Friday 8 January 1663/64

Up and all the morning at my office and with Sir J. Minnes, directing him and Mr. Turner about keeping of their books according to yesterday’s work, wherein I shall make them work enough. At noon to the ‘Change, and there long, and from thence by appointment took Luellin, Mount, and W. Symons, and Mr. Pierce, the chirurgeon, home to dinner with me and were merry. But, Lord! to hear how W. Symons do commend and look sadly and then talk bawdily and merrily, though his wife was dead but the other day, would make a dogg laugh. After dinner I did go in further part of kindness to Luellin for his kindness about Deering’s 50l. which he procured me the other day of him. We spent all the afternoon together and then they to cards with my wife, who this day put on her Indian blue gowne which is very pretty, where I left them for an hour, and to my office, and then to them again, and by and by they went away at night, and so I again to my office to perfect a letter to Mr. Coventry about Department Treasurers, wherein I please myself and hope to give him content and do the King service therein. So having done, I home and to teach my wife a new lesson in the globes, and to supper, and to bed. We had great pleasure this afternoon; among other things, to talk of our old passages together in Cromwell’s time; and how W. Symons did make me laugh and wonder to-day when he told me how he had made shift to keep in, in good esteem and employment, through eight governments in one year (the dear 1659, which were indeed, and he did name them all), and then failed unhappy in the ninth, viz. that of the King’s coming in. He made good to me the story which Luellin did tell me the other day, of his wife upon her death-bed; how she dreamt of her uncle Scobell, and did foretell, from some discourse she had with him, that she should die four days thence, and not sooner, and did all along say so, and did so. Upon the ‘Change a great talke there was of one Mr. Tryan, an old man, a merchant in Lyme-Streete, robbed last night (his man and mayde being gone out after he was a-bed), and gagged and robbed of 1050l. in money and about 4000l. in jewells, which he had in his house as security for money. It is believed by many circumstances that his man is guilty of confederacy, by their ready going to his secret till in his desk, wherein the key of his cash-chest lay.

22 Annotations

Glyn   Link to this

If you click on "his wife" (i.e. Margaret Symons) and then scroll down to the "References in the Diary" at the bottom of that page, she appears to have been a fun-loving person just like her husband. They may have been well-suited to each other.

Glyn   Link to this

that would make a dog laugh (?). Is this an original phrase by Pepys or an old proverb? - are dogs notoriously solemn? Making a cat laugh would be difficult.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and so I again to my office to perfect a letter to Mr. Coventry about Department Treasurers, wherein I please myself and hope to give him content and do the King service therein"

Can anyone help enlighten me as to what Department Treasurers are?

Great entry today. Love the bit from Will Symons about living through eight governments but missing out on the ninth, and love the gossip about the Tryan robbery ... it indeed sounds like an inside job to me.

MissAnn   Link to this

What a great entry - would that I could make such an entry in my own journal, I would be well pleased.

What a great day our boy has had, and beautifully woven in were references to Bess - her lovely Indian blue dress, her lesson on the globes, her cards afternoon with the visitors - and not a hint of jealousy from Sam. Well done boy!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"... how W. Symons did make me laugh and wonder to-day when he told me how he had made shift to keep in, in good esteem and employment, through eight governments in one year (the dear 1659, which were indeed, and he did name them all), and then failed unhappy in the ninth, viz. that of the King's coming in. He made good to me the story which Luellin did tell me the other day, of his wife upon her death-bed; how she dreamt of her uncle Scobell, and did foretell, from some discourse she had with him, that she should die four days thence, and not sooner, and did all along say so, and did so."

Poor Will...His behavior sounds like a grief-stricken man on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Hope he isn't running round telling that story about his employment to all and sundry. I won't be that surprised to hear he's gone for a long swim in the Thames in some following entry.

GrahamT   Link to this

Make a dog laugh...
Still in use (see http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=...)
and according to Wikipedia (which is never wrong!) dogs can laugh - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog#Laughter_in_dogs

Pedro   Link to this

In defence of Cats (sorry Glyn!)

http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Humor/Cats/Laugh.htm

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...with Sir J. Minnes, directing him and Mr. Turner about keeping of their books according to yesterday's work, wherein I shall make them work enough."

"Dammit Will...!" Penn watching Pepys observes to Sir Will Batten. "The little octopus just took over the Comptroller's office."

"And what's truly terrifying..." Batten notes solemnly, also watching...A smiling wave to a Sir John who seems pleased as a young schoolboy to take Pepys' instruction.

"He's got old Minnes to actually work."

***

Martin   Link to this

Via Google Books, a contemporary (to Pepys) use of "would make a dog laugh", in a letter written by Sir William Petty, 1623-1687, British economist and scientist:
"Meethinks it would make a dog laugh to see men that do not know the things they talke and dispute soe much about, when they see them, to thinke themselves better philosophers than such experimentally know them and their operation one upon another, that are daily conversant in the works of nature, that doe diligently observe, compare and apply them ..."
(Quoted in Utopia & Revolution: On the Origins of a Metaphor, by Melvin J. Lasky, 2004)

martin   Link to this

Correction to the above quote:
"...such AS experimentally know them ..."

jeannine   Link to this

To add to the laughing menagerie, rabbits can laugh too!
http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=bu...

jeannine   Link to this

Can anyone help enlighten me as to what Department Treasurers are?
Todd, in the book, "The Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys" (edited by Tanner), the letter that Sam wrote appears. Along with that letter in the footnote, it states that "Wheatley's edition of the Diary reads "Department Treasurers" but this must be wrong. Tanner believes that this should read "Deputy Treasurers" which is the "theme" of the letter.

I'll post a quick summary of the letter below. Of note, this letter and the letter Sam wrote to Carteret (Nov 13 &14 1663) are in this book. Both give a wonderful example of Sam's ability to gather his thoughts together and present his arguments in a professional manner. Both letters also show the stark difference between his private face (ie. Diary) and his public face (ie. Navy). I would have copied each into the annotations for the respective days but they are quite long and detailed. What amazes me, as always, is that we probably only see a small portion of the writing that Sam does in any given day, and all without a keyboard, spell check, decent lighting, etc.

jeannine   Link to this

Sam's Letter to Coventry was dated from the Navy Office on 8 January. It begins:

"In order to the preparing some directions for the more regular proceedings of those who may hereafter have the dispensing of moneys abroad, I have lately looked up such broken notes as from time to time I have taken upon the examination of foreign accounts, which without any care of sorting them (a tenderness I seldom exercise with you) are here put down just as they rise, and may perhaps prove hints to you at least of something useful."

Sam then lists 11 areas where the documentation and/or flow of money may leave "loopholes". In these key areas possible corruption and or errors in the management of the Navy's funds could easily be taking place. Sam then documents:

*tightening the controls over the payment of the boatswains, carpenters and gunners accounts and wages
* requiring signature of the proper 'masters' for payments; establishing and/or tightening controls to be used by the Deputy Treasurer for the prices set by merchants for goods
* tighter controls over Commanders-in-chief and the presents and/or gratuities given by them (or supposedly given by them)
*"private captains have taken a liberty of making or pretending (?) the making of presents to persons on shore"
*establishing rights for the King against insolvent persons
*paying moneys upon a "demandant's bare assertion of so much disbursed, without any receipt produced under the hand of him to whom it was paid"
*"Bill of exchange have been often drawn upon us from abroad by Deputy Treasurers to the value of certain sums sterling for pieces of 8 taken up by them, without mentioning the number or price at which they were so taken, whereby through the difference in exchange and our ignorance of the rate current at the time of drawing those bills, we are rendered unable (at the accountant's coming home) to judge of the good or bad husbandry used by them in that particular , but on the contrary, are forced to admit of what prices they please to put upon them"
*The Deputy Treasurers shouldn't be so tightly bound (ie. cronies, buddies, etc.) with the Admirals under which they serve (need for non-related third party to oversee money).

Bradford   Link to this

"the dear 1659": typo for "the year 1659," verified by "The Shorter Pepys."

"But, Lord! to hear how W. Symons do commend and look sadly and then talk bawdily and merrily, though his wife was dead but the other day, would make a dogg laugh."
Even in a time when death was closer at hand than today, Pepys has not yet observed enough grief to recognize the contradictory responses to mortal loss.

Clement   Link to this

The robbery of Francis Tryon/Tryan is summarized in this entry from the classic "Newgate Calendar"
http://www.exclassics.com/newgate/ng23.htm.
The goods were recovered and justice was swift.

(The index for this book online is here: http://www.exclassics.com/newgate/ngintro.htm)

kilroy   Link to this

Make a dog laugh...
Could this also be a something to effect like making a cynic cry?

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Thanks Jeannine for the light thrown on Pepys's way with Navy business.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Indeed ... thanks, Jeannine!

One more reason it's so much fun to read the Diary this way...

Paul Chapin   Link to this

A slight repair of Clement's URLs:

http://www.exclassics.com/newgate/ng23.htm

http://www.exclassics.com/newgate/ngintro.htm

(The closing period and paren in the originals keep them from working.}

Bryan M   Link to this

"would make a dogg laugh"

Hey diddle diddle, ask someone under five about laughing dogs.

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

This nursery rhyme may have been familiar to Sam. According to Wikipedia: "It is likely that this poem is a satire of a scandal during the time of Queen Elizabeth I. The cat is Elizabeth I and the dog is Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, whom she once referred to as her 'lap dog'. It is also speculated that the 'dish' is a server at the royal court, whereas the 'spoon' refers to a taste-tester." Other websites state that is only a nonsense rhyme with no meaning but several attribute its origins to the sixteenth century. The website Nursery Rhymes - Lyrics and Origins! (http://www.rhymes.org.uk/index.htm) notes the term "hey diddle diddle" is found in Shakespeare and that the first known date of publication of the nursery rhyme is 1765.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: Clement's URLs

Interesting example of the "problem" with noting years, and when the year starts. The URLs supplied by Clement and cleaned up by Paul (thanks to both of you!) note that Turner was caught and executed in January of 1663 ... without the context provided by this Diary (or other knowledge), anyone reading the report would think it happened a year earlier!

Xjy   Link to this

"Private face and public face"

Very interesting, Jeanine - thanks!
Compare here Cicero in his letters (eg to his publisher and confidant Atticus) and in his forensic and political speeches.
Or for that matter Karl Marx in his published books (eg Capital I) and in his letters to Fred.
The difference of course is that we come to Sam's public writings (if it all) via his diary, and to the more personal writings of C and K via their public works.

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