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France, and the French have lately taken Antigo from us, which vexes us.
February 1st. Much surprised to hear this day at Deptford that Mrs. Batters is going already to be married to him, that is now the Captain of her husband's ship. She seemed the most passionate mourner in the world.
2nd. This night comes home my new silver snuffedish, which I do give myself for my closet. I am very well pleased this night with reading a poem I brought home with me last night from Westminster Hall, of Dryden's, upon the present war; a very good poem.
3d. To White Hall, and there to Sir W. Coventry's chamber, and there staid till he was ready, talking, and among other things of the Prince's being trepanned, which was in doing just as we passed through the Stone Gallery, we asking at the door of his lodgings, and were told so. We are full of wishes for the good success; though I dare say but few do really concern ourselves for him in our hearts. With others into the House, and there hear that the work is done to the Prince in a few minutes without any pain at all to him, he not knowing when it was done. It was performed by Moulins. Having cut the outward table, as they call it, they find the inner all corrupted, so as it come out without any force; and their fear is, that the whole inside of his head is corrupted like that, which do yet make them afraid of him; but no ill accident appeared in the doing of the thing, but all with all imaginable success, as Sir Alexander Frazier did tell me himself, I asking him, who is very kind to me. To Sir G. Carteret's to dinner; and before dinner he tells me that he believes the Duke of York will go to sea with the fleet, which I am sorry for in respect to his person, but yet there is no person in condition to command the fleet, now the Captains are grown so great, but him. By and by to dinner, where very good company. Among other discourse, we talked much of Nostradamus ? his prophecy of these times, and the burning of the City of London, some of whose verses are put into Booker's 2 Almanack this year: and Sir G. Carteret did tell a story, how at his death he did make the town swear that he should never be dug up, or his tomb opened, after he was buried; but they did after sixty years do it, and upon his breast they found a plate of brasse, saying what a wicked and unfaithful people the people of that place were, who after so many vows should disturb and open him such a day and year and hour; which, if true, is very strange. Then we fell to talking of the burning of the City; and my Lady Carteret herself did tell us how abundance of pieces of burnt papers were cast by the wind as far as Cranborne; and among others she took up one, or had one brought her to see, which was a little bit of paper that had been printed, whereon there remained no more nor less than these words: “ Time is, it is done.” Away home, and received some letters from Sir W. Coventry,
1 Michael Nostradamus, a physician and astrologer, born in the diocese of Avignon, 1503. Amongst other predictions, he prophesied the death of Henry II. of France, by which his reputation was increased. He succeeded also in rendering assistance to the inhabitants of Aix, during the plague, by a powder of his own invention. He died at Salon, July, 1566.
* John Booker, an eminent astrologer and writing-master at Hadley.
touching the want of victuals to Kempthorne's ? fleet going to the Streights and now in the Downes: which did trouble me, he saying that this disappointment might prove fatal; and the more, because Sir W. Coventry do intend to come to the office upon business to-morrow morning, and I shall not know what answer to give him. Fell to read a little in Hakewill's apology, and did satisfy myself mighty fair in the truth of the saying that the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all respects as ever it was as to nature.
4th. D. Gauden did give me a good cordiall this morning, by telling me that he do give me five of the eight hundred pounds on his account remaining in my hands to myself, for the service I do him in my victualling business, and £100 for my particular share of the profits of my Tangier employment as Treasurer. When Sir W. Coventry did come, and the rest met, I did appear unconcerned, and did give him answer pretty satisfactory what he asked me; so that I did get off this meeting without any ground lost. Soon as dined, my wife and I out to the Duke's play house, and there saw “Heraclius,”an excellent play, to my extraordinary
John Kempthorne, a distinguished naval officer, afterwards knighted and made Commissioner at Portsmouth, which place he represented in Parliament. Ob. 1679. See some curious letters about his election in the Correspondence.
2 “ An Apology or Declaration of the power and providence of God in the government of the world,” by George Hakewill, a learned divine. Oxford, 1627. The work was frequently reprinted.
3 The translation of this play from Corneille, by Ludovic Carlell, was printed in 1644, and, though intended for the stage, was never content; and the more from the house being very full, and great company; among others, Mrs. Stewart, very fine, with her locks done up with puffes, as my wife calls them: and several other great ladies had their hair so, though I do not like it; but my wife do mightilybut it is only because she sees it is the fashion. Here I saw my Lord Rochester and his lady, Mrs. Mallet, who hath after all this ado married him; and, as I hear some say in the pit, it is a great act of charity, for he hath no estate. But it was pleasant to see how every body rose up when my Lord John Butler, the Duke of Ormond's son, come into the pit towards the end of the play, who was a servant to Mrs. Mallet, and now smiled upon her, and she on him. I had sitting next to me a woman, the likest my Lady Castlemaine that ever I saw anybody like another; but she is acquainted with every fine fellow, and called them by their name, Jacke, and Tom, and before the end of the play frisked to another place. Home, and to my chamber, and there finished my Catalogue of my books with my own hand.
5th. Heard this morning that the Prince is much better, and hath good rest. All the talk is that my Lord Sandwich hath perfected the peace with Spain; which is very good, if true. Sir H. Cholmly was with me this morning, and told me of my Lord Bellassis' base dealings with him by getting him to give him great gratuities to near £2000 for his friendship in the business of the Mole, and hath been lately underhand
acted; another translation, doubtless the one here alluded to, the author of which is unknown, having been preferred by the performers on the first day fixed for the representation of Carlell's play.—Biog. Drum.
endeavouring to bring another man into his place as Governor, so as to receive his money of Sir H. Cholmly for nothing. To the King's house, to see “ The Chances.”! A good play I find it, and the actors most good in it; and pretty to hear Knipp sing in the play very properly, “ All night I weepe;" and sung it admirably. The whole play pleases me well: and most of all, the sight of many fine ladies—among others, my Lady Castlemaine and Mrs. Middleton: the latter of the two hath also a very excellent face and body, I think. Thence by coach to the New Exchange, and there laid out money, and I did give Betty Michell two pair of gloves and a dressing-box; and so home in the dark, over the ruins, with a link, to the office. There come to me Mr. Young and Whistler, flagg-makers, and with mighty earnestness did present me with, and press me to take a box, wherein I could not guess there was less than £100 in gold; but I do wholly refuse it, and did not at last take it. The truth is, not thinking them safe men to receive such a gratuity from, nor knowing any considerable courtesy that ever I did do them, but desirous to keep myself free from their reports, and to have it in my power to say I had refused their offer.
6th. To Westminster Hall, and walked up and down, and hear that the Prince do still rest well by day and night, and out of pain ; so as great hopes are conceived of him: though I did meet Dr. Clerke and Mr. Pierce, and they do say they believe he will not recover it, they supposing that his whole head within is eaten by this corruption, which appeared in this piece of the inner
? A Comedy, by the Duke of Buckingham.