Tuesday 29 December 1663

Up and to the office, where all the morning sitting, at noon to the ‘change, and there I found and brought home Mr. Pierse the surgeon to dinner. Where I found also Mr. Luellin and Mount, and merry at dinner, but their discourse so free … that I was weary of them. But after dinner Luellin took me up to my chamber to give me 50l. for the service I did him, though not so great as he expected and I intended. But I told him that I would not sell my liberty to any man. If he would give me any thing by another’s hand I would endeavour to deserve it, but I will never give him himself thanks for it, not acknowledging the receiving of any, which he told me was reasonable. I did also tell him that neither this nor any thing should make me to do any thing that should not be for the King’s service besides. So we parted and left them three at home with my wife going to cards, and I to my office and there staid late.

Sir W. Pen came like a cunning rogue to sit and talk with me about office business and freely about the Comptroller’s business of the office, to which I did give him free answers and let him make the best of them. But I know him to be a knave, and do say nothing that I fear to have said again.

Anon came Sir W. Warren, and after talking of his business of the masts and helping me to understand some foul dealing in the business of Woods we fell to other talk, and particularly to speak of some means how to part this great familiarity between Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, and it is easy to do by any good friend of Sir J. Minnes to whom it will be a good service, and he thinks that Sir J. Denham will be a proper man for it, and so do I. So after other discourse we parted, and I home and to bed.

19 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

"If [Luellin] would give me any thing by another's hand I would endeavour to deserve it, but I will never give him himself thanks for it, not acknowledging the receiving of any, which he told me was reasonable."

Would even one's Jesuit confessor call this casuistry?

Terry F  •  Link

L&M fill in the elipsis

"their discourse so free about clap and other foul discourse that I was weary of them."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Where I found also Mr. Luellin and Mount, and merry at dinner, but their discourse so free ... that I was weary of them."

Bess must have found them charming dinner companions till Sam arrived. But she's probably more up on the naval goodies network than Sam has let us know and accepted that it was her job on the team to smile and keep them happy.

Unless of course she initiated the discussion seeking advice...Unlikely given her shyness on the matter. Or perhaps at least she listened intently, if somewhat distressed, hoping to learn something on the subject from her visiting "men of the world". After all, she is worried that Sam might have brought something home that caused her "troubles".

"So it could have been Sam?" Bess asks.

"Absolutely." Llewellyan.

"Very likely." Mount. "I heard tell it's rampant through the Court."

Narrow look at Pepys as he enters, smile of greeting on his face, Pierce at his side.

"Dr. Pierce, just the man. We've been discussing the clap about the Court." Mount notes.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Pepysian Xmas Carol cont...

"The jocund travelers came on; and as they came, Pepys knew and named them every one. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them. Why did his cold eye glisten, and his heart leap up as they went past? Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each other Merry Christmas, as they parted at cross roads and bye ways, for their several homes? What was merry Christmas to Pepys? Out upon merry Christmas! Had it ever added to the round sum of his personal accounts?

'The house is not quite deserted,' said Jack's Spirit. 'A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still. Rehearsing a play I believe.'

Pepys said he knew it. And he sobbed.

They left the high road, by a well remembered lane, and soon approached a mansion of red brick, with a little weathercock surmounted cupola, on the roof, and a bell hanging in it. It was a large house, proud and bespoke of good fortune and success; for the spacious rooms within were finely furnished, clearly much prized though much used, the walls were high and nobly hung with fabric, their windows gleaming, and the large gates well set and constantly clanging to signal the welcome arrival of yet another guest . Fowls clucked and strutted in the stables; and the coach houses and sheds were crowded with horses. Nor was it less retentive of its ancient state, deeper within; for entering the great hall, and glancing through the open doors of many rooms, they found them grandly furnished and vast. However, as they proceeded to the rear of the mansion, new sensations greeted them. There was more of an earthy savour in the air, a somewhat chilly bareness in the rear halls and rooms of the grand place, which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle light, and not too much to eat.

They went, the Ghost and Pepys, across the hall, to a door at the back of the house. It opened before them, and disclosed a long, bare, melancholy room, made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. At one of these a lonely boy was reciting lines from a book near a feeble fire; and Pepys sat down upon a form, and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. Jack's Spirit eyeing him...
'Poor, poor boy.' Sam shook his head. Jack rolling ghostly eyes now.

For Heaven's sake, Pepys...You're staying at one of the finest houses in England. I was picking rags out of the dung heaps and your Bess was eating bones out of the gutter at this age, the Ghost thought."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The Spirit touched him on the arm, and pointed to his younger self, intent upon his rehearsal.

'It couldn't have been that bad, Samuel...' Jack's Ghost smiled. 'Tis a grand place and you yourself used to tell me of their kindness to you here...Still, I see they did manage to rub it in as to your place in the scheme of things.'

'Aye.' Sam sighed. 'Though I did choose to practice back here. I was getting a little tired of being interrupted to fetch things. I always seemed the servant to them, though they were very kind...'

'Oh, sir!...Be merciful!...Oh, do not disgrace a virtuous maiden by...' the younger Sam raised a limp hand in front of his face in an off-putting gesture, doing his best to imitate the women of the stage plays he'd seen, a feat made notably easier by the fact that all female roles were portrayed by men in costume.

'Not quite Kynaston...' Cade grinned. 'But twas a spirited effort.'

'Never did get to do it.' Sam sighed. 'Say, Jack...' nervous look. 'As an old friend, I can count on you to keep mum about this?'

'Now I'm an 'old friend' again?' Cade's Spirit frowned a bit. 'You passed me by in the street without a nod often enough, Mr. Secretary of the Admiralty.'

Grin again at Pepys' embarrassed look...'But I'd hardly care to make your undistinguished acting career public knowledge.'

'So this is to show me a bit of my past?' a relieved Sam tried a change of subject. 'In hopes of restoring me to my former lovable self?'

'God...' Jack's Ghost shook head... 'We were certainly hoping to do better than that.'"

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"their discourse so free about clap and other foul dicourse that I was weary of them"
Luellin is a libertine allright but does "clap" here mean gonorrhea?

Mary  •  Link

Clap = gonorrhea.

OED cites 1587 as the earliest recorded use of the term.

Glyn  •  Link

Pepys has been paid 50 pounds by Luellin, when his own total wealth is only 700 pounds - it's a lot of money.

We have been multiplying by 100 to get today's prices, but I agree with other people that this always seems to give too small a figure. I would think that 500 would be more accurate, although that is my own guess.

So in the first conversion, Luellin paid Pepys the equivalent of 5,000 pounds (approximately 9,800 US dollars or 7,400 Euro). Or, multiplying by 500, 49,000 US dollars or 37,000 Euro. Either way, it's a substantial amount.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

... I would not sell my liberty to any man. If he would give me any thing by another's hand I would endeavour to deserve it, ...

"But now Jack Abramoff has happened and the rules are going to get tighter. Abramoff was a throwback to old-time lobbying. He spread his largesse in the manner of his 19th-century predecessors, dishing out cash, swish junkets, and pricey food and booze. Now everyone in Washington is trying to get clean: Members of Congress are returning donations, pledging reform, and competing to denounce the former lobbyist. But what are the new etiquette rules after Jack the Gifter? Will there be no more golf trips? No more meals? Will lobbyists have to wait longer between the check and "the ask"? ..."

The New Etiquette of Lobbying Emily Post, meet Jack Abramoff.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Lot of Navy office intrigue today:

Luellin brings up some favor and offers L50, and Sam says, not here and not like this, but find a better way; Penn looking for dirt on the Comptroller; Warren spreading dirt on his rival Woods; Warren & Sam plotting to drive a wedge between Woods's patron Batten & the Comptroller. And, of course, the Court gossip from Pierce and Luellin. Begins to sound like an episode of Spy v. Spy.

Glyn  •  Link

But it seems as if Pepys took the money but didn't do his part of the bargain. Or at least not as much as they or he originally thought he would. I wonder why not?

Bradford  •  Link

My translation of this passiage is that Pepys refused the L50, instructing Luellin to make him a gift through an intermediary (physical objects, rather than cash?), but even then he would never acnknowledge the receipt, or any gratitude, or any connection between them whatsoever. Maybe some person with a retentive memory will refresh us on just what Pepys was to have done, and did or did not do, for his old acquaintance.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

.... the service I did him,...

Luellin is clerk to the timber merchant Edward Dering:-

Pepys' Diary: Saturday 12 December 1663
"Then he began to tell me that Mr. Deering had been with him to desire him to speak to me that if I would get him off with these goods upon his hands, he would give me 50 pieces, and further that if I would stand his friend to helpe him to the benefit of his patent as the King's merchant, he could spare me 200l. per annum out of his profits. I was glad to hear both of these, but answered him no further than that as I would not by any thing be bribed to be unjust in my dealings,1"

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"...so I was not so squeamish as not to take people's acknowledgment where I had the good fortune by my pains to do them good and just offices, and so I would not come to be at any agreement with him, but I would labour to do him this service and to expect his consideration thereof afterwards as he thought fit. So I expect to hear more of it. I did make very much of Luellin in hopes to have some good by this business, ... and I do hope at Christmas not only to find myself as rich or more than ever I was yet, ... the goodness of God bringing me from better to a better expectation and hopes of doing well. "

"Gifts" as proof of redemption: way to go Pepys!

Mary  •  Link

The gift indirect.

Pepys here demonstrates that he has become more sophisticated in these matters than he was a year or two ago (sorry - I can't chase down the reference). Then he was careful to tip a smaller 'recognisance' out of the paper in which it had been delivered WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT so that he might claim, if challenged, that he had seen no money within the letter.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Mary: how true: sense of conscience? right of justification.
Syrus Maxims: " Beneficium accipere libertatem est vendere"

accept benefits is to sell [your] liberty
or be it
"pecunia non satiat avaritiam, sed inritat"
another of Syrus Maxims.

money never satiisfies avarice, just inflames it.

jeannine  •  Link

Persons chosen by the people to distribute the graft.
- More Maxims of Mark (Twain), Johnson, 1927

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Luellin took me up to my chamber to give me 50l. for the service I did him"

A link to the day on which Luellin told Pepys that his boss, Deering, would be wiling to give Pepys 50l. if the Navy Board could buy his deals.

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