Sunday 22 September 1661

(Lord’s day). Before church time walking with my father in the garden contriving. So to church, where we had common prayer, and a dull sermon by one Mr. Case, who yet I heard sing very well. So to dinner, and busy with my father about his accounts all the afternoon, and people came to speak with us about business.

Mr. Barnwell at night came and supped with us. So after setting matters even with my father and I, to bed.

9 Annotations

dirk   Link to this

Evelyn's diary:

"Our Viccar on 26. Matt: 39: An exceeding sickly wet Autumne after a very wet summer:"

Sam doesn't mention any rain today, so maybe he had a pleasant walk with his father - the clouds would have been of a judicial nature...

dirk   Link to this

Matt 26:39

"And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

Bob T   Link to this

Lord's day). Before church time walking with my father in the garden contriving

In today’s language, we would say, making plans and figuring out what to do next. I know, that some people will read something sinister into this phrase, but I believe that it is quite innocent.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"contriving"
One always gets the sense that Sam loves making good plans and seeing them carried out "to my satisfaction". Remember how pleased he was to "be about my workmen" when the staircase was being built. He derives pleasure from sorting things out, getting them right and ordered "putting my papers in order". One can sense that what is happening at Hinchinbrook really rubs him up the wrong way: he can't stand matters not being progressed! Look how pleased he was at finally seeing the "bottom" of everything to do with the Gravely business. Soon all these traits will be harnessed to wonderful effect to organise what became the civil service and the modern navy administration. Good to see it in embryo. Sam isn't wandering about admiring the garden or the views, but "contriving" - discussing, planning, fixing - Sam in his element.

Xjy   Link to this

"contriving"

Thanks for a great entry, Australian Susan! Sam’s the Chou En-Lai of the Restoration. Too bad he didn’t have a Mao to bring out the whole works.

Just imagine Sam as Cromwell’s right-hand man in the Commonwealth administration! Sam and Milton — the mind boggles… :-)

David Cooper   Link to this

"Common prayer" Is that the same as Morning Prayer ?

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

Might it be short for 'the book of Common Prayer'?

Jim Williams   Link to this

For a different aspect of Pepys's era, try "Memoirs of Louis XIV and his Court and of the Regency" by the Duke of Saint-Simon. These delightful memoirs provide a fascinating and insightful view of the Court of Louis XIV and the Regent, an era nearly contemporaneous with Sam's. The "Memoirs" portray the culture, life style, and attitudes of the ruling class of France, and I think provides an excellent understanding of the behavior and attitudes of James II and Charles II. The "Memoirs" also help the reader to understand the hatred for the aristocracy and clergy that led to so much violence and bloodshed during the French Revolution a few decades later. Saint-Simon, while writing only of the very upper class and the French Court, does so with honesty, clarity, humor, and insight, much like Sam's "Diary".

Xjy   Link to this

The French view...
Thanks Jim W for the reference to Saint-Simon's Memoirs of Louis XIV. Here's the whole text in English available for download thanks to Project Gutenberg:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gut...

Here's a quote from the Intro:

--- Villemain declared their author to be "the most original of geniuses in French literature, the foremost of prose satirists; inexhaustible in details of manners and customs, a word-painter like Tacitus; the author of a language of his own, lacking in accuracy, system, and art, yet an admirable writer." Leon Vallee reinforces this by saying: "Saint-Simon can not be compared to any of his contemporaries. He has an individuality, a style, and a language solely his own.... Language he treated like an abject slave. When he had gone to its farthest limit, when it failed to express his ideas or feelings, he forced it - the result was a new term, or a change in the ordinary meaning of words sprang forth from has pen. With this was joined a vigour and breadth of style, very pronounced, which makes up the originality of the works of Saint-Simon and contributes toward placing their author in the foremost rank of French writers.”

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