Friday 22 December 1665

Up betimes and to my Lord Bruncker to consider the late instructions sent us for the method of our signing bills hereafter and paying them. By and by, by agreement, comes Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and then to read them publicly and consider of putting them in execution. About this all the morning, and, it appearing necessary for the Controller to have another Clerke, I recommended Poynter to him, which he accepts, and I by that means rid of one that I fear would not have been fit for my turne, though he writes very well. At noon comes Mr. Hill to towne, and finds me out here, and brings Mr. Houbland, who met him here. So I was compelled to leave my Lord and his dinner and company, and with them to the Beare, and dined with them and their brothers, of which Hill had his and the other two of his, and mighty merry and very fine company they are, and I glad to see them. After dinner I forced to take leave of them by being called upon by Mr. Andrews, I having sent for him, and by a fine glosse did bring him to desire tallys for what orders I have to pay him and his company for Tangier victualls, and I by that means cleared to myself 210l. coming to me upon their two orders, which is also a noble addition to my late profits, which have been very considerable of late, but how great I know not till I come to cast up my accounts, which burdens my mind that it should be so backward, but I am resolved to settle to nothing till I have done it. He gone, I to my Lord Bruncker’s, and there spent the evening by my desire in seeing his Lordship open to pieces and make up again his watch, thereby being taught what I never knew before; and it is a thing very well worth my having seen, and am mightily pleased and satisfied with it. So I sat talking with him till late at night, somewhat vexed at a snappish answer Madam Williams did give me to herself, upon my speaking a free word to her in mirthe, calling her a mad jade. She answered, we were not so well acquainted yet. But I was more at a letter from my Lord Duke of Albemarle to-day, pressing us to continue our meetings for all Christmas, which, though every body intended not to have done, yet I am concluded in it, who intended nothing else. But I see it is necessary that I do make often visits to my Lord Duke, which nothing shall hinder after I have evened my accounts, and now the river is frozen I know not how to get to him. Thence to my lodging, making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days, and so my mind being eased of it, I to supper and to bed. The weather hath been frosty these eight or nine days, and so we hope for an abatement of the plague the next weeke, or else God have mercy upon us! for the plague will certainly continue the next year if it do not.

19 Annotations

Eric Walla   Link to this

Ah, Sam! If only life were as neat and tidy as Lord Brunckner's watch! Instead you're treated grandly by the Duke and Lords, but snapped at by a mistress ...

Nix   Link to this

"upon my speaking a free word to her in mirthe, calling her a mad jade" --

Yes, Samuel, even in these libertine times, if you call someone's girlfriend a "crazy slut", though meant in the nicest possible way, she might not be thrilled.

I learned this the hard way last June, when I referred ("in mirthe") to an old friend's date as "arm candy" -- meant as a compliment, but taken as an insult.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sorry, Nix, but surely "arm candy" can never be anything other than an insult! I'm surprised you still have all your limbs....

Sam is so honest, isn't he? What other diarist would record the snub by La Williams?

Reminds me of one I heard recently: Famous actor to famous actress (both appearing in same TV series, filming on location) (after production company alcohol)"Is there any reason why you should not come up to my hotel room?" The reply "I can think of many."

"....pressing us to continue our meetings for all Christmas,..."

This means the entire 12 days of Christmas from the 25th to the 6th - normally considered common law holidays, but Puritan influences are still around and it is nose to the grindstone time - put away the venison pasties and Rhenish wine - and trudge into the office. Wonder if Bess will still contrive to have some Christmas parties?

cape henry   Link to this

"...open to pieces and make up again his watch..." This wonderful experiment was also undertaken by me as a lad, and which, to this day, remains incomplete. Like certain relationships, it's the "making up again" that proves difficult.

Patricia   Link to this

Never mind the "mad jade" or "arm candy"! I complimented a bride on her beauty and she took THAT as an insult. "I'm SMART, too!" "Yes," I said, "I already knew you were smart or my friend would not be marrying you." Honestly, this PC stuff is way out of hand.
And Jade or some variant thereof, is a very popular name for baby girls these days, around here.
Consider the source, Sam.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days

If Sam means the diary since Dec. 13, that's a prodigious feat of memory. It covers meetings with some 75 names (many repeating); dinners at various places; encounters of various degrees with a half-dozen women beside his wife; discussions of the incidence of the plague, Tangier accounts, his personal fortunes and various bits of government business; his adventures with insurance;travels back and forth and up and down the Thames; reflections on the character of various people he encounters; and more.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...rid of one that I fear would not have been fit for my turne, though he writes very well."

"Mr. Pepys, I have to tell you that yesterday Sir William Warren's man actually handed me a note which listed the prices we would be paying for his masts."

"Really?"

"Indeed, sir. And further, the man winked at me and actually asked if I expected to do well out of the business."

"He did?"

"Yes, sir."

"And what did you do?"

"Well, sir, I told him this being the office of Mr. Samuel Pepys, Clerk of the Acts of the King's Navy we would stand for no such things here and gave him a bloody how-dee-do out the door, sir."

"Did you?"

"Yes, sir. Should I have called for help, sir?"

"Oh, no...You did quite right. Hmmn...Yes...Uh, Poynter? Did the man...By any chance....Leave anything behind? Say a glove or a box? Perhaps a bag?"

"Actually, you mention it, sir, he did try to. But I told him to take it along with him and be off. I do suspect, sir, he sought to leave something behind, perhaps to incriminate the office, sir."

"Right...Well, very good, Poynter. Uh, Poynter, I've been thinking...You know, Sir John Minnes is in desperate need of help. A bright fellow like you could really turn his branch of the office around."

"Thank you, sir."

"Yes...Quite. I shall speak to Sir John about it."

"I'm honored, sir. Sir, about the woman."

"Woman?"

"Yes, sir...A rather large woman,sir. I fear she may be...Well, a bit touched, sir. Rather like that carpenter's wife, Mrs. Bagwell. Keeps asking after you, sir, and looking at me very strangely when doing so, sir. I fear she might be a wife or widow of one of our more unhappy seamen, sir."

"I see...Well, I shall definitely mourn your loss, Poynter. But Duty and the King's business summon you to new responsibilities...Elsewhere."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"by a fine glosse did bring him [Andrews] to desire tallys for what orders I have to pay him"

The OED tells us that this sense of "gloss(e)" means
... a deceptive appearance, fair semblance, plausible pretext.

1548 Udall, etc. Erasm. Par. Luke xii. 1–7 Beware ye that all your life bee void of all cloking or countrefaicte glosse [L. ut omnis uita uestra fuco careat]. 1576 Fleming Panopl. Ep. 401 (margin) In the glosse of their glorie+that is, when they were most famous. 1596 Spenser F.Q. iv. v. 15 He much more goodly glosse thereon doth shed, To hide his falshood, then if it were trew. 1599 Nashe Lenten Stuffe (1871) 17 King John+in furthering of this new waterwork+set a fresh gloss upon it [Yarmouth]. 1606 Shakes. Tr. & Cr. ii. iii. 128 Yet all his vertues+Doe in our eyes, begin to loose their glosse. 1640 Yorke Union Hon. 1 The first Glosse that William Duke of Normandy had for this Crowne and Diadem of England, was thus. 1652 Culpepper Eng. Physic. (1809) 19 To put a gloss upon their practice, the physicians call an herb+Archangel. 1660 T. M. Hist. Independ. iv. 28 The better to cast a seeming gloss of legality upon his usurpation, he summons another Parliament. a1680 Butler Rem. (1759) I. 249 Art, That sets a Gloss on what's amiss. 1726 Swift Poems, To a Lady, You, like some acute philosopher, Ev'ry fault have drawn a gloss over. 1756 Burke Vind. Nat. Soc. Pref., There is a sort of gloss upon ingenious falsehoods, that dazzles the imagination. 1760–2 Goldsm. Cit. W. iii, The most trifling occurrences give pleasure till the gloss of novelty is worn away. 1761–2 Hume Hist. Eng. (1806) III. xxxix. 278 A woman thus+provides only thin glosses to cover her exceptionable conduct. 1834 J. H. Newman Par. Serm. (1837) I. iii. 45 The false gloss of a mere worldly refinement makes us decent and amiable. 1852 Mrs. Stowe Uncle Tom's C. xv, As the glosses and civilities of the honeymoon wore away, he discovered that [etc.]. 1872 Blackie Lays Highl. 24, I have used no gloss, no varnish To make fair things fairer look.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"I recommended Poynter to him, which he accepts, and I by that means rid of one that I fear would not have been fit for my turne"

Who among us has not witnessed an unfit employee being foisted off on someone with a glowing recommendation. A practice that probably predates recorded history.

JWB   Link to this

Puritan opposition to Christmas then & now:

http://puritanismtoday.wordpress.com/2007/11/19...

Jesse   Link to this

"we were not so well acquainted yet"

Exactly. It's not what was said but who said it. Cossi fan tutte.

GrahamT   Link to this

Re: "making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days"
I think we discussed this in the past. Pepys used to take notes on slips of paper in rough, then write them up in his diary in shorthand, presumably embelishing the notes with triggered memories.
On 11th December 1665 we had an example where a slip of paper was put into the diary as an addendum "which I took in writing from his mouth"
This perhaps explains his "prodigous memory", while in no way belittling his talent for reporting and story telling.

A.Hamilton   Link to this

Thanks, Graham. I had missed that.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Re: “making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days”

Spoiler -- Other examples, there the periods 10-19 April, 5-7 June 1668 where SP leaves blank pages for the journal entries, which were never completed, and has his rough notes bound in place in the volume: L&M transcribe the rough notes in full for any interested in seeing samples of the raw material he worked from.

cgs   Link to this

Pity that the raw material is not published, I would think it would help in understanding Samuell's process especially it would help the younger students of history.

Nix   Link to this

"surely 'arm candy' can never be anything other than an insult!" --

In my own defense, when I google the term the first definition I come up with is precisely the complimentary sense in which I meant it: "A remarkably attractive person of either gender accompanying you or some other lucky person. See also trophy."

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=...

In any event, I learned my lesson.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... pressing us to continue our meetings for all Christmas, which, though every body intended not to have done, yet I am concluded in it, who intended nothing else."

i.e. during the whole of the 'twelve days' -- L&M note that Albermarle had observed that the dockyards were having only three days' holiday.

cgs   Link to this

Houbland,
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/8247/

amazing from these acorns of Samuell's acquaintances, how many oaks be started.

JonTom in Massachusetts   Link to this

"This means the entire 12 days of Christmas from the 25th to the 6th - normally considered common law holidays, but Puritan influences are still around and it is nose to the grindstone time" -- A.S.

More than lingering Puritan attitudes, the exigencies of the war effort could be a stronger motivation for Ablemarle's hard ass attitude. It's sometimes hard to remember that there's a war on, since much of S.P.'s daily round seems unaffected by it.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.