Tuesday 24 April 1660

This morning I had Mr. Luellin and Mr. Sheply to the remainder of my oysters that were left yesterday. After that very busy all the morning. While I was at dinner with my Lord, the Coxon of the Vice- Admiral came for me to the Vice-Admiral to dinner. So I told my Lord and he gave me leave to go. I rose therefore from table and went, where there was very many commanders, and very pleasant we were on board the London, which hath a state-room much bigger than the Nazeby, but not so rich. After that, with the Captain on board our own ship, where we were saluted with the news of Lambert’s being taken, which news was brought to London on Sunday last. He was taken in Northamptonshire by Colonel Ingoldsby, at the head of a party, by which means their whole design is broke, and things now very open and safe. And every man begins to be merry and full of hopes. In the afternoon my Lord gave a great large character to write out, so I spent all the day about it, and after supper my Lord and we had some more very good musique and singing of “Turne Amaryllis,” as it is printed in the song book, with which my Lord was very much pleased. After that to bed.

15 Annotations

WKW   Link to this

Though it has been clarified before, it bears repeating (mainly because I keep forgetting) that a "character" means a "code or cipher," or by extension a coded message.
Amid the word's many other meanings, by Johnson's time someone of Pepys's standing could write out "a character" for a former employee seeking a new post---i.e., a letter of recommendation, a reference.

Eric Walla   Link to this

This entry clearly shows ...

... the release of tension that has been in the air since Lambert escaped the Tower and the fanatiques resumed their strut. Surely they NOW believe that the Gods are on their side. They weren't too sure there for a while.

We all naturally have our own built-in plot spoilers since we know how things came out. I think it much too easy to discount the uncertainty behind these men's actions on behalf of the Restoration and their fear that the tide could turn again.

Glyn   Link to this

For example, Pepys wrote "characters" for his boss George Downing on 25 and 28 January, shortly before Downing left for Europe.

Bill-in-Georgia   Link to this

Character

But what was the message? Surely important. Our Sam seems quite discreet about putting his boss's business into his diary.

Query: Does Sam's method of writing his diary qualify as a character or was it just a form of shorthand? If not a character, why didn't he use one?

Mary   Link to this

Character vs. shorthand

Sam's diary is written in a slightly personalised version of Shelton's 'Short Writing and Tachygraphy', which was published in London in 1626. (See L&M Vol 1, pp. xlviii ff.). It was designed to enable people to write quickly rather than secretly.

The character that Sam uses when writing out confidential letters for Mountagu is a code, designed to preserve secrecy. It is plainly a laborious process to turn plain text into character and we saw, in the earlier entries, that on occasion Sam did not manage to encode his exemplars to Mountagu's satisfaction and had to do the work over again.

Presumably Sam's reason for choosing to use shorthand for the diary is that he was primarily interested in immediacy of record ( with an element of discretion) rather than secrecy at the expense of immediacy.

Matthew   Link to this

"So I spent all the day about it" - yet he was only given the job in the afternoon. Along with "great large" is this an indication of petulance at being given excessive work?

Nix   Link to this

Uncertainty --

Consider Samuel's situation in light of the current state of affairs in Iraq (sorry to bring the 21st century into this): The repressive government has fallen, various groups of "fanatiques" are competing for influence, and nobody knows how it will come out. I'm not trying to make some political point, but only to emphasize Eric's insight about reading this in light of the author who did not know the end of the story.

M.Stolzenbach   Link to this

Loved this sentence:

"And every man begins to be merry and full of hopes. "

Paul Brewster   Link to this

L&M Footnote on the song-book:
"Playford's Select ayres and dialogues (1659), pp. 112-113, has Thomas Brewer's new setting of James Shirley's lyric 'Turn Amaryllis to thy swain' (Schoole of complement, 1631, p. 37)."

Warren Keith Wright   Link to this

Born in London in 1611, Thomas Brewer, composer and viol player, served in the household of Sir Nicholas Lestrange at some point in his career; he seems to have died sometime between 1660 and 1670. Aside from instrumental works, he wrote a good many airs and catches. "His best-known song," says "New Grove" (3.273), "is probably the glee 'Turn, Amaryllis, to thy swain'".
Anyone have any luck finding the Shirley text?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Turne Amaryllis
Here's what I've found so far although not in the place referenced by L&M:
The treasury of musick (1669):
Turn Amarillis to thy Swain turn Amarillis to thy Swain, turn Amarillis to thy Swain, thy Damon calls thee back again, thy Damon calls thee back again: Here is a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Arbour by, where Apollo, where Apollo, where Apollo, where Apollo, cannot cannot spy, where Apollo cannot spy. Here let's sit, and whilst I play, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe a Rounddelay; sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe, sing to my Pipe a Rounddelay. (From the English Poetry Database)

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Another less elaborate source for "Turne Amarillis" with pretty much the same general idea
Catch that Catch can (1652):
Turne Amarillis to thy Swaine, thy Damon calls thee back againe. Here is a pretty pretty Arbor by, where Apollo, cannot spy: there lets sit, and whilst I play, sing to my pipe a round delay. (Again the English Poetry Database)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Phil has provided an Also on this day link to Wills In Earl’s Colne, Essex (above, right) , the form and particulars of which wills I recommend you read. Clicking on a name there and see all the wills he (most often) made. The link today:
http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/probate...

Bryan   Link to this

"And every man begins to be merry and full of hopes."

On the uncertainty mentioned by Eric and Nix above, Wikipedia have a nice, two-sentence summary of the political events over the last 6 months:

"After the second dissolution of the Rump, in October 1659, the prospect of a total descent into anarchy loomed as the Army's pretence of unity finally dissolved into factions. Into this atmosphere General George Monck, Governor of Scotland under the Cromwells, marched south with his army from Scotland."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War

Very few, apart from Lambert, were keen to re-ignite the civil wars.

Bill   Link to this

More info on "Turn Amaryllis" recently in the Encyclopedia>Entertainment>Music>Songs

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