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occasion of leaving the service. Several of our captains have done ill. The great ships are the ships do the business, they quite deadening the enemy. They run away upon sight of the Prince. It is strange to see how people do already slight Sir William Barkeley, my Lord FitzHarding's brother, who, three months since, was the delight of the Court. Captain Smith, of the Mary, the Duke talks mightily of; and some great thing will be done for him. Strange to hear how the Dutch do relate, as the Duke says, that they are the conquerors; and bonfires are made in Dunkirke in their behalf; though a clearer victory can never be expected. Mr. Coventry thinks they cannot have lost less than 6,000 men, and we not dead above 200, and wounded about 400; in all about 600. Captain Grove, the Duke told us this day, hath done the basest thing at Lowestoffe, in hearing of the guns, and could not, as others, be got out, but staid there; for which he will be tried; and is reckoned a prating coxcombe, and of no courage.
17th. At the office find Sir W. Pen come home, who looks very well; and I am gladder to see him than otherwise I should be because of my hearing so well of him for his serviceableness in this late great action. It struck me very deep this afternoon going with a hackney coach from Lord Treasurer's down Holborne, the coachman I found to drive easily and easily, at last stood still, and come down hardly able to stand, and told me that he was suddenly struck very sick, and
Commander of the Swiftsure in this action, and killed in the sea-fight the following year, when Vice-Admiral of the Blue. See June 16th, 1666.
almost blind—he could not see; so I 'light, and went into another coach, with a sad heart for the poor man and for myself also, lest he should have been struck with the plague. Sir John Lawson, I hear, is worse than yesterday: the King went to see him to-day most kindly. It seems his wound is not very bad; but he hath a fever, a thrush, and a hickup, all three together, which are, it seems, very bad symptoms.
18th. (Lord’s day.) Up, and to church, where Sir W. Pen was the first time [since he] come from sea, after the battle. Mr. Mills made a sorry sermon. Sir W. Batten and my Lady are returned from Harwich. I went to see them, and it is pretty to see how we appear kind one to another, though neither of us care 2d. for another.
19th. To my little new goldsmith's, whose wife, indeed, is one of the prettiest, modest black women that ever I saw. I paid for a dozen of silver salts £6 148. 6d. Thence to see Sir J. Lawson, who is better, but continues ill—his hickup not being yet gone, could have little discourse with him.
20th. Thankes-giving-day for victory over the Dutch. To the Dolphin Taverne, where all we officers of the Navy met with the Commissioners of the Ordnance by agreement, and dined: where good musique at my direction. Our club come to 348. a man, nine of us. By water to Fox-hall, and there walked an hour alone, observing the several humours of the citizens that were there this holiday, pulling off cherries, and God knows what. This day I informed myself that there died four of five at Westminster of the plague, in several houses, upon Sunday last, in Bell Alley, over against the Palacegate: yet people do think that the number will be fewer in the town than it was the last week. The Dutch are come out again with 20 sail under Bunker : supposed gone to the Northward, to meet their East India Fleet.
21st. I find our talleys will not be money in less than sixteen months, which is a sad thing for the King to pay all that interest for every penny he spends; and, which is strange, the goldsmiths with whom I spoke do declare that they will not be moved to part with money upon the increase of their consideration of ten per cent. which they have. I find all the town almost going out of town, the coaches and waggons being all full of people going into the country.
22d. In great pain whether to send my mother into the country to-day or no; I hearing, by my people, that the poor wretch hath a mind to stay a little longer, and I cannot blame her. At last, I resolved to put it to her, and she agreed to go, because of the sickness in town, and my intentions of removing my wife. She was to the last unwilling to go, but would not say so, but put it off till she lost her place in the coach, and was fain to ride in the waggon part.
23rd. To a Committee for Tangier, where, unknown to me, comes my Lord Sandwich, who, it seems, come to town last night. After the Committee was up, my Lord Sandwich did take me aside in the robe-chamber, telling me how much the Duke and Mr. Coventry did, both in the fleet and here, make of him, and that in some opposition to the Prince; and, as a more private passage, he told me that he hath been with them both when they have made sport of the Prince, and laughed at him: yet that all the discourse of the town, and the printed relation, should not give him one word of honour, my Lord thinks very strange; he assuring me, that, though by accident the Prince was in the van in the beginning of the fight for the first pass, yet, all the rest of the day, my Lord was in the van, and continued so. That, notwithstanding all this noise of the Prince, he had hardly a shot in his side, nor a man killed, whereas he above 30 in her hull, and not one mast whole nor yard; but the most battered ship of the fleet, and lost most men, saving Captain Smith of the Mary. That the most the Duke did was almost out of gun-shot; but that, indeed, the Duke did come up to my Lord's rescue, after he had a great while fought with four of them. How poorly Sir John Lawson performed, notwithstanding all that was said of him; and how his ship turned out of the way, while Sir J. Lawson himself was upon the deck, to the endangering of the whole fleet. It therefore troubles my Lord, that Mr. Coventry should not mention a word of him in his relation. I did, in answer, offer that I was sure the relation was not compiled by Mr. Coventry, but by L'Estrange, out of several letters, as I could witness, and that Mr. Coventry's letter that he did give the Duke of Albemarle [he] as much writ as the Prince; for I myself read it first, and then copied it out, which I promised to show my Lord, with which he was something satisfied. From that discourse my Lord did begin to tell me how much he was concerned to dispose of his children, and would have my advice and help; and propounded to match my Lady Jemimah to Sir
G. Carteret's eldest son, which I approved of, and did undertake the speaking with him about it as from myself, which my Lord liked. To one Mr. Finch, one of the Commissioners of the Excise, to be informed about some things of the Excise, in order to our settling matters therein better. I find him a very discreet, grave person. Creed and I took boat, and to Fox Hall, where we spent two or three hours talking of several matters very soberly and contentfully to me, which, with the ayre and pleasure of the garden, was a great refreshment to me, and methinks that which we ought to joy ourselves in. Home, by hackney-coach, which is become a very dangerous passage now-a-days, the sickness encreasing mightily.
24th. (Midsummer-day). To Dr. Clerke’s, and there I, in the best manner I could, broke my errand about a match between Sir G. Carteret's eldest son and my Lord Sandwich's eldest daughter, which he, as I knew he would, took with great content: and we both agreed that my Lord and he, being both men relating to the sea, under a kind respect of His Majesty, already good friends, and both virtuous and good familys, their alliance might be of good use to us: and he did undertake to find out Sir George this morning, and put the business in execution. So I to White Hall, where I, with Creed and Povy, attended my Lord Treasurer, and did prevail with him to let us have an assignment for 15 of £20,000, which, I hope, will do our business for Tangier. To Sir G. Carteret, and, in the best manner
1 Philip Carteret, afterwards knighted. He perished on board his father-in-law, Lord Sandwich's flag-ship, at the battle of Solebay.