Thursday 22 August 1667

Up, and to the office; whence Lord Bruncker, J. Minnes, W. Pen, and I, went to examine some men that are put in there, for rescuing of men that were pressed into the service: and we do plainly see that the desperate condition that we put men into for want of their pay, makes them mad, they being as good men as ever were in the world, and would as readily serve the King again, were they but paid. Two men leapt overboard, among others, into the Thames, out of the vessel into which they were pressed, and were shot by the soldiers placed there to keep them, two days since; so much people do avoid the King’s service! And then these men are pressed without money, and so we cannot punish them for any thing, so that we are forced only to make a show of severity by keeping them in prison, but are unable to punish them. Returning to the office, did ask whether we might visit Commissioner Pett, to which, I confess, I have no great mind; and it was answered that he was close prisoner, and we could not; but the Lieutenant of the Tower would send for him to his lodgings, if we would: so we put it off to another time. Returned to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon to Captain Cocke’s to dinner; where Lord Bruncker and his Lady, Matt. Wren, and Bulteale, and Sir Allen Apsly; the last of whom did make good sport, he being already fallen under the retrenchments of the new Committee, as he is Master Falconer;1 which makes him mad, and swears that we are doing that the Parliament would have done — that is, that we are now endeavouring to destroy one another. But it was well observed by some at the table, that they do not think this retrenching of the King’s charge will be so acceptable to the Parliament, they having given the King a revenue of so many 100,000l.‘s a-year more than his predecessors had, that he might live in pomp, like a king. After dinner with my Lord Bruncker and his mistress to the King’s playhouse, and there saw “The Indian Emperour;” where I find Nell come again, which I am glad of; but was most infinitely displeased with her being put to act the Emperour’s daughter; which is a great and serious part, which she do most basely. The rest of the play, though pretty good, was not well acted by most of them, methought; so that I took no great content in it. But that, that troubled me most was, that Knipp sent by Moll to desire to speak to me after the play; and she beckoned to me at the end of the play, and I promised to come; but it was so late, and I forced to step to Mrs. Williams’s lodgings with my Lord Bruncker and her, where I did not stay, however, for fear of her shewing me her closet, and thereby forcing me to give her something; and it was so late, that for fear of my wife’s coming home before me, I was forced to go straight home, which troubled me. Home and to the office a little, and then home and to my chamber to read, and anon, late, comes home my wife, with Mr. Turner and Mrs. Turner, with whom she supped, having been with Mrs. Turner to-day at her daughter’s school, to see her daughters dancing, and the rest, which she says is fine. They gone, I to supper and to bed. My wife very fine to-day, in her new suit of laced cuffs and perquisites. This evening Pelling comes to me, and tells me that this night the Dutch letters are come, and that the peace was proclaimed there the 19th inst., and that all is finished; which, for my life, I know not whether to be glad or sorry for, a peace being so necessary, and yet the peace is so bad in its terms.

  1. The post of Master Falconer was afterwards granted to Charles’s son by Nell Gwyn, and it is still held by the Duke of St. Albans, as an hereditary office. — B.

10 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Pett and the (op)pressed men...Well, at least some degree of equal opportunity scapegoating underway.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Returning to the office, did ask whether we might visit Commissioner Pett, to which, I confess, I have no great mind; and it was answered that he was close prisoner, and we could not;"

Since his imprisonment at the King's order for failing to save the Royal Charles in favor of his model ships (the templates for any that would need rebuilt), Pett's status was one Pepys well knew.

See 18 June: "So to the office, and by and by word was brought me that Commissioner Pett is brought to the Tower, and there laid up close prisoner;" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/06/18/

close
adj.
13. strictly guarded: a close prisoner
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/close

Glyn   Link to this

And it was known at the time that Pett was unjustly being made a scapegoat, as in Andrew Marvell's sarcastic poem:

"After this loss, to relish discontent,
Someone must be accused by punishment.
All our miscarriages on Pett must fall:
His name alone seems fit to answer all.

Whose counsel first did this mad war beget?
Who all commands sold through the navy? Pett.
Who would not follow when the Dutch were beat?
Who treated out the time at Bergen? Pett.

Who the Dutch fleet with storms disabled met,
And rifling prizes, them neglected? Pett.
Who with false news prevented the Gazette,
The fleet divided, writ for Rupert? Pett.

Who all our seamen cheated of their debt,
And all our prizes who did swallow? Pett.
Who did advise no navy out to set,
And who the forts left unrepairèd? Pett.

Who to supply with powder did forget
Languard, Sheerness, Gravesend and Upnor? Pett.
Who should it be but the Fanatic Pett?

Pett, the sea-architect, in making ships
Was the first cause of all these naval slips:
Had he not built, none of these faults had been;
If no creation, there had been no sin.
But his great crime, one boat away he sent,
That lost our fleet and did our flight prevent."

JWB   Link to this

"...this night the Dutch letters are come..."
Three days from the oven.
http://www.roadfood.com/photos/9326.jpg

Ruben   Link to this

"The Indian Emperor" painted by Hogarth
see:
http://www.darvillsrareprints.com/images/Hogart...

And a few lines from the play:

"Ah, fading joy, how quickly art thou past!
Yet we thy ruin haste.
As if the cares of human life were few,
We seek out new:
And follow fate, which would too fast pursue.
See how on every bough the birds express
In their sweet notes their happiness.
They all enjoy and nothing spare;
But on their mother nature lay their care.
Why then should man, the lord of all below,
Such troubles choose to know
As none of all his subjects undergo?

Hark, hark, the waters fall, fall, fall,
And with a murmuring sound
Dash, dash upon the ground,
To gentle slumbers call.

CORTES, alone in a night-gown.

All things are hush’d as Nature’s self lay dead;
The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head.
The little Birds in dreams their songs repeat,
And sleeping Flowers beneath the Night-dew sweat:
Even Lust and Envy sleep; yet Love denies
Rest to my soul, and slumber to my eyes."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the peace was proclaimed there the 19th inst."

"inst.", abbreviation for "instante mense", meaning a date "of the current month", such as "the 5th inst."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inst

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"As a song you were born Montezuma"...Still haunting chapter title from "Gonquest" by Hugh Thomas.

Fern   Link to this

"...and I forced to step to Mrs. Williams’s lodgings with my Lord Bruncker and her, where I did not stay, however, for fear of her shewing me her closet, and thereby forcing me to give her something;"
Could someone please tell me what this means?

Mary   Link to this

Mrs. Williams's closet was the small room where she kept (probably in a cabinet) the various treasures, curiosities, objets de vertu etc. that she had collected or been given at various points. These collections were often shown off to visitors.

Sam feared that if he acceded to an invitation to view Mrs. Williams's collections, courtesy would oblige him to offer to add to her inventory by making her a gift of some suitable knick-knack.

Fern   Link to this

Thank you, Mary.

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