Friday 15 December 1665

Up, and spent all the morning with my Surveyors of the Ports for the Victualling, and there read to them what instructions I had provided for them and discoursed largely much of our business and the business of the pursers. I left them to dine with my people, and to my Lord Bruncker’s where I met with a great good dinner and Sir T. Teddiman, with whom my Lord and I were to discourse about the bringing of W. Howe to a tryall for his jewells, and there till almost night, and so away toward the office and in my way met with Sir James Bunce; and after asking what newes, he cried “Ah!” says he (I know [not] whether in earnest or jest), “this is the time for you,” says he, “that were for Oliver heretofore; you are full of employment, and we poor Cavaliers sit still and can get nothing;” which was a pretty reproach, I thought, but answered nothing to it, for fear of making it worse. So away and I to see Mrs. Penington, but company being to come to her, I staid not, but to the office a little and so home, and after supper to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"spent all the morning with my Surveyors of the Ports for the Victualling, and there read to them what instructions I had provided for them"

The instructions were prepared on 1 December: "spent all the morning with my Surveyors of the Ports for the Victualling, and there read to them what instructions I had provided for them, Sir W. Coventry desiring much to have them, and he might well have expected them long since." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/12/01/

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"to my Lord Bruncker's where I met with a great good dinner and Sir T. Teddiman, with whom my Lord and I were to discourse about the bringing of W. Howe to a tryall for his jewells"

See 16 November: "Madam Williams, who did give me information of W. Howe’s having bought eight bags of precious stones taken from about the Dutch Vice-Admirall’s neck" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/11/16/

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...I left them to dine with my people, and to my Lord Bruncker’s where I met with a great good dinner ..."

scrag end of mutton versus venison pasty?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

... “this is the time for you,” says he, “that were for Oliver heretofore; you are full of employment, and we poor Cavaliers sit still and can get nothing;” which was a pretty reproach, I thought, but answered nothing to it, for fear of making it worse. ....

But ten days ago ...

"I answered him [Captain Richard Kingdom] sharply, that I did [not] make, nor any honest man, any difference between night and day in the King’s business, and this was such, and my Lord Ashley should know. He answered me short. I told him I knew the time (meaning the Rump’s time) when he did other men’s business with more diligence. He cried, “Nay, say not so,” and stopped his mouth, not one word after."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/12/05/

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

What goes around comes around, eh Michael?

What does "pretty" mean in this context? Is Sam giving Bunce a compliment for "getting" him?

A. Hamilton   Link to this

pretty

I think the meaning is between (OED, pretty, adj.):
3c. Used ironically: ...(to come to) a pretty pass:
and
6. Mean, petty insignificant. (? Error for petty.)

Pepys surely doesn't admire the remark.

Off topic, I've just seen George C. Scott as Scrooge in a good film version of A Christmas Carol. In the last scene he looks admiringly on his nephew's wife, and praises her beauty. All very benevolent, and I doubt Dickens had any notion of conveying lechery, but I couldn't help thinking of Uncle Wight.
I guess I've been around R. Gertz too long.

cgs   Link to this

pretty in like petty [or stupid] as outlined by AH, 'tis my take,

Ruben   Link to this

DIGRESSION
Tangential to this annotations, for those who love London and are not afraid of spoilers, read:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts...
and may be buy the book...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"So away and I to see Mrs. Penington, but company being to come to her...(and she being sober), I staid not..."

Sam must be getting quite a rep by now...He may be able to cover up Bagwell...Hmmn...And cloak Betty Martin (sorry) but his nights with Mrs. Penington and some of his other forays must be getting some notice.

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language hat   Link to this

pretty:

Forget about the OED's "6. Mean, petty insignificant"; it occurs in only one source from 1522, and a Scots one at that (Gavin Douglas's translation of the Æneid) -- and as the OED suggests, it may well be an error for "petty."

The primary definition is "Originally: cunning, crafty. Subsequently: clever, skilful, able." This gets used ironically to imply "Awkward, difficult, deplorable, unwelcome, etc." -- which is pretty (heh) clearly what's going on here. I think Sam probably feels a mixture of admiration and annoyance at the unanswerable thrust.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my people"

An older phrase than I had thought: "I left them to dine with my people" writes Pepys.

cgs   Link to this

Becoming quite avuncular, or even possessive, I dothe think, and old Ironsides* not dead these ten years. "...I left them to dine with my people..."

*http://www.ag.org/enrichmentjournal/200402/200402_116_ironsides.cfm

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