Saturday 9 December 1665

Called up betimes by my Lord Bruncker, who is come to towne from his long water worke at Erith last night, to go with him to the Duke of Albemarle, which by his coach I did. Our discourse upon the ill posture of the times through lacke of money. At the Duke’s did some business, and I believe he was not pleased to see all the Duke’s discourse and applications to me and everybody else. Discoursed also with Sir G. Carteret about office business, but no money in view. Here my Lord and I staid and dined, the Vice-Chamberlain taking his leave. At table the Duchesse, a damned ill-looked woman, complaining of her Lord’s going to sea the next year, said these cursed words: “If my Lord had been a coward he had gone to sea no more: it may be then he might have been excused, and made an Embassador” (meaning my Lord Sandwich).1 This made me mad, and I believed she perceived my countenance change, and blushed herself very much. I was in hopes others had not minded it, but my Lord Bruncker, after we were come away, took notice of the words to me with displeasure. Thence after dinner away by water, calling and taking leave of Sir G. Carteret, whom we found going through at White Hall, and so over to Lambeth and took coach and home, and so to the office, where late writing letters, and then home to Mr. Hill, and sang, among other things, my song of “Beauty retire,” which he likes, only excepts against two notes in the base, but likes the whole very well. So late to bed.

  1. When Lord Sandwich was away a new commander had to be chosen, and rank and long service pointed out Prince Rupert for the office, it having been decided that the heir presumptive should be kept at home. It was thought, however, that the same confidence could not be placed in the prince’s discretion as in his courage, and therefore the Duke of Albemarle was induced to take a joint command with him, “and so make one admiral of two persons” (see Lister’s “Life of Clarendon,” vol. ii., pp. 360,361).

20 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my Lord Bruncker, who is come to towne from his long water worke at Erith"

See 20 September: "my Lord Bruncker [was] chosen as one of us to have been sent aboard one of the East Indiamen [as custodian of the prize goods],...."

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Slightly off topic:

Anyone who wants to get the flavor of a patronage system not unlike the one Sam is operating in should read the indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for selling offices, including the appointment of a senator to succeed Barack Obama. It can be found at:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/acrobat/200...

cape henry   Link to this

"Our discourse upon the ill posture of the times through lacke of money." Hardly a more up to the minute sentence in the diary.

cape henry   Link to this

“If my Lord had been a coward he had gone to sea no more: it may be then he might have been excused, and made an Embassador” Here, in relief, the calumny being spread about Sandwich. Once this type of talk becomes general, a reputation is difficult or impossible to recover.

Jenny   Link to this

"Our discourse upon the ill posture of the times through lacke of money." Plus ca change, eh?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"This made me mad, and I believed she perceived my countenance change, and blushed herself very much. I was in hopes others had not minded it, but my Lord Bruncker, after we were come away, took notice of the words to me with displeasure."

Fantastic, evocative writing -- gives you a real flavor of the scene, of societal/political/business expectations, etc. At least Brouncker's with Sam, but Sam of course is right to worry that he let his emotions and allegiances show.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

the indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

AH, thanks: that really is exactly the world of Povey, Creed Pepys, Warren, Gauden, the Treasurer's and comptroller's clerks &c., &c., ... sections of the recorded / reported dialog could have been scripted by Robert Gertz!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

A16. JOHN EVELYN TO SAMUEL PEPYS (1)

[Evelyn fears his concerns will be forgotten]

For Samuell Pepys Esqr

On[e] of the principall Officers
of his Majesties Navy
at the Navy Office
Greenewich

Sayes Court

9 December 1665 (2)

Sir,

Your Letter of the 7th (3) concerning our Prisoners in the Golden-hand (4) and Prince William (5) came not an houre since to me; by what neglect I know not: I have sent to my Martiall at Leeds (6), to be here on Moneday (if possible) and to march away with them; so that those Vessells shall speedily be cleared: Sir William Coventry gives me hopes our Lazers (7) shall be cloathed, but you must coöperate or we shall be forgotten: I am Sir, Stylo Læconico (8)

Your most faithfull Servant
JEvelyn:

Source: PRO S.P. 29/138, f.77. Endorsed by P, ‘9 December 65. Says Court. Esqr Evelin’.

2 MS: ‘Says-Court 9th:Decr:-65’. P saw E at dinner on 10 December (diary) but makes no record of the conversation.

3 Not known. There is no copy in NMM Letter-Book 8.

4 This is probably the Golden Hand, a storeship referred to in The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin 1660-78, ed., R.C. Anderson for the Navy Records Society 1939-40, vol. II, pp.98, 116, et alia (for 1667). For Allin, see DNB, Allin, Sir Thomas (1612-85).

5 MS: ‘Pr: W:llm’. It can probably be identified as the ‘flyboat’ (a flat-bottomed coaster) Prince William captured from the Dutch in 1665 but recovered by them in 1666 (Colledge 1987).

6 Leeds Castle, Kent.

7 Variant of ‘Lazar’ from ‘Lazarus’, a diseased person.

8 ‘In the manner of a sweat-bath’ - presumably a reference to the haste and intensive work involved.

http://www.romanbritain.freeserve.co.uk/Pepysev...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...then home to Mr. Hill, and sang, among other things, my song of “Beauty retire,” which he likes, only excepts against two notes in the base, but likes the whole very well."

"It was thought, however, that the same confidence could not be placed in the prince’s discretion as in his courage, and therefore the Duke of Albemarle was induced to take a joint command with him, “and so make one admiral of two persons”..."

"Beauty retire" may be the hit song in London '65 but judging from the second quote [two admirals sharing a command, one of questionable discretion?] the Hague is singing "Happy Days Are Here Again".

Of course the real question is...Will BR work with the ladies?

"Oh, Mr. Pepys...That was sublime." swooning tone...

"Yes, they are...Uh, I mean..." quick look upward... "It was..."

"What be goin' on here?!!" growling...

"Christopher!" "Mr. Knipp!!"

"Pepys, I believe I'll going now." Hill, quietly slinking off...

"Christopher, what are you doing?! And what are you doing home?! Mr. Pepys was just letting me hear his new song!!"

"And having his hand in ye bosom makes the music sound better?!!"

"Mr. Knipp, please!!"

"That be right, Mr. Pepys...Me name's not Bagwell!!"

Crash...

Outside...

"What do you think?" Hewer turns to Hayter next to him as they wait, listening apprehensively, outside the Knipp residence.

Sam emerging from the rear of the house in full flight...

"I fear the Boss has finally provoked the wrath of the Lord, brother Hewer."

Inside...

"Good enough?" Knipp eyes his better half...

"Beautiful. Beauty retired...And just in time, else I'd have punched him right in that stone wound of his. I'll hit him for the Tangier horse contract tomorrow, he'll agree to any price." Mrs. Knipp pats Knipp affectionately.

"You really should be on the stage yourself, Chris."

Don McCahill   Link to this

> a damned ill-looked woman

One wonders if she would have been so poorly remembered physically if she had not made her remark about Sam's mentor.

jeannine   Link to this

"One wonders if she would have been so poorly remembered physically if she had not made her remark about Sam’s mentor."

As I recall from reading about her in other books of the time, Sam's comment was probably more of a compliment to her than an insult! Whenever I've come across a reference to her (sorry don't have time to dig through books for quotes these days) she is very unfavorably described both in manner, looks and a total lack of class. Yet, her husband, who married her when he was well down on the food chain, apparently seems content with her.

From Sjoerd's entry in the encyclopedia, this little bio of her gives some indication of her nature.
http://www.bigenealogy.com/familychests/duches-...

Australian Susan   Link to this

The reference to Lazarus in the notes to the Evelyn letter (for which much thanks, TF) is to the parable of the rich man and the beggar at the gate in Luke 16: 19-31. Lazarus the beggar is "covered with sores" and so ill and helpless, he cannot even stop dogs licking his sores. His name is synonymous with poor, ill persons in the direst of conditions. The hospitals for the poor were sometimes called Lazar Houses. JE is using this term, I surmise, to emphasise that these people are in the most dreadful condition.

Gus Spier   Link to this

The note (8) to the Evelyn letter translates "stylo Laeconico" ... Personally, I understood the phrase to mean, "in a laconic (that is, terse) style". Invoking "stylo Laeconico", the author acknowledges that he really should add all the formal, flowery niceties that correspondence with one of principal officers of the Navy Board merits. At the same time, the author excuses himself with a classical reference to Laocoön, fighting off the see serpents that were strangling him.

r,

Gus

language hat   Link to this

“stylo Laeconico"

There are two errors here. First, "Læconico" should be Laconico; I don't know whether the error is Evelyn's or a transcriber's. In the second place, whoever translated it looked up laconicum and found "a special apartment in baths fitted as a vapour-bath," not realizing that what was meant was the far more common adjective laconicus "of or belonging to Laconia," i.e., "Spartan" or "laconic." Gus is perfectly correct: Evelyn is saying "briefly," and whoever did the notes should be sent to bed without supper.

Mary   Link to this

Laocoon has nothing whatever to do with the case as far as I can see.

cgs   Link to this

laocoon according to OED
....
The name of a legendary Trojan priest who, with his two sons, was crushed to death by two sea-serpents (Virgil Aeneid II. 40-56, 199-231), used allusively, esp. with reference to statues representing him and his sons in their death-struggle. Freq. attrib.

1601 P. HOLLAND tr. Pliny's Hist. World XXXVI. v. 569 This may bee seene in the image of Laocoon..a peece of worke to be preferred..before all pictures or cast images.

a1666 EVELYN Diary an. 1644 (1955) II. 107 Above all that fountaine of the Laocoon..is a most glorious & surprizing object.

1699

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Evelyn: Laocoon..is a most glorious & surprizing object.

Site devoted to the 500th Anniversary of the Finding of the Laocoon on the Esquiline Hill in Rome and its significance:
http://www.idcrome.org/laocoon.htm

More images of the sculpture:
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/laocoon/laoc...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Evelyn: Laocoon..is a most glorious & surprizing object.

Site devoted to the 500th Anniversary of the Finding of the Laocoon on the Esquiline Hill in Rome and its significance:
http://www.idcrome.org/laocoon.htm

More images of the sculpture:
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/laocoon/laoc...

language hat   Link to this

"Laocoon has nothing whatever to do with the case as far as I can see."

Quite correct; I don't know where Gus got him from.

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