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to make my heart glad, and I did dissemble it the better, for 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, but rather a great deal gained by interposing that which did belong to my duty to do, and neither Sir W. Coventry nor Sir W. Pen did oppose anything thereunto, which did make my heart very glad. Sir W. Coventry being gone, we at noon to dinner to Sir W. Pen, he inviting me and my wife, and there a pretty good dinner. So here I was mighty merry and all our differences seemingly blown over, though he knows, if he be not a fool, that I love him not, and I do the like that he hates me. Soon as dined, my wife and I out to the Duke's playhouse, and there saw " Heraclius,” an excellent play, to my extraordinary 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 mightily—but 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, came into the pit towards the end of the play, who was a servant to Mrs. Mallet,' and now smiled
1 See note to 8th March, 1664.
2 Lord John Butler was born in 1643, and in January, 1676, married Anne, only daughter of Arthur Chichester, Earl of Donegal. In April, 1676, he was created Earl of Gowran. Ob. s. p., 1677: see 25th November, ante.
3 See 25th November, ante.
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 Spayne, which is very good, if true. Sir H. Cholmly was with me this morning, and told me of my Lord Bellassis's base dealings with him by getting him to give him great gratuities to near 2,000l. for his friendship in the business of the Mole, and hath been lately underhand endeavouring to bring another man into his place as Governor, so as to receive his money of Sir H. Cholmly for nothing. After dinner abroad with my wife and little Betty Michell, and took them against my vowes, but I will make good my forfeit, 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. This morning there came 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 100l. in gold: but I do wholly refuse, 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.
1 A comedy, by Beaumont and Fletcher, of which an alteration was afterwards, in 1682, brought out by the Duke of Buckingham.
2 This song is not in Beaumont and Fletcher, as printed, nor in the alteration of the play by the Duke.
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 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 fire-ship (Seely)' not coming in to fire all three, but came 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.
1 “Captain Seely, captain of the fireship that deserted the Patrick, was this day (March 7th) shot to death on board his own vessel.” -Pointer, vol. i. p. 216.
2 The Patrick.