At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and after dinner with Mr. Clerke and Gibson to the Temple (my wife and girle going further by coach), and there at the Auditor’s did begin the examining my Tangier accounts, and did make a great entry into it and with great satisfaction, and I am glad I am so far eased. So appointing another day for further part of my accounts, I with Gibson to my bookseller, Martin, and there did receive my book I expected of China, a most excellent book with rare cuts; and there fell into discourse with him about the burning of Paul’s when the City was burned; his house being in the church-yard. And he tells me that it took fire first upon the end of a board that, among others, was laid upon the roof instead of lead, the lead being broke off, and thence down lower and lower: but that the burning of the goods under St. Fayth’s arose from the goods taking fire in the church-yard, and so got into St. Fayth’s Church; and that they first took fire from the Draper’s side, by some timber of the houses that were burned falling into the church. He says that one warehouse of books was saved under Paul’s; and he says that there were several dogs found burned among the goods in the church-yard, and but one man, which was an old man, that said he would go and save a blanket which he had in the church, and, being a weak old man, the fire overcome him, and was burned. He says that most of the booksellers do design to fall a-building again the next year; but he says that the Bishop of London do use them most basely, worse than any other landlords, and says he will be paid to this day the rent, or else he will not come to treat with them for the time to come; and will not, on that condition either, promise them any thing how he will use them; and, the Parliament sitting, he claims his privilege, and will not be cited before the Lord Chief justice, as others are there, to be forced to a fair dealing.
Thence by coach to Mrs. Pierce’s, where my wife and Deb. is; and there they fell to discourse of the last night’s work at Court, where the ladies and Duke of Monmouth and others acted “The Indian Emperour;” wherein they told me these things most remarkable: that not any woman but the Duchesse of Monmouth and Mrs. Cornwallis did any thing but like fools and stocks, but that these two did do most extraordinary well: that not any man did any thing well but Captain O’Bryan, who spoke and did well, but, above all things, did dance most incomparably. That she did sit near the players of the Duke’s house; among the rest, Mis Davis, who is the most impertinent slut, she says, in the world; and the more, now the King do show her countenance; and is reckoned his mistress, even to the scorne of the whole world; the King gazing on her, and my Lady Castlemayne being melancholy and out of humour, all the play, not smiling once. The King, it seems, hath given her a ring of 700l., which she shews to every body, and owns that the King did give it her; and he hath furnished a house for her in Suffolke Street most richly, which is a most infinite shame. It seems she is a bastard of Colonell Howard, my Lord Berkshire, and that he do pimp to her for the King, and hath got her for him; but Pierce says that she is a most homely jade as ever she saw, though she dances beyond any thing in the world. She tells me that the Duchesse of Richmond do not yet come to the Court, nor hath seen the King, nor will not, nor do he own his desire of seeing her; but hath used means to get her to Court, but they do not take.
Thence home, and there I to my chamber, having a great many books brought me home from my bookbinder’s, and so I to the new setting of my books against the next year, which costs me more trouble than I expected, and at it till two o’clock in the morning, and then to bed, the business not being yet done to my mind. This evening come Mr. Mills and his wife to see and sit and talk with us, which they did till 9 o’clock at night, and then parted, and I to my books.
going to burn
in the burnyard
a dog would save me
worse than my last
the corn-ordinary world I scorn
being infinite as
my desire of seeing
in and with the night
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 14 January 1668.