Saturday 27 July 1661

To Westminster, where at Mr. Montagu’s chamber I heard a Frenchman play, a friend of Monsieur Eschar’s, upon the guitar, most extreme well, though at the best methinks it is but a bawble. From thence to Westminster Hall, where it was expected that the Parliament was to have been adjourned for two or three months, but something hinders it for a day or two. In the lobby I spoke with Mr. George Montagu, and advised about a ship to carry my Lord Hinchingbroke and the rest of the young gentlemen to France, and they have resolved of going in a hired vessell from Rye, and not in a man of war. He told me in discourse that my Lord Chancellor is much envied, and that many great men, such as the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord of Bristoll, do endeavour to undermine him, and that he believes it will not be done; for that the King (though he loves him not in the way of a companion, as he do these young gallants that can answer him in his pleasures), yet cannot be without him, for his policy and service. From thence to the Wardrobe, where my wife met me, it being my Lord of Sandwich’s birthday, and so we had many friends here, Mr. Townsend and his wife, and Captain Ferrers lady and Captain Isham, and were very merry, and had a good venison pasty. Mr. Pargiter, the merchant, was with us also. After dinner Mr. Townsend was called upon by Captain Cooke: so we three went to a tavern hard by, and there he did give us a song or two; and without doubt he hath the best manner of singing in the world. Back to my wife, and with my Lady Jem. and Pall by water through bridge, and showed them the ships with great pleasure, and then took them to my house to show it them (my Lady their mother having been lately all alone to see it and my wife, in my absence in the country), and we treated them well, and were very merry. Then back again through bridge, and set them safe at home, and so my wife and I by coach home again, and after writing a letter to my father at Brampton, who, poor man, is there all alone, and I have not heard from him since my coming from him, which troubles me. To bed.

19 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"I heard a Frenchman play, a friend of Monsieur Eschar's, upon the guitar, most extreme well, though at the best methinks it is but a bawble.”

—-Sam’s taste thinking it, perhaps, inferior (in sound? or in technique required?) to the lute (as another plucked string instrument), much less the viol.

Glyn   Link to this

Jemima ("Jem") is 14 and Paulina ("Pall") is 11. I suppose as it's their father's birthday, and he is overseas, their being rowed through the bridge with Elizabeth and Sam is a special outing as a treat for them. I think Pepys is genuinely fond of them, not just doing it to please Lady Montagu.

Pedro.   Link to this

" Lord Chancellor"

Bishop Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715) History of His Own Time.

After saying "The King's passion for his mistress Villiers left him oftentimes neither master of himself nor capable of business, and therefore committed the care of all to the management of the Earl of Clarendon."

He goes on to say of Clarendon�

"He was bred to the law, and grew eminent in that possession, as well as considerable in the House of Commons. When the war broke out he he followed the King's fortunes abroad, and returned an absolute favourite. He was a good minister, indefatigable in business, but a little too magisterial, and not well enough aquainted with foreign affairs. He was a good chancellor, and imparcial in the administration of justice, but a little too rough. He had a levity in his wit, and a loftiness in his carriage, that did not well become the station that he was in; for those who addressed to him, and those that thought themselves neglected, he was apt to reject with comtempt and some disparagement of their services, which created him many enemies…"

dirk   Link to this

A very human Sam today!

Some business talk, some political interest (I wonder what it is that "hinders" Parliament so much), a little showing off his recently acquired status, and finally a profound worry about his father. I think this is one of the most "complete" entries so far.

dirk   Link to this

Capt'n Cooke

Australian annotators to the site (Susan...): don't get too excited! This isn't *the* capt'n Cooke.

daniel   Link to this

Bradford:

methinks not, sam was a guitar player too, afterall! my impression is that this Monsieur's playing was "cried up" a lot but he found it but passably nice, not special as far as a performer.

Stolzi   Link to this

I wonder why the "young gentlemen" wished to go into France.

Alan Bedford   Link to this

'at the best methinks it is but a bawble.'

Maybe it's just a passing fad, like the violin. Serious string players - at least in Sam's Britain - still play viols (the ones with legs), and pluck members of the lute family as far as Sam can tell. Vivaldi won't even be born for 17 more years.

daniel   Link to this

Alan B.:

that might be a good estimate of the "common wisdon" of the time but those new instruments would soon take coveted status in a twinkling of an eye. Louis XIV had already made the five-course guitar a fashionable instrument for one and all in France and though many considered a violin "vain and fiddling" at the time, that was to quickly change. Violin virtuosi were to be seen from time to time and Sam later (ten years or so from now) attempts the violin as well as becoming an enthousiastic guitarist.

vicente   Link to this

N.Bene: twice thru the bridge--- wow "... Back to my wife, and with my Lady Jem. and Pall by water through bridge, and showed them the ships with great pleasure.. ..Then back again through bridge, and set them safe at home..." so there are times when there is no running of the rapidos. No danger. Tide at the turn?

Mary   Link to this

Tide at the turn?

Yes, this must surely have taken place in the slack interval between tides. Sam could not possibly have undertaken such a trip with a party of important women if it looked risky .... think of their long and cumbersome skirts; difficult to manoeuvre in and uncomfortable, at the very least, if subjected to wetting.

Presumably the tour of the Seething Lane house was brisk, so that the return journey could also be accomplished under favourable conditions. Note that, having escorted the Sandwich ladies back to The Wardrobe at Blackfriars, Sam and Elizabeth take to coach to ride back to Seething Lane; was the tide running faster by this time?

Nix   Link to this

The Lord Chancellor --

No mention here, but Samuel has previously made mention of Hyde's daughter Anne, whose marriage the previous fall to the Duke of York was highly controversial (did they really get secretly married earlier, or not til she was well along in her pregnancy?). She was the mother (and the Chancellor the grandfather) of two future queens, Mary and Anne.

Pedro.   Link to this

I wonder why the "young gentlemen" wished to go into France.

As the Lord Inchinbrooke was about 17 years old, and he was travelling with other young gentlemen, could he be undertaking “The Grand Tour of Europe”, or are we a little too early for the young aristocracy to be sent on this?

vicente   Link to this

Evelyn, John at the age 21,did the tour to Europe[Holland] starting 15th july 1641 thru oct 12th, most fascinating reading. Then his exile to Europe, later, is even a better read '43...

Josh   Link to this

Did Sam play the guitar? I thought it was the lute. The Background for the instrument doesn't specify.

daniel   Link to this

Pepys the amteur-musician

my college text book on music of the seventeenth century by Stanley Sadie states among other things " sam...though a naval administrator by profession, Pepys was a keen amateur composer and performer on the violin, viol, guitar, theorbo, flageolet and recorder."

Did he play lute? yes and no. the theorbo is a related instrument with a very characteristic tuning and a full extra octave of bass strings mainly used in ensembles and as a continuo instrument.
if I recall corectly which instruments Sam tends to pick up and play with vigor in the period of the diary I seem to remember the flageolet and guitar being the most popular, viol being a close third.

Pauline   Link to this

"...it was expected that the Parliament was to have been adjourned...but something hinders it...."
The use of "something" tells us that Sam's intent to catch himself back up with current events has yet to be taken in task--or fulfilled.

dirk   Link to this

"...it was expected that the Parliament was to have been adjourned "but something hinders it…”

Could it be the “Bill to restore Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction” which Vicente mentioned ref yesterday 26 June?
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/07/26/#21370

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"As the Lord Inchinbrooke was about 17 years old, and he was travelling with other young gentlemen, could he be undertaking 'The Grand Tour of Europe', or are we a little too early for the young aristocracy to be sent on this?"

Pedro, I don't know about the others, but Hinchingbrooke will tour with a tutor for many months. Letters from the tutor will be posted in the annots as they are available.

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