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Title: Diary of Samuel Pepys — Volume 70: December 1668
Author: Pepys, Samuel, 1633-1703
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Diary of Samuel Pepys — Volume 70: December 1668" ***

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                THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS M.A. F.R.S.


                      AND PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE


                      WITH LORD BRAYBROOKE'S NOTES

                        EDITED WITH ADDITIONS BY

                        HENRY B. WHEATLEY F.S.A.

                          DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS.

December 1st.  Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and at
noon with my people to dinner, and so to the office, very busy till night,
and then home and made my boy read to me Wilkins's Reall Character, which
do please me mightily, and so after supper to bed with great pleasure and
content with my wife.  This day I hear of poor Mr. Clerke, the solicitor,
being dead, of a cold, after being not above two days ill, which troubles
me mightily, poor man!

2nd.  Up, and at the office all the morning upon some accounts of Sir D.
Gawden, and at noon abroad with W. Hewer, thinking to have found Mr. Wren
at Captain Cox's, to have spoke something to him about doing a favour for
Will's uncle Steventon, but missed him.  And so back home and abroad with
my wife, the first time that ever I rode in my own coach, which do make my
heart rejoice, and praise God, and pray him to bless it to me and continue
it.  So she and I to the King's playhouse, and there sat to avoid seeing
Knepp in a box above where Mrs. Williams happened to be, and there saw
"The Usurper;" a pretty good play, in all but what is designed to resemble
Cromwell and Hugh Peters, which is mighty silly.  The play done, we to
White Hall; where my wife staid while I up to the Duchesse's and Queen's
side, to speak with the Duke of York: and here saw all the ladies, and
heard the silly discourse of the King, with his people about him, telling
a story of my Lord Rochester's having of his clothes stole, while he was
with a wench; and his gold all gone, but his clothes found afterwards
stuffed into a feather bed by the wench that stole them.  I spoke with the
Duke of York, just as he was set down to supper with the King, about our
sending of victuals to Sir Thomas Allen's fleet hence to Cales [Cadiz] to
meet him.  And so back to my wife in my coach, and so with great content
and joy home, where I made my boy to make an end of the Reall Character,
which I begun a great while ago, and do please me infinitely, and indeed
is a most worthy labour, and I think mighty easy, though my eyes make me
unable to attempt any thing in it.  To-day I hear that Mr. Ackworth's
cause went for him at Guildhall, against his accusers, which I am well
enough pleased with.

3rd.  Up betimes, and by water with W. Hewer to White Hall, and there to
Mr. Wren, who gives me but small hopes of the favour I hoped for Mr.
Steventon, Will's uncle, of having leave, being upon the point of death,
to surrender his place, which do trouble me, but I will do what I can. So
back again to the Office, Sir Jer. Smith with me; who is a silly, prating,
talking man; but he tells me what he hears, that Holmes and Spragg now
rule all with the Duke of Buckingham, as to seabusiness, and will be great
men: but he do prophesy what will be the fruit of it; so I do.  So to the
Office, where we sat all the morning; and at noon home to dinner, and then
abroad again, with my wife, to the Duke of York's playhouse, and saw "The
Unfortunate Lovers;" a mean play, I think, but some parts very good, and
excellently acted.  We sat under the boxes, and saw the fine ladies; among
others, my Lady Kerneguy, a who is most devilishly painted.  And so home,
it being mighty pleasure to go alone with my poor wife, in a coach of our
own, to a play, and makes us appear mighty great, I think, in the world;
at least, greater than ever I could, or my friends for me, have once
expected; or, I think, than ever any of my family ever yet lived, in my
memory, but my cozen Pepys in Salisbury Court.  So to the office, and
thence home to supper and to bed.

4th.  Up, and with W. Hewer by water to White Hall, and there did wait as
usual upon the Duke of York, where, upon discoursing something touching
the Ticket-Office, which by letter the Board did give the Duke of York
their advice, to be put upon Lord Brouncker, Sir J. Minnes did foolishly
rise up and complain of the Office, and his being made nothing of; and
this before Sir Thomas Littleton, who would be glad of this difference
among us, which did trouble me mightily; and therefore I did forbear to
say what I otherwise would have thought fit for me to say on this
occasion, upon so impertinent a speech as this doting fool made--but, I
say, I let it alone, and contented myself that it went as I advised, as to
the Duke of York's judgment, in the thing disputed.  And so thence away,
my coach meeting me there and carrying me to several places to do little
jobs, which is a mighty convenience, and so home, where by invitation I
find my aunt Wight, who looked over all our house, and is mighty pleased
with it, and indeed it is now mighty handsome, and rich in furniture.  By
and by comes my uncle, and then to dinner, where a venison pasty and very
merry, and after dinner I carried my wife and her to Smithfield, where
they sit in the coach, while Mr. Pickering, who meets me there, and I, and
W. Hewer, and a friend of his, a jockey, did go about to see several pairs
of horses, for my coach; but it was late, and we agreed on none, but left
it to another time: but here I do see instances of a piece of craft and
cunning that I never dreamed of, concerning the buying and choosing of
horses.  So Mr. Pickering, to whom I am much beholden for his kindness
herein, and I parted; and I with my people home, where I left them, and I
to the office, to meet about some business of Sir W. Warren's accounts,
where I vexed to see how ill all the Comptroller's business is likely to
go on, so long as ever Sir J. Minnes lives; and so troubled I was, that I
thought it a good occasion for me to give my thoughts of it in writing,
and therefore wrote a letter at the Board, by the help of a tube, to Lord
Brouncker, and did give it him, which I kept a copy of, and it may be of
use to me hereafter to shew, in this matter.  This being done, I home to
my aunt, who supped with us, and my uncle also: and a good-humoured woman
she is, so that I think we shall keep her acquaintance; but mighty proud
she is of her wedding-ring, being lately set with diamonds; cost her about
L12: and I did commend it mightily to her, but do not think it very
suitable for one of our quality.  After supper they home, and we to bed.

5th.  Up, after a little talk with my wife, which troubled me, she being
ever since our late difference mighty watchful of sleep and dreams, and
will not be persuaded but I do dream of Deb., and do tell me that I speak
in my dreams and that this night I did cry, Huzzy, and it must be she, and
now and then I start otherwise than I used to do, she says, which I know
not, for I do not know that I dream of her more than usual, though I
cannot deny that my thoughts waking do run now and then against my will
and judgment upon her, for that only is wanting to undo me, being now in
every other thing as to my mind most happy, and may still be so but for my
own fault, if I be catched loving any body but my wife again.  So up and
to the office, and at noon to dinner, and thence to office, where late,
mighty busy, and despatching much business, settling papers in my own
office, and so home to supper, and to bed.  No news stirring, but that my
Lord of Ormond is likely to go to Ireland again, which do shew that the
Duke of Buckingham do not rule all so absolutely; and that, however, we
shall speedily have more changes in the Navy: and it is certain that the
Nonconformists do now preach openly in houses, in many places, and among
others the house that was heretofore Sir G. Carteret's, in Leadenhall
Streete, and have ready access to the King.  And now the great dispute is,
whether this Parliament or another; and my great design, if I continue in
the Navy, is to get myself to be a Parliament-man.

6th (Lord's day).  Up, and with my wife to church; which pleases me
mightily, I being full of fear that she would never go to church again,
after she had declared to me that she was a Roman Catholique.  But though
I do verily think she fears God, and is truly and sincerely righteous, yet
I do see she is not so strictly so a Catholique as not to go to church
with me, which pleases me mightily.  Here Mills made a lazy sermon, upon
Moses's meeknesse, and so home, and my wife and I alone to dinner, and
then she to read a little book concerning speech in general, a translation
late out of French; a most excellent piece as ever I read, proving a soul
in man, and all the ways and secrets by which nature teaches speech in
man, which do please me most infinitely to read.  By and by my wife to
church, and I to my Office to complete my Journall for the last three
days, and so home to my chamber to settle some papers, and so to spend the
evening with my wife and W. Hewer talking over the business of the Office,
and particularly my own Office, how I will make it, and it will become, in
a little time, an Office of ease, and not slavery, as it hath for so many
years been.  So to supper, and to bed.

7th.  Up by candlelight, the first time I have done so this winter, but I
had lost my labour so often to visit Sir W. Coventry, and not visited him
so long, that I was resolved to get time enough, and so up, and with W.
Hewer, it being the first frosty day we have had this winter, did walk it
very well to W. Coventry's, and there alone with him an hour talking of
the Navy, which he pities, but says he hath no more mind to be found
meddling with the Navy, lest it should do it hurt, as well as him, to be
found to meddle with it.  So to talk of general things: and telling him
that, with all these doings, he, I thanked God, stood yet; he told me,
Yes, but that he thought his continuing in, did arise from his enemies my
Lord of Buckingham and Arlington's seeing that he cared so little if he
was out; and he do protest to me that he is as weary of the Treasury, as
ever he was of the Navy.  He tells me that he do believe that their heat
is over almost, as to the Navy, there being now none left of the old stock
but my Lord Brouncker, J. Minnes, who is ready to leave the world, and
myself.  But he tells me that he do foresee very great wants and great
disorders by reason thereof; insomuch, as he is represented to the King by
his enemies as a melancholy man, and one that is still prophesying ill
events, so as the King called him Visionaire, which being told him, he
said he answered the party, that, whatever he foresaw, he was not afeard
as to himself of any thing, nor particularly of my Lord Arlington, so much
as the Duke of Buckingham hath been, nor of the Duke of Buckingham, so
much as my Lord Arlington at this time is.  But he tells me that he hath
been always looked upon as a melancholy man; whereas, others that would
please the King do make him believe that all is safe: and so he hath heard
my Lord Chancellor openly say to the King, that he was now a glorious
prince, and in a glorious condition, because of some one accident that
hath happened, or some one rub that hath been removed; "when," says W.
Coventry, "they reckoned their one good meal, without considering that
there was nothing left in the cup board for to-morrow."  After this and
other discourse of this kind, I away, and walked to my Lord Sandwich's,
and walked with him to White Hall, and took a quarter of an hour's walk in
the garden with him, which I had not done for so much time with him since
his coming into England; and talking of his own condition, and
particularly of the world's talk of his going to Tangier.  I find, if his
conditions can be made profitable and safe as to money, he would go, but
not else; but, however, will seem not averse to it, because of
facilitating his other accounts now depending, which he finds hard to get
through, but yet hath some hopes, the King, he says, speaking very kindly
to him.  Thence to a Committee of Tangier, and so with W. Hewer to
Westminster to Sir R. Longs office, and so to the Temple, but did nothing,
the Auditor not being within, and so home to dinner, and after dinner out
again with my wife to the Temple, and up and down to do a little business,
and back again, and so to my office, and did a little business, and so
home, and W. Hewer with me, to read and talk, and so to supper, and then
to bed in mighty good humour. This afternoon, passing through Queen's
Street, I saw pass by our coach on foot Deb., which, God forgive me, did
put me into some new thoughts of her, and for her, but durst not shew
them, and I think my wife did not see her, but I did get my thoughts free
of her soon as I could.

8th.  Up, and Sir H. Cholmly betimes with me, about some accounts and
moneys due to him: and he gone, I to the Office, where sat all the
morning; and here, among other things, breaks out the storm W. Hewer and I
have long expected from the Surveyor,--[Colonel Middleton.]--about W.
Hewer's conspiring to get a contract, to the burdening of the stores with
kerseys and cottons, of which he hath often complained, and lately more
than ever; and now he did it by a most scandalous letter to the Board,
reflecting on my Office: and, by discourse, it fell to such high words
between him and me, as can hardly ever be forgot; I declaring I would
believe W. Hewer as soon as him, and laying the fault, if there be any,
upon himself; he, on the other hand, vilifying of my word and W. Hewer's,
calling him knave, and that if he were his clerk, he should lose his ears.
At last, I closed the business for this morning with making the thing
ridiculous, as it is, and he swearing that the King should have right in
it, or he would lose his place.  The Office was cleared of all but
ourselves and W. Hewer; but, however, the world did by the beginning see
what it meant, and it will, I believe, come to high terms between us,
which I am sorry for, to have any blemish laid upon me or mine, at this
time, though never so unduly, for fear of giving occasion to my real
discredit: and therefore I was not only all the rest of the morning vexed,
but so went home to dinner, where my wife tells me of my Lord Orrery's new
play "Tryphon," at the Duke of York's house, which, however, I would see,
and therefore put a bit of meat in our mouths, and went thither; where,
with much ado, at half-past one, we got into a blind hole in the 18d.
place, above stairs, where we could not hear well, but the house infinite
full, but the prologue most silly, and the play, though admirable, yet no
pleasure almost in it, because just the very same design, and words, and
sense, and plot, as every one of his plays have, any one of which alone
would be held admirable, whereas so many of the same design and fancy do
but dull one another; and this, I perceive, is the sense of every body
else, as well as myself, who therefore showed but little pleasure in it.
So home, mighty hot, and my mind mightily out of order, so as I could not
eat any supper, or sleep almost all night, though I spent till twelve at
night with W. Hewer to consider of our business: and we find it not only
most free from any blame of our side, but so horrid scandalous on the
other, to make so groundless a complaint, and one so shameful to him, that
it could not but let me see that there is no need of my being troubled;
but such is the weakness of my nature, that I could not help it, which
vexes me, showing me how unable I am to live with difficulties.

9th.  Up, and to the Office, but did little there, my mind being still
uneasy, though more and more satisfied that there is no occasion for it;
but abroad with my wife to the Temple, where I met with Auditor Wood's
clerk, and did some business with him, and so to see Mr. Spong, and found
him out by Southampton Market, and there carried my wife, and up to his
chamber, a bye place, but with a good prospect of the fields; and there I
had most infinite pleasure, not only with his ingenuity in general, but in
particular with his shewing me the use of the Parallelogram, by which he
drew in a quarter of an hour before me, in little, from a great, a most
neat map of England--that is, all the outlines, which gives me infinite
pleasure, and foresight of pleasure, I shall have with it; and therefore
desire to have that which I have bespoke, made.  Many other pretty things
he showed us, and did give me a glass bubble, to try the strength of
liquors with.

     [This seems to refer to the first form of the Hon. Robert Boyle's
     hydrometer, which he described in a paper in the "Philosophical
     Transactions" for June, 1675, under the title of a "New Essay
     instrument."  In this paper the author refers to a glass instrument
     exhibited many years before by himself, "consisting of a bubble
     furnished with a long and slender stem, which was to be put into
     several liquors to compare and estimate their specific gravity."
     Boyle describes this glass bubble in a paper in "Philosophical
     Transactions," vol. iv., No. 50, p. 1001, 1669, entitled, "The
     Weights of Water in Water with ordinary Balances and Weights."]

This done, and having spent 6d. in ale in the coach, at the door of the
Bull Inn, with the innocent master of the house, a Yorkshireman, for his
letting us go through his house, we away to Hercules Pillars, and there
eat a bit of meat: and so, with all speed, back to the Duke of York's
house, where mighty full again; but we come time enough to have a good
place in the pit, and did hear this new play again, where, though I better
understood it than before, yet my sense of it and pleasure was just the
same as yesterday, and no more, nor any body else's about us. So took our
coach and home, having now little pleasure to look about me to see the
fine faces, for fear of displeasing my wife, whom I take great comfort
now, more than ever, in pleasing; and it is a real joy to me. So home, and
to my Office, where spent an hour or two; and so home to my wife, to
supper and talk, and so to bed.

10th.  Up, and to the Office, where busy all the morning: Middleton not
there, so no words or looks of him.  At noon, home to dinner; and so to
the Office, and there all the afternoon busy; and at night W. Hewer home
with me; and we think we have got matter enough to make Middleton appear a
coxcomb.  But it troubled me to have Sir W. Warren meet me at night, going
out of the Office home, and tell me that Middleton do intend to complain
to the Duke of York: but, upon consideration of the business, I did go to
bed, satisfied that it was best for me that he should; and so my trouble
was over, and to bed, and slept well.

11th.  Up, and with W. Hewer by water to Somerset House; and there I to my
Lord Brouncker, before he went forth to the Duke of York, and there told
him my confidence that I should make Middleton appear a fool, and that it
was, I thought, best for me to complain of the wrong he hath done; but
brought it about, that my Lord desired me I would forbear, and promised
that he would prevent Middleton till I had given in my answer to the
Board, which I desired: and so away to White Hall, and there did our usual
attendance and no word spoke before the Duke of York by Middleton at all;
at which I was glad to my heart, because by this means I have time to draw
up my answer to my mind.  So with W. Hewer by coach to Smithfield, but met
not Mr. Dickering, he being not come, and so he [Will] and I to a cook's
shop, in Aldersgate Street; and dined well for 19 1/2 d., upon roast beef,
pleasing ourselves with the infinite strength we have to prove Middleton a
coxcomb; and so, having dined, we back to Smithfield, and there met
Dickering, and up and down all the afternoon about horses, and did see the
knaveries and tricks of jockeys.  Here I met W. Joyce, who troubled me
with his impertinencies a great while, and the like Mr. Knepp, who, it
seems, is a kind of a jockey, and would fain have been doing something for
me, but I avoided him, and the more for fear of being troubled thereby
with his wife, whom I desire but dare not see, for my vow to my wife.  At
last went away and did nothing, only concluded upon giving L50 for a fine
pair of black horses we saw this day se'nnight; and so set Mr. Dickering
down near his house, whom I am much beholden to, for his care herein, and
he hath admirable skill, I perceive, in this business, and so home, and
spent the evening talking and merry, my mind at good ease, and so to bed.

12th.  Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon home to
dinner, and so the like mighty busy, late, all the afternoon, that I might
be ready to go to the drawing up of my answer to Middleton to-morrow, and
therefore home to supper and to bed.  I hear this day that there is fallen
down a new house, not quite finished, in Lumbard Street, and that there
have been several so, they making use of bad mortar and bricks; but no
hurt yet, as God hath ordered it.  This day was brought home my pair of
black coach-horses, the first I ever was master of. They cost me L50, and
are a fine pair.

13th (Lord's day).  Up, and with W. Hewer to the Office, where all the
morning, and then home to a little dinner, and presently to it again all
alone till twelve at night, drawing up my answer to Middleton, which I
think I shall do to very good purpose--at least, I satisfy myself therein;
and so to bed, weary with walking in my Office dictating to him [Hewer].
In the night my wife very ill, vomited, but was well again by and by.

14th.  Up, and by water to White Hall to a Committee of Tangier, where,
among other things, a silly account of a falling out between Norwood, at
Tangier, and Mr. Bland, the mayor, who is fled to Cales [Cadiz].  His
complaint is ill-worded, and the other's defence the most ridiculous that
ever I saw; and so everybody else that was there, thought it; but never
did I see so great an instance of the use of grammar, and knowledge how to
tell a man's tale as this day, Bland having spoiled his business by
ill-telling it, who had work to have made himself notorious by his
mastering Norwood, his enemy, if he had known how to have used it. Thence
calling Smith, the Auditor's clerk at the Temple, I by the Exchange home,
and there looked over my Tangier accounts with him, and so to dinner, and
then set him down again by a hackney, my coachman being this day about
breaking of my horses to the coach, they having never yet drawn.  Left my
wife at Unthank's, and I to the Treasury, where we waited on the Lords
Commissioners about Sir D. Gawden's matters, and so took her up again at
night, and home to the office, and so home with W. Hewer, and to talk
about our quarrel with Middleton, and so to supper and to bed.  This day I
hear, and am glad, that the King hath prorogued the Parliament to October
next; and, among other reasons, it will give me time to go to France, I

15th.  Up, and to the Office, where sat all the morning, and the new
Treasurers there; and, for my life, I cannot keep Sir J. Minnes and others
of the Board from shewing our weakness, to the dishonour of the Board,
though I am not concerned but it do vex me to the heart to have it before
these people, that would be glad to find out all our weaknesses. At noon
Mrs. Mary Batelier with us, and so, after dinner, I with W. Hewer all the
afternoon till night beginning to draw up our answer to Middleton, and it
proves troublesome, because I have so much in my head at a time to say,
but I must go through with it.  So at night to supper and to bed.

16th.  I did the like all day long, only a little at dinner, and so to
work again, and were at it till 2 in the morning, and so W. Hewer, who was
with me all day, home to his lodging, and I to bed, after we had finished

17th.  Up, and set my man Gibson and Mr. Fists to work to write it over
fair, while I all the morning at the office sitting.  At noon home to
them, and all the afternoon looking over them and examining with W. Hewer,
and so about to at night I to bed, leaving them to finish the writing it
fair, which they did by sitting up most of the night, and so home to bed.

18th.  All the morning at the office about Sir W. Warren's accounts, my
mind full of my business, having before we met gone to Lord Brouncker, and
got him to read over my paper, who owns most absolute content in it, and
the advantage I have in it, and the folly of the Surveyor.  At noon home
to dinner; and then again to the office a while, and so by hackney coach
to Brooke House, and there spoke with Colonel Thomson, I by order carrying
them [the Commissioners of Accounts] our Contract-books, from the
beginning to the end of the late war.  I found him finding of errors in a
ship's book, where he shewed me many, which must end in the ruin, I doubt,
of the Controller, who found them not out in the pay of the ship, or the
whole Office.  But I took little notice of them to concern myself in them,
but so leaving my books I home to the Office, where the office met, and
after some other business done, fell to mine, which the Surveyor begun to
be a little brisk at the beginning; but when I come to the point to touch
him, which I had all the advantages in the world to do, he become as calm
as a lamb, and owned, as the whole Board did, their satisfaction, and
cried excuse: and so all made friends; and their acknowledgment put into
writing, and delivered into Sir J. Minnes's hand, to be kept there for the
use of the Board, or me, when I shall call for it; they desiring it might
be so, that I might not make use of it to the prejudice of the Surveyor,
whom I had an advantage over, by his extraordinary folly in this matter.
But, besides this, I have no small advantage got by this business, as I
have put several things into my letter which I should otherwise have
wanted an opportunity of saying, which pleases me mightily.  So Middleton
desiring to be friends, I forgave him; and all mighty quiet, and fell to
talk of other stories, and there staid, all of us, till nine or ten at
night, more than ever we did in our lives before, together.  And so home,
where I have a new fight to fight with my wife, who is under new trouble
by some news she hath heard of Deb.'s being mighty fine, and gives out
that she has a friend that gives her money, and this my wife believes to
be me, and, poor wretch!  I cannot blame her, and therefore she run into
mighty extremes; but I did pacify all, and were mighty good friends, and
to bed, and I hope it will be our last struggle from this business, for I
am resolved never to give any new occasion, and great peace I find in my
mind by it. So to supper, she and I to bed.

19th.  Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon, eating
very little dinner, my wife and I by hackney to the King's playhouse, and
there, the pit being full, satin a box above, and saw "Catiline's
Conspiracy," yesterday being the first day: a play of much good sense and
words to read, but that do appear the worst upon the stage, I mean, the
least diverting, that ever I saw any, though most fine in clothes; and a
fine scene of the Senate, and of a fight, that ever I saw in my life. But
the play is only to be read, and therefore home, with no pleasure at all,
but only in sitting next to Betty Hall, that did belong to this house, and
was Sir Philip Howard's mistress; a mighty pretty wench, though my wife
will not think so; and I dare neither commend, nor be seen to look upon
her, or any other now, for fear of offending her.  So, our own coach
coming for us, home, and to end letters, and so home, my wife to read to
me out of "The Siege of Rhodes," and so to supper, and to bed.

20th (Lord's day).  Up, and with my wife to church, and then home, and
there found W. Joyce come to dine with me, as troublesome a talking
coxcombe as ever he was, and yet once in a year I like him well enough. In
the afternoon my wife and W. Hewer and I to White Hall, where they set me
down and staid till I had been with the Duke of York, with the rest of us
of the Office, and did a little business, and then the Duke of York in
good humour did fall to tell us many fine stories of the wars in Flanders,
and how the Spaniards are the [best] disciplined foot in the world; will
refuse no extraordinary service if commanded, but scorn to be paid for it,
as in other countries, though at the same time they will beg in the
streets: not a soldier will carry you a cloak-bag for money for the world,
though he will beg a penny, and will do the thing, if commanded by his
Commander.  That, in the citadel of Antwerp, a soldier hath not a liberty
of begging till he hath served three years.  They will cry out against
their King and Commanders and Generals, none like them in the world, and
yet will not hear a stranger say a word of them but he will cut his
throat.  That, upon a time, some of the Commanders of their army
exclaiming against their Generals, and particularly the Marquis de
Caranen, the Confessor of the Marquis coming by and hearing them, he stops
and gravely tells them that the three great trades of the world are, the
lawyers, who govern the world; the churchmen, who enjoy the world; and a
sort of fools whom they call souldiers, who make it their work to defend
the world.  He told us, too, that Turenne being now become a Catholique,
he is likely to get over the head of Colbert, their interests being
contrary; the latter to promote trade

     [This reminds us of the famous reply, 'Laissez nous affaire', made
     to Colbert by the French merchants, whose interests he thought to
     promote by laws and regulations.--B.]

and the sea, which, says the Duke of York, is that that we have most cause
to fear; and Turenne to employ the King and his forces by land, to
encrease his conquests.  Thence to the coach to my wife, and so home, and
there with W. Hewer to my office and to do some business, and so set down
my Journall for four or five days, and then home to supper and read a
little, and to bed.  W. Hewer tells me to-day that he hears that the King
of France hath declared in print, that he do intend this next summer to
forbid his Commanders to strike--[Strike topsails]--to us, but that both
we and the Dutch shall strike to him; and that he hath made his captains
swear it already, that they will observe it: which is a great thing if he
do it, as I know nothing to hinder him.

21st.  My own coach carrying me and my boy Tom, who goes with me in the
room of W. Hewer, who could not, and I dare not go alone, to the Temple,
and there set me down, the first time my fine horses ever carried me, and
I am mighty proud of them, and there took a hackney and to White Hall,
where a Committee of Tangier, but little to do, and so away home, calling
at the Exchange and buying several little things, and so home, and there
dined with my wife and people and then she, and W. Hewer, and I by
appointment out with our coach, but the old horses, not daring yet to use
the others too much, but only to enter them, and to the Temple, there to
call Talbot Pepys, and took him up, and first went into Holborne, and
there saw the woman that is to be seen with a beard.  She is a little
plain woman, a Dane: her name, Ursula Dyan; about forty years old; her
voice like a little girl's; with a beard as much as any man I ever saw,
black almost, and grizly; they offered to shew my wife further
satisfaction if she desired it, refusing it to men that desired it there,
but there is no doubt but by her voice she is a woman; it begun to grow at
about seven years old, and was shaved not above seven months ago, and is
now so big as any man's almost that ever I saw; I say, bushy and thick.
It was a strange sight to me, I confess, and what pleased me mightily.
Thence to the Duke's playhouse, and saw "Macbeth."  The King and Court
there; and we sat just under them and my Lady Castlemayne, and close to
the woman that comes into the pit, a kind of a loose gossip, that pretends
to be like her, and is so, something.  And my wife, by my troth, appeared,
I think, as pretty as any of them; I never thought so much before; and so
did Talbot and W. Hewer, as they said, I heard, to one another.  The King
and Duke of York minded me, and smiled upon me, at the handsome woman near
me but it vexed me to see Moll Davis, in the box over the King's and my
Lady Castlemayne's head, look down upon the King, and he up to her; and so
did my Lady Castlemayne once, to see who it was; but when she saw her, she
looked like fire; which troubled me. The play done, took leave of Talbot,
who goes into the country this Christmas, and so we home, and there I to
work at the office late, and so home to supper and to bed.

22nd.  At the office all the morning, and at noon to the 'Change, thinking
to meet with Langford about my father's house in Fleet Streete, but I come
too late, and so home to dinner, and all the afternoon at the office busy,
and at night home to supper and talk, and with mighty content with my
wife, and so to bed.

23rd.  Met at the Office all the morning, and at noon to the 'Change, and
there met with Langford and Mr. Franke, the landlord of my father's house
in Fleet Streete, and are come to an arbitration what my father shall give
him to be freed of his lease and building the house again.  Walked up and
down the 'Change, and among others discoursed with Sir John Bankes, who
thinks this prorogation will please all but the Parliament itself, which
will, if ever they meet, be vexed at Buckingham, who yet governs all.  He
says the Nonconformists are glad of it, and, he believes, will get the
upperhand in a little time, for the King must trust to them or nobody; and
he thinks the King will be forced to it. He says that Sir D. Gawden is
mightily troubled at Pen's being put upon him, by the Duke of York, and
that he believes he will get clear of it, which, though it will trouble me
to have Pen still at the Office, yet I shall think D. Gawden do well in
it, and what I would advise him to, because I love him.  So home to
dinner, and then with my wife alone abroad, with our new horses, the
beautifullest almost that ever I saw, and the first time they ever carried
her, and me but once; but we are mighty proud of them.  To her tailor's,
and so to the 'Change, and laid out three or four pounds in lace, for her
and me; and so home, and there I up to my Lord Brouncker, at his lodgings,
and sat with him an hour, on purpose to talk over the wretched state of
this Office at present, according to the present hands it is made up of;
wherein he do fully concur with me, and that it is our part not only to
prepare for defending it and ourselves, against the consequences of it,
but to take the best ways we can, to make it known to the Duke of York;
for, till Sir J. Minnes be removed, and a sufficient man brought into W.
Pen's place, when he is gone, it is impossible for this Office ever to
support itself. So home, and to supper and to bed.

24th.  A cold day.  Up, and to the Office, where all the morning alone at
the Office, nobody meeting, being the eve of Christmas.  At noon home to
dinner, and then to the Office busy, all the afternoon, and at night home
to supper, and it being now very cold, and in hopes of a frost, I begin
this night to put on a waistcoat, it being the first winter in my whole
memory that ever I staid till this day before I did so.  So to bed in
mighty good humour with my wife, but sad, in one thing, and that is for my
poor eyes.

25th (Christmas-day).  Up, and continued on my waistcoat, the first day
this winter, and I to church, where Alderman Backewell, coming in late, I
beckoned to his lady to come up to us, who did, with another lady; and
after sermon, I led her down through the church to her husband and coach,
a noble, fine woman, and a good one, and one my wife shall be acquainted
with.  So home, and to dinner alone with my wife, who, poor wretch!  sat
undressed all day, till ten at night, altering and lacing of a noble
petticoat: while I by her, making the boy read to me the Life of Julius
Caesar, and Des Cartes' book of Musick

     ["Musicae Compendium."  By Rene Des Cartes, Amsterdam, 1617;
     rendered into English, London, 1653, 4to.  The translator, whose
     name did not appear on the title, was William, Viscount Brouncker,
     Pepys's colleague, who proved his knowledge of music by the

--the latter of which I understand not, nor think he did well that writ
it, though a most learned man.  Then, after supper, I made the boy play
upon his lute, which I have not done twice before since he come to me; and
so, my mind in mighty content, we to bed.

26th.  Lay long with pleasure, prating with my wife, and then up, and I a
little to the Office, and my head busy setting some papers and accounts to
rights, which being long neglected because of my eyes will take me up much
time and care to do, but it must be done.  So home at noon to dinner, and
then abroad with my wife to a play, at the Duke of York's house, the house
full of ordinary citizens.  The play was "Women Pleased," which we had
never seen before; and, though but indifferent, yet there is a good design
for a good play.  So home, and there to talk, and my wife to read to me,
and so to bed.

27th (Lord's day).  Walked to White Hall and there saw the King at chapel;
but staid not to hear anything, but went to walk in the Park, with W.
Hewer, who was with me; and there, among others, met with Sir G. Downing,
and walked with him an hour, talking of business, and how the late war was
managed, there being nobody to take care of it, and telling how, when he
was in Holland, what he offered the King to do, if he might have power,
and they would give him power, and then, upon the least word, perhaps of a
woman, to the King, he was contradicted again, and particularly to the
loss of all that we lost in Guinny.  He told me that he had so good spies,
that he hath had the keys taken out of De Witt's

     [The celebrated John de Witt, Grand Pensionary of Holland, who,
     a few years afterwards, was massacred, with his brother Cornelius,
     by the Dutch mob, enraged at their opposition to the elevation of
     William of Orange to the Stadtholdership, when the States were
     overrun by the French army, and the Dutch fleets beaten at sea by
     the English.  The murder of the De Witts forms one of the main
     incidents of Alexandre Dumas's "Black Tulip."]

pocket when he was a-bed, and his closet opened, and papers brought to
him, and left in his hands for an hour, and carried back and laid in the
place again, and keys put into his pocket again.  He says that he hath
always had their most private debates, that have been but between two or
three of the chief of them, brought to him in an hour after, and an hour
after that, hath sent word thereof to the King, but nobody here regarded
them.  But he tells me the sad news, that he is out of all expectations
that ever the debts of the Navy will be paid, if the Parliament do not
enable the King to do it by money; all they can hope for to do out of the
King's revenue being but to keep our wheels a-going on present services,
and, if they can, to cut off the growing interest: which is a sad story,
and grieves me to the heart.  So home, my coach coming for me, and there
find Balty and Mr. How, who dined with me; and there my wife and I fell
out a little about the foulness of the linen of the table, but were
friends presently, but she cried, poor heart!  which I was troubled for,
though I did not give her one hard word.  Dinner done, she to church, and
W. How and I all the afternoon talking together about my Lord Sandwich's
suffering his business of the prizes to be managed by Sir R. Cuttance, who
is so deep in the business, more than my Lord knows of, and such a
loggerhead, and under such prejudice, that he will, we doubt, do my Lord
much wrong.  In the evening, he gone, my wife to read to me and talk, and
spent the evening with much pleasure, and so to supper and to bed.

28th.  Up, called up by drums and trumpets; these things and boxes [??]
having cost me much money this Christmas already, and will do more.  My
wife down by water to see her mother, and I with W. Hewer all day together
in my closet making some advance in the settling of my accounts, which
have been so long unevened that it troubles me how to set them right,
having not the use of my eyes to help me.  My wife at night home, and
tells me how much her mother prays for me and is troubled for my eyes; and
I am glad to have friendship with them, and believe they are truly glad to
see their daughter come to live so well as she do.  So spent the night in
talking, and so to supper and to bed.

29th.  Up, and at the Office all the morning, and at noon to dinner, and
there, by a pleasant mistake, find my uncle and aunt Wight, and three more
of their company, come to dine with me to-day, thinking that they had been
invited, which they were not; but yet we did give them a pretty good
dinner, and mighty merry at the mistake.  They sat most of the afternoon
with us, and then parted, and my wife and I out, thinking to have gone to
a play, but it was too far begun, and so to the 'Change, and there she and
I bought several things, and so home, with much pleasure talking, and then
to reading, and so to supper and to bed.

30th.  Up, and vexed a little to be forced to pay 40s. for a glass of my
coach, which was broke the other day, nobody knows how, within the door,
while it was down; but I do doubt that I did break it myself with my
knees.  After dinner, my wife and I to the Duke's playhouse, and there did
see King Harry the Eighth; and was mightily pleased, better than I ever
expected, with the history and shows of it.  We happened to sit by Mr.
Andrews, our neighbour, and his wife, who talked so fondly to his little
boy.  Thence my wife and I to the 'Change; but, in going, our neere horse
did fling himself, kicking of the coachbox over the pole; and a great deal
of trouble it was to get him right again, and we forced to 'light, and in
great fear of spoiling the horse, but there was no hurt. So to the
'Change, and then home, and there spent the evening talking, and so to
supper and to bed.

31st.  Up, and at the Office all the morning.  At noon Capt. Ferrers and
Mr. Sheres

     [Henry Sheres accompanied Lord Sandwich in his embassy to Spain, and
     returned to England in September, 1667, bearing letters from the
     ambassador (see September 8th, 22nd, 27th).  He was an officer in
     the Ordnance, and served under Lord Dartmouth at the demolition of
     the Mole at Tangier in 1683.  He was knighted about 1684.  He
     translated Polybius (2 vols. 8vo., 1693), and also some of the
     "Dialogues" of Lucian, included in the translation published in 1711
     (3 vols. 8vo.).  Pepys bequeathed him a ring, and he died about

come to me to dinner, who did, and pretty pleased with their talk of
Spayne; but my wife did not come down, I suppose because she would not,
Captain Ferrers being there, to oblige me by it.  They gone, after dinner,
I to the office, and then in the evening home, being the last day of the
year, to endeavour to pay all bills and servants' wages, &c., which I did
almost to L5 that I know that I owe in the world, but to the publique; and
so with great pleasure to supper and to bed, and, blessed be God! the year
ends, after some late very great sorrow with my wife by my folly, yet
ends, I say, with great mutual peace and content, and likely to last so by
my care, who am resolved to enjoy the sweet of it, which I now possess, by
never giving her like cause of trouble.  My greatest trouble is now from
the backwardness of my accounts, which I have not seen the bottom of now
near these two years, so that I know not in what condition I am in the
world, but by the grace of God, as far as my eyes will give me leave, I
will do it.


     Craft and cunning concerning the buying and choosing of horses
     Did see the knaveries and tricks of jockeys
     Hath not a liberty of begging till he hath served three years
     He told me that he had so good spies
     Laissez nous affaire--Colbert
     Nonconformists do now preach openly in houses
     Offered to shew my wife further satisfaction if she desired
     Seeing that he cared so little if he was out
     Tell me that I speak in my dreams

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Diary of Samuel Pepys — Volume 70: December 1668" ***

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