Tuesday 22 January 1660/61

To the Comptroller’s house, where I read over his proposals to the Lord Admiral for the regulating of the officers of the Navy, in which he hath taken much pains, only he do seem to have too good opinion of them himself. From thence in his coach to Mercer’s Chappell, and so up to the great hall, where we met with the King’s Councell for Trade, upon some proposals of theirs for settling convoys for the whole English trade, and that by having 33 ships (four fourth-rates, nineteen fifths, ten sixths) settled by the King for that purpose, which indeed was argued very finely by many persons of honour and merchants that were there.

It pleased me much now to come in this condition to this place, where I was once a petitioner for my exhibition in Paul’s School; and also where Sir G. Downing (my late master) was chairman, and so but equally concerned with me.

From thence home, and after a little dinner my wife and I by coach into London, and bought some glasses, and then to Whitehall to see Mrs. Fox, but she not within, my wife to my mother Bowyer, and I met with Dr. Thomas Fuller, and took him to the Dog, where he tells me of his last and great book that is coming out: that is, his History of all the Families in England; and could tell me more of my own, than I knew myself. And also to what perfection he hath now brought the art of memory; that he did lately to four eminently great scholars dictate together in Latin, upon different subjects of their proposing, faster than they were able to write, till they were tired.

And by the way in discourse tells me that the best way of beginning a sentence, if a man should be out and forget his last sentence (which he never was), that then his last refuge is to begin with an Utcunque.

From thence I to Mr. Bowyer’s, and there sat a while, and so to Mr. Fox’s, and sat with them a very little while, and then by coach home, and so to see Sir Win. Pen, where we found Mrs. Martha Batten and two handsome ladies more, and so we staid supper and were very merry, and so home to bed.

25 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

. . . "the best way of beginning a sentence, if a man should be out and forget his last sentence (which he never was), that then his last refuge is to begin with an Utcunque."

O help those of us with little Latin (don't even ask about Greek) L. Hat, Vincent, somebody!

David Quidnunc  •  Link


"However" according to a note in L&M (Vol. 2) for this date.

kilroy  •  Link

So the advice Sam is recording is if you forget your last sentence (what you'd never do) while speaking, then just keep saying a homily or something?

Emilio  •  Link

The Councell for Trade

This body was created in November 1660, and L&M list a number of sources that give information about its duties and work habits.

As for the presence of the merchants, they note that "since 1649 convoys had been provided at the state's charge".

Emilio  •  Link

my exhibition

"The Robinson exhibition awarded him in 1650." (L&M)

I remember going back to my old school too. Somehow it had shrunk in the years I'd been gone, and I didn't even have the benefit of recent success to measure it against.

vincent  •  Link

ut cum que : Ut: one can very it a bit.
In the manner that: however; such as: in as much as : i.e. waffle
no matter how. { please clear the throat first}. Just don't say eh!

Mary House  •  Link

The glasses that Sam and his wife were buying, would these be looking glasses?

Emilio  •  Link

More on the amazing Mr. Fuller

"Fuller was reputed to have the most remarkable memory of anyone of his generation. He could repeat 500 random words after one hearing; he could recite, in any order, the shop-signs in a series London streets after walking once through them. As a preacher he rarely used notes. . . . He always denied that he used mnemonics." (L&M)

It's also good that Sam is enjoying Fuller's company while he can: "The restoration (which he had advocated by a pamphlet for 'a free parliament') seemed likely to do him much good. He proceeded D.D. by king's letters; he recovered his prebend and his rectory, in which latter, however, he characteristically left the intruder as curate; and he was made chaplain extraordinary to the king. But he caught a fever, died of it at his lodgings in Covent Garden on 15 August, 1661, and was buried at Cranford. His great collection The Worthies of England was posthumously published."
(http://www.bartleby.com/217/1010.html , link from LH's entry to Fuller's bg page)

language hat  •  Link

The Oxford Latin Dictionary says 'in whatever manner or degree; no matter how or to what extent; (used elliptically as indefinite adverb) whatever the circumstances, in any event, at any rate, etc.; by whatever means are possible, as best one can.' Sounds like excellent filler!

The Bishop  •  Link

Classical Latin sentences are notoriously long, and the grammar is organized in a different manner than in English. It can be easy for an Anglophone to get lost just reading a difficult argument in Latin. When delivering a speech in proper Latin, a person could find himself halfway through a sentence and forget where he is grammatically - what was the main clause, what tense and case was it in. Since the main verb of a sentence tends to come at the end (as it does in German), you can't end the sentence if you've forgotten what the main verb was supposed to be.

The advantage of the word 'utcunque' is that you can insert it in the middle of a sentence - rather than having to end and start a new one - and it allows you to change course.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link


Well at least it wasn't the dreaded 'whatever' - quicunque.

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"...that he did lately to four eminently great scholars dictate together in Latin, upon different subjects of their proposing, faster than they were able to write, till they were tired..."

Thomas Aquinas was said to be able to keep three secretaties going at once. Glad to see the Renaissance brought progress in this regard also.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Mary, why would they be looking glasses?
I suppose these were quite expensive in the 17th c. and Sam would have said a bit more about them. So they will just be glasses to drink from.

Nigel Pond  •  Link

Latin sentence constuction:

As to complexity, it depends who you read. Some of the classical authors like Cicero, Caesar and Tacitus do use long sentences and the grammar can be complex, but then again they all use shorter sentences for effect. In any event, I have always found Latin a much more concise language than English.

Glyn  •  Link

The Battens and the Pepys families seem to be dining with each other very frequently at the moment. Utcunque I am impressed by the size of the proposed naval convoy: it would have needed hundreds of sailors and a very large investment of capital to undertake it

Glyn  •  Link

my wife and I by coach into London, and bought some glasses,

And one suspects that it was Elizabeth who was actually selecting the glasses rather than Samuel. Remember, when he bought some paintings on his own, and was forced to return them to the shop?

("fashional glasses" in prev posting a misprint for "fashionable glasses")

David A. Smith  •  Link

"only he do seem to have too good opinion of them himself"
Very curious. Only yesterday, Sam deftly (we infer) avoided having any fingerprints on the unpleasant duty of putting to (economic) sleep some number of ships and officers; today he gets a peek at proposed governance regulations (why Sam? he must have impressed Slingsby) and evidently has no hesitancy about toughening them up.
I foresee a long career in naval administration ....

Grahamt  •  Link

The Convoys:
I assume this is a pool of warships to draw ships from to protect convoys to Britains trading areas, rather than one huge convoy. In the days of privateers, bucaneers and pirates, to say nothing of the fleets of competitor countries, (the Spanish and French in the West Indies, the Dutch in the East Indies) this seems more a necessity than a luxury. It will be interesting to see if Charles sees it the same way.

Glyn  •  Link

Emilio has linked an article on Dr Thomas Fuller from the "Wikipedia". I notice that towards the end of the Wikipedia biography it refers to the "erotic diarist Stanley Pepys".

Surprisingly, no-one yet has written the article in Wikipedia for Stanley (sic) Pepys: so perhaps someone here would care to do it. (Happy Chinese New Year and Burns Night - Haggis in Soy Sauce, lovely).

Emilio  •  Link

"erotic diarist Stanley Pepys"

There's cleaning up and then there's proofreading, and midway between there's the pit of stepping right in it.

I imagine Stanley could give us all the salacious dirt from the court of Carol II and her sister Jane, though. And oh! those sailors--it makes my heart go pitta-pat just thinking about it.

Rainer Doehle  •  Link

No relative named Stanley writing salacious diaries and some six weeks after your comments Wikipedia also realized that this was an error: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thoma...
Now the link in that article goes to our Samuel and the misnomer "erotic diarist" has also been deleted just to prevent any curious peepers from getting disappointed when peeping into Pepys' diary.

Bill  •  Link

"bought some glasses"

The "Cyclopaedia, Or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences" (1741) gives definitions for many kinds of optical glass or glasses, as well as a definition of drinking glasses.

Optical glass or glasses: convex, concave, lenticular, meniscus, plain, planoconcave, planoconvex, telescope, eye, magnifying, multiplying, perspective, looking, burning, weather, cupping, hour, watch, etc.

Since Sam does not describe his glasses, my guess would be lenticular, i.e., just glass lenses, perhaps for reading. But, hard to know.

Christopher Hudson  •  Link

The Mercers' chapel and great hall mention interests me as I was just in London learning some details about the livery companies. There are over a hundred livery
companies dating back to before 1066, including some very recent ones
such as IT professionals, and a pending application by arts scholars.
Essentially they are trade guilds that have to be active in the City
of London, and many have charitable purposes as well as regulating
their particular trades, and they are much connected to the Lord
Mayor's ritual functions. Anyway of the c.110 or so, there are The
Great Twelve, of which the first two are the Mercers and Drapers.
The Mercers do have a role in St. Paul's School - St. Paul's was the first school to be entrusted to a livery company,
and was founded in 1509 by Dean Colet, Mercer and Dean of St. Paul's
I don't know if the
Mercers' Hall survives ( many were destroyed in WWII) but several of them do and are among London's hidden gems.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

I curious about how spelling is arrived at via the shorthand. Presumably COUNCELL was written in shorthand so how was it interpreted into a strange (to my eyes at least) spelling such as it is? Why not COUNCEL?

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