Saturday 28 March 1663

Up betimes and to my office, where all the morning. Dined at home and Creed with me, and though a very cold day and high wind, yet I took him by land to Deptford, my common walk, where I did some little businesses, and so home again walking both forwards and backwards, as much along the street as we could to save going by water. So home, and after being a little while hearing Ashwell play on the tryangle, to my office, and there late, writing a chiding letter — to my poor father about his being so unwilling to come to an account with me, which I desire he might do, that I may know what he spends, and how to order the estate so as to pay debts and legacys as far as may be. So late home to supper and to bed.

22 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

Today's episode in the Pepys family financial affairs...

In which our boy is not insensible to how difficult it can be for a father to give an accounting/justification of his family management skills to a son, no matter how capable the latter has proved himself to be...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Think I'd be unable to remind my well-meaning son that Brampton was left to me during my lifetime. Of course John may have been given no control over the estate outside the right to live at the house and Sam does seem to be settling the debts of the estate at his own expense.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"unable to resist reminding..."

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and so home again walking both forwards and backwards"

Great image -- Sam and Creed walking backwards to protect themselves from the "high wind." Certainly they followed the street to avoid the even colder and windier conditions on the water, rather than to avoid the cost of the transport...?

Gary J. Bivin   Link to this

I took "forwards and backwards" to mean "going and returning".

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

I see your point, Gary, but he already says that he took Creed "by land" to Deptford (his "common walk"), so that covers the going part. (I assume the wind was at their backs on the way there.) It's only on the way back that he talks about walking "forwards and backwards." Plus, I don't remember him ever using those words as substitutes for going and returning, so that's why I took the phrase literally.

Stolzi   Link to this

I know we learned what the "tryangle" really is, but I have a mental picture now of Ashwell holding a modern triangle up in one hand and striking it with the little stick in the other, smirking all the while:

"Tling! Cling! Clang!"

which one could indeed only stand for "a little while."

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Hooke papers on birth of modern science saved for UK
(See some earlier annotations)
James Randerson, science correspondent
Wednesday March 29, 2006
The Guardian

A 17th-century manuscript documenting the birth of modern science has been saved for the nation. With minutes to spare at Bonhams auctioneers in central London, the Royal Society agreed an 11th-hour deal to buy the papers for "about £1m".
The manuscript, penned by the formidable scientist Robert Hooke, is described by Bonhams as "encapsulating the revolution in scientific understanding that marks the beginning of the modern world. Few memorials of the scientific revolution can have greater resonance." The guide price ranged from £1m to £1.5m.

Lord Rees of Ludlow, the president of the Royal Society, said: "This is great news for science and great news for Britain. Robert Hooke was a colossal figure in the founding of modern science, and these documents represent an irreplaceable record of his contribution. They provide an insight into one of the great minds of early modern science."

With tension in the saleroom building, proceedings were interrupted with just 45 lots to go by the Bonhams chairman, Robert Brooks. "Ladies and gentlemen, some news is breaking that I wanted to pass on to you straight away," he said.

"A private treaty sale has been concluded with the Royal Society for the Hooke manuscript and so Lot 189 has been withdrawn from the sale." There was a ripple of applause, but also a few disgruntled faces.

The details of the deal between the society and the owners who found the papers in a cupboard in their Hampshire home are murky, but the Guardian understands there had been feverish negotiations. One source said the society had been in talks with a private benefactor.

Lisa Jardine, professor of renaissance studies at Queen Mary College, London, and Hooke's biographer, said: "I'm going to break open the champagne."

Douglas Robertson   Link to this

"walking both forwards and backwards"

I like the image too, Todd (and saw it myself on first reading the phrase), but I second Gary's reading. As Sam typically makes the trip to or from Deptford at least partly by boat, he might very well find it worthwile to emphasize that on this occasion the whole round-trip was made on foot; and the part of the tale concerned with the return trip seems a natural place in which to do so. Admittedly, from a present-day grammarian's point of view, Sam seems to be saying that the alternation between "forwards" and "backwards" took place during the walk back, but this wouldn't be the first time we've had to cut Sam some grammatical slack. As for the quirky use of "forwards" and "backwards" as synonyms for "thither" and "thence"--OED, anyone?

jeannine   Link to this

"writing a chiding letter — to my poor father about his being so unwilling to come to an account with me, which I desire he might do, that I may know what he spends, and how to order the estate so as to pay debts and legacys as far as may be'
There is something in this that seems sad to me. Changing from being the child to the caretaker is a tough transition for both parties. I can understand Sam's frustration, yet perhaps there is a sense on his father's part that he isn't ready to have his son ordering his life, at least not perhaps, on Sam's time table and/or to this extent. In many cases, it's hard as a person ages to make the "shift" to let their child(ren) pick up for them and this type of seeming resistance is common. I just wish Sam came across here as a little more 'understanding' and a little less 'chiding'. Perhaps, it would make it easier for both of them.

Peg   Link to this

I'll stick with Todd's original reading. Might Sam have felt Creed enough of a "guest" that it would have been better form to treat him to a boat ride, even though Sam usually walked? Much as in NY we might treat a pal to a taxi rather than our usual subway? Here's how I read it in my 2006 head: "Even though Creed was with me, it was so cold and windy we walked both ways, inland on the streets, as far away from the (spitting, spraying, wavy, splashy, yech, cold) water as we could. Coming home it was so cold and windy that we walked backwards part of the time." The wind must have been at their backs on the way to Deptford, and on the way home they were walking into it.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"backwards and forwards"

Might this also mean that they had to keep doubling back along other streets? In order to avoid getting too much in the wind and spray?

Keith   Link to this

If the wind was so great maybe they were "tacking" back home avoiding, as much as possible, heading directly into the wind and choosing side-streets. Also dust and other wind-born stuff could make this a good tactic.

TerryF   Link to this

"Hooke papers on birth of modern science saved for UK"

Link to Guardian Unlimited article; new FRS to follow?
http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research...

Bradford   Link to this

Now if I we only had a painting to match the many of A Lady at the Harpsichord (by whatever name) that showed Stolzi's Version.
It's a bit anachronistic, and I can't pretend it's on-message, but scroll down to the 7th photograph and revel in the sight if not the sound of Ashwell's musical soul-mate, as "Nazaré suona il triangolo":
http://www.nazarepereira.hpg.ig.com.br/italiano...

Bradford   Link to this

Sorry, sixth photo. I was too dazzled to count straight.

Douglas Robertson   Link to this

"backwards and forwards"

Retraction of my earlier reading and tentative suggestion of a new one compatible with Australian Susan's: Deptford lies at the right end of a pronounced horseshoe bend in the Thames. If Pepys and Creed in their City-ward stroll broadly followed the course of the river, they must have been obliged roughly two miles north of Deptford to backtrack at least a full mile SSW before finding themselves oriented more or less due westward at Wapping (or its south-bank counterpart). It all depends, of course, on how closely the Deptford-to-London road or roads hugged the Thames in 1663.

GrahamT   Link to this

Backwards and forwards is used in the sense of to-and-fro(m) in modern English, as in "I've been going backwards-and-forwards all day between my desk and the photocopier." Personally, I rarely walk backwards to the photocopier. So, I read it that Sam and Creed walked both ways rather than take the boat in one direction.

Tamira Cole   Link to this

Interesting

I think that it is interesting that a father will devulge the details of a crippling financial situation. Several parents fail to brief their children, let alone encourage them to be financially responsible, in today's society. This is a very interesting diary.

Ramona Higer   Link to this

I think Mr. Pepys adored his father. He is always so caring of him. And my
picture of his father is of a dignified, almost elegant man in his son's eyes. A fine taylor, yes, but lacking the mental acuity of his son.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

According to Tomalin, John Pepys was used by Sandwich on at least one or more occasions as a confidential agent abroad, probably to carry messages. He almost certainly provided the basis for Sam's love of music by having it in the house. Very likely, for his profession and sphere John's an exceptional man who encouraged and tried to give his son every possible chance. No wonder Sam has such respect and affection for him, even if he doesn't quite trust him to run his own affairs.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

".... home again walking both forwards and backwards, as much along the street as we could to save going by water...."

For the modern Person, thee be protected from the Driving elements by the modern shells of transportation..
I dothe think it be simple, the wind be gusting up so much, that thee turn thy back to the wind and carry on walking till the wind lets up a bit. When I be a wee chappie, I used to do that all the time, when walking to the old brainwashing organisation to do my 3 R's.
Besides when thee be walking and bragging, there be a need for the words to be expelled into the ear of thy hearer not forced back down thy throat.
Then too, Sam was saving his expense monies for, may I say it, a giffte for the new percussionist.

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