Friday 18 November 1664

Up and to the office, and thence to the Committee of the Fishery at White Hall, where so poor simple doings about the business of the Lottery, that I was ashamed to see it, that a thing so low and base should have any thing to do with so noble an undertaking. But I had the advantage this day to hear Mr. Williamson discourse, who come to be a contractor with others for the Lotterys, and indeed I find he is a very logicall man and a good speaker. But it was so pleasant to see my Lord Craven, the chaireman, before many persons of worth and grave, use this comparison in saying that certainly these that would contract for all the lotteries would not suffer us to set up the Virginia lottery for plate before them, “For,” says he, “if I occupy a wench first, you may occupy her again your heart out you can never have her maidenhead after I have once had it,” which he did more loosely, and yet as if he had fetched a most grave and worthy instance. They made mirth, but I and others were ashamed of it. Thence to the ‘Change and thence home to dinner, and thence to the office a good while, and thence to the Council chamber at White Hall to speake with Sir G. Carteret, and here by accident heard a great and famous cause between Sir G. Lane and one Mr. Phill. Whore, an Irish business about Sir G. Lane’s endeavouring to reverse a decree of the late Commissioners of Ireland in a Rebells case for his land, which the King had given as forfeited to Sir G. Lane, for whom the Sollicitor did argue most angell like, and one of the Commissioners, Baron, did argue for the other and for himself and his brethren who had decreed it. But the Sollicitor do so pay the Commissioners, how four all along did act for the Papists, and three only for the Protestants, by which they were overvoted, but at last one word (which was omitted in the Sollicitor’s repeating of an Act of Parliament in the case) being insisted on by the other part, the Sollicitor was put to a great stop, and I could discern he could not tell what to say, but was quite out. Thence home well pleased with this accident, and so home to my office, where late, and then to supper and to bed. This day I had a letter from Mr. Coventry, that tells me that my Lord Brunkard is to be one of our Commissioners, of which I am very glad, if any more must be.

17 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

On behalf of Dirk, from the Carte Calendar

[An Order] by the Committee of his Majesty's ... Privy Council, for the affairs of the Admiralty & Navy [for the arrest of all ships & vessels, belonging to the States-General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands]

Written from: Whitehall

Date: 18 November 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 33, fol(s). 725
Document type: Copy
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Terry F   Link to this

"[An Order] by the Committee of his Majesty’s … Privy Council, for the affairs of the Admiralty & Navy [for the arrest of all ships & vessels, belonging to the States-General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands]"

Sotto voce, war is declared?

Patricia   Link to this

occupy = to have sexual intercourse
Hugh Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms & Other Doubletalk says "So tarred was 'occupy' by its secondary, euphemistic meanings that it was virtually banned from polite English in any sense at all for almost 200 years. As early as 1597, William Shakespeare noted what was happening in Henry IV, Part 2 'A captain! God's light, these villains will make the word as odious as the word "occupy," which was an excellent good word before it was ill-sorted...' " Rawson also quotes the OED thus: "The disuse of this verb in the 17th and most of the 18th c. is notable. Against 194 quots. for 16th c., we have for 17th only 8, outside the Bible of 1611 (where it occurs 10 times) and for 18 c. only 10, all of its last 33 years. ...This avoidance appears to have been due to its vulgar employment...."
Myself, I think it's lousy as a euphemism. It sounds disgusting to my ears to refer to sexual relations in this way.

Terry F   Link to this

Spoiler: The "great and famous cause between Sir G. Lane and one Mr. Phill. Whore [Philip Hore]" will be settled in 1671. See the Carte Calendar

An Order by the King in Council for the registration of an agreement made by Sir George Lane with Philip Hore
Written from: Whitehall

Date: 1 February 1671

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 118, fol(s). 239
Document type: Note, by T. Carte, from a MS. belonging to Sir J. Vesey http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

My Lord Craven

Would likely not have ventured such a crude and sexual analogy only four or five years earlier. "I and others were ashamed of it," says Sam, perhaps reflecting his non-conformist upbringing and its continuing hold on public morality. I notice his shame at my lord's crudity does not bring to his mind his own recent quite shameful sexual adventure. In his behavior Sam seems as libertine as the court he serves, but in his reactions he remains a small p puritan. Cognitive dissonance in action?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... would not suffer us to set up the Virginia lottery for plate before them ..."

The Virginia Company of London under its third charter, 1611 (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/va03.htm ) was given the power to hold lotteries to resolve its financial problems -- despite repeated and notorious use of the privilege the Company was a dismal financial failure.
http://www.nps.gov/archive/colo/Jthanout/VAComp...

[One of the promotional broadsides appears to be the first published images of named and identifiable native Americans:-
Vrginia Company of London. A declaration for the certaine time of dravving the great standing lottery
Imprinted at London : By Felix Kyngston, for VVilliam VVelby, the 22. of Februarie. 1615 [i.e. 1616]
1 sheet ([1] p.). Contains six illustrations in vignettes at head of text, two of which represent Engraved portraits of two Virginia Indians, Eiatintomino and Matahan. STC (2nd ed.), 24833.8 Unique copy; Society of Antiquaries, London.]

Bradford   Link to this

Having not brushed up on my bawdy Shakespeare lately, this once-prevalent use of "occupy" comes as news; but the strangest thing about Craven's unwise analogy is that he had to fetch it in from pretty far off, and it doesn't seem a particularly good fit for the case he wishes to make. Having thought up a clever remark, some folk will seize any excuse to drag it into conversation. A "Craven" fellow indeed.

JWB   Link to this

occupy

Thanks Patiricia. Of couse "intercourse" itself has fallen into that rut. "Rut" also covered. "Covered" is also... Man's mind is so "cravenly" occupied.

James in Illinois   Link to this

Patricia--thanks for your informative post concerning "occupy."

JWB--your post reminds me of the lyric to an old Tom Lehrer tune--"when correctly viewed, everything is lewd."

Paul Dyson   Link to this

“occupy”

Like so may English words, good and bad, this has a Latin derivation. "occupare" has the meaning of "take over", "get possession of" rather than "occupy" in our modern sense. But there's a military connotation, just as an "occupied" country has been invaded, taken over and now has to put up with the enemy forces. So the Craven analogy is, for today, very un-PC, and perhaps so even for Sam, although he may have been ashamed, just possibly, out of conscience. English seems to have endless possibilities for "double-entendre", for the more harmless examples of which TV lovers might look at repeats of "Are you being served?", "'Allo, 'Allo" among others.

language hat   Link to this

"occupy"

Another word that is perfectly innocuous to our ears but suffered the same fate as "occupy" during about the same period is "converse":

1536 BELLENDEN Cron. Scot. (1821) I. p. xix, This Albyne, with her fiftie sisteris.. conversit with devillis in forme of men, and consavit childrin. 1611 COTGR. s.v. Rifflarde. 1656 S. WINTER Serm. 45 They may lawfully converse together as man and wife. [...] 1749 FIELDING Tom Jones VI. x, That wench with whom I know he yet converses. 1760 C. JOHNSTON Chrysal (1822) III. 31 Liberty.. to converse with as many females as he pleased.

Similarly "conversation":

c1511 1st Eng. Bk. Amer. (Arb.) p. xxvii, The men hath conuersacyon with the wymen, who that they ben or who they fyrst mete. 1594 SHAKES. Rich. III, III. v. 31 His Conuersation with Shores Wife. 1649 BP. HALL Cases Consc. IV. v. 445 After a conjugall conversation. 1697 POTTER Antiq. Greece IV. xii. 298.

(The latter persisted in legal usage in the phrase "criminal conversation" (abbreviated "crim. con.") = "adultery."

Carl in Boston   Link to this

I and others were ashamed of it,” says Sam
I have been embarrassed by higher ups (rich and spoiled ones too) saying coarse and disagreeable notions as if I and the plant workmen around me would be amused or as if this were our natural bent. It is not. They wish to be part of the rough and ready crowd, I suppose, but it misses the point. The workmen, and I (a professional), wish to be taken as equals by the square and on the level and this crass talk is more a putdown than a equalizer. In this sense, Sam is right not to be amused. Harrumph, indeed, how dare they. I have always taken care of business and treated people as WORTHY equals by means of worthy discourse, and they appreciate it.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

If Sam "and others were ashamed of" the Lord's craven remarks, then why does he say "it was so pleasant"?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

pleasant

Todd, the same question occurred to me. A possible answer is found in OED's definition #4 of "pleasant":

†4. Amusing, laughable, ridiculous, funny. Obs.
1583 T. Stocker Civ. Warres Lowe C. i. 15 With such other like pleasant iestes. 1604 E. G[rimstone] D'Acosta's Hist. Indies i. xiv. 47 From our Peru+they might well bring gold, silver, and pleasant monkies. 1688 S. Penton Guard. Instruct. (1897) 43 It was pleasant to see how my Son trembled to see the Proctour come in. 1716 Addison Freeholder No. 9 313 The most pleasant Grievance is still behind. 1760 Foote Minor ii. Wks. 1799 I. 260 They took him off at the play-house some time ago; pleasant, but wrong. Public characters shou'd not be sported with.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Thanks, Paul!

Chy   Link to this

The annotators appear to have here missed the subtlety of Sam's reporting of Lord Craven's rude simile. Sam reports the turn of phrase, using the term 'occupy' in its base sense, but notes that Lord Craven had spoken "more loosely" than he had written it. In other words it is Sam who employs the term 'occupy', where Lord Craven had used even looser, baser language than Samuel could bring himself to write. Your imaginations must fill in the rest.

pppatholog   Link to this

"...these that would contract for all the lotteries would not suffer us to set up the Virginia lottery for *plate* before them,"

Contrary to the link to *silver plate* here, the plate above seems to be another OED variant of *plat* which has been discussed at length.

plat, n.3 also (6 plate), 6–7 platt(e.
A collateral form of plot n., which arose early in the 16th c., app. under the influence of plat n.2

†3. fig. A plan or scheme of the actual or proposed arrangement of anything; an outline, a sketch; also, arrangement, disposition. Cf. plot n. 4. Obs.

†4. A plan of action or proceeding in some undertaking; a scheme, design; = plot n. 5. Obs.

cf. the alternative link to plate/plat and the water scribe's annotation (cum grano salicylis):
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/6261/#c4...

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