Thursday 23 February 1664/65

This day, by the blessing of Almighty God, I have lived thirty-two years in the world, and am in the best degree of health at this minute that I have been almost in my life time, and at this time in the best condition of estate that ever I was in — the Lord make me thankfull. Up, and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, where I hear the most horrid and astonishing newes that ever was yet told in my memory, that De Ruyter with his fleete in Guinny hath proceeded to the taking of whatever we have, forts, goods, ships, and men, and tied our men back to back, and thrown them all into the sea, even women and children also. This a Swede or Hamburgher is come into the River and tells that he saw the thing done.1 But, Lord! to see the consternation all our merchants are in is observable, and with what fury and revenge they discourse of it. But I fear it will like other things in a few days cool among us. But that which I fear most is the reason why he that was so kind to our men at first should afterward, having let them go, be so cruel when he went further. What I fear is that there he was informed (which he was not before) of some of Holmes’s dealings with his countrymen, and so was moved to this fury. God grant it be not so! But a more dishonourable thing was never suffered by Englishmen, nor a more barbarous done by man, as this by them to us. Home to dinner, and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and then at night to take my finall leave of Mrs. Bland, who sets out to-morrow for Tangier, and then I back to my office till past 12, and so home to supper and to bed.

  1. Similar reports of the cruelty of the English to the Dutch in Guinea were credited in Holland, and were related by Downing in a letter to Clarendon from the Hague, dated April 14th, 1665 (Lister’s “Life of Clarendon,” vol. iii., p. 374).

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"This day, by the blessing of Almighty God, I have lived thirty-two years in the world"

Happy Birthday, Samuel Pepys!!

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Thirty Two Years Old
and has done all this, and seen all this, and grabbed all this,
more than we ALL have done.
Oh well, you got to do, what's right for you
And I've got what's right for me.
But it's nice to see,
What things can be.
Whether one should do them or not
is a question not so hot.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Wartime atrocities

In an annotation to 21 November 1664, Michael Robinson provided us the testimony of an Englishman that he had been waterboarded by the Dutch http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/11/21/#c19...

dirk   Link to this

Don't believe everything a Swede or a Hamburger says... ;-)

Nothing is worse in war than rumours. As we can read in the footnote, similar things are tould about the British in Holland...

dirk   Link to this

Meanwhile John Evelyn is busy "networking" - his diary entry for today:

"I was invited to a greate feast at Mr. Rich's (a relation of my Wife's, now Reader at Lincol's Inn); where was the Duke of Monmouth, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishops of London and Winchester, the Speaker of the House of Commons, divers of the Judges, and severall other greate men."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"nor a more barbarous done by man"
Evidently history was not one of the subjects Sam studied at Cambridge. The worst excesses of the Spanish Inquisition were less than a century in the past, as were the hunting and persecution of witches, primarily in Germany.

One of the three principal methods of torture of the Spanish Inquisition, incidentally, was the toca, or tortura de agua, what we now call waterboarding. {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition) Just thought I'd mention that.

Martha Wishart   Link to this

What? It's Sam's birthday, and he's not out carousing with la femme?

Mary   Link to this

the tale of Dutch atrocities.

An L&M footnote records that, such was the strength of feeling aroused in London by this tale, that a guard had to be set at the Dutch ambassador's residence.

JWB   Link to this

Rectilinear cephali
Looking at de Ruyter's portrait, you realize that the sobriquet has basis in reality & not derived from the shape of any protective head gear worn in combat by 20th C. middle-european tribes.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Here I've been celebrating my son's upcoming birthday by hosting one party and taking my daughter to another, and neglecting Samuel's! Though belated by 343 years, my wishes are heartfelt, good sir.

Strange that there's no mention at all of a celebration of any sort...

CGS   Link to this

To many birthdays to forget or to remember, To celebrate one of the survivors, mothers be worn out.

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