Wednesday 24 June 1663

Up before 4 o’clock, and so to my lute an hour or more, and then by water, drinking my morning draft alone at an alehouse in Thames Street, to the Temple, and thence after a little discourse with my cozen Roger about some business, away by water to St. James’s, and there an hour’s private discourse with Mr. Coventry, where he told me one thing to my great joy, that in the business of Captain Cocke’s hemp, disputed before him the other day, Mr. Coventry absent, the Duke did himself tell him since, that Mr. Pepys and he did stand up and carry it against the rest that were there, Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten, which do please me much to see that the Duke do take notice of me. We did talk highly of Sir W. Batten’s corruption, which Mr. Coventry did very kindly say that it might be only his heaviness and unaptness for business, that he do things without advice and rashly, and to gratify people that do eat and drink and play with him, and that now and then he observes that he signs bills only in anger and fury to be rid of men. Speaking of Sir G. Carteret, of whom I perceive he speaks but slightly, and diminishing of him in his services for the King in Jersey; that he was well rewarded, and had good lands and rents, and other profits from the King, all the time he was there; and that it was always his humour to have things done his way. He brought an example how he would not let the Castle there be victualled for more than a month, that so he might keep it at his beck, though the people of the town did offer to supply it more often themselves, which, when one did propose to the King, Sir George Carteret being by, says Sir George, “Let me know who they are that would do it, I would with all my heart pay them.” “Ah, by God,” says the Commander that spoke of it, “that is it that they are afeard of, that you would hug them,” meaning that he would not endure them. Another thing he told me, how the Duke of York did give Sir G. Carteret and the Island his profits as Admirall, and other things, toward the building of a pier there. But it was never laid out, nor like to be. So it falling out that a lady being brought to bed, the Duke was to be desired to be one of the godfathers; and it being objected that that would not be proper, there being no peer of the land to be joyned with him, the lady replied, “Why, let him choose; and if he will not be a godfather without a peer, then let him even stay till he hath made a pier of his own.”1 He tells me, too, that he hath lately been observed to tack about at Court, and to endeavour to strike in with the persons that are against the Chancellor; but this he says of him, that he do not say nor do anything to the prejudice of the Chancellor. But he told me that the Chancellor was rising again, and that of late Sir G. Carteret’s business and employment hath not been so full as it used to be while the Chancellor stood up. From that we discoursed of the evil of putting out men of experience in business as the Chancellor, and from that to speak of the condition of the King’s party at present, who, as the Papists, though otherwise fine persons, yet being by law kept for these fourscore years out of employment, they are now wholly uncapable of business; and so the Cavaliers for twenty years, who, says he, for the most part have either given themselves over to look after country and family business, and those the best of them, and the rest to debauchery, &c.; and that was it that hath made him high against the late Bill brought into the House for the making all men incapable of employment that had served against the King. Why, says he, in the sea-service, it is impossible to do any thing without them, there being not more than three men of the whole King’s side that are fit to command almost; and these were Captain Allen, Smith, and Beech; and it may be Holmes, and Utber, and Batts might do something. I desired him to tell me if he thought that I did speak anything that I do against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes out of ill will or design. He told me quite the contrary, and that there was reason enough. After a good deal of good and fine discourse, I took leave, and so to my Lord Sandwich’s house, where I met my Lord, and there did discourse of our office businesses, and how the Duke do show me kindness, though I have endeavoured to displease more or less of my fellow officers, all but Mr. Coventry and Pett; but it matters not. Yes, says my Lord, Sir J. Minnes, who is great with the Chancellor; I told him the Chancellor I have thought was declining, and however that the esteem he has among them is nothing but for a jester or a ballad maker; at which my Lord laughs, and asks me whether I believe he ever could do that well. Thence with Mr. Creed up and down to an ordinary, and, the King’s Head being full, went to the other over against it, a pretty man that keeps it, and good and much meat, better than the other, but the company and room so small that he must break, and there wants the pleasure that the other house has in its company. Here however dined an old courtier that is now so, who did bring many examples and arguments to prove that seldom any man that brings any thing to Court gets any thing, but rather the contrary; for knowing that they have wherewith to live, will not enslave themselves to the attendance, and flattery, and fawning condition of a courtier, whereas another that brings nothing, and will be contented to cog, and lie, and flatter every man and woman that has any interest with the persons that are great in favour, and can cheat the King, as nothing is to be got without offending God and the King, there he for the most part, and he alone, saves any thing. Thence to St. James Park, and there walked two or three hours talking of the difference between Sir G. Carteret and Mr. Creed about his accounts, and how to obviate him, but I find Creed a deadly cunning fellow and one that never do any thing openly, but has intrigues in all he do or says. Thence by water home to see all well, and thence down to Greenwich, arid there walked into a pretty common garden and there played with him at nine pins for some drink, and to make the fellows drink that set up the pins, and so home again being very cold, and taking a very great cold, being to-day the first time in my tabby doublet this year. Home, and after a small supper Creed and I to bed. This day I observed the house, which I took to be the new tennis-court, newly built next my Lord’s lodgings, to be fallen down by the badness of the foundation or slight working, which my cozen Roger and his discontented party cry out upon, as an example how the King’s work is done, which I am sorry to see him and others so apt to think ill of things. It hath beaten down a good deal of my Lord’s lodgings, and had like to have killed Mrs. Sarah, she having but newly gone out of it.

  1. In the same spirit, long after this, some question arising as to the best material to be used in building Westminster Bridge, Lord Chesterfield remarked, that there were too many wooden piers (peers) at Westminster already. — B.

23 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

"he signs bills only...to be rid of men."

L&M transcribe this "he signs bills only..., to be rid of them."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So I gather we now know how Sir John got the Comptroller's spot. Nothing like being the literary chum of the Chancellor of England who also happens to be father-in-law of the Duke of York. Sam seemed just a hair nervous about Sir John's standing with Chancellor Hyde, checking with his two chief patrons, Coventry and Sandwich to confirm that Minnes' connection doesn't pose a potentially serious threat.

***
"Here however dined an old courtier that is now so, who did bring many examples and arguments to prove that seldom any man that brings any thing to Court gets any thing, but rather the contrary; for knowing that they have wherewith to live, will not enslave themselves to the attendance, and flattery, and fawning condition of a courtier, whereas another that brings nothing, and will be contented to cog, and lie, and flatter every man and woman that has any interest with the persons that are great in favour, and can cheat the King, as nothing is to be got without offending God and the King, there he for the most part, and he alone, saves any thing."

Thus spake the wise old courtier...Who presumably did not profit well by his days in service at court.

Interesting that we move right on to a description of Creed's "deadly cunning"... Hmmn, I suppose Sandwich can handle him...Maybe...But a dangerous snake for you to play with, Sam.

I do notice our Sam is being careful to keep close with cousin Roger the powerful Parliamentarian who is making clear the honeymoon of Parliament and restored King is drawing fast to a close.
***
***

Eric Walla   Link to this

A fine entry. Machinations abound and Sam is being mentioned by name. I feel so proud for him. This plot thickens all the time ... not only that, but a full Kings Head leads him into a new discovery with a new, interesting and--most importantly--quotable clientele. But what is a Tabby doublet? I've got this image of skinned cats going on in my mind and I can't get it out. But that would be warm, wouldn't it?...

JWB   Link to this

"...never do any thing openly..."

In contrast to Sam, who in a most Uriah Heepish fashion, has just ask for & received absolution for his intrigues w/ Coventry. Wonder if Pen, Batten & Mennes keep rope ends @ hand?

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

"..strip[p?]ed 'westcut'.." no doubt two shades, two toned all the rage, their being excess neutered cats.

Australian Susan   Link to this

I thought "tabby" was taffeta, but I have found a site which refers to both "taffeta" and "tabby" in the same paragraph, so obviously describing different things. This site has pictures too:

http://thorkell.halberd.org/lorenzo/documents/s...

Then I have also found a reference in a Swift tale:
http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/s/swift/jo...

This seems to endorse what I had thought - that "tabby" is a fine fabric - such as taffeta. And having that as a doublet fabric would tend to make Sam feel cold if he has been used to something much more substantial.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"arid" - obviously a scanning error for "and"

Pedro   Link to this

Tabby

“Another early material that lasted into our grandmothers' time is tabby. This was originally a striped silk taffeta, but the word was later used as a general term for waved or watered cloth, like moiré silk. The name is taken from the Attabiy quarter of Baghdad where the cloth was made, as a 12th-century writer attests: "Here are made the stuffs called Attabiya, which are silks and cottons made of various colours." An early reference to this material occurs in the London Gazette: "Lost,...a child's Mantle, of Sky-colour Tabby."
“Because of the irregular striped pattern of tabby cloth, the word also came to be applied to a new breed of cat that began to make its appearance in England at the end of the 17th century...”

http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198703/fa...

Xjy   Link to this

long entry today
Now Bess is away Sam has more time discourse with others and then with himself about what he's learnt. And he's doing it more and more effectively... This entry covers an awful lot of ground.

Gus Spier   Link to this

You don't suppose that "tabby doublet" was a name for an article of clothing that derived from a "tabard" do you? Thus, (I think), it might be sleeveless and and either open or loosely stitched at the sides. That might account for the cold that Sam feels, if he's not accustomed to wearing open clothing.

language hat   Link to this

Discussion of "tabby" and Attabiya here:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/10/13/
(Gus, "tabby" had already been cleared up -- read the thread!)

language hat   Link to this

"the company and room so small that he must break"
Anybody have any idea what "break" means here? I read the OED entry fairly carefully and saw nothing that made sense of it.

Mary   Link to this

"that he must break"

I took this to mean the the landlord of the pub opposite the King's Head is bound to fail in business; though he, personally, is a 'pretty man' and serves good food, his premises are so cramped that people will prefer to go elsewhere (e.g. the King's Head) where there is more space and a wider choice of company.

In other words, his turnover will be too small to make the business viable and he'll go broke.

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

Break, as in break even, the man tries very hard to provide better vituals and other comforts, but insouficient space [hole in the wall]and human traffick to support a profitable business, as he only gets the leftovers of the passer byes.[Foot traffick that goes thru thy door it be].[There have a few HITW'S that have deceived the observer, one I knew, made enough out 1d T's & 1d buns to retire to Nice Fr after 8 yrs, it be not how much that comes in , it be how much stays behind in the owners pocket.]
The main thread to-day, be profits, very illuminating, if read with care.
ref to break :"...but the company and room so small that he must break [go bust], and there wants the pleasure [customers] that the other house has in its company..."

in Aqua scripto   Link to this

"...drinking my morning draft alone at an alehouse ..." Not too often said I doth think, word 'alone'
Sees none of the regulars, Wharrymen, Scullars waiting for a fare down river or up, a race thru the bridge.
I dothe think, that he hoofed it up to other side of Fish street, before wetting his whistle, then getting a fast skull to Temple.

TerryF   Link to this

Drink and nine-pins

"played with [Mr Creed] at nine pins for some drink, and to make the fellows drink that set up the pins"

I take it who loses pays for ale for the other and for the pin-setters, who thereby were not *forced* but were treated to drink?

Uncommon? but methinks, typical of our Pepys.

TerryF   Link to this

Alone

Samuel has oft writ that he dined alone,
but not oft breakfasted so - though one day he did do a carry-out -was it a morning-draught, and was it whey?

Yes i.A.s., monitor of socio-economic pecking-orders, today's entry should be a special feast for thine intellectual digestive tract.

GrahamT   Link to this

"...that he must break..."
I agree with Mary's interpretation. The preceding and following clauses: "...better than the other, but the company and room so small that he must break, and there wants the pleasure that the other house has in its company" (where "wants" is used to mean "lacks"), are both negative. So, although the food and landlord are superior to the King's Head's, the inn is too small, has too few customers, and therefore lacks the atmosphere of it's bigger competitor. "Must break" looks like a more elegant way of saying "must go broke".

language hat   Link to this

"his turnover will be too small to make the business viable and he’ll go broke"
Yes, of course, I don't know why I didn't think of that. Thanks, Mary!

Glyn   Link to this

Break: He's used this in this way before.

19 January 1662

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/01/19/

“I am troubled to hear that the Turks do take more and more of our ships in the Straights, and that our merchants here in London do daily break, and are still likely to do so.”

I'm fairly certain I've seen the same usage in some of Dickens' books but can't remember where.

Kevin Peter   Link to this

So the shoddily-built (new!) building next door collapses and falls onto Sandwich's house, nearly killing Sarah the housekeeper.

I imagine that Sandwich is none too pleased about this. I'm curious whether Sandwich was ever able to get the owner or the builder to pay the costs of repairing his house.

Leopold Batt   Link to this

Who is Captain Batts

Mary   Link to this

Captain Batts served in the royalist navy and held five commands between 1660 and 1665. He lost his commission in 1666 because of alleged poor performance, though both the Duke of York and Coventry thought that he had been poorly treated. (per L&M Companion).

No further information given.

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