Friday 3 June 1664

Up, still in a constant pain in my back, which much afflicts me with fear of the consequence of it. All the morning at the office, we sat at the office extraordinary upon the business of our stores, but, Lord! what a pitiful account the Surveyor makes of it grieves my heart. This morning before I came out I made a bargain with Captain Taylor for a ship for the Commissioners for Tangier, wherein I hope to get 40l. or 50l.. To the ‘Change, and thence home and dined, and then by coach to White Hall, sending my wife to Mrs. Hunt’s. At the Committee for Tangier all the afternoon, where a sad consideration to see things of so great weight managed in so confused a manner as it is, so as I would not have the buying of an acre of land bought by the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for ought I see, being the only two that do anything like men; Prince Rupert do nothing but swear and laugh a little, with an oathe or two, and that’s all he do. Thence called my wife and home, and I late at my office, and so home to supper and to bed, pleased at my hopes of gains by to-day’s work, but very sad to think of the state of my health.

22 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ...managed in so confused a manner as it is, so as I would not have the buying of an acre of land..."

SP sounds here more like the country gent. than a Londoner.

cape henry   Link to this

This entry and the previous are of a piece, really.Where normally we are dealing with Pepys' daily progress in real time, here we get a good look at how long actual communications took in 1664 and the variables and uncertainties that length of time inserts into a complex and fluid situation.Pepys has long been dissatisfied with the Tangier group, but until now the commissioners have been principally interested in their personal gain. It is now a serious business requiring organization, calculation, and implementation. It is going to be very interesting to see how this all unfolds and how the Dutch situation impacts it.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This morning before I came out I made a bargain with Captain Taylor for a ship for the Commissioners for Tangier, wherein I hope to get 40l. or 50l."

Military disaster need not prevent one from keeping an eye out for the main chance... Herein may lie the clue to Coventry's manueverings regarding the Dutch war. Fearing it all may end in tears is no reason not to profit by any openings it may offer.

After all, should it be the stone, widow-or-wife-of disabled Bess may need the money.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

The bottom line, still the same, century after century. The grunts get chopped up for fodder, the the middle men get the campaign ribbons, and the money men dither on what and when to spend.
Samuell's perspective be from the upper gallery, still not having a real say, while the real men decide.
Having survived the decisions of Generals and Parliament, I have empathy for the Tommy Atkins volunteers whom went onto the mole and found their future.

JWB   Link to this

Sam's confused manner...
"...so as I would not have the buying of an acre of land bought by the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for ought I see, being the only two that do anything like men;" He's got that discombobulated, hasn't he?

Terry F   Link to this

"for aught I see" have L&M

Pepys's spell-Czech is working, getting copy ready for Dr. Johnson.

cape henry   Link to this

I agree with JWB - that sentence seems to be missing a word somewhere. The clauses don't agree with each other as I read it.

Mary   Link to this

Missing a word somewhere?

It looks as if the L&M edition may agree with this proposal. They punctuate thus: "... and acre of land bought by - the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for aught I see, being the only two ...."

Perhaps we are to understand 'the Tangier Committee' in place of the dash? No editorial explanation is given.

Nix   Link to this

"the buying of an acre of land" --

I read his meaning as something like "I wouldn't even rely on this bunch to buy a single acre of land -- the Duke and Coventry are the only competent ones"

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Nix, nice decoding.

Terry F   Link to this

What Pepys intends by "as it is, so as" is, methinks, key.

He seems to intend a hypothetical mode here, attempting to find a way to say the Tangier Committee had been conducted as confusedly "as if" or "as though" he, Pepys, were -- for example -- not to buy any of what the sensible Duke of York and Mr. Coventry would own to, which would be evidence of confusion indeed!

Language Hat or others knowledgeable in such matters might shed light on how English has become more modally expressive.

"things of so great weight managed in so confused a manner as it is, so as I would not have the buying of an acre of land bought by the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, for ought I see, being the only two that do anything like men;"

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... and acre of land bought by -- the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, ..."

The hyphen in the L&M text is a 'double hyphen,' which indicates that it represents Pepys' text.

The sense seems pretty clear; just insert the subject of the sentence ".... and acre of land bought by [The Committee for Tangier] -- i.e. the Committee are so confused that I would not buy an acre of land they had bought --

Terry F   Link to this

Methinks the best hermeneutical rule is to save the Diary as writ if possible.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

A} The Duke of York never buys land. He is at this time a Royal.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

save the Diary as writ

Precisely. The insertion was made only to indicate and clarify for others what, to me, seems the plain and obvious sense of the passage.

cape henry   Link to this

I agree, MR, that the sense of the sentence was plain enough. It was the awkward construction that was unusual for this diary.

Terry F   Link to this

The obvious doesn't usually have so much exerted on behalf of its clarity.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"the best hermeneutical rule is to save the Diary as writ"

As writ the text has the dash, which makes the obvious clear!

"A} The Duke of York never buys land. ..."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"What do you think?"

"Sam'l..." Bess shakes her head...

"Exactly. It'll drive them crazy. But I leave up to you my love."

"Go ahead and put it in...Our little gift to the future." sly grin.

***

Spoiler...

The more I read of poor Sam's all-too-reasonable fears of the stone's recurrence the more I think Tomalin got the reason for his upcoming burst of extramarital activity utterly wrong. It may not have been the nicest or kindest way to celebrate a reprieve/stay of execution but...

Rex Gordon   Link to this

"bought by - "

It may well refer back to "manner," as in "I would not have the buying of an acre of land bought by so confused a manner."

jeannine   Link to this

Save the Dairy!

Some would pledge "'save the diary as it is writ"
Sam may add the words he likes and others omit
His unique choice of words is truly legit
His style his own there is no counterfeit

Annotators may all decode bit by bit
Sharing insights for the whole group's benefit
Words oft need to change without conniption fit
As some turn them to poetry or a skit.......

pepf   Link to this

Lord! what a pitiful account the Surveyor makes of it grieves my heart.

Well done, SP (and PG), let that cheating rogue, knave & coxcomb sink into oblivion. Shame on you, Sir William Batten!

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