Thursday 2 July 1663

Up betimes to my office, and there all the morning doing business, at noon to the Change, and there met with several people, among others Captain Cox, and with him to a Coffee [House], and drank with him and some other merchants. Good discourse. Thence home and to dinner, and, after a little alone at my viol, to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and so rose at the evening, and then home to supper and to bed, after a little musique. My mind troubled me with the thoughts of the difference between my wife and my father in the country. Walking in the garden this evening with Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes, Sir G. Carteret told us with great contempt how like a stage-player my Lord Digby spoke yesterday, pointing to his head as my Lord did, and saying, “First, for his head,” says Sir G. Carteret, “I know what a calf’s head would have done better by half for his heart and his sword, I have nothing to say to them.” He told us that for certain his head cost the late King his, for it was he that broke off the treaty at Uxbridge. He told us also how great a man he was raised from a private gentleman in France by Monsieur Grandmont, and afterwards by the Cardinall, —[Mazarin]— who raised him to be a Lieutenant-generall, and then higher; and entrusted by the Cardinall, when he was banished out of France, with great matters, and recommended by him to the Queen as a man to be trusted and ruled by: yet when he came to have some power over the Queen, he begun to dissuade her from her opinion of the Cardinal; which she said nothing to till the Cardinal was returned, and then she told him of it; who told my Lord Digby, “Eh bien, Monsieur, vous estes un fort bon amy donc:” but presently put him out of all; and then he was, from a certainty of coming in two or three years’ time to be Mareschall of France (to which all strangers, even Protestants, and those as often as French themselves, are capable of coming, though it be one of the greatest places in France), he was driven to go out of France into Flanders; but there was not trusted, nor received any kindness from the Prince of Conde, as one to whom also he had been false, as he had been to the Cardinal and Grandmont. In fine, he told us how he is a man of excellent parts, but of no great faith nor judgment, and one very easy to get up to great height of preferment, but never able to hold it. So home and to my musique; and then comes Mr. Creed to me giving me an account of his accounts, how he has now settled them fit for perusal the most strict, at which I am glad. So he and I to bed together.

15 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"Eh bien, Monsieur, vous estes un fort bon amy donc"

Anyone care to translate? I can figure out most except the "amy donc"...

"and then he was, from a certainty of coming in two or three years’ time to be Mareschall of France (to which all strangers, even Protestants, and those as often as French themselves, are capable of coming, though it be one of the greatest places in France)"

I'd be most indebted to anyone who can shed light on this, too...

Lea   Link to this

"un fort bon amy donc" -- isn't it "you are a very good friend therefore"?

TerryF   Link to this

To attempt to clarify

At the time of Louis XIV, many foreigners were mong the 51 he gave the high rank and title of Mareschall of France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_of_France - one of Louis' skills was pan-European coalition-building, deputizing socially well-connected mercenaries, in effect.

Roy Feldman   Link to this

Pepys's Slumber Parties

Apologies if this has been answered before, but why does Creed always seem to end up lodging at Pepys's place? Doesn't he have his own place? I would think he could afford the cabfare, what with all those pieces of eight...

TerryF   Link to this

"why does Creed always seem to end up lodging at Pepys’s place?"

Well, he doesn't "always", does he. Part of your impression may be explained by the Background info on John Creed, esp. the main annote by language hat, who cites the L&M Companion entry -
"He had some private wealth, and (if Pepys is to be believed) was thoroughly mean with it?refusing loans to Sandwich, and moving his bachelor apartments from time to time in order to avoid the poll-tax."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/507/#c2821

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...then comes Mr. Creed to me giving me an account of his accounts, how he has now settled them fit for perusal the most strict, at which I am glad. So he and I to bed together."

In bed together indeed... Sam, I would follow up on your own advice to yourself and get away from this fellow tout sweet.

Xjy   Link to this

“Eh bien, Monsieur, vous estes un fort bon amy donc”
Well, Sir, a great friend you are to be sure"

Roughly.

A bit more today: "you turned out to be then..."

Glyn   Link to this

Elizabeth, please do come home quickly, so Sam doesn't have the time to write entries as these.

language hat   Link to this

What?
If you don't enjoy reading long entries, why are you reading the diary at all?

TerryF   Link to this

"In fine, he told us how he is a man of excellent parts, but of no great faith nor judgment, and one very easy to get up to great height of preferment, but never able to hold it."

Wonderful description by Sir G. Carteret!
I wonder how many like Lord Digby in this respect there are at present. Nominations?

Bradford   Link to this

"Ah, sir, you are a very firm friend, then"---each reader will have their own colloquial rendering. ("old" French spelling)

Creed rectifying his accounts to Pepys's satisfaction, and then the two sharing a mattress---a literal enactment of the figurative phrase "to be in bed with someone."

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"So he and I to bed together."

You bring up a good point, Bradford -- I've wondered if the phrase above means that they're literally in bed together, or simply that Creed bunks down in another bed (possibly in the same room) at the same time as Sam goes to his. We know that Sam certainly has enough beds in his house that a guest wouldn't be forced to sleep with him, especially given how empty the house is now.

And LH, in Glyn's defense, I understand what he means sometimes -- I love the long, meaty entries, but sometimes when things are hectic and I'm pressed for time, I appreciate it when Sam's a bit more brief, giving me time to concentrate on the present rather than the past...

language hat   Link to this

"in Glyn’s defense"
Yeah, sorry Glyn, I know you're a regular and obviously love the entries and were just being funny -- I'm just cranky these days because when it's not raining it's hot and muggy, so I got snippy. Mea culpa.

Glyn   Link to this

That's OK L.Hat - I read what you were saying on your own website - but sometimes I wonder how he has the time to write all of this. Presumably he doesn't draft any entry in advance but writes it as he thinks of it.

jeannine   Link to this

Summary of Digby from Allen Andrews “The Royal Whore”

Castlemaine’s self appointed “role” included being hostess to the political get togethers after the day of Parliamentary meetings, etc. “While Charles was mediating his Declaration of Indulgence she brought in the Earl of Bristol. If she saw this peer, an undistinguished enemy of Clarendon’s, as her hatchet man capable of securing the long wished extinction of the Chancellor, it is an indication of Barbara’s poor political judgment. The whole assay was a disaster.
George Digby, second Earl of Bristol, was an old friend of Bennet and of the King. He had been secretary of state to Charles II in exile, but he was converted to Roman Catholicism in 1658 and had to be deprived of his office. An endearing, impetuous and unreliable man, he could still assume no office on his return to England, but he appointed himself the political champion of the Roman Catholics.
He also made much of Lady Castlemaine. His enthusiastic partisan promotion of her cause during the bedchamber controversy increased Charles’ affection for him. It was natural that Bristol should be deeply concerned with implementing the King’s intention to secure some measure of toleration for Roman Catholics, and during the framing of the declaration of Indulgence he was accepted more decisively as of the Castlemaine set. Clarendon effectively killed any parliamentary acceptance of toleration, and in irascible Bristol determined to bring the Chancellor down in a forlorn hope of foolish extremism. (At cards, dice and politics he was always an unsuccessful gambler).
He was no mean orator-he had made a profoundly influential speech to the Lords, persuading them to support the King’s policy of political appeasement by renouncing reprisal against all the Commonwealth crimes except the regicide. Bristol now made the unorthodox step of going into the House of Commons to deliver a speech attacking the Chancellor. When the King asked later to see the speech, and told him it was seditious, Bristol burst into an extraordinary tirade against Charles himself, so completely dumbfounding the King in his own closet that, as Charles said afterwards, “I had not the presence of mind to call for the guard and send hi to the Tower, as I ought to have done.” (p 103-104).. to be continued tomorrow…

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