To Blackwall, there to look after the storehouses in order to the laying of goods out of the East India ships when they shall be unloaden.
All my work this day in the coach going and coming was to refresh myself in my musique scale, which I would fain have perfecter than ever I had yet.
Strange to see how young W. Bowyer looks at 41 years; one would not take him for 24 or more, and is one of the greatest wonders I ever did see.
A great walk of an elme and a walnutt set one after another in order. And all the house on the outside filled with figures of stories, and good painting of Rubens’ or Holben’s doing.
I to a town near by, Yowell, there drink and set up my horses and also bespoke a dinner, and while that is dressing went with Spicer and walked up and down the house and park; and a fine place it hath heretofore been, and a fine prospect about the house.
My Lord’s coach comes for me; and taking Will Hewer with me, who is all in mourning for his father, who is lately dead of the plague, as my boy Tom’s is also, I set out.
After dinner I to the office there to write letters, to fit myself for a journey to-morrow to Nonsuch to the Exchequer by appointment.
The Duke showed us the number of the plague this week, brought in the last night from the Lord Mayor; that it is encreased about 600 more than the last, which is quite contrary to all our hopes and expectations, from the coldness of the late season.
But, Lord! what a sad time it is to see no boats upon the River; and grass grows all up and down White Hall court, and nobody but poor wretches in the streets!
To bed I went and slept till 10 of the clock and then comes Captain Cocke to wake me and tell me that his boy was well again.
We come to Greenwich, and, having first set down my Lord Bruncker, Cocke and I went to his house, it being light, and there to our great trouble, we being sleepy and cold, we met with the ill news that his boy Jacke was gone to bed sick.
I hear that W. Howe will grow very rich by this last business and grows very proud and insolent by it; but it is what I ever expected.
Great spoil, I hear, there hath been of the two East India ships, and that yet they will come in to the King very rich: so that I hope this journey will be worth 100l. to me.
Only Sir W. Pen staid to dine there, but the wind being high the ship (though the motion of it was hardly discernible to the eye) did make me sick, so as I could not eat any thing almost.
I saw how the government and management of the greatest business of the three nations is committed to very ordinary heads, saving my Lord, who is able to do what he pleases with them, they not having the meanest degree of reason to be able to oppose anything that he says.
By and by was called a Council of Warr on board, when come Sir W. Pen there, and Sir Christopher Mings, Sir Edward Spragg, Sir Jos. Jordan, Sir Thomas Teddiman, and Sir Roger Cuttance, and so the necessity of the fleet for victuals, clothes, and money was discoursed.
My Lord received us kindly; telling us the state of the fleet, lacking provisions, having no beer at all, nor have had most of them these three weeks or month, and but few days’ dry provisions.
They flung out a rope to us from the Prince and so come on board, but with great trouble and time and patience, it being very cold; we find my Lord Sandwich newly up in his night-gown very well.
By break of day we come to within sight of the fleet, which was a very fine thing to behold, being above 100 ships, great and small; with the flag-ships of each squadron, distinguished by their several flags on their main, fore, or mizen masts.
We supped and talked, and with much pleasure at last settled ourselves to sleep having very good lodging upon cushions in the cabbin.
The diaries of Samuel Pepys in real time, 1660-69. Currently tooting the events of 1665. Run by @philgyford
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