Thursday 16 May 1661

Up early to see whether the work of my house be quite done, and I found it to my mind. Staid at home all the morning, and about 2 o’clock went in my velvet coat by water to the Savoy, and there, having staid a good while, I was called into the Lords, and there, quite contrary to my expectations, they did treat me very civilly, telling me that what they had done was out of zeal to the King’s service, and that they would joyne with the governors of the chest with all their hearts, since they knew that there was any, which they did not before. I give them very respectful answer and so went away to the Theatre, and there saw the latter end of “The Mayd’s Tragedy,” which I never saw before, and methinks it is too sad and melancholy. Thence homewards, and meeting Mr. Creed I took him by water to the Wardrobe with me, and there we found my Lord newly gone away with the Duke of Ormond and some others, whom he had had to the collation; and so we, with the rest of the servants in the hall, sat down and eat of the best cold meats that ever I eat on in all my life. From thence I went home (Mr. Moore with me to the waterside, telling me how kindly he is used by my Lord and my Lady since his coming hither as a servant), and to bed.

28 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

And guess who wrote "The Mayd's Tragedy." Bibliomania offers the whole text; other sites date the play anywhere between 1610 and 1622; and this bit of song helps explain Pepys's reaction:

Lay a garland on my hearse of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow branches bear, say, I died true:
My love was false, but I was firm from my hour of birth;
Upon my buried body lay lightly, gently, earth.

---credited only to Fletcher, not Beaumont and. Plainly there was something much to Restoration taste in Master John's worldview.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Phew!
Sam gets up, having possibly spent a restless night, works on his papers all morning, carefully dresses in his best, is kept hanging about by the Lords, but - all is well! "they did treat me very civilly". So off he goes to the play to relax - probably he would have thought the Maid's Tragedy (which I have read and it's a good play)better had he been in the right mood (and seen all of it). He wants a farce at the moment. Then it's off for the free feed and one wonders if the food would have tasted so good if the interview had not gone well! (The best meal I ever had in my life was the pie and chips we all ate in a cafe next to the hospital where a heart surgeon had told us our infant son had nothing wrong with his heart as had been feared). See David A. Smith's notes of yesterday - excellent summary of Sam's state.Only thing missing from today is the present for Elizabeth. Wonder if that comes tomorrow? Is she still with the Pepys parents??

Pauline   Link to this

"...they would joyne with the governors of the chest with all their hearts, since they knew that there was any, which they did not before..."
Huh?
Are they saying that they don't need to examine the accounts now that they realize that the new naval officers are onto it (governing the chest) and astute and taking the responsibility seriously and with professional stance?

David A. Smith   Link to this

"treat me very civilly ... out of zeal"
Thought so -- and no, I did not peek :)
They backed off ... and I darkly suspect a backstory.
Meanwhile, Our Sam has gained some props (and will gain some more when, as these things do, it gets back to Montagu).
Phew, indeed!

dirk   Link to this

"they would joyne with the governors of the chest with all their hearts, since they knew that there was any, which they did not before"

I'm with Pauline here. I don't quite get the meaning of this. Maybe some word missing or wrongly transcribed? Someone with L&M please !!!

dirk   Link to this

what a life...

Working day: stay home till 2 - have a chat about the books - to the theatre - home - but on the way met a friend & out to dinner instead - finally home "and so to bed"... (sigh)

By the way, Sam's somewhat crude (clumsy?) approach yesterday, not surrendering the books, seems to have worked: a very civil reaction and recognition.

dirk   Link to this

"went in my velvet coat by water to the Savoy"

Fait-divers: a coat history...

Friday 6 July 1660:
"called at Mr. Pim's, about getting me a coat of velvet”

Tuesday 14 August 1660:
“Mr. Pim, the tailor, and I agreed upon making me a velvet coat”

Tuesday 21 August 1660:
“my velvet coat (the first that ever I had) done, and a velvet mantle”

Saturday 25 August 1660:
“from Mr. Pim's my velvet coat and cap, the first that ever I had”

Monday 22 April 1661:
“put on my velvet coat, the first day that I put it on, though made half a year ago”

Must be a very precious coat! What’s the connection (if any) between going “by water” and the velvet coat? Is it waterproof?

vicente   Link to this

see here, for more about the plays of B& F http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/289/

for those that wish to read it [the play that is]
http://emsah.uq.edu.au/drama/fletcher/nf/maidst...

dirk   Link to this

"the velvet coat? Is it waterproof?"

I guess Sam put it on to impress the Committee of Lords! (Not because it's waterproof - maybe even afraid the water might ruin it, and so extra careful!)

vicente   Link to this

"between going "by water" and the velvet coat? Is it waterproof? ”
I just think, He feels that he is the cats meow in his best bib and tucker. He will impress this Inquisition’ with his bearing, and how right he is. It does work most times. The Moss Bros. did a great business in making sure that their clients looked the part. There is nothing better than having a well made suit in the latest fashion for flaying the the ‘Pants of the Inquistors , ‘tis the Lawyers trick, takes a Punk, A good saville row suit and neatly trimmed hair[& anti bo] for taking the wind out of the sails of Judge, Jury and Prosecution, and it does not matter that every one knows it, still goes over well. Perception is the name of the game. Why do people wear gongs and alpha bet soup after their the nom de plume.
A mis-quote from Ovid “Auferimur cultu” We doth impress with good clothing.

vicente   Link to this

I wonder if Sam was impressed with this line like the Academics later were
"Upon my buried body lay
lightly gently earth."
The Maids Tragedy II. i

Australian Susan   Link to this

"We doth impress with good clothing"
Yes! Still works! My thrifty soul was horrified last year when my son, job hunting for the first time, decided he needed more than his 1st class honours degree to impress with and spent more than his father has ever spent on a shirt and tie for interviews. It paid off. Sam had had time to think after yesterday's "surly" episode and turns to the 17th c equivalent of the van heusen shirt and the Italian silk tie.

Mary   Link to this

'they would join with the governors of the chest'

(per L&M footnotes). 'They' are members of one of any number of government and parliamentary committees that habitually met either at The Savoy or at one of the houses close by. The chest in question is the Chatham Chest, a benevolent fund for disabled seamen.

I take it that the Lords are claiming that they had not realised that there was already a properly constituted body overseeing the Chatham Chest accounts, (i.e. the Governors) but now that they know this they will happily work with that body to assure themselves that all is well with the finances.

Whether the Lords' committee really was ignorant of the existence of the Governors and their work, or whether they were just trying to pull a fast one, remains a matter for speculation.

JWB   Link to this

Papa Pepys made living dressing lawyers.

JWB   Link to this

"...to the Savoy, and there, having staid a good while, I was called into the Lords,..."
Waterstained velvet? How about sweat stained?

Pauline   Link to this

The Chatham Chest
A fund established in 1590 for the relief and support of disabled seamen, its income drived mainly from compulsory contributions. It was managed by a board which was supposed to meet monthly and which consisted of five officers of the Chatham yard (its clerk being usually the Clerk of the Survey), under the presidency of a Principal Officer. It had no medical adviser, and beneficiaries were required to travel to Chatham where the chest itself (now in the National Maritime Museum) was kept. Its administration was lax despite occasional attempts at reform, and its income often used for other purposes. Payments, not surprisingly, were intermittent throughout the 17th century. Nothng seems to have come of an order for an investigation issued by the Admiral in Oct. 1660, but a commission of enquiry was set up in Nov. 1662, and of the 19 members Pepys proved the most active......

L&M Companion

E   Link to this

Water taxi
I think most of us would use a taxi-cab if going to an event all dressed up, rather than walking a couple of miles. Going by water appears to be Sam's equivalent -- he would presumably walk the short distance from his house to the riverbank just above London Bridge, and embark there for his trip upriver.

I don't know how much the Lords would have cared if he had appeared with muddy boots from a walk through the streets. Presumably if it made much difference, there would have been boys strategically placed outside the building hoping to earn money by giving a quick polish.

Jesse   Link to this

"The Mayd's Tragedy”

The lines quoted above put me in mind of “Dido’s Lament” composed some twenty years later. Perhaps if (was it?) set to music Sam may have felt a little more moved.

helena murphy   Link to this

I think that it is unlikely that the Lords'Committee were ignorent of the governors and their work, and neither do they care very much about service to the king. They are testing Montague's client,and a false move on Sam's part might reach the ear of the Duke of York,Lord High Admiral. Fortunately ,Sam is street smart which is what it takes,whether in velvet or otherwise.Let us recall Oliver Cromwell who never cared about dress, and yet he was a towering figure both nationally and internationally.

tc   Link to this

...eat of the best cold meats...

So, Creed, Sam and the servants sit down at M'Lord's to a fine repast. Do you suppose they sliced the cold meat thinly?...and perhaps put it on a piece of bread?...with perhaps another piece of bread atop the pile of meat slices?...and then, when Creed and Sam were asked by others where they enjoyed such a wonderful feast, they said "At Sandwich's!"

And so the legend begins...?

After all, that which we commonly eat at nooners may have been named after the Lord...but they were made by the servants!

Pauline   Link to this

...with perhaps another piece of bread atop the pile of meat slices?....
Yes, tc! I'm just sure of this.

Anthony Louis Scarsdale   Link to this

Yew was poisonous, thus often relegated to cemeteries; the "weeping willow" is an image of sorrow (think of Desdemona in "Othello"); Purcell's Dido sings, as Jesse notes, "When I am laid, am laid in earth"---all standard tropes of the elegy; but combined with skill, as Vincent points out, in a new and striking way.
In line 2, "died" has a diaresis or umlaut over the "e," to make it two syllables---a permissible convention of the time. Thus there are 2 lines with 12 syllables, divided by a caesura 7 + 5 (with the initial "upbeat" syllables missing); then 2 lines of 13 syllables, divided 8 + 5 (with the upbeats added). Nice prosodical work, John! Set to a plangent tune, liable to touch Sam's heart, it might well be too sad.

Pedro.   Link to this

Defence of Taxus Baccata (The Yew Tree).

For use in churchyards see;

www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/osc/osc74.htm

For uses of the yew see;
www.tsbr19510.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Yew.htm

Ruben   Link to this

"At Sandwich's!"
THE Sandwich was born at a later generation, a consequence of heavy gambling by one of “our Sandwich’s” descendents.
I think we already discussed this point last year.

Hic Retearius   Link to this

Sandwich history.

"Nomen est omen." Ruben ought to know!

vicente   Link to this

modern comments on the play a maids tragedy.[so wot's new]
http://www.geocities.com/katacheson/beaualfar.html

Bill   Link to this

“The Mayd’s Tragedy”

By Beaumont and Fletcher. Mohun played Melantiut; Hart, Amintor; and Mrs. Marshall, Evadne.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Michael Mohun: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1612/
Charles Hart: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/11087/
There are two sisters named Marshall who were actresses.

Bill   Link to this

There is discussion of the word "collation" in the annotations of 9 July 1660: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/07/09/

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