Up and by water with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, drinking a glass of wormewood wine at the Stillyard, and so up to the Duke, and with the rest of the officers did our common service; thence to my Lord Sandwich’s, but he was in bed, and had a bad fit last night, and so I went to Westminster Hall, it being Term time, it troubling me to think that I should have any business there to trouble myself and thoughts with. Here I met with Monsieur Raby, who is lately come from France. [He] tells me that my Lord Hinchingbroke and his brother do little improve there, and are much neglected in their habits and other things; but I do believe he hath a mind to go over as their tutour, and so I am not apt to believe what he says therein. But I had a great deal of very good discourse with him, concerning the difference between the French and the Pope, and the occasion, which he told me very particularly, and to my great content; and of most of the chief affairs of France, which I did enquire: and that the King is a most excellent Prince, doing all business himself; and that it is true he hath a mistress, Mademoiselle La Valiere, one of the Princess Henriette’s women, that he courts for his pleasure every other day, but not so as to make him neglect his publique affairs. He tells me how the King do carry himself nobly to the relations of the dead Cardinall, and will not suffer one pasquill to come forth against him; and that he acts by what directions he received from him before his death.
Having discoursed long with him, I took him by coach and set him down at my Lord Crew’s, and myself went and dined at Mr. Povy’s, where Orlando Massam, Mr. Wilks, a Wardrobe man, myself and Mr. Gawden, and had just such another dinner as I had the other day there.
But above all things I do the most admire his piece of perspective especially, he opening me the closett door, and there I saw that there is nothing but only a plain picture hung upon the wall.
After dinner Mr. Gauden and I to settle the business of the Tangier victualling, which I perceive none of them yet have hitherto understood but myself.
Thence by coach to White Hall, and met upon the Tangier Commission, our greatest business the discoursing of getting things ready for my Lord Rutherford to go about the middle of March next, and a proposal of Sir J. Lawson’s and Mr. Cholmely’s concerning undertaking the Mole, which is referred to another time.
So by coach home, being melancholy, overcharged with business, and methinks I fear that I have some ill offices done to Mr. Coventry, or else he observes that of late I have not despatched business so as I did use to do, which I confess I do acknowledge. But it may be it is but my fear only, he is not so fond as he used to be of me. But I do believe that Sir W. Batten has made him believe that I do too much crow upon having his kindness, and so he may on purpose to countenance him seem a little more strange to me, but I will study hard to bring him back again to the same degree of kindness.
So home, and after a little talk with my wife, to the office, and did a great deal of business there till very late, and then home to supper and to bed.
I think that I should believe so I believe
every other day
I admire that nothing
a plain picture hung on the wall
but I believe too in kindness
and a little talk
and a great deal of supper
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 January 1662/63