Thursday 30 April 1663

Up, and after drinking my morning draft with my father and W. Stankes, I went forth to Sir W. Batten, who is going (to no purpose as he uses to do) to Chatham upon a survey. So to my office, where till towards noon, and then to the Exchange, and back home to dinner, where Mrs. Hunt [L&M say “Mr Hunt” P.G.], my father, and W. Stankes; but, Lord! what a stir Stankes makes with his being crowded in the streets and wearied in walking in London, and would not be wooed by my wife and Ashwell to go to a play, nor to White Hall, or to see the lyons,1 though he was carried in a coach. I never could have thought there had been upon earth a man so little curious in the world as he is. At the office all the afternoon till 9 at night, so home to cards with my father, wife, and Ashwell, and so to bed.

  1. The Tower menagerie, with its famous lions, which was one of the chief sights of London, and gave rise to a new English word, was not abolished until the early part of the present century.

32 Annotations

language hat   Link to this

"the present century" being presumably the nineteenth!

dirk   Link to this

John Evelyn's diary today:

"Came his Majestie to honor my poore Villa with his presence, viewing the Gardens & even every roome of the house: & was then pleased to take a small refreshment: There was with him the Duke of Richmont, E:[=Earl] of St. Albans, L:[=Lord] Lauderdail & severall Persons of quality:"

A. Hamilton   Link to this

I never could have thought there had been upon earth a man so little curious in the world as he is.

A terrified country mouse in the big city.

Then says the rustic: "It may do for you,
This life, but I don't like it; so adieu:
Give me my hole, secure from all alarms,
'I don't need any of this, and so
good-bye to it.

Tum rusticus 'Haud mihi vita
est opus hac,' ait, 'et valeas; me silva cavusque
tutus ab insidiis tenui solabitur ervo.'
Horatio Sermones II vi

Maurie Beck   Link to this

Stankes
"I never could have thought there had been upon earth a man so little curious in the world as he is."

And there wasn't another till George Bush, the 43rd president of the United States. Thankfully, our man Pepys is a curious fellow and leads us through the 17th century with that curiousity on display.

Glyn   Link to this

Tell me about it, Sam. I live about 12 miles (20 km) from Trafalgar Square and I know neighbours of mine who have never been to London (as they call it) in the last several years and have no intention of doing so. They're not hostile to the idea, just can't be bothered.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"a man so little curious in the world as he is"
I don't think it has anything to do with him being a country bumpkin; If there was a coelocanthus or one of those "living fossil" trees from Australia here in New York, I would certainly go to see them.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...I went forth to Sir W. Batten, who is going (to no purpose as he uses to do) to Chatham upon a survey..." Need a day to get away from all that jabber, know the feeling, I used to love to skip those useless powwows.

Miss Ann   Link to this

"... one of those “living fossil” trees from Australia here in New York ..." - we've just purchased two Wollemi Pines - the trunks look like they've got Coco Pops stuck to it. But a wonderful tree anyway.

Poor Stankes, the country bumpkin entrusted with taking the horses to the big smoke to the boss and no doubt intimidated by all the goings on - there are many people like that here in Australia who won't venture into Sydney because of the noise, pollution, traffice, hustle & bustle. What would Stankes make of such a place today!

Sounds to me like Dad's problems have now well and truly passed and he's up to playing cards. It's nice that Sam is able to put time into his family no matter how late he is home from the office, what a pity he didn't become a father in his own right.

Jesse   Link to this

"to no purpose as he uses to do"

Per L&M (cited in his bio) "In 1665 and 1666 Batten spent a lot of time in the yards, where he was probably more at home than at an office desk." We're a couple years early but I think probably something similar. I wonder why Pepys wouldn't have shown a little more respect for Batten's nautical background and perhaps offer a little administrative assistance in exchange for Batten sharing some knowledge gained from his experience. This might have led to a more amicable sharing of kickbacks and um, more importantly, help him/both be better at the job.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

City life Stankes!

Yesterday: "But it is very pleasant to hear how he rails at the rumbling and ado that is in London over it is in the country, that he cannot endure it"

Today: "but, Lord! what a stir Stankes makes with his being crowded in the streets and wearied in walking in London"

Guess the country-bumpkin bit gets old fast, as far as Our Boy is concerned...

Martin   Link to this

“to no purpose as he uses to do”
I can't recall ever seeing the present tense of "use" in this sense of a habitual action -- today's it's exclusively a past-tense formation.

Gary J. Bivin   Link to this

"uses to do" -> "usually does"
Interesting evolution of phraseology.

celtcahill   Link to this

Sam is still helping the Historian:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/495...

TerryF   Link to this

celtcahill, thanks for another Capt. Robert Holmes story.

We will, I am sure, hear all about it next year! and it does contain another big spoiler. Seriously, though, this is a nice find.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

It don't 'alf "City life Stankes!" not every one be enamoured with the soot, neighing, braying, josle, busle, hassle, hussle[ D: husselen], hurry skurry, nudge, gardelouing, all to see Caslemaine prancing, 'tis better to go down to the meadow and cast thy net on those cause the mooing .

Rex Gordon   Link to this

The Menagerie at the Tower

According to the L&M Companion volume, the Tower's menagerie was transferred to the Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park in 1828. In 1710, according to a visitor's account, it housed four lions, one tiger, two wolves, two "Indian cats" and two eagles.

dirk   Link to this

The Menagerie at the Tower

"Big cats prowled London's tower"
Two lion skulls unearthed at the Tower of London have been dated to Medieval times, shedding light on the lost institution of the "Royal Menagerie".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4371908.stm

-----

The Menagerie seems to have continued to flourish during the Interregnum, James Howel noting in the 1650s that the Tower was never "better furnished with lions that it is now, there being six in all, young and old". In July 1671 contracts were signed to erect a new two-storey residence for the Menagerie Keeper, William Gill, in the tower "where the Kings Lyons be kept".

http://www.hrp.org.uk/webcode/content.asp?ID=553

-----

And now for something more "spooky"...

"At one time the Tower of London was home to the Royal Menagerie. Lions, leopards, bears, birds, monkeys and an elephant, that was a gift from the King of France, were kept on exhibit. On the stroke of midnight in January of 1815 a sentry saw a bear from this menagerie emerge from a doorway. He lunged at it with his bayonet, it passed right through the apparition. The Sentry was later found unconscious, it is said he died of fright within two months of this encounter."

http://www.ufomagazine.co.uk/The_Ghosts_of_The_...

jeannine   Link to this

Thanks Dirk-- a little more lion speak for you!

A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh
A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh
A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A weema-weh
A-weema-weh A-weema weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh

In the tower, the mighty tower
The lion sleeps tonight
In the tower, the quiet tower
The lion sleeps tonight.

Right in London, the crowded London
The lion sleeps tonight.
Right in London, the crowded London
The lion sleeps tonight.

Hush my Stankes, don't fear my Stankes
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my Stankes, don't fear my Stankes
The lion sleeps tonight.

http://www.stinalisa.com/Lion.html

Bradford   Link to this

To continue our musical intermission:

"as he uses to do”
This construction was still in poetic usage as late as 1892, when W[illiam].
E[rnest]. Henley (1849-1903) published his volume of poems, "Echoes." Number XXXVIII includes the lines:

"On the way to Kew . . .
I met a ghost today,
a ghost that told of you . . .
coming up from Richmond
as you used to do.

"By the river old and gray . . .
on the way to Kew,
March had the laugh of May . . .
coming up from Richmond
as I used with you."

I only happen to know this because of the beautiful settings of Henley's verses by George Butterworth (1885-1916) in his brief haunting song-cycle "Love blows as the wind blows," written in 1911-14 and still being sung and recorded anew today.

jeannine   Link to this

Dirk...
Too late! Maybe we should invent some sort of "alert" so that people don't open these links in their quiet offices, when they should be listening to a professor's lecture, etc. ...there will no doubt be some embarrassed readers out there tomorrow am...

Australian Susan   Link to this

"gave rise to a new English word"
Would that be "lionise?"

GrahamT   Link to this

Re: “gave rise to a new English word”
I assume this is menagerie, which came into use in English around 1712, i.e. during the existance of the Tower menagerie, though it had much older usage in France. Zoo is first mentioned in 1847, though zoologist appeared in 1663.
Thanks to:Online Etymology Dictionary.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=zoo&...

GrahamT   Link to this

Uses/used to do:
Bradford, "uses to do" is the form that is now rare, "used to do" is still in everyday speech, for example: Elvis Costello's song - Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used To Do)

A. Hamilton   Link to this

what a stir Stankes makes with his being crowded in the streets and wearied in walking in London, and would not be wooed by my wife and Ashwell to go to a play, nor to White Hall, or to see the lyons,

Maybe Stankes was afflicted with second sight, and could see the ghosts of the street and the Tower(and according to Henley, of the river paths), and the coming plague and fire. "Fourmillante cité, cité pleine de rêves,/Où le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant." So many, I had not thought death had undone so many...

language hat   Link to this

Uses/used to do:
Graham, I think Bradford meant the final line "as I used with you," which is archaic but not the same construction as the present-tense form. Not a very relevant quote.

Bryan M   Link to this

“gave rise to a new English word”

The following information is provided in the Online Etymology Dictionary under "lion":
Verb lionize "to treat (someone) as a celebrity" was used by Scott, 1809, and preserves lion in the sense of "person of note who is much sought-after" (1715), originally in ref. to the lions formerly kept in the Tower of London (referred to thus from late 16c.), objects of general curiosity that every visitor in town was taken to see. Lion's share "the greatest portion" is attested from 1790.

Reply to Bryan M:   Link to this

Oops, I thought the "new English word" was "menagerie" !

Glyn   Link to this

I know the feeling about incurious people. Just had the same thing trying to get people to see the sultan's elephant:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/thesultansele...
And there's still until this Sunday if you're nearby.

Lawrence   Link to this

Dirk
My 21 year old Daughter loved that link, The Lion Sleeps tonight

Patricia   Link to this

I feel for Stankes, because I hate the City too.
"When Rita Joe first come to the city she tell me the pavement hurt her feet." (from George Ryga's play, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe)
There is plenty to be curious about in the country, though I can be enticed into the City to see the "lyons".

Alistair J. Sinclair   Link to this

My copy of the 'compact' Oxford English Dictionary has '"to visit the 'lions' (of a place)" as the first meaning of the word 'lionize'. Therefore, 'the new English word' must mean 'lionize' (or 'lionise').

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