Wednesday 13 March 1666/67

Up, and with [Sir] W. Batten to the Duke of York to our usual attendance, where I did fear my Lord Bruncker might move something in revenge that might trouble me, but he did not, but contrarily had the content to hear Sir G. Carteret fall foul on him in the Duke of York’s bed chamber for his directing people with tickets and petitions to him, bidding him mind his Controller’s place and not his, for if he did he should be too hard for him, and made high words, which I was glad of. Having done our usual business with the Duke of York, I away; and meeting Mr. D. Gawden in the presence-chamber, he and I to talk; and among other things he tells me, and I do find every where else, also, that our masters do begin not to like of their councils in fitting out no fleete, but only squadrons, and are finding out excuses for it; and, among others, he tells me a Privy-Councillor did tell him that it was said in Council that a fleete could not be set out this year, for want of victuals, which gives him and me a great alarme, but me especially for had it been so, I ought to have represented it; and therefore it puts me in policy presently to prepare myself to answer this objection, if ever it should come about, by drawing up a state of the Victualler’s stores, which I will presently do. So to Westminster Hall, and there staid and talked, and then to Sir G. Carteret’s, where I dined with the ladies, he not at home, and very well used I am among them, so that I am heartily ashamed that my wife hath not been there to see them; but she shall very shortly. So home by water, and stepped into Michell’s, and there did baiser my Betty, ‘que aegrotat’ a little. At home find Mr. Holliard, and made him eat a bit of victuals. Here I find Mr. Greeten, who teaches my wife on the flageolet, and I think she will come to something on it. Mr. Holliard advises me to have my father come up to town, for he doubts else in the country he will never find ease, for, poor man, his grief is now grown so great upon him that he is never at ease, so I will have him up at Easter. By and by by coach, set down Mr. Holliard near his house at Hatton Garden and myself to Lord Treasurer’s, and sent my wife to the New Exchange. I staid not here, but to Westminster Hall, and thence to Martin’s, where he and she both within, and with them the little widow that was once there with her when I was there, that dissembled so well to be grieved at hearing a tune that her, late husband liked, but there being so much company, I had no pleasure here, and so away to the Hall again, and there met Doll Lane coming out, and ‘par contrat did hazer bargain para aller to the cabaret de vin’, called the Rose, and ‘ibi’ I staid two hours, ‘sed’ she did not ‘venir’, ‘lequel’ troubled me, and so away by coach and took up my wife, and away home, and so to Sir W. Batten’s, where I am told that it is intended by Mr. Carcasse to pray me to be godfather with Lord Bruncker to-morrow to his child, which I suppose they tell me in mirth, but if he should ask me I know not whether I should refuse it or no. Late at my office preparing a speech against to-morrow morning, before the King, at my Lord Treasurer’s, and the truth is it run in my head all night. So home to supper and to bed. The Duke of Buckingham is concluded gone over sea, and, it is thought, to France.

21 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

My God, Pepys...What is the world coming to when a gentleman like you can't get it on in an entire day and each mistress (or would be one# fails you? Even Doll Lane, without company #villainous company as our beloved Sir John F. would say).

"...for if he did he should be too hard for him, and made high words, which I was glad of." The old guard closing ranks against Lord B, I see.


The godfathers...

Has Carcasse made them an offer they cannot refuse?

If a joke, Batten and presumably Penn, have made an excellent one.
Meanwhile, our boy faces imminent peril...

Why I can hear the fiendish ballad now...

Who failed to feed our boys at sea? Pepys.

Whose incompetence makes King Louis smile? Pepys.

Why is no English fleet at sea? Pepys.

Who should lie buried in the deeps. Pepys.

The Dutch now jeer at our cry for peace because of...Pepys.

Who spent away our naval victual funding? Pepys.

Whose desire for gain hath left us fumbling? Pepys.

The Surveyor General of Victualling who failed us? Pepys.

The man who all seamen bewail to us? Pepys.

Yes, since Pepys is called life of our Naval Office...

...The only one we need to off is...

(Heh, heh, heh)

And therefore all the Court do say...

Thank God Pepys alone held sway...


Robert Gertz  •  Link


Yes, of course I'm familiar with the Pett ballad.

cum salis grano  •  Link

"...did baiser my Betty, ‘que aegrotat’ a little. ..."
aegroto,are, avi atum; to be ill
she be a little ill, not what he expected.

cum salis grano  •  Link

strike 2
"not ‘venir’, ‘lequel’ troubled me, "
come not, which

cum salis grano  •  Link

not strike 2 but strike 3, not his day this day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and with them the little widow that was once there with her."

Burroughs, Sam? One of your ... ladies? You know, the widow so desperate yet so "experienced" of the world she even put up with you?

"Slips my mind completely, sir. What was that name again? I know I knew some woman with a B in her name not too long ago, but I thought she lived in Deptford."

Seriously it almost makes one wonder if Sam's telling the whole truth about his rendezvous with these women. Surely he can't have forgotten her name?

"Sir, when you've .... one woman illicitly you've pretty much ... them all. They all rather blur together after a bit, you know?"

Mary  •  Link

"my father .....grief now grown so great.."

This refers to Mr. Pepys' rupture, which was mentioned back in January as a cause of great discomfort. I'm not quite clear how a trip to London is to make him feel better, unless Holliard has a cunning plan (or perhaps a better model of truss). It would have to be good to compensate for the grief caused by a jolting journey by cart or coach.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Sir G. Carteret fall foul on him"
Carteret tried to pass the buck and the Duke of York wouldn't say:"the buck stops here"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Greeten"

Is this how Pepys pronounces Mr. Greeting's name? L&M transcribe this way also here. I guess we will see.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Common failing for the hoi polloi was to digest the "g" as they were never were processed by a diction controller.
'unten' 'ishen' 'ooten' crowd.

'tis the gogglebox, flickers and "my space" that have unified the sounds of speech or communized the gnu.
Oh! how the plums be missing.

swallowing [Swollowen] ones syllables is a great pastime in communication.
This subject has given many a good living.
Computers [computors]would have failed then as sounds and spellings run ampok due to the great turnover over of the populace.

For an academic rendition we need LH, as the above is a clod 'opper's "opinen'".

Mary  •  Link

-ing becomes -in.

NB we are talking about unstressed syllables here.

This has nothing to do with the failings of the hoi polloi. There is evidence that this pronunciation was already in use in the north, north midlands and east Anglia in the 14th century and that it had spread to the south by the 15th century. i.e.the change is dialectal rather than just sloppy. [see Robinson: English Pronunciation 1500-1700 vol. 2 para. 377].

The much later adoption of the huntin' shootin' fishin' forms by the so-called upper classes was a fashionable development rather than a linguistic one. Compare the current, youthful (and not so youthful) adoption in England of the glottal stop in place of 't' in such words as 'water, better, got, settle.'

language hat  •  Link

Thanks very much for that informative comment, Mary.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Thanks Mary:

cum salis grano  •  Link

to use the gee or not to use the gee.

A variation or mutation: [veriation or vair-ee-ey-shuhn ]
Should I not say Var ee ars huhn.

We speak and pronounce so that our peers have some Idea of our thoughts, [when in Rome dah dah] .

London at this time was expanding quickly, money and trade, were predominant, it was an era of ideas that found outlet in moving money thru [through]the pockets.
The London tongue was laced with many sounds from around the world, that had to be written.
The official language? was only taught to a few. Just read some of the Papers written at this time.
The future Jonson had to standardize the spelling with his dictionary.
Based on my illiterate lifetime experience, being exposed to large variations of sounds [accents], people usually like to meld or accommodate, rather than conflict with the local tribe.
The written word usually represents the original exposure, while the sound changes to the need or locality.
The minority usually blends into the majority, unless the minority has big persuasive powers.

So what came first, nature or how the tongue works in the mouth or nurture or how nanny spoke?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Of course the 'gee' is just a spelling convention of English. The sound spelled by 'ng' is a unitary phone, a velar nasal, represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet as a single symbol. Font limitations keep me from producing it here, but it looks like an 'n' with the right leg dropping below the line and curling in toward the center.

Thus the [-ing]/[-in] variation is just a variation between two nasals, not a "dropping" of anything. It's just English spelling that makes it look otherwise. Nobody accuses anybody of being lazy when they say 'impossible' instead of 'inpossible', but that's just another case of a variation between two nasals in the pronunciation of a single prefix "in-", as in 'ineffective' or 'inability', no different linguistically (in ways relevant to this discussion) than the one between the [-in] and [-ing] pronunciations of the suffix "-ing".

csg's final question is at the heart of much linguistic research, and you'll get different answers to it from different people, each with lots of evidence to back them up. I think it's safe to say that all would agree that nurture operates within the constraints provided by nature, but getting much more specific than that will quickly lead to noisy arguments.

Mary  •  Link

the 'gee' is not purely a spelling convention in those northern areas of England where it is still fully articulated after the preceding nasal, though this is more strongly marked in stressed syllables than in unstressed ones. However, it can be heard in both positions in a word such as 'singing.'

language hat  •  Link

"the ‘gee’ is not purely a spelling convention in those northern areas of England where it is still fully articulated after the preceding nasal"

Or in Long Guyland.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I would hazard a guess that the phenomena mentioned by Mary and by LH are insertions of a velar stop rather than retention of a final velar that is dropped in other dialects. But that would have to be confirmed or refuted by someone with more knowledge of the relevant data than I have.

Mary  •  Link

The regional north Midlands/northern English final 'g' that I refer to is not a velar stop, it is a fully articulated hard 'g.' No doubt it will eventually disappear as youth adopts other fashions of speech, but you can still hear it today.

Nix  •  Link

Taking a stab at sorting out the antecedents --

"had the content to hear Sir G. Carteret fall foul on him [Bruncker] in the Duke of York’s bed chamber for his his [Bruncker's] directing people with tickets and petitions to him [Carteret], bidding him [Bruncker] mind his [Bruncker's] Controller’s place and not his [Carteret's], for if he [Bruncker] did he [Carteret] should be too hard for him [Bruncker]"

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