Monday 29 January 1665/66

Up, and to Court by coach, where to Council before the Duke of Yorke, the Duke of Albemarle with us, and after Sir W. Coventry had gone over his notes that he had provided with the Duke of Albemarle, I went over all mine with good successe, only I fear I did once offend the Duke of Albemarle, but I was much joyed to find the Duke of Yorke so much contending for my discourse about the pursers against Sir W. Pen, who opposes it like a foole; my Lord Sandwich come in in the middle of the business, and, poor man, very melancholy, methought, and said little at all, or to the business, and sat at the lower end, just as he come, no roome being made for him, only I did give him my stoole, and another was reached me. After council done, I walked to and again up and down the house, discoursing with this and that man. Among others tooke occasion to thanke the Duke of Yorke for his good opinion in general of my service, and particularly his favour in conferring on me the Victualling business. He told me that he knew nobody so fit as I for it, and next, he was very glad to find that to give me for my encouragement, speaking very kindly of me. So to Sir W. Coventry’s to dinner with him, whom I took occasion to thanke for his favour and good thoughts of what little service I did, desiring he would do the last act of friendship in telling me of my faults also. He told me he would be sure he would do that also, if there were any occasion for it. So that as much as it is possible under so great a fall of my Lord Sandwich’s, and difference between them, I may conclude that I am thoroughly right with Sir W. Coventry. I dined with him with a great deale of company, and much merry discourse. I was called away before dinner ended to go to my company who dined at our lodgings. Thither I went with Mr. Evelyn (whom I met) in his coach going that way, but finding my company gone, but my Lord Bruncker left his coach for me; so Mr. Evelyn and I into my Lord’s coach, and rode together with excellent discourse till we come to Clapham, talking of the vanity and vices of the Court, which makes it a most contemptible thing; and indeed in all his discourse I find him a most worthy person. Particularly he entertained me with discourse of an Infirmary, which he hath projected for the sick and wounded seamen against the next year, which I mightily approve of; and will endeavour to promote it, being a worthy thing, and of use, and will save money. He set me down at Mr. Gawden’s, where nobody yet come home, I having left him and his sons and Creed at Court, so I took a book and into the gardens, and there walked and read till darke with great pleasure, and then in and in comes Osborne, and he and I to talk of Mr. Jaggard, who comes from London, and great hopes there is of a decrease this week also of the plague. Anon comes in Creed, and after that Mr. Gawden and his sons, and then they bringing in three ladies, who were in the house, but I do not know them, his daughter and two nieces, daughters of Dr. Whistler’s, with whom and Creed mighty sport at supper, the ladies very pretty and mirthfull. I perceive they know Creed’s gut and stomach as well as I, and made as much mirthe as I with it at supper. After supper I made the ladies sing, and they have been taught, but, Lord! though I was forced to commend them, yet it was the saddest stuff I ever heard. However, we sat up late, and then I, in the best chamber like a prince, to bed, and Creed with me, and being sleepy talked but little.

10 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my Lord Sandwich come in in the middle of the business, and, poor man, very melancholy, methought, and said little at all, or to the business, and sat at the lower end, just as he come, no roome being made for him, only I did give him my stoole, and another was reached me."

O, fortuna.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...talking of the vanity and vices of the Court, which makes it a most contemptible thing..."

And yet, you love it so, you little hypocrite...As we relish your little affairs. Surely Evelyn is aware that Sam has a number of less exalted side interests but since compared to many at Court, our Sam is a selfless servant of the People, perhaps finding Pepys a useful contact, he chooses to hope the better angel of his friend's nature will win out.

***
Jamie and Charlie showing a deal of consideration these last two days...They really do seem to have appreciated Sam's efforts during the plague, though possibly it's a matter of Jamie pushing Charlie.

Roger   Link to this

....so I took a book and into the gardens, and there walked and read till darke with great pleasure,...

It must have been a dry, mild day.
This January, 1666, we note that the average temperature was 4C (see column to right), this comparitively mild(ranked 224th coldest out of 351 going back to 1659 from present day)and certainly a contrast to a cold January 1665 and also to last month(ie December 1665). Presently, in the coldest winter in London for 12 years or so, the average is about 3.2C for Jan 2009.

andy   Link to this

no roome being made for him, only I did give him my stoole, and another was reached me.

A very telling account of the status of those present. The psychology of formal meetings is always very interesting. I have a maxim called "watch the biscuits". If there are biscuits at a formal meeting, the person who controls them controls the meeting. If the biscuits arrive during the meeting, they'll be placed in front of the one who is in control of the meeting. If they're put on the side it'll throw the meeting into confusion because there isn't anyone clearly in charge. If they're already there, does this person hand them out, fingers firmly holding the plate (...one of MY biscuits)? or does everyone eye them until (s)he takes the first one. If there's only one chocolate or jammy one, who dares to take it?

By giving Sandwich his stool, and immediately having it replaced, Sam evidences his staus in the meeting to the others, while bringing his former protector into the group. It will have been noted by those present.

mary k mcintyre   Link to this

Andy has it exactly right. As it is in corporations, it is as well in the creative sector where I work (for architects, who dress not like Cavaliers, but like W. Penn's son and his pals).

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Conversation with John Evelyn ...

Evelyn apparently didn't find Sam's discourse as worthy of recording in his Diary as Sam found Evelyn's:

"29th. I went to wait on his Majesty, now returned from Oxford to Hampton-Court, where the Duke of Albemarle presented me to him; he ran towards me, and in a most gracious manner gave me his hand to kiss, and with many thanks for my care and faithfulness in his service in a time of such great danger, when every body fled their employments; he told me he was much obliged to me, and said he was several times concerned for me, and the peril I underwent, and did receive my service most acceptably (though in truth I did but do my duty, and O that I had performed it as I ought!) After this, his Majesty was pleased to talk with me alone, near an hour, of several particulars of my employment, and ordered me to attend him again on Thursday following at Whitehall. Then the Duke came towards me, and embraced me with much kindness, telling me if he had thought my danger would have been so great, he would not have suffered his Majesty to employ me in that station. Then came to salute me my Lord of St. Albans, Lord Arlington, Sir William Coventry, and several gret persons; after which, I got home, not being very well in health."

Hmm. "I got home." So much for all that excellent discourse Sam recorded.

The King and the Duke were certainly full of compliments for everybody today.

Jesse   Link to this

"said little at all, or to the business, and sat at the lower end"

His Lordship trimming sails to weather the political storm. An admirable sailor.

cgs   Link to this

Rex: "luverly" contrast of how the mirror doth see us.
Rabbi Burns doth say it best in an ode to a louse [not prick louse]:
http://www.worldburnsclub.com/poems/translation...

Tom Carr   Link to this

Andy,
I have a similar "mobile phone" theory at our management meetings. One's status can be ascertained when someone's phone rings or vibrates at a meeting. Those lower on the pecking order are met with a glaring stare from our President. The VP and CFO would never get this reaction.

In an extremely rare moment, I forgot to turn my phone off at one meeting. Instead of the glaring stare, I got a look of concern and the meeting was paused. I did get glaring stares from those who committed this violation in the past.

I later found out that, as IT Director, most assume that something serious has broken when my phone rings.

I immediately thought of this when reading Sam's "stool story". I guess these things really don't change very much in 343 years.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Another 'pecking order' thing about meetings: how late you can be. The D of Y and Coventry do this, but Sam never . And sometimes Sam and co. turn up and the D of Y has gone hunting.

I recall the regular Team Meetings at my Probation Office when one person was always late: quite blatantly showing his disrespect for our team leader (who had been an appointment foisted on the office for political reasons.)

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