You know, the more one learns of the era and court of Charles II, the more strongly it emerges is a court of slatterns.
Dogs and people pissing and shitting anywhere they pleased, vomiting and farting from their daily excesses. Stinking of sweat and other essences including the excrescences on their mouths, noses and fingers caused by their inveterate snuff taking, drenching themselves in perfumes and oils. Fleas and lice.
The rest of their behaviors mirror their lack of elegance, taste, and interest in the arts, even as the poor man's monarch, Charlie 2, aped the genuine article in France.
Every Stuart monarch was a disaster, though each of them was a disaster in a different way. Charles II cared far too little about being a monarch and its day-to-day responsibilities and obligations -- perhaps he'd dreamed so long about becoming one but had never dreamed beyond taking back the crown? But once he received the crown, ruling mattered little to him. He left all that to his brother and others, while courting affection by giving away what should have been in the kingdom's treasury. Not even his Queen's own properties, not even excluding her personal jewels and furniture, were exempted from his compulsive gifting to his favorites, male and female alike.
What, beyond amusement, interested him at all seems to be going to war with the Dutch to take their conquests in West African and India for his own. For that he needed a navy, but the responsibility of making one was left to his brother, James.
When it came to the Royal African Company, even Pepys must have felt a bit of queasiness since as often as he mentions talking business there, and on many occasion with the Duke of York himself, in the course of serving his Majesty's navy, he never mentions in his own personal diaries what the purpose of Africa House is.
Anyone wishing to romanticize the reign of Charles II has to scrub and scrub and scrub and white wash and white wash and white wash, while wearing nose plugs and blinders, and then deliberately choose not to read the primary record, to get there.
* Even now the guinea generates more money: we paid $300 to the British Museum for permission to reproduce the elephant and castle in The American Slave Coast. We had taken the photo ourselves, but it was from a display in the museum.