Friday 29 January 1663/64

Up, and after shaving myself (wherein twice now, one after another, I have cut myself much, but I think it is from the bluntness of the razor) there came Mr. Deane to me and staid with me a while talking about masts, wherein he prepared me in several things against Mr. Wood, and also about Sir W. Petty’s boat, which he says must needs prove a folly, though I do not think so unless it be that the King will not have it encouraged. At noon, by appointment, comes Mr. Hartlibb and his wife, and a little before them Messrs. Langley and Bostocke (old acquaintances of mine at Westminster, clerks), and after shewing them my house and drinking they set out by water, my wife and I with them down to Wapping on board the “Crowne,” a merchantman, Captain Floyd, a civil person. Here was Vice-Admiral Goodson, whom the more I know the more I value for a serious man and staunch. Here was Whistler the flagmaker, which vexed me, but it mattered not. Here was other sorry company and the discourse poor, so that we had no pleasure there at all, but only to see and bless God to find the difference that is now between our condition and that heretofore, when we were not only much below Hartlibb in all respects, but even these two fellows above named, of whom I am now quite ashamed that ever my education should lead me to such low company, but it is God’s goodness only, for which let him be praised. After dinner I. broke up and with my wife home, and thence to the Fleece in Cornhill, by appointment, to meet my Lord Marlborough, a serious and worthy gentleman, who, after doing our business, about the company, he and they began to talk of the state of the Dutch in India, which is like to be in a little time without any controll; for we are lost there, and the Portuguese as. bad. Thence to the Coffee-house, where good discourse, specially of Lt.- Coll. Baron touching the manners of the Turkes’ Government, among whom he lived long. So to my uncle Wight’s, where late playing at cards, and so home.

23 Annotations

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Sounds like a cut-throat that needs a leather strap."...I have cut myself much, but I think it is from the bluntness of the razor..." So Sam, go stropping, do not wait for the organ grinder and his companion.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Jewel in the (Dutch) crown...?

MissAnn   Link to this

For those in Australia - I'm seeing our Sam as a forebear of "The Little Aussie Bleeder" - our own Norman Gunston.

Conrad   Link to this

Miss Ann, I was wondering if he used little bits of toilet paper on his shaving nicks, to stop the bleeding, as per Norman Gunston. This thought leads me to wonder what their version of toilet paper was in the 1600's, maybe news paper cut into 150mm X 150mm squares with a hole in one corner & then hung on a string, as we did in the bush many years ago.

Ruben   Link to this

Dear Conrad
we discussed this matter (may I say) two or more years ago. Paper was very expensive and I presume, a little harder and heavier than today.

I do not know what he did with his cuts but may be he used some cauterizing or adsorption powder.

I would like to know the water temperature he used, as the last information about it came to me from a Frenchman writing about an English excentric who went around the world in 80 days, 200 years after our hero.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"only to see and bless God to find the difference that is now between our condition and that heretofore"
Wonder why Sam thinks God favors him over Hartlibb and the others.

Sorry - every once in a while my inner atheist demands attention.

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

"Jewel in the Dutch crown?" I wonder if Sam is talking about India or Indonesia, the latter to be called the Dutch East Indies until 1949. The role of the Dutch in the British 'Jewel in the Crown' was not a big one though they had their footholds, like on Ceylon.

Firenze   Link to this

Paul, if you had been paying attention to the Protestant work ethic, you would know it was because he has given up Plays and Drink in favour of long hours and diligence, listening to informative discourse, and cultivating men of rank.

The irreligious may consider that industry, application and networking are in themselves sufficient to explain the rise. On the other hand, our man has seen siblings die (and another one like to), regimes fall, favourite mistresses discarded - it's a chancy world, you need God on your side.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Here was other sorry company and the discourse poor, so that we had no pleasure there at all, but only to see and bless God to find the difference that is now between our condition and that heretofore, when we were not only much below Hartlibb in all respects, but even these two fellows above named, of whom I am now quite ashamed that ever my education should lead me to such low company, but it is God's goodness only, for which let him be praised."

Whistler the flagmaker I get, given the dealings in flags long ago...But Langley and Bostocke I assume must be the others and what "lowness" they could be presenting is a little hard to imagine, unless they can't hold their wine. While not all his old friends were intellectual giants, I'm sure, they seemed to discuss some topics of interest lively. What is it, Sam? Clothes too poor? Too much about the grind of surviving on less than 50L per annum? Perhaps talk a tad too radical...An embarrassing mention of the old Rota club? A joke or two about the famous speeches of Roundhead Sam?

"How was your day with the Pepys?"

"Lord Samuel deign to allow us his company for an afternoon boating excursion but was something like appalled to find us conversing with him on intimate terms whilst his current associates gazed upon us."

***
Jewel in the (Dutch) crown?...What might have been...

Pedro   Link to this

"I wonder if Sam is talking about India or Indonesia"

Sam seems to refer to Indies as anywhere in the region of influence of the English East India Company, and the other day, as L&M demonstrated, this could include India. And as Marlborough is back from the failed mission of the handover of Bombay, it could be assumed that he now refers to India.

However I would tend to agree with Wim that they are refering to the "Indies" in general. Although the Dutch had captured the pepper-producing areas of Malabar from the Portuguese in 1661-3, they did not have have a strong base in India such as the Portugese still had in Goa. In Coromandel there seems (c1700) to be factories of French, Danish, Dutch and English. The Dutch were not able to maintain anywhere near a monopoly in India as they were able to do in Indonesian area, where they had virtually replaced the Portuguese. In this area it could be said that "for we are lost there, and the Portuguese as bad."

Don McCahill   Link to this

This thought leads me to wonder what their version of toilet paper was in the 1600's

Rags, if you were wealthy, straw if not.

Ruben   Link to this

from the Wikipedia:
14th century: toilet paper first produced in China (for the Emperor's use). Sheets were approximately 60cm x 90cm.
1596: invention of the flushing toilet
1700s: newspaper is a popular choice of toilet paper, since it is widely available
1792: the Old Farmer's Almanac begins publication...Pages from these publications were often ripped out and used as toilet paper, and later editions have holes punched in them so they could be hung from a hook in outhouses.
1857: Joseph Gayetty sells first factory-made toilet paper (Gayetty's Medicated Paper) in the USA. These were loose, flat, sheets of paper, pre-moistened and medicated with aloe...
And in Japan:
During the Nara period (710 to 784), a drainage system was created in the capital in Nara, consisting of 10-15 cm wide streams where the user could squat over with one foot on each side of the stream. Wooden sticks called chu-gi were used as a sort of toilet paper.In earlier days seaweed was used for cleaning, but by the Edo period, these had been replaced by toilet paper made of washi (traditional Japanese paper). In the mountainous regions, wooden scrapers and large leaves were used too.

Rod McCaslin   Link to this

I believe that several bags of parchment with Philip II holograph on them were discovered being used by the owners of a shop in Spain as toilet paper. I believe three bags of these important historical documents were saved, but three had been lost to a posterior, correction posterity. They were discovered in the late 17th or early 18th century.
The story (and the bad pun) comes from historian Geoffrey Parker.

cumgranosalis   Link to this

:razor and the water temperature : When earning me bob a day [actually 4 bob] we did not have the luxurie of hot water, only those that had a six inch nail for fuse box got hot water, so we relied on a well stropped cut-throat, to keep whiskers from interferring with the Sgt-Maj and his measuring rod for acceptable growth, as for the nicks, it be any piece of absorbant newsprint.
As for Jacques luxuries, if the Daily Worker edition or the Times of London be available, that would provide foder, read and dispose, else it be a dock leaf and if that was not growing in sand then.....

Bardi   Link to this

This thought leads me to wonder what their version of toilet paper was - in WWII in London we were delighted to receive air mail letters.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Re: toilet paper,in ancient Rome ...

... in the public toilets, one used a sponge or a moplike bunch of rags attached to a stick about a foot and a half long. These were deposited and rinsed in a trough fed by flowing water, and left there for use by the next person.

Bradford   Link to this

"It has been said that Virginia Woolf's mansucripts were put to a base use in the w.c. at Hogarth House {London, 1920s and '30s}. My recollection is that galley proofs were provided and these, for a variety of reasons, would have been preferable."

---Quentin Bell, "Virginia Woolf: A Biography" (memorial reconstruction)

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Here is a vivid illustration of Rex's description, along with other interesting specimens - on topic, more or less.

http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:0jlxjjEo88...

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Here is a vivid illustration of Rex's description, along with other interesting specimens - on topic, more or less.

http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:0jlxjjEo88...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I'd be happy to do it for you, Sam'l." Bess eyes the razor. Taking it, feeling its delightfully blunt edge...A little blood on the thumb from the cut, no problem.

"So...I hear Mrs. Lane is very popular with you these days." she notes as she begins...

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

In a house at Bruges (Belgium) that was brought back to the state it was in at medieval times, there was a basket with mussel-shells that were used to scrape your bottom clean.

dirk   Link to this

"In a house at Bruges... a basket of mussel shells"

Wim, same applies to a similar house in Antwerp.

For the house (unfortunately I've got no pic of the mussel shells) see:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirk_vandeputte/
(second & third photo, and some more further on)

A. Hamilton   Link to this

"here came Mr. Deane to me and staid with me a while talking about masts, wherein he prepared me in several things against Mr. Wood, and also about Sir W. Petty's boat, which he says must needs prove a folly, though I do not think so unless it be that the King will not have it encouraged."

Today's entry and day-before-yesterday's (on Pett) clearly illustrate the tendency of bureaucracies (and especially navies) to to be resistant to innovation. In the case of Petty's catamaran, Sam the innovator sees through these arguments, but decides he is powerless to overcome them. Pett explores one of the classic arguments against new technology -- What if it gets into the wrong hands? -- in his conversation with Sam, who accurately estimates Pett's real objection:

"He was mighty serious with me in discourse about the consequence of Sir W. Petty's boat, as the most dangerous thing in the world, if it should be practised by endangering our losse of the command of the seas and our trade, while the Turkes and others shall get the use of them, which, without doubt, by bearing more sayle will go faster than any other ships, and, not
being of burden, our merchants cannot have the use of them and so will be at the mercy of their enemies. So that I perceive he is afeard that the honour of his trade will down, though (which is a truth) he pretends this consideration to hinder the growth of this invention."

Other oft-cited examples of bureaucratic inertia are the resistance of the Royal Navy to steam propulsion in the latter half of the 19th century, and of the U.S. navy to circa 1900 innovations in naval gunnery first developed in the Royal Navy and then taken up by the acerbic William S. Sims, as amply documented by Elting E. Morison in various studies. As Professor Morison said in a lecture on the subject, Sims was "criticizing gear and machinery designed by the very men in the bureaus to whom he was sending his criticism. And furthermore, Sims was seeking to introduce what he claimed were improvements in a field where improvements appeared unnecessary." Sam's diary validates a similar assessment of the fate of Petty's design.

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