Coronacon Day


1661/62. January 2nd. I went forth, by appointment, to meet with Mr Grant, who promised to bring me acquainted with Cooper,1 the great limner in little. Sir Richd. Fanshaw is come suddenly from Portugall, and nobody knows what his business is about.

To Faithorne’s,2 and there bought some pictures of him; and while I was there, comes by the King’s lifeguard, he being gone to Lincoln’s Inne this afternoon to see the Revells there; there being, according to an old custome, a prince and all his nobles, and other matters of sport and charge.

11th. To the Exchange, and there all the news is of the French and Dutch joyning against us; but I do not think it yet true. In the afternoon, to Sir W. Batten’s, where in discourse I heard the custome of the election of the Duke of Genoa, who for two years is every day attended in the greatest state, and four or five hundred men always waiting upon him as a king; and when the two years are out, and another is chose, a messenger is sent to him, who stands at the bottom of the stairs, and he at the top, and says, ‘Va. Illustrissima Serenita sta finita, et puede andar en casa.’ -- ‘Your serenity is now ended; and now you may be going home;’ and so claps on his hat. And the old Duke (having by custom sent his goods home before,) walks away, it may be but with one man at his heels; and the new one brought immediately in his room, in the greatest state in the world. Another account was told us, how in the Dukedom of Ragusa, in the Adriatique, (a State that is little, but more ancient, they say, than Venice, and is called the mother of Venice, and the Turkes lie round about it,) that they change all the officers of their guard, for fear of conspiracy, every twenty-four hours, so that nobody knows who shall be captain of the guard tonight; but two men come to a man, and lay hold of him as a prisoner, and carry him to the place; and there he hath the keys of the garrison given him, and he presently issues his orders for that night’s watch: and so always from night to night. Sir Wm. Rider told the first of his own knowledge; and both he and Sir W. Batten confirm the last.

13th. Before twelve o’clock comes, by appointment, Mr Peter and the Dean,3 and Colonel Honiwood, brothers, to dine with me; but so soon that I was troubled at it. Mr Peter did show us the experiment (which I had heard talke of) of the chymicall glasses, which break all to dust by breaking off a little small end; which is a great mystery to me.

15th. Mr Berkenshaw4 asked me whether we had not committed a fault in eating today; telling me that it is a fast day ordered by the Parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it having hitherto been summer weather, that it is, both as to warmth and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which do threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time to this day.

16th. Towards Cheapside; and in Paul’s Churchyard saw the funeral of my Lord Cornwallis, late Steward of the King’s House, go by. Stoakes told us, that notwithstanding the country of Gambo is so unhealthy, yet the people of the place live very long, so as the present King there is 150 years old, which they count by rains: because every year it rains continually four months together. He also told us, that the Kings there have above 100 wives a-piece.

18th. Comes Mr Moore to give me an account how Mr Montagu5 was gone away of a sudden with the fleet, in such haste that he hath left behind some servants, and many things of consequence; and among others, my Lord’s commission for Embassador. Whereupon he and I took coach, and to Whitehall to my Lord’s lodgings, to have spoke with Mr Ralph Montagu,6 his brother; (and here we staid talking with Sarah and the old man,) but by and by hearing that he was in Covent Garden, we went thither: and at my Lady Harvy’s, his sister, I spoke with him, and he tells me that the Commission is not left behind.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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