Wednesday 19 December 1666

Up, and by water down to White Hall, and there with the Duke of York did our usual business, but nothing but complaints of want of money [without] success, and Sir W. Coventry’s complaint of the defects of our office (indeed Sir J. Minnes’s) without any amendment, and he tells us so plainly of the Committee of Parliament’s resolution to enquire home into all our managements that it makes me resolve to be wary, and to do all things betimes to be ready for them. Thence going away met Mr. Hingston the organist (my old acquaintance) in the Court, and I took him to the Dog Taverne and got him to set me a bass to my “It is decreed,” which I think will go well, but he commends the song not knowing the words, but says the ayre is good, and believes the words are plainly expressed. He is of my mind against having of 8ths unnecessarily in composition. This did all please me mightily. Then to talk of the King’s family. He says many of the musique are ready to starve, they being five years behindhand for their wages; nay, Evens, the famous man upon the Harp having not his equal in the world, did the other day die for mere want, and was fain to be buried at the almes of the parish, and carried to his grave in the dark at night without one linke, but that Mr. Hingston met it by chance, and did give 12d. to buy two or three links. He says all must come to ruin at this rate, and I believe him. Thence I up to the Lords’ House to enquire for Lord Bellasses; and there hear how at a conference this morning between the two Houses about the business of the Canary Company, my Lord Buckingham leaning rudely over my Lord Marquis Dorchester, my Lord Dorchester removed his elbow. Duke of Buckingham asked him whether he was uneasy; Dorchester replied, yes, and that he durst not do this were he any where else: Buckingham replied, yes he would, and that he was a better man than himself; Dorchester answered that he lyed. With this Buckingham struck off his hat, and took him by his periwigg, and pulled it aside, and held him. My Lord Chamberlain and others interposed, and, upon coming into the House, the Lords did order them both to the Tower, whither they are to go this afternoon. I down into the Hall, and there the Lieutenant of the Tower took me with him, and would have me to the Tower to dinner; where I dined at the head of his table, next his lady, who is comely and seeming sober and stately, but very proud and very cunning, or I am mistaken, and wanton, too. This day’s work will bring the Lieutenant of the Tower 350l.. But a strange, conceited, vain man he is that ever I met withal, in his own praise, as I have heretofore observed of him. Thence home, and upon Tower Hill saw about 3 or 400 seamen get together; and one, standing upon a pile of bricks, made his sign, with his handkercher, upon his stick, and called all the rest to him, and several shouts they gave. This made me afeard; so I got home as fast as I could. And hearing of no present hurt did go to Sir Robert Viner’s about my plate again, and coming home do hear of 1000 seamen said in the streets to be in armes. So in great fear home, expecting to find a tumult about my house, and was doubtful of my riches there. But I thank God I found all well. But by and by Sir W. Batten and Sir R. Ford do tell me, that the seamen have been at some prisons, to release some seamen, and the Duke of Albemarle is in armes, and all the Guards at the other end of the town; and the Duke of Albemarle is gone with some forces to Wapping, to quell the seamen; which is a thing of infinite disgrace to us. I sat long talking with them; and, among other things, Sir R. Ford did make me understand how the House of Commons is a beast not to be understood, it being impossible to know beforehand the success almost of any small plain thing, there being so many to think and speak to any business, and they of so uncertain minds and interests and passions. He did tell me, and so did Sir W. Batten, how Sir Allen Brodericke and Sir Allen Apsly did come drunk the other day into the House, and did both speak for half an hour together, and could not be either laughed, or pulled, or bid to sit down and hold their peace, to the great contempt of the King’s servants and cause; which I am grieved at with all my heart. We were full in discourse of the sad state of our times, and the horrid shame brought on the King’s service by the just clamours of the poor seamen, and that we must be undone in a little time. Home full of trouble on these considerations, and, among other things, I to my chamber, and there to ticket a good part of my books, in order to the numbering of them for my easy finding them to read as I have occasion. So to supper and to bed, with my heart full of trouble.

14 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

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

Dec: 19. 1666. mr Hooke proposed a new clockwork & a new bucket to fetch vp earth from the bottom of the Sea & promised to bring them both in at next meeting. He was minded of his new way of making optick glasses formerly proposed by him

(Expt of transfusion orderd for next Day) about transfusion suggestions injecting milk barly broth & bleeding one to death & recouering by infusion -

Two papers about tides. and other suggestions)

mr Hooke had obserued that between portsmouth and the Isle of wight from half flood to high water and soe to half ebb: it runs from West to East and from half ebb to low water & soe to half flood it Runs from East to West.

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Bradford   Link to this

"he commends the song not knowing the words, but says the ayre is good, and believes the words are plainly expressed. He is of my mind against having of 8ths unnecessarily in composition."

The sense seems to be that Hingston had not come across the lyrics before. They must be written on the score, or else he could not judge them "plainly expressed" by the melody---which confirms that Pepys had mastered one rudiment of text-setting, granting longer values to the most important words, with shorter ones for the rest.

"8ths" would seem to be octaves. Neither man approves of the mere doubling of the melodic line in the bass, but favors more vigorous (though far from formal) counterpoint.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... his lady, who is comely and seeming sober and stately, but very proud and very cunning, or I am mistaken, and wanton, too. "

" ... to very serious discourse and, among other things, of what a bonny lasse my Lady Robinson is, who is reported to be kind to the prisoners, and has said to Sir G. Smith, who is her great crony, “Look! there is a pretty man, I would be content to break a commandment with him,” and such loose expressions she will have often." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/11/05/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"a conference this morning between the two Houses about the business of the Canary Company"

This business surely had to some extent to do with the sweet white Canary wine. It was much-prized, e.g.:
"The salary [ of the Poet Laureate of England ]varied, but traditionally includes some alcohol. Ben Jonson first received a pension of 100 marks, and later an annual "terse of Canary wine". Dryden had a pension of £300 and a butt of Canary wine." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poet_Laureate#History

CGS   Link to this

"....and coming home do hear of 1000 seamen said in the streets to be in armes. So in great fear home, expecting to find a tumult about my house,..."
I can feel for them,,as this year 140 banks have failed and if it was not for FDIC there would be similar problems, as another 552 are also in the mire.
I banked with 2 and today I would have been wiped out and destitute just like those tars..

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

This day’s work will bring the Lieutenant of the Tower 350l..
Can anyone explain this remarkably large sum? I assume it is connected to the two quarrelling lords?

Mary   Link to this

Prisoners in the Tower were expected to pay for their keep and the wealthier ones could expect to pay considerable sums if they wished to be well-lodged and have their servants at hand to look after them.

Nate   Link to this

A little off topic:

Yesterday I saw a bit of "Einstein", a one and a half or two hour documentary. While discussing Newton, supposedly Einstein's idol, they mentioned Newton's famous work "Principia". They made a point of showing an original first addition and opening the cover we see for a second or so Samuel Pepys name under the Imprimatur! I first thought that it might have been Sam's personal copy, and perhaps is is, but it appears that Sam probably was an office of the Royal Society at this time and authorized the printing. Anyway it sure got my attention.

Here's a link to that page:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ycsqurm

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Nate, you are correct in supposing Sam was an officer of the Royal Society when the “Principia” was published: S. Pepys, who hasn't often gone to its weekly meetings (he's a rather busy chap), will be President of the Royal Society that year, and that alone would make his name immortal . I suspect what was shown was not Pepys's copy, if he had one.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

A little off topic

Pepys was president of the Royal Society when the Principia was issued, therefore, for the purposes of the acts, it was issued under his formal 'imprimatur': "Imprimatur S. Pepys, Reg. soc. præses. Julii 5. 1686." If he ever owned one, SP did not retain a copy in his library. Newton's own annotated copies of the first (1686) and second (1713) editions were passed to Cambridge University Library by Lord Portsmouth, with other related papers, in 1872.

http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/libraries/rare/m...
(this link ta an image of the title works for me)


Nix   Link to this

"He says many of the musique are ready to starve, they being five years behindhand for their wages" --

Record companies and music publishers still treat musicians this way.

Nix   Link to this

"Evens, the famous man upon the Harp having not his equal in the world, did the other day die for mere want, and was fain to be buried at the almes of the parish" --

More plus ca change: "Research in the 1980s and 1990s strongly suggests Johnson was buried in the graveyard of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist church near Morgan City, Mississippi, not far from Greenwood, in an unmarked grave."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Johnson_(mu...

Glyn   Link to this

The Dog Tavern

A poem by Robert Herrick to Ben Jonson on his leaving London in 1629 included the verse:

"“Ah Ben!/Say how or when/Shall we thy guests/Meet at those lyric feasts/Made at the Sun,/The Dog, the Triple Tun?…”

From which we may deduce that pub poetry is almost always terrible.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sir R. Ford did make me understand how the House of Commons is a beast not to be understood, it being impossible to know beforehand the success almost of any small plain thing, there being so many to think and speak to any business, and they of so uncertain minds and interests and passions."

Ah, Democracy...All those troubling opinions. Neat turn of phrase though "beast not to be understood".

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