Friday 9 August 1667

Up, and betimes with Sir H. Cholmly upon some accounts of Tangier, and then he and I to Westminster, to Mr. Burges, and then walked in the Hall, and he and I talked, and he do really declare that he expects that of necessity this kingdom will fall back again to a commonwealth, and other wise men are of the same mind: this family doing all that silly men can do, to make themselves unable to support their kingdom, minding their lust and their pleasure, and making their government so chargeable, that people do well remember better things were done, and better managed, and with much less charge under a commonwealth than they have been by this King, and do seem to resolve to wind up his businesses and get money in his hand against the turn do come. After some talk I by coach and there dined, and with us Mr. Batelier by chance coming in to speak with me, and when I come home, and find Mr. Goodgroome, my wife’s singing-master, there I did soundly rattle him for neglecting her so much as he hath done — she not having learned three songs these three months and more. After dinner my wife abroad with Mrs. Turner, and I to the office, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening by coach to St. James’s, and there met Sir W. Coventry; and he and I walked in the Park an hour. And then to his chamber, where he read to me the heads of the late great dispute between him and the rest of the Commissioners of the Treasury, and our new Treasurer of the Navy where they have overthrown him the last Wednesday, in the great dispute touching his having the payment of the Victualler, which is now settled by Council that he is not to have it and, indeed, they have been most just, as well as most severe and bold, in the doing this against a man of his quality; but I perceive he do really make no difference between any man. He tells me this day it is supposed the peace is ratified at Bredah, and all that matter over. We did talk of many retrenchments of charge of the Navy which he will put in practice, and every where else; though, he tells me, he despairs of being able to do what ought to be done for the saving of the kingdom, which I tell him, as indeed all the world is almost in hopes of, upon the proceeding of these gentlemen for the regulating of the Treasury, it being so late, and our poverty grown so great, that they want where to set their feet, to begin to do any thing. He tells me how weary he hath for this year and a half been of the war; and how in the Duke of York’s bedchamber, at Christ Church, at Oxford, when the Court was there, he did labour to persuade the Duke to fling off the care of the Navy, and get it committed to other hands; which, if he had done, would have been much to his honour, being just come home with so much honour from sea as he did. I took notice of the sharp letter he wrote, which he sent us to read yesterday, to Sir Edward Spragg, where he is very plain about his leaving his charge of the ships at Gravesend, when the enemy come last up, and several other things: a copy whereof I have kept. But it is done like a most worthy man; and he says it is good, now and then, to tell these gentlemen their duties, for they need it. And it seems, as he tells me, all our Knights are fallen out one with another, he, and Jenings, and Hollis, and (his words were) they are disputing which is the coward among them; and yet men that take the greatest liberty of censuring others! Here, with him, very late, till I could hardly get a coach or link willing to go through the ruines; but I do, but will not do it again, being, indeed, very dangerous. So home and to supper, and bed, my head most full of an answer I have drawn this noon to the Committee of the Council to whom Carcasses business is referred to be examined again.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"After some talk I by coach and there dined...."

L&M have the same; Pepys evidently meant the usual "I by coach home"....

Glyn   Link to this

"Here, with him, very late, till I could hardly get a coach or link willing to go through the ruines; but I do, but will not do it again, being, indeed, very dangerous."

Just to remind people that "a link" is a boy or man with a lighted torch who escorts people through the unlit streets.

Actually, it's surprising how rare it is that Pepys refers to the ruins that he walks through daily. Presumably the danger is of criminals lurking in the shadows, as well as the danger of falling into potholes or parts of rubble from buildings falling on you.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...with Sir H. Cholmly upon some accounts of Tangier, and then he and I to Westminster, to Mr. Burges, and then walked in the Hall, and he and I talked, and he do really declare that he expects that of necessity this kingdom will fall back again to a commonwealth, and other wise men are of the same mind: this family doing all that silly men can do, to make themselves unable to support their kingdom, minding their lust and their pleasure, and making their government so chargeable, that people do well remember better things were done, and better managed, and with much less charge under a commonwealth than they have been by this King, and do seem to resolve to wind up his businesses and get money in his hand against the turn do come."

Holy winds of revolution, Pepysman!

Just hope there's no one lurking in the Hall taking notes...

"Good Heaven, Cholmly! Who's that writing over thaere? Oh, we are undone!"

"Pepys, that's you...These halls are mirrored. Get hold of yourself, man."

"Ah..."

The men leave...Mirrored door slides open...

"At last, the goods on Pepys..." Wayneman Birch, newly recruited...For his 'special ability' for dealing with Barbados revolutionaries...Agent for the King's Special Services, leers.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"After dinner my wife abroad with Mrs. Turner..."

"We're gonna rock this town, rock it inside out...
We're gonna rock this town, make it scream and shout..."

Eric Walla   Link to this

Yes, Glyn, "the ruines" have been overshadowed by the war, but in this post they stand out as a frightening image of his daily life. Thinking of crawling your way through the debris, especially as the dark comes on, with all the desperate people uprooted from their homes (or perhaps not paid for their service in the Navy?)...

The comparison that comes to mind is entering a dark wood with the sound of wolves on the wind.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Commonwealth is coming

L&M note Pepys reports this view several times -- e.g., from Mr. Moore on 19 August http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/08/19/ and Mr. Evelyn, who's told pepys the wise are sending their assets abroad, on 30 November http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/11/30/ --. "Cf. the prophecy said to have been made in mid-February 1660 by James Harrington, the republican wrier: 'Well, the King will come in. Let him come in, and call a Parliament of greatest Cavaliers in England, so they be men og estatess, and let them sett but 7 years, and they will all turn Commonwealthe's men': Aubrey, i. 291"

Eric Walla   Link to this

And on the humorous side of things, how can we not note how Sam takes to task Mr. Goodgroome. Three months and only three songs!? What has he been doing with Elizabeth all this time? I'm sorry, this definitely comes across as a "wink wink nudge nudge" moment. Sam, what have you NOT been doing with the Missus all this time? I almost expect Pembleton to be caught hiding behind the curtains ...

cum salis grano   Link to this

"a copy whereof I have kept" ah! the copy machine be a robotic clerk.
I wonder how many copies be made, at what point would it be better to typeset?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Three songs, Mr. Goodgroome?"

"There are limits to what mortal man can do, Mr. Pepys."

L. K. van Marjenhoff   Link to this

"I did soundly rattle him"
Love it!

Eric Walla   Link to this

"Oh, you know. The basics, Mr. Pepys, the basics. Primarily we worked on her breathing ..."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Yes, it's the quality of the three songs, sir."

"Oh, please Goodgroome...Wait, are you saying Mrs. Pepys wrote these songs?"

"Indeed. Just look at this one, sir." Lifts massive stack to table.

"I thought you said it was a 'song'?"

"Figure of speech, sir."

"Hmmn...'Tristan and Isoide'...?"

"Based on the ancient legends, sir. Wait till you hear the death song Isoide sings at the end. A moment."

Plays...

"My God...That's..." Looks round, phew...No one...

"Yes, sir...The O word occurs to me too."

"Why, it could...Almost...Compare to 'Beauty Retire'."

Pin-drop silence... Crickets chirp.

"...Uh...I suppose so, sir. Now this next one...Mrs. Pepys called it 'The Marriage of Figaro'..."

"Goodgroome..." Sam eyes second huge stack. "You've an odd way of classifying music."

But grim darkness within...Grimer as Goodgroome plays passage...

"And she told me she wrote most of it in one night, sir."

"One night?" choke... "And nearly as good as my 'It is Discreed'."

More crickets chirping...Longer pause...

"Uh...Yes..."

Peering through the twisted bars of my cage at an unreal beauty...

"And this one...?"

"Utterly magnificent, sir. I'm...Not a religious man, sir. But this work...Makes one believe."

Go on, God, mock me...Espose my mediocrity for all to see.

"She calls it 'Ode to Joy'...Ah. You must have a listen, sir."

Grrr...Twisted, clawing hands...

I will hurt and harm your creation, Lord. Because you are unjust.

I don't philander all that much...

"She dedicates to you, sir."

Oh.

"And this one she's at work on. A Requiem Mass...Ummn...Naturally, she's a bit cautious letting this one be seen, sir."

"Requiem Mass, eh?"

Heh, heh, heh...I think I need to pay a visit to my good friend Hooke about his Venetian poison.

"For your mother, sir."

"Goddamn it...."

"Sir?"

"I mean...Wonderful."

And she did dedicate the other thing to me...Sigh.

Well, I still have my Diary.

"Play on, Goodgroome...I suppose Music really is the food of Love."

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