Wednesday 11 April 1666

To White Hall, having first set my people to worke about setting me rails upon the leads of my wife’s closett, a thing I have long designed, but never had a fit opportunity till now. After having done with the Duke of Yorke, I to Hales’s, where there was nothing found to be done more to my picture, but the musique, which now pleases me mightily, it being painted true. Thence home, and after dinner to Gresham College, where a great deal of do and formality in choosing of the Council and Officers. I had three votes to be of the Council, who am but a stranger, nor expected any. So my Lord Bruncker being confirmed President I home, where I find to my great content my rails up upon my leads. To the office and did a little business, and then home and did a great jobb at my Tangier accounts, which I find are mighty apt to run into confusion, my head also being too full of other businesses and pleasures. This noon Bagwell’s wife come to me to the office, after her being long at Portsmouth. After supper, and past 12 at night to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society at Gresham College today -- from the Hooke Folio Online

Apr. 11 1666. Election day. [ No new fellows were elected. William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker and the other officers were reelected ] accounts. &c.
Sr. R moray presented conditionally the Stones out of the heart of the Lord Belcarris. [ Royal Society:copies of papers read to the Society 1663-4 including `Scheme of the stones taken out of Lord Belcarris...' by Robert Hooke (1635-1703) ]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

11: ... As his Majestie came from Chapell, he call’d me in the lobby, & told Me he must now have me Sworn for Justice of Peace (having long since made me of the Commission) for preventing some dissorder in our parish at this time; I replied, that it was altogether inconsistent with the other service I was ingag’d in, during this hostility with Dutch & French and humbly desir’d to be excus’d, notwithstanding he persisted: After dinner waiting on him I gave him the first notice of the Spaniards referring the umpirage of the Peace ’twixt them, & the Portugal to the French King, which came to me in a letter from France before the Secretaries of State had any newes of it: After this againe his Majestie asked me, if I had found out any able person about our Parts, that might supplie my place of Justice of Peace (the thing in the world, I had most industriouly avoided to act in hitherto, in reguard of the perpetual trouble thereoff in this numerous Parish &c) on which I nominated one, whom his Majestie commanded me to give immediate notice of to my L: Chancellor, & I should be excus’d: for which I rendred his Majestie many thankes: After dinner, I went to the D: of Albemarle about some complaints I had against the Cleark of the Passage at Dover: Thence to my L: Chancelors to do his Majesties Command: Thence to the R: Society where I was chosen by 27 Voices to be one of their Council for the ensuing yeare, but upon my earnest suite, in respect of my other affairs, I got to be excused, & so got home:

Louise  •  Link

Nothing to be done but the musique... I'm assuming this is a colloquial phrase similar to "all over bar the shouting" what a varied day: office, bit of housework , check on the portrait , spot of Tangier accounting and a tincture of Mrs Bagwell, pity no mention of venison or the stone... But you can't have everything.

Willy  •  Link

Louise -- The link Bryan M posted yesterday (and particularly the full resolution view) makes it clear that Sam was being literal about the music ("Beauty Retire . . .") not being done.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

The musique:
Hale's portrait found through this most excellent website shows a music manuscript in Pepys' hand. The tune is his hot lick "Beauty Retire", of which he was very proud. Jeannine gave me a copy, it's a very ordinary amateur tune. A jazz player would whip off a lick like that and forget it 2 seconds later as he went on to other thoughts. Pepys wrote out the tune and had someone else harmonize it, just like Jackie Gleason used to compose tunes.
Pepys once fretted over having the professional musicians coming among amateurs like him, and he threw them out. There is something to be said for amateurs just enjoying their playing, and who cares if it's good or not.

Louise  •  Link

Thank you. I'd missed his having the musique painted in. Sort of sweet, good thing he was wise enough to keep the day job. Interesting too that if we got to choose a unique defining Pepysian document, it would probably be a diary page, or a page outlining some of his naval reforms, but he valued his composition. I'm aware that the conventions of portraiture wouldn't really run to somone clutching an account book, but I'm still amused to think how self awareness and valuing can be so different from that of an outside observer, or from a different time perspective. To see oursels as eithers see us eh?

Mary  •  Link

"never had a fit opportunity till now."

Perhaps because Elizabeth didn't care to have workmen traipsing through her private closet in order to get to the leads. Let's hope that all the mess is thoroughly cleaned up before she gets back from Brampton and that nothing got broken or damaged in the meanwhile.

While the cat's away the mice will play: enter Mrs. Bagwell after quite a lengthy break.

Robin Peters  •  Link

When I first read that that he was having rails in his wife's closet, I had visions of train set but that needs a few hundred years yet. I now see that the opening of the window is to make what we now call a French Window on to an area of flat roof covered in lead and the rails are railings to make it usable for a recreation area.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Tangier accounts, which I find are mighty apt to run into confusion, my head also being too full of other businesses and pleasures."

This and letting much time elapse between balancing the books does the trick!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"This noon Bagwell’s wife come to me to the office, after her being long at Portsmouth."

Seems like Sam gave no "order" to have his mistress present herself. ("Mrs. Bagwell, what are you doing here?" "Mr. Pepys, your note said be at my office at noon today or face starvation." "Ohhhh...Right.") It appears the Bagwells (or possibly William alone) are now pushing the relationship, perhaps nervous that Mr. P is losing interest? ("Come and be naughty with me, Mr. Pepys." "Oh,no, Mrs. Bagwell. I have renounced this sin and must never again...Mrs. Bagwell, please...")

Australian Susan  •  Link

Strange that there is no mention in Sam's inimitable fractured foreign languages of what he did with or to Mrs B. Perhaps nothing did happen?

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