Friday 3 August 1660

Up betimes this morning, and after the barber had done with me, then to the office, where I and Sir William Pen only did meet and despatch business. At noon my wife and I by coach to Dr. Clerke’s to dinner: I was very much taken with his lady, a comely, proper woman, though not handsome; but a woman of the best language I ever heard. Here dined Mrs. Pierce and her husband.

After dinner I took leave to go to Westminster, where I was at the Privy Seal Office all day, signing things and taking money, so that I could not do as I had intended, that is to return to them and go to the Red Bull Playhouse, but I took coach and went to see whether it was done so or no, and I found it done. So I returned to Dr. Clerke’s, where I found them and my wife, and by and by took leave and went away home.

9 Annotations

Paul Brewster   Link to this

but a woman of the best language that ever I heard any in my life
per L&M. Seems Wheatley is at it again cleaning up the syntax.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

where I and Sir W. Penn only did meet and despatch business
according to L&M: "Two were a quorum for most business."

vincent   Link to this

Barber : I wonder why he speaks of this ocassion, why? Up to now he only mentions a barber when it is special occasion:
1)first time there(twice);2) lure away the helping hand 3)try out his Cravat(I never did that) 4)trimmed when the boat is rolling- no nicks?(twice)) and another , it appears he was not happy with his sbs( he does not say so but goes again 3 days later to the new one, but never speak ill of your barber else it could be blood letting time as John Evelyn does mention often) .

chip   Link to this

Isn't comely a synonym of handsome? Any OED help out there is much appreciated. Honestly, when I click on one of the links and read all the wonderful annotations (Paul, David, Glyn, Vincent, Phil, etc. etc.), just thanks for your efforts. Incidentally, Vincent, I noticed too that he seems to like his new barber. Maybe he (the barber) comes to the house now!

Mary   Link to this

Comely

Whilst this word can mean pretty, fair, etc. in this instance it seems to fall into OED senses 2 and 3, which are glossed 'pleasing, agreeable, nice to the senses or feelings in general; becoming, decent, proper, seemly, decorous.' Even the application to purely physical beauty seems to have acquired the nuances of a quiet, sober beauty, which pleased the eye but did not excite the senses, by the late 16th Century.

Sam Sampson   Link to this

"Two were a quorum..."?
Paul, that only works when one is away sick!

Alan Bedford   Link to this

"Two were a quorum"?
Hardly surprising. There were three Naval Commissioners, of whom, Penn was actually the experienced Navy man, Pett ran the shipyard, and the third, Lord Berkeley, was not very active. See Pauline’s notation (quoting Tomalin) of 13 July 2003 at: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/920/

vincent   Link to this

"...where I was at the Privy Seal Office all day, signing things and taking money, so that I could not do as I had intended, that is to return to them and go to the Red Bull Playhouse, but I took coach and went to see whether it was done so or no, and I found it done ..."
I do love the way that is written. "poor" thing did not get to the play on time, does that not ring a few bells for those busy execs doing their thing?

Bryan   Link to this

Alan Bedford's post above is a little misleading. The Navy Board consisted of four principal officers (treasurer, comptroller, surveyor and clerk of the acts) in addition to the three commissioners.

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