Tuesday 13 March 1665/66

Up betimes, and to the office, where busy sitting all the morning, and I begin to find a little convenience by holding up my head to Sir W. Pen, for he is come to be more supple. At noon to dinner, and then to the office again, where mighty business, doing a great deale till midnight and then home to supper and to bed. The plague encreased this week 29 from 28, though the total fallen from 238 to 207, which do never a whit please me.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

13th March, 1666. To Chatham, to view a place designed for an Infirmary.

Lawrence   Link to this

I wonder if Sir W pen, is as observant as our man, and seen that the long hoped for fall, (Samuel with Sandwich)and as not come to fruition? as made him realize that Samuel is still favoured with the royal brothers?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn wrote naught in his diaries or Memoirs on uneventful days; his standard of "event" was rather high. Perhaps that contributed to his Memoir's longevity (1657-1688).

cgs   Link to this

sampling of softening up process.
OED:
supple, n.
1. The part of a flail that strikes the grain in thrashing.
1634

2. A cudgel.

supple, a.

[a. OF. supple, sople, (mod.F.) souple:{em}L. supplicem, supplex lit. ‘bending under’, hence, submissive, suppliant, f. sup- = SUB- 2 + plic-, root of plic{amac}re to fold (cf. PLIANT).]

1. Of soft or yielding consistency; not rigid; soft, tender. Obs.
1297

2. a. That is easily bent or folded without breaking or cracking; pliant, flexible.
c1386

a1586 SIDNEY Arcadia II. xi. (1912) 220 Her bellie..Like Alablaster faire and sleeke, But soft and supple satten like. 1657 R. LIGON Barbadoes 109 They will wash and not shrinke in the wetting, and weare very long and soople. 1697 DRYDEN Virg. Georg. III. 266 For his soft Neck, a supple Collar make Of bending Osiers.

b. transf. of the internal organs of the body.

c. souple Tam, ‘a child's toy, which, being pulled by a string, shakes and seems to dance’ (Jamieson, 1825). Sc.
3. a. Of the body, limbs, etc.: Capable of bending easily; moving easily or nimbly.
1530

b. supple knee: in reference to insincere or obsequious obeisance. Cf. 4.
1593 SHAKES. Rich. II, I. iv. 33 A brace of Dray-men bid God speed him well, And had the tribute of his supple knee.
1616 R. C. Times' Whistle vi. (1871) 89 It cost him nothing but a supple knee, And oyly mouth & much observancie.
1667 MILTON P.L. v. 788 Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bend The supple knee?
c. transf. of movements, etc.: Characterized by flexibility of body or limb.
1592 SHAKES. Rom. & Jul. IV. i. 102 Each part depriu'd of supple gouernment, Shall stiffe and starke, and cold appeare like death.

d. Of wind: Gentle, soft. Obs. rare.
1652 CRASHAW Carmen Deo Nostro Wks. (1904) 194 Be they such As sigh with supple wind Or answer Artfull Touch.

4. fig. Yielding readily to persuasion or influence; compliant. Const. to.
c1340

5. a. Compliant or accommodating from selfish motives; artfully or servilely complaisant or obsequious.
1607 SHAKES. Cor. II. ii. 29 His assent is not by such easie degrees as those, who hauing beene supple and courteous to the People, Bonnetted, without any further deed, to haue them at all into their estimation, and report.
a1700 EVELYN Diary 27 Nov. 1666, By no means fit for a supple and flattering courtier.

b. transf. Characterized by ingratiating or fawning complaisance.
1633 FORD 'Tis Pity II. ii, Call me not deare, Nor thinke with supple words to smooth the grosenesse Of my abuses.

1649 MILTON Eikon. iii. Wks. 1851 III. 354 By smooth and supple words..to make som beneficial use or other eev'n of his worst miscarriages.

[f. SUPPLE a., after OF. asoplir (mod.F. assouplir). See also SUPPLY v.3]

supple, v.
1. trans. To soften, mollify (the heart or mind); to cause to yield or be submissive; to make compliant or complaisant. Obs. or arch.
1390

Lawrence   Link to this

I happen to think Terry, and I'm only expressing my own opinion, that Evelyn often copied from news letters of the day, but none the less, his diary is well worth the read! and it's assumed he made them up from time to time?

Lawrence   Link to this

I think by saying that "he made them up from time to time?" that he imagined it? what I mean is that he tended to his journal when he had the time? sorry if I mislead?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Evelyn often copied from news letters of the day"

Lawrence, I haven't noticed that (yet). So far he seems to be reporting the pursuit of his agenda. Most of that is in public, indeed -- so, amenable to report by others; but the "public" may include only himself and King Charles. Sample?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I dunno as to Penn. He was very friendly toward Sam at the beginning and his key act that enraged our boy was simply to defend Minnes' position as comptroller from his point of view regarding the drawing up of contracts. As an experienced and successful naval commander, highly regarded by the Duke and Coventry, he must get a little exasperated by Sam's constant assertiveness but he's shown that he appreciates Sam's ability. It may be that he's accepted that Sam is more than Sandwich's creature now. I've always wondered if he ever discussed Sam's manner toward him with Coventry and if Sam in turn has repressed his feelings toward Penn with Mr. C. Judging by Sam's tendency to grovel slightly with the great...and keep his real opinions to the Diary, I suspect he's never breathed a word of discontent with Penn to Coventry or in his presence.

Lawrence   Link to this

"The plague encreased this week 29 from 28, though the total fallen from 238 to 207, which do never a whit please me"

L&M. The comparison is between the week of 6-13 March and previous week:

Not sure what sam means by the word whit? unless he means wit? but of course he's pleased, as the danger seems to be passing everyday!

Bradford   Link to this

"whit" signifies a very small amount, colloquially---i.e., "I don't like that one bit."

cgs   Link to this

"...which do never a whit please me...."
whit:
'tis like it be commented on 'me' words, who gives a whit, but the OED dothe say
[not as used in Whit Sunday]
whit, n.1
[Early mod.E. whyt, wyt, whit(t, app. an alteration of wight, wite, in any wight, no wight, little wight (see WIGHT n.).]

1. A very small, or the least, portion or amount; a particle, jot, ‘bit’: a. without negative: esp. in every whit = the whole.
c1520...
b. with negative expressed or implied: esp. in never a whit, not a whit, NO WHIT = none at all.
1480 ...

1635 R. N. tr. Camden's Hist. Eliz. III. 284 Having sacked the Towne, they found not a whit of gold.
1678 R. BARCLAY Apol. Quakers iv. §2. 97 We do not ascribe any whit of Adam's Guilt to Men.

2. Most commonly in phrases used adverbially: a. without negative: a whit = to a very small extent, a very little; any whit, one whit = to the least amount, in the least degree, at all; every (each) whit = to the full amount, completely, altogether, thoroughly, quite (in later use almost always with as in comparisons of equality).
1526 ...
1618 in Foster Engl. Factories Ind. (1906) 49 Yf they be suffred but a whit longer, they will make claime to the whole Indies.

1672 VILLIERS (Dk. Buckhm.) Rehearsal II. ii, I have written..a whole cart~load of things, every whit as good as this.

b. with negative expressed or implied: never, not (etc.) a whit ({dag}awhit, a-whit), any whit, one whit; also no whit = not in the least, not at all.
1523 ...
1596 SHAKES. 1 Hen. IV, II. iv. 408 Falst. Art not thou horrible afraid?..Prin. Not a whit.

1607 Puritan I. i. 33 Shee cryed nere a whitte at all.

1634 MILTON Comus 774 Natures full blessings would be well dispenc't.., And she no whit encomber'd with her store.

1642 D. ROGERS Naaman 871 It never troubles you awhit!

3. As a term of contempt or abuse. Obs. rare{em}1.
1610 B. JONSON Alch. IV. vii, Then you are an Otter, and a Shad, a Whit, A very Tim....

whit, int. (adv.), n.2, v. tuwhit
A word expressing a shrill abrupt sound, as of a bird's chirp, a bullet striking something hard, etc.; also as v.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"I suspect he’s never breathed a word of discontent with Penn to Coventry or in his presence"

I dunno, Robert ... as I recall, earlier in the Diary there was quite a bit of implication from Sam that he and Coventry discussed at length the "personnel problems" of the office. I assumed he focused primarily on Batten and Minnes, but certainly he would have gotten a few jabs in at Penn as well?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Yes, Todd, I think Sam was indiscreet with a young, clever man's confidence in his powers and he had not then learnt to choose his fights and enemies.

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