Pepy's Diary. 13 Feb 1664. Up, and after I had told my wife in the morning in bed the passages yesterday with Creed my head and heart was mightily lighter than they were before, and so up and to the office, and thence, after sitting, at 11 o'clock with Mr. Coventry (age 36) to the African House, and there with Sir W. Ryder by agreement we looked over part of my Lord Peterborough's (age 42) accounts, these being by Creed and Vernaty.
Pepy's Diary. 26 Mar 1664. Up very betimes and to my office, and there read over some papers against a meeting by and by at this office of Mr. Povy (age 50), Sir W. Rider, Creed, and Vernaty, and Mr. Gauden about my Lord Peterborough's (age 42) accounts for Tangier, wherein we proceeded a good way; but, Lord! to see how ridiculous Mr. Povy (age 50) is in all he says or do; like a man not more fit for to be in such employments as he is, and particularly that of Treasurer (paying many and very great sums without the least written order) as he is to be King of England, and seems but this day, after much discourse of mine, to be sensible of that part of his folly, besides a great deal more in other things.
Pepy's Diary. 31 Mar 1664. Up betimes, and to my office, where by and by comes Povy (age 50), Sir W. Rider, Mr. Bland, Creed, and Vernaty, about my Lord Peterborough's (age 42) accounts, which we now went through, but with great difficulty, and many high words between Mr. Povy (age 50) and I; for I could not endure to see so many things extraordinary put in, against truthe and reason. He was very angry, but I endeavoured all I could to profess my satisfaction in my Lord's part of the accounts, but not in those foolish idle things, they say I said, that others had put in. Anon we rose and parted, both of us angry, but I contented, because I knew all of them must know I was in the right.
Pepy's Diary. 16 Apr 1664. Up and to the office, where all the morning upon the dispute of Mr. Wood's masts, and at noon with Mr. Coventry (age 36) to the African House; and after a good and pleasant dinner, up with him, Sir W. Rider, the simple Povy (age 50), of all the most ridiculous foole that ever I knew to attend to business, and Creed and Vernaty, about my Lord Peterborough's (age 42) accounts; but the more we look into them, the more we see of them that makes dispute, which made us break off, and so I home, and there found my wife and Besse gone over the water to Half-way house, and after them, thinking to have gone to Woolwich [Map], but it was too late, so eat a cake and home, and thence by coach to have spoke with Tom Trice about a letter I met with this afternoon from my cozen Scott, wherein he seems to deny proceeding as my father's attorney in administering for him in my brother Tom's (deceased) estate, but I find him gone out of town, and so returned vexed home and to the office, where late writing a letter to him, and so home and to bed.
Pepy's Diary. 19 Apr 1664. Up and to St. James's, where long with Mr. Coventry (age 36), Povy (age 50), &c., in their Tangier accounts, but such the folly of that coxcomb Povy (age 50) that we could do little in it, and so parted for the time, and I to walk with Creed and Vernaty in the Physique Garden in St. James's Parke; where I first saw orange-trees, and other fine trees.
Pepy's Diary. 03 May 1664. Up, and being ready, went by agreement to Mr. Bland's and there drank my morning draft in good chocollatte, and slabbering my band sent home for another, and so he and I by water to White Hall, and walked to St. James's, where met Creed and Vernaty, and by and by Sir W. Rider, and so to Mr. Coventry's (age 36) chamber, and there upon my Lord Peterborough's (age 42) accounts, where I endeavoured to shew the folly and punish it as much as I could of Mr. Povy (age 50); for, of all the men in the world, I never knew any man of his degree so great a coxcomb in such imployments. I see I have lost him forever, but I value it not; for he is a coxcomb, and, I doubt, not over honest, by some things which I see; and yet, for all his folly, he hath the good lucke, now and then, to speak his follies in as good words, and with as good a show, as if it were reason, and to the purpose, which is really one of the wonders of my life.
Pepy's Diary. 15 May 1664. In the evening came Mr. Vernaty to see me and discourse about my Lord Peterborough's (age 42) business, and also my uncle Wight (age 62) and Norbury, but I took no notice nor showed any different countenance to my uncle Wight (age 62), or he to me, for all that he carried himself so basely to my wife the last week, but will take time to make my use of it. So, being exceeding hot, to bed, and slept well.
Pepy's Diary. 29 Aug 1666. To St. James's, and there Sir W. Coventry (age 38) took Sir W. Pen (age 45) and me apart, and read to us his answer to the Generalls' letter to the King (age 36) that he read last night; wherein he is very plain, and states the matter in full defence of himself and of me with him, which he could not avoid; which is a good comfort to me, that I happen to be involved with him in the same cause. And then, speaking of the supplies which have been made to this fleete, more than ever in all kinds to any, even that wherein the Duke of Yorke (age 32) himself was, "Well", says he, "if this will not do, I will say, as Sir J. Falstaffe did to the Prince, 'Tell your father, that if he do not like this let him kill the next Piercy himself,'"1 and so we broke up, and to the Duke (age 32), and there did our usual business. So I to the Parke and there met Creed, and he and I walked to Westminster to the Exchequer, and thence to White Hall talking of Tangier matters and Vernaty's knavery, and so parted, and then I homeward and met Mr. Povy (age 52) in Cheapside, and stopped and talked a good while upon the profits of the place which my Lord Bellasses (age 52) hath made this last year, and what share we are to have of it, but of this all imperfect, and so parted, and I home, and there find Mrs. Mary Batelier, and she dined with us; and thence I took them to Islington [Map], and there eat a custard; and so back to Moorfields [Map], and shewed Batelier, with my wife, "Polichinello", which I like the more I see it; and so home with great content, she being a mighty good-natured, pretty woman, and thence I to the Victualling Office, and there with Mr. Lewes and Willson upon our Victualling matters till ten at night, and so I home and there late writing a letter to Sir W. Coventry (age 38), and so home to supper and to bed. No newes where the Dutch are. We begin to think they will steale through the Channel to meet Beaufort. We think our fleete sayled yesterday, but we have no newes of it.
Note 1. "King Henry IV"., Part I, act v., sc. 4.
Pepy's Diary. 29 Aug 1666. Up betimes, and there to fit some Tangier accounts, and then, by appointment, to my Lord Bellasses (age 52), but about Paul's thought of the chant paper I should carry with me, and so fain to come back again, and did, and then met with Sir W. Pen (age 45), and with him to my Lord Bellasses (age 52), he sitting in the coach the while, while I up to my Lord and there offered him my account of the bills of exchange I had received and paid for him, wherein we agree all but one £200 bill of Vernaty's drawing, wherein I doubt he hath endeavoured to cheate my Lord; but that will soon appear.
Pepy's Diary. 22 Oct 1666. After dinner I carried him and my wife towards Westminster, by coach, myself 'lighting at the Temple [Map], and there, being a little too soon, walked in the Temple [Map] Church, looking with pleasure on the monuments and epitaphs, and then to my Lord Bellasses (age 52), where Creed and Povy (age 52) by appointment met to discourse of some of their Tangier accounts between my Lord and Vernatty, who will prove a very knave.
Pepy's Diary. 11 Feb 1667. So home to dinner, and after dinner by coach to Lord Bellasses (age 52), and with him to Povy's (age 53) house, whom we find with Auditor Beale and Vernatty about their accounts still, which is never likely to have end. Our business was to speak with Vernatty, who is certainly a most cunning knave as ever was born.