Monday 30 July 1666

Up, and did some business in my chamber, then by and by comes my boy’s Lute-Master, and I did direct him hereafter to begin to teach him to play his part on the Theorbo, which he will do, and that in a little time I believe. So to the office, and there with Sir W. Warren, with whom I have spent no time a good while. We set right our business of the Lighters, wherein I thinke I shall get 100l.. At noon home to dinner and there did practise with Mercer one of my new tunes that I have got Dr. Childe to set me a base to and it goes prettily. Thence abroad to pay several debts at the end of the month, and so to Sir W. Coventry, at St. James’s, where I find him in his new closett, which is very fine, and well supplied with handsome books. I find him speak very slightly of the late victory: dislikes their staying with the fleete up their coast, believing that the Dutch will come out in fourteen days, and then we with our unready fleete, by reason of some of the ships being maymed, shall be in bad condition to fight them upon their owne coast: is much dissatisfied with the great number of men, and their fresh demands of twenty-four victualling ships, they going out but the other day as full as they could stow. I asked him whether he did never desire an account of the number of supernumeraries, as I have done several ways, without which we shall be in great errour about the victuals; he says he has done it again and again, and if any mistake should happen they must thanke themselves. He spoke slightly of the Duke of Albemarle, saying, when De Ruyter come to give him a broadside — “Now,” says he, chewing of tobacco the while, “will this fellow come and give, me two broadsides, and then he will run;” but it seems he held him to it two hours, till the Duke himself was forced to retreat to refit, and was towed off, and De Ruyter staid for him till he come back again to fight. One in the ship saying to the Duke, “Sir, methinks De Ruyter hath given us more: than two broadsides;” — “Well,” says the Duke, “but you shall find him run by and by,” and so he did, says Sir W. Coventry; but after the Duke himself had been first made to fall off. The Resolution had all brass guns, being the same that Sir J. Lawson had in her in the Straights. It is observed that the two fleetes were even in number to one ship. Thence home; and to sing with my wife and Mercer in the garden; and coming in I find my wife plainly dissatisfied with me, that I can spend so much time with Mercer, teaching her to sing and could never take the pains with her. Which I acknowledge; but it is because that the girl do take musique mighty readily, and she do not, and musique is the thing of the world that I love most, and all the pleasure almost that I can now take. So to bed in some little discontent, but no words from me.

10 Annotations

Mary   Link to this

Poor Elizabeth - blessed with a tin ear, it would seem.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...all the pleasure almost that I can now take."

Our poor Sam...One almost weeps.

Ah, dread the day when she doesn't care, Samuel.

Mr. Gunning   Link to this

The Duke can word it how he likes but De Ruyter was left holding the field.

The Resolution had all brass guns. I never knew they made guns from brass, I would have thought bronze was minimum hardness of metal for guns, would brass not melt, or at least go very soft after repeated firing?

Ruben   Link to this

"The Resolution had all brass guns."
from the Wikipedia:
"Gunmetal is a type of bronze – an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc. Originally used chiefly for making guns, gunmetal was superseded by steel. It is called red brass in America."
I am not expert in guns, but I presume Pepys probably referred to this "red brass", as bronze was the obvious choice.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"So to the office, and there with Sir W. Warren..., We set right our business of the Lighters, wherein I thinke I shall get 100l.. "

We've seen this in the works these past few weeks:
6 June -- "Late at night I had an account brought me by Sir W. Warren that he has gone through four llighters for me,"
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/06/09/

11 June -- "Up, and down by water to Sir W. Warren’s (the first time I was in his new house on the other side the water since he enlarged it) to discourse about our lighters that he hath bought for me, and I hope to get 100l. by this jobb."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/06/11/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“The Resolution had all brass guns.”

Ruben, L&M support your reading this as "bronze" and note such guns were more accurate and costly; so surely Pepys marked this down mournfully: more munitions costs will press the victuals.

cgs   Link to this

Chemistry was not 'is thing,why Samuell got it wrong:
I. 1. a. Historically: The general name for all alloys of copper with tin or zinc (and occasionally other base metals). To distinguish alloys of copper and tin, the name BRONZE has subsequently been adopted (Johnson 1755-73 explains the new word bronze as ‘brass’). Hence b. In strict modern use, as distinguished from ‘bronze’: A yellow-coloured alloy of copper and zinc, usually containing about a third of its weight of zinc.
The OE. bræs was, usually at least, an alloy of copper and tin (= BRONZE); in much later times the alloy of copper and zinc came gradually into general use, and became the ordinary ‘brass’ of England; though in reference to ancient times, and esp. to the nations of antiquity, ‘brass’ still meant the older alloy. When works of Greek and Roman antiquity in ‘brass’ began to be critically examined, and their material discriminated, the Italian word for ‘brass’ (bronzo, bronze) came into use to distinguish this ‘ancient brass’ from the current alloy. Corinthian brass: a reputed alloy of gold, silver, and copper.

Ben   Link to this

Just a slight annotation.
De Ruyter was commander of the naval force that raided the Medway. But during the actual raid he had fallen ill. Cornelis de Witt took ver and was the actual commander of the raid on the Medway.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...where I find him in his new closett, which is very fine, and well supplied with handsome books. ..."

The 17th century equiv. of the corner office and a computer upgrade. Sam is envious.

The music - wonder how many days we give it before Elizabeth has a serious disagreement with Mercer.

vasantharaj   Link to this

this information is realy useful to me thanks

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