Tuesday 14 May 1667

Up by 5 o’clock, and when ready down to my chamber, and there with Mr. Fist, Sir W. Batten’s clerk, who writes mighty well, writing over our report in Mr. Carcasses business, in which we continued till 9 o’clock, that the office met, and then to the office, where all the morning, and so at noon home to dinner, where Mr. Holliard come and eat with us, who among other things do give me good hopes that we shall give my father some ease as to his rupture when he comes to town, which I expect to-morrow. After dinner comes Fist, and he and I to our report again till 9 o’clock, and then by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s, where I met Mr. Povy, expecting the coming of the rest of the Commissioners for Tangier. Here I understand how the two Dukes, both the only sons of the Duke of York, are sick even to danger, and that on Sunday last they were both so ill, as that the poor Duchess was in doubt which would die first: the Duke of Cambridge of some general disease; the other little Duke, whose title I know not, of the convulsion fits, of which he had four this morning. Fear that either of them might be dead, did make us think that it was the occasion that the Duke of York and others were not come to the meeting of the Commission which was designed, and my Lord Chancellor did expect. And it was pretty to observe how, when my Lord sent down to St. James’s to see why the Duke of York come not, and Mr. Povy, who went, returned, my Lord (Chancellor) did ask, not how the Princes or the Dukes do, as other people do, but “How do the children?” which methought was mighty great, and like a great man and grandfather. I find every body mightily concerned for these children, as a matter wherein the State is much concerned that they should live. At last it was found that the meeting did fail from no known occasion, at which my Lord Chancellor was angry, and did cry out against Creed that he should give him no notice. So Povy and I went forth, and staid at the gate of the house by the streete, and there stopped to talk about the business of the Treasury of Tangier, which by the badness of our credit, and the resolution that the Governor shall not be paymaster, will force me to provide one there to be my paymaster, which I will never do, but rather lose my place, for I will not venture my fortune to a fellow to be employed so far off, and in that wicked place. Thence home, and with Fist presently to the finishing the writing fair of our report. And by and by to Sir W. Batten’s, and there he and I and [Sir] J. Minnes and [Sir] W. Pen did read and sign it with great good liking, and so away to the office again to look over and correct it, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind being pretty well settled, having this report done, and so to supper and to bed.

9 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... for I will not venture my fortune to a fellow to be employed so far off, and in that wicked place. ..."

Presumably SP fears that 'such a fellow' would operate at his expense in the same way as SP has at that of the King: one wonders what SP might have to say to explanations, or rationalizations, equivalent to those of his own.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...there with Mr. Fist, Sir W. Batten’s clerk, who writes mighty well..."

Falstaff had Pistol, Batten has Fist.

"So Carcasse...You still refuse to confess your crimes? Fist?"

"Mr. P?"

"I have business at Whitehall. While I'm gone see that Carcasse is just that."

"Incapable of speech or merely reduced to blabbering repetition of whatever is requested, sir?"

"Since you write so well, Fist, I should think blabbering unnecessary and silence of the Carcasse golden."

"Sir." Dignified nod. Stern eyeing of the quivering said Carcasse.

Sound of enormous hand into enormous palm echoing as Sam leaves, whistling a merry tune.

"Mr. Pepys, I've reconsidered!" cry lost in the halls.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Next meeting of Tangier Committee...

"Gentlemen. Mr Pepys and I have discussed the matter of the governor no longer serving as paymaster and therefore causing the need of a paymaster to be established at Tangier colony."

"Indeed." Sam nods.

"Clearly such a posting cannot be entrusted to just any man in such a place both dangerous and notorious. How easily even a good man of the junior sort might be corrupted there, I leave to your imaginations, gentlemen."

"Here, here." Sam, solemn agreement.

"Therefore, in the King's interest, there can only be one man capable of this assignment, once the title be properly raised to fit his ability. A man known for his honesty, activity, and diligence in the King's service. I give you, Treasurer Pepys, gentlemen, our new Tangier Comptroller in Residence. And knowing Mr. Pepys will refuse nothing of service to the King, I move for immediate confirmation."

Say what?!

"Here, here!" "The ayes have it!" "Nominated by acclamation!!"

Got you, you little sob...Povy smiles.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I will not venture my fortune to a fellow to be employed so far off, and in that wicked place"

L&M suggest Pepys may have been thinking of what had happened when Philibert Vernatty, Muster-Master and Treasurer of the Tangier garrison and Paymaster to Lord Peterborough had "lived like a prince" allegedly from the slave-trade.

An instance of a contested invoice by Vernatty:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/08/29/

Australian Susan   Link to this

Nominative determinism!

Also, very poignant that whilst others made formal enquiries or pondered problems of State in connection with the D of Y having no male heirs, the grandfather puts all aside to put a heartfelt question. Clarendon was often not very popular, and some thought he exploit the Royal son-in-law, but was obviously sincere here and Sam appreciates this.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"After dinner comes Fist, and he and I to our report again till 9 o’clock, and then by coach to my Lord Chancellor’s..."

Given all that happens after this sentence, I wonder if either the number above is a transcription error (what do L&M say?), or he's saying that this is the time in the future that they stopped working on the report, and that all that happened (the aborted Tangier meeting, etc.) occurred during a break in that work?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"Fist, and he and I to our report again till 9 o’clock, ..."

L&M read "4 a-clock"

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Thanks, Michael.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"I will not venture my fortune to a fellow to be employed so far off,"

I do not read equality in the risks of the two situations cited by Michael.(Pepys vis a vis the king and the "fellow to be employed so far off," vis a vis Pepys.)The king is vastly more wealthy than Sam, and the way Sam gets income from doing deals at the Navy office is pretty much SOP for the Commissioners; moreover, there are a number of them looking over each others' shoulders to set limits to greed (a point Brouncker and Carcasse appear not to understand). The moral hazard Sam would run by employing the far-off fellow is much greater precisely because (a)Sam's financial well-being is much more vulnerable than the King's and (b) it does not appear that anyone would keep an eye on the far-off-fellow to limit his greed.

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