Monday 18 June 1666

Up betimes and in my chamber most of the morning setting things to rights there, my Journall and accounts with my father and brother, then to the office a little, and so to Lumbard Streete, to borrow a little money upon a tally, but cannot. Thence to the Exchequer, and there after much wrangling got consent that I should have a great tally broken into little ones. Thence to Hales’s to see how my father’s picture goes on, which pleases me mighty well, though I find again, as I did in Mrs. Pierce’s, that a picture may have more of a likeness in the first or second working than it shall have when finished, though this is very well and to my full content, but so it is, and certainly mine was not so like at the first, second, or third sitting as it was afterward. Thence to my Lord Bellasses, by invitation, and there dined with him, and his lady and daughter; and at dinner there played to us a young boy, lately come from France, where he had been learning a yeare or two on the viallin, and plays finely. But impartially I do not find any goodnesse in their ayres (though very good) beyond ours when played by the same hand, I observed in several of Baptiste’s (the present great composer) and our Bannister’s. But it was pretty to see how passionately my Lord’s daughter loves musique, the most that ever I saw creature in my life. Thence after dinner home and to the office and anon to Lumbard Streete again, where much talke at Colvill’s, he censuring the times, and how matters are ordered, and with reason enough; but, above all, the thinking to borrow money of the City, which will not be done, but be denied, they being little pleased with the King’s affairs, and that must breed differences between the King and the City. Thence down by water to Deptford, to order things away to the fleete and back again, and after some business at my office late home to supper and to bed. Sir W. Coventry is returned this night from the fleete, he being the activest man in the world, and we all (myself particularly) more afeard of him than of the King or his service, for aught I see; God forgive us! This day the great newes is come of the French, their taking the island of St. Christopher’s from us; and it is to be feared they have done the like of all those islands thereabouts this makes the city mad.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

18 weary of this sad sight [of the war-battered fleet and men] I came home:

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1914/ed...

Mary   Link to this

The achievement of a likeness.

I find it interesting that Sam found his own portrait to improve as the sittings went on, but those of Mrs. Pierce and his father to grow less satisfactory in terms of likeness.

Perhaps the sitter in each case gradually persuaded Hales to present his subject in a manner closer to the sitter's own idea of his/her appearance rather than the 'objective' view taken by a third party. Rarely does someone perceive his own features in quite the same way as others see him.

Sam liked the portrait of Elizabeth, but could well have offered Hales a loving husband's 'advice' as that one progressed.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...I should have a great tally broken into little ones. ..."

At last! Persistence pays off against the jobsworths! Well done Sam!

Anyone else get a fleeting Proustian vision of Cuisenaire rods here? oh, dear, betraying my age...

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Baptiste"
He has had a revival thanks to "Les Arts Florissants"
His Opera "Attys" was staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music a while back; just outstanding.

cgs   Link to this

Portraits always cause problems, reality or self-perception unless thee be perfect, rare of course.

'Tis best after being recorded, to leave them [portraits that be]in the vault until the dust settles, then extract them to the light of day so that the oohs and arh's of "ain't that be a good likeness" as they not be showing the newly acquired laugh or experience lines.

Nix   Link to this

How accurate a sense would Samuel have had of his own likeness? Does anyone know what kind of mirrors were in common use in the 17th century, and how faithful a reflection they gave?

language hat   Link to this

"and there after much wrangling got consent that I should have a great tally broken into little ones."

Didn't he already get "consent"? I thought the problem was that nobody would actually do the breaking for him.

jeannine   Link to this

"Thence to Hales’s to see how my father’s picture goes on"

Does anyone know if this picture still exists? The picture of Sam is still around and the original of Elizabeth was destroyed (I believe a maid slashed it up because of her provocative dress). Not sure if the dad picture still exists or not?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Does anyone know if this picture still exists?

Oliver Millar in a footnote in L&M (vii p. 151; June 6th. 1666) notes that it does not survive.

jeannine   Link to this

Thanks MR -what a shame. I would have loved to have seen a portrait of 'dad'~~would have been a father's day treat for many.

Todd Bernhard   Link to this

"but, above all, the thinking to borrow money of the City, which will not be done, but be denied, they being little pleased with the King’s affairs, and that must breed differences between the King and the City."

When Sam says "the City" in instances like this, is it shorthand for "the monied interests"? Was the City the center of the county's financial activities even then? Or is there something else going on here?

Mary, I was thinking the same thing about the portraits...

cgs   Link to this

"thought the problem was that nobody would actually do the breaking for him."
I agree, 'tis like asking someone to break a 100 and trying to get change for the gas meter or parking meter.

cgs   Link to this

Who has the money, not CII, he is the ultimate spendthrifting consumer along with his entertaining wenches, He can only get so much by getting prize ships and foreign lands or tax chimney pots and potty pots, so who else has the doreme, not the poor flower-girls, no, just those evil merchants that risk sailors lives to bring in the spices and all things nice, unused tealeaves, calico blouses etal.
So how to get ones hand on all that loot, tax them , fine them, stick them in debtors prison, or offer a nice carrot for loaning His Majesty and pay interest later when he has figured a way to tax Virginia 'baccy or offer virgin lands near the Hudson river.

Log in to post an annotation.

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