Friday 19 July 1667

Up and comes the flageolet master, and brings me two new great Ivory pipes which cost me 32s., and so to play, and he being done, and Balty’s wife taking her leave of me, she going back to Lee to-day, I to Westminster and there did receive 15,000l. orders out of the Exchequer in part of a bigger sum upon the eleven months tax for Tangier, part of which I presently delivered to Sir H. Cholmly, who was there, and thence with Mr. Gawden to Auditor Woods and Beales to examine some precedents in his business of the Victualling on his behalf, and so home, and in my way by coach down Marke Lane, mightily pleased and smitten to see, as I thought, in passing, the pretty woman, the line-maker’s wife that lived in Fenchurch Streete, and I had great mind to have gone back to have seen, but yet would correct my nature and would not. So to dinner with my wife, and then to sing, and so to the office, where busy all the afternoon late, and to Sir W. Batten’s and to Sir R. Ford’s, we all to consider about our great prize at Hull, being troubled at our being likely to be troubled with Prince Rupert, by reason of Hogg’s consorting himself with two privateers of the Prince’s, and so we study how to ease or secure ourselves. So to walk in the garden with my wife, and then to supper and to bed. One tells me that, by letter from Holland, the people there are made to believe that our condition in England is such as they may have whatever they will ask; and that so they are mighty high, and despise us, or a peace with us; and there is too much reason for them to do so. The Dutch fleete are in great squadrons everywhere still about Harwich, and were lately at Portsmouth; and the last letters say at Plymouth, and now gone to Dartmouth to destroy our Streights’ fleete lately got in thither; but God knows whether they can do it any hurt, or no, but it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, “By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”

12 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...but it was pretty news come the other day so fast, of the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, “By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”..."

Pithy epitaph for a bad war.

JWB   Link to this

Batten's table cry...

Obviously, the old tarp rising to take Mennes' place as minnesinger of the board. Has a certain aptness, considering postion on the Rhine & called Netherlands after all.

language hat   Link to this

"I had great mind to have gone back to have seen, but yet would correct my nature and would not."

Well done, Sam. If only you could keep that up.

"By God,” says he, “I think the Devil shits Dutchmen.”

Now, that's what I call a snappy ending!

Larry Bunce   Link to this

According to the "Measuring Worth" website, 32s for the flageolet translates to 2,300 pounds today, based on the average wage. Modern professional-quality flutes can be had for less, but the flageolet was replaced by the penny whistle in the 19th century. (Try to get one in ivory today, though.)

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

Snappy ending indeed - I had to smile.
This may be the last time for a few hundred years that the English are in such straights.
The Dutch will come again in 1688.

Paul E   Link to this

My home state, Delaware (like Manhattan), was a Dutch Colony until 1664 when the Brits took it. I wonder why the Dutch did not take advantage of this position of strength to regain their colonies in America?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I wonder why the Dutch did not take advantage of this position of strength to regain their colonies in America? "

They had other priorities:

"During the negotiations, the English commissioners (Denzil Holles and Henry Coventry) offered to return New Netherland in exchange for their sugar factories on the coast of Surinam[citation needed], that had been taken by Abraham Crijnssen earlier in 1667. The Dutch side declined. In the East Indies, the Dutch secured a worldwide monopoly on nutmeg by forcing England to give up their claim on Run, the most remote of the Banda Islands. The Act of Navigation was moderated in that the Dutch were now allowed to ship German goods, if imported over the Rhine, to England." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Breda_(1...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

It's about the Spice.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Ah, Terry now I've got an image of Sam mumbling weird stuff about desert island Dune while running from sandworms.

Glyn   Link to this

Robert Gertz, did you write this?

http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/archive/2010/06...

If not, why not?

BBC Radio are always looking for 30-minute scripts from new writers.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Robert, as I intended.....

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the line-maker’s wife that lived in Fenchurch Streete"

line-maker = manufacturer of rope, sashcords, etc. OED
(L&M Large Glossary)

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