenoralt, which is a good

19th. Full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery's
new play this afternoon at the King's house, The Black
Prince, the first time it is acted ; where, though we
came by two o'clock, yet there was no room in the pit,
but were forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at
4s. a-piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box
in my life. And in the same box came, by-and-by,
behind me, my Lord Barkeley (of Stratton) and his
lady ; but I did not turn my face to them to be known,
so that I was excused from giving them my seat ; and
this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do
appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the
pit. The house infinite full, and the King and Duke
of York there. By-and-by the play began, and in it
nothing particular but a very fine dance for variety of
figures, but a little too long. But, as to the contri-
vance, and all that was witty, which, indeed, was much,
and very witty, was almost the same that had been in
his two former plays of Henry V. and Mustapha, and
the same points and turns of wit in both, and in
this very same play often repeated, but in excellent

24 PEPYS'S DIARY. [October.

language, and were so excellent that the whole house
was mightily pleased all along till the reading of a
letter, which was so long and so unnecessary that they
frequently began to laugh, and to hiss twenty times,
that, had it not been for the King's being there, they
had certainly hissed it off the stage. But I must con-
fess that, as my Lord Barkeley says behind me, the
having of that long letter was a thing so absurd, that
he could not imagine how a man of his parts could pos-
sibly fall into .it ; or, if he did, if he had but let any
friend read it the friend would have told him of it ;
and, I must confess, it is one of the most remarkable
instances of a wise man's not being wise at all times.
After the play done, and nothing pleasing them from
the time of the letter to the end of the play, people
being put into a bad humour of disliking, which is
another thing worth the noting, I home by coach, and
could not forbear laughing almost all the way and all
the evening to my going to bed, at the ridiculousness
of the letter, and the more because my wife was angry
with me and the world for laughing, because the King
was there.

20th. (Lord's day.) Up, and put on my new tunic of
velvet, which is very plain but good. This morning is
brought to me an order for the presenting the Com-
mittee of Parliament to-morrow with a list of the com-
manders and ships' names of all the fleets set out since
the war, and particularly of those ships whkh are

167.] PEPYS'S DIAKY. 25

divided from the fleet with Prince Rupert; which
gives me occasion to see that they are busy after that
business, and I am glad of it. This afternoon comes
to me Captain O'Bryan, about a ship that the King
hath given him ; and he and I to talk of the Parlia-
ment ; and he tells me that the business of the Duke
of York's slackening sail in the first fight, at the begin-
ning of the war, is brought into question, and Sir W.
Pen and Captain Cox are to appear to-morrow about
it; and it is thought will at last be laid upon Mr.
Brouncker's giving orders from the Duke of York,
which the Duke of York do not own to Captain Cox to
do it; but it seems they do resent this very highly,
and are mad in going through all business where they
can lay any fault. I am glad to hear, that in the world
I am as kindly spoken of as anybody ; for, for aught I
see, there is bloody work like to be. Sir W. Coventry
having been forced to produce a letter in Parliament
wherein the Duke of Albemarle did from Sheerness
write in what good posture all things were at Chatham,
and that they were so well placed that he feared no
attempt of the enemy : so that, among other things, I
do see everybody is upon his own defence, and spares
not to blame another to defend himself, and the same
course I shall take. But God knows where it will end !
Polling tells me that my Lady Duchess Albemarle was
at Mrs. Turner's this afternoon, she being ill, and did
there publicly talk of business and of our offi/;e ; and

26 PEPYS'S DIARY. .[October,

that she believed that I was safe and had done well ;
and so I thank God ! I hear everybody speaks of me ;
and indeed, I think, without vanity, I may expect to be
profited rather than injured by this inquiry which the
Parliament makes into business.

21st. To Westminster, and up to the lobby, where
many commanders of the fleet were, and Captain Cox.
and Mr. Pierce the surgeon; the last of whom hath
been in the House, and declared that he heard
Brouncker advise, and give arguments to Cox, for the
safety of the Duke of York's person, to shorten sail,
that they might not be in the middle of the enemy in
the morning alone ; and Cox denying to observe his
advice, having received the Duke of York's commands
over night to keep within gun-shot, as they then were,
of the enemy, Brouncker did go to Harman, and used
the same arguments, and told him that he was sure it
would be well pleasing to the King that care should
be taken of not endangering the Duke of York ; and,
after much persuasion, Harman was heard to say,
" Why, if it must be, then lower the topsail." And so
did shorten sail to the loss, as the Parliament will
have it, of the greatest victory that ever was, and
which would have saved all the expense of blood, and
money, and honour, that followed ; and this they do re-
sent, so as to put it to the question, whether Brouncker
should not be carried to the Tower : who do confess
that, out of kindness to the Duke of York's safety, he

1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 27

did advise that they should do so, but did not use the
Duke of York's name therein ; and so it was only his
error in advising it, but the greatest theirs in taking it
contrary to order. At last, it ended that it should be
suspended till Harman comes home ; and then the
Parliament-men do all tell me that it will fall heavy,
and, they think, be fatal to Brouncker or him. Sir W.
Pen tells me he was gone to bed, having been all day
labouring, and then not able to stand of the gout, and
did give order for the keeping the sails standing, as
they then were, all night. But, which I wonder at, he
tells me that he did not know the next day that they
had shortened sail, nor ever did inquire into it till
about ten days ago, that this began to be mentioned ;
and, indeed, it is charged privately as a fault on the
Duke of Tork, that he did not presently examine the
reason of the breach of his orders and punish it. But
Cox tells me that he did finally refuse it ; and what
prevailed with Harman he knows not, and do think
that we might have done considerable service on the
enemy the next day if this had not been done. Thus
this business ended to-day, having kept them till
almost two o'clock ; and then 1 by coach with Sir "W.
Pen as far as St. Clement's, talking of this matter, and
there set down ; and I walked to Sir G. Carteret's, and
there dined with him and several Parliament-men,
who, I perceive, do all look upon it as a thing certain
that the Parliament will inquire into everything, and

28 PEPYS'S DIABT. fOctober

will be very severe where they can find any fault. Sir
W. Coventry, I hear, did this day make a speech, in
apology for his reading the letter of the Duke of
Albemarle, concerning the good condition which Chat-
ham was in before the enemy came thither : declaring
his simple intention therein without prejudice to my
lord. And I am told that he was also with the Duke
of Albemarle yesterday to excuse it ; but this I do hear,
by some of Sir W. Coventry's friends, that they think
he hath done himself much injury by making this man,
and his interest, so much his enemy. After dinner, I
away to Westminster, and up to the Parliament House,
and there did wait with great patience till seven at
night, to be called in to the Committee, who sat all
this afternoon examining the business of Chatham ;
and at last was called in, and told that the least they
expected from us, Mr. Wren had promised them, and
only bade me to bring all my fellow-officers thither to-
morrow afternoon. Sir Robert Brookes in the chair ;
methinks a sorry fellow to be there, because a young
man ; and yet he seems to speak very well. I gone
thence, my cousin Pepys comes out to me, and walks in
the Hall with me, and bids me prepare to answer to
everything ; for they do seem to lay the business of
Chatham upon the Commissioners of the Navy, and
they are resolved to lay the fault heavy somewhere,
and to punish it : and prays me to prepare to save my-
self, and gives me hints what to prepare against ;

1667.] PEPYS'S 1>IABT. 29

which I am obliged to him for. This day I did get a
list of the fourteen particular miscarriages which are
already before the Committee to be examined ; wherein,
besides two or three that will concern this office much,
there are those of the prizes, and that of Bergen, and
not following the Dutch ships, against my Lord Sand-
wich ; that, I fear, will ruin him, unless he hath very
good luck, or they may be in better temper before he
can come to be charged : but my heart is full of fear
for him and his family. I hear that they do prosecute
the business against my Lord Chief Justice Keeling
with great severity.

22nd. Slept but ill all the last part of the night,
for fear of this day's success in Parliament : therefore
up, and all of us all the morning close, till almost two
o'clock, collecting all we had to say and had done
from the beginning, touching the safety of the River
Medway and Chatham. And having done this and
put it into order, we away, I not having time to eat
my dinner ; and so all in my Lord Brouncker's coach,
that is to say, Brouncker, W. Pen, T. Hater, and
myself, talking of the other great matter with which
they charge us, that is, of discharging men by ticket,
in order to our defence in case that should be asked.
We came to the Parliament door, and there, after a
little waiting till the Committee was sat, we were, the
House being very full, called in : Sir W. Pen went in
and sat as a Member ; and my Lord Brouncker would

30 PEPYS'S DIARY. [October,

not at first go in, expecting to hare a chair set for
him, and his brother had bid him not go in, till he
was called for ; but, after a few words, I had occasion
to mention him, and so he was called in, bnt without
any more chair or respect paid him than myself : and
so Brouncker, and T. Hater, and I, were there to
answer : and I had a chair brought me to lean my
books upon : and so did give them such an account,
in a series of the whole business that had passed the
Office touching the matter, and so answered all
questions given me about it, that I did not perceive
but they were fully satisfied with me and the business
as to our Office : and then Commissioner Pett (who
was by at all my discourse, and this held till within
an hour after candle-light, for I had candles brought
in to read my papers by) was to answer for himself,
we having lodged all matters with him for execution.
But, Lord ! what a tumultuous thing this Committee
is, for all the reputation they have of a great council,
is a strange consideration ; there being as impertinent
questions, and as disorderly proposed, as any man
could make. But Commissioner Pett, of all men
living, did make the weakest defence for himself :
nothing to the purpose, nor to satisfaction, nor certain;
but sometimes one thing and sometimes another, some,
times for himself, and sometimes against him ; and his
greatest failure was, that I observed, from his con-
sidering whether the question propounded was his

1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 31

part to answer or no, and the thing to be done was his
work to do : the want of which distinction will over-
throw him; for he concerns himself in giving an
account of the disposal of the boats, which he had no
reason at all to do, or take any blame upon him for
them. He charged the not carrying up of The Charles
upon the Tuesday, to the Duke of Albemarle ; but I
see the House is mighty favourable to the Duke of
Albemarle, and would give little weight to it. And
something of want of arms he spoke, which Sir J.
Duncomb answered with great imperiousness and
earnestness ; but, for all that, I do see the House is
resolved to be better satisfied in the business of the
unreadiness of Sheerness, and want of arms and
ammunition there and everywhere : and all their
officers were here to-day attending, but only one called
in, about arms for boats, to answer Commissioner
Pett. None of my brethren said anything but me
there: but only two or three silly words my Lord
Brouncker gave, in answer to one question about the
number of men there were in the King's Yard at the
time. At last the House dismissed us, and shortly
after did adjourn the debate till Friday next : and my
cousin Pepys did come out and joy me in my acquitting
myself so well, and so did several others, and my
fellow-officers all very brisk to see themselves so well
acquitted ; which makes me a little proud, bat not yet

32 PEPYS'S DIABT. ^October,

secure but we may yet meet with a backblow which we
see not.

23rd. To Whitehall, there to attend the Duke of
York ; but came a little too late, and so missed it :
only spoke with him, and heard him correct my Lord
Barkeley, who fell foul on Sir Edward Spragg, who,
it seems, said yesterday to the House, that if the
Officers of the Ordnance had done as much work at
Sheerness in ten weeks as the Prince [Rupert] did in
ten days, he could have defended the place against the
Dutch : but the Duke of York told him that everybody
must have liberty, at this time, to make their own
defence, though it be to the charging of the fault upon
any other, so it be true; so I perceive the whole
world is at work in blaming one another. Thence Sir
W. Pen and I back into London ; and there saw the
King, with his kettle-drums and trumpets, going to the
Exchange, to lay the first stone of the first pillar of
the new building of the Exchange ; which, the gates
being shut, I could not get in to see : so with Sir "W.
Pen to Captain Cocke's, and then again towards
Westminster ; but in my way stopped at the Exchange
and got in, the King being newly gone ; and there
find the bottom of the first pillar laid. And here was
a shed set up, and hung with tapestry, and a canopy
of state, and some good victuals and wine, for the
King, who, it seems, did it; and so a great many
people, as Tom Killigrew, and others of the Court

1667.] PEPYS'S DIABT. 33

there. I do find Mr. Gauden in his gown as sheriff, and
understand that the King hath this morning knighted
him upon the place, which I am mightily pleased
with ; and I think the other sheriff, who is Davis, the
little fellow, my schoolfellow, the bookseller, who was
one of Audley's executors, and now become sheriff;
which is a strange turn methinks. To Westminster
Hall, where I came just as the House rose ; and there,
in the Hall, met with Sir W. Coventry, who is in
pain to defend himself in the business of tickets, it
being said that the paying of the ships at Chatham
by ticket was by his direction, and he hath wrote to
me to find his letters, and show them him, but I find
none; but did there argue the case with him, and I
think no great blame can be laid on us for that matter,
only I see he is fearful. And he tells me his mistake
in the House the other day, which occasions him much
trouble, in showing of the House the Duke of
Albemarle's letter about the good condition of Chat-
ham, which he is sorry for, and owns as a mistake,
the thing not being necessary to have been done ; and
confesses that nobody can escape from such error,
some times or other. He says the House was well
satisfied with my report yesterday; and so several
others told me in the Hall that my report was very
good and satisfactory, and that I have got advantage
by it in the House : I pray God it may prove so !
To the King's playhouse, and saw The Black Prince ;

34 PEPYS'S DIARY. [October,

which is now mightily bettered by that loug Litter
being printed, and so delivered to everybody at their
going in, and some short reference made to it in the
play ; but, when all is done, I think it the worst play
of my Lord Orrery's. But here, to my great satis-
faction, I did see my Lord Hinchingbroke and his
mistress, with her father and mother; and I am
mightily pleased with the young lady, being handsome
enough and, indeed, to my great liking, as I would
have her. Home, and then to my chamber, to read
the true story, in Speed, of the Black Prince. This
day it was moved in the House, that a day might be
appointed to bring in an impeachment against the
Chancellor, but it was decried as being irregular ; but
that if there was ground for complaint, it might be
brought to the Committee for Miscarriages, and if
they thought good, to present it to the House ; and so
it was carried. They did also vote this day thanks to
be given to the Prince and Duke of Albemarle, for
their care and conduct in the last year's war, which is
a strange act ; but, I know not how, the blockhead
Albemarle hath strange luck to be loved, though he
be, and every man must know it, the heaviest man in
world, but stout and honest to his country. This
evening late, Mr. Moore came to me to prepare
matters for my Lord Sandwich's defence; wherein I
can little assist, but will do all I can; and am in
great fear of nothing but the business of the prrses,

1667.1 PEPYS'S DIARY. 35

but I fear my Lord will receive a vast deal of trouble
by it.

24th. To write what letters I had to write, that I
might go abroad with my wife, who was not well, only
to jumble her, and so to the Duke of York's play-
house ; and there Betterton, not being yet well, we
would not stay, though since I hear that Smith do act
his part in The Villain, which was then acted as well
or better than he, which I do not believe; but to
Charing Cross, there to see Polichinelli. But it being
begun, we in to see a Frenchman, at the house where
my wife's father last lodged, one Monsieur Prin, play
on the trump-marine, which he does beyond belief ; and
the truth is, it do so far outdo a trumpet as nothing
more, and he do play anything very true. The in-
strument is open at the end, I discovered ; but he
would not let me look into it. Here we also saw
again the two fat children come out of Ireland, and a
brother and sister of theirs now come, which are of
little ordinary growth, like other people. But, Lord !
how strange it is to observe the difference between the
same children born of the same little woman. Thence
to Mile-End Green, and there drank, and so home,
bringing home night with us.

25th. Up, and to make our answer ready for the Par-
liament this afternoon, to show how Commissioner Pett
was singly concerned in the execution of all orders
from Chatham, and that we did properly lodge all

36 PEPYS'S DIABY. [October,

osders with him. Thence with Sir "W. Pen to the
Parliament Committee, and there I had no more
matters asked me. They were examining several about
the business of Chatham again, and particularly my
Lord Brouncker did meet with two or three blurs that
he did not think of. One from Spragg, who says that
the Unity was ordered up contrary to his order by my
Lord Brouncker and Commissioner Pett. Another by
Crispin, the waterman, who said ho was upon the
Charles ; and spoke to Lord Brouncker coming by in
his boat, to know whether they should carry up the
Charles, they being a great many naked men without
arms, and he told them she was well as she was. Both
these have little in them indeed, but yet both did stick
close against him ; and he is the weakest man in the
world to make his defence, and so is like to have much
fault laid on him, for a man that minds his pleasure
and little else of his whole charge. The Commissioners
of the Ordnance being examined with all severity and
hardly used, did go away with mighty blame ; and I
am told by everybody that it is likely to stick mighty
hard upon them : at which everybody is glad, because
of Duncomb's pride, and their expecting to have the
thanks of the House ; whereas they have deserved, as
the Parliament apprehends, as bad as bad can be.
Here is great talk of an impeachment brought in
against my Lord Mor daunt, and that another will be
brought in against my Lord Chancellor in a few days.

1667.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 37

Here I understand for certain that they have ordered
that my Lord Arlington's letters, and Secretary Mor-
rice's letters of intelligence, be consulted about the
business of the Dutch fleet's coming abroad ; and I do
hear how Birch is the man that do examine and trouble
everybody with his questions.

26th. Mrs. Pierce tells me that the two Marshalls at
the King's house are Stephen Marshall's, the great
Presbyterian's daughters : and that Nelly and Beck
Marshall, falling out the other day, the latter called
the other my Lord Buckhurst's mistress. Nell
answered her, " I was but one man's mistress, and
you are a mistress to three or four, though a Presby-
ter's praying daughter ! " Mrs. Pierce is still very-
pretty, but paints red on her face, which makes me
hate her.

27th. After dinner, I down to Deptford, the first
time that I went to look upon the Maybolt, which the
King hath given me, and there she is ; and I did meet
with Mr. Unthwayte, who do tell me that there are new
sails ordered to be delivered her, and a cable, which I
did not speak of at all to him. So, thereupon, I told
him I would not be my own hindrance so much as to
take her into my custody before she had them, which
was all I said to him, but desired him to take a strict
inventory of her, that I might not be cheated by the
master nor the company, when they come to understand
that the vessel is gone away, which he hath promised

38 PEPYS'S DIARY. [October,

me. This evening comes Sir J. Minnes to me, to let
me know that a Parliament-man hath been with him,
to tell him that the Parliament intend to examine him
particularly about Sir W. Coventry's selling of places
and about my Lord Brouncker's discharging the ships
at Chatham by ticket: for the former of which I
am more particularly sorry that that business of Sir
W. Coventry should come up again ; though this old
man tells me, and, I believe, that he can say nothing

28th. To Sir W. Coventry's lodging, but he was gone
out, and I find him at his house,- which is fitting for
him ; and there I to him, and was with him above an
hour alone, discoursing of the matters of the nation,
and our Oflice, and himself. He owns that he is, at
this day, the chief person aimed at by the Parliament
that is, by the friends of my Lord Chancellor, and
also of the Duke of Albemarle, by reason of his un-
happy showing of the Duke of Albemarle's letter the
other day in the House ; but that he thinks that he is
not liable to any hurt they can fasten on him for any-
thing. He says, he is so well armed to justify himself
in everything, unless in the old business of selling
places, when he says everybody did ; and he will now
not be forward to tell his own story as he hath been ;
but tells me he is grown wiser, and will put them
to prove anything, and he will defend himself :
besides that, he will dispute the statute, thinking

1667.1 PEPTS'S DIABT. 39

that it will not be found to reach Mm. We did
talk many things, which, as they come into my mind
now, I shall set down without order : that he is weary
of public employment ; and neither ever designed
nor will ever, if his commission were brought to him
wrapped in gold, accept of any single place in the
State, as particularly Secretary of State, which, he says,
the world discourses Morrice is willing to resign ; and
he thinks the King might have thought of him, but he

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