Thursday 23 August 1666

At the office all the morning, whither Sir W. Coventry sent me word that the Dutch fleete is certainly abroad; and so we are to hasten all we have to send to our fleete with all speed. But, Lord! to see how my Lord Bruncker undertakes the despatch of the fire-ships, when he is no more fit for it than a porter; and all the while Sir W. Pen, who is the most fit, is unwilling to displease him, and do not look after it; and so the King’s work is like to be well done. At noon dined at home, Lovett with us; but he do not please me in his business, for he keeps things long in hand, and his paper do not hold so good as I expected — the varnish wiping off in a little time — a very sponge; and I doubt by his discourse he is an odde kind of fellow, and, in plain terms, a very rogue. He gone, I to the office (having seen and liked the upholsters’ work in my roome — which they have almost done), and there late, and in the evening find Mr. Batelier and his sister there and then we talked and eat and were merry, and so parted late, and to bed.

16 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

August 23. Sat at Star-Chamber, Din’d at Sir William D’Oylies now recovered as it were miraculously: In the afternoone Visited the Savoy Hospital, where I staied to see the miserably dismembred & wounded men dressed & gave some necessary orders: Then to my L: Chancelor, who had (with the Bish: of Lond & others in Commission) chosen me one of the three Surveyors of the repaires of Paules, & to consider a model for the new building, or (if it might be) repairing of the Steeple, which was most decayd: & so I returned home.

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

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Then to my L: Chancelor, who had (with the Bish: of Lond & others in Commission) chosen me one of the three Surveyors of the repaires of Paules, & to consider a model for the new building, or (if it might be) repairing of the Steeple, which was most decayd:"

SPOILER by Evelyn --- how timely!!!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... dined at home, Lovett with us; but he do not please me ..."

Halcyon Days: "They are a pretty couple, and she a fine bred woman. They dined with us, and Browne, the paynter, and she plays finely on the lute. My wife and I were well pleased with her company."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/05/28/

cgs   Link to this

"...but he do not please me..." Just the unvarnished truth

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Halcyon Days:

Bale de, bale kyrulos eien
Host epi kumatos anthos
Alkuonesi potetai
Nedes hetor echon
Alipurphuros iaros ornis.

Alcman

I wish, I wish I were a kingfisher,
That I might fly over the blossom of the wave
With the Halcyon
Having a fearless heart
The purple-winged bird of spring.

Perhaps Mrs. Lovett has cooled Pepys's ardor.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Halcyon Days

by Walt Whitman
(1819-1892)

Not from successful love alone,
Nor wealth, nor honor'd middle age, nor victories of politics or war;
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions calm,
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the evening sky,
As softness, fulness, rest, suffuse the frame, like freshier, balmier air,
As the days take on a mellower light, and the apple at last hangs
really finish'd and indolent-ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!

http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/w...

Mary   Link to this

"and so the King's work is like to be well done."

A rare example of Pepys employing irony? L&M don't think so and supply [not] between 'is' and 'like.'

Mary   Link to this

"a very sponge."

I suppose Sam means that, once the varnish has been wiped off, the paper becomes 'a very sponge.' i.e. it soaks up the ink as only cheap and nasty paper can and the outlines become blurred.

andy   Link to this

he keeps things long in hand, and his paper do not hold so good as I expected — the varnish wiping off in a little time — a very sponge;

this refers back to Sam's mysterious experiments with varnishing paper.

Going back to the experiments with egg white as varnish, if Sam was hoping it would preserve handwriting in ink, it is true that it is water resistant but not water proof.

tonyt   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary. I believe that the 'new building' was only intended as a reference to the Steeple as major work had been done on other parts of St Paul's in the early years of the 17th century. Nevertheless the entry shows that the forthcoming events may not have been seen as a total disaster by everybody.

Phoenix   Link to this

“and so the King’s work is like to be well done.”

A possible reading without the 'not' is that Pepys thinks they are in trouble as in 'done in' or 'done for'. I have heard the expression that someone who is weakened or softened up is "now like a well done turkey." In other words - ready to be had.

Nix   Link to this

"one of the three Surveyors of the repaires of Paules" -

The other two were John Webb and Roger Pratt.

Gillian Darley, "John Evelyn: Living for InNgenuity", p. 215 (2006)

http://books.google.com/books?id=DTU5m66sEPcC&p...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"John Evelyn’s Diary. I believe that the ‘new building’ was only intended as a reference to the Steeple...."

tonyt, so it would appear. This entry does not report what the committee -- SPOILER -- will find and propose when they survey St. Paul's next Monday 27 August. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/08/27/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I doubt by his discourse [Mr. Lovett] is an odde kind of fellow, and, in plain terms, a very rogue."

"doubt" here likely means "fear."

cgs   Link to this

Remember J. Evelyn 'rote' with the famous talent of hindsighte.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Of course, cgs; but I do not think what he reveals Monday will have been invented.

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