Thursday 4 January 1665/66

Up, and to the office, where my Lord Bruncker and I, against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes and the whole table, for Sir W. Warren in the business of his mast contract, and overcome them and got them to do what I had a mind to, for indeed my Lord being unconcerned in what I aimed at. So home to dinner, where Mr. Sheldon come by invitation from Woolwich, and as merry as I could be with all my thoughts about me and my wife still in pain of her tooth. He anon took leave and took Mrs. Barbary his niece home with him, and seems very thankful to me for the 10l. I did give him for my wife’s rent of his house, and I am sure I am beholding to him, for it was a great convenience to me, and then my wife home to London by water and I to the office till 8 at night, and so to my Lord Bruncker’s, thinking to have been merry, having appointed a meeting for Sir J. Minnes and his company and Mrs. Knipp again, but whatever hindered I know not, but no company come, which vexed me because it disappointed me of the glut of mirthe I hoped for. However, good discourse with my Lord and merry, with Mrs. Williams’s descants upon Sir J. Minnes’s and Mrs. Turner’s not coming. So home and to bed.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my Lord Bruncker and I, against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes and the whole table, for Sir W. Warren in the business of his mast contract"

Cf. 21 July 1664: "we sat all the morning, among other things making a contract with Sir W. Warren for almost 1000 Gottenburg masts, the biggest that ever was made in the Navy" that, L&M note, Warren had failed to deliver, explaining that there was a shortage of the best masts in Sweden, and he had lost four ships at sea; moreover "he had already allowed the Navy Board a credit of £22,000."

Gus Spier   Link to this

“my Lord Bruncker and I, against Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes and the whole table, for Sir W. Warren in the business of his mast contract”

Now, when will this bit of bravado bounce up and grab our Sam'l by the back of the neck and drag him into the pits of despair?

cgs   Link to this

for the tin ear " "I dothe tink" 6b

"...However, good discourse with my Lord and merry, with Mrs. Williams’s descants upon Sir J. Minnes’s and Mrs. Turner’s not coming...."

descants

I. Music. Now only Hist., or poet.

1. A melodious accompaniment to a simple musical theme (the plainsong), sung or played, and often merely extemporized, above it, and thus forming an air to its bass: the earliest form of counterpoint.
c1380...
b. base descant, binding descant: see quots. double descant: double counterpoint. plain descant: plain or simple counterpoint. Obs.
1597 ....
2. The soprano or highest part of the score in part-singing.
1569...
4. The art of singing or writing music in parts; musical composition, harmony; also, a harmonized composition.
1565-73...
1649 JER. TAYLOR Gt. Exemp. I. iv. 42 The whole chorus joined in descant and sang a hymn.

1674 T. CAMPION (title), The Art of Descant, or composing Musick in Parts.
... 5. An instrumental prelude, consisting of variations on a given theme.
1644 MILTON Educ., Exercise, While the skilful Organist plies his grave and fancied descant in lofty Fugues.
II. Transferred uses: often with distinct reference to the plainsong or ground, and in the phrases run or sing descant.

6. Variation from that which is typical or customary; an instance of this. shift of descant: a change of ‘tune’, i.e. of argumentative position....

b. A disquisition, dissertation, discourse.
1622 DONNE Serm. xvi. 162 The fathers have infinitely delighted themselves in this Descant, the blessed effect of holy teares.

7. Varied comment on a theme, amplification of a subject; a comment, criticism, observation, remark; occas. censorious criticism, carping (obs.).
1594

A. Hamilton   Link to this

descants

cgs, you left out the most poignant citation of all:

Speech after long silence, it is right,
All other lovers being estranged or dead,
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,
The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
That we descant, and yet again descant,
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom;
Young we loved each other and were ignorant.
WBYeats

cgs   Link to this

After a long silence of 200 yrs plus, W.B. dothe make note. Poor Samuel did not have the pleasure, and to my dismay I failed to be indoctrinated by him, 'if ' and the urn be mine 'Keats' and that spy fox.

GrahamT   Link to this

The first musical instruments that British children are taught to play at school is the Descant Recorder. From hearing my children practising when younger, I thought descant meant discordant!

Nate   Link to this

Descant (soprano) recorder ca 1680:
http://www.usd.edu/smm/pressler.html

Australian Susan   Link to this

"....and overcome them and got them to do what I had a mind to, ...."

Sam - committee man par excellence. And the really clever trick is to get them to think they had thought of it all along......

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