Wednesday 20 January 1663/64

Up and by coach to my Lord Sandwich’s, and after long staying till his coming down (he not sending for me up, but it may be he did not know I was there), he came down, and I walked with him to the Tennis Court, and there left him, seeing the King play. At his lodgings this morning there came to him Mr. W. Montague’s fine lady, which occasioned my Lord’s calling me to her about some business for a friend of hers preferred to be a midshipman at sea. My Lord recommended the whole matter to me. She is a fine confident lady, I think, but not so pretty as I once thought her. My Lord did also seal a lease for the house he is now taking in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which stands him in 250 per annum rent. Thence by water to my brother’s, whom I find not well in bed, sicke, they think, of a consumption, and I fear he is not well, but do not complain, nor desire to take anything. From him I visited Mr. Honiwood, who is lame, and to thank him for his visit to me the other day, but we were both abroad. So to Mr. Commander’s in Warwicke Lane, to speak to him about drawing up my will, which he will meet me about in a day or two. So to the ‘Change and walked home, thence with Sir Richard Ford, who told me that Turner is to be hanged to-morrow, and with what impudence he hath carried out his trial; but that last night, when he brought him newes of his death, he began to be sober and shed some tears, and he hopes will die a penitent; he having already confessed all the thing, but says it was partly done for a joke, and partly to get an occasion of obliging the old man by his care in getting him his things again, he having some hopes of being the better by him in his estate at his death. Home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I by water, which we have not done together many a day, that is not since last summer, but the weather is now very warm, and left her at Axe Yard, and I to White Hall, and meeting Mr. Pierce walked with him an hour in the Matted Gallery; among other things he tells me that my Lady Castlemaine is not at all set by by the King, but that he do doat upon Mrs. Stewart only; and that to the leaving of all business in the world, and to the open slighting of the Queene; that he values not who sees him or stands by him while he dallies with her openly; and then privately in her chamber below, where the very sentrys observe his going in and out; and that so commonly, that the Duke or any of the nobles, when they would ask where the King is, they will ordinarily say, “Is the King above, or below?” meaning with Mrs. Stewart: that the King do not openly disown my Lady Castlemaine, but that she comes to Court; but that my Lord FitzHarding and the Hambletons,1 and sometimes my Lord Sandwich, they say, have their snaps at her. But he says my Lord Sandwich will lead her from her lodgings in the darkest and obscurest manner, and leave her at the entrance into the Queene’s lodgings, that he might be the least observed; that the Duke of Monmouth the King do still doat on beyond measure, insomuch that the King only, the Duke of York, and Prince Rupert, and the Duke of Monmouth, do now wear deep mourning, that is, long cloaks, for the Duchesse of Savoy; so that he mourns as a Prince of the Blood, while the Duke of York do no more, and all the nobles of the land not so much; which gives great offence, and he says the Duke of York do consider. But that the Duke of York do give himself up to business, and is like to prove a noble Prince; and so indeed I do from my heart think he will. He says that it is believed, as well as hoped, that care is taken to lay up a hidden treasure of money by the King against a bad day. pray God it be so! but I should be more glad that the King himself would look after business, which it seems he do not in the least. By and by came by Mr. Coventry, and so we broke off; and he and I took a turn or two and so parted, and then my Lord Sandwich came upon me, to speak with whom my business of coming again to-night to this ende of the town chiefly was, in order to the seeing in what manner he received me, in order to my inviting him to dinner to my house, but as well in the morning as now, though I did wait upon him home and there offered occasion of talk with him, yet he treated me, though with respect, yet as a stranger, without any of the intimacy or friendship which he used to do, and which I fear he will never, through his consciousness of his faults, ever do again. Which I must confess do trouble me above anything in the world almost, though I neither do need at present nor fear to need to be so troubled, nay, and more, though I do not think that he would deny me any friendship now if I did need it, but only that he has not the face to be free with me, but do look upon me as a remembrancer of his former vanity, and an espy upon his present practices, for I perceive that Pickering to-day is great with him again, and that he has done a great courtesy for Mr. Pierce, the chirurgeon, to a good value, though both these and none but these did I mention by name to my Lord in the business which has caused all this difference between my Lord and me. However, I am resolved to forbear my laying out my money upon a dinner till I see him in a better posture, and by grave and humble, though high deportment, to make him think I do not want him, and that will make him the readier to admit me to his friendship again, I believe the soonest of anything but downright impudence, and thrusting myself, as others do, upon him, which yet I cannot do, not [nor] will not endeavour. So home, calling with my wife to see my brother again, who was up, and walks up and down the house pretty well, but I do think he is in a consumption. Home, troubled in mind for these passages with my Lord, but am resolved to better my case in my business to make my stand upon my owne legs the better and to lay up as well as to get money, and among other ways I will have a good fleece out of Creed’s coat ere it be long, or I will have a fall. So to my office and did some business, and then home to supper and to bed, after I had by candlelight shaved myself and cut off all my beard clear, which will make my worke a great deal the less in shaving.

  1. The three brothers, George Hamilton, James Hamilton, and the Count Antoine Hamilton, author of the “Memoires de Grammont.”

17 Annotations

jeannine   Link to this

"among other things he tells me that my Lady Castlemaine is not at all set by by the King, but that he do doat upon Mrs. Stewart only; and that to the leaving of all business in the world, and to the open slighting of the Queene"
By this point Charles was totally infatuated with Frances Stewart, yet Lady Castlemaine had not been turned out. As long as Frances remained "technically" a virgin Charles still had a "physical" need to keep Castlemaine around. As Anthony Hamilton (who actually wrote Grammont's Memoir's) is mentioned in today's entry, below is a funny Castlemaine-Stewart story that gives an indication of what ludicrous issues the King allowed himself to put up with (when he could have been focusing on real work instead!. This is quoted from Chapter 7 of Grammont's Memoirs and probably took place sometime around this time period.

"Coaches with glasses were then a late invention: the ladies were afraid of being shut up in them: they greatly preferred the pleasure of shewing almost their whole persons, to the conveniences of modern coaches: that which was, made for the king not being remarkable for its elegance, the Chevalier de Grammont was of opinion that something ingenious might be invented, which should partake of the ancient fashion, and likewise prove preferable to the modern; he therefore sent away Termes privately with all the necessary instructions to Paris: the Duke of Guise was likewise charged with this commission; and the courier, having by the favour of Providence escaped the quicksand, in a month's time brought safely over to England the most elegant and magnificent calash that had ever been seen, which the Chevalier presented to the king.

The Chevalier de Grammont had given orders, that fifteen hundred louis should be expended upon it; but the Duke of Guise, who was his friend, to oblige him, laid out two thousand. All the court was in admiration at the magnificence of the present; and the king, charmed with the Chevalier's attention to every thing which could afford him pleasure, failed not to acknowledge it: he would not, however, accept a present of so much value, but upon condition that the Chevalier should not refuse another from him.

The queen, imagining that so splendid a carriage might prove fortunate for her, wished to appear in it first, with the Duchess of York. Lady Castlemaine, who had seen them in it, thinking that it set off a fine figure to greater advantage than any other, desired the king to lend her this wonderful calash to appear in it the first fine day in Hyde Park. Miss Stewart had the same wish, and requested to have it on the same day. As it was impossible to reconcile these two goddesses, whose former union was turned into mortal hatred, the king was very much perplexed.

Lady Castlemaine was with child, and threatened to miscarry, if her rival was preferred. Miss Stewart threatened that she never would be with child, if her request was not granted: this menace prevailed, and Lady Castlemaine's rage was so great, that she had almost kept her word; and it was believed that this triumph cost her rival some of her innocence."

language hat   Link to this

"I will have a good fleece out of Creed's coat... or I will have a fall"
Can anyone elucidate this?

Great story, jeannine, thanks!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"(he not sending for me up, but it may be he did not know I was there),"

"Howe? Is the little bastard sweating properly now?"

"Hopping in despair like a rabbit that can't escape the fox, my Lord."

"Right." Sandwich beams.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...but says it was partly done for a joke, and partly to get an occasion of obliging the old man by his care in getting him his things again, he having some hopes of being the better by him in his estate at his death."

Some joke, Cap't.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"But that the Duke of York do give himself up to business, and is like to prove a noble Prince..."

What is that saying about there being nothing more deadly than a sincere and determined man without a sense of humor or imagination?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...cut off all my beard clear, which will make my worke a great deal the less in shaving."

Sam, you've been holding out on us... When did you grow a beard?

[Spoiler]
Shrewd diagnosis regarding poor Tom...

Jesse   Link to this

"I will have a good fleece out of Creed's coat... or I will have a fall"

Pepys "[is] resolved to better [his] case in [his] business" with, I assume his Lordship. As LH notes, 'John Creed was Pepys's principal rival for Sandwich's favor' http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/507/#c2821 . I'm guessing Pepys is mulling on this rivalry and resolves to make an effort to obtain (or regain) some of the favor (i.e. the insulating "fleece" of a coat) worn by his rival. I'm also guessing that his effort will not be subtle as he's predicting that failure may lead to a "fall" or further drop in regard.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I will have a good fleece out of..."

Given that Sam is saying he must now prepare to stand on his own two feet and pile what money he can, as he can, I'm guessing he means he'll get what he feels Creed still owes to him using Creed's own tactics.

I'd say Sam now feels it's time to drop a few scruples.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"but am resolved to better my case in my business to make my stand upon my owne legs"
"The Unequalled Self"

Xjy   Link to this

"good fleece"
Needs more looking into. Sounds like "I'll feather my nest while the going's good, by being the most professional of us, but not omitting to make what I can out of the general corruption here"

Fleecing the sheep (public and King?) under cover of praxis - Creed's coat?

He's a bit worried about the volatility of fortune too - needs to comb for himself while he's still well-placed to do so, before any eventual fall.

JWB   Link to this

re comments on Sam's language of love:

First language attrition and sexual repression?

"... active inhibition of native language words that distract us while we are speaking the new language."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/07...

Glyn   Link to this

"Beard" didn't necessarily mean a full set of facial hair. Large sideburns or a full moustache would also be included in the meaning. Please time-travel back to 31 May 1662 for a discussion on this:

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/05/31/

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Gee, Sam, speaking as the father of James Anthony Hamilton, and as one who has been known to call any of his children of either sex "George" when the proper name escapes me, I wish you'd leave my family out of this.

Bradford   Link to this

Certainly Pepys's recognition that things might never be the same with Sandwich again is mirrored in the prolixity of this unsettled entry. And didn't we establish that My Lord has the bulk of Sam's heap of cash in his keeping?

pepf   Link to this

“I will have a good fleece out of Creed’s coat… or I will have a fall”

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/07/01/
"but I hope we have this morning light on an expedient that will right all, that will answer their queries, and yet save Creed the 500l. which he did propose to make of the exchange abroad of the pieces of eight which he disbursed."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/07/04/
"Sir G. Carteret was left alone, but yet persisted to say that the account was not good, but full of corruption and foul dealing."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/11/21/
"I guess this gowne may be worth about 12l. or 15l.. But, however, I expect at least 50l. of him. So in the evening I wrote him a letter telling him clearly my mind, a copy of which I keep and of his letter and so I resolve to have no more such correspondence as I used to have but will have satisfaction of him as I do expect."

In light of the above, Pepys' cryptic terms could be stated more precisely: I will have a good fleece (£50) out of Creed’s coat (£500)… or I will have a (his) fall.

Mary   Link to this

"or I will have a fall"

Couldn't this simply be a contemporary expression equivalent to the present day "I'll be damned if I don't"? The linkage in meaning between "fall" and "damnation" would have been easily recognised in the 17th century.

language hat   Link to this

No. That link would have to be established by an explicit train of thought; as it stands, he's just saying "or I'll come a cropper."

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.