Betimes I to Alderman Backewell, and with him to my Lord Ashly’s, where did a little business about Tangier, and to talk about the business of certificates, wherein, contrary to what could be believed, the King and Duke of York themselves, in my absence, did call for some of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and give them directions about the business, which I, despairing to do any thing on a Sunday, and not thinking that they would think of it themselves, did rest satisfied, and stayed at home all yesterday, leaving it to do something in this day; but I find that the King and Duke of York had been so pressing in it, that my Lord Ashly was more forward with the doing of it this day, than I could have been. And so I to White Hall with Alderman Backewell in his coach, with Mr. Blany; my Lord’s Secretary: and there did draw up a rough draught of what order I would have, and did carry it in, and had it read twice and approved of, before my Lord Ashly and three more of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and then went up to the Council-chamber, where the Duke of York, and Prince Rupert, and the rest of the Committee of the Navy were sitting: and I did get some of them to read it there: and they would have had it passed presently, but Sir John Nicholas desired they would first have it approved by a full Council: and, therefore, a Council Extraordinary was readily summoned against the afternoon, and the Duke of York run presently to the King, as if now they were really set to mind their business, which God grant! So I thence to Westminster, and walked in the Hall and up and down, the House being called over to-day, and little news, but some talk as if the agreement between France and Spain were like to be, which would be bad for us, and at noon with Sir Herbert Price to Mr. George Montagu’s to dinner, being invited by him in the hall, and there mightily made of, even to great trouble to me to be so commended before my face, with that flattery and importunity, that I was quite troubled with it. Yet he is a fine gentleman, truly, and his lady a fine woman; and, among many sons that I saw there, there was a little daughter that is mighty pretty, of which he is infinite fond: and, after dinner, did make her play on the gittar and sing, which she did mighty prettily, and seems to have a mighty musical soul, keeping time with most excellent spirit. Here I met with Mr. Brownlow, my old schoolfellow, who come thither, I suppose, as a suitor to one of the young ladies that were there, and a sober man he seems to be. But here Mr. Montagu did tell me how Mr. Vaughan, in that very room, did say that I was a great man, and had great understanding, and I know not what, which, I confess, I was a little proud of, if I may believe him.
Here I do hear, as a great secret, that the King, and Duke of York and Duchesse, and my Lady Castlemayne, are now all agreed in a strict league, and all things like to go very current, and that it is not impossible to have my Lord Clarendon, in time, here again. But I do hear that my Lady Castlemayne is horribly vexed at the late libell, the petition of the poor whores about the town, whose houses were pulled down the other day. I have got one of them, but it is not very witty, but devilish severe against her and the King and I wonder how it durst be printed and spread abroad, which shews that the times are loose, and come to a great disregard of the King, or Court, or Government. Thence I to White Hall to attend the Council, and when the Council rose we find my order mightily enlarged by the Sollicitor Generall, who was called thither, making it more safe for him and the Council, but their order is the same in the command of it that I drew, and will I think defend us well. So thence, meeting Creed, he and I to the new Cocke-pitt by the King’s gate, and there saw the manner of it, and the mixed rabble of people that come thither; and saw two battles of cocks, wherein is no great sport, but only to consider how these creatures, without any provocation, do fight and kill one another, and aim only at one another’s heads, and by their good will not leave till one of them be killed; and thence to the Park in a hackney coach, so would not go into the tour, but round about the Park, and to the House, and there at the door eat and drank; whither come my Lady Kerneagy, of whom Creed tells me more particulars; how her Lord, finding her and the Duke of York at the King’s first coming in too kind, did get it out of her that he did dishonour him, and so bid her continue to let him, and himself went to the foulest whore he could find, that he might get the pox; and did, and did give his wife it on purpose, that she (and he persuaded and threatened her that she should) might give it the Duke of York; which she did, and he did give it to the Duchesse; and since, all her children are thus sickly and infirm — which is the most pernicious and full piece of revenge that ever I heard of; and he at this day owns it with great glory, and looks upon the Duke of York and the world with great content in the ampleness of his revenge. Thence (where the place was now by the last night’s rain very pleasant, and no dust) to White Hall, and set Creed down, and I home and to my chamber, and there about my musique notions again, wherein I take delight and find great satisfaction in them, and so, after a little supper, to bed.
This day, in the afternoon, stepping with the Duke of York into St. James’s Park, it rained: and I was forced to lend the Duke of York my cloak, which he wore through the Park.
a rough draft of the news
to play on guitar
soul like a rabble
of killed children
that heard the world
in last night’s rain
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 6 April 1668