Sunday 3 February 1666/67

(Lord’s day). Up, and with Sir W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen to White Hall, and there to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there staid till he was ready, talking, and among other things of the Prince’s being trepanned, which was in doing just as we passed through the Stone Gallery, we asking at the door of his lodgings, and were told so. We are all full of wishes for the good success; though I dare say but few do really concern ourselves for him in our hearts. Up to the Duke of York, and with him did our business we come about, and among other things resolve upon a meeting at the office to-morrow morning, Sir W. Coventry to be there to determine of all things necessary for the setting of Sir W. Pen to work in his Victualling business. This did awake in me some thoughts of what might in discourse fall out touching my imployment, and did give me some apprehension of trouble. Having done here, and after our laying our necessities for money open to the Duke of York, but nothing obtained concerning it, we parted, and I with others into the House, and there hear that the work is done to the Prince in a few minutes without any pain at all to him, he not knowing when it was done. It was performed by Moulins. Having cut the outward table, as they call it, they find the inner all corrupted, so as it come out without any force; and their fear is, that the whole inside of his head is corrupted like that, which do yet make them afeard of him; but no ill accident appeared in the doing of the thing, but all with all imaginable success, as Sir Alexander Frazier did tell me himself, I asking him, who is very kind to me. I to the Chapel a little, but hearing nothing did take a turn into the Park, and then back to Chapel and heard a very good Anthem to my heart’s delight, and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner, and before dinner did walk with him alone a good while, and from him hear our case likely for all these acts to be bad for money, which troubles me, the year speeding so fast, and he tells me that he believes the Duke of York will go to sea with the fleete, which I am sorry for in respect to his person, but yet there is no person in condition to command the fleete, now the Captains are grown so great, but him, it being impossible for anybody else but him to command any order or discipline among them. He tells me there is nothing at all in the late discourse about my Lord Sandwich and the French Embassador meeting and contending for the way, which I wonder at, to see the confidence of report without any ground. By and by to dinner, where very good company. Among other discourse, we talked much of Nostradamus his prophecy of these times, and the burning of the City of London, some of whose verses are put into Booker’s Almanack this year; and Sir G. Carteret did tell a story, how at his death he did make the town swear that he should never be dug up, or his tomb opened, after he was buried; but they did after sixty years do it, and upon his breast they found a plate of brasse, saying what a wicked and unfaithful people the people of that place were, who after so many vows should disturb and open him such a day and year and hour; which, if true, is very strange. Then we fell to talking of the burning of the City; and my Lady Carteret herself did tell us how abundance of pieces of burnt papers were cast by the wind as far as Cranborne; and among others she took up one, or had one brought her to see, which was a little bit of paper that had been printed, whereon there remained no more nor less than these words: “Time is, it is done.” After dinner I went and took a turn into the Park, and then took boat and away home, and there to my chamber and to read, but did receive some letters from Sir W. Coventry, touching the want of victuals to Kempthorne’s fleete going to the Streights and now in the Downes: which did trouble me, he saying that this disappointment might prove fatal; and the more, because Sir W. Coventry do intend to come to the office upon business to-morrow morning, and I shall not know what answer to give him. This did mightily trouble my mind; however, I fell to read a little in Hakewill’s Apology, and did satisfy myself mighty fair in the truth of the saying that the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all respects as ever it was as to nature. I continued reading this book with great pleasure till supper, and then to bed sooner than ordinary, for rising betimes in the morning to-morrow. So after reading my usual vows to bed, my mind full of trouble against to-morrow, and did not sleep any good time of the night for thoughts of to-morrow morning’s trouble.

25 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"we talked much of Nostradamus his prophecy of these times, and the burning of the City of London, some of whose verses are put into Booker's' Almanack this year"

L&M note John Booker's *Telescopium uranicum for MDCLXVII* (1666, n.p.) had quoted this:

Quatrain 2,51

Le sang du iuste Londres fera faute,
Bruslez par foudres de vingt trois les six:
La dame antique cherra de place haute,
De mesme secte plusieurs seront occis.

The blood of the just will commit a fault at London,
Burnt through lightning of twenty threes the six:
The ancient lady will fall from her high place,
Several of the same sect will be killed.

http://www.myhip.com/nostradamus/century_02.html

Pepys kept a copy of the source of this quotation: *Les vrayes centuries et propheties*. Amsterdam, 1668 -- but not Booker's work..

Bradford   Link to this

'a little bit of paper that had been printed, whereon there remained no more nor less than these words: “Time is, it is done.”. . . the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all respects as ever it was as to nature. . . . which, if true, is very strange.'

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Having cut the outward table, as they call it, they find the inner all corrupted"

table /ta·ble/ (ta´b'l) a flat layer or surface.
inner table of skull the inner compact layer of the bones covering the brain.
outer table of skull the outer compact layer of the bones covering the brain.
vitreous table inner t. of skull.
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

cape henry   Link to this

"This did awake in me some thoughts of what might in discourse fall out touching my imployment..." And herein the fear of the commoner and middle manager Pepys among the Sirs is revealed. It is probably not unlike what might be felt by the high school grad and middle manager among the college fellows today: that feeling of being in a different caste and therefore - vulnerable.

cape henry   Link to this

"...we talked much of Nostradamus..." An unusual side trip into metaphysics recorded here by the curious and dedicated rationalist.

L. K. van Marjenhoff   Link to this

The reference to "Nostradamus his prophecy of these times" and Lady Carteret's fire-blown bit of paper on which was written "Time is, it is done" and their relation to the burning of the City of London reflect the Reformation tradition of historiographical interpretation of Revelation, specifically, here, Revelation's "time, times, and half a time." (More commonly known preoccupations of this line of exegesis are the familiar identification of Rome as Babylon, the Roman Church as the Whore of Babylon or the Beast, and the pope as Antichrist.) Unfortunately, there is no handy article about the "time, times, and half a time" in Wickipedia, but those who are curious about them would be fascinated by Katherine R. Firth's The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain 1530-1645 (Oxford, 1979). Sam is supposed to have said that "the Anglican Church came out of the cod-piece of Henry VIII." Actually, it came out of the historiographical interpretation of Revelation.

cum salis grano   Link to this

"...We are all full of wishes for the good success;..."
"...I dare say but few do really concern ourselves for him in our hearts. ..."
how true of the human.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... no ill accident appeared in the doing of the thing, but all with all imaginable success, ..."

Successful drainage of an extradural abscess in 1667: Prince Rupert's trephination.
Martin G., Wellington Hospital, New Zealand.
Br J Neurosurg. 1989;3(2):211-6.

The technique of the successful drainage of Prince Rupert's extradural abscess in 1667 has been reconstructed by putting together the details from several contemporary documents. The operation is shown to be a rational and well planned procedure in the context of the times, and not the lucky outcome of a desperate desire to try something dramatic.
PMID: 2679688

Only the abstract appears to be generally available.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all respects as ever it was as to nature. "

"Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes"

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

The blood of the just will commit a fault at London,
Burnt through lightning of twenty threes the six:
The ancient lady will fall from her high place,
Several of the same sect will be killed.
Unless there is some meaning in 23 and 6 that has escaped me, this is a pretty pathetic prophecy.
Though I like the story of the brass plate - echoes of David Blaine.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This did awake in me some thoughts of what might in discourse fall out touching my imployment, and did give me some apprehension of trouble."

But Sam...An innocent lamb like you has nothing to fear. What could Admiral Sir Will possibly uncover about your dealings in victualling?

Martin King   Link to this

Twenty threes and six must surely mean (20 x 3)+ 6 = 66.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...their fear is, that the whole inside of his head is corrupted like that..."

Poor Rupert...What a way to be immortalized, whatever touch of Hotspur he may have had. A lifetime of fighting for his Kings and if Sam is to be believed, none really cares if he lives or dies. And I'll bet Sam cracked a smile writing that line down, however literal he meant to be.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Nostradamus"
P.T.Barnum is said to have said that"There is a sucker born every minute",so Nostradamus will always have an audience.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Pity we couldn't find vague prophecies in the writings of Goethe, Shakespeare, Kant, Plato, Gandhi, John Stuart Mill, Mann, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc. Why even the Diary could be mined. Vision of complete works of Goethe and Pepys being available on your supermarket shelf in tabloid form with an insert of my beloved "Wacky...er Weekly World News" inside discussing Obama's new alliance with space aliens to socialize earth medicine under zombie chief Elvis.

Larry Bunce   Link to this

Nostradamus' prediction of his grave being opened:
I mentioned Nostradamus' brass plate story to my wife. She immediately said someone knew the plate was there and what it said when they buried him, and passed the knowledge on. Great way to keep a legend alive and build on it.

language hat   Link to this

"Time is..."

Cf. "The Honourable History of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay," a popular Elizabethan play that was presumably still known in Sam's day:

"In collaboration with another magician, Friar Bungay, Bacon labors toward his greatest achievement: the creation of an artificial head made of brass, animated by demonic influence, that can surround England with a protective wall of the same metal. Yet Bacon's inability to remain awake and the incompetence of his servant Miles spoil the opportunity. (The brazen head speaks three times, saying "Time is," "Time was," and "Time is past" — then falls to the floor and shatters. Miles doesn't have the wit to wake his master in time.)"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friar_Bacon_and_Fr...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...I fell to read a little in Hakewill’s Apology, and did satisfy myself mighty fair in the truth of the saying that the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all respects as ever it was as to nature. I continued reading this book with great pleasure till supper"

L&M note that Hakewill argued that although the Creator and Disposer of all things hath left all Particulars and Individuals, under the circle of the Moone, to the Stroake of Time and Death; yet by His powerful Hand He holdeth back the Scythe of Time from destroying or impayring the Universe: Though the same Hand shall at last destroy the Whole by Fire." http://short.to/1622i

Not what I'd call a mood lift at bedtime, but the decay of the cosmos was at stake.

cum salis grano   Link to this

No mention of Hobbes yet and his Ideas of Nature.

'Tis an interesting period of time, Gambling if a ship's bottom will survive natures ways, or masts will be needed, levelling society to all be equal in the eyes of?, everyone must follow the monarch as he is always correct, girls are man's play thing, girls make good actors, action gets reaction , neither x nor y nor z be nothing otherwise there is notin'.
Coffee or ale will cause questions to be asked if the belly be full.
questions, questions, questions, so many confusing answers

Michael Robinson   Link to this

@CGS --a recent mention of Hobbes and his ideas

Die Mercurii, 17 Octobris, 18 Car. IIdi. [1666]
Atheism, &c.

ORDERED, That the Committee to which the Bill against Atheism and Profaneness is committed, be impowered to receive Information touching such Books as tend to Atheism, Blasphemy, or Profaneness, or against the Essence or Attributes of God; and, in particular, the Book published in the Name of one White; and the Book of Mr. Hobbs, called The Leviathan; and to report the Matter, with their Opinions, to the House.

House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 17 October 1666', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 636-637.
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...
Date accessed: 04 February 2010.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

To extend L. K. van Marjenhoff's point about the exegesis of Revelation (which half-quotes Daniel on "Time"): such was used by all and sundry both (a) to unlock the bewildering events of the age AND (of course) (b) to show whose side God and Nature were on.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

More on Pepys's bedtime immersion in reading Hakewill

The underlying issue isn't only biblical-exegetical, but also Baconian:

“Antiquitas sæculi juventus mundi.” These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves.
Advancement of Learning. Book i. (1605).

As in the little, so in the great world, reason will tell you that old age or antiquity is to be accounted by the farther distance from the beginning and the nearer approach to the end,—the times wherein we now live being in propriety of speech the most ancient since the world’s creation.—George Hakewill: An Apologie or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World. London, 1627. http://www.bartelby.com/100/139.html

Of strongly anti-Catholic and pro-Calvinist religious views, Hakewill was one of the two clergymen appointed in 1612 to preserve Prince Charles "from the inroads of popery." Hakewill's] *Apologie ... of the Power and Providence of God* [was] a rebuttal of the view that creation, including humanity, was gradually declining, was praised by Samuel Pepys and is cited by James Boswell as one of the formative influences on the prose of Samuel Johnson. Hakewill's style has been described as "lively and forceful".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hakewill

language hat   Link to this

Interesting that this entry leads to Bacon by two different paths!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

LH, indeed!

***

Another experiment:
Skull: inner surface [table]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skull_inner_s...

Bradford   Link to this

Bacon's death, the Royal Society's birth, Pepys, Pliny, and weather figure in this ten-minute talk by historian Lisa Jardine---posted here for lack of a better place for such ephemera---available on the BBC Radio 4 iPlayer for an unspecififed time:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qf7lj

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