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table. To White Hall, to attend the Council; but they sat not to-day. So to Sir W. Coventry's chamber, and find him within, and with a letter from the Downes in his hands, telling the loss of the St. Patricke coming from Harwich in her way to Portsmouth; and would needs chase two ships, she having the Malago fire-ship in company, which from English colours put up Dutch, and he would clap on board the Vice-Admirall; and after long dispute the Admirall comes on the other side of him, and both together took him. Our fireship (Seely) not coming in to fire all three, but come away, leaving her in their possession, and carried away by them : a ship built at Bristoll the last year, of fifty guns and upwards, and a most excellent good ship.
7th. Talking with my brother upon matters relating to his journey to Brampton to-morrow, I looking another way, heard him fall down, and turned my head, and he was fallen down all along upon the ground dead, which did put me into a great fright; and, to see my brotherly love! I did presently lift him up from the ground, he being as pale as death; and, being upon his legs, he did presently come to himself, and said he had something come into his stomach very hot. He knew not what it was, nor ever had such a fit before. To the office, late doing business, and then home, and find my brother pretty well. I did this night give him 20s. for books, and as much for his pocket, and 158. to carry him down. Poor fellow! he is so melancholy, and withal, my wife says, harmless, that I begin to love him, and would be loth he should not do well.
8th. This morning my brother John come up to my bedside, and took his leave of us. He gone, I up, and to the office. Sir W. Batten come this morning from the House, where the King hath prorogued this Parliament to October next. I am glad they are up. The Bill for Accounts was not offered, the party being willing to let it fall; but the King did tell them he expected it. They are parted with great heart-burnings, one party against the other. Pray God bring them hereafter together in better temper! It is said that the King do intend himself in this interval to take away Lord Mordaunt's government, so as to do something to appease the House against they come together, and let them see he will do that of his own accord which is fit, without their forcing him; and that he will have his Commission for Accounts go on: which will be good things. At dinner we talked much of Cromwell; all saying he was a brave fellow, and did owe his crowne he got to himself as much as any man that ever got one.
9th. Read a piece of a play, “Every Man in his Humour,"2 wherein is the greatest propriety of speech that ever I read in my life: and so to bed. This noon come my wife's watch-maker, and received £12 of me for her watch; but Captain Rolt coming to speak with me about a little business, he did judge of the work to be very good, and so I am well contented.
10th. (Lord's day.) To church, where Mr. Mills made an unnecessary sermon upon Original Sin, neither understood by himself nor the people. Home, where come Mr. Carter, my old acquaintance of Magdalene College, who hath not been here of many years. He hath spent his time in the country with the Bishop of . Windsor Castle. ? Ben Jonson's well-known play.
3 Thomas Carter, S. T. P., 1669.
Carlisle ? much. He is grown a very comely person, and of good discourse, and one that I like very much. We had much talķ of all our old acquaintance of the College, concerning their various fortunes; wherein, to my joy, I met not with any that have sped better than myself. Mrs. Turner do tell me very odde stories how Mrs. Williamso do receive the applications of people, and hath presents, and she is the hand that receives all, while my Lord Brouncker do the business.
11th. With Creed to Westminster Hall, and there up and down, and hear that Prince Rupert is still better and better; and that he did tell Dr. Troutbecke expressly that my Lord Sandwich is ordered home. I hear, too, that Prince Rupert hath begged the having of all the stolen prize-goods which he can find, and that he is looking out anew after them, which at first troubled me; but I do see it cannot come to anything, but is done by Hayes, or some of his little people about him. Here, among other news, I bought the King's speech at proroguing the House the other day, wherein are some words which cannot but import some prospect of a peace, which God send us!
12th. With my Lord Brouncker by coach to his house, there to hear some Italian musique: and here we met Tom Killigrew, Sir Robert Murray, and the Italian Signor Baptista, who hath proposed a play in
i Dr. Rainbow. . ? Granger describes an engraved portrait by Cooper, after Lely, of the Lady (Mrs.) Williams, which, probably, represents the person so often mentioned in the Diary.
3 Giovanni Baptista Draghi, an Italian musician in the service of Queen Catherine, and a composer of merit.—Hawkins's History of Music.
Italian for the Opera, which T. Killigrew do intend to have up; and here he did sing one of the acts. He himself is the poet as well as the musician; which is very much, and did sing the whole from the words without any musique prickt, and played all along upon a harpsicon most admirably, and the composition most excellent. The words I did not understand, and so know not how they are fitted, but believe very well, and all in the recitativo very fine. But I perceive there is a proper accent in every country's discourse, and that do reach in their setting of notes to words, which, therefore, cannot be natural to any body else but them; so that I am not so much smitten with it as, it may be, I should be, if I were acquainted with their accent. But the whole composition is certainly most excellent; and the poetry, T. Killigrew and Sir R. Murray, who understood the words, did say most excellent. I confess I was mightily pleased with the musique. He pretends not to voice, though it be good, but not excellent. This done, T. Killigrew and I to talk: and he tells me how the audience at his house is not above half so much as it used to be before the late fire. That Knipp is like to make the best actor that ever come upon the stage, she understanding so well: that they are going to give her £30 a-year more. That the stage is now by his pains a thousand times better and more glorious than ever heretofore. Now, wax-candles, and many of them; then, not above 3lbs of tallow: now, all things civil, no rudeness anywhere; then, as in a bear-garden: then, two or three fiddlers; now, nine or ten of the best: then, nothing but rushes upon the ground, and every thing else mean; now, all otherwise: then, the Queene
seldom and the King never would come; now, not the King only for state, but all civil people do think they may come as well as any. He tells me that he hath gone several times, eight or ten times, he tells me, hence to Rome, to hear good musique; so much he loves it, though he never did sing or play a note. That he hath ever endeavoured in the late King's time, and in this, to introduce good musique, but he never could do it, there never having been any musique here better than ballads. And says, “ Hermitt poore” and “ Chiny Chese” was all the musique we had; and yet no ordinary fiddlers get so much money as our's do here, which speaks our rudenesse still. That he hath gathered our Italians from several Courts in Christendome, to come to make a concert for the King, which he do give £200 a-year a-piece to: but badly paid, and do come in the room of keeping four ridiculous Gundilows, he having got the King to put them away, and lay out money this way; and indeed I do commend him for it, for I think it is a very noble undertaking. He do intend to have some times of the year these operas to be performed at the two present theatres, since he is defeated in what he intended in Moorefields on purpose for it; and he tells me plainly that the City audience was as good as the Court, but now they are most gone. Baptista tells me that Giacomo Charissimi is still alive at Rome, who was master to Vinnecotio, who is one of the Italians that the King hath here, and the chief composer of them. My great wonder is, how this man do to keep in memory so perfectly the musique of the whole act, both for the voice and the instrument, too. I confess I do admire it: but in recitativo the sense much helps him, for there is