Sunday 9 June 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and by water to White Hall, and so walked to St. James’s, where I hear that the Duke of Cambridge, who was given over long since by the Doctors, is now likely to recover; for which God be praised! To Sir W. Coventry, and there talked with him a great while; and mighty glad I was of my good fortune to visit him, for it keeps in my acquaintance with him, and the world sees it, and reckons my interest accordingly. In comes my Lord Barkeley, who is going down to Harwich also to look after the militia there: and there is also the Duke of Monmouth, and with him a great many young Hectors, the Lord Chesterfield, my Lord Mandeville, and others: but to little purpose, I fear, but to debauch the country women thereabouts. My Lord Barkeley wanting some maps, and Sir W. Coventry recommending the six maps of England that are bound up for the pocket, I did offer to present my Lord with them, which he accepted: and so I will send them him. Thence to White Hall, and there to the Chapel, where I met Creed, and he and I staid to hear who preached, which was a man who begun dully, and so we away by water and landed in Southwarke, and to a church in the street where we take water beyond the bridge, which was so full and the weather hot that we could not stand there. So to my house, where we find my father and wife at dinner, and after dinner Creed and I by water to White Hall, and there we parted, and I to Sir G. Carteret’s, where, he busy, I up into the house, and there met with a gentleman, Captain Aldrige, that belongs to my Lord Barkeley, and I did give him the book of maps for my Lord, and so I to Westminster Church and there staid a good while, and saw Betty Michell there. So away thence, and after church time to Mrs. Martin’s, and then hazer what I would with her, and then took boat and up, all alone, a most excellent evening, as high as Barne Elmes, and there took a turn; and then to my boat again, and home, reading and making an end of the book I lately bought a merry satyr called “The Visions,” translated from Spanish by L’Estrange, wherein there are many very pretty things; but the translation is, as to the rendering it into English expression, the best that ever I saw, it being impossible almost to conceive that it should be a translation. Being come home I find an order come for the getting some fire-ships presently to annoy the Dutch, who are in the King’s Channel, and expected up higher. So [Sir] W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen being come this evening from their country houses to town we did issue orders about it, and then home to supper and to bed.

10 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"a merry satyr called “The Visions,” translated from Spanish by L’Estrange, wherein there are many very pretty things; but the translation is, as to the rendering it into English expression, the best that ever I saw, it being impossible almost to conceive that it should be a translation."

The high bar for translation, certainly, unless a certain amount of judicious rewriting was required to effect this effect. And what better name for a translator?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and with him a great many young Hectors, the Lord Chesterfield, my Lord Mandeville, and others: but to little purpose, I fear, but to debauch the country women thereabouts."

Thus spake our bug-eyed Thersites...

Wars and lechery, nothing else holds the fashion.
***
Nine months from now...

Charles eyeing horde of young women bearing infants whose appearance has caused the place to look remarkably like his Court as Sam looks on, Coventry sighing beside him.

"Never, Pepys, in the field of human endeavour...Have so many been owed so much..." Eyes rather crestfallen troop of courtiers round Charles. "...For so little by so few."

"You know, Sir Will...In the right setting...Changed round a bit..."

"Jamie!" Charles frowns as another young woman approaches bearing the image of his brother.

"It was a damned boring place, Charlie. Hello, Helen."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Spoiler...

Fate's wheel being about to take an awesome turn for many, it's rather sobering to think on the great De Witt about to enjoy his greatest triumph only to be followed all too quickly by disaster and betrayal, while the humbled Charles pulls off a remarkable, if humiliating, reversal of fortune.

andy   Link to this

but to little purpose, I fear, but to debauch the country women thereabouts...and after church time to Mrs. Martin’s, and then hazer what I would with her

Note of envy in Sam's record this morning? He is a young man too.

GrahamT   Link to this

"...who was given over long since by the Doctors, is now likely to recover..." Given medical practice in the 17th century, this might be cause and effect.

martinb   Link to this

"a merry satyr called "The Visions", translated from Spanish by L'Estrange..."

i.e. the book most commonly known in Spanish as "Los Sueños", by Francisco de Quevedo, first published in 1627. Pepys' generation was almost the last to read Spanish authors with any enjoyment -- one would look in vain for a Penguin version of Quevedo's classic today. And very few people would now describe it as "merry" either.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: a note of envy?

I don't think so, Andy. Sam, at least, gets things done before debauching his women. The courtiers don't, hence the note of contempt (IMO, anyway) in his voice.

"and there met with a gentleman, Captain Aldrige, that belongs to my Lord Barkeley"

I wonder whom Sam "belongs to" in others' eyes? Sandwich, certainly (or maybe not, anymore?) ... Coventry? Carteret? James?

language hat   Link to this

"I am His Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?"

Ruben   Link to this

Quevedo.
It is not easy to read Quevedo in Spanish. To read it in English is to lose a lot because many of the words are there just for decoration, something that in English you wouldnt do. I presume the translator took a lot of liberties with the original, if he ever saw an original. Already in Quevedo's times his works were altered by others without his authorization.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...there met with a gentleman, Captain Aldrige, that belongs to my Lord Barkeley..."

Pat, pat...

My God, in his quiet way our Sam is quite the revolutionary, emancipating himself from Sandwich's kindly but stifling "ownership". And of course it must be in its way, terrifying, to move out from under such a powerful protector and patron and stand (somewhat, given James' increasing favor and Coventry's support) alone in such a Court and Kingdom.

Spoiler...

Of course, coming events could make our hero consider the joys of scurrying back under said protection. And truly, to be fair, Sam is very vulnerable to the slightest change of favor. It's impressive that he does risk incurring the wrath of men like Penn, Bruncker, Warren, etc.

Heaven...

"Indeed, some appreciation for my courageous stance at last..."

"Look you..." Bess, hands on hips... "Do you know how many courtiers and business associates of yours I had to sleep with to save your bug-eyed little rear? 'The Tower, Mrs. Pepys...' they'd say. 'This little man of yours has defied me and to prison I shall send him. All his possessions, his gold, mine. Unless, of course...'"

"And that was one of your 'friends'..."

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