Friday 22 July 1664

Up and to my office, where busy all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner, and then down by water to Deptford, where coming too soon, I spent an houre in looking round the yarde, and putting Mr. Shish to measure a piece or two of timber, which he did most cruelly wrong, and to the King’s losse 12 or 13s. in a piece of 28 feet in contents. Thence to the Clerke of the Cheques, from whose house Mr. Falconer was buried to-day; Sir J. Minnes and I the only principal officers that were there. We walked to church with him, and then I left them without staying the sermon and straight home by water, and there find, as I expected, Mr. Hill, and Andrews, and one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to the theorbo most neatly, and they spent the whole evening in singing the best piece of musique counted of all hands in the world, made by Seignor Charissimi, the famous master in Rome. Fine it was, indeed, and too fine for me to judge of. They have spoke to Pedro to meet us every weeke, and I fear it will grow a trouble to me if we once come to bid judges to meet us, especially idle Masters, which do a little displease me to consider. They gone comes Mr. Lanyon, who tells me Mr. Alsopp is now become dangerously ill, and fears his re covery, covery, which shakes my expectation of 300l. per annum by the business; and, therefore, bless God for what Mr. Gauden hath sent me, which, from some discourse to-day with Mr. Osborne, swearing that he knows not any thing of this business of the victualling; but, the contrary, that it is not that moves Mr. Gauden to send it me, for he hath had order for it any time these two months. Whether this be true or no, I know not; but I shall hence with the more confidence keepe it. To supper and to the office a little, and to walk in the garden, the moon shining bright, and fine warm fair weather, and so home to bed.

46 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"Fine it was, indeed, and too fine for me to judge of."

Pepys confesses he has no ear for Italian opera?

"one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro"

Sorry, Pedro: Why should we take this sonofapricklouse's word for anything?

jeannine   Link to this

"one slovenly and ugly fellow Seignor Pedro"

In Defense of our Pedro!

How dare Sam deal a slanderous blow
To our annotator Sir Pedro
Who on his own behalf
Should post his photograph
And prove he's a dashing dynamo!

jeannine   Link to this

From the "Navy White Book" portion of the "Samuel Pepys and the Second Dutch War" edited by Robert Latham

July 22, 1664. About timber measure. Mr Sish a master shipwright his inability therein. Being this day at Deptford at the burial of Mr. Falconer, and coming a little too soon, I walked up and down the year; and among other things got Mr. Shish to measure a piece or two of timber, but very rawly and uncertainly. At last, to try him, I took him to a piece of time that was flitched and brought into the yard die-square, 6 inch deep one way and 20 ½ inch the other and 32 feet long. He measures it, and makes it 37 ft. of timber in it. I observed how he did it, and seeing him bring is so false out, I asked him plainly again and again whether he found that the true way of measuring of this piece, to take the half of the two depths for the square of the piece; he without any doubting replied again and again that it was, and he would maintain it to be right - when, as I told him, that it was but 27 ft in content. And Mr Fletcher coming by, I bid him do it, and he by his line of numbers and a pair of compasses did it right, but a great while he was doing it over me by my ruler. And ashamed he was of Mr Shish, though he durst not appear so to him. Now this piece could cost the King less than 5£ per load, which is 20s. less to him in a piece of timer of 27 foot content.

Peter   Link to this

Striking the Flag.

On the 13th June De Ruyter had met Lawson at Cartagena and saluted in the normal way, but Lawson did not reply. When De Ruyter lodged a polite protest, Lawson replied that he had been absolutely forbidden to acknowledge the Dutch salute. The Admiral immediately wrote to the States General...

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/06/13/#ann...

On this day the Pensionary, John De Witt, writes to De Ruyter rather sharply that an officer and a servant of the State had no right to ignore written orders, and must keep strictly to the established rules of saluting. Henceforth De Ruyter was to act in the normal way, and if Lawson or any other English commander behaved as Lawson had done De Ruyter was to ask for a "special resolution" on the part of the States General. Otherwise he was to observe most strictly article 10 of the September 1662 Treaty "without distinction of place". He was to remember that the salute was not as a recognition of "the English pretension that they were the owners of the said seas," but only "as an expression of respect for their respective lords and masters as sovereign monarchs," which respect had been determined to be due in the open sea not within certain definite limits, but "without distinction of place," even in the Mediterranean which could not be considered a Britannic sea.

(Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

Harry Potter   Link to this

one slovenly and ugly fellow Seignor Pedro"

In Defense of our Pedro!

Calling all muggles -time to rise to defend a fellow annotator against He-Who-Must-Not be-Believed ~~~Mr. Samuel Pepys!

jeannine   Link to this

From the Journal of Sandwich Esited by Anderson

22nd. Friday. I had a Council of War. Agreed in case of our separation by weather our rendezvous to be St Helen's Road by the Isle of Wight for the westward. To the northward Sole Bay or Hosely Bay.
Agreed our Sailing and Fighting Instructions.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Methinks the above HP is a muggle in disguise.

Australian Susan   Link to this

St Helen's is a village on the Isle of Wight's eastern coast. Presumably the "ST helen's Road"mentioned above is the area of sea off here. See map:
http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocod...

Jesse   Link to this

"the best piece of musique ... in the world"

My guess would be 'Jephte' http://members.macconnect.com/users/j/jimbob/cl... , specifically the chorus at the end: 'Plorate filii Israel'. This isn't Pepys usual exaggerating ("counted of all hands"). And if it was 'Jephte' his comment (IMHO) still stands true to this day.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... Whether this be true or no, I know not; but I shall hence with the more confidence keepe it. ..."

To give advice to avarice,
Teach pride its mean condition,
And preach good sense to dull pretence,
Was honest Jack's high mission.
Our simple statesman found his rule
Of moral in the flagon,

Thackeray, "Jolly Jack"
http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/51319-William-Makepe...

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Thank you, Jeannine, for digging out the facts on Samuel Pepys and his measuring of timber. He is absolutely correct, and dead on. From the Record, we read (thanks to Jeannine):
"I took him to a piece of (pine) that was flitched and brought into the yard die-square, 6 inch deep one way and 20 ½ inch the other and 32 feet long. He measures it, and makes it 37 ft. of timber in it."
I calculate 0.5 ft x 1.708 ft x 32 ft = 27.328 cubic feet,
exactly what Samuel Pepys said. Pepys's sliderule would likely have given the answer 27.3, maybe 27. The answer 37 cubic feet is wrong, and I can't figure out what to make of " to take the half of the two depths for the square of the piece" and what to do with that.
I appreciate his description "die square". Now and then I cut pieces of auto fabric 2" x 4" with a die and a hydraulic press, and there's nothing more to say about the dimensions of a piece that is cut die square.
Lest we feel smug, one of the first classes in tailoring and Fashion Design is how to read a measuring tape. There are many many people in our modern world who cannot read a one foot ruler marked off in inches, and have to be taught how to do so. They learn, but they are 18 years old and got into Fashion Design School. The above Mr Shish likely can't read a measuring tape, and I'm not too sure if he can read or write very well. Whether Mr Shish will be trained by Mr Fletcher and brought up to speed on timber measuring is another matter for speculation. I think Mr Shish can build a ship as no one else can do, and there's an end to it.

cape henry   Link to this

"...and one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to the theorbo most neatly..." All kidding aside, Pepys here has constructed an excellent piece of verbal dissonance.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Carl thanks for the note on die, reminds me of the time I Be a DI [not a good one] and took recruits for a jaunt across the parade square. The rights and lefts were a sight to be seen, but one must remember even in the early 50's, there be many recruits that could not "rit or reed" and had to attend remedial classes, and many could finally compose a simple letter after an intense instructions, with vigorous punishments and rewards for achievements obtained.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"They have spoke to Pedro to meet us every weeke, and I fear it will grow a trouble to me if we once come to bid judges to meet us, especially idle Masters, which do a little displease me to consider."

The weekly musicale society gets a bit out of hand as they call in the expert.

What's the matter, Sam? Maestro Pedro criticized your playing or that song you've been working on?

Signore Pedro, head in hands, moaning as he listens to the greatest music in the world savaged by these English barbarians.

Seriously to picture these four singing away with all their hearts on this great music warms the soul. Wonderful to see music even then uniting the world...Indeed, one can assume the good maestro was a (dare we say it?) Catholic. Coincidently we just saw the great fado singer Mariza at the Atlanta Symphony speaking very charmingly of her joy in seeing people and cultures round the world brought together in music. John Pepys, Sr. deserves great credit for finding the time in what must have been a terribly grueling daily schedule to bring music into his child's life.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"...and one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to the theorbo most neatly, and they spent the whole evening in singing the best piece of musique counted of all hands in the world,..."
ug : fear or dread; sloven: careless
I dothe think that our warbler be a wee bit slapp dash in his clothing etc., be not up to the royal court standards, and being of forreign demeanor, his speech be a bit Paduan, This colors Sams view but has been overcome with the quality of the Warbling.

Terry F   Link to this

"Mr Shish likely can't read a measuring tape, and I'm not too sure if he can read or write very well."

Yea, Carl in Boston; and, as Cumsalisgrano in effect reminds us, more than 50% of us have IQ's 100 and below.

Dan Jenkins   Link to this

My dad was a machinist at one time. He could laboriously divide two numbers and get the right answer about half the time. Algebra and other abstractions were literally beyond him. He could, however, draw the part to be machined freehand in fine detail and then shape it on the lathe and bench by eye near perfectly. (Once CNC came in, he switched to repairing the equipment as he simply could not learn CNC.)

Mr. Shish may have had the eye for shipbuilding, but not the skill for the numbers.

MissAnn   Link to this

This group of blokes standing around making music sounds like today's "garage band" -- so glad my teenagers have grown out of that particular stage and the drums at last have been sold (and the offending parties have moved out).

Doesn't "Seignor Charissimi" sound enchanting? I love a bloke with charisma!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"I love a bloke with charisma"
Carissimi= most dear.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This group of blokes standing around making music sounds like today's "garage band" -- so glad my teenagers have grown out of that particular stage and the drums at last have been sold (and the offending parties have moved out)."

Which may explain the sudden blossoming of the Pepysian quartet...Bess is away and the boys can play and sing as loud and late as the neighbors will allow. ("William?!! It's 2am!! I can't stand it anymore, go over and tell that Pepys and his idiot friends to knock it off!!!") Well, she'd be pleased to know so far that's summer bachelor Sam's big excess. Though it looks like a rendezvous with Betty M nee L is near.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Thanks for the gentle remarks on my remarks. Mr Shish is a Talent, Pepys is a Business, and Mr Fletcher is the supervisor - engineer who can get from a ship model to a finished ship and mediates betweeen the Talent and the Business. Talent and Business didn't understand each other 343 years ago because their brains work differently, they don't understand each other now, and they never will. That makes all the more for the Fletchers who glue the company together.

language hat   Link to this

"as Cumsalisgrano in effect reminds us, more than 50% of us have IQ's 100 and below."

CSG was talking about literacy, which has nothing to do with intelligence. You surely don't suppose that the vast majority of people throughout history who were illiterate were all dumb as bricks, and as soon as they learned to read they magically became geniuses? I can assure you that there are many, many people in America today who can read and write and yet are dumb as bricks. The conflation of book-learning and intelligence is a bad mistake that is all too commonly made.

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Sam's multiple talents on show today - timber measuring, singing, the office and networking. All his music group need, of course, is a manager, an agent and a catchy name and world-wide fame awaits them. Any suggestions? Westminster Chimes? Sammy and the Schemers? Naval Contemplations?

Terry F   Link to this

Dan Jenkins reminds us that there are multiple kinds of intelligence, CSG recalled some (no "vast majority") struggling to perform (below average) in multiple ways (not only literacy). (50%+1 is a majority never vast and, senatorially-speaking, sometimes not enough.)

Martin   Link to this

On the timber measurement that yielded 37 feet, see Wim van der Meij's comment here:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/08/18/

Basically, what Shish was doing was: add 7 inches and 20.5 inches, divide by two, convert to feet, multiply by the length. I get 35.33 feet, so he was adding an extra inch or so in there (6 + 21.5 = 27.5. 27.5 divided by 2 = 13.75 or 1.15 feet. 1.15 x 32 = 36.8.) As Wim explained, the method of taking half the combined width and depth of the piece was a reasonable approximation as long as they two dimensions were close, but it doesn't work with a piece where the dimensions are more unequal such as this.

Martin   Link to this

sorry, I meant to write "add 6 inches and 20.5 inches"

Martin   Link to this

And, correcting myself further -- see also Graham's discussion on the above-linked page.
The half-squared method would go:
Add the dimensions, 6 inches and 20.5, get 26.5 inches. Take half of that, 13.25 inches. Now square that, as if the piece were 13.25 x 13.25. The result is 175.6 square inches, divided by 144 is 1.22 square feet. Multiply by the 32-foot length, you get 39 cu. ft. But if you drop a fraction somewhere, like 13 x 13, it's more like 37.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Martin:
Well I'll be da***ed. That is pretty slick, but the half square calculation still gives the wrong answer by 37/27 = 137 % and to the King's disadavantage. When Shish gets done with the rule of thumb, hand, cubit, and story pole, he probably has four boards and an equal volume of shavings and sawdust from that die cut timber, but the ship gets built. Here is where Samuel Pepys bears down on the wrongheaded doings in the shipyards, turns around the goofed up business, and earns his reputation as the Father Of The British Navy. It's not pretty, but right is right and wrong is wrong. Even in our politically correct society, 2 + 2 is still 4 and not 5 or whatever you please.

Dan Jenkins   Link to this

Martin's got it. I spent an hour deriving how Mr. Shish arrived at his answer of 37. Finally posted it - and the post never showed up, thus the Internet gods saving me my poor showing compared to Martin's much clearer, and far more correct, solution.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"Mr Shish likely can't read a measuring tape, and I'm not too sure if he can read or write very well"
Wheatley's footnote to the 1893 text, on the first page of the link to Mr. Shish, informs us that he was "altogether illiterate."

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

I can read but 'rit' different:
RE: about the lads that were put on the cannon fodder track, unfortunately there be not enough exciting educators and educers, so many never have the opportunity to grow.
As for the third R, many be whizzes at counting cash.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Wheatley quoting John Evelyn re Mr. Shish.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"...informs us that he was "altogether illiterate..."
Liza Picard dothe cover the rates of learning, Chapter 12 and page 197, be the list that starts with Merchants be 100% literate,and Goldsmiths have 3% illiteracy and the trades be 30%- 40% mark with water men be 67% and sailors be 29%. Then women would be in the 78 percentile, [but never short change them as they knew how to reckon their farthings change, unless thee like frying pan scrambling thy locks]

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"...informs us that he was "altogether illiterate..."
Liza Picard dothe cover the rates of learning, Chapter 12 and page 197, be the list that starts with Merchants be 100% literate,and Goldsmiths have 3% illiteracy and the trades be 30%- 40% mark with water men be 67% and sailors be 29%. Then women would be in the 78 percentile, [but never short change them as they knew how to reckon their farthings change, unless thee like frying pan scrambling thy locks]

JWB   Link to this

Literates
Tim Harris, "London Crowds in the Reign of Chas.II" puts London males @ 70% literate. Sounds high to me, but then what's literate?

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"Mr. Alsopp is now become dangerously ill, ... which shakes my expectation of 300l. ... therefore, bless God for what Mr. Gauden hath sent me."
I do like Sam, but the callousness of passages like this seriously tries my affection. I guess the best can be said is that his diary is absolutely candid and untainted with pretended sentiment.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Rate of Literacy was radically changing as more and more schools came on line, Female illiteracy fell in 20 years, it be changed from 78% to 52%. There be more reasons to at least read, as there be broad sheets pasted on the wall where there be caffein, that be the cellphone of the day and thee be suspicious that what others be saying be not 'wot be red'.
The clue be found in the number of X's that be changed to a moniker, during the Carlos II reign.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Rate of Literacy

The measure does depend on what is meant by literate -- the ability to sign a name, to read texts or have reading and writing a comfortable part of everyday existence. Even today:-

Bedtime stories a problem for many parents
Helen Carter,Tuesday July 24, 2007,The Guardian

One in 10 parents struggle to understand the bedtime stories they read to their children, a survey by adult learning organisation Learndirect has found. Almost a quarter (23%) skip passages they cannot read or invent words to get to the end of a sentence, the poll found.
http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,21...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I'm intrigued...Where did those figures on female literacy come from? Did anyone actually go out to the countryside in those days and ask the milkmaids and servants if they could read? Or do they reflect just a handful of well-bred ladies from London and a few cities? I'm willing to believe literacy was much higher than we might assume...Even the poorest sort understood that knowledge was power and sought it, often, I'm sure, to a far greater extent than we can confirm...But I wonder what population was measured and by whom in this case.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

see Liza's notes

Pedro   Link to this

On this day...

The duc d'Orleans had sent Boyer to announce to the King the birth of a son to Madame...

Catherine's eager letter to her brother-in-law came from a heart full of sympathy and of generous envy.

My Brother,

I cannot express to you the joy which the news of the happy accouchement of my sister has given me, nor the gratitude I feel to you for having informed me of it. I congratulate you with all my heart, and pray God that He will long preserve the gift He has made you. I have too much interest in it not to wish it with passion, being My Brother.

(unsigned)

(Biography of Catherine by Davidson)

tonyt   Link to this

'On this day...'. I suspect, Pedro, that Catherine's letter was actually sent 10 days earlier and was dated using the Gregorian calendar. Madame's son, Philippe-Charles, was born on July 6/16 and we know, from a letter King Charles wrote to Madame (his sister), that the news reached the English Court on July 11/21.

The birth of Madame's first son would have been a matter for great rejoicing but, sadly, he died in early childhood.

Pedro   Link to this

I suspect that Catherine's letter was actually sent 10 days earlier and was dated using the Gregorian calendar... the news reached the English Court on July 11/21.

This is most likely to be correct. The Gregorian calendar, and the use of old an new dates certainly causes confusion to many of us, even to historians such as Strickland and Ollard when dealing with dates concerning Portugal.

To be fair to Davidson she has taken her source from Miscellaneous Autograph Letters, 22. 548, which gives the date as the 22 July. Here the news reaches England on the 11th July (21st in France) so The King and Queen date their letters the 22nd to be clear to Madame.

Davidson also says that in July the duc d'Orleans sent his maitre d'hotel, Boyer, to announce to the King and Queen the birth of a son to Madame. Charles, in writing his congratulations, says, on July 22nd , "My wife thinks that Boyer is very like a faire lady of your aquaintance. He will tell you who it is."

tonyt   Link to this

More calendar confusion. The King's letter of 22nd July referring to Boyer actually ends 'AGAIN [my emphasis] I must give you joy of your son' with his main letter of congratulation being dated 14th July.

So it looks as though the King was dating his letters using the English (Julian) calendar and the Queen dating hers using the French and Portugese (Gregorian) calendar.

I doubt whether the confusion was limited to modern experts!

pepf   Link to this

"Methinks the above HP is a muggle in disguise."
Indeed, the real Harry Potter wouldn't hesitate to call Samuel Pepys by his name Voldemort.

"Even in our politically correct society, 2 + 2 is still 4 and not 5 or whatever you please."
Exactly, nor is "6 inch deep one way and 20 ½ inch the other and 32 feet long" "27.328 cubic feet".
Knowing your fractions simple mental arithmetics will give you 27 ⅓ or 27.3333333... cubic feet for those prefering decimals as the exact solution.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Pepf is right, although I wouldn't call the mental arithmetic involved exactly simple. The difference comes from Carl's having rounded off the decimal equivalent of 20 1/2 inches to 1.708 feet, instead of its actual value of 1.7083333... feet. The difference between 27.328 and 27.333 cubic feet is 8.64 cubic inches, enough to make a 2-inch alphabet block and have some shavings left over. I suspect that was within accepted tolerance levels for timber measure in SP's time.

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