Thursday 4 September 1662

[Continued from yesterday P.G.] …which I did, and by water betimes to the Tower and so home, where I shifted myself, being to dine abroad, and so being also trimmed, which is a thing I have very seldom done of late, I gat to my office and then met and sit all the morning, and at noon we all to the Trinity House, where we treated, very dearly, I believe, the officers of the Ordnance; where was Sir W. Compton and the rest and the Lieutenant of the Tower. We had much and good music, which was my best entertainment. Sir Wm. Compton I heard talk with great pleasure of the difference between the fleet now and in Queen Elisabeth’s days; where, in 88, she had but 36 sail great and small, in the world; and ten rounds of powder was their allowance at that time against the Spaniard. After Sir W. Compton and Mr. Coventry, and some of the best of the rest were gone, I grew weary of staying with Sir Williams both, and the more for that my Lady Batten and her crew, at least half a score, come into the room, and I believe we shall pay size for it; but ‘tis very pleasant to see her in her hair under her hood, and how by little and little she would fain be a gallant; but, Lord! the company she keeps about her are like herself, that she may be known by them what she is. Being quite weary I stole from them and to my office, where I did business till 9 at night, and so to my lodgings to bed.

29 Annotations

Terry F,   Link to this

"I believe we shall pay size for it"

L&M note: "Sc. pay dearly."

Peg   Link to this

"...very pleasant to see her in her hair under her hood..."

I give up. Any clues? El Hat?
Beyond the idiom, is Samuel calling her a social climber? Does he live in a glass house?

Linda F   Link to this

Interesting that Lady B. has not an entourage or companions but a "crew" whose faults do not escape SP, ever more careful of company he keeps. Not even a becoming hair style (uncapped? uncurled?) under a stylish hood redeems her: Sam knows too much for that. He is also more careful of expenses the Office runs up at Trinity and elsewhere: keeping track.

dirk   Link to this

"very pleasant to see her in her hair under her hood"

It was unusual (vulgar) for any lady of standing to leave the house with uncovered head. Either Sam is here referring to the fact that the Lady isn't wearing anything on her head (save the hood) and he ca see her hair - or maybe he means "false hair" (a wig)?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Crew was not necessarily a derogatory term at that time.
This entry shows us so much about Sam! It's wonderful. here is the man who 18 months ago would have been agog to spend a long time in company with the Sir Williams. Now he has confidence enough in his own powers and his own ego to say, no they are not worth bothering with and he "stole" (lovely word use) away happily to work in the office. Here is a man now knowing his own worth and not having to lickspittle to those he knows better now and has the confidence to say (probably only to himself!) i don't like these people, I don't need to waste time with them.
I also liked the poignant reference to music - wouldn't Sam have appreciated Classical Music on radio all day! - and that he hasn't been able to organise himself to get "trimmed" - visions of nasty sandpapery chin and straggly hair.(Sam doesn't have a peruke - yet.
"in her hair" - as Sam comments on this, I take this to mean a wig, as head hair would be normal and not commented upon. Or should that be the opposite?

language hat   Link to this

"in her hair":

The OED has two senses that might apply here:
in one's hair: (a) with the hair down; (b) bare-headed, without hat or wig

It's not clear to me which is meant here.

language hat   Link to this

"she would fain be a gallant":

(OED) Of a woman: A fashionably attired beauty. Obs.
c1550 Lusty Juventus Civb, Now by the masse I perceyue that she is a gallaunde. 1606 DEKKER Sev. Sinnes Induct. (Arb.) 8 Thou [London] that wert before the only Gallant and Minion of the world. 1662 PEPYS Diary 4 Sept., She would fain be a gallant.

Terry F,   Link to this

"we treated, very dearly, I believe, the officers of the Ordnance"

Mr. Pepys repeats this later in other words -- Oy!
--
a costly afternoon at the Trinity House, as well as a tedious one; so he "stole" away before the check came (did anyone else see that?).

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Be interesting to know how Sir Will B. views his wife's "crew" and her efforts at being a fashionably attired beauty, possibly in wig.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

'Twas the custom for ladies to keep their hair hidden, so as to keep men's blood from rising, [ the upper pulmonary cover be ok], Hair be still this way in some parts of the world. But when the ladies gave up side saddle, they gave up on hair cover, fresh breeze be nice [padre, still frowns on the modern practice, as their sermon lacked a male audience].The customs in the last 70 years have changed so radically. The ladies of the evening and ladies of substance are rivalling one another for the best skin display. "very pleasant to see her in her hair under her hood"

Pauline   Link to this

"...but, Lord! the company she keeps about her..."
I'm still finding Sam unreligious in such exclamations.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam's comments on the English fleet of 1588
According to this site from the National maritime Museum http://www.nmm.ac.uk/server/show/conWebDoc.617/...
England had 129 ships (against Spanish fleet of 138) divided into two fleets of 94 (Howard) and 35 (Drake). Wonder where Sam's informant got his information from? And is Sam relating this story because it gives him ammunition for more money for the present day Navy? (England only survived Armada attack because ofthe weather; we have much more serious threats from Dutch et al, so give us more money for Navy now or we will be at risk? as in 1588?)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Hair
Wearing the hair loose and flowing over the shoulders was becoming fashionable after more restrictive pre-Restoration syles, so maybe Lady B is aping the Court ladies and has her hair down - one of the meanings given by language_hat from the OED.

Terry F,   Link to this

Sam's comments on the English fleet of 1588

L&M note: “There were 40 ships in the Royal Navy in 1588, out of a total of 197 in service during the campaign of that year: *Defeat of Span. Armada* (ed. Sir J.K. Laughton), vol. i, p.xli; J.S. Corbett, *Drake and Tudor navy*, ii. 146, 159. Another figure (34) given in HMC *Savile-Foljambe*, p. 122, is also the same figure given by Pepys himself in a memorandum on the subject written c. 1701: *Priv. Corr.*, ii. 244-7. For the shortage of ammunition, see *Naval tracts of Sir W. Monson* (ed.Oppenheim), i. 175-6.”

Australian Susan, thanks for calling on that note, which makes clear how important was the difference between what the *Queen* had (Navy) and what *England* had (Navy + “privateers”).

Could Sam be proud of the progress made enlarging the Navy?

Dave Bell   Link to this

The Armada was largely opposed by private ships, hired by the Crown. There were not many Royal ships.

One of the Queen's ships in 1588 was the Ark Royal.

I'm sure Sam is taking a keen interest in such details. Warships have become quite distinct as a design, so it isn't much use to hire merchant ships. Cannon fire has replaced the boarding action as the primary tactic.

Mary   Link to this

Sam's exhortations to the Almighty.

I agree with Australian Susan that on the whole these exhortations carry very little more religious import than modern interjections such as "My goodness! Heavens above! Thank goodness!" and so forth. There are more heartfelt invocations at points in the diary, but they appear in entries where the matter in question has a keen significance for Sam and his interests.

andy   Link to this

and ten rounds of powder was their allowance at that time against the Spaniard

How many times have we heard this old one, that 'twas a close run thing me lad, closer than you think, our side was badly equipped, but still we triumphed, etc. Only the enemies have changed over the years, and the guns have got bigger.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"I stole from them and to my office, where I did business"
I completely agree with Australian Susan about this entry's immediacy and its parallax perspective on Sam's shifting sense of self.
Moreover, we all know *just* how he feels -- since the work has been his road to success, both external (money, God be praised!) and internal (self-esteem), there is a great relief (and shucking of weariness!) in escaping from purposeless socializing with those who bore us, and stealing away to the office for a bit of work.
And on this Labor Day, I shall do the same this afternoon ...

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: "where I shifted myself"

Can anyone enlighten me (and, I hope, some others) as to what this means?

language hat   Link to this

"shifted myself": changed my clothes
OED:
refl. To change one's clothing; to put on fresh clothing, esp. undergarments. Obs. exc. dial.
1530 PALSGR. 703/1 In the sommer season I love to shyfte me often. a1548 HALL Chron., Hen. VIII, 64 He shifted hymself into a robe of a Cardinall. 1558 in Kempe Losely MSS. (1836) 185 He hath not left hym a shert there to shyft hym with all. 1622 in Foster Eng. Factories India (1908) II. 125 Nott leavinge one ragge to shift us. 1719 DE FOE Crusoe I. 53, I was wet, and had no Cloaths to shift me.

Pauline   Link to this

re: "where I shifted myself"
I take it that he changed clothes for going to the dinner at Trinity House. And was “also trimmed.”

Peg   Link to this

"shifted myself": changed my clothes

Is this where we get the expression, not used much these days, of “to shift for oneself?” Neat.

And thanks all, for the enlightenment re hair (“highlighting?”) Ouch. Hair: One of humankind’s great obsessions, non?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Trinity House dinner...

Given Sam's limited upset, I presume he means the expensive meal was put on the Naval Office's expenses account, rather than each board member putting up cash. I would imagine a lot more from him if he'd had to tap his nice little stash.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

A well established habit to be treated out of the petty cash. Sam, it appears, did get recompensed for each little item , as long he could claim business reasons, be it oars or cabby, and I dothe think he could charge off the walks as running the gauntlet, as he had a daily expense account for going down to the other Government concerns.
Which came first 'to put a shift [night] on', or 'shift for one self' as the the lad is bespoke for at the office?

language hat   Link to this

"Is this where we get... 'to shift for oneself'?"

No, that's a development from an earlier sense of the verb:
'To manage matters; to deal, bargain, make arrangements with; to make provision for.'
Which gave rise to:
'To manage to effect one's purposes, or to make a living, by one's own devices; to succeed, get on (well or ill).'

jan   Link to this

"shifted myself" evidently means "dressed myself" according to footnote in this entry: Tuesday 28 February 1659/60

language hat   Link to this

Like I said a few comments up.

Peg   Link to this

"Is this where we get... 'to shift for oneself'?"

Thanks, LHat. Your input on this site is really valuable (and valued!).

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Yep, thanks LH.

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