Imágenes de página

26/A November. I went to compliment the Duchess of Grafton, now lying-in of her first child, a son,1 which she called for, that I might see it. She was become more beautiful, if it wero possible, than before, and full of virtue and sweetness. Sho discoursed with me of many particulars, with great prudence and gravity beyond her years.

29M. Mr. Forbes showed me the plot of the garden making at Burleigh, at my Lord Exeter's, which I looked on as one of the most noble that I had seen.

The whole court and town in solemn mourning for the death of the King of Portugal, her Majesty's brother.

30th. At the anniversary dinner of the Royal Society the King sent us two does. Sir Cyril Wych was elected President.

5th December. I was this day invited to a wedding of one Mrs. Castle, to whom I had some obligation, and it was to her fifth husband, a Lieutenant-Colonel of the City. She was the daughter of one Burton, a broom-man, by his wife, who sold kitchen-stuff in Kent Street, whom God so blessed that the father became a very rich, and was a very honest man; he was sheriff of Surrey,* where I have sat on the bench with him. Another of his daughters was married to Sir John Bowles; and this daughter was a jolly friendly woman. There was at the wedding the Lord Mayor, the Sheriff, several Aldermen and persons of quality; above all, Sir George Jeffreys, newly made Lord Chief Justice of England, with Mr. Justice withings, danced with the bride, and were exceeding merry. These great men spent the rest of the afternoon, till eleven at night, in drinking healths, taking tobacco, and talking much beneath the gravity of Judges, who had but a day or two before condemned. Mr. Algernon Sydney, who was executed the 7th on Tower-Hill, on the single witness of that monster of a man, Lord Howard of Escrick, and some sheets of paper taken in Mr. Sydney's study, pretended to be written by him, but not fully proved, nor the time

1 Charles, who succeeded his father, killed in Ireland in 1690. This •on in Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, Privy Counsellor, K.O., Ac in the reigns of Anne, George I and George II. Then u a fine whole-length mezzotinto of him by r'aber.

t la 1673.

when, but appearing to have been written before his Majesty's restoration, and then pardoned by the Act of Oblivion; so that though Mr. Sydney was known to be a person obstinately averse to government by a monarch (the subject of the paper was in answer to one by Sir E. Filmer), yet it was thought he had very hard measure. There is this yet observable, that he had been an inveterate enemy to the last king, and in actual rebellion against him; a man of great courage, great sense, great parts, which he showed both at his trial and death; for, when he came on the scaffold, instead of a speech, he told them only that he had made his peace with God, that he came not thither to talk, but to die; put a paper into the sheriff's hand, and another into a friend's; said one prayer as short as a grace, laid down his neck, and bid the executioner do his office.

The Duke of Monmouth, now having his pardon, refuses to acknowledge there was any treasonable plot; for which he is banished Whitehall. This was a great disappointment to some who had prosecuted Trenchard, Hampden, &c., that for want of a second witness were come out of the Tower upon their habeas corpus.

The King had now augmented his guards with a new sort of dragoons, who carried also grenadoes, and were habited after the Polish manner, with long peaked caps, very fierce and fantastical.

7th December. I went to the Tower, and visited the Earl of Danby, the late Lord High Treasurer, who had been imprisoned four years: he received me with great kindness. I dined with him, and stayed till night. We had discourse of many things, his Lady railing sufficiently at the keeping her husband so long in prison. Here I saluted the Lord Dumblaine's wife,1 who before had been married to Emerton, and about whom there was that scandalous business before the delegates.

23rd. The small-pox very prevalent and mortal; the Thames frozen.

26th. I dined at Lord Clarendon's, where I was to

1 Peregrine, VUcount Dumblaine, youngest son of the Earl of Danby, 10 created in Ills father'• lite-time, and aftarwarda inheritor of his title and eatate.


meet that ingenious and learned gentleman, Sir George Wheeler, who has published the excellent description of Africa and Greece, and who, being a knight of a very fair estate and young, had now newly entered into Holy Orders.

27th December. I went to visit Sir John Chardin, a French gentleman, who had travelled three times by land into Persia, and had made many curious researches in his travels, of which he was now setting forth a relation. It being in England this year one of the severest frosts that has happened of many years, he told me the cold in Persia was much greater, the ice of an incredible thickness; that they had little use of iron in all that country, it being so moist (though the air admirably clear and healthy) that oil would not preserve it from rusting, so that they had neither clocks nor watches; some padlocks they had for doors and boxes.

30/A. Dr. Sprat, now made Dean of Westminster, preached to the King at Whitehall, on Matt. vi. 24. Recollecting the passages of the past year, I gave God thanks for his mercies, praying his blessing for the future.

1683-4. 1st January. The weather continuing intolerably severe, streets of booths were set upon the Thames; the air was so very cold aud thick, as of many years there had not been the like. The small-pox was very mortal.

2nd. I dined at Sir Stephen Fox's: after dinner came a fellow who eat live charcoal, glowingly ignited, quenching them in his mouth, and then champing and swallowing them down. There was a dog also which seemed to do many rational actions.

6th. The river quite frozen.

9th. I went across the Thames on the ice, now become so thick as to bear not only streets of booths, in which they roasted meat, and had divers shops of wares, quite across as in a town, but coaches, carts, and horses passed over. So I went from Westminster-stairs to Lambeth, and dined with the Archbishop: where I met my Lord Bruce, Sir George "Wheeler, Colonel Cooke, and several divines. After dinner and discourse with his Grace till evening prayers, Sir George "Wheeler and I walked over the ice from Lambeth-stairs to the llorse-ferry.

10th. I visited Sir Eobcrt Beading, where' after supper

[ocr errors]

202 D1ART OF LoxDoK,

we had music, but not comparable to that which Mrs. Bridgeman made us on the guitar with such extraordinary skill and dexterity.

16th January. The Thames was filled with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in the City.

24th. The frost continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planted with booths in formal streets, all sorts of trades and shops furnished, and full of commodities, even to a printing-press, where the people and ladies took a fancy to have their names printed, and the day and year set down when printed on the Thames :i this humour took so universally, that it was estimated the printer gained £5 a day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a name, besides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other stairs to and fro, as in the streets, sleds. sliding with skates, a bull-baiting, horse and coach-races, puppet-plays and interludes, cooks, tippling, and other lewd places, so that it seemed to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgment on the land, the trees not only splitting as if lightningBtruck, but men and cattle perishing in divers places, and the very seas so locked up with ice, that no vessels could stir out or come in. The fowls, fish, and birds, and all our exotic plants and greens, universally perishing. Many parks of deer were destroyed, and all sorts of fuel Bo dear, that there were great contributions to preserve the poor alive. Nor was this severe weather much less intense in most parts of Europe, even as far as Spain and the most southern tracts. London, by reason of the excessive coldness of the air hindering the ascent of the smoke, was so filled with the fuliginous steam of the sea-coal, that hardly could one see across the streets, and this filling the lungs with its gross particles, exceedingly obstructed the breast, so as one could scarcely breathe. Here was no water to be had from the pipes and engines, nor could the brewers

1 Curiosity collectors still show theso cards of Frost Fair. One may be described. Within a treble border is printed, "lions' et Mad" JusteL Printed on the river of Thames being frozen. In the 36th year of King Charles the II., February the 5th, 1683." V. 8. is added with a pen, probably by the holder of the card.

« AnteriorContinuar »