Wednesday 13 January 1663/64

Up and to my office a little, and then abroad to many several places about business, among others to the geometrical instrument makers, and through Bedlam (calling by the way at an old bookseller’s and there fell into looking over Spanish books and pitched upon some, till I thought of my oathe when I was going to agree for them, and so with much ado got myself out of the shop glad at my heart and so away) to the African House to look upon their book of contracts for several commodities for my information in the prices we give in the Navy. So to the Coffee [house] where extraordinary good discourse of Dr. Whistler’s upon my question concerning the keeping of masts, he arguing against keeping them dry, by showing the nature of corruption in bodies and the several ways thereof. So to the ‘Change, and thence with Sir W. Rider to the Trinity House to dinner, and then home and to my office till night, and then with Mr. Bland to Sir T. Viner’s about pieces of eight for Sir J. Lawson, and so back to my office, and there late upon business, and so home to supper and to bed.


4 Annotations

Martin  •  Link

"till I thought of my oathe"
On 3 October 1662, Pepys wrote that he "walked home, calling at my brother's and Paul's Churchyard [book sellers], but bought nothing because of my oath."
I can't imagine the oath has a specific restriction on book-buying, given his eventual accumulation. More likely he is reminded of his plan to avoid unnecessary expenses until he is worth 1,000 pounds.

Xjy  •  Link

Back to business

Business. Instruments, books, contracts, masts, science, commodities, prices, currency. Business.

Nary a twinkling eye or heaving bosom in sight. No mention of Bess or the maids, or what was eaten or drunk (maybe coffee is the exception...). "Home" solely for supper and bed. No mention of the usual suspects at work (Sandwich, the Sir Williams, the king or duke) or their foibles.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"got myself out of the shop glad at my heart and so away"
Thats me!!!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"extraordinary good discourse of Dr. Whistler’s upon my question concerning the keeping of masts, he arguing against keeping them dry, by showing the nature of corruption in bodies and the several ways thereof. "

Pepys's questions probably arose from his recent disputes with William Wood:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/01/05/
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/01/06/
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/01/07/

Oak and other timber was kept dry in circulating air, but the storage of fir and pine masts required the exclusion of air. They were usually kept under water in mast-docks to preserve the soundness and resilience which derived from their resin. The sticks were floated in at various stages of the tide and fastened, in vertical ties, between heavy horizontal timbers at either end. Locks kept the water at high-tide level. (Per L&M footnote) For a drawing see The Mast Docks at the Dockyard At Deptford http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/deptfor...

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