Wednesday 20 April 1664

Up and by coach to Westminster, and there solicited W. Joyce’s business all the morning, and meeting in the Hall with Mr. Coventry, he told me how the Committee for Trade have received now all the complaints of the merchants against the Dutch, and were resolved to report very highly the wrongs they have done us (when, God knows! it is only our owne negligence and laziness that hath done us the wrong) and this to be made to the House to-morrow. I went also out of the Hall with Mrs. Lane to the Swan at Mrs. Herbert’s in the Palace Yard to try a couple of bands, and did (though I had a mind to be playing the fool with her) purposely stay but a little while, and kept the door open, and called the master and mistress of the house one after another to drink and talk with me, and showed them both my old and new bands. So that as I did nothing so they are able to bear witness that I had no opportunity there to do anything. Thence by coach with Sir W. Pen home, calling at the Temple for Lawes’s Psalms, which I did not so much (by being against my oath) buy as only lay down money till others be bound better for me, and by that time I hope to get money of the Treasurer of the Navy by bills, which, according to my oath, shall make me able to do it. At home dined, and all the afternoon at a Committee of the Chest, and at night comes my aunt and uncle Wight and Nan Ferrers and supped merrily with me, my uncle coming in an hour after them almost foxed. Great pleasure by discourse with them, and so, they gone, late to bed.

15 Annotations

Clement   Link to this

"... So that as I did nothing so they are able to bear witness that I had no opportunity there to do anything."

Since the previous six mentions of the Swan in the diary don't involve Betty Lane we might assume this is groundwork for future mischief.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"(when, God knows! it is only our owne negligence and laziness that hath done us the wrong)"

Well, I guess we know Sam's position on the war pretty well now...

A highly entertaining entry. I love it when he works the chinks in his vows, especially at the expense of King and Country...

Terry F   Link to this

Solicitors at Westminster

Monday 4 April 1664
"my Lady Peters, an impudent jade, soliciting all the Lords on her behalf." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/04/04/

Wednesday 20 April 1664
"to Westminster, and there solicited W. Joyce's business all the morning"

How the Law works. Her shame was that she was doing it herself, and had not another doing it for her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solicitor

Michael Robinson   Link to this

John Milton -- To Mr H. Lawes, on his Aires

Harry whose tuneful and well measur'd Song
First taught our English Musick how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas Ears, committing short and long;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,

With praise enough for Envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth aire couldst humor best our tongue

Thou honour'st Verse, and Verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the Priest of Phœbus Quire
That tun'st their happiest lines in Hymn, or Story.

Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Then his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

The sonnet (XIII) first published as the introduction to Choice Psalms by William and Henry Lawes (1648).

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and there solicited W. Joyce's business"
Sam a while ago just couldn't stand the Joyces, now he is working very hard on their behalf!Is it because of family obligations or is he expecting something in return?

cape henry   Link to this

We have long known Pepys to be a rationalizer of the highest order where it comes to his various personal foibles, but today's list, as TB points out, is breathtakingly funny. The scene at the Swan with Mrs. Lane is pure human comedy.

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"Is it because of family obligations or is he expecting something in return?" It could be a sense of Justice, This Cretin, flinging her erminiac weight, makes Sam realize that there be those that have and those that un-common concessions, so he is aware that he too could stiffed by the likes of This honorable lady.

tel   Link to this

It would be great to know the detail of Sam's oaths, especially the sub-clauses.
"... and to only treat myself to new books out of money earned on the side, not from regular income."

Mary   Link to this

Oaths for 1664,

We do know the details of one clause. On 3rd January Sam undertook not to visit a public theatre more than once a month and that he would not spend more than 50 shillings in total on theatre-going before the following New Year's Day unless he should 'become worth 1000l. sooner than then'.

Perhaps he is exercising the £1000 standard when it comes to the purchase of books, as well.

Bradford   Link to this

The whole "bands" business seems a great waste of time---unless there is a particular piquance to be gained from putting oneself in the way of temptation on purpose to thwart it. And what larks!---discoursing sober with one's drunken relatives!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I went also out of the Hall with Mrs. Lane to the Swan at Mrs. Herbert's in the Palace Yard to try a couple of bands, and did (though I had a mind to be playing the fool with her) purposely stay but a little while, and kept the door open, and called the master and mistress of the house one after another to drink and talk with me, and showed them both my old and new bands. So that as I did nothing so they are able to bear witness that I had no opportunity there to do anything."

Sam was clearly reincarnated as Larry David.

***

Now's the time Sam...Just get Auntie into another room, have Bess cosy up to drunken ole Unc and flirt a bit, then shove that new will under his wobbily pen.

Carl in Boston USA   Link to this

On the subject of beautifully bound books:
"did not buy (books) as only lay down money till others be bound better for me," We saw the library at Oxford where Pepsy's books are kept, book cases and all, and he was a collector for sure. I well know the feeling of drooling over a book bound in genuine Corinthian Leather, moire silk endplates, silk ribbon, beautiful typeface, gorgeous thick hand laid paper with deckled edges. All this Pepys had for shillings and pence (I suppose, and not against his vows, not overly). I have The Easton Press collector's editions, gorgeous, If you have lifted a real book to sniff the binding, then you know as Pepys knew. My Pepys books are in ordinary bindings, buckram commercial, t'wil serve, t'wil serve. It would be possible to take Pepsy's books and have them bound in splendid, righteous fashion as they have signature bindings and the casings can be ripped off and new covers put on. I could do it myself, having done some book binding, a chore like mowing the lawn. I have the leather downstairs, old type glue, but the gilding is a bit dicey. Any guy like Pepys who has gorgeous book cases built ("presses") as I saw at Oxford is a bibliophile, perhaps a collector of incunabula, he might even have an edition by Caxton. No doubt that Pepys was a collector, and he probably sniffed the books when Elizabeth wasn't looking. Then again, Elizabeth knew everything, I am sure.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: books at Oxford

Just to be a pedant, Carl, the Pepys collection is in Cambridge, but you couldn't be more right about how stunning the Library is. I recently visited, and could have spent hours there (as it was, I closed the place down, the attendant patiently answering some questions then shuffling me out of there).

Sam's attempts to rein in his desire to collect books remind me of my days as a poor student, when I haunted used-records stores (yes, LPs in those days) around my university, looking for the best bargains and bargaining with myself about what necessary I could trade to be able to afford my newest find...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Just to be a pedant, ...

Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, VI, Bindings, Compiled by Howard M. Nixon, Boydell, 1970. 52 plates.

is the standard work but 'out of print;' copies are probably available through abe.com, or similar. (shameless plug)

If you are interested in the "printed books" in the Pepys library the following is in print:-

Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College Cambridge, Supplementary Series I: Census of Printed Books, C. S. Knighton, Boydell, 2004

"... he might even have an edition by Caxton."

"Among the Library's treasures are sixty medieval manuscripts, some important early printed books (including seven [English]incunabula by Caxton, eight by Wynkyn de Worde, and seven by Pynson)..."
http://www.magd.cam.ac.uk/pepys/collection.html

For contemporary book sniffing at Cambridge see:-
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/e...

Carl in Boston USA   Link to this

On contemporary book sniffing:
Thank you both for your gentlemanly and scholarly updates. I went to see the contemporary book sniffing site and was staggered at the timeliness. I just got a job as an analytical chemist in a plant making top coated fabrics for automobile door panels. Part of the job is doing Volatile Organic Compounds VOC coming off the fabric, a very up to date way of sniffing. (It's a very settled job compared to the 6 jobs in drug discovery I have just been through. I like settled.) I just compared the sniff of two books I have. The one from 1875 has a dry sniff, the one from 1970 (when I was a poor student with a big taste for books) has a rich, full sniff of leather and oil, something like neatsfoot oil. The books Pepys had would have had a rich, full sniff because they were freshly bound in leather. How about those bookcases in ... Cambridge... I remember there was rope molding going up the corners, very black wood, very tall cases. How they fit in any house is beyond me.
May I say what a pleasure it is to discuss Pepys with people of style, taste, and fashion. It quite takes my breath away.

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