Monday 26 March 1666

Up, and a meeting extraordinary there was of Sir W. Coventry, Lord Bruncker, and myself, about the business of settling the ticket office, where infinite room is left for abusing the King in the wages of seamen. Our [meeting] being done, my Lord Bruncker and I to the Tower, to see the famous engraver, to get him to grave a seale for the office. And did see some of the finest pieces of work in embossed work, that ever I did see in my life, for fineness and smallness of the images thereon, and I will carry my wife thither to shew them her. Here I also did see bars of gold melting, which was a fine sight. So with my Lord to the Pope’s Head Taverne in Lumbard Streete to dine by appointment with Captain Taylor, whither Sir W. Coventry come to us, and were mighty merry, and I find reason to honour him every day more and more. Thence alone to Broade Street to Sir G. Carteret by his desire to confer with him, who is I find in great pain about the business of the office, and not a little, I believe, in fear of falling there, Sir W. Coventry having so great a pique against him, and herein I first learn an eminent instance how great a man this day, that nobody would think could be shaken, is the next overthrown, dashed out of countenance, and every small thing of irregularity in his business taken notice of, where nobody the other day durst cast an eye upon them, and next I see that he that the other day nobody durst come near is now as supple as a spaniel, and sends and speaks to me with great submission, and readily hears to advice. Thence home to the office, where busy late, and so home a little to my accounts publique and private, but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing.

12 Annotations

cgs   Link to this

"...about the business of settling the ticket office, where infinite room is left for abusing the King in the wages of seamen...."

"with this paper I cannae pay me tab", so go and join the the unemployed preachers.

AIG---grasping covetous rapacious avarice insatiable greed at work again.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"herein I first learn an eminent instance how great a man this day, that nobody would think could be shaken, is the next overthrown..."

Sam is lucky to learn this lesson/gain this insight so early in life. It will serve him well later, I think, because I believe he learned to constantly be prepared to defend himself against his enemies or a change in fortune...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...supple as a spaniel..." Gotta love a man who can come with up such bits.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

The full text of the letters from John Evelyn to Pepys on this day can be found here, nicely formatted: http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2009/03/26/ev...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

What seems genuine concern lest the King be cheated, even a desire to share an artistic experience with Bess...The little good angel Sam on the left shoulder must be running the show today.

***
"...and so home a little to my accounts publique and private, but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing."

Sam, what you need to employ is Vinnie-Math.

(from "Life With Father")

Clarence (Father): "Now Vinnie...I gave you $6 to buy a new coffee pot. Now I find that you've apparently got one at Lewis & Congers and charged it. Here's their bill. One coffee pot $5."

Vinnie, beaming: "So you owe me a dollar and you can hand it right over."

clarence: "I'll do nothing of the kind. What did you do with that $6?"

Vinnie: "Well Claire I can't tell you now, dear. Why didn't you ask me at the time?"

Clarence: "What?"

Vinnie: "Wait a minute. Yes. I spent $4 and 1/2 for that new umbrella."

Clarence: "Now we're getting somewhere. One umbrella, $4.50."

Vinnie: "And that must have been the week I paid Mrs. Tobin for two extra days washing. That's $2 more. That makes $6.50 and that's another 50 cents you owe me."

Clarence: "I don't owe you anything. What you owe me is an explanation of where my money has gone."

Vinnie: "Now Claire, that is very shabby of you. You owe me $1.50 and you always say you can tell a gentleman by the speed with which he pays his debts."

Clarence: "What? Now, Vinnie, look here. Another bill. Vinnie, Clarence's suit was charged for $15."

Vinnie: "But it didn't cost you a penny. Clarence bought the pugdog back and exchanged it for the suit, don't you see?"

Clarence: "They're going to charge me for one thing or another."

Vinnie: "Don't you let them!"

Clarence:

Ira   Link to this

Uncharacteristically, Sam has failed to note that on this date in 1658 he was successfully "cut for the stone."

JWB   Link to this

“…supple as a spaniel…”

King Charles Spaniel no doubt, though doubt original with Sam. Phrase used today by dog fanciers. A quick Google turned up no antecedent.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's letters to Pepys this day show a master-planner at work -- a virtuoso indeed! From these one can learn a good deal about the care of the sick and wounded in the late 17th century, and how Evelyn brought to bear many arts and sciences to address the problem going forward.

Give a glance: http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2009/03/26/ev...

A. Hamilton   Link to this

supple as a spaniel

A pity OED has missed this citation, which gives added force to the figurative use meaning "yielding readily to persuasion or influence" (for which, by the way, another entry in the diary is quoted.)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Apart from the alliterative force of "supple as a spaniel", they are (if KC spaniels now are like the ones then) the most boneless dogs ever. Or does he actually mean "subtle". Hmm. KC spaniels I know are not smart.

"...and every small thing of irregularity in his business taken notice of, ..."

Oh, yes! Doesn't that ring true down the centuries in office politics! It can even get as low as "...and she never washes the coffee mugs up!"

"...but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing..."

I feel like this every tax time.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Toy spaniels were a favorite pet lap dog in Europe, with each family having its favorite. Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland (1630 – 1685) was very fond of this [pug-like] type of dog, which is why the dogs of today carry his name, although there is no evidence that today's breed descended from his particular dogs."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Charles_Spaniel

Michael L   Link to this

A good usage of "spaniel" in its fawning sense is in Midsummer Night's Dream, II, i:

And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,--
And yet a place of high respect with me,--
Than to be used as you use your dog?

Log in to post an annotation.

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