Wednesday 21 August 1667

Up, and my wife and I fell out about the pair of cuffs, which she hath a mind to have to go to see the ladies dancing to-morrow at Betty Turner’s school; and do vex me so that I am resolved to deny them her. However, by-and-by a way was found that she had them, and I well satisfied, being unwilling to let our difference grow higher upon so small an occasion and frowardness of mine. Then to the office, my Lord Bruncker and I all the morning answering petitions, which now by a new Council’s order we are commanded to set a day in a week apart for, and we resolve to do it by turn, my Lord and I one week and two others another. At noon home to dinner, and then my wife and I mighty pleasant abroad, she to the New Exchange and I to the Commissioners of the Treasury, who do sit very close, and are bringing the King’s charges as low as they can; but Sir W. Coventry did here again tell me that he is very serious in what he said to Sir W. Pen and me yesterday about our lending of money to the King; and says that people do talk that we had had the King’s ships at his cost to take prizes, and that we ought to lend the King money more than other people. I did tell him I will consider it, and so parted; and do find I cannot avoid it. So to Westminster Hall and there staid a while, and thence to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did take a little pleasure both with her and her sister. Here sat and talked, and it is a strange thing to see the impudence of the woman, that desires by all means to have her mari come home, only that she might beat liberty to have me para toker her, which is a thing I do not so much desire. Thence by coach, took up my wife, and home and out to Mile End, and there drank, and so home, and after some little reading in my chamber, to supper and to bed. This day I sent my cozen Roger a tierce of claret, which I give him. This morning come two of Captain Cooke’s boys, whose voices are broke, and are gone from the Chapel, but have extraordinary skill; and they and my boy, with his broken voice, did sing three parts; their names were Blaewl and Loggings; but, notwithstanding their skill, yet to hear them sing with their broken voices, which they could not command to keep in tune, would make a man mad — so bad it was.

22 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

21st August, 1667. Saw the famous Italian puppet-play [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_and_Judy ], for it was no other.

http://bit.ly/9x1fLY

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...but Sir W. Coventry did here again tell me that he is very serious in what he said to Sir W. Pen and me yesterday about our lending of money to the King; and says that people do talk that we had had the King’s ships at his cost to take prizes, and that we ought to lend the King money more than other people. I did tell him I will consider it, and so parted; and do find I cannot avoid it."

Milord the King giveth, milord the King taketh away... Best to hand it over immediately and with a smile, Samuel.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...it is a strange thing to see the impudence of the woman, that desires by all means to have her marido come home, only that she might beat liberty to have me para tocar her;..."

L&M transcription.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

That should be "be at liberty...."

cum salis grano   Link to this

tis better to have a pair of cuffs on hand than two pair on the counter exchange royal or not.

Eric Walla   Link to this

I don't know if I am reading this correctly: was Bess asking for permission to buy a new pair of cuffs, when she had in fact already purchased them? I can't see this as being the case because I can't see Sam being so forgiving in such a circumstance.

Ruben   Link to this

"it is a strange thing to see the impudence of the woman, that desires by all means to have her mari come home, only that she might be at liberty to have me para tocar her, which is a thing I do not so much desire.”
Spanish again. Translated to:
"it is a strange thing to see the impudence of the woman, that desires by all means to have her husband come home, only that she might be at liberty to have me to touch her;…”

Concerning the female sex, sometimes I get tired by the hipocrisy of Pepys times.

Mary   Link to this

The cuffs.

Elizabeth conducts a successful negotiation for the purchase of the cuffs and I expect that their acquisition is the reason for her trip to the New Exchange. "a way was found that she had them" means " a way was found that she should have them." It doesn't mean that she had already bought them before the argument took place.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I agree Mary, sounds like Bess found a face-saving solution for her lord and master, the bug-eyed obsessive. Probably some loose change in the housekeeping budget or maybe she found Unthanke overcharged her on something and he was happy to provide cuffs in exchange. Our Bess usually finds a way...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Or maybe...

"So, if I provide the cuffs...?"

"That book of accounts marked 'Never show to the Duke or Sir William Coventry' disappears forever." Bess, warm smile.

Got to admire her persistence in digging the torn pages out of the house of office...Sam sighs. But she quoted the pages perfectly so she must have them.

"Oh, very well..."

Or...

"So...You say half the prize goods on the Greyhound could suddenly 'vanish'?" Sam blinks at Bess.

"And...reappear to our later profit six months from now, yes darling."

"It would give me reason to cut that damned loan to the King by half...Hmmn. All right."

"Cuffs?..."

"Fine...But I want word that..."

"Mr. Pepys!" Call from below.

"Hewer? What the devil..."

"Sir! The Greyhound was looted by a masked band last night!! Half the goods plundered!! Cap't Hogg and his men held at swordpoint, witnessed by the watch, likewise held!!"

"Really?" eager beam, glance at Bess' arch look. "Uh, really...Dreadful. Half the goods gone, you say?"

"Odd thing, sir. The men claim at least one of them was a woman, maybe two."

"A woman?" sly beam at Bess' sly beam.

"One man claimed...Well, sir. He said one sounded a little like Dr. Pierce's wife, sir."

Good ole Betty...Bess sighed. But she will be talkin'.

Glyn   Link to this

Almost at the end of the entry: "Blaewl" looks a very strange way to write "Blow". I can't think of any reason to do that.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Bleau " is what L&M have in the text, but in a footnote it's "Blow".

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Not a scanning-error, the Henry B. Wheatley transcription is “Blaewl” - see http://bit.ly/9ZGHxj for help from Google: searching in the book for "loggings" yields the text above on p. 221.

cum salis grano   Link to this

ae and oe have been dropped
see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%92

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Sorry: that's page 221.

cum salis grano   Link to this


to be decyphered by an acadamian

blaw. pa. tense 1 bleów, bléw
see to blow below.
n blow OED:

....'The OE. cognate would have been *bléowan, but of this no trace is found'....

[First found in 15th c., the earliest instances being Sc. and north. Eng. with form blaw. Origin doubtful.
(The etymology of blow has been naturally sought in the stem of the OTeut. vb. *bleuwan, Goth. bliggwan to beat (which is not related to L. flig{ebreve}re), in OHG. bliuwan, MHG. bliuwen, mod.G. bläuen ‘to beetle, batter, beat, drub’ (whence bläuel a beetle), MDu. and mod.Du. blouwen ‘to beat, thrash, drub’, now esp. ‘to brake or swingle flax or hemp’ (whence blouwel a brake for flax). The OE. cognate would have been *bléowan, but of this no trace is found, and it is not easy on any theory to understand its giving rise to a substantive in the 15th c. without ever appearing itself. It is still less likely that an English substantive could be formed from the Du. blouwen or its Ger. equivalent, when there is no such substantive in these langs. (‘Du. blowe’ in J. is a figment.)

Another suggestion which suits the form and accounts also for the early Sc. and north. English variant blaw, is that this is the same word as BLOW n.2, or at least, like it, derived from BLOW v.1 The difficulty is, that, as to the sense, early uses of the word do not indicate any such origin, while historically, BLOW n.2 (in its own undoubted senses) is of later appearance. The analogy of Fr. soufflet, also, in which a word for ‘a blow with the flat of the hand’ arises out of the vb. souffler ‘to blow wind’, though striking at first sight, proves on examination of the history of soufflet to be merely superficial.)]

blae, a. (n.)

[ME. blo, bloo, in north. dial. bla, blaa, a. ON. blá (sing. masc. blár) dark blue, livid (Sw. blå, Da. blaa blue), cogn. w. OHG. blâo:{em}*blâw (MHG. blâ, blâwer, mod.G. blau), MLG. blâ(w, OFris. blâw, blâu (MDu. blâ, blâu, Du. blaauw), OE. (rare) bláw (or bl{aeacu}w, whence bl{aeacu}wen:{em}bláwin):{em}OTeut. *bl{aecirc}wo-z blue. The German blâw was adopted in Romanic (med.L. bl{amac}vus, OSp. blavo, Pr. blau, blava, F. bleu), whence it also passed into Eng. in the form blew, now BLUE, with the sense ‘cæruleus,’ while bla, blo retained the ONorse sense ‘lividus.’ The midland and southern Eng. form was blo, bloe, which survived till the 16th c.; but the word is now only northern Eng. and Sc. in the forms blae, blea, bleae, bley, blay. (These dialects have also blue in its ordinary sense, distinct from blae.)]

A. adj.

1. Of a dark colour between black and blue; blackish blue; of the colour of the blae-berry (Vaccinium Myrtillus); livid; also, of a lighter shade, bluish grey, lead-coloured. (Sometimes perh., in early writers, simply = Blue.)
c1250

bleaunt

[ad. OF. bliaut, -aud, bliat, earlier blialt; found also in other Romanic langs., Pr. blial, bliau, bliaut, blizaut, Sp., Pg. brial, medL. blialdus, bliaudus, blisaudus, an article of dress, a tunic worn both by men and women often richly embroidered; also in MLG. bliant, blyant, MHG. blîalt, blîat a silk gold-stuff for clothes, bed-covers, etc. Of uncertain origin: see Diez and Mahn. The appearance of the n in the English and MLG. is unaccounted for. Bleaunt for *bliant, may be compared with ME. geaunt = giant.]

A kind of tunic or upper garment; also a rich stuff or fabric used for this garment.
c1314

blow, v.1

Pa. tense blew. Pa. pple. blown (also in sense 29 blowed). Forms: 1 bláwan, 2-3 blawen, (2 blauwen), blouwen, 3 bloawen, 5 blowen, blowyn, 3-7 blowe, 5- blow; (north.) 3-4 blau, 4-6 blawe, 3- blaw. pa. tense 1 bleów, bléw, 2-3 bleu, 4 blwe, blee{ygh}, ble{ygh}, 3-5 blu, 5 blue, 4-6 blewe, 4- blew. Also 4 blowide, 7 blowd, blowede, 6- blowed. pa. pple. 1 bláwen, blouen, 4-7 blowen, 6-7 blowne, 7- blown; also 4 y-blowe, blowun, blowe, 4-6 i-blowe, 7 bloun; north. 3 blaun, 4 blawun, 4-5 blawen, 6 blawne, blawin, blauen, blaw, 6- blawn. Also 6- blowed. [OE. bláwan, pa. tense bléow, pple. bláwen, elsewhere as a strong vb. only in OHG. blâ(h)an (pa. pple. blâhan, blân):{em}Goth. type *blaian, *baiblô, OTeut. ? *bl{aecirc}jan, cogn. w. L. fl{amac}-re to blow. (In OHG. this, like other verbs with ai in Gothic, passed into the weak conj. blâen, blâhen, blâjen, blâwen, blân, MHG. blæjen, blæwen, blæn, Ger. blähen.) In OE. only in a few senses: see 1, 2, 14; but an immense development of sense and constructions has taken place in middle and modern Eng., and in later times distinct senses have influenced each other, or run together, in a manner difficult to exhibit in a linear series.]

I. properly. To produce a current of air; to set in motion with a current of air.

* intransitively.

1. a. intr. The proper verb naming the motion or action of the wind, or of an aerial current. Sometimes with subject it, as ‘it blows hard’, and often with complement, as ‘it blew a gale, a hurricane’. to blow great guns: to blow a violent gale. to blow up: to rise, increase in force of blowing.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

they and my boy, with his broken voice, did sing three parts; their names were Blaewl and Loggings
Blaewl, or John Blow per the annotations, became quite the organist and composer, so life can still go on after your voice breaks. Reminds me of the final scenes in White Christmas. Bing Crosby is checking out the boys in their choir robes, they sing a few high notes and Bing says: Ah, those were the days.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Well, gentlemen? I'm sorry to have to point out this is yet the fourth time I've politely approached you regarding your voluntarily loan to His Majesty." Coventry eyes our boys...

"And we would be delighted, Sir Will...Delighted to furnish what we can in funds...Were we able to offer anything more than a mere pittance in the form of captured prize goods."

Idiot...Sam sighs, rolling eyes at Penn's dodge. Sir William frowning... "Boys...Now we all know the king is an easy-going fellow in the general run of things..."

No question there...Admiral Sir Will and Sam concurring, hopefully...

"And we are, I'm sure, all grateful that he hasn't instituted a serious witch-hunt into the recent disasters leading to our crushing debacle..."

Very grateful...Most grateful... Charles is a true gent on that score...

"But...Parliament is...Troublesome on these matters, boys. Lacking His Majesty kind and forgiving nature..."

"A true pity..." Penn notes aloud.

"Truly." Coventry, pleasantly.

"And right now, given the fiscal straights of the kingdom...His Majesty is truly under pressure to show a real willingness to retrench and get his household in order..."

"Retrench, certainly." Penn, nodding...

"With our utmost support and cheerful diligence..." Sam chimes in...

"Appreciated, gents. And yet this matter of the Greyhound and her achievements at sea...And a certain lack of forwardness on your parts..."

"On our parts? Why, Sir Will...No men more willing..."

"If it were possible..." Penn cuts in...

"Methinks, boys...I must take issue with that. Carcasse?"

"Oh, God..." Sam gulps.

"Gentlemen..." Carcasse, stepping forward, beaming smile...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my Lord Bruncker and I all the morning answering petitions, which now by a new Council’s order we are commanded to set a day in a week apart for, and we resolve to do it by turn, my Lord and I one week and two others another..."

Doesn't sound like our hands-in-every-office-pie Sam. I wonder if he was pressured or felt so to let this one be divided up. I can't imagine him wanting to let petitions to the office pass through other hands every other week without his involvement.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“…my Lord Bruncker and I all the morning answering petitions, which now by a new Council’s order we are commanded to set a day in a week apart for, and we resolve to do it by turn, my Lord and I one week and two others another…”

L&M note pay-tickets were to be dealt with by Navy Board members in pairs: Brouncker's having in December 1666 alone "was a source of grievance."

(Had a staff failure like this led to Carkasse's problem? L&M do not conjecture.)

Bryan M   Link to this

Boys' voices breaking

I can't locate it now but I think there was some discussion a while ago about the age at which boys' voices broke. If John Blow was a typical 17th century teenager then we have an answer here. John Blow "was baptised 23 February 1649 and was likely born only a short while before"; making him eighteen and a half years of age.

nix   Link to this

"whose voices are broke" --

Has anyone been watching The Choir on BBC America? The choral director divides his boys into the broken-voices #tenors/baritones# and the unbroken-voices #boy sopranos#. (I gather this series was shown in Britain 2 or 3 years ago.)

Log in to post an annotation.

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