Samuel Pepys.

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

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thereby Cromwell carried the secrets of all the princes
of Europe at his girdle. The House is in a most
broken condition : nobody adhering to anything, but
reviling and finding fault : and now quite mad at the
undertakers, as they are commonly called, Littleton,
Lord Vaughan, Sir R. Howard, and others that are
brought over to the Court, and did undertake to get
the King money ; but they despise, and they will
not hear, them in the House ; and the Court do as
much, seeing that they cannot be useful to them,
as was expected. In short, it is plain that the King
will never be able to do anything with this Parliament ;
and that the only likely way to do better, for it cannot
do worse, is to break this and call another Parlia-
ment ; and some do think that it is intended. I
was told to-night that my Lady Castlemaine is so
great a gamester as to have won 15,000 in one night,
and lost 25,000 in another night, at play, and hath
played 1,000 and 1,500 at a cast.

156 PEPYS'S DIABT. [February,

15th. Till midnight almost, and till I had tired my
own back, and my wife's and Deb's, entitling of my
books for the present year, and in setting them in
order, which is now done to my very good satisfaction,
though not altogether so completely as I think they
were the last year.

16th. (Lord's day.) All the morning making a cata-
logue of my books. Mr. Holliard put in, and dined
with my wife and me. His story of love and fortune,
which hath been very good and very bad in the
world, well worth hearing. Much discourse about
the bad state of the Church, and how the clergy
are come to be men of no worth in the world; and
as the world do now generally discourse, they must
be reformed ; and I believe the hierarchy will in
a little time be shaken, whether they will or no ;
the King being offended with them, and set upon it,
as I hear.

17th. All the morning getting some things more
ready against the afternoon for the Committee of
Accounts, which did give me great trouble to see how
I am forced to dance after them in one place, and to
answer Committees of Parliament in another. Great
high words in the House on Saturday last upon the
first part of the Committee's Report about the
dividing of the fleet, wherein some would have the
counsels of the Xing to be declared, and the reasons of
them, and who did give them ; where Sir W. Coventry

1668.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 157

laid open to them the consequences of doing that,
that the King would never have any honest and wise
men ever to be of his Council. They did here in the
House talk boldly of the King's bad counsellors, and
how they all must be turned out, and many others,
and better, brought in : and the proceedings of the
Long Parliament in the beginning of the war were
called to memory : and the King's bad intelligence
was mentioned, wherein they were bitter against my
Lord Arlington, saying, among other things, that
whatever Morrice's was, who declared he had but
750 a year allowed him for intelligence, the King
paid too dear for my Lord Arlington's, in giving him
10,000 and a barony for it. Sir W. Coventry did
here come to his defence in the business of the letter
that was sent to call back Prince Rupert after he was
divided from the fleet, wherein great delay was
objected ; but he did show that he sent it at one in the
morning when the Duke of York did give him the in-
structions after supper that night, and did clear himself
well of it : only it was laid as a fault, which I know
not how he removes, of not sending it by an express,
but by the ordinary post; but I think I have heard
he did send it to my Lord Arlington's, and that there
it lay for some hours ; it coming not to Sir Philip
Honiwood's hand at Portsmouth -till four in the
afternoon that day, being about fifteen or sixteen
hours in going ; and about this, I think, I have heard

158 PEPYS'S DIARY. [February.

of a falling out between my Lord Arlington hereto-
fore and W. Coventry. Some mutterings I did hear
of dissolving the Parliament ; but I think there is no
ground for it yet, though Oliver would have dissolved
them for half the trouble and contempt these have put
upon the King and his councils. The dividing of the
fleet, however, is, I hear, voted a miscarriage, and
the not building a fortification at Sheerness : and I
have reason every hour to expect that they will vote
the like of our paying men off by ticket ; and what the
consequence of that will be, I know not.

18th. Walked down to the " Old Swan," where I find
Mitchell building, his booth being taken down, and a
foundation laid for a new house, so that, that street is
like to be a very fine place. So to Charing Cross
stairs, and to Sir "W. Coventry's, who tells me how he
hath been persecuted, and how he is yet well come off
in the business of the dividing of the fleet and the
sending of the letter. He expects next to be troubled
about the business of bad officers in the fleet, wherein
he will bid them name whom they call bad, and he will
justify himself, having never disposed of any but by
the Admiral's liking. He and I did look over the list
of commanders, and found that we could presently re-
collect thirty-seven commanders that have been killed
in actual servica this war. He tells me that Sir FT.
Hollis is the main man that hath persecuted him
hitherto in the business of dividing the fleet, saying

1668.] PEPYS'S DIAET. 159

vainly that the want of that letter to the Prince hath
given him that, that he shall remember it by to his
grave, meaning the loss of his arm ; when, God
knows ! he is as idle and insignificant a fellow as ever
came into the fleet. I well remember what, in mirth,
he said to me this morning, when upon this discourse
he said, if ever there was another Dutch war they
should not find a Secretary : " Nor," said I, " a Clerk
of the Acts, for I see the reward of it; and thank
God ! I have enough of my own to buy me a good book
and a good fiddle, and I have a good wife." " Why,"
says he, " I have enough to buy me a good book, and
shall not need a fiddle, because I have never a one of
your good wives." To Westminster Hall, and there
walked all the morning, and did speak with several
Parliament-men among others, Birch, who is very
kind to me, and calls me, with great respect and
kindness, a man of business, and he thinks honest, arid
so long will stand by me, and every such man, to the
death. My business was to instruct them to keep the
House from falling into any mistaken vote about the
business of tickets before they were better informed.
With my Lord Brouncker, who was in great pain
there, and the truth is, his business is without reason
so ill resented by the generality of the House, that I
was almost troubled to be seen to walk with him, and
yet am able to justify him in all, that he is in so
much scandal for. Here I did get a copy of the Report

160 PEPYS'S DIABT. [February,

itself about our paying off men by tickets; and am
mightily glad to see it, now knowing tlie state of our
case and what we have to answer to : so that against
Thursday I shall be able to draw up some defence to
put into some Members' hands to inform them. This
morning the House is upon a Bill, brought in to-day
by Sir Richard Temple, for obliging the King to call
Parliaments every three years ; or, if he fail, for others
to be obliged to do it, and to keep him from a power of
dissolving any Parliament in less than forty days after
their first day of sitting, which is such a Bill as do
speak very high proceedings, to the lessening of the
King ; and this they will carry, and whatever else they
desire, before they will give any money ; and the King
must have money, whatever it cost him. Sir W. Pen
and I to the " Bear," in Drury Lane, an excellent
ordinary, after the French manner, but of English-
men ; and there had a good fricassee, our dinner coming
to 8s., which was mighty pretty, to my great content ;
and thence he and I to the King's house, and there, in
one of the upper boxes, saw Flora's Vagaries, which is
a very silly play ; and the more, I being out of humour,
being at a play without my wife and she ill at home,
and having no desire also to be seen, and therefore
could not look about me. I to see Kate Joyce, where
I find her and her friends in great ease of mind, the
Jury having this day given in their verdict that her
husband died of a fever. Some opposition there was,

1668.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 161

the foreman pressing them to declare the canse of the
fever, thinking thereby to obstruct it; but they did
adhere to their verdict, and would give no reason ; so
all trouble is now over and she safe in her estate. Up
to my wife, not owning my being at a play, and there
she shows me her ring of a Turkey-stone [turquoise], ,
set with little sparks of diamonds, which I am to give
her as my Valentine, and I am not much troubled at
it. It will cost me near 5 she costing me but little
compared with other wives, and I have not many ac-
casions to spend money on her.

19th. With my wife out with Deb., to buy some
things against my sister's wedding. In the evening to
Whitehall, where I find Sir W. Coventry a great while
with the Duke of York in the King's drawing-room,
they two talking together all alone, which did mightily
please me. I do hear how La Roche, a French captain,
who was once prisoner here, being with his ship at
Plymouth, hath played some freaks there, for which his
men being beat out of the town, he hath put up a flag
of defiance, and also, somewhere thereabout, did land
with his men, and go a mile into the country and did
some pranks, which sounds pretty odd, to our disgrace,
but we are in condition now to bear anything. But,
blessed be God ! all the Court is full of good news of my
Lord Sandwich's having made a peace between Spain
and Portugal, which is mighty great news, and, above
all, to my Lord's honour, more than anything he ever

162 PEPYS'S DIAET. [February,

did ; and yet I do fear it will not prevail to secure him
in Parliament against incivilities there.

20tli. The House most of the morning upon the busi-
ness of not prosecuting the first victory ; which they
have voted one of the greatest miscarriages of the whole
war, though they cannot lay the fault anywhere yet,
because Harman is not come home. Dined, and by one
o'clock to the King's house : a new play, The Duke of
Lerma, of Sir Robert Howard's : where the King and
Court was ; and Knipp and Nell spoke the prologue
most excellently, especially Knipp, who spoke beyond
any creature I ever heard. The play designed to re-
proach our King with his mistresses, that I was
troubled for it, and expected it should be interrupted ;
but it ended all well, which salved all.

21st. Comes to me young Captain Beckf ord, the slop-
seller, and there presents me a little purse with gold in
it, it being, as he told ine, for his present to me at the
end of the last year. I told him I had not done him
any service I knew of. He persisted, and I refused ; and
telling him that it was not an age to make presents in,
he told me he had reason to present me with something,
and desired me to accept of it, which, at his so urging
me, I did. Towards Westminster, and met my Lord
Brouncker, and W. Pen, and Sir T. Harvey, in King's
Street, coming away from the Parliament House ; and
BO I to them, and to the French ordinary, at the " Blue
Bells," in Lincoln's- Inn-Fields, and there dined and

1668-1 PEPYS'S DIARY. 163

talked. And, among other things, they tell me how the
House this day is still as backward for giving any
money as ever, and do declare they will first have an
account of the disposals of the last poll-bill, and eleven
months' tax ; and it is pretty odd that the very first
sum mentioned in the account brought in by Sir
Robert Long, of the disposal of the poll-bill money, is
5,000 to my Lord Arlington for intelligence ; which
was mighty unseasonable, so soon after they had so
much cried out against his want of intelligence. The
King do also own but 250,000, or thereabouts, yet
paid on the poll-bill, and that he hath charged
350,000 upon it. This makes them mad ; for that the
former poll-bill, that was so much less in its extent
than the last, which took in all sexes and qualities, did
come to 350,000. Upon the whole I perceive they are
like to do nothing in this matter to please the King
or relieve the State, be the case never so pressing ; and,
therefore, it is thought by a great many that the King
cannot be worse if he should dissolve them : but there
is nobody dares advise it, nor do he consider anything
himself. Thence, having dined for 20s., we to the
Duke of York at Whitehall, and there had our usual
audience, and did little but talk of the proceedings of
Parliament, wherein he is as much troubled as we, for
he is not without fears that they do aim at doing him
hurt ; but yet he declares that he will never deny to own
what orders he hath given to any man to justify him,

164 PEPYS'S DIABT. [February,

notwithstanding their having sent to him to desire his
being tender to take upon him the doing anything
of that kind. Met with Colonel Birch and Sir John
Lowther, and did there in the lobby read over what I
have drawn up for our defence, wherein they own
themselves mightily satisfied; and Birch, like a par-
ticular friend, do take it upon him to defend us, and do
mightily do me right in all his discourse. Discoursed
with several members, to prepare them in our business
against to-morrow. My cousin, Roger Pepys, showed
me Granger's written confession, of his being forced by
imprisonment, &c., by my Lord Gerard, most barbarously
to confess his forging of a deed in behalf of Fitton,
in the great case between him [Fitton] and my Lord
Gerard ; which business is under examination, and is
the foulest against my Lord Gerard that ever anything
in the world was, and will, all do believe, ruin him ;
and I shall be glad of it. Comes my wife to me, who
hath been at Pegg Pen's christening, which, she says,
hath made a flutter and noise ; but was as mean as
could be, and but little company, just like all the rest
that family do.

22nd. By coach through Duck Lane, and there did
buy Kirtcher's " Musurgia," cost me 36s., a book I am
mighty glad of, expecting to find great satisfaction in
it. To "Westminster Hall and the lobby, and up and
down there all the morning and the Lord's House, and
heard the Solicitor -General plead very finely, as he

1668.] PEPYS'S DLLRY. 165

always do ; and this was in defence of the East India
Company, against a man that complains of wrong from
them. And so with my wife, and Mercer, and Deb.,
who come to the Hall to me, I away to the " Bear," in
Drury Lane, and there bespoke a dish of meat ; and, in
the meantime, sat and sung with Mercer ; and by-and-
by dined with mighty pleasure, and excellent meat,
one little dish enough for us all, and good wine, and
all for 8s. To the Duke's playhouse, and there saw
Albumazar, an old play, this the second time of acting.
It is said to have been the ground of B. Jonson's
"Alchymist;" but, saving the ridiculousness of
Angell's part, which is called Trinkilo, I do not see
anything extraordinary in it, but was indeed weary of
it before it was done. The King here, and indeed all
of us, pretty merry at the mimic tricks of Trinkilo.

23rd. (Lord's day). Up and, being desired by a
messenger from Sir G-. Carteret, I by water over to
Southwark, and so walked to the " Falcon," on the bank-
side, and there got another boat, and so to Westminster,
where I would have gone into the " Swan," but the door
was locked, and the girl could not let me in, and so to
Wilkinson's, in King Street, and there wiped my shoes,
and so to Court, where sermon not yet done. I met
with Brisband ; and he tells me, first, that our business
of tickets did come to debate yesterday, it seems, after
I was gone away, and was voted a miscarriage in
general. He tells me that there is a great looking

166 PEPYSS PTATCY. [February,

after places, upon a presumption of a great many
vacancies; and he did show me a fellow at Court, a
brother of my Lord Fanshaw's, a witty but rascally
fellow, without a penny in his purse, that was asking
him what places there were in the Navy fit for Mm,
and Brisband tells me, in mirth, he told him the Clerk
of the Acts, and I wish he had it, so I were well and
quietly rid of it ; for I am weary of this kind of trouble,
having, I think, enough whereon to support myself. I
met with Sir W. Coventry, and he and I walked
awhile together in the Matted Gallery, and there he
told me all the proceedings of yesterday : that the
matter is found, in general, a miscarriage, but no
persons named ; and so there is no great matter to our
prejudice yet, till, if ever, they come to particular
persons. He told me Birch was very industrious to do
what he could, and did like a friend; but they were
resolved to find the thing, in general, a miscarriage ;
and says, that when we shall think fit to desire its
being heard, as to our own defence, it will be granted.
He tells me how he hath with advantage cleared him-
self in what concerns himself therein, by his servant
Bobson, which I am glad of. He tells me that there is
a letter sent by conspiracy to some of the House, which
he hath seen, about the manner of selling of places,
which he do believe he shall be called upon to-morrow
for : and thinks himself well prepared to defend him-
self in it ; and then neither he, nor his friends for him,

1668.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 167

are afraid of anything to his prejudice. Thence by
coach, with Brisband, to Sir G. Carleret's, in Lincoln's-
Inn-Fields, and there dined : a good dinner and good
company ; and after dinner he and I alene discoursing
of my Lord Sandwich's matters ; who hath, in the first
business before the House, been very kindly used be-
yond expectation, the matter being laid by till his
coming home : and old Mr. Vaughan did speak for my
Lord, which I am mighty glad of. The business of
the prizes is the worst that can be said, and therein I
do fear something may lie hard upon him ; but against
this we must prepare the best we can for his defence.
Thence with Sir G. Carteret to Whitehall, where find-
ing a meeting of the Committee of the Council for the
Navy, his Royal Highness there, and Sir W. Pen, and
some of the brethren of the Trinity House to attend,
I did go in with them ; and it was to be informed of
the practice heretofore, for all foreign nations, at
enmity one with another, to forbear any acts of hostility
to one another, in the presence of any of the King of
England's ships, of which several instances were given :
and it is referred to their further enquiry, in order to
the giving instructions accordingly to our ships now
during the war between Spain and France. Would to
God we were in the same condition as heretofore, to
challenge and maintain this our dominion ! Thence
with W. Pen homeward, and quite through to Mile
End for a little air ; the days being now pretty long,

168 PEPYS'S DIABT. [February,

but the ways mighty dirty. Going back again, Sir ~R.
Brookes overtook us coming to town ; who played the
jack with us all, and is a fellow that I rmist trust no
more, he quoting me for all he hath said in this busi-
ness of tickets ; though I have told him nothing that
either is not true, or I afraid to own. But here talking,
he did discourse in this style : " We " and " We " all
along "will not give any money, be the pretence
never so great, nay, though the enemy was in the River
of Thames again, till we know what is become of the
last money given ; " and I do believe he do speak the
mind of his fellows, and so let him. This evening my
wife did with great pleasure show me her stock of
jewels, increased by the ring she hath made lately as
my Yalentine's gift this year, a Turkey-stone set with
diamonds : and, with this and what she had, she
reckons that she hath above 150 worth of jewels of
one kind or other ; and I am glad of it, for it is fit the
wretch should have something to content herself with.
24th. At my booksellers, and did buy "L'illustre
Bassa," in four volumes, for my wife. Meeting Dr.
Gibbons, he and I to see an organ at the Dean of
Westminster's lodgings at the Abbey, the Bishop of
Rochester's, where he lives like a great prelate, his
lodgings being very good ; though at present under
great disgrace at Court, being put by his Clerk of the
Closet's place. I saw his lady, on whom the Terras
Filius of Oxford was once so merry, and two children

1668.] PEPYS'S DIARY. 169

whereof one a very pretty little boy, like Mm, so fat
and black. Here I saw the organ ; but it is too big
for my house, and the fashion do not please me enough ;
and therefore I will not have it. To the Nursery,
where none of us ever were before ; the house is better
and the music better than we looked for, and the acting
not much worse, because I expected as bad as could be :
and I was not much mistaken, for it was so. Their
play was a bad one, called Jeronimo is Mad Again, a
tragedy. Here was some good company by us, who
did make mighty sport at the folly of their acting,
which I could not refrain from sometimes, though I
was sorry for it. I was prettily served this day at the
playhouse-door, where, giving six shillings into the
fellow's hand for three of us, the fellow by legerdemain
did convey one away, and with so much grace faced
me down that I did give him but five, that, though I
knew the contrary, yet I was overpowered by his so
grave and serious demanding the other shilling that I
could not deny him, but was forced by myself to give
it him.

25th. Comes W. Howe to me to advise what answer
to give to the business of the prizes, wherein I did
give him the best advice I could ; but am sorry to see
so many things, wherein I doubt it will not be pre-
vented but Sir Roger Outtauce and Mr. Pierce will be
found very much concerned in goods beyond the distri-
bution, and I doubt my Lord Sandwich, too. I took

170 PEPYS'S DIABT. [February,

my wife and Deb. up and to the Nursery, and there
saw them act a comedy, a pastoral, The Faithful Shep-
herd, having the curiosity to see whether they did a
comedy better than a tragedy; but they do it both
alike, in the meanest manner, that I was sick of it ; but
I shall see them no more. My wife hath bought a
dressing-box, and other things for her chamber and
table, that cost me above 4. I do perceive, by Sir W.
Warren's discourse, that the House do all they can
possibly to get out of him and others, what presents
they have made to the officers of the Navy ; but he tells
me that he hath denied all, though he knows that he is
forsworn as to what relates to me.

26th. After dinner comes "W. Howe to tell me how
he sped, who says he was used civilly, and not so many
questions asked as he expected : but yet I do perceive
enough to show that they do intend to know the bottom
of things, and where to lay the great weight of the
disposal of these East India goods, and that they intend
plainly to do upon my Lord Sandwich. To West-
minster Hall, where, it being now about six o'clock, I
find the House just risen; and met with Sir W.
Coventry and the Lieutenant of the Tower, they having
eat all day ; and with great difficulty have got a vote
for giving the King 300,000, not to be raised by any
land-tax. The sum is much smaller than I expected,
and than the King needs ; but is grounded upon Mr.
Wren's reading our estimates the other day of 270,000

1668.] PEPYS'S DIABT. 171

to keep the fleet abroad, wherein we demanded nothing
for setting and fitting of them out, which will cost
almost 200,000, 1 do verily believe : and do believe that
the King hath no cause to thank Wren for this motion.
I home to Sir W. Coventry's lodgings, with him and
the Lieutenant of the Tower, where also was Sir John
Coventry, and Sir John Duncomb, and Sir Job Charle-
ton. Amd here a great deal of good discourse : and they
seem mighty glad to have this vote passed, which I did
wonder at, to see them so well satisfied with so small
a sum, Sir John Duncomb swearing, as I perceive he
will freely do, that it was as much as the nation could
bear. Among other merry discourse about spending
of money, and how much more chargeable a man's
living is now than it was heretofore, Duncomb did
swear that in France he did live on 100 a-year with
more plenty, and wine and wenches, than he believes
can be done now for 200, which was pretty odd for
him, being a Committeeman's son, to say. Home in Sir
John Robinson's coach, and there to bed.

27th. With my wife to the King's house, to see The

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Online LibrarySamuel PepysThe diary of Samuel Pepys : with selections from his correspondence (Volume 4) → online text (page 21 of 23)