Monday 18 March 1666/67

Up betimes, and to the office to write fair my paper for D. Gawden against anon, and then to other business, where all the morning. D. Gawden by and by comes, and I did read over and give him the paper, which I think I have much obliged him in. A little before noon comes my old good friend, Mr. Richard Cumberland,1 to see me, being newly come to town, whom I have not seen almost, if not quite, these seven years. In his plain country- parson’s dress. I could not spend much time with him, but prayed him come with his brother, who was with him, to dine with me to-day; which he did do and I had a great deal of his good company; and a most excellent person he is as any I know, and one that I am sorry should be lost and buried in a little country town, and would be glad to remove him thence; and the truth is, if he would accept of my sister’s fortune, I should give 100l. more with him than to a man able to settle her four times as much as, I fear, he is able to do; and I will think of it, and a way how to move it, he having in discourse said he was not against marrying, nor yet engaged. I shewed him my closet, and did give him some very good musique, Mr. Caesar being here upon his lute. They gone I to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and among other things comes Captain Jenifer to me, a great servant of my Lord Sandwich’s, who tells me that he do hear for certain, though I do not yet believe it, that Sir W. Coventry is to be Secretary of State, and my Lord Arlington Lord Treasurer. I only wish that the latter were as fit for the latter office as the former is for the former, and more fit than my Lord Arlington. Anon Sir W. Pen come and talked with me in the garden, and tells me that for certain the Duke of Richmond is to marry Mrs. Stewart, he having this day brought in an account of his estate and debts to the King on that account. At night home to supper and so to bed. My father’s letter this day do tell me of his own continued illness, and that my mother grows so much worse, that he fears she cannot long continue, which troubles me very much. This day, Mr. Caesar told me a pretty experiment of his, of angling with a minikin, a gut-string varnished over, which keeps it from swelling, and is beyond any hair for strength and smallness. The secret I like mightily.

  1. Richard Cumberland, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough

17 Annotations

cum salis grano   Link to this

minikini no no; nor type 1 nor 3, just type 2:
OED:
minikin, n.2 and adj.2

A. n.2

1. a. A thin strand of catgut used for the treble strings of a lute or viol. More fully minikin string. Now hist.
1541....
1636 T. NABBES Tottenham Court II. iv. 22 If I forbeare my breakfast but two minutes longer, my guts will shrinke into minikins.

1649 R. LOVELACE Poems 64 Yet Servants knowing Minikin nor Base, Are still allow'd to fiddle with the Case.

1667 S. PEPYS Diary 18 Mar. (1974) VIII. 119 Mr. Cæsar told me a pretty experiment of his, of Angling with a Minikin, a gut-string varnished over.

1676 T. MACE Musick's Monument 65 Be carefull to get Good Strings, which would be of three sorts, viz. Minikins, Venice-Catlins, and Lyons.

b. to tickle the minikin: to play the lute or viol. Obs.
Freq. used humorously by early 17th cent. dramatists with allusive suggestion of MINIKIN n.1 1.
In quot. 1601 apparently used of a fiddle.
1601 J. MARSTON et al. Iacke Drums Entertainm. I. sig. A3, When I was a yong man and could tickle the Minikin,..I had the best stroke, the sweetest touch, but now..I am falne from the Fidle and betooke me to thee [sc. the Pipe].
1606 T. DEKKER Newes from Hell sig. H1v, Perge mentiri. Tickle the next Minkin.

1608 T. MIDDLETON Familie of Love I. sig. B3v, Of which consort you two are grounds, one touches the Base, and the other tickles the minikin.

c1635 H. GLAPTHORNE Lady Mother (1959) II. i. 28 Thou dost tikle the minikin as nimbly.
2. In extended use: a high-pitched voice. Obs. rare.

1602 J. MARSTON Hist. Antonio & Mellida III. sig. E3v, Cast. Good, very good, very passing passing good. Fel. Fut, what trebble minikin squeaks there, ha? good? very good, very very good?

B. adj.2 Of a voice: high, treble; shrill. Obs.
1602..
1608 SHAKESPEARE King Lear xiii. 39 For one blast of thy minikin mouth, thy sheepe shall take no harme.
minikin, n.1 and adj.1
A. n.1

1. A young girl or woman (usually as a term of endearment). Also: {dag}a minion, a favourite (obs.). Now rare.
Sometimes with allusion to MINIKIN n.2 1, as in quot. 1608....
1618 B. HOLYDAY {Tau}{epsilon}{chi}{nu}{omicron}{gamma}{alpha}{mu}{iota}{alpha} (1630) V. vi. sig. O3, Melan [to Musica]..Come, my little Minikin, thou and I will be play-fellowes.
1640 H. GLAPTHORNE Hollander II. sig. Civv, Surely the Minikin is enamoured on me.
1681 T. OTWAY Souldiers Fortune V. i. 70 Sylv. Sir Jolly, ah, Sir Jolly, protect me or I'm ruin'd. Sir Jol. My little Minikin, is it thy squeek?

1618 B. HOLYDAY {Tau}{epsilon}{chi}{nu}{omicron}{gamma}{alpha}{mu}{iota}{alpha} (1630) V. vi. sig. O3, Melan [to Musica]..Come, my little Minikin, thou and I will be play-fellowes.
1640 H. GLAPTHORNE Hollander II. sig. Civv, Surely the Minikin is enamoured on me.
1681 T. OTWAY Souldiers Fortune V. i. 70 Sylv. Sir Jolly, ah, Sir Jolly, protect me or I'm ruin'd. Sir Jol. My little Minikin, is it thy squeek?

3. A small or insignificant person. Also in extended use. Now rare.
1761..

4. A small or insignificant amount of something; a jot, a shred. Now Brit. regional.
1787 ..
5. A small piece of wood for making matches. Obs. rare.
1852 ..
6. Typogr. A very small size of type usually measuring three points and used chiefly in printing music, and in the pointing of some non-Latin scripts. Now hist.
c1870..
B. adj.1

1. a. Originally, of a girl or woman: dainty, elegant, sprightly. In later use, applied to both sexes: affected, mincing, or (of a man) effeminate. Also in reduplicated compounds, as minikin-finical, minikin-finikin adjs. Obs.
In quot. 1545: delicate, having a woman's daintiness.
1600 P. HOLLAND tr. Livy Rom. Hist. XXXIX. vi. 1026 Then came up the maner of having at bankets singing miniken wenches, and such as could play upon the dulcimers.
1696 T. TRYON Misc. iv. 121 Fare..such as the Proud Wives and Miniking Daughters would scarce offer to their..Dogs. 1768..
2. Chiefly literary in later use. Of a person or thing: diminutive in size or form; miniature; tiny.
Freq. used in expressions of affection. {dag}minikin name n. Obs. a pet name.
1566..

1590 R. HARVEY Plaine Perceuall 9 Euery cut-purse vseth them [sc. their words] at the Old Bayly, that hath had any skill in his miniken Handsaw.

1756 F. BROOKE Old Maid No. 34. 201 Polly Instep, the dancing master's daughter, insists upon being called Pally, ‘because (says she)..it is the minikin name for Pallas’.

b. Trifling, petty. Now rare.
1617


minikin, n.3 and adj.3

A. n.3 Chiefly in pl. A type of plain-weave worsted baize used to make clothing in the 16th and 17th centuries. Now hist.
1594 ..
B. adj.3 Designating or made from minikins. Obs.
1604

jeannine   Link to this

and tells me that for certain the Duke of Richmond is to marry Mrs. Stewart, he having this day brought in an account of his estate and debts to the King on that account

This is potentially devastating news for the King as he has been hotly pursuing Frances to be his mistress. The Duke of Richmond’s (DOR) character is described by Cyril Hartmann in “La Belle Stuart”, as ‘scarcely engaging’ , with his biggest faults being his “addiction to drink, and more especially his failure to confine his excesses to his leisure hours”; his extravagances, including gambling, and his lack of “polished wit.” His second wife, whom he had an acrimonious relationship with, had very recently died. He had one thing going for him at this time, which was that Frances “was now so unnerved by the King’s importunities that she was only too eager to accept legitimate advances from anyone so eligible as His Grace of Richmond. But even when she had made up her mind to accept the Duke’s proposal her difficulties were by no means at an end. The King’s passion for her remained a seemingly insurmountable obstacle between her and her lover. It was difficult to say how his Majesty would take the news of her decision to marry”.

Previous to today, the King had found out that Frances had intended to marry the DOR. Lady Castlemaine led the King into a ‘set up’ where the DOR was alone visiting Frances in her bedchambers (not sexually) and the King lost his temper at the situation. The DOR took off and left Frances to fend for herself, which she did rather sharply. She admonished the King for sending away a man who at least had honorable intentions for her. Their argument ended with the DOR being banned from Court and Frances throwing herself at the Queen’s feet for mercy, ‘sobbing out the whole story”. Frances admitted her foolishness in her flirtations with the King and admitted that she knew she had deeply offended the Queen by her actions. She begged Catherine to intercede on her behalf to persuade the King to allow for her marriage to the DOR, or to obtain a leave for Frances (a Catholic, like Catherine) to go into a convent.

After much thoughtful consideration, Catherine “decided in favour of forwarding the marriage, and by the exercise of great tact succeeded a few days later in patching up reconciliation between Frances and the King.” At this point in their relationship, Catherine had gained considerable tact and a much better understanding of how to keep things running smoothly with the King, and her suggestions met with outward success. After this, the King decided to try a subtler method to de-rail this marriage. He knew that the DOR’s finances were in disarray so one hope was that he could “wreck the marriage on the rocks of finance”. These are the estate papers Pepys writes of that the DOR presented to the King today.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I wonder if Pall ever learned how close she came to being the bishop's wife?

***
"Ah, Pepys."

"Sire." Low bow. "I came as soon as I got your summons. How can I be of assistance? Is there some urgent matter with the fleet?"

"Urgent, yes. Fleet, no. Matter of the heart, Pepys."

"Sire?"

"Pepys..." shrewd look. "I have heard a word or two about your exploits bandied about the Court."

"Sire...I..."

"Better wipe the flop sweat out from under the periwig, Pepys. It tends to cause mildew. Pepys...I called you because I need counsel from a man with experience in my favorite pastime."

"You, Sire? From me?"

"Any man who can carry on with three or four girls in the middle of the greatest plague ever to hit England is a man after my own heart...And likely to be just the man I need here."

"But Sire...I've no experience with Court ladies."

"Court ladies...Shopkeepers and tavern girls in fancier dress with worse manners. Pepys, you are too modest...Why your exploits have become legend around here."

"Sire. Legend? You mean some one has been spreading tales about me and...Women?"

"Keeping us up half the night is more like it...Why Jamie Pierce alone..."

"Dr. Pierce...Accused me?"

"Celebrated your epic's more like it, Samuel. Then there was Penn."

I might have known....Dark look...

"Sire, whatever accusations..."

"Lord, I only wish I could get them to march into my closet two or three a day. I should have gone into the Navy and let Jamie have the crown. Now, Pepys...As to that matter...I assume you're aware a grave and great calamity has befallen us."

"Mrs. Stewart."

"Indeed, Pepys." sigh. "The divine Frances. Seeking to be gone from us to another. Can there be a greater tragedy in life, Pepys?"

"The loss of our fleet would barely compare, Sire."

"I knew you'd see things my way, Pepys. But now the problem...What is to be done? How can we save our fair one from making such a disasterous choice?"

"Would it be disasterous, Sire? The Duke does have many illustrious qualities..."

"Pepys. The disaster concerns me, not her." Narrow look. "Surely in your own exploits you've come across similiar troubles."

Hmmn...Object of lustful...er loving...Desire to be married off to impudent young fool. Hmmn...

"Yes, Sire...I do believe I'm currently dealing with something in that neighborhood."

"Ah..." beam. "Then we are brothers in the chase, Pepys." slap on back.

Cough... "Yes, Sire."

"Well, what do you recommend? How can this tragedy be averted?"

Stern look... "The very peace of my realm...and my home life...Are at stake here, Pepys."

"Well,Sire...My advice...Based on my own experience..."

"Yes?"

"...Under somewhat similiar situations..."

"For God's sakes, man, out with it."

"Let the marriage go through..."

"What?!"

"But...Find a way to keep in the closest possible contact."

"What, with him?"

"No, Sire..."

Oh...

"Hmmn...Intriguing...Go on..."

"Perhaps some show of favor to the boy,to win her gratitude..."

"And constant contact..."

"Indeed, Sire.

"How the devil would I manage that?"

"Well...Sire...I did find, in my own...Engagement...That if I found a way to help the lady in question's family...She might be persuaded to, as a way of displaying gratitude...Call upon me..."

"Hmmn?"

"...And my wife..." sly look, smile.

Oh...

"In the nature of, as it were, a social call." Charles nods.

"Strictly, Sire. In which all proprieties are maintained..."

"Well, that's a bore."

"Perhaps...But one call may lead onto...Another..."

"...And another?"

"It has been my experience..." Sam nods, respectfully.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

@Jeannine

Thanks for the masterful(? mistressful)summary!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"... and I will think of it, and a way how to move it, he having in discourse said he was not against marrying, nor yet engaged. I shewed him my closet, and did give him some very good musique, Mr. Caesar being here upon his lute ..."

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Twelfth Night, Act 1 Sc.1, 1-15 "... though it be but a silly play ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/01/06/

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"My father’s letter this day do tell me of his own continued illness, and that my mother grows so much worse, that he fears she cannot long continue, which troubles me very much."

"Rumour it abroad
That [Meg], my wife, is sick and like to die:
I will take order for her keeping close...

Look, how thou dream'st! I say again, give out
That [Meg] my wife is sick and like to die:
About it;"

Susan Scott   Link to this

In his memoirs, the Count de Grammont tells a more lurid version of the downfall of Frances Stewart -- though Grammont's telling about just about everything is always more lurid. *g*

"It was near midnight: the king, in his way, met his mistress's chambermaids, who respectfully opposed his entrance, and, in a very low voice, whispered his majesty that Miss Stewart had been very ill since he left her; but that, being gone to bed, she was, God be thanked, in a very fine sleep. "That I must see," said the king, pushing her back, who had posted herself in his way. He found Miss Stewart in bed, indeed, but far from being asleep: the Duke of Richmond was seated at her pillow, and in all probability was less inclined to sleep than herself. The perplexity of the one party, and the rage of the other, were such as may easily be imagined upon such a surprise. The king, who, of all men, was one of the most mild and gentle, testified his resentment to the Duke of Richmond in such terms as he had never before used. The duke was speechless, and almost petrified: he saw his master and his king justly irritated. The first transports which rage inspires on such occasions are dangerous: Miss Stewart's window was very convenient for a sudden revenge, the Thames flowing close beneath it: he cast his eyes upon it; and, seeing those of the king more incensed and fired with indignation than he thought his nature capable of, he made a profound bow, and retired, without replying a single word to the vast torrent of threats and menaces that were poured upon him.

"Miss Stewart, having a little recovered from her first surprise, instead of justifying herself, began to talk in the most extravagant manner, and said every thing that was most capable to inflame the king's passion and resentment; that, if she were not allowed to receive visits from a man of the Duke of Richmond's rank, who came with honourable intentions, she was a slave in a free country; that she knew of no engagement that could prevent her from disposing of her hand as she thought proper; but, however, if this was not permitted her in his dominions, she did not believe that there was any power on earth that could hinder her from going over to France, and throwing herself into a convent, to enjoy there that tranquillity which was denied her in his court. The king, sometimes furious with anger, sometimes relenting at her tears, and sometimes terrified at her menaces, was so greatly agitated, that he knew not how to answer, either the nicety of a creature who wanted to act the part of Lucretia under his own eye, or the assurance with which she had the effrontery to reproach him. In this suspense, love had almost entirely vanquished all his resentments, and had nearly induced him to throw himself upon his knees, and entreat pardon for the injury he had done her, when she desired him to retire, and leave her in repose, at least for the remainder of that night, without offending those who had either accompanied him, or conducted him to her apartments, by a longer visit. This impertinent request provoked and irritated him to the highest degree: he went out abruptly, vowing never to see her more, and passed the most restless and uneasy night he had ever experienced since his restoration."

cape henry   Link to this

"...a most excellent person he is as any I know..." It will be interesting to see this opinion evolves if and when the poor man declines Paulina's abundant charms.

Larry Hill   Link to this

In his plain country- parson’s dress. I could not spend much time with him, but prayed him come with his brother, who was with him, to dine with me to-day; which he did do and I had a great deal of his good company

______________________________________________________
Is this a tad bit of snobbery coming out in Sam? Does he not want to be seen in public with a friend that does not "look" the part, but is content to associate with him behind closed doors?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Larry Hill, good question. L&M punctuate things this way:

"A little before noon comes my old good friend Mr. Rd. Cumberland to see me, being newly come to town, whom I have not seen almost, if not quite, these seven years -- in his plain country-parson’s dress."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

If only Sam had known what we know...

"Dick Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough?!"

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"What ye be lookin' at me like that for, brother?" Pall stares at the visiting Sam, gasping at the latest London Gazette. "And who is Dick Cumberland?"

Thank God some vestige of civilization exists in the God-forsaken wilderness that is Brampton.

"The miter in my family crest." Sam sighs.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Larry Hill, I had the same first reaction, but on studying the context, I decided that the phrase about the parson's-dress related to the previous sentence, not the following one, so no snobbery intended. Terry Foreman's report of L&M's punctuation indicates that they interpreted the passage in the same way.

Mary   Link to this

the parson's modest dress.

Yes, I'm with Paul Chapin in this. It's as if Pepys is tacitly contrasting the plain and unassuming dress (suited to an obscure country parson) with the bright intellect (and earlier promise?) of the wearer.

language hat   Link to this

I too agree with Paul Chapin.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

“The miter in my family crest.” Sam sighs.

However episcopal wives do have an image problem, Trollope on his own character Mrs. Prowdie:

"It was not only that she was a tyrant, a bully, a would-be priestess, a very vulgar woman, and one who would send headlong to the nethermost pit all who disagreed with her; but that at the same time she was conscientious, by no means a hypocrite, really believing in the brimstone which she threatened, and anxious to save the souls around her from its horrors. And as her tyranny increased so did the bitterness of the moments of her repentance increase, in that she knew herself to be a tyrant--till that bitterness killed her."
'An Autobiography'

Character criticism:
."...one of the greatest figures in the Barsetshire chronicles ...is sufficient of herself to insure a comparative immortality for any novel." -Walpole

The domineering wife of the Bishop of Barchester, who vies with Lady Glen and Planty Pal as Trollope's greatest character. She won her struggle with Mr. Slope, the Bishop's chaplain, for primacy in the diocese and drove him out of it, but when conquered by Mr. Crawley and Dr. Tempest she died and released the poor Bishop from his thralldom.
http://www.anthonytrollope.com/books/booksearch...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Well, our Pall might swipe a parishoner's spoon or book while visiting with Dick the bishop but

Spoiler...

...Given her happy if sadly too brief marriage, she probably would have made Dick a helpful and loving wife if she could have gotten over Sam's arranging it.

But perhaps that's what made her marriage happy...

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