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one, went to the Duke of York's house, and there saw “ The Witts" again, which likes me better than it did the other day, having much wit in it. Here met Mr. Rolt, who tells me the reason of no play to-day at the King's house. That Lacy had been committed to the porter's lodge for his acting his part in the late new play, and being thence released to come to the King's house, he there met with Ned Howard, the poet of the play, who congratulated his release ; upon which Lacy cursed him as that it was the fault of his nonsensical play that was the cause of his ill usage. Mr. Howard did give him some reply; to which Lacy answered him, that he was more a fool than a poet; upon which Howard did give him a blow on the face with his glove ; upon which Lacy, having a cane in his hand, did give him a blow over the pate. Here Rolt and others that discoursed of it in the pit did wonder that Howard did not run him through, he being too mean a fellow to fight with. But Howard did not do any thing but complain to the King of it; so the whole house is silenced, and the gentry seem to rejoice much at it, the house being become too insolent. Home, having brought with me from Fenchurch Street a hundred of sparrowgrass,' cost 18d. We had them and a little bit of salmon, which my wife had a mind to, cost 35. So to supper and to bed.
21st. (Lord's day.) I have a mind to buy enough ground to build a coach-house and stable ; for I have had it much in my thoughts lately that it is not too much for me now, in degree or cost, to keep a coach, but contrarily, that I am almost ashamed to be seen in a hackney, and therefore if I can have the convenience, I will secure the ground at least till peace comes, that I do receive encouragement to keep a
I Still cockney for asparagus.
coach, or else that I may part with the ground again. The place I like very well, being close to my owne house, and so resolve to go about it, and so with my wife to church, and after dinner Mercer and I sung “Suo Moro,” which is one of the best pieces of musique to my thinking that ever I did hear in my life. Then took coach and to Hackney church, where very full, and found much difficulty to get pews, I offering the sexton money, and he could not help me. So my wife and Mercer ventured into a pew, and I into another. A knight
A knight and his lady very civil to me when they came, being Sir G. Viner and his lady-rich in jewells, but most in beauty, almost the finest woman that ever I saw. That which we went chiefly to see was the young ladies of the schools, whereof there is great store, very pretty; and also the organ, which is handsome, and tunes the psalm, and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty, and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church, I having almost a mind to give them a pair, if they would settle a maintenance on them for it.
22nd. To the Lord Chancellor's house, the first time I have been therein; and it is very noble, and brave pictures of the ancient and present nobility. The King was vexed the other day for having no paper laid for him at the Council-table, as was usual ; and Sir Richard Browne did tell his Majesty he would call the person’ whose work it was to provide it : who being come, did tell his Majesty that he was but a poor man, and was out 400l. or sool. for it, which was as much as he is worth ; and that he
Sir George Viner, in 1665, succeeded his father, Sir Thomas, who had been Lord Mayor in 1653, and created a Baronet in 1660. Sir George died in 1673. His wife was Abigail, daughter of Sir John Lawrence, Lord Mayor in 1665.
2 Clerk of the Council.
cannot provide it any longer without money, having not received a penny since the King's coming in. So the King spoke to my Lord Chamberlain ; and many such mementos the King do now-a-days meet withall
, enough to make an ingenuous man mad. 23rd. (St. George's-day.) The feast being kept at White Hall, out of design, as it is thought, to make the best countenance we can to the Swede's Embassadors," before their leaving us to go to the treaty abroad, to show some jollity.
24th. To St. James's, and there the Duke of York was preparing to go to some farther ceremonies about the Garter, that he could give us no audience. To Sir John Duncomb's lodging in the Pell Mell, in order to the money spoken of in the morning; and there awhile sat and discoursed: and I find that he is a very proper man for business, being very resolute and proud, and industrious. He told me what reformation they had made in the office of the Ordnance, taking away Legg's fees : and have got an order that no Treasurer after him shall ever sit at the Board ; and it is a good one: that no master of the Ordnance here shall ever sell a place. He tells me they have not paid any increase of price for any thing during this war, but in most have paid less; and at this day have greater stores than they know where to lay, if there should be peace, and than ever was any time this war. Then to talk of newes : that he thinks the want of money hath undone the King, for the Parliament will never give the King more money without calling all people to account, nor, as he believes, will ever make war again, but
See 15th Nov. 1666. ? Sir John Duncomb, burgess for Bury St. Edmunds, a Privy Councillor, and made a Commissioner of the Treasury in 1667. At this time he was in the Ordnance.
3 Colonel William Legge, father of the first Lord Dartmouth.
they will manage it themselves : unless, which I proposed, he would visibly become a severer inspector into his own business and accounts, and that would gain upon the Parliament yet: which he confesses and confirms as the only lift to set him upon his legs, but says that it is not in his nature ever to do. He thinks that much of our misfortune hath been for want of an active Lord Treasurer, and that such a man as Sir W. Coventry would do the business thoroughly
26th. To White Hall, and there saw the Duke of Albemarle, who is not well, and do grow crazy. While I was waiting in the matted Gallery, a young man was working in Indian inke the great picture of the King and Queen sitting, by Van Dyke; and did it very finely. Met with Ned Pickering, who tells me the ill newes of his nephew Gilbert, who is turned a very rogue. Then I took a turn with Mr. Evelyn, with whom I walked two hours, till almost one of the clock: talking of the badness of the Government, where nothing but wickedness, and wicked men and women command the King : that it is not in his nature to gainsay any thing that relates to his pleasures ; that much of it arises from the sickliness of our Ministers of State, who cannot be about him as the idle companions are, and therefore he gives way to the young rogues ; and then, from the negligence of the Clergy, that a Bishop shall never be seen about him, as the King of France hath always : that the King would fain have some of the same gang to be Lord Treasurer, which would be yet worse, for now some delays are put to the getting gifts of the King, as Lady Byron, who had been, as he called it, the King's seventeenth mistress abroad, did not leave him till she had got him to give her an order for 4,000l. worth of plate to be made for her ; but by delays, thanks be to God! she died before she had it. He tells me mighty stories of the King of France, how great a prince he is.' He hath made a code to shorten the law; he hath put out all the ancient commanders of castles that were become hereditary; he hath made all the fryers subject to the bishops, which before were only subject to Rome, and so were hardly the King's subjects, and that none shall become religieux but at such an age, which he thinks will in a few years ruin the Pope, and bring France into a patriarchate. He confirmed to me the business of the want of paper at the Counciltable the other day, which I have observed ; Wooly being to have found it, and did, being called, tell the King to his face the reason of it; and Mr. Evelyn tells me of several of the menial servants of the Court lacking bread, that have not received a farthing wages since the King's coming in. He tells me the King of France hath his mistresses, but laughs at the foolery of our King, that makes his bastards princes,' and loses his revenue upon them, and makes his mistresses his masters : and the King of France did never grant Lavalliere : any thing to bestow on
i Charles I. and Henrietta Maria.
2 Eleanor, daughter of Robert Needham, Viscount Kilmurrey, and widow of Peter Warburton, became in 1644 the second wife of John Byron, first Lord Byron. Ob. 1663.
All these assertions respecting the King of France must be received cautiously. Pepys was very ignorant of foreign matters, and very credulous.
2 Louis made his own bastards dukes and princes, and legitimatized them as much as he could, connecting them also by marriage with the real blood-royal.
3 Louise Françoise de la Baume le Blanc de la Vallière had four children by Louis XIV., of whom only two survived-Marie Anne Bourbon, called Mademoiselle de Blois, born in 1666, afterwards married to the Prince de Conti, and the Comte de Vermandois, born in 1667. In that year (the very year in which Evelyn was giving this account to Pepys), the Duchy of Vaujour and two