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by that of Treasurer for Tangier, and Surveyor of the Victualls. It is true we have gone through great melancholy because of the great plague, and I put to great charges by it, by keeping my family long at Woolwich; and myself and another part of my family, my clerks, at my charge, at Greenwich, and a maid at. London; but I hope the King will give us some satisfaction for that. But now the plague is abated almost to nothing, and I intending to get to London as fast as I can. The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act. The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord Sandwich, whose mistake about the prizes hath undone him, I believe, as to interest at Court; though sent, for a little palliating it, Embassador into Spain, which he is now fitting himself for. But the Duke of Albemarle goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord is very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize-goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him. My whole family hath been well all this while, and all my friends I know of, saving my aunt Bell, who is dead, and some children of my cosen Sarah's, of the plague. But many of such as I know very well, dead; yet, to our great joy, the town fills apace, and shops begin to be open again. Pray God continue the plague's decrease ! for that keeps the Court away from the place of busi
ness, and so all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it.
1665-6. January 1st. Called up by five o'clock by Mr. Tooker, who wrote, while I dictated to him, my business of the Pursers; and so, without eating or drinking, till three in the afternoon, to my great content, finished it.
2nd. Up by candle-light again, and my business being done, to my Lord Brouncker's, and there find Sir J. Minnes and all his company, and Mr. Boreman and Mrs. Turner, but, above all, my dear Mrs. Knipp, with whom I sang, and in perfect pleasure I was to hear her sing, and especially her little Scotch song of “ Barbary Allen;" and to make our mirth the completer, Sir J. Minnes was in the highest pitch of mirth, and his mimicall tricks, that ever I saw, and most excellent pleasant company he is, and the best musique that ever I saw, and certainly would have made an excellent actor, and now would be an excellent teacher of actors. Then, it being past night, against my will, took leave.
3d. I to the Duke of Albemarle and back again : and, at the Duke's, with great joy, I received the good news of the decrease of the plague this week to 70, and but 253 in all; which is the least Bill hath been known these twenty years in the City, though the want of people in London is it, that must make it so low, below the ordinary number for Bills. So home, and find all my good company I had bespoke, as Colman and his wife, and Laneare, Knipp and her surly husband; and good
musick we had, and among other things, Mr. Coleman sang my words I set, of “ Beauty, retire," and they praise it mightily. Then to dancing and supper, and mighty merry till Mr. Rolt come in, whose pain of the tooth-ake made him no company, and spoilt ours: so he away, and then my wife's teeth fell of aking, and she to bed. So forced to break up all with a good song, and so to bed.
5th. I with my Lord Brouncker and Mrs. Williams by coach with four horses to London, to my Lord's house in Covent Garden. But, Lord! what staring to see a nobleman's coach come to town! And porters every where bow to us; and such begging of beggars ! And delightful it is to see the town full of people again; and shops begin to open, though in many places seven or eight together, and more, all shut; but yet the town is full, compared with what it used to be. I mean the City end : for Covent Garden and Westminster are yet very empty of people, no Court nor gentry being there. Home, thinking to get Mrs. Knipp, but could not, she being busy with company, but sent me a pleasant letter, writing herself “Barbary Allen.” Reading a discourse about the river of Thames, the reason of its being choked up in several places with shelfes: which is plain is, by the encroachments made upon the River, and running out of causeways into the River, at every wood-wharfe: which was not heretofore, when Westminster Hall and White Hall were built, and Redriffe Church, which now are sometimes overflown with water.
6th. To a great dinner and much company. Mr. Cuttle and his lady and I went, hoping to get Mrs.
Knipp to us, having wrote a letter to her in the morning, calling myself “ Dapper Dicky,” in answer to her's of “ Barbary Allen,” but could not, and am told by the boy that carried my letter, that he found her crying ; and I fear she lives a sad life with that ill-natured fellow her husband: so we had a great, but I a melancholy dinner. After dinner to cards, and then comes notice that my wife is come unexpectedly to me to town: so I to her. It is only to see what I do, and why I come not home; and she is in the right that I would have a little more of Mrs. Knipp's company before I go away. My wife to fetch away my things from Woolwich, and I back to cards, and after cards to choose King and Queene, and a good cake there was, but no marks found; but I privately found the clove, the mark of the knave, and privately put it into Captain Cocke's piece, which made some mirth, because of his lately being known by his buying of clove and mace of the East India prizes. At night home to my lodging, where I find my wife returned with my things. It being Twelfth-Night, they had got the fiddler, and mighty merry they were; and I above, come not to them, leaving them dancing, and choosing King and Queene.
7th. The town talks of my Lord Craven being to come into Sir G. Carteret's place; but sure it cannot be true. But I do fear those two families, his and my Lord Sandwich’s, are quite broken; and I must now stand upon my own legs. With my wife and Mercer took boat and away home; but in the evening, before I went, comes Mrs. Knipp, just to speak with me privately, to excuse her not coming to me yesterday, complaining how like a devil her husband treats her, but will be with us in town a week hence. · 8th. To Bennett's, in Paternoster Row, few shops there being yet open, and there bought velvett for a coat, and camelott for a cloak for myself; and thence to a place to look over some fine counterfeit damasks to hang my wife's closet, and pitched upon one.
9th. To the office, where we met first since the plague, which God preserve us in! Pierce tells me how great a difference hath been between the Duke and Duchesse, he suspecting her to be naught with Mr. Sidney. But some way or other the matter is made up; but he was banished the Court, and the Duke for many days did not speak to the Duchesse at all. He tells me that my Lord Sandwich is lost there at Court, though the King is particularly his friend. But people do speak every where slightly of him; which is a sad story to me, but I hope it may be better again. And that Sir G. Carteret is neglected, and hath great enemies at work against him. That matters must needs go bad, while all the town, and every boy in the street, openly cries, “ The King cannot go away till my Lady Castlemaine be ready to come along with him;" she being lately put to bed. And that he visits her and Mrs. Stewart every morning before he eats his breakfast.
10th. I do find Sir G. Downing to be a mighty talker, more than is true, which I now know to be so, and suspected it before. To my Lord Brouncker's house in Covent Garden. The plague is encreased this week from seventy to eighty-nine. We have also great fear of our Hambrough fleet, of their meeting with the Dutch; as also have certain news, that by storms Sir