Friday 22 May 1663

Up pretty betimes, and shall, I hope, come to myself and business again, after a small playing the truant, for I find that my interest and profit do grow daily, for which God be praised and keep me to my duty. To my office, and anon one tells me that Rundall, the house-carpenter of Deptford, hath sent me a fine blackbird, which I went to see. He tells me he was offered 20s. for him as he came along, he do so whistle. So to my office, and busy all the morning, among other things, learning to understand the course of the tides, and I think I do now do it. At noon Mr. Creed comes to me, and he and I to the Exchange, where I had much discourse with several merchants, and so home with him to dinner, and then by water to Greenwich, and calling at the little alehouse at the end of the town to wrap a rag about my little left toe, being new sore with walking, we walked pleasantly to Woolwich, in our way hearing the nightingales sing. So to Woolwich yard, and after doing many things there, among others preparing myself for a dispute against Sir W. Pen in the business of Bowyer’s, wherein he is guilty of some corruption to the King’s wrong, we walked back again without drinking, which I never do because I would not make my coming troublesome to any, nor would become obliged too much to any. In our going back we were overtook by Mr. Steventon, a purser, and uncle to my clerk Will, who told me how he was abused in the passing of his accounts by Sir J. Minnes to the degree that I am ashamed to hear it, and resolve to retrieve the matter if I can though the poor man has given it over. And however am pleased enough to see that others do see his folly and dotage as well as myself, though I believe in my mind the man in general means well.

Took boat at Greenwich and to Deptford, where I did the same thing, and found Davis, the storekeeper, a knave, and shuffling in the business of Bewpers, being of the party with Young and Whistler to abuse the King, but I hope I shall be even with them. So walked to Redriffe, drinking at the Half-way house, and so walked and by water to White Hall, all our way by water coming and going reading a little book said to be writ by a person of Quality concerning English gentry to be preferred before titular honours, but the most silly nonsense, no sense nor grammar, yet in as good words that ever I saw in all my life, but from beginning to end you met not with one entire and regular sentence. At White Hall Sir G. Carteret was out of the way, and so returned back presently, and home by water and to bed.

25 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

"learning to understand the course of the tides"

is indeed what the times (all times) call for.

Bradford   Link to this

"the most silly nonsense, no sense nor grammar, yet in as good words that ever I saw in all my life, but from beginning to end you met not with one entire and regular sentence."

A remarkable feat in and of itself. Try it. (No fair, those of you who have taught College Comp.)

TerryF   Link to this

" we walked pleasantly to Woolwich, in our way hearing the nightingales sing."

A bucolic stroll reminiscent of Wednesday's with Mr. Howe "which was very pleasant along the green [corne and peas], and most of the way sang, he and I"

Between episodes of intense and all-consuming personal turmoil, Samuel Pepys, a man of SO many parts, has an eye and ear for the world outside and beyond himself!

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

An ear for the Dawn chorus, A blackbird that be saved from joining others in a baked pie, and then listening to "Berkleys" favourite evening songstress.
Quite the traveller and two inspections, I just wander[sic] how many to day could do that trip and still be fresh.
It appears the Bridge did not deter him from shooting the pontoons, was the tide such ? that there be no walking around the obstruction, but just sail on?

Pedro   Link to this

“Berkleys” favourite evening songstress."

And Woolwich would only be 7 or 8 miles as the crow flies?

Pedro   Link to this

Sam seems to have a liking for birds.

This night comes two cages, which I bought this evening for my canary birds, which Captain Rooth this day sent me.

andy   Link to this

he do so whistle

we have 3 nesting couples in our garden at the moment; territorial males chasing other territorial males, territorial females chasing other territorial females, and males chasing females into the foliage ... a lotta whistlin' goin' on!

language hat   Link to this

A vindication of the degree of gentry

Does anybody know anything about this book? There's almost nothing online (Google turns up Pepys and a library catalog), and I've found one quote from it on GoogleBooks:

"this was the general title throughout the world ; so that nothing more idle can be thought on, than for a particular prince to erect a new degree of blood above this title, which is universal in all nations."

Quoted at Kenelm Henry Digby's The Broad Stone of Honour (1829), p. 230:

Clement   Link to this

A vindication of the degree of gentry...
"London : Printed, and are to be sold at Oxford and Cambridge, 1663"
There is a microfilm image of at least one original at the University of Illinois library that seems to be available through many university libraries online. I would guess that some of our annotators can get access and a little more info. OCLC NO 12379463.

Nix   Link to this

Some Detective Work:

Language Hat/Clement --

The pamphlet is available on microfilm in the University of Arizona library as well.

The quotation in the 19th century by one Kenelm Henry Digby (1800-1880) may be a tipoff to the anonymous author of the pamphlet. While "a person of quality" was a very common 17th century pseudonym --

-- one of the writers who used it was an "author, diplomatist and naval commander" named Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665).

Sir Kenelm would have been known to Samuel, which might have prompted him to dip into the pamphlet. Sir Kenelm was a former Navy official, a member of the Royal Society -- and would die in 1665 of kidney stones. Quite a remarkable set of coincidences!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

A vindication of the degree of gentry, 1663

The author appears to be unknown to Wing (V 503). No author or suggestions about authorship are rcorded in the British Library main electronic catalogue entry or by the publisher/distributors of "Early English books online," which appears to be the source of most of US academic electronic catalogue entries.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...and shuffling in the business of Bewpers..." Bewpers?
Samuell gives the best clue: OED"...1664 PEPYS Diary (1879) III. 56 Among the Linnen Wholesale see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs. Ibid. 16 June, Supplying us with bewpers from Norwich. ..."
???beaupers, bewpers Also 6 bowpres [alt?bewpyr,beaupere the good/fine father]
limited OED ref:

TerryF   Link to this

Nix, methinks the work and interests of Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), 'eccentric' [wide-ranging] though they be, seem hardly aligned with the subject or Pepys's review of "A vindication of the degree of gentry, &c." or its peculiar anonymity (Digby publishad a cookbook in his own name).

Interesting piece of detective work, though.
As I wrote in the Background note, "Available in microform...widely in academic libaries across the US."

Bradford   Link to this

If only some intrepid explorer could venture into its wilderness and bring back a sample of its peerless style!

Pepys's own sentence describing the book, while quite typical of its time, has several lumps of its own, and no preceptor today would call it "regular."

dirk   Link to this

"The Vindication..."

It seems that there exists also:

"The maidens plea, or, Her defence and vindication of her self against all objections ...", written by a person of qualities, London, Printed by G. Croom for the author, 1684

The same author? Or was "a person of quality" synonymous with "anonymous", "nomen nescio", etc ?

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

See Davis and Bewpers; "...and found Davis, the storekeeper, a knave, and shuffling in the business of Bewpers, being of the party with Young and Whistler to abuse the King,..."
Thy must keep thy beaded eye on all transactions of where money and goods be traded or upgraded.
Wot! The Lord doth store, the beetles dothe recyle;
'Tis why they invented cash registers. The in store camera at one location doth say it be to keep the prices down as the Management fail to understand how goods dothe shrink, the audit and computors fail to equate.
Just like frequency does not equal to reciprical of time, one needs a fudge factor. Ladies day slipped away from polaris

adam w   Link to this

If I've got the timing right, he's walking to Woolwich just after lunch (dinner - means different things to different people, but he did several hours work afterwards, so it wasn't his evening meal.)
Lovely thought, to be able to hear nightingales in central london (Berkeley square?), but surely even in the 17th C they weren't singing in the middle of the day?

Mary   Link to this


can, indeed, be heard singing during daylight hours as well as after dusk.

Clement   Link to this

Sir Kenelm Digby--based on the fact that he isn't covered in the L&M Companion I believe we won't get to meet him in these pages, but what a fascinating contemperary character Nix has introduced and has linked to his history. Since there is a written body of work extant for this knight I suppose a good comparitive style analysis could answer Nix's intriguing guess at the author's identity. Perhaps there's a thesis in that question.

language hat   Link to this

beaupers, bewpers
[Deriv. unknown: it has been referred to Beaupreau, a town of France with manufactures of linen and woollen.]
A fabric, apparently linen; used for flags.
1592 Wills & Inv. N.C. II. 211 Lawne cufes 3s., peace of bowpres 16s. [...] 1664 PEPYS Diary III. 56 Among the Linnen Wholesale Drapers.. to see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs. Ibid. 16 June, Supplying us with bewpers from Norwich. 1720 Stow's Surv. II. V. xviii. 382/2 Bolters and Bewpers the dozen pieces 1d.

Nix   Link to this

"A person of quality" --

Was a very common pseudonym in the 17th century. The University of Arizona catalogue --

--indicates 261 items, including nearly 50 whose authors have been identified. The large majority of these appear to have been Samuel's contemporaries. A major British antiquarian library surely would list many, many more.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Re Bradford's reference to an intrepid explorer who will venture into the wilderness and bring us back an example. Sounds like a job for Conan the Librarian

A Hamilton   Link to this

Sam's a different man today. No brooding on the gigolo. Hears bird song. Like awaking from a bad dream.

Bewpers -- anachronistically, Bupers is a US Navy acronym for Bureau of Personnel

Kevin Peter   Link to this

Sam seems to be very busy today, discovering corruption whereever it is to be found. It's no wonder that he impressed people with his diligence.

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