Thursday 26 November 1663

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon I to the ‘Change, and there met with Mr. Cutler the merchant, who would needs have me home to his house by the Dutch Church, and there in an old but good house, with his wife and mother, a couple of plain old women, I dined a good plain dinner, and his discourse after dinner with me upon matters of the navy victualling very good and worth my hearing, and so home to my office in the afternoon with my mind full of business, and there at it late, and so home to supper to my poor wife, and to bed, myself being in a little pain. … by a stroke … in pulling up my breeches yesterday over eagerly, but I will lay nothing to it till I see whether it will cease of itself or no. The plague, it seems, grows more and more at Amsterdam; and we are going upon making of all ships coming from thence and Hambrough, or any other infected places, to perform their Quarantine (for thirty days as Sir Rd. Browne expressed it in the order of the Council, contrary to the import of the word, though in the general acceptation it signifies now the thing, not the time spent in doing it) in Holehaven, a thing never done by us before.

21 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"being in a little pain in one of my testicles, by a stroke I did give it in pulling up my breeches yesterday over-eagerly" - so L&M.

Bradford   Link to this

"quarantine" (short etymology): from the French "quarante," "forty"---i.e., forty days' (and nights') detention. (How Biblical.)

Glyn   Link to this

The Dutch Church still exists and is open for services and for people to visit. You'll find it at Austin Friars Passage, a couple of minutes walk from the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England.

Terry F   Link to this

I'll put the Google map to Austin Friars Passage in the background.

http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&...

Terry F   Link to this

Perhaps a better way to locate the Dutch Church. http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=532728&...

Terry F   Link to this

The Dutch Church shows its street address is
7 AUSTIN FRIARS, CITY OF LONDON, LONDON EC2N2HA
http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&q=Austin+Fr...

Sorry to practice this at your expense; I've learned to anchor the Google map one wants is to click on "Link to this page" in the upper right.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"though in the general acceptation it signifies now the thing, not the time spent in doing it"

Huh? Could someone help parse this? Thanks.

Nate   Link to this

I think SP means that the word "quarantine" is now used to state the fact of isolation, 30 days in this instance, not the number of days of isolation which, as Bradford points out, means 40 days (and nights).

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Geesh Sam...You might have said good plain old women as long as you said for the house and the dinner.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...his discourse after dinner with me upon matters of the navy victualling very good and worth my hearing, and so home to my office in the afternoon with my mind full of business..."

Why do I think there is much more to this plain but pleasant little dinner in a plain but good house with two plain old (but good) ladies and dear Mr. Cutler the merchant that Sam is not telling us? What discourse could our good Cutler have had that would be so worth our hero's hearing that he'd settle for such a luncheon?

"You're a young man meant to make your way in the world, Mr. P. Isn't he Mother?"

"A clever young man, he is, certainly Cutler."

"The sort of clever young man who knows not to let a good chance pass 'im by, eh Mr. P?" sly smile from Cutler. "Yes...I was saying to Mrs. Cutler here and Mother..." leans back in chair. "'Mr. P is the one for us.', I says, 'Will back a man up to the hilt with none of that roguishness Batten and the other sirs give one.'"

"Aye, son. Ye did." Mother Cutler nods solemnly.

"More boiled beef, Mr. P? Wife, more beef for Mr. P here." Cutler pressing more of the plain but good fare upon
our boy.

"Thank ye, ma'am. Now Cutler...As to your business proposal."

"Now there's the man hisself, ladies. Straight to the hart, he goes. 'As to your business proposal, Mr. C.' he says."

Hmmn...I see now why it takes so long even for men like Carteret and Batten to acquire through graft, Sam thinks, eyeing the darkening sky outside.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Dinner with Mr. Cutler
I'm a little surprised that the official garbler of spices would serve a "plain" dinner. Sounds like going to a Thai restaurant and being served meatloaf.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Why waste good profits, when monies could be put buying more cinnamon cloves and ginger etc..

andy   Link to this

Ouch!

thankfully they hadn't invented the zip.

Rod McCaslin   Link to this

I wonder why Sam was in such a hurry to pull his pants up yesterday? He doesn't mention meeting Mrs. Lane.

a plain woman   Link to this

A Plain Woman's quandary..

Is it better to be written of as plain, or not to be written of at all?

Bob T   Link to this

by a stroke ... in pulling up my breeches yesterday over eagerly

The image of this and what happened immediately afterwards, has stuck with me all day. Not a good thing when you're driving at 110 klicks down a highway. Love this guy.

Philip S   Link to this

As a public servant I was interested to see Pepys criticising the wording of the quarantine notice. Apart from anything else, it shows what a fine analytical mind he had, loose wording would never have got past him.

DJC   Link to this

I don't think he is criticising the quarantine notice, his remark is directed at the change of meaning of 'quarantine' from a direct reference to the biblical episode of 40 days, to a more generaly meaning of a period of isolation. That he notes this innovation is good evidence that this is, for him, in his time, a neologism.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

discourse ...upon matters of the navy victualling very good and worth my hearing, ... my mind full of business

[Spoiler]

Pepys propositioned himself for a new position, ... 'Surveyor General of Victualling,' in effect an inspector general of the system ... He held the position from November 1665 - February 1667 ... Pepy's most important and lasting contribution to the victualling system was a reform of the system of pursery. ... Under the pre civil war system, to which the Navy reverted at Pepy's urging, the purser was automatically allowed on his accounts the full value of victuals for the ship's authorized compliment ... but nothing more. He had an incentive to economize ... but much to loose by padding the musters., which would earn him nothing but awkward questions. Captains and pursers now had motive to expose one anothers' misdeeds, not to connive with one another. The system was designed to cause the purser to loose rather than gain by defrauding the men of their victuals, and to put the captain on the men's side rather than the purser's if they had a grievance. Though by no mans perfect, this system of pursery ... continued to work into the nineteenth century. ... It is worth noting that the revised English system of pursery was markedly superior to those of foreign navies."

N. A. M. Rodger The Command of the Ocean A Naval History of Britain, 1649 - 1815 NY: 2005 (London: 2004)
pp. 105 - 6

Pedro   Link to this

Meanwhile out in the sticks.

(In the absence of Dirtk)...Ralph the vicar of Earls Colne...
26: On Thursday morning about seven of the clock or before, my dear wife after many sad pains, and sadder fears, in respect of the unkindliness of her labour. was yet though gods mercy, delivered of her 10th child, sixth daughter . and now our seventh child, and 5th daughter living, for which mercy my soul blesses him, and my heart desires further to trust in him at all times, to ordain things for me and mine for the best: when this 7th was born, I remembered the use, and blessing on 7. in the scripture, and my prayers were god would use, and bless them all, as I trust he will.

dirk   Link to this

Remember the Rev. Josselin, and his contemporary diary? Here's his entry for today:

"On Thursday morning about seven of the clock or before, my dear wife after many sad pains, and sadder fears, in respect of the unkindliness of her labour. was yet though gods mercy, delivered of her 10th child, sixth daughter . and now our seventh child, and 5th daughter living, for which mercy my soul blesses him, and my heart desires further to trust in him at all times, to ordain things for me and mine for the best: when this 7th was born, I remembered the use, and blessing on 7. in the scripture, and my prayers were god would use, and bless them all, as I trust he will."

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