Thursday 31 May 1666

Waked very betimes in the morning by extraordinary thunder and rain, which did keep me sleeping and waking till very late, and it being a holiday and my eye very sore, and myself having had very little sleep for a good while till nine o’clock, and so up, and so saw all my family up, and my father and sister, who is a pretty good-bodied woman, and not over thicke, as I thought she would have been, but full of freckles, and not handsome in face. And so I out by water among the ships, and to Deptford and Blackewall about business, and so home and to dinner with my father and sister and family, mighty pleasant all of us; and, among other things, with a sparrow that our Mercer hath brought up now for three weeks, which is so tame that it flies up and down, and upon the table, and eats and pecks, and do everything so pleasantly, that we are mightily pleased with it. After dinner I to my papers and accounts of this month to sett all straight, it being a publique Fast-day appointed to pray for the good successe of the fleete. But it is a pretty thing to consider how little a matter they make of this keeping of a Fast, that it was not so much as declared time enough to be read in the churches the last Sunday; but ordered by proclamation since: I suppose upon some sudden newes of the Dutch being come out. To my accounts and settled them clear; but to my grief find myself poorer than I was the last by near 20l., by reason of my being forced to return 50l. to Downing, the smith, which he had presented me with. However, I am well contented, finding myself yet to be worth 5,200l.. Having done, to supper with my wife, and then to finish the writing fair of my accounts, and so to bed. This day come to town Mr. Homewood, and I took him home in the evening to my chamber, and discoursed with him about my business of the Victualling, which I have a mind to employ him in, and he is desirous of also, but do very ingenuously declare he understands it not so well as other things, and desires to be informed in the nature of it before he attempts it, which I like well, and so I carried him to Mr. Gibson to discourse with him about it, and so home again to my accounts. Thus ends this month, with my mind oppressed by my defect in my duty of the Victualling, which lies upon me as a burden, till I get myself into a better posture therein, and hinders me and casts down my courage in every thing else that belongs to me, and the jealousy I have of Sir W. Coventry’s being displeased with me about it; but I hope in a little time to remedy all. As to publique business; by late tidings of the French fleete being come to Rochelle (how true, though, I know not) our fleete is divided; Prince Rupert being gone with about thirty ships to the Westward as is conceived to meet the French, to hinder their coming to join with the Dutch. My Lord Duke of Albemarle lies in the Downes with the rest, and intends presently to sail to the Gunfleete.

15 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... it being a publique Fast-day appointed to pray for the good successe of the fleete. ... ordered by proclamation ..."

By the King. A proclamation for a general fast throughout the realm of England. … Given at the Court at Whitehall, the 28th day of May, 1666.
London : printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most Excellent Majesty, 1666.

1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 1⁰.
"Thursday, 31 May, in London, &c. and 14 June in the Provinces to be a fast for a blessing on H.M. Forces"
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C3302 Steele, I, 3463

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... a sparrow that our Mercer hath brought up now for three weeks, which is so tame that it flies up and down, and upon the table, and eats and pecks, and do everything so pleasantly, that we are mightily pleased with it ..."

Could SP have been unconscious of Catullus?

passer. deliciae meae puellae.
quicum ludere. quem in sinu tenere.
cui primum digitum dare appetenti.
et acres solet incitare morsus.
cum desiderio meo nitenti
carum nescio quid libet iocare
et solaciolum sui doloris
credo ut tum grauis acquiescet ardor.
tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem
et tristes animi leuare curas.
TAM gratum est mihi quam ferunt puellae
pernici aureolum fuisse malum,
quod zonam soluit diu ligatam.
Catullus, Carmen 2

Sparrow, my lady's pet,
with whom she often plays whilst she holds you in her lap,
or gives you her finger-tip to peck and
provokes you to bite sharply,
whenever she, the bright-shining lady of my love,
has a mind for some sweet pretty play,
in hope, as I think, that when the sharper smart of love abates,
she may find some small relief from her pain--
Aha, might I but play with you as she does,
and lighten the gloomy cares of my heart!
This is as welcome to me as (they say)
to the swift maiden was the golden apple,
which loosed her girdle too long tied.

http://www.vroma.org/~hwalker/VRomaCatullus/002...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the jealousy I have of Sir W. Coventry’s being displeased with me "

jealousy = fearfulness (Large Glossary)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"ordered by proclamation since: I suppose upon some sudden newes of the Dutch being come out."

L&M note Pepys shrewd guess, the Dutch fleet having departed Texel on 26 May -- so the *London Gazette* 28 May.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my being forced to return 50l. to Downing, the smith, which he had presented me with"

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/05/08/

cape henry   Link to this

"Victualling, which lies upon me as a burden..." This is one of those passages which make the diary, and Pepys, so alive. This is coming straight out of the moment, unfiltered. Marvelous stuff in the past few entries.

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

A spoiler: in a fortnight the Four Days Battle will take place, that covered a big part of the North Sea from Dunkirque to the north. The VOC site calls it the longest sea battle in history (see: http://www.vocsite.nl/geschiedenis/engelseoorlo... in Dutch I'm afraid)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...sister, who is a pretty good-bodied woman, and not over thicke, as I thought she would have been, but full of freckles, and not handsome in face."

Ah, that winning charm...Gee, I guess this means no grope for Pall?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This day come to town Mr. Homewood, and I took him home in the evening to my chamber, and discoursed with him about my business of the Victualling, which I have a mind to employ him in, and he is desirous of also, but do very ingenuously declare he understands it not so well as other things, and desires to be informed in the nature of it before he attempts it, which I like well, and so I carried him to Mr. Gibson to discourse with him about it..."

"Gibson, our fall...er Mr. Homewood."

A. Hamilton   Link to this

passer deliciae meae puellae

The Catullus is a delight; the comparison is apposite and doctis Iuppiter

Lawrence   Link to this

Most little birds were defined at this time (I think?) to being called sparrows, well by mr average anyway, wonder what this bird was, maybe she found a flegling on the ground, and took it in? still Pepys found it worth the mention!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Perhaps Mercer really has a sparrow
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparrow

the sort that Catullus' lover "Lesbia" might have loved in turn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catullus_2

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... some sudden newes of the Dutch being come out"

van de Velde, Sr.,
The Council of War on board 'De Zeven Provinciën', 10 June 1666 [English style May 31st. 1666]

"The eve of the Four Days' Battle at Sea. On board the flagship of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter (right), the Council of War meets. This can be seen from the white flag flying at the back of the ship. The flag and pennant on the large mast indicate that this is the ship of the commander-in-chief. 'De Zeven Provinciën' had been launched a year earlier. On the left is the 'Delft' with Jan van Nes as rear-admiral of the central section of De Ruyter's fleet. The two ships in the middle are Captain Hendrik Gotsken's ship the 'Utrecht' (left) and the 'Eendracht' commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Aert van Nes - the second highest ranking officer under De Ruyter."

http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/images/aria/sk/z/sk-a...

Australian Susan   Link to this

The Sparrow

Pets in the past (monkey, black dog) have caused Sam's ire to fall upon them by performing their natural functions in the wrong places. Wonder how long it will be before Sam complains of bird do-dahs on the table.....

Mary   Link to this

Most little birds defined as sparrows?

Hardly. Some small birds which closely resembled sparrows might be named as such, usually with a defining term appended (cf. the present-day hedge-sparrow, which is in fact a dunnock) but most small birds bore their own names and were recognised as wrens, robins, finches, warblers, linnets etc.

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