Monday 12 February 1665/66

Up, and very busy to perform an oathe in finishing my Journall this morning for 7 or 8 days past. Then to several people attending upon business, among others Mr. Grant and the executors of Barlow for the 25l. due for the quarter before he died, which I scrupled to pay, being obliged but to pay every half year. Then comes Mr. Caesar, my boy’s lute-master, whom I have not seen since the plague before, but he hath been in Westminster all this while very well; and tells me in the height of it, how bold people there were, to go in sport to one another’s burials; and in spite too, ill people would breathe in the faces (out of their windows) of well people going by. Then to dinner before the ‘Change, and so to the ‘Change, and then to the taverne to talk with Sir William Warren, and so by coach to several places, among others to my Lord Treasurer’s, there to meet my Lord Sandwich, but missed, and met him at [my] Lord Chancellor’s, and there talked with him about his accounts, and then about Sir G. Carteret, and I find by him that Sir G. Carteret has a worse game to play than my Lord Sandwich, for people are jeering at him, and he cries out of the business of Sir W. Coventry, who strikes at all and do all. Then to my bookseller’s, and then received some books I have new bought, and here late choosing some more to new bind, having resolved to give myself 10l. in books, and so home to the office and then home to supper, where Mr. Hill was and supped with us, and good discourse; an excellent person he still appears to me. After supper, and he gone, we to bed.

18 Annotations

cape henry   Link to this

"...and tells me in the height of it, how bold people there were, to go in sport to one another’s burials; and in spite too, ill people would breathe in the faces (out of their windows) of well people going by." An awesome picture of the madness that must have been endurable only with some macabre behavior. Chilling. (But I must admit to a chuckle trying to picture how they might have accomplished "going to one another's burials..." Body doubles?)

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Then to my bookseller’s, and then received some books I have new bought, and here late choosing some more to new bind, having resolved to give myself 10l. in books,
Beautiful books, bound in leather, smelling of glue and leather, with thick paper just cream to off white, printed by leadtype where you can see how the type dug into the paper, a heave of two pounds or more, big type that you can read without glasses, classics all of them. Maybe even the tapes or cords for the binding showing through on the spine. Gold lettering. Gold decorations on the cover. The feel of quality on your fingertips.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Mr. Grant and the executors of Barlow for the 25l. due for the quarter before he died, which I scrupled to pay, being obliged but to pay every half year"

On 17 July 1660, Pepys agreed to buy the Clerk of the Acts job thus: "after much talk I did grant [ Mr. Barlow ] what he asked, viz., 50l. per annum, if my salary be not increased, and (100l. per annum, in case it be to 350l.)" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/07/17/

I find arranging and signing of the final agreement between the two 4 and 6 days later is both very poignant and very tedious. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/07/21/
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/07/23/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"cries out of"

This Pepysian idiom seems to mean "deplores"?
http://snipurl.com/bsqha

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"which I scrupled to pay"

OED re "scruple" (v.), definition 5:

5. Const. inf.: To hesitate or be reluctant (to do something), esp. on conscientious grounds, or out of regard for what is fit and proper. (The current use.)

1660 F. Brooke tr. Le Blanc's Trav. 357 Fathers not scrupling to make their own children victims. 1667 Milton P.L. ix. 997 He scrupl'd not to eat Against his better knowledge. 1687 A. Lovell tr. Thevenot's Trav. ii. 119 The Muletors scrupuled to let us have Mules to Ride on. 1761 Hume Hist. Eng. II. xxxv. 279 The lords for some time scrupled to pass this clause. 1864 Bryce Holy Rom. Emp. x. (1875) 164 The Pope did not scruple to preach a crusade against the Emperor himself. 1871 R. Ellis tr. Catullus p. xix, Nor have I scrupled to forsake the ancient quantity in proper names.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Per OED, "to cry out of" is to complain loudly or vehemently of (a matter).

andy   Link to this

having resolved to give myself 10l. in books

....having just spent another twenty quid on books this morning (how much is that so far in February??) I know how he feels...worthy (ahem)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Lets see...Forgoing the strict monetary conversion, 10L would be say today's equivalent of a motel maid's or fast-food worker's year's salary? Still, one might well feel entitled to spend as much were one receiving "gifts" and "thank-yes-for-that-kindly-nudge-of-affairs" equal to several years upper management's salary at practically every turn.

Say Sam, next time someone drops 200Ls in your lap...In fact, isn't that Gauden's agent chasing after us here at the bookseller's right now with a sack of gold?..."Sir, Mr. G. just wanted to wish you an early 'Happy Valentine's Day'"...How's about sending dear old Dad John a 100Ls gift? Even 50 would probably put the old folks into a state of joyful delirium.

Of course you have done right by Pall's dowry...Still, why not put a smile on old John's face this Valentine's Day? 20Ls, maybe?

Rob   Link to this

Carl in Boston....

Beautiful books, bound in leather, smelling of glue and leather, with thick paper just cream to off white, printed by leadtype where you can see how the type dug into the paper, a heave of two pounds or more, big type that you can read without glasses, classics all of them. Maybe even the tapes or cords for the binding showing through on the spine. Gold lettering. Gold decorations on the cover. The feel of quality on your fingertips.

I thought I was a sorry case of bibliomania but you are far worse....

We will probably never recover

JWB   Link to this

Rob & Carl in Boston:

Just now reading Owen Gingerich's "The Book Nobody Read, Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus". Suggested reading for bibliophiles.

language hat   Link to this

"classics all of them"

Let's not get carried away. The percentage of crap published back then was as high as it is now.

phoenix   Link to this

Yes, but ahhhhh ... crap so packaged .... let me luxuriate in it.
Like who wants to read read it anyway?

Robert Gertz   Link to this


Years ago when I worked on the English Literary Renaissance journal, our editorial team got to go up to St Johnsbury, VT and see the printing of the journal editions at their wonderful printer. The craftsmanship of the process through all the stages to finished product was a joy to watch.

And I still get goosebumps listening to the lovely description of the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books" in Barcelona in the opening chapter of Zafon's "Shadow of the Wind", a real tribute to book-lovers everywhere.

It's easy to understand Sam's delight in his books...They become real personalities, some shallow, some profound, nearly all lovable in some way.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

The Books, The Books
pant, pant, pant puff, pant, pant
The Books
www.magd.cam.ac.uk/pepys/index.html
The Books. pant, pant, pant, pant, pant
There are Masters of Bookbinding abroad in the world, $1000 a book and up, one is within 10 miles from Carlsbad CA, high on a hillside, behind a gate, with a sign about a barking dog, it's all for the Richard Nixon Library, Another is near 76th Street on Lexington in NYC, he's got a big stinking dog and he's full of stories about The Mob and their strange interest in 16th Century Bookbinding. It's out there. If they ask "Are you an artist?", you should say "Yes". More will be revealed and shown if you admit to being an artist. it also helps if you have an interest in the Battle Of Rourke's Drift. I was slow on that one, but came out OK. They have strange interests, these Masters.
The Books, the books. There are strange bookbinders out there. They did apprenticeships for chickenfeed, they left great big jobs to do this, it's all for Art. It takes four years of apprenticeship at no pay to learn to do gilding on the front of a book. I can say no more.
Then there is Sam's collection, which is priceless.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Ok, RG and CarlinBoston, this one's for you. Try and not drool on your keyboards. Just delicious

http://www.foliosociety.com/book/HMS/hamlet

Paul Dyson   Link to this

For Annotators in UK there's an exhibition about bookbinding in Northampton - on now and running till March 9th. See link below.

http://www.societyofbookbinders.com/events

The rest of the site is interesting too.

I visited Dublin two years ago and found the Book of Kells exhibition in Trinity College excellent. And their library is out of this world.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

books, bound in leather ...

Site below comes complete with an epigraph from SP --
if you don't wish to search for items by title or period can pull up, & for those in need of a major fix repeatedly, a random selection of 25 images from the collection, but no digital smell-o-rama as yet:

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Hamlet in the Letterpress Edition. Goatskin, you bet. It comes very thin and has a beautiful drape.
I once went to the library at Harvard and asked to see Shakespeare's Third Folio. Third Folio, why not the First? Because the Third is good enough for what I'm looking for. Nobody looks at these books, you SHALL have the First Folio, here. So I got my bare unwashed hands on the First Folio of Shakespeare, which was my intent from the first. I remember the handlaid paper, and how the type had pressed into the paper. It was bound in red goatskin. Now with all the security, this could never be done again. I tried, it can't be done.

Log in to post an annotation.

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