Monday 27 May 1667

Up, and there comes Greeting my flagelette master, and I practised with him. There come also Richardson, the bookbinder, with one of Ogilby’s Bibles in quires for me to see and buy, it being Mr. Cade’s, my stationer’s; but it is like to be so big that I shall not use it, it being too great to stir up and down without much trouble, which I shall not like nor do intend it for. So by water to White Hall, and there find Sir G. Carteret at home, and talked with him a while, and find that the new Commissioners of the Treasury did meet this morning. So I to find out Sir W. Coventry, but missed, only I do hear that they have chosen Sir G. Downing for their Secretary; and I think in my conscience they have done a great thing in it; for he is a business active man, and values himself upon having of things do well under his hand; so that I am mightily pleased in their choice. Here I met Mr. Pierce, who tells me that he lately met Mr. Carcasse, who do mightily inveigh against me, for that all that has been done against him he lays on me, and I think he is in the right and I do own it, only I find what I suspected, that he do report that Sir W. Batten and I, who never agreed before, do now, and since this business agree even more, which I did fear would be thought, and therefore will find occasion to undeceive the world in that particular by promoting something shortly against [Sir] W. Batten. So home, and there to sing with my wife before dinner, and then to dinner, and after dinner comes Carcasse to speak with me, but I would not give him way to enlarge on anything, but he would have begun to have made a noise how I have undone him and used all the wit I could in the drawing up of his report, wherein he told me I had taken a great deal of pains to undo him. To which I did not think fit to enter into any answer, but dismissed him, and so I again up to my chamber, vexed at the impudence of this rogue, but I think I shall be wary enough for him: So to my chamber, and there did some little business, and then abroad, and stopped at the Bear-garden-stairs, there to see a prize fought. But the house so full there was no getting in there, so forced to go through an alehouse into the pit, where the bears are baited; and upon a stool did see them fight, which they did very furiously, a butcher and a waterman. The former had the better all along, till by and by the latter dropped his sword out of his hand, and the butcher, whether not seeing his sword dropped I know not, but did give him a cut over the wrist, so as he was disabled to fight any longer. But, Lord! to see how in a minute the whole stage was full of watermen to revenge the foul play, and the butchers to defend their fellow, though most blamed him; and there they all fell to it to knocking down and cutting many on each side. It was pleasant to see, but that I stood in the pit, and feared that in the tumult I might get some hurt. At last the rabble broke up, and so I away to White Hall and so to St. James’s, but I found not Sir W. Coventry, so into the Park and took a turn or two, it being a most sweet day, and so by water home, and with my father and wife walked in the garden, and then anon to supper and to bed. The Duke of Cambridge very ill still.

20 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A verbal tussle with Carcasse brings out the ole bloodlust in our hero, leading him to seek out bloodsport. I'm surprised to hear of butchers and watermen dueling it out with swords...I'd suppose the government would be very unhappy to see such fellows acquiring such skills, given recent history. I wonder if Sam was walking on the dark side attending such a match.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there comes Greeting my flagelette master..."

"Mr. Pepys, I sense great conflict in you." points at Sam. "Beware the dark side of the passionate force, sir. For if you follow your passions, spurn caution, forever will it guide your destiny."

"Wow. What about me?"

"You, Mrs. Pepys, need to practice."

cum salis grano  •  Link

Did not know that the Beare Garden had bare knuckle fights and bare sword fights too.
luverly piece on man and his pleasures.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Excellent -- Sam relishes the 17th-century equivalent of a Western's bar-room brawl ... you can almost hear the player piano jangling away, and the beer mugs and tables crashing, as our boy totters on his stool, trying to keep above the fray.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"and there they all fell to it to knocking down and cutting many on each side.It was pleasant to see, but that I stood in the pit, and feared that in the tumult I might get some hurt."

Odd use of the word "pleasant"

17th century version of soccer hooligans?

Larry Bunce  •  Link

An obsolete meaning of pleasant is "merry, lively."
This is another case where Pepys is like Mork of the Mork and Mindy show. He seems just like us most of the time, then he does something completely unexpected to show he really is an alien (although Sam may not be as funny as Robin Williams.)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam as "Deadwood"'s EB Farnum tonight.

Ruben  •  Link

Larry: Sam Pepys, as I see it, was a missing link to modernity, as will be all his friends (in future years) at the Royal Academy, a beacon to our actual world.
That includes Newton, that had one hand in old Alchemy and with the other wrote the most influential cientific book ever published (and edited by Sam at that).

Ruben  •  Link

"was a missing link to modernity, as will be all his friends (in future years)".
I am not sure "will be" is correct here. May be "were" is the proper English.
But then English is not my first language, or my second one...

Don O'Shea  •  Link

Ruben: While I do not have specific documentation, I do not believe Sam could have edited Newton's Principia. It is a work a great mathematical rigor and Sam "learned multiplication at the age of 29 with the help of a ships mate." [footnote in James Gleick's Isaac Newton]. He was just happened to be President of the Royal Society at the time that it was published. Claire Tomalin notes that "...although Pepys was acquainted with Newton and had some correspondence with him, his own scientific credentials were almost nonexistent."

JWB  •  Link

On June 1,'63:
"...walked to the New Theatre, which, since the King’s players are gone to the Royal one, is this day begun to be employed by the fencers to play prizes at. And here I came and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life: and it was between one Mathews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times both in the head and legs, that he was all over blood: and other deadly blows they did give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a most sad pickle. They fought at eight weapons, three bouts at each weapon. It was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think that it has only been a cheat; but this being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest; and I felt one of their swords, and found it to be very little, if at all blunter on the edge, than the common swords are. Strange to see what a deal of money is flung to them both upon the stage between every bout. But a woful rude rabble there was, and such noises, made my head ake all this evening. So, well pleased for once with this sight, I walked home,..."

Ruben  •  Link

May be I had to use the word "published" and not "edited". I know very well that Pepys did not have the education to understand, let alone, edit Principia. You can find my annotations about Sam's education in our Encyclopedia (see: education, university, 2004 and 2005).
Still not bad to have his name in the title page of Newton's book (see picture at ).
I do not know how to translate IMPRIMATUR. May be "publisher" and not "editor"?

cum salis grano  •  Link

IMPRIMATUR. I dothe thinke it means imprint or to print from imprimo passive.

Mary  •  Link


Literally "let it be printed."

If memory serves me right, this is the jussive subjunctive (passive) form of the verb.

Bradford  •  Link

"Imprimatur" (Latin, let it be printed), as Mary says. "An official licence to print a book. Such a licence or royal imprimatur was required under the Licensing Act of 1662 to secure ecclesiastical conformity. The act was initially for two years, was not renewed after 1695, and was in abeyance from 1679 to 1685."---"Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable"

On the Newton title-page Ruben cites, it would seem that Pepys gave it his stamp of approval for publication on behalf of the Royal Society. Further details welcomed.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Imprimatur --

In 1662 printing was restricted to members of the London Stationers Company, except Acts of Parliament and Royal Proclamations, this was effectively a re-enactment of an order of the Star Chamber of 1637 that had lapsed during the Commonwealth. Books also required the warrant of one of the two Secretaries of State, if law books the Lord Chancellor or Lord Chief Justice, if on Heraldry by the College of Arms, if Divinity, Philosophy or Physic by the Archbishop of Canterbury. At Oxford and Cambridge either the Chancellor or Vice–Chancellor could license books printed within the university. Direct importation of foreign printing was prohibited without prior reading of the imported text by a scholar appointed to the Stationers Company by either the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Bishop of London. The powers of the Act were effectively devolved onto Sir Roger LeStrange who acted as Licenser. The system was renewed and remained in force till 1679. It was again revived under James II in 1685, for seven years, was continued in 1692 and in 1695 the Commons refused to renew. The act also gave the Company power to destroy unlicensed presses and the Secretaries of State powers to issue general warrants to search for and seize libelous papers and /or their authors. Various other organizations and individuals from time to time claimed the right to issue a License to print a text without consulting either the Secretaries of State or the Archbishop, a right deriving from either their Royal Charter or the grant of a Warrant, and among these was the Royal Society.

This was a system not just for political, or religious, censorship but also to preserve the economic rights of printers who had purchased manuscripts from authors and to ensure that printed texts were accurate in their contents and accurately reflected their manuscript originals. It was superseded by the Copyright of 1709.

The best modern discussion of this system in C17th England is Adrian Johns ‘The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making’ Chicago: UCP, 1998.

An Act for preventing the frequent Abuses in printing seditious treasonable and unlicensed Bookes and Pamphlets and for regulating of Printing and Printing Presses.' (14 Car. II. c. 33), 1662.

Don O'Shea  •  Link

The Imprimatur is still used by the Roman Catholic church. Bibles, missals, and other religious books may have an imprimatur on them.

For example, the Sunday missal that I use contains the following lines at the top of the copyright page:
NIHIL OBSTAT: Francis J. McAree, S.T.D.
Censor Liborum
IMPRIMATUR: + Patrick J. Sheridan, D.D.
Vicar General, Archdiocese of New York
The Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

It is worth noting that Carcasse seeks to blacken Sam's name, and imply that he is corrupt, by linking him to Sir William Batten, and that Sam is aware of the danger of this alleged association.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Carcasse like so many, tries to refocus his problem of having his finger in the pie, to show that his finger is smaller than those other fingers or be it the other palms are bigger and greedier, or is it case of big fish are doing it so it must be safe for little old me the sprat.

Every body is doing it but some do it with legal blessing and others never get blessed, but where there be the gold there will always be some one that wants their share. 'Tis why there be gold coins with ridged edges.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.