Chris Gutteridge's favourite quotes from Samuel Pepys' diary


I have owned a copy of Samuel Pepys' Diary ever since the Latham & Mathews edition was published in the 1970s. It was always exciting when a new volume appeared in print! Since then, I have read it many times. I started again recently when I had nothing else to read, and decided to post some of the entries here that have particularly amused me. I'll continue to pass snippets on from time to time as the whim takes me.

6 January 1659/60

I went home and took my wife and went to my cosen, Thomas Pepys, and found them just sat down to dinner, which was very good; only the venison pasty was palpable beef, which was not handsome.

20th January 1659/60

...and from thence after a great and good dinner Mr. Falconberge would go drink a cup of ale at a place where I had like to have shit in a skimmer that lay over the house of office.

3rd February 1659/60

So to White Hall; where I staid to hear the trumpets and kettle-drums, and then the other drums, which are much cried up, though I think it dull, vulgar musique.

7th February 1659/60

Mr. Moore told me of a picture hung up at the Exchange of a great pair of buttocks shooting of a turd into Lawson's mouth, and over it was wrote "The thanks of the house."

15th August 1660

Here I lay all night in the old chamber which I had now given up to W. Howe, with whom I did intend to lie, but he and I fell to play with one another, so that I made him to go lie with Mr. Sheply. So I lay alone all night.

20th September 1660

This morning one came to me to advise with me where to make me a window into my cellar in lieu of one which Sir W. Batten had stopped up, and going down into my cellar to look I stepped into a great heap of turds by which I found that Mr. Turner's house of office is full and comes into my cellar, which do trouble me, but I shall have it helped.

14 Februaury 1660/61 Valentine's day.

Up earely and to Sir W. Battens. But would not go in till I asked whether they that opened the door was a man or a woman. And Mingo, who was there, answered "a Woman;" which, with his tone, made me laugh.

Batten's black manservant shows his sense of humour (traditionally, the first person of the opposite sex one saw on Valentine's day became one's Valentine).

6th April 1661

...and among other things met with Mr. Townsend, who told of his mistake the other day, to put both his legs through one of his knees of his breeches, and went so all day.

17th April 1661

Then comes Mr. Allen of Chatham, and I took him to the Mitre and there did drink with him, and did get of him the song that pleased me so well there the other day, of Shitten come Shites the beginning of love.

Here's the link to the ballad Pepys is referring to: http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/ballad/32895/xml

4th July 1661

Here Mr. Batersby the apothecary was, who told me that if my uncle had the emerods (which I think he had) and that now they are stopped, he will lay his life that bleeding behind by leeches will cure him, but I am resolved not to meddle in it.

27 July 1661

To Westminster; where at Mr. Mountagu's chamber I heard a Frenchman play .... upon the Gittar most extreme well; though, at the best, methinks it is but a bawble.

(It'll never catch on!)

23 September 1661

...so rode easily to Welling - where we supped well and had two beds in the room and so lay single; and must remember it that, of all the nights that ever I slept in my life, I never did pass a night with more epicurism of sleep - there being now and then a noise of people stirring that waked me; and then it was a very rainy night; and then I was a little weary, that what between waking and then sleeping again, one after another, I never had so much content in all my life. And so my wife says it was with her.

4 October 1661

I home - where I find my wife vexed at her people for grumbling to eat Suffolk cheese - which I also am vexed at.

17 October 1661

At noon, my wife being gone to my Cosen Snow's with Dr. Tho. Pepys and my brother Tom. to a venison pasty (which proved a pasty of salted pork)...

...he tells me it is a very poor dirty place - I mean the City and Court of Lisbone. That the King is a very rude and simple fellow; and for reviling of somebody a little while ago and calling of him cuckold, was run into the cods with a sword, and had been killed had he not told them that he was their king.

13 November 1661

To bed, and this night begin to lie in the little green Chamber where the maids lie; but we could not a great while get Nell to lie there, because I lie there and my wife; but at last, when she saw she must lie there or sit up, she with much ado came to bed.

22 November 1661

...and then my wife and I to church and there in the pew, with the rest of the company, was Captain Holmes in his gold-laced suit; at which I was troubled, because of the old business which he attempted upon my wife. So with my mind troubled, I sat still; but by and by I took occasion from the rain now holding up (it raining when we came into the church) to put my wife in mind of going to the christening (which she was invited to) of N. Osbornes child. Which she did; and so went out of the pew and my mind was eased.

1 January 1661/62

Waking this morning out of my sleep on a sudden, I did with my elbow hit my wife a great blow over her face and nose, which waked her with pain - at which I was sorry. And to sleep again.

19 January 1661/62
Lords=day.

To church in the morning, where Mr. Mills preached upon Christ's being offered up for our sins. And there, proveing the æquity with what Justice God would lay our sins upon his Son, he did make such a sermon (among other things, pleading from God's universal Soverainty over all his Creatures, the power he has of commanding what he would of his Son, by the same rule as that he might have made us all and the whole world from the beginning to have been in hell, arguing from the power the potter has over his clay), that I could have wished he had let it alone. And speaking again, that God the Father is now so satisfyd by our Security for our debt, that we might say at the last day, as many of us as have interest in Christ's death - Lord, we owe thee nothing - our debt is paid - we are not beholden to thee for anything, for thy debt is paid to thee to the full - which methinks were very bold words.

4 February 1661/62

...at noon to my Lord Crewes - where one Mr. Templer (an ingenious [man] and a person of honour he seems to be) dined; and discoursing of the nature of Serpents, he told us some that in the waste places of Lancashire do grow to a great bigness, and that do feed upon larkes, which they take thus - they observe when the lark is soared to the highest, and do crawle till they come to be just underneath them; and there they place themselfs with their mouths uppermost, and there (as is conceived) they do eject poyson up to the bird; for the bird doth suddenly come down again in its course of a circle, and falls directly into the mouth of the serpent - which is very strange. He is a great traveller; and speaking of the Tarantula, he says that all the harvest long (about which times they are most busy) there are fidlers go up and down the fields everywhere, [in] expectation of being hired by those that are stung.

28 February 1661/62

Home; and to be as good as my word, I bid Will get me a rod, and he and I called the boy up to one of the upper rooms of the Controllers house toward the garden, and there I reckoned all his faults and whipped him soundly; but the rods were so small that I fear they did not much hurt to him, but only to my arme, which I am already, within a Quarter of an houre, not able to stir almost. After supper, to bed.

4 April 1662

I was much troubled today to see a dead man lie floating upon the waters; and had done (they say) these four days and nobody takes him up to bury him, which is very barbarous.

6 April 1662

Thence to the Chappell, and there, though crowded, heard a very honest sermon before the King by a Canon of Christ Church - upon these words: "Having a forme of godlinesse but denying," &c. Among other things, did much insist upon the sin of adultery - which methought might touch the King and the more because he forced it into his sermon, methought besides his text.

18 April 1662

This morning, sending the boy down into the cellar for some beer, I fallowed him with a cane, and did there beat him for his staying of arrands and other faults, and his sister came to me down and begged for him: so I forebore. And afterwards in my wife's chamber did there talk to Jane how much I did love the boy for her sake and how much it doth concern to correct the boy for his faults, or else he would be undone. So at last she was well pleased.

[Waynman Birch was dismissed in July 1663, and in the following November was packed off to Barbados. He was a 'pretty well-looked boy' and had been in Pepys's service since September 1660. His escapades included one small explosion, an attempt at running away and 'strange things...not fit to name'.]

21 May 1662

...walking into White-hall garden; and in the privy Garden saw the finest smocks and linen petticoats of my Lady Castlemaynes, laced with rich lace at the bottomes, that ever I saw; and did me good to look upon them.

22 May 1662

He hath also sent each of us some anchoves, Olives, and Muscatt; but I know not yet what that is, and am ashamed to ask.

25 May 1662

Lord's day. To trimming myself, which I have this week done every morning, with a pumice stone, which I learnt of Mr. Marsh when I was last at Portsmouth; and I find it very easy, speedy and cleanly, and shall continue the practice of it.

14 June 1662

...we all went out to the Tower hill; and there, over against the Scaffold, made on purpose this day, saw Sir Henry Vane brought. A very great press of people. He made a long speech, many times interrupted by the Sheriffe and others there; and they would have taken his paper out of his hand, but he would not let it go. But they caused all the books of those that writ after him to be given the Sheriffe; and the Trumpets were brought under the scaffold, that he might not be heard...

...And so fitted himself for the block, and received the blow. He had a blister or Issue upon his neck, which he desired them not hurt. He changed not his colour or speech to the last, but died justifying himself and the cause he had stood for; and spoke very confidently of his being presently at the right hand of Christ. And in all things appeared the most resolved man that ever died in that manner, and showed more of heate than cowardize, but yet with all humility and gravity.

26 June 1662

...took Commissioner Pett home with me to dinner, where my stomach was turned when my sturgeon came to table, upon which I saw very many little worms creeping, which I suppose was through the staleness of the pickle.

30 June 1662

Up betimes and to my office, where I found Griffens girl making it clean; but God forgive me, what a mind I have to her, but did not meddle with her. She being gone, I fell upon boring holes for me to see from my closet into the great office, without going forth, wherein I please myself much.

3 August 1662

This day, among other stories, he told me how despicable a thing it is to be a hangman is in poleland, although it be a place of credit. And that in his time there was some repairs to be made of the gallowes there, which was very fine of stone; but nobody could be got to mend it till the Burgo-Maister or Mayor of the towne, with all the companies of those trades which were necessary to be used about those repairs, did go in their habits, with flags, in solemn procession to the place, and there the Burgo-Maister did give the first blow with the hammer upon the wooden work, and the rest of the Maisters of the Companies upon the works belonging to their trades, that so, workmen might not be ashamed to be employed upon doing of the gallows-works.

[The hangman often had difficulty in finding a wife: in Cracow females under sentence of death were spared if they would marry an executioner.]

5 September 1662

And among other pretty discourse, some was of Sir Jerom Bowes, Embassador from Queene Elizabeth to the Emperor of Russia - who, because some of the noblemen there would go up the stairs to the Emperor before him, he would not go up till the Emperor had ordered those two men to be dragged downstair, with their heads knocking upon every stair till they were killed. And when he was come up, they demanded his sword of him before he entered the room. He told them, if they would have his sword, they should have his boots too; and so caused his boots to be pulled off and his night-gown and night-cap and slippers to be sent for, and made the Emperor stay till he could go in his night-dress, since he might not go as a soldier. And lastly, when the Emperor in contempt, to show his command over his subjects, did command one to leap from the window down and broke his neck in the sight of our Embassador, he replied that his mistress did set more by, and did make better use of the necks of her subjects: but said that, to show what her subjects would do for her, he would, and did, fling down his gantlett before the Emperor and challenged all the nobility there to take it up in defence of the Emperor against his Queene. For which, at this very day, the name of Sir Jer. Bowes is famous and honoured there.

[The Russian Emperor was Ivan the Terrible. He once rewarded the French envoy’s boldness in remaining covered (i.e. keeping his hat on) in the royal presence by nailing his hat to his head. Bowes, at his next interview, defiantly wore his hat and in answer to the Tsar’s threats, announced that he represented ‘not a cowardly king of France … but the invincible Queen of England, who does not vail her Bonnet nor bare her Head to any Prince living’.]

25 September 1662

This evening I sat awhile at Sir W. Batten's with Sir J. Mennes, &c., where he told us, among many other things, how in portugall they scorn to make a seat for a house of office. But they do shit all in pots and so empty them in the river.
I did also hear how the woman formerly nurse to Mrs. Lemon (Sir W. Batten's daughter) her child was torn to pieces by two dogs at Walthamstow this week, and is dead - which is very strange.

29 September 1662

...and then to the King's Theatre, where we saw Midsummers nights dreame, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life. I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure.

27 October 1662

Thence to White-hall, and walked long in the galleries till (as they are commanded to all strange persons) one came to tell us, we not being known and being observed to walk there four or five houres (which was not true, unless they count my walking there in the morning), he was commanded to ask who we were; which being told, he excused his Question, and was satisfied. These things speak great fear and jealousys.

30 October 1662

...to the Question how it comes to pass that there are no boars seen in London, but many Sowes and pigs, it was answered that the Constable gets them a-nights.

27 November 1662

...I saw them pretty well go by. I could not see the Embassador in his coach - but his attendants in their habitts and fur-caps very handsome comely men, and most of them with Hawkes upon their fists to present to the King. But Lord, to see the absurd nature of Englishmen, that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at every thing that looks strange.

[The entry of the Russian Ambassador].

30 December 1662

With the officers I had good discourse, particularly of the people at the Cape of Good Hope - of whom they of their own knowledge do tell me these one or two things: viz., that when they come to age, the men do cut off one of the stones of each other, which they hold doth help them to get children the better and to grow fat. That they never sleep lying, but always sitting upon the ground. That their speech is not so articulate as ours, but yet understand one another well. That they paint themselves all over with the grease the Dutch sell them (who have a fort there) and Sutt.

6 January 1662/63 twelfth night

And after dinner to the Dukes house and there saw Twelfth night acted well, though it be but a silly play, and not related at all to the name or day.

Only, myself somewhat vexed at my wife's neglect in leaving of her scarfe, waistcoat, and night-dressings in the coach today that brought us from Westminster, though I confess, she did give them to me to look after - yet it was her fault not to see that I did take them out of the coach. I believe it might be as good as 25s. loss or thereabouts.

9 January 1662/63

At last we were pretty good friends and my wife begun to speak again of the necessity of her keeping somebody to bear her company; for her familiarity with her other servants is it that spoils them all, and other company she hath none (which is too true); and called for Jane to reach her out of her trunk, giving her the keys to that purpose, a bundle of papers; and pulls out a paper, a copy of what, a pretty while since, she had wrote in a discontent to me, which I would not read but burned. She now read it, and it was so picquant, and wrote in English, and most of it true, of the retirednesse of her life and how unpleasant it was, that being wrote in English and so in danger of being met with and read by others, I was vexed at it and desired her and then commanded her to tear it - which she desired to be excused it; I forced it from her and tore it, and withal took her other bundle of papers from her and leapt out of the bed and in my shirt clapped them into the pocket of my breeches, that she might not get them from me; and having got on my stockings and breeches and gown, I pulled them out one by one and tore them all before her face, though it went against my heart to do it, she crying and desiring me not to do it. But such was my passion and trouble to see the letters of my love to her, and my Will, wherein I had given her all I have in the world when I went to sea with my Lord Sandwich, to be joyned with a paper of so much disgrace to me and dishonour if it should have been found by any body. Having torn them all, saving a bond of my uncle Robts. which she hath long had in her hands, and our Marriage=licence and the first letter that ever I sent her when I was her servant, I took up the pieces and carried them into my chamber, and there, after many disputes with myself whether I should burn them or no, and having picked up the pieces of the paper she read today and of my Will which I tore, I burnt all the rest. And so went out to my office - troubled in mind.

12 January 1662/63

After dinner to the Change to buy some linen for my wife; and going back, met our two boys; mine had struck down Creedes boy in the dirt, with his new suit on in the dirt, all over dirty, and the boy taken by a gentlewoman into a house to make clean, but the poor boy was in a pitiful taking and pickle; but I basted my rogue soundly.

8 February 1662/63

Whether the wind and the cold did cause it or no, I know not; but having been this day or two mightily troubled with an iching all over my body, which I took to be a louse or two that might bite me - I find this afternoon that all my body is inflamed, and my face in a sad redness and swelling and pimpled; so that I was, before we had done walking, not only sick but ashamed of myself to see myself so changed in my countenance; so that after we had thus talked, we parted and I walked home with much ado ... the ways being so full of ice and water by peoples' trampling. At last got home and to bed presently and had a very bad night of it, in great pain in my stomach and great fever.

9 February 1662/63

Could not rise and go to the Duke, as I should have done with the rest, but keep my bed; and by the apothecary's advice, Mr. Battersby, I am to sweat soundly, and that will carry all this matter away; which nature would of itself eject, but this will assist nature - it being some disorder given the blood; but by what I know not, unless it be by my late great Quantitys of Dantzicke=girkins that I have eaten.
In the evening came Sir J. Mennes and Sir W. Batten to see me. And Sir J. Mennes advises me to the same thing; but would not have me take anything from the apothecary, but from him, his Venice Treakle being better than the others; which I did consent to and did anon take and fell into a great sweat; and about 10 or 11 a-clock came out of it, and shifted myself and slept pretty well alone (my wife lying in the red chamber above);
<<10>> and in the morning most of my disease, that is, itching and pimples, were gone. In the morning visited by Mr. Coventry and others, and very glad I am to see that I am so much enquired after and my sickness taken notice of as I did. I keep my bed all day and sweat again at night, by which I expect to be very well to-morrow.

[Modern medical opinion is that it probably was an allergy to the Danzig gerkins.]

15 February 1662/63

Lord's day. This morning my wife did wake me, being frighted with the noise I made in my sleep, being a dream that one of our sea-maisters did desire to see the St. John's Isle of my drawing; which methought I showed him, but methought he did handle it so hard that it put me to very horrid pain; and what should this be but my cods, which after I woke were in very great pain for a good while - what a strange extravagant dream it was.

17 February 1662/63

Coming home, I brought Mr. Pickering as far as the Temple; who tells me the story is very true of a child being dropped at the Ball at Court; and that the King had it in his closet a week after, and did dissect it; and making great sport of it, said that in his opinion it must have been a month and three hours old and that, whatever others think, he hath the greatest loss (it being a boy, as he says), that had lost a subject by the business.

21 February 1662/63

Towards noon there comes a man in as if upon ordinary business, and shows me a Writt from the Exchequer, called a Commission of Rebellion, and tells me that I am his prisoner - in Field's business. Which methought did strike me to the heart, to think that we could not sit safe in the middle of the King's business. I told him how and where we were imployed and bid him have a care; and perceiving that we were busy, he said he would and did withdraw for an houre - in which time Sir J. Minnes took coach and to Court to see what he could do from thence; and our Solicitor against Field came by chance and told me that he would go and satisfy the fees of the Court and would end the business. So he went away about that, and I staid in my closet, till by and by the man and four more of his fellows came to know what I would do; I told them stay till I heard from the King or my Lord Chief Baron, to both whom I had now sent. With that they consulted, and told me that if I would promise to stay in the house they would go and refresh themselves, and come again, and know what answer I had. So they away, and I home to dinner - whither by chance in comes Mr. Hawly and dined with me.
Before I had dined, the Baylys came back again with the Constable, and at the office knock for me but found me not there; and I hearing in what manner they were come, did forbear letting them know where I was. So they stood knocking and enquiring for me.
By and by at my parlour-window comes Sir W. Batten's Mingo, to tell me that his Maister and Lady would have me come to their house through Sir J. Mennes's lodgings, which I could not do; but, however, by lathers did get over the pale between our yards and so to their house, where I found them (as they have reason) to be much concerned for me - my Lady especially.
The fellows staid in the yard swearing with one or two constables; and some time we locked them into the yard and by and by let them out again, and so keeped them all the afternoon, not letting them see me or know where I was. One time, I went up to the top of Sir W. Batten's house, and out of one of their windows spoke to my wife out of one of ours - which methought, though I did it in mirth, yet I was sad to think what a sad thing it would be for me to be really in that condition. By and by comes Sir J. Mennes, who (like himself and all that he doth) tells us that he can do no good, but that my Lord Chancellor wonders that we did not cause the seamen to fall about their ears - which we wished we could have done without our being seen in it; and Captain Grove being there, he did give them some affront and would have got some seamen to have drubbed them, but he had not time nor did we think it fit to have it done, they having executed their commission. But there was occasion given that he did draw his sword upon one of them and he did complain that Grove had pricked him in the breast - but no hurt done; but I see that Grove would have done our business to them if we had bid him. By and by comes Mr. Clerke our Solicitor, who brings us a release from our adverse atturny, we paying the fees of the Commission, which comes to five markes, and pay the charges of these fellows, which are called the Commissioners (but are the most rake-shamed rogues that ever I saw in my life); so he showed them his release and they seemed satisfied and went away with him to their atturny to be paid by him. But before they went, Sir W. Batten and my Lady did begin to taunt them; but the rogues answered them as high as themselfs, and swore they would come again, and called me rogue and Rebell and they would bring the Sheriffe and untile his house before he should harbour a Rebell in his house - and that they would be here again shortly.

23 February 1662/63

...the play hath little good in it - being most pleased to see the little girl dance in boy's apparel, she having very fine legs; only, bends at the hams as I perceive all women do.

2 March 1662/63

There also coming into the river two Duchmen, we sent a couple of men on board and bought three hollands cheeses, cost 4d. a pound, excellent cheese, whereof I had two and Commissioner Pett one.

10 March 1662/63

Dined upon a poor Lenten dinner at home, my wife being vexed at a fray this morning with my Lady Batten about my boy's going thither to turn the watercock which their maids leave, but my Lady was mighty high upon it, and she would teach his mistress better manners; which my wife answered aloud, that she might hear, that she could learn little manners of her.

17 March 1662/63

But my Lord Mayor I find to be a talking, bragging Bufflehead, a fellow that would be thought to have led all the City in the great business of bringing in the King; and that nobody understood his plots, and the dark lanthorn he walked by, but led them and plowed with them as oxen and Asses (his own words) to do what he had a mind - when in every discourse, I observe him to be as very a coxcomb as I could have thought had been in the City.

...But to see how he doth rant and pretend to sway all the City in the Court of Aldermen, and says plainly that they do nor can do nor will he suffer them to do, any thing but what he pleases; nor is there any officer of the City but of his putting in, nor any man that could have kept the City for the King thus well and long but him - and if the country can be preserved, he will undertake that the City shall not dare to stir again - when I am confident there is no man almost in the City cares a turd for him, nor hath he brains to outwit any ordinary tradesman.

3 April 1663

Thence going out of White-hall, I met Captain Grove, who did give me a letter directed to myself from himself; I discerned money to be in it and took it, knowing, as I found it to be, the proceed of the place I have got him, to have the taking up of vessels for Tanger. But I did not open it till I came home to my office; and there I broke it open, not looking into it till all the money was out, that I might say I saw no money in the paper, if ever I should be Questioned about it. There was a piece in gold and 4l. in silver.

22 April 1663

...and thence to my uncle Wights by invitacion; whither my father, wife and Ashwell came - where we had but a poor dinner and not well dressed; besides, the very sight of my aunts hands and greasy manner of carving did almost turn my stomach.

23 April 1663

At Cards till late; and being at supper, my boy being sent for some mustard to a neat's tongue, the rogue stayed half an hour in the streets, it seems at a Bonefire; at which I was very angry and resolve to beat him tomorrow.

24 April 1663

Up betimes; and with my salt Eel went down in the parler, and there got my boy and did beat him till I was fain to take breath two or three times; yet for all, I am afeard it will make the boy never the better, he is grown so hardened in his tricks; which I am sorry for, he being capable of making a brave man and is a boy that I and my wife love very well.

...at noon home, whither came Captain Holland, who is lately come home from Sea and hath been much harassed in law about the ship which he hath bought; so that it seems, in a despaire he endeavoured to cut his own throat, but is recovered it; and it seems, whether by that or any other's persuasion (his wife's mother being a great zealot), he is turned almost a Quaker, his discourse being nothing but holy, and that impertinent that I was weary of him. At last, pretending to go to the Change, we walked thither together; and there I left him and home to dinner...

25 April 1663

Among other things, Sir W. Batten had a mind to cause Butler (our chief witness in the business of Field, whom we did force back from an imployment going to sea to come back to attend our law-Sute) to be borne as a Mate on the Raynbow in the Downes, in compensacion of his loss for our sakes. This he orders an order to be drawn by Mr. Turner for; and after Sir J. Mennes, Sir W. Batten, and Sir W. Penn had signed it, it came to me and I was going to put it up into my book, thinking to consider of it and give them my opinion upon it before I parted with it; but Sir W. Penn told me I must sign it or give it him again, for it should not go without my hand. I told him what I meant to do - whereupon Sir W. Batten was very angry, and in a great heat (which will bring out anything that he hath in his mind; and I am glad of it, though it is base in him to have a thing so long in his mind without speaking of it, though I am glad this is the worst, for if he had worse it would out as well as this some time or other) told me that I should not think as I have heretofore done, make them sign orders and not sign them myself - which what ignorance or worse it implies is easy to judge, when he shall sign (and the rest of the board too, as appears in this business) to things for company and not out of their justice; for after some discourse, I did convince them that it was not fit to have it go; and Sir W. Batten first, and then the rest, did willingly cancel all their hands and tore the order. For I told them, Butler being such a rogue as I know him and we have all signed him to be to the Duke, it will be in his power to publish this to our great reproach, that we should take such a course as this to serve ourselves in, wronging the King by putting him into a place he is nowise capable of, and that in an Admiral ship.

11 May 1663

So to the yard a little and thence on foot to Greenewich; where going, I was set upon by a great dog, who got hold of my garters and might have done me hurt; but Lord, to see in what a maze I was, that having a sword about me, I never thought of it or had the heart to make use of it, but might for want of that courage have been worried.

15 May 1663

My Lord Hinchingbroke, I am told, hath had a mischance to kill his boy by his birding-piece going off as he was a-fouling. The gun was charged with small shot and hit the boy in the face and about the Temples, and he lived four days.

...home - where I find it almost night and my wife and the Dancing Maister alone above, not dancing but walking. Now, so deadly full of jealousy I am, that my heart and head did so cast about and fret, that I could not do any business possibly, but went out to my office; and anon late home again, and ready to chide at every thing; and then suddenly to bed and could hardly sleep, yet durst not say anything; but was forced to say that I had bad news from the Duke concerning Tom Hater, as an excuse to my wife - who by my folly hath too much opportunity given her with that man; who is a pretty neat black man, but married. But it is a deadly folly and plague that I bring upon myself to be so jealous; and by giving myself such an occasion, more than my wife desired, of giving her another month's dancing - which however shall be ended as soon as I can possibly. But I am ashamed to think what a course I did take by lying to see whether my wife did wear drawers today as she used to do, and other things to raise my suspicion of her; but I found no true cause of doing it.

16 May 1663

Up, with my mind disturbed and with my last night's doubts upon me.

For which I deserve to be beaten, if not really served as I am fearful of being; especially since, God knows, that I do not find honesty enough in my own mind but that upon a small temptation I could be false to her, and therefore ought not to expect more justice from her - but God pardon both my sin and my folly herein.

To my office and there setting all the morning; and at noon dined at home. After dinner comes Pembleton again; and I being out of humour, would not see him, pretending business; but Lord, with what jealousy did I walk up and down my chamber, listening to hear whether they danced or no, which they did; notwithstanding I afterwards knew, and did then believe that Ashwell was with them. So to my office awhile; and, my jealousy still reigning, I went in and, not out of any pleasure but from that only reason, did go up to them to practise; and did make an end of La Duchesse, which I think I should with a little pains do very well. So broke up and saw him gone.

...My mind in some better ease resolving to prevent matters for the time to come as much as I can, it being to no purpose to trouble myself for what is past, being occasioned too by my own folly.

25 May 1663

...I up and there hear that my wife and her maid Ashwell had between them spilled the pot of piss and turd upon the floor and stool and God knows what, and were mighty merry washing of it clean. I took no great notice, but merrily.

28 May 1663

At the Coffee-house in Exchange=ally I bought a little book, Counsell to Builders, written by Sir Balth. Gerbier; it is dedicated almost to all the men of any great condition in England, so that the epistles are more than the book itself; and both it and them not worth a turd, that I am ashamed that I bought it.

13 June 1663

Thence by coach with a mad coachman that drove like mad, and down byeways, through bucklersbury home, everybody through the street cursing him, being ready to run over them.

19 June 1663

...the King of France is well again, and that he saw him train his guards, all brave men, at Paris; and that when he goes to his mistress, Madame La Valiere, a pretty little woman, now with child by him, he goes with his guards with him publicly and his trumpets and Kettle drums with him, who stay before the house while he is with her; and yet he says that for all this, the Queene doth not know of it, for that nobody dares to tell her - but that I dare not believe.

29 June 1663

...fell to talk with Mrs. Lane and after great talk that she never went abroad with any man as she used heretofore to do, I with one word got her to go with me and to meet me at the further Rhenish wine-house - where I did give her a Lobster and do so towse her and feel her all over, making her believe how fair and good a skin she had; and endeed, she hath a very white thigh and leg, but monstrous fat. When weary, I did give over, and somebody having seen some of our dalliance, called aloud in the street, “Sir, why do you kiss the gentlewoman so?” and flung a stone at the window - which vexed me - but I believe they could not see my towsing her; and so we broke up and I went out the back way, without being observed I think; and so she towards the hall and I to White-hall...

1 July 1663

Mr. Batten telling us of a late triall of Sir Charles Sydly the other day, before my Lord Chief Justice Foster and the whole Bench - for his debauchery a little while since at Oxford Kate’s; coming in open day into the Balcone and showed his nakedness – acting all the postures of lust and buggery that could be imagined, and abusing of scripture and, as it were, from thence preaching a Mountebanke sermon from that pulpitt, saying that there he hath to sell such a pouder as should make all the cunts in town run after him – a thousand people standing underneath to see and hear him. And that being done, he took a glass of wine and washed his prick in it and then drank it off; and then took another and drank the King’s health. It seems my Lord and the rest of the judges did all of them round give him a most high reproofe - my Lord Chief Justice saying that it was for him and such wicked wretches as he was that God’s anger and judgments hung over us - calling him “Sirrah” many times. It's said they have bound him to his good behaviour (there being no law against him for it) in 5000l. It being told that my Lord Buckhurst was there, my Lord asked whether it was that Buckhurst that was lately tried for robbery; and when answered “Yes”, he asked whether he had so soon forgot his deliverance at that time, and that it would have more become him to have been at his prayers, begging God’s forgiveness, than now running into such courses again. Upon this discourse, Sir J. Mennes and Mr. Batten both say that buggery is now almost grown as common among our gallants as in Italy, and that the very pages of the town begin to complain of their masters for it. But blessed be God, I do not to this day know what is the meaning of this sin, nor which is the agent nor which the patient.

4 July 1663

Thence with Creede to the King’s-head ordinary; but, coming late, dined at the second table very well for 12d.; and a pretty gentleman in our company who confirms my Lady Castlemaynes being gone from Court, but knows not the reason. He told us of one wipe the Queene a little while ago did give her, when she came in and found the Queen under the dresser’s hands and had been so long - “I wonder your Majesty,” says she, “can have the patience to sit so long a-dressing:” “Oh,” says the Queene, “I have so much reason to use patience, that I can very well bear with it.”

11 July 1663

About 1 or 2 in the morning, the Curtains of my bed being drawn waked me, and I saw a man stand there by the inside of my bed, calling me “French dogg” twenty times, one after another; and I starting, as if I would get out of the bed, he fell a-laughing as hard as he could drive - still calling me French dog, and laid his hand on my shoulder. At last, whether I said anything or no I cannot tell, but I perceived the man, after he had looked wistely upon me too and found that I did not answer him to the names that he called me by, which was Salmon (Sir G. Carterets clerk) and Robert. Maddox, another of the clerks, he put off his hat of a suddaine, and forebore laughing, and asked who I was - saying, “Are you Mr. Pepys?” I told him “Yes” and now, being come a little better to myself, I found him to be Tom Willson (Sir W. Batten’s clerk); and fearing he might be in some melancholy fit, I was at a loss what to do or say. At last I asked him what he meant: he desired my pardon for that he was mistaken, for he thought verily (not knowing of my coming to lie there) that it had been Salmon the Frenchman, with whom he intended to have made some sport. So I made nothing of it, but bid him good-night; and I after a little pause to sleep again - being well pleased that it ended no worse - and being a little the better pleased with it because it was the Surveyors clerke, which will make sport when I come to tell Sir W. Batten of it, it being a report that old Edgeborough, the former Surveyor who died here, doth now and then walk.

12 July 1663

Lord's day. Up; and meeting Tom Willson, he asked my pardon again; which I easily did give him, telling him only that it was well I was not a woman with child, for it might have made me miscarry.

22 August 1663

This day Sir W. Batten tells me that Mr. Newburne (of whom the nick-word came up among us for “Arise Tom Newburne”) is dead of eating Cowcoumbers, of which, the other day, I heard another, I think Sir Nich. Crisps son.

27 August 1663

Up, after much pleasant talk with my wife and a little that vexes me, for I see that she is confirmed in it that all that I do is by design, and that my very keeping of the house in dirt, and the doing of this and any thing else in the house, is but to find her imployment to keep her within and from minding of her pleasure. In which, though I am sorry to see she minds it, is true enough in a great degree.

11 September 1663

This morning, about 2 or 3 a-clock, knocked up in our backyard; and rising to the window, being moonshine, I found it was the Constable and his watch, who had found our backyard door open and so came in to see what the matter was. So I desired them to shut the door and bid them good-night. And so to bed again.

17 September 1663

...I begun a journy with them; and with much ado through the Fens, along Dikes, where sometimes we were ready to have our horses sink to the belly, we got by night, with great deal of stir and hard riding, to Parsons drove, a heathen place - where I found my uncle and aunt Perkins, and their daughters, poor wretches, in a sad poor thatched cottage, like a poor barne or stable, peeling of Hemp (in which I did give myself good content to see their manner of preparing of hemp) and in a poor condition of habitt; took them to our miserable Inne and there, after long stay and hearing of Franke their son, the miller, play upon his Treble (as he calls it), with which he earnes part of his living, and singing of a country bawdy song, we set down to supper: the whole Crew and Frankes wife and children (a sad company, of which I was ashamed) supped with us.

By and by news is brought to us that one of our horses is stole out of the Stable; which proves my uncles, at which I was inwardly glad; I mean, that it was not mine. And at this we were at a great loss; and they doubting a person that lay at next door, a Londoner, some lawyer's clerk, we caused him to be secured in his bed, and made care to be taken to seize the horse; and so, about 12 at night or more, to bed in a sad, cold, nasty chamber; only the maid was indifferent handsome, and so I had a kiss or two of her, and I to bed. And a little after I was asleep, they waked me to tell me that the horse was found, which was good news; and so to sleep till the morning - but was bit cruelly (and nobody else of our company, which I wonder at) by the gnatts.

6 October 1663

Slept pretty well, and my wife waked to ring the bell to call up our maids to the washing about 4 a-clock and I was, and she, angry that our bell did not wake them sooner; but I will get a bigger bell. So we to sleep again till 8 a-clock...

20 October 1663

...and while I was in Kirtons shop, a fellow came to offer kindness or force to my wife in the coach. But she refusing, he went away, after the coachman had struck him and he the coachman. So I being called, went thither; and the fellow coming out again of a shop, I did give him a good cuff or two on the chops; and seeing him not oppose me, I did give him another; at last, found him drunk, of which I was glad and so left him and home...

8 November 1663

Up; and it being late, to church... I found that my coming in a perriwigg did not prove so strange to the world as I was afeared it would, for I thought that all the church would presently have cast their eyes all upon me - but I found no such thing.

9 November 1663

...and it was pleasant to see how Blackburn himself did act it; how when the Commissioners of the Admiralty would enquire of the Captains and Admiralls of such and such men, how they would with a sithe and casting up the eye say, "Such a man fears the Lord" - or, "I hope such a man hath the Spirit of God," and such things as that. But he tells me that there was a cruel Articling against Pen after one fight, for cowardice in putting himself within a Coyle of Cables, of which he had much ado to acquit himself;

14 December 1663

But among other things, Lord, what an account did Sir J. Mennes and Sir W. Batten make of the pulling down and burning of the head of the Charles, where Cromwell was placed with people under his horse, and Peter, as the Duke called him, is praying to him. And Sir J. Mennes would needs infer the temper of the people from their joy at the doing of this and their building a Jibbet for the hanging of his head up – when, God knows, it is even the flinging away of 100l. out of the King's purse to the building of another - which it seems must be a Neptune.


Then we fell to talk of Sir J. Mennes and Sir W. Batten burning of Olivers head, while he was there; which was done with so much insulting and folly as I never heard of, and had the Trayned-band of Rochester to come to the solemnity – when, when all comes to all, Commissioner Pett says it never was made for him. But it troubles me the King should suffer 100l. loss in his purse to make a new one, after it was forgot whose head it was or any words spoke of it.

21 December 1663

...took Coach, and being directed by sight of bills upon the walls, did go to Shooe lane to see a Cocke-fighting at a new pit there - a sport I was never at in my life. But Lord, to see the strange variety of people, from Parliament-man (by name Wildes, that was Deputy-governor of the Tower when Robinson was Lord Mayor) to the poorest prentices, bakers, brewers, butchers, draymen, and what not; and all this fellows one with another in swearing, cursing, and betting. I soon had enough of it; and yet I would not but have seen it once, it being strange to observe the nature of those poor creatures, how they will fight till they drop down dead upon the table and strike after they are ready to give up the ghost - not offering to run away when they are weary or wounded past doing further. Whereas, where a Dunghill brood comes, he will, after a sharp stroke that pricks him, run off the stage, and then they wring off his neck without more ado. Whereas the other they preserve, though their eyes be both out, for breed only of a true cock of the game. Sometimes, a cock that has had ten to one against him will by chance give an unlucky blow will strike the other stark-dead in a moment, that he never stirs more. But the common rule is, that though a cock neither run nor dies, yet if any man will bet 10l to a Crowne, and nobody take the bett, the game is given over, and not sooner. One thing more it is strange to see, how people of this poor rank, that look as if they had not bread to put in their mouths, shall bet 3 or 4l at one bet and lose it, and yet bet as much the next battell, as they call every match of two cocks - so that one of them will lose 10 or 20l at a meeting. Thence, having enough of it, by coach to my Lord Sandwich's...

4 January 1663/64

Thence to the Tennice Court (after I had spent a little time in Westminster Hall, thinking to have met with Mrs. Lane, but I could not and am glad of it) and there saw the King play at Tennis and others. But to see how the King's play was extolled without any cause at all, was a loathsome sight, though sometimes endeed he did play very well and deserved to be commended; but such open flattery is beastly.

16 January 1663/64

...I by water to Westminster-hall and there did see Mrs. Lane, and de là, elle and I to the cabaret at the Cloche in the street du roy; and there, after some caresses, je l’ay foutée sous de la chaise deux times, and the last to my great pleasure; mais j’ai grand peur que je l’ay fait faire aussi elle meme. Mais after I had done, elle commençait parler as before and I did perceive that je n’avais fait rien de danger à elle. Et avec ça, I came away; and though I did make grand promises à la contraire, nonobstant je ne la verrai pas long time...

...So home to supper and to bed, with my mind un peu troublé pour ce que j’ai fait to-day. But I hope it will be la dernière de toute ma vie.

21 January 1663/64

Up; and after sending my wife to my aunt Wight’s to get a place to see Turner hanged, I to the office, where we sat all the morning. And at noon, going to the Change and seeing people flock in that, I enquired and found that Turner was not yet hanged; and so I went among them to Leadenhall- street at the end of Lyme-street, near where the robbery was done, and to St. Mary Axe, where he lived; and there I got for a shilling to stand upon the wheel of a Cart, in great pain, above an hour before the execution was done - he delaying the time by long discourses and prayers one after another, in hopes of a reprieve; but none came, and at last was flung off the lather in his cloak. A comely-looked man he was, and kept his countenance to the end - I was sorry to see him. It was believed there was at least 12 or 14000 people in the street.

23 January 1663/64

And after we had dined came Mr. Mallard; and after he had eat something, I brought down my vyall, which he played on - the first Maister that ever touched her yet, and she proves very well and will be, I think, an admirable instrument. He played some very fine things of his own, but I was afeared to enter too far in their commendation for fear he should offer to copy them for me out, and so I be forced to give or lend him something.

30 January 1663/64

This evening, being in an humour of making all things even and clear in the world, I tore some old papers; among others, a romance which (under the title of Love a Cheate) I begun ten year ago at Cambridge; and at this time, reading it over tonight, I liked it very well and wondered a little at myself at my vein at that time when I wrote it, doubting that I cannot do so well now if I would try.

1 February 1663/64

In my way home I light and to the Coffee-house, where I heard Lieutenant Collonell Baron tell very good stories of his travels over the high hills in Asia above the Cloudes. How clear the heaven is above them. How thick, like a mist, the way is through the cloud, that wets like a sponge one’s clothes. The ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing, it being only a dry earth. Yet not so hot above as below the clouds. The stars at night most delicate bright and a fine clear blue sky. But cannot see the earth at any time through the clouds, but the clouds look like a world below you.

2 February 1663/64

...thence off to the Sun taverne with Sir W. Warren, and with him discoursed long and had good advice and hints from him; and among other things, he did give me a pair of gloves for my wife, wrapped up in paper; which I would not open, feeling it hard, but did tell him that my wife should thank him, and so went on in discourse. When I came home, Lord, in what pain I was to get my wife out of the room without bidding her go, that I might see what these gloves were; and by and by, she being gone, it proves a pair of white gloves for her and 40 pieces in good gold: which did so cheer my heart that I could eat no victuals almost for dinner for joy to think how God doth bless us every day more and more - and more yet I hope he will upon the encrease of my duty and endeavours. I was at great loss what to do, whether tell my wife of it or no; which I could hardly forbear, but yet I did and will think of it first before I do, for fear of making her think me to be in a better condition or in a better way of getting money then yet I am.

3 February 1663/64

This night late, coming in my coach coming up Ludgate hill, I saw two gallants and their footmen taking a pretty wench which I have much eyed lately, set up shop upon the hill, a seller of ribband and gloves. They seem to drag her by some force, but the wench went and I believe had her turn served; but God forgive me, what thoughts and wishes I had of being in their place.

4 February 1663/64

So home to the office; and by and by comes my wife home from the burial of Captain Groves wife at Wapping (she telling me a story how her maid Jane, going into the boat, did fall down and show her arse in the boat) and all;

17 February 1663/64

Sir W. Rider come and stayed with me till about 12 at night, having found ourselfs work till that time about understanding the measuring of Mr. Woods masts; which though I did so well before as to be thought to deal very hardly against Wood, yet I am ashamed I understood it no better and do hope yet, whatever be thought of me, to save the King some more money. And out of an impatience to break up with my head full of confused confounded notions but nothing brought to a clear comprehension, I was resolved to set up, and did, till now it is ready to strike 4 a-clock, all alone, cold, and my candle not enough left to light me to my own house; and so, with my business however brought to some good understanding and set it down pretty clear, I went home to bed, with my mind at good quiet, and the girle setting up for me (the rest all a-bed); I eat and drank a little and to bed, weary, sleepy, cold, and my head akeing.

4th March 1663/64

...and so home to bed - having a great cold in my head and throat tonight from my late cutting my hair so close to my head; but I hope it will be soon gone again.

8 March 1663/64

Up, with some little discontent with my wife upon her saying that she had got and used some puppy-dog water, being put upon it by a desire of my aunt Wight to get some for her; who hath a mind, unknown to her husband, to get some for her ugly face.

14 March 1663/64

Thence to White Hall; and in the Dukes chamber, while he was dressing, two persons of quality that were there did tell his Royal Highness how the other night in Holborne about midnight, being at cards, a link-boy came by and run into the house and told the people the house was a-falling; upon this, the whole family was frighted, concluding that the boy had said that the house was a-fire; so they deft their cards above, and one would have got out of the balcone, but it was not open; the other went up to fetch down his children that were in bed. So all got clear out of the house; and no sooner so, but the house fell down indeed, from top to bottom. It seems my Lord Southamptons canaille did come too near their foundation and so weakened the house, and down it came - which in every respect is a most extraordinary passage.

18 March 1663/64

...to the church and with the grave-maker chose a place for my brother to lie in, just under my mother’s pew. But to see how a man’s tombes are at the mercy of such a fellow, that for 6d he would (as his own words were) “I will justle them together but I will make room for him” - speaking of the fullness of the middle Isle where he was to lie. And that he would for my father’s sake, do my brother that is dead all the civility he can; which was to disturb other corps that are not quite rotten to make room for him. And methought his manner of speaking it was very remarkable - as of a thing that now was in his power to do a man a courtesy or not.

22 March 1663/64

I went thither; calling at my own house, going out found the parlour curtains drawn; and enquiring the reason of it, they told me that their mistress had got Mrs. Buggin’s fine little dog and our little bitch - which is proud at this time - and I am apt to think that she was helping him to lime her - for going afterwards to my uncle Wights and supping there with her, where very merry with Mr. Woolly’s drollery, and going home, I found the little dog so little that of himself he could not reach our bitch; which I am sorry for - for it is the finest dog that ever I saw in my life - as if he were painted, the colours are so finely mixed and shaded. God forgive me, it went against me to have my wife and servants look upon them while they endeavoured to do something, and yet it provoked me to pleasure with my wife more than usual tonight.

2 April 1664

At noon to the Coffee-house, where excellent discourse with Sir W. Petty; who proposed it, as a thing that is truly questionable, whether there really be any difference between waking and dreaming - that it is hard not only to tell how we know when we do a thing really or in a dream, but also to know what the difference between one and the other.

5 April 1664

...home myself, where I find my wife dressed as if she had been abroad, but I think she was not. But she answering me some way that I did not like, I pulled her by the nose; indeed, to offend her, though afterward, to appease her, I denied it, but only it was done in jest. The poor wretch took it mighty ill; and I believe, besides wringing her nose, she did feel pain and so cried a great while. But by and by I made her friends...

12 April 1664

So home and find my father come to lie at our house; and so supped and saw him, poor man, to bed - my heart never being fuller of love to him, nor admiration of his prudence and pains heretofore in the world then now, to see how Tom hath carried himself in his trade - and how the poor man hath his thoughts going to provide for his younger children and my mother. But I hope they shall never want.

13 April 1664

All the afternoon at the office with W. Boddam looking over his perticulars about the Chest of Chatham, which show enough what a knave Commissioner Pett hath been all along, and how Sir W. Batten hath gone on in getting good allowances to himself and others out of the poor’s money. Time will show all.

17 April 1664

Lords day.
Our parson Mr. Mills his own mistake in reading of the service was very remarkable; that instead of saying “We beseech thee to preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth” - he cries, “Preserve to our use our gracious Queen Katherine.”

21 April 1664

...and so to the office; we sat all the afternoon, but no sooner sat but news comes my Lady Sandwich was come to see us; so I went out, and running up (her friend however before me) I perceive by my dear Lady’s blushing that in my dining-room she was doing something upon the pott; which I also was ashamed of and so fell to some discourse, but without pleasure, through very pity to my Lady.

My Lady, my wife not being at home, did not stay but, poor good woman, went away, I being mightily taken with her dear visit.

3 May 1664

...to Mr. Coventry’s chamber and there upon my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, where I endeavoured to show the folly and punish it as much as I could of Mr. Povy, for of all the men in the world, I never knew any man of his degree so great a coxcomb in such imployments. I see I have lost him forever, but I value it not; for he is a coxcomb and I doubt not over-honest, by some things which I see. And yet for all his folly, he hath the good luck now and then to speak his follies in so good words and with as good a show as if it were reason and to the purpose - which is really one of the wonders of my life.

11May 1664

My uncle Wight came to me to my office this afternoon to speak with me about Mr. Maes’s business again, and from me went to my house to see my wife; and strange to think that my wife should by and by send for me after he was gone, to tell me that he should begin discourse of her want of children and his also, and how he thought it would be best for him and her to have one between them, and he would give her 500l. either in money or jewell beforehand and make the child his heyre. He commended her body and discoursed that for all he knew the thing was lawful. She says she did give him a very warm answer, such as he did not excuse himself by saying that he said this in jest, but told her that since he saw what her mind was he would say no more to her of it, and desired her to make no words of it. It seemed he did say all this in a kind of counterfeit laugh; but by all words that passed, which I cannot now so well set down, it is plain to me that he was in good earnest, and that I fear all his kindness is but only his lust to her. What to think of it of a sudden I know not, but I think not to take notice yet of it to him till I have thought better of it. So, with my mind and head a little troubled, I received a letter from Mr. Coventry about a mast for the Dukes yacht; which with other business makes me resolve to go betimes to Woolwich to-morrow. So to supper and to bed.

17 May 1664

After office, home and to supper and with good ease to bed. And endeavoured to tie my hands that I might not lay them out of bed, by which I believe I have got cold; but I could not endure it.

3 June 1664

At the Committee for Tanger all the afternoon; where a sad consideration to see things of so great weight managed in so confused a manner as it is, so as I would not have the buying of an acre of land bought by - the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for ought I see, being the only two that do anything like men. Prince Robert doth nothing but swear and laugh a little, with an oath or two, and that’s all he doth.

4 June 1664

Mr. Coventry, discoursing this noon about Sir W. Batten (what a sad fellow he is), told me how the King told him the other day how Sir W. Batten, being in the ship with him and Prince Rupert when they expected to fight with Warwicke, did walk up and down sweating, with a napkin under his throat to dry up his sweat. And that Prince Rupert, being a most Jealous man, and particularly of Batten, doth walk up and down, swearing bloodily to the King that Batten had a mind to betray them today, and that the napkin was a signal; “But by God,” says he, “if things go ill, the first thing I will do is to shoot him.”

30 June 1664

Walked back from Woolwich to Greenwich all alone, save a man that had a cudgell in his hand; and though he told me he laboured in the King’s yards and many other good arguments that he is an honest man, yet God forgive me, I did doubt he might knock me on the head behind with his club - but I got safe home.

20 July 1664

This evening being moonshine, I played a little late upon my flagelette in the garden. But being at Westminster-hall, I met with great news: that Mrs. Lane is married to one Martin, one that serves Captain Marsh. She is gone abroad with him today, very fine. I must have a bout with her very shortly, to see how she finds marriage.

21 June 1664

Thence to Westminster and to Mrs. Lane’s lodging to give her joy. And there suffered me to deal with her as I used to do; and by and by her husband comes, a sorry simple fellow, and his letter to her, which she proudly showed me, a simple, silly, nonsensical thing. A man of no discourse, and I fear married her to make a prize of; which he is mistaken in. And a sad wife I believe she will prove to him, for she urged me to appoint a time, as soon as he is gone out of town, to give her a meeting next week.

22 June 1664

...straight home by water and there find, as I expected, Mr. Hill and Andrews and one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to the Theorbo most neatly; and they spent the whole evening in singing the best piece of musique, counted of all hands in the world, made by Seignor Charissimi the famous master in Rome. Fine it was endeed, and too fine for me to judge of.

They have spoke to Pedro to meet us every week, and I fear it will grow a trouble to me if we once come to bid guests to meet us, especially idle masters - which do a little displease me to consider.

23 July 1664

From thence walked toward Westminster; and being in an idle and wanton humour, walked through Fleet-alley, and there stood a most pretty wench at one of the doors. So I took a turn or two; but what by sense of honour and conscience, I would not go in. But much against my will, took coach and away to Westminster-hall, and there light of Mrs. Lane and plotted with her to go over the water; so met at Whites stairs in Chanel-row, and over to the old house at Lambeth-marsh and there eat and drank and had my pleasure of her twice - she being the strangest woman in talk, of love to her husband sometimes, and sometimes again she do not care for him - and yet willing enough to allow me a liberty of doing what I would with her. So spending 5 or 6s upon her, I could do what I would; and after an hour’s stay and more, back again and set her ashore there again, and I forward to Fleetstreet, and called at Fleet-alley, not knowing how to command myself; and went in and there saw what formerly I have been acquainted with, the wickedness of those houses and the forcing a man to present expense. The woman, indeed, is a most lovely woman; but I had no courage to meddle with her, for fear of her not being wholesome, and so counterfeited that I had not money enough. It was pretty to see how cunning that Jade was; would not suffer me to have to do in any manner with her after she saw I had no money; but told me then I would not come again, but she now was sure I would come again - though I hope in God I shall not, for though she be one of the prettiest women I ever saw, yet I fear her abusing me.

So desiring God to forgive me for this vanity, I went home...

28 July 1664

Thence to Westminster to my barbers; and strange to think how when I find that Jervas himself did intend to bring home my periwigg, and not Jane his maid, I did desire not to have it at all, for I had a mind to have her bring it home.

15 August 1664

...and thence to the Trumpett, whither comes Mrs. Lane and there begins a sad story how her husband, as I feared, proves not worth a farding, and that she is with child and undone if I do not get him a place. I had my pleasure here of her; and she, like an impudent jade, depends upon my kindness to her husband; but I will have no more to do with her, let her brew as she hath baked – seeing she would not take my counsel about Hawly.

26 August 1664

This day my wife tells me Mr. Pen, Sir Wms son, is come back from France and come to visit her – a most modish person, grown, she says, a fine gentleman.

(Letter from P. Gibson to Penn, March 1712: ‘I remember your honour well, when you newly came out of France, and wore pantaloon breeches...’)

30 August 1664

After dinner comes Mr. Pen to visit me, and stayed an hour talking with me. I perceive something of learning he hath got, but a great deal, if not too much, of the vanity of the French garbe and affected manner and gait – I fear all real profit he hath made of his travel will signify little.

3 September 1664

[[Health]] I have had a bad night’s rest tonight, not sleeping well, as my wife observed, and once or twice she did wake me; and I thought myself to be mightily bit with fleas, and in the morning she chid her maids for not looking the fleas a-days. But when I rise, I find that it is only the change of the weather from hot to cold, which (as was two winters ago) doth stop my pores, and my blood tingles and iches all day long just as then; and if it continues to be so cold, I fear I must come to the same pass. But sweating cured me then, and I hope and am told will this also.

5 September 1664

...and thither came W. Bowyer and dined with us; but strange to see how he could not endure onyons in sauce to lamb, but was overcome with the sight of it and so was forced to make his dinner of an egg or two.

11 September 1664

This afternoon, it seems, Sir J Minnes fell sick at church; and going down the gallery stairs, fell down dead;

14 September 1664

at noon at the Change and there went off with Sir W. Warren and took occasion to desire him to lend me 100l – which he said he would let me have with all his heart presently, as he had promised me a little while ago to give me, for my pains in his two great contracts of masts, 100l; and that this should be it – to which end I did move it to him; and by this means I hope to be possessed of the 100l presently, within two or three days.

16 September 1664

...met Mr. Pargiter, and he would needs have me to drink a cup of Horse-redish ale, which he and a friend of his, troubled with the stone, have been drinking of - which we did, and then walked into the fields as far almost as Sir G. Whitmores, all the way talking of Russia - which he says is a sad place; and though Mosco is a very great city, yet it is, from the distance between house and house, and few people compared with this - and poor sorry houses, the Emperor himself living in a wooden house - his exercise only flying a hawke at pigeons and carrying pigeons ten or twelve miles off and then laying wagers which pigeon shall come soonest home to her house. All the winter within doors, some few playing at Chesse, but most drinking their time away. Women live very slavishly there. And it seems, in the Emperor’s Court no room hath above two or three windows, and those the greatest not a yard wide or high - for warmth in winter time. And that the general cure for all diseases there is their sweating-houses - or people that are poor, they get into their ovens, being heated, and there lie. Little learning among things of any sort - not a man that speaks Latin, unless the Secretary of State by chance.

22 September 1664

So to my office late, and home to supper and to bed, having got a strange cold in my head by flinging off my hat at dinner and sitting with the wind in my neck.

5 October 1664

Thence to the Musique-meeting at the post office, where I was once before. And thither anon come all the Gresham College, and a great deal of noble company. And the new instrument was brought, called the Arched Viall – where, being tuned with Lutestrings and played on with Kees like an Organ - a piece of Parchment is always kept moving; and the strings, which by the keys are pressed down upon it, are grated, in imitation of a bow, by the parchment; and so it is intended to resemble several vyalls played on with one bow - but so basely and harshly, that it will never do. But after three hours’ stay it could not be Fixt in tune; and so they were fain to go to some other Musique of instruments, which I am grown quite out of love with

7 October 1664

Lay pretty while, with some discontent, abed, even to the having bad words with my wife, and blows too, about the ill serving-up of our victuals yesterday; but all ended in love.

14 October 1664

Up by break of day and got to Brampton by three a-clock - where my father and mother overjoyed to see me - my mother ready to weep every time she looked upon me. After dinner my father and I to the Court and there did all our business to my mind, as I have set down in a paper perticularly expressing our proceedings at this Court. So home, where W. Joyce full of talk and pleased with his journey. And after supper, I to bed and left my father, mother and him laughing.

26 October 1664

At Woolwich, I there up to the King and Duke... Here I stayed above with them while the ship was launched; which was done with great success, and the King did very much like the ship, saying she had the best bow that ever he saw.

But, Lord, the sorry talk and discourse among the great courtiers round about him, without any reverence in the world, but with so much disorder.

By and by the Queen comes and her maids of honour; one whereof, Mrs. Boynton, and the Duchesse of Buckeingham, had been very sick coming by water in the barge (the water being very rough); but what silly sport they made with them, in very common terms, methought, was very poor, and below what people think these great people say and do.

15 November 1664

I to the Change; and thence Bagwell’s wife with much ado fallowed me through Moor-fields to a blind alehouse, and there I did caress her and eat and drank, and many hard looks and sithes the poor wretch did give me, and I think verily was troubled at what I did; but at last, after many protestings, by degrees I did arrive at what I would, with great pleasure. Then in the evening, it raining, walked to the town to where she knew where she was; and then I took coach and to White-hall...

24 November 1664

About noon out with Comissioner Pett, and he and I to a Coffee-house to drink Jocolatte, very good;

6 December 1664

...I to Westminster-hall and there spent much time till towards noon, to and fro with people. So by and by Mrs. Lane comes and plucks me by the cloak to speak to me, and I was fain to go to her shop; and pretending to buy some bands, made her go home and I by and by fallowed her and there did what I would with her; and so after many discourses and her intreating me to do something for her husband, which I promised to do, and buying a little band of her, which I intend to keep too - I took leave, there coming a couple of footboys to her with a coach to fetch her abroad, I know not to whom. She is great with child, and she says I must be godfather, but I do not intend it.

19 December 1664

Going to bed betimes last night, we waked betimes. And from our people’s being forced to take the key to go out to light a candle, I was very angry and begun to find fault with my wife for not commanding her servants as she ought. Thereupon she giving me some cross answer, I did strike her over her left eye such a blow as the poor wretch did cry out and was in great pain; but yet her spirit was such as to endeavour to bite and scratch me. But I cogging with her, made her leave crying, and sent for butter and parsley, and friends presently one with another; and I up, vexed at my heart to think what I had done, for she was forced to lay a poultice or something to her eye all day, and is black - and the people of the house observed it...

...Thence home; and not finding Bagwell’s wife as I expected, I to the Change and there walked up and down, and then home; and she being come, I bid her go and stay at Mooregate for me; and after going up to my wife (whose eye is very bad, but she is in very good temper to me); and after dinner, I to the place and walked round the fields again and again, but not finding her I to the Change and there found her waiting for me and took her away and to an alehouse, and there I made much of her; and then away thence and to another and endeavoured to caress her; but elle ne vouloit pas, which did vex me but I think it was chiefly not having a good easy place to do it upon.

20 December 1664

Up and walked to Deptford, where after doing something at the yard, I walked, without being observed, with Bagwell home to his house and there was very kindly used, and the poor people did get a dinner for me in their fashion - of which I also eat very well. After dinner I found occasion of sending him abroad; and then alone avec elle je tentoy à faire ce que je voudrais et contre sa force je le faisoy, bien que pas à mon contentment. By and by he coming back again I took leave and walked home

21 December 1664

...I to Mrs. Turner in Salsbury Court, and with her a little, and carried her (the porter staying for me) our Eagle, which she desired the other day; and we were glad to be rid of her, she fouling our house of office mightily - they are much pleased with her

24 December 1664

Having sat up all night to past two a-clock this morning, our porter, being appointed, comes and tells us that the Bellman tells him that the star is seen upon Tower-hill. So I, that had been all night setting in order all my old papers in my chamber, did leave off all; and my boy and I to Tower hill, it being a most fine bright moonshine night and a great frost, but no Comett to be seen; so after running once round the Hill, I and Tom, we home and then to bed.

2 January 1664/65

So back again home, where, thinking to be merry, was vexed with my wife’s having looked out a letter in Sir Ph. Sidny about jealousy for me to read, which she industriously and maliciously caused me to do; and the truth is, my conscience told me it was most proper for me, and therefore was touched at it; but took no notice of it, but read it out most frankly. But it stuck in my stomach; and moreover, I was vexed to have a dog brought to my house to lime our little bitch, which they make him do in all their sights; which God forgive me, doth stir my Jealousy again, though of itself the thing is a very immodest sight.

24th January 1664/65

Thence home to dinner and then to the office, where all the afternoon and at night till very late; and then home to supper and bed, having a great cold, got on Sunday last by sitting too long with my head bare for Mercer to comb me and wash my eares.

27th January 1664/65

Called up by Mr. Creed to discourse about some Tanger business And he gone, I made me ready and find Jane Welsh, Mr. Jervas his maid, come to tell me that she was gone from her master, and is resolved to stick to this sweetheart of hers, one Harbing (a very sorry little fellow, and poor); which I did in a word or two endeavour to dissuade her from. But being unwilling to keep her long at my house, I sent her away and by and by fallowed her to the Exchange, and thence led her about down to the Three Cranes, and there took boat for the Falcon and at a house going into the fields there, took up and sat an hour or two talking and discoursing and faisant ce que je voudrais quant à la toucher; but she would not laiser me faire l’autre thing, though I did enough to faire grand plaisir à moy-même. Thence having endeavoured to make her think of making herself happy by staying out her time with her master, and other counsels; but she told me she could not do it, for it was her fortune to have this man, though she did believe it would be to her ruine - which is a strange stupid thing, to a fellow of no kind of worth in the world and a beggar to boot.

4th February 1664/65

At noon, being invited, I to the Sun behind the Change to dinner to my Lord Bellasses - where a great deal of discourse with him - and some good. Among other at table, he told us a very handsome passage of the King’s sending him his message about holding out the town of Newarke, of which he was then governor for the King. This message he sent in a Slugg=bullet, being writ in Cypher and wrapped up in lead and swallowed. So the messenger came to my Lord and told him he had a message from the King, but it was yet in his belly; so they did give him some physique, and out it came.

[The messenger “swallowed it in a billet and voided it twice”.]

19 February 1664/65

...at supper, hearing by accident of my mayds their letting in a rogueing Scotch woman that haunts the office, to help them to wash and scour in our house, and that very lately, I fell mightily out, and made my wife, to the disturbance of the house and neighbours, to beat our little girle; and then we shut her down into the cellar and there she lay all night. So we to bed.

20 February 1664/65

Thence to the office, and there found Bagwells wife, whom I directed to go home and I would do her business; which was to write a letter to my Lord Sandwich for her husband’s advance into a better ship as there should be occasion - which I did; and by and by did go down by water to Deptford-yard and then down further, and so landed at the lower end of the town; and it being dark, did privately entrer en la maison de la femme de Bagwell, and there I had sa compagnie, though with a great deal of difficulty; néanmoins, en fin je avais ma volonté d’elle, and being sated therewith, I walked home to Redriffe, it being now near nine a-clock; and there I did drink some strong waters and eat some bread and cheese, and so home...

21 February 1664/65

Up, and to the office (having a mighty pain in my forefinger of my left hand, from a strain that it received last night in struggling avec la femme que je mentioned yesterday), where busy till noon; and then my wife being busy in going with her woman to a hot-house to bathe herself, after her long being within doors in the dirt, so that she now pretends to a resolution of being hereafter very clean - how long it will hold I can guess...

What mad freaks the mayds of Honour at Court have - that Mrs. Jennings, one of the Duchesse’s maids, the other day dressed herself like an orange-wench and went up and down and cried oranges - till falling down, or by such accident (though in the evening), her fine shoes were discerned, and she put to a great deal of shame.

28 February 1664/65

Came home; I to the taking my wife’s kitchen accounts at the latter end of the month, and there find 7s. wanting - which did occasion a very high falling out between us; I endeed too eagerly insisting upon so poor a thing, and did give her very provoking words, calling her “beggar”* and reproaching her friends**; which she took very stomachfully, and reproached me justly with mine; and I confess, being myself, I cannot see what she could have done less. I find she is very cunning, and when she least shows it, hath her wit at work; but it is an ill one, though I think not so bad but with good usage I might well bear with it; and the truth is, I do find that my being over-solicitous and jealous and froward, and ready to reproach her, doth make her worse. However, I find that now and then a little difference do no hurt - but too much of it will make her know her force too much. We parted, after many high words, very angry; and I to my office to my month’s accounts, and find myself worth 1270l. for which the Lord God be praised.

* because she brought no dowry to their marriage
** “friends” in this context means relations

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