Monday 24 June 1667

Up, and to the office, where much business upon me by the coming of people of all sorts about the dispatch of one business or other of the fire-ships, or other ships to be set out now. This morning Greeting come, and I with him at my flageolet. At noon dined at home with my wife alone, and then in the afternoon all the day at my office. Troubled a little at a letter from my father, which tells me of an idle companion, one Coleman, who went down with him and my wife in the coach, and come up again with my wife, a pensioner of the King’s Guard, and one that my wife, indeed, made the feast for on Saturday last, though he did not come; but if he knows nothing of our money I will prevent any other inconvenience. In the evening comes Mr. Povy about business; and he and I to walk in the garden an hour or two, and to talk of State matters. He tells me his opinion that it is out of possibility for us to escape being undone, there being nothing in our power to do that is necessary for the saving us: a lazy Prince, no Council, no money, no reputation at home or abroad. He says that to this day the King do follow the women as much as ever he did; that the Duke of York hath not got Mrs. Middleton, as I was told the other day: but says that he wants not her, for he hath others, and hath always had, and that he [Povy] hath known them brought through the Matted Gallery at White Hall into his [the Duke’s] closet; nay, he hath come out of his wife’s bed, and gone to others laid in bed for him: that Mr. Bruncker is not the only pimp, but that the whole family is of the same strain, and will do anything to please him: that, besides the death of the two Princes lately, the family is in horrible disorder by being in debt by spending above 60,000l. per. annum, when he hath not 40,000l.: that the Duchesse is not only the proudest woman in the world, but the most expensefull; and that the Duke of York’s marriage with her hath undone the kingdom, by making the Chancellor so great above reach, who otherwise would have been but an ordinary man, to have been dealt with by other people; and he would have been careful of managing things well, for fear of being called to account; whereas, now he is secure, and hath let things run to rack, as they now appear. That at a certain time Mr. Povy did carry him an account of the state of the Duke of York’s estate, showing in faithfullness how he spent more than his estate would bear, by above 20,000l. per annum, and asked my Lord’s opinion of it; to which he answered that no man that loved the King or kingdom durst own the writing of that paper; at which Povy was startled, and reckoned himself undone for this good service, and found it necessary then to show it to the Duke of York’s Commissioners; who read, examined, and approved of it, so as to cause it to be put into form, and signed it, and gave it the Duke. Now the end of the Chancellor was, for fear that his daughter’s ill housewifery should be condemned. He [Povy] tells me that the other day, upon this ill newes of the Dutch being upon us, White Hall was shut up, and the Council called and sat close; and, by the way, he do assure me, from the mouth of some Privy-councillors, that at this day the Privy-council in general do know no more what the state of the kingdom as to peace and war is, than he or I; nor knows who manages it, nor upon whom it depends; and there my Lord Chancellor did make a speech to them, saying that they knew well that he was no friend to the war from the beginning, and therefore had concerned himself little in, nor could say much to it; and a great deal of that kind, to discharge himself of the fault of the war. Upon which my Lord Anglesey rose up and told his Majesty that he thought their coming now together was not to enquire who was, or was not, the cause of the war, but to enquire what was, or could be, done in the business of making a peace, and in whose hands that was, and where it was stopped or forwarded; and went on very highly to have all made open to them: and, by the way, I remember that Captain Cocke did the other day tell me that this Lord Anglesey hath said, within few days, that he would willingly give 10,000l. of his estate that he was well secured of the rest, such apprehensions he hath of the sequel of things, as giving all over for lost. He tells me, speaking of the horrid effeminacy of the King, that the King hath taken ten times more care and pains in making friends between my Lady Castlemayne and Mrs. Stewart, when they have fallen out, than ever he did to save his kingdom; nay, that upon any falling out between my Lady Castlemayne’s nurse and her woman, my Lady hath often said she would make the King to make them friends, and they would be friends and be quiet; which the King hath been fain to do: that the King is, at this day, every night in Hyde Park with the Duchesse of Monmouth, or with my Lady Castlemaine: that he [Povy] is concerned of late by my Lord Arlington in the looking after some buildings that he is about in Norfolke, where my Lord is laying out a great deal of money; and that he, Mr. Povy, considering the unsafeness of laying out money at such a time as this, and, besides, the enviousness of the particular county, as well as all the kingdom, to find him building and employing workmen, while all the ordinary people of the country are carried down to the seasides for securing the land, he thought it becoming him to go to my Lord Arlington (Sir Thomas Clifford by), and give it as his advice to hold his hands a little; but my Lord would not, but would have him go on, and so Sir Thomas Clifford advised also, which one would think, if he were a statesman worth a fart should be a sign of his foreseeing that all shall do well. But I do forbear concluding any such thing from them. He tells me that there is not so great confidence between any two men of power in the nation at this day, that he knows of, as between my Lord Arlington and Sir Thomas Clifford; and that it arises by accident only, there being no relation nor acquaintance between them, but only Sir Thomas Clifford’s coming to him, and applying himself to him for favours, when he come first up to town to be a Parliament-man. He tells me that he do not think there is anything in the world for us possibly to be saved by but the King of France’s generousnesse to stand by us against the Dutch, and getting us a tolerable peace, it may be, upon our giving him Tangier and the islands he hath taken, and other things he shall please to ask. He confirms me in the several grounds I have conceived of fearing that we shall shortly fall into mutinys and outrages among ourselves, and that therefore he, as a Treasurer, and therefore much more myself, I say, as being not only a Treasurer but an officer of the Navy, on whom, for all the world knows, the faults of all our evils are to be laid, do fear to be seized on by some rude hands as having money to answer for, which will make me the more desirous to get off of this Treasurership as soon as I can, as I had before in my mind resolved. Having done all this discourse, and concluded the kingdom in a desperate condition, we parted; and I to my wife, with whom was Mercer and Betty Michell, poor woman, come with her husband to see us after the death of her little girle. We sat in the garden together a while, it being night, and then Mercer and I a song or two, and then in (the Michell’s home), my wife, Mercer, and I to supper, and then parted and to bed.

6 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

24th June, 1667. The Dutch fleet still continuing to stop up the river [ Thames ], so as nothing could stir out or come in, I was before the Council, and commanded by his Majesty to go with some others and search about the environs of the city [of London ], now exceedingly distressed for want of fuel, whether there could be any peat, or turf, found fit for use. The next day, I went and discovered enough, and made my report that there might be found a great deal; but nothing further was done in it.

http://short.to/2f316

Why bother?

tg   Link to this

He tells me, speaking of the horrid effeminacy of the King, that the King hath taken ten times more care and pains in making friends between my Lady Castlemayne and Mrs. Stewart, when they have fallen out, than ever he did to save his kingdom...

I was wondering if someone could trace the trajectory of effeminacy for me. To be effeminate in the modern sense seems to mean to me that a male has affected feminine traits, usually associated with being homosexual, but Pepys's meaning seems to be that Charles was merely concerned more with his female lovers than the affairs of state.

cum salis grano   Link to this

effeminacy, not brave and manly, not making hard decisions i.e.
cowardly: hides behind the skirts.
OED
effeminacy

1. Effeminate quality; Unmanly weakness, softness, or delicacy.
1602 WARNER Alb. Eng. Epit. (1612) 360 Finding..the Britons alienated from themselues through ease and effeminacie.

1626 T. H. Caussin's Holy Crt. 13 A spirit soothed with its owne Effeminaty.

2. (Cf. EFFEMINATE a. 3.) Obs.
1642 CHAS. I. Declar. Soldiers at Southamp. 21 Oct. 6 Avoid..excessive drinking and effeminacy (by some esteemed the property of a souldier).

[ad. L. eff{e min{amac}t-us, f. eff{e }min{amac}-re, f. ex out + f{emac}mina woman.]

A. adj.

1. Of persons: That has become like a woman: a. Womanish, unmanly, enervated, feeble; self-indulgent, voluptuous; unbecomingly delicate or over-refined. Also (Obs.) absol. (cf. quot. 1609 in B.)
(The two first quots. may possibly belong to 3).
c1430 LYDG. Bochas III. v. (1554) 77a, It is..the most perilous thyng A prince to been of his condicion Effeminate. 1

b. Of things: Characterized by, or proceeding from, unmanly weakness, softness, or delicacy.
1579

c. Without implying reproach: Gentle, tender, compassionate. Obs.
1594 NASHE Unfort. Trav. 26 Their handes had no leasure to aske counsell of their effeminate eyes. 1594 SHAKES. Rich. III, III. vii. 211 We know your tenderness of heart, And gentle kinde effeminate remorse.

2. Physically weak, ‘delicate’. Obs.
1652 FRENCH Yorksh. Spa x. 91, I..advise those that have effeminate stomachs to take off the cold from the water before they drink it.

3. The notion ‘self-indulgent, voluptuous’ (see 1) seems sometimes to have received a special colouring from a pseudo-etymological rendering of the word as ‘devoted to women’. Unequivocal instances are rare; cf. quot.
1430 in 1; also EFFEMINACY 2; EFFEMINATENESS 2. Obs.
1490

B. n. An effeminate person. b. spec. (see quot. 1609).
1597 DANIEL Civ. Wars I. 70 This wanton young effeminate [Richard II].
1609 BIBLE (Douay) 1 Kings xiv. 24 Effeminates [Vulg. effeminati, 1611 Sodomites] were in the land.

1784 COWPER Task II. 223 With a just disdain Frown at effeminates.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Troubled a little at a letter from my father, which tells me of an idle companion, one Coleman, who went down with him and my wife in the coach, and come up again with my wife, a pensioner of the King’s Guard, and one that my wife, indeed, made the feast for on Saturday last, though he did not come; but if he knows nothing of our money I will prevent any other inconvenience."

That must have been a merry trip...Gimlet-eyed John narrowly watching all the way while pausing only to complain of his truss. Bess giving him fits by paying far too much attention to the dashing(?) Mr. Coleman (a pity it couldn't have been Ronald, we can hope it was his middle name). Both nervously conscious of the sacks of gold in their care, expecting to be robbed (or lynched, should the local populace learn who their illustrious son and husband was) at any turn.

"Methinks, Mrs. Pepys, your husband is a foolish man to let such an angel as yourself out of his care, even in such desperate times as these." casual stroke of pencil mustache.

"Oh, Mr. Coleman."

Oh, Lord...John frowns...

"Though it is true I could wish my health permitted me to shake off my retirement and resume a position in the guard...I must therefore bow to your dear husband's noble service." regal nod of head.

"You have such a distinctive and unique voice, Mr. Coleman." cow-eyed look.

"Ah, Bess..." takes hand. "If I were king...What splendid treasure would I bring." Coleman, dashingly.

"Treasure? Oh, you know, we've got...OW!!!" Bess howling at kick from furious John.

"Sam'l does very well at his job." narrow glance to grim-looking John.

That was the last night you ever spend in our house, old man.

"I'm sure. His reputation speads through all of England." Coleman, grandly.

"He'd nothing to do with Chatham, though." both Bess and John in chorus.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"He tells me that he do not think there is anything in the world for us possibly to be saved by but the King of France’s generousnesse to stand by us against the Dutch, and getting us a tolerable peace, it may be, upon our giving him Tangier and the islands he hath taken, and other things he shall please to ask."

Heaven...

"Mon Dieu! I coulda got it all?!" Louis sighs, reading.

"Yes, that's a pity, but what happened between Elisabeth and this Coleman, darling? Read on." Madame de Maintenon insists.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Testament to Bess' kinder side I would guess that Betty is so anxious for her support she would even brave Sam and his little games.

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