Monday 28 March 1664

This is the first morning that I have begun, and I hope shall continue to rise betimes in the morning, and so up and to my office, and thence about 7 o’clock to T. Trice, and advised with him about our administering to my brother Tom, and I went to my father and told him what to do; which was to administer and to let my cozen Scott have a letter of Atturny to follow the business here in his absence for him, who by that means will have the power of paying himself (which we cannot however hinder) and do us a kindness we think too. But, Lord! what a shame, methinks, to me, that, in this condition, and at this age, I should know no better the laws of my owne country! Thence to Westminster Hall, and spent till noon, it being Parliament time, and at noon walked with Creed into St. James’s Parke, talking of many things, particularly of the poor parts and great unfitness for business of Mr. Povy, and yet what a show he makes in the world. Mr. Coventry not being come to his chamber, I walked through the house with him for an hour in St. James’s fields’ talking of the same subject, and then parted, and back and with great impatience, sometimes reading, sometimes walking, sometimes thinking that Mr. Coventry, though he invited us to dinner with him, was gone with the rest of the office without a dinner. At last, at past 4 o’clock I heard that the Parliament was not up yet, and so walked to Westminster Hall, and there found it so, and meeting with Sir J. Minnes, and being very hungry, went over with him to the Leg, and before we had cut a bit, the House rises, however we eat a bit and away to St. James’s and there eat a second part of our dinner with Mr. Coventry and his brother Harry, Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen. The great matter today in the House hath been, that Mr. Vaughan, the great speaker, is this day come to towne, and hath declared himself in a speech of an houre and a half, with great reason and eloquence, against the repealing of the Bill for Triennial Parliaments; but with no successe: but the House have carried it that there shall be such Parliaments, but without any coercive power upon the King, if he will bring this Act. But, Lord! to see how the best things are not done without some design; for I perceive all these gentlemen that I was with to-day were against it (though there was reason enough on their side); yet purely, I could perceive, because it was the King’s mind to have it; and should he demand any thing else, I believe they would give it him. But this the discontented Presbyters, and the faction of the House will be highly displeased with; but it was carried clearly against them in the House. We had excellent good table- talke, some of which I have entered in my book of stories. So with them by coach home, and there find (bye my wife), that Father Fogourdy hath been with her to-day, and she is mightily for our going to hear a famous Reule preach at the French Embassador’s house: I pray God he do not tempt her in any matters of religion, which troubles me; and also, she had messages from her mother to-day, who sent for her old morning-gown, which was almost past wearing; and I used to call it her kingdom, from the ease and content she used to have in the wearing of it. I am glad I do not hear of her begging any thing of more value, but I do not like that these messages should now come all upon Monday morning, when my wife expects of course I should be abroad at the Duke’s. To the office, where Mr. Norman came and showed me a design of his for the storekeeper’s books, for the keeping of them regular in order to a balance, which I am mightily satisfied to see, and shall love the fellow the better, as he is in all things sober, so particularly for his endeavour to do something in this thing so much wanted. So late home to supper and to bed, weary-with walking so long to no purpose in the Park to-day.

19 Annotations

language hat   Link to this

"cut/eat a bit"
This is the OED's bit 2 "Morsel, small piece (of food)"; we would now say "bite."

Terry F   Link to this

"We had excellent good table-talke, some of which I have entered in my book of stories."

Rats! And the rest? Love the rambling entries full of tales and rumor!

Terry F   Link to this

"I walked through the house with [Creed] for an hour in St. James's fields"

Clearer would have been: 'I walked with [Creed] for an hour through the house in St. James's fields,' i.e., as L&M note, St. James Palace.

jeannine   Link to this

"I do not like that these messages should now come all upon Monday morning, when my wife expects of course I should be abroad at the Duke's."
It never occured to me to track Sam's Mondays but it seems that perhaps he thinks that there are clandestine family correspondences taking place when he is away. Can't tell if he thinks that this is a one shot deal (today only) or an every Monday type of thing that he fears?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I do not like that these messages should now come all upon Monday morning, when my wife expects of course I should be abroad at the Duke's."

Back to the old theme that Bess might be providing a mite of support for the aged ps out of the household budget as well as other odds and ends.

Just be glad they're not from Mr. Penbleton...Capt Ferrers...Or...

"Hewer?! What the devil are you doing leaving notes at my door during the work day?!"

***

April 1664...The Royal Society...

"Gentlemen." the distinguished-looking if slightly threadbare Frenchman nods to the assembly. Though at least his suit is in reasonably good repair.

Pon my soul, that suit looks familiar...Creed watching, thinks.

"As is generally known..." the speaker continued.

Why do French scholars always tell you their latest idea is "generally known..." or "a univeral principle..." Creed ponders. And where have I seen that suit?

"...The science of perpetual motion is the guiding force governing the Universe. My machine, which I shall demonstrate in a moment, gives expression to this univeral principle. I, Alexander St. Michel, shall now demonstrate to you how God governs his Creation..."

Pepys! That's it! His old black suit, with the worn knee and the spot Sandwich always used to joke about behind the poor fellow's back...Yes. How the devil...?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I pray God he do not tempt her in any matters of religion, which troubles me..."

Come on, Sam...You're the one who's in danger of temptation, you religion-of-the-month-clubber, you.

"Pepys? What is that you're wearing?" Coventry eyes Pepys.

"Oh, one of the Jewish fellows at the synagogue Bess and I went to a while back gave it to me, sir. They all wear them, something to do with respect owed to God or such...Very good under the perriwig to keep it from chaffing."

"Synagogue?"

"Yes, fascinating place. Don't think I quite liked the service though...Bit too disorderly for me...Give me a good dash of formal ceremony. Now the Catholics do things with a bit of style. I was just saying to Bess when she suggested we attend a famous Catholic preacher at..."

"Catholic preacher?...Pepys?!"

"Sir?"

cape henry   Link to this

Just to sort of keep pace, the Triennial Act being debated would repeal provisions of the original act passed in 1641 but would maintain the essential requirement that Parliament meet at least once every three years.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"Mr. Norman came and showed me a design of his for the storekeeper's books, for the keeping of them regular in order to a balance, which I am mightily satisfied to see, and shall love the fellow the better, as he is in all things sober, so particularly for his endeavour to do something in this thing so much wanted. So late home to supper....." Mr N is a man after Sam's own heart - the diligent clerk with ingenious methods to improve the administration! I get the impression that Sam would have been one of those people who get all excited when the annual update to Quicken comes out.....

language hat   Link to this

"but would maintain the essential requirement that Parliament meet at least once every three years"

But if they're eliminating the enforcement mechanisms, doesn't it pretty much render the law a dead letter? What's the point of pushing it through otherwise? It seems to me the king wants to be rid of the annoying requirement to keep Parliament in session but realizes he can't get away with actually abolishing the requirement. Or am I completely misunderstanding what's going on?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"but Lord!what a shame"
Sam has set very high goals to himself: a Know it All Renaissance Man.

djc   Link to this

"there shall be such Parliaments, but without any coercive power upon the King"

That's the essence of it, Charles can appear to be in favour of parliaments, but will not be forced to call them.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

The Trienniel Act
I got the impression that the offensive part of the 1641 act, to the King, was that the sherrifs could call parlaiment if he didn't, which implicitly rather reduces the King from source of all authority to just one cog in the machinery of state. Parlaiment could yield on this point and still feel that, the king would be under at least a moral compulsion if he flouted the act, even if there's no enforcement mechanism. At least, that's how I read it.

Nix   Link to this

The Triennial Act --

Wouldn't the salutary example of Charles I be the most effective enforcement mechanism of all?

Bradford   Link to this

Messages must come sometime, and as we all know Monday morning still brings a pile of them, after the respite of the Sabbath. (If you're a current-events-minded sort, think of how even the most virtuous of us breathe a little easier Friday evening, knowing there won't be another heap of political e-mails till Monday.)

Pepys would rather Elizabeth not hear from anyone at all (if you think of an exception, post it); and there is heard again that little counterpointing bell-note of self-congratulation and heliocentrism: "If only the world would go the way it should! MY way!"

Robert Gertz   Link to this


"Pepys would rather Elizabeth not hear from anyone at all (if you think of an exception, post it);"

He never objected to Captain Ferrers' visits when she spent the summer at Brampton. I was actually rather surprised he didn't. But in general I think you're right, Bradford. Puts me in mind of a couple of stories about women facing genteely domineering 19th century husbands-"The Yellow Wallpaper", where a woman kept confined to an upstairs room with yellow wallpaper by her doctors, a husband and a brother who insist it will calm her strained nerves gradually goes mad; "The Joy That Kills..." a woman confined to her home by heart trouble finds her kind but possessive husband is not happy to learn she's getting well enough to see the outside world.

"One day, a nun I'll be...A holy, saintly nun...I practice all the time now. That's what this hideous solitary life is, practice."

"Bess, my little wretch? Don't you want to hear the epic story of how I saved the King ten pounds today and what the world is like outside these walls?"

"Certainly, dear. Oh, yes."

...And one day, a little twist of the neck...A sacrifice for the Almighty while It (eyes the happily prattling Sam) sleeps...And a holy, saintly, free nun I'll be...

"

Pedro   Link to this

On the night of the 28th near Cape Palmas...

Holmes stealthily got up his anchor, manned the yards and loosened the lashings of the sails so that the Jersey could be under way the minute that her quarry caught sight of her. In any case the wind and current were driving her towards the unknown vessel so that all the ships were very close before the stranger recognised his predicament. The reason was that the English ships were in the shadow of the moon and the Captain took the Welcome and the Expedition to be part of the coast until he was almost on them..."At 8 of the clock we got along his broadsides; He saluted use with the noise of trumpets; we answered in some language that he did not like; we called them to strike which he refused to do. He had not much time given to him but had a shot betwixt his masts through his mainsail."

(Holmes had captured the Goulden Lyon)

"...The Gunner of her, being a Scotchman, when he saw my Lieutenant and the men coming on board...runs and gathers some lighted matches and goes down the Fore Hatch, and just stepping into the scuttle of the Powder Room with a resolution to blow up the ship, my Cockswain got hold of his legs, and pulled him up, and the Cockswain and saylers did sufficiently drubb him and threw him in the Pinnacle where he lay all day."

(Ollard...Man of War)

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

"I used to call it her kingdom etc." Warrington has the following here: "In allusion to the lines:
'My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such perfect joy therein I find'-,
by Sir Edward Dyer, was set to music by the celebrated W. Byrd in 1585 in a book called 'Psalms, Sonnets and Songs of Sadnesse and Pietie'."

Pauline   Link to this

"...messages from her mother to-day, who sent for her old morning-gown...."

I would be willing to wager that Elizabeth's mother has taken advantage of the scheduled absence of Sam on Mondays to come and see all those things Sam and Elizabeth have been buying and all the refurbished rooms. Not a chance she would not be very very interested. "Messages" indeed!

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

But, Lord! what a shame, methinks, to me, that, in this condition, and at this age, I should know no better the laws of my owne country!

Sam hates to miss a trick.

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