Saturday 13 June 1663

Up and betimes to Thames Street among the tarr men, to look the price of tarr and so by water to Whitehall thinking to speak with Sir G. Carteret, but he lying in the city all night, and meeting with Mr. Cutler the merchant, I with him in his coach into the city to Sir G. Carteret, but missing him there, he and I walked to find him at Sir Tho. Allen’s in Bread Street, where not finding him he and I walked towards our office, he discoursing well of the business of the Navy, and particularly of the victualling, in which he was once I perceive concerned, and he and I parted and I to the office and there had a difference with Sir W. Batten about Mr. Bowyer’s tarr, which I am resolved to cross, though he sent me last night, as a bribe, a barrel of sturgeon, which, it may be, I shall send back, for I will not have the King abused so abominably in the price of what we buy, by Sir W. Batten’s corruption and underhand dealing. So from the office, Mr. Wayth with me, to the Parliament House, and there I spoke and told Sir G. Carteret all, with which he is well pleased, and do recall his willingness yesterday, it seems, to Sir W. Batten, that we should buy a great quantity of tarr, being abused by him. Thence with Mr. Wayth after drinking a cupp of ale at the Swan, talking of the corruption of the Navy, by water. I landed him at Whitefriars, and I to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, where I found my wife’s brother, and thence after dinner by water to the Royall Theatre, where I resolved to bid farewell, as shall appear by my oaths tomorrow against all plays either at publique houses or Court till Christmas be over. Here we saw “The Faithfull Sheepheardesse,” a most simple thing, and yet much thronged after, and often shown, but it is only for the scenes’ sake, which is very fine indeed and worth seeing; but I am quite out of opinion with any of their actings, but Lacy’s, compared with the other house. Thence to see Mrs. Hunt, which we did and were much made of; and in our way saw my Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something. This is my wife’s opinion also, for which I am sorry. Thence by coach, with a mad coachman, that drove like mad, and down byeways, through Bucklersbury home, everybody through the street cursing him, being ready to run over them. So home, and after writing letters by the post, home to supper and bed. Yesterday, upon conference with the King in the Banqueting House, the Parliament did agree with much ado, it being carried but by forty-two voices, that they would supply him with a sum of money; but what and how is not yet known, but expected to be done with great disputes the next week. But if done at all, it is well.

34 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

Read The King's Speech abt. his needs for revenue & the Reply

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com...

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and in our way saw my Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something"

Ain't that always the way, Sam? Familiarity breed contempt, and time waits for no (wo)man.

Quite a fun entry today ... can't you just see the "made coachman" barreling through the streets?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"though he sent me last night, as a bribe, a barrel of sturgeon"

Oh, so it's a *bribe* when you don't think the deal is a good one, eh?

This is the first time we've seen this word in connection with Sam's dealings, right?

Bradford   Link to this

"now she begins to decay something. This is my wife’s opinion also, for which I am sorry."

---not that Elizabeth thinks ill of my Lady Castlemaine, but that his perception of decline has been seconded by an independent witness. Où sont les neiges d’antan?

jeannine   Link to this

"saw my Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something"
Gee, to be Lady Castlemaine at 22 years old and so unfortunate as to "decay"!
I so love some of Sam's word choices and phrases. I have often wondered how he'd describe each of us! To digress, what fun to have a contest to describe ourselves "Sam style". Hmmm, would it be better to be "decaying" or my all time favorite a "a pitiful, old, ugly, illbred woman in a hatt" (Fenner's wife on Jan 23 1661/1662).

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Castlemaine...Live fast, decay young.

"I just know I caught it from that bastard Charles..."

Ah, well. There's always kind ole (and actually not so old) Palmer to turn to...He was still caring for the assorted, discarded offspring last we heard from him, I believe.

***
"Ahhhh...Sam?!!"

Trying to hold the terrified Bess in her seat with one hand, Sam bangs on at the roof of the carriage with the other... "Damn fool! Slow down!"

"Ah, ha, ha...Ha!" the mad coachman gives an appropriate reply.

Sudden pull-up. Arrgghhh...The passengers tumbled about.

"My...God..." Bess breathes.

"By the Mass..." Sam gasps.

"What a rush!!" Both grin.

"Once more round the same route, Mr. Pepys? You still have another fifteen minutes." the famed "mad coachman" of Bucklersbury asks politely.

"Make go him faster this time, Sam'l. " Bess eagerly pulls at Sam.

"Full runaway horse?" Sam suggests.

"Oh, yeah."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Coming soon on the Pepys website...

Samuel Pepys...Loose in London.

Sam dressed to kill, whistling...

"Oh, the shark has great big teeth, dear. And he keeps them peary-white. Now Sam Pepys has...Got a sword, dear but he keeps it. Out of sight."

"When the shark bites with his teeth,dear. Crimson billows...Start to spread. Now Sam Pepys wears white kid-gloves, dear. And there's not a...Speck of red." Finger snaps.

"By the Thames'...Turbid waters..." Finger snaps. "You'll see ole Sammy. He is on the prowl. And 5'll get you 10, dear he's headed somewhere...And that somewhere features a girl in gown."

"Do...Do..Do-da. Dee...Dat...Da-da. Dee...Dat da-da-da. Dee-dat...Da-da-da."

"Hewer?! What the devil are you doing?!"

"Just providing back-up, sir. I thought we were in a breakdown." Will notes.

Frown. Anyway.

"Oh you ladies...Out there in London."

"Mr. Pepys, sir."

"Not now, Hewer. My dear Diana and my actress friends."

"Sir!"

"Hewer..." Sam waves him off. Big finish coming. "Oh, your men better lock up you girlies...Because..."

"What is it, Hewer?" Sam turns in mid-song at a hard tap on back.

Het-hemn. A coldly staring Bess...

"I forgot my birdcage. But I see I won't be needing it, after all." she turns and stalks off for the house.

***

TerryF   Link to this

"This is my wife’s opinion also, for which I am sorry."

Hmmm, let's see - he's sorry that his wife agrees with him about my Lady Castlemaine's decay, or....?

Pedro   Link to this

“Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something.”

And I was always told that women, like wine, mature with age. Another illusion shattered!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and yet much thronged after"
Nice expression! but i don't think much used anymore.

TerryF   Link to this

Samuel Pepys, prosecutor

First "among the tarr men, to look the price of tarr" then, evidence in hand as to what is charged on theopen market, "a difference with Sir W. Batten about Mr. Bowyer’s tarr..., for I will not have the King abused so abominably in the price of what we buy, by Sir W. Batten’s corruption and underhand dealing."

Case closed!

A. Hamilton   Link to this

and now she begins to decay something

cf
The progress of beauty
Jonathan Swift

....So rotting Celia stroles the Street
When sober Folks are all a-bed.

For sure if this be Luna's Fate,
Poor Celia, but of mortall Race
In vain expects a longer Date
To the Materialls of Her Face.

When Mercury her Tresses mows
To think of Oyl and Soot, is vain,
No Painting can restore a Nose,
Nor will her Teeth return again.

Two Balls of Glass may serve for Eyes,
White Lead can plaister up a Cleft,
But these alas, are poor Supplyes
If neither Cheeks, nor Lips be left.

Ye Pow'rs who over Love preside,
Since mortal Beautyes drop so soon,
If you would have us well supply'd,
Send us new Nymphs with each new Moon

TerryF   Link to this

From John Gay's "Beggars Opera" (1728)

AIR XXII. Cotillon.

Youth's the Season made for Joys,
Love is then our Duty,
She alone who that employs,
Well deserves her Beauty.
Let's be gay,
While we may,
Beauty's a Flower, despis'd in Decay.
Youth's the Season, &c.

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not to-morrow.
Love with Youth flies swift away,
Age is nought but Sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time's on the Wing.
Life never knows the Return of Spring.
CHORUS. Let us drink, &c.
http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext00/bgopr10.txt

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

Terry F: ye need 'in scripto, onus probandi' .
Samuell! you be 'integer vitai ' of course [Horace Odes LXXII.1]

graybo   Link to this

Sam could save a lot of running around after Carteret if he just gave him a call on his mobile to find out where he was!

Living in a communication age, this piece reminds us of the time that was wasted even quite recently because communication was only really possible face-to-face or by letter. Mind you, I seem to spend ages hunting around for my Luddite father, who can never be found and only recently advanced so far as having a wristwatch, let alone a mobile phone.

Pedro   Link to this

“for I will not have the King abused so abominably”

I wonder how much of the money Sam could save the King would still be spent on the decaying Castlemaine.

alanB   Link to this

"Ah, now letsbe avenue. Entering a controlled zone, exceeding the speed limit, dangerous driving, driving under the influence, issueing profanities, driving with undue care and attention, entering a one way street the wrong way - oh! 'ello Mr Pepys. Of course you may proceed, no bother Mr Pepys. That'll do very nicely" as our Peeler pats his rear pocket. "hope the new vows tomorrow serve you well. We puritans must purge our conscience"

adam w   Link to this

Versatile actor!
Lacy has performed in 3 different plays over 4 days: “The Faithfull Sheepheardesse” today, "The Committee" yesterday, “Love in a Maze.” on the 10th. A good repertory workhorse.
For the theatregoer it must be like finding a Michael Caine re-run on every channel.

And what has happened to Samuel's vow against frivolity and play-going? He 'cleared his books' at the end of May, but suggested that he would be keeping account again in June
("and so June is the first time that I am to begin to reckon" - 29th May). How long before we hear the pangs of conscience?

Tom Burns   Link to this

"... he sent me last night, as a bribe, a barrel of sturgeon,"

Forgive me if we've had this discussion before, but I am curious - what are the ethics of bribery of public officials in Sam's time as opposed to present day? I get the impression it was more acceptable then. Am I right?

Maura Moran   Link to this

"everybody through the street cursing him, being ready to run over them..."

Sounds like quite a few taxi rides I've taken with the modern descendants of the "mad coachman"!

Don McCahill   Link to this

Decay?

I can't see a woman of 22 physically decaying. I wonder if this is another case where Sam has other meanings for the word? Moral decay ... manner of dress, something else?

Roy Feldman   Link to this

Sam's bribe:

He talked with Mr. Wayth about the corruption of the Navy, and decried Mr. Bowyer's bribe -- but I like how he doesn't quite promise to refuse the bribe:

"a barrel of sturgeon, which, it may be, I shall send back..."

Stolzi   Link to this

Decaying

Not the collapse of old age, but that she is starting to lose her looks.

As for poor Celia in the poem, the mention of Mercury, and hints that she is losing her Hair, her Nose and other parts, would indicate that "rotting" Celia hath the Pox, which Castlemaine presumably does not have.

Mercury was one of those cures that is worse than the disease.

Pedro   Link to this

“and now she begins to decay something”

Castlemaine has had two children in the last two years and about 6 months pregnant with the 3rd to be born in September. No doubt Sam will see her in a different light when she is back hanging the washing out.

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

Greasing palms still be the only way, but those palms that be without their share of the pot, have tried to find ways to get their share of the pork pie, they only made it more difficult for those that failed English Litt. One must know rules that work, for when ever there be money [which be always] for the taking, someone will find a loophole that will work for them.
Now no sturgeon by direct injection, just leave the address where sturgeon are waiting for a plate to be filled.
Bribery be not an equal opportunity situation, one must eliminate thy competition to get thy pot filled.
It makes a difference, whom be suppling the Roe, Sam does not want to be Tarred with that brush, another maybe.
So sorry.

bardi   Link to this

Oh, the value of a comma. ". . . talking of the corruption of the Navy, by water."

TerryF   Link to this

As L&M say, commas are editorial, so, perhaps....

Sjoerd   Link to this

Conversation with wife much improved

the "decay" in (any) other ladies is a much better subject for discussion with the wife then - for instance - "practical use of cushions in interior decorating" (from day before yesterday). Very recognisable.

TerryF   Link to this

"in our way saw my Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something."

I take "in our way" to mean "on the very street we walked along" - perhaps they hadn't seen Lady Castlemaine as close-up in a while, if ever (and she without her full "face" on)? If she's pregnant, mightn't one expect her to be, ah, radiant?

Bradford   Link to this

Or perhaps the ingredients in her makeup are starting to have an adverse effect.

As for people being hard to find, pinpoint, and pin down 24/7: isn't the ultimate luxury not being available?

Australian Susan   Link to this

The last bribery barrel of sturgeon went off rapidly. maybe this one will too!
I note that Sam says "So home, and after writing letters by the post, home to supper and bed." I take this to mean that he gets home, then pops across the courtyard and into the Navy Office, writes his letters which are then taken by a waiting clerk to go off in the country mails somewhere - then he goes back to his house and supper and bed.

Jonathan Swift's poem is wonderfully repellent - thanks AH! - and laying it on thick about the corruption - the Elizabethans were a bit subtler.

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

"this piece reminds us of the time that was wasted even quite recently because communication was only really possible face-to-face or by letter"
"tempus edax rerum" Ovid Metamorphoses xv 234. a piece shown to Eliza,
Alice to Harch Hare why ye be running so fast?"
Hare " so I can stay in place."
Misquote but
[tempus fugit] Time not be wasted then any more tnan now, 3 hour commutes daily, It might be 7 hour work day but only 7 hours napping , the rest be catching up.
Besides that, down time be good for the subconcious to catch all those errors that be needing attention in the corpus delicti [body chosen/ not the legal one]or should it be corpus corruptus.Stress nand no down time for contemplating thy navel

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

Add on : time consumer of things.
errata: nand s/b and

Nix   Link to this

Castlemaine at 22 --

Her entry in the Oxford DNB says she will bear another bastard in September 1663, so that may account for a bedraggled appearance.

Of course, she may just embody the old expression from the southern U.S., "she looks like she been rode hard and put up wet."

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