Friday 23 August 1667

Up, and Greeting comes, who brings me a tune for two flageolets, which we played, and is a tune played at the King’s playhouse, which goes so well, that I will have more of them, and it will be a mighty pleasure for me to have my wife able to play a part with me, which she will easily, I find, do. Then abroad to White Hall in a hackney-coach with Sir W. Pen: and in our way, in the narrow street near Paul’s, going the backway by Tower Street, and the coach being forced to put back, he was turning himself into a cellar,1 which made people cry out to us, and so we were forced to leap out — he out of one, and I out of the other boote; Query, whether a glass-coach would have permitted us to have made the escape?2 neither of us getting any hurt; nor could the coach have got much hurt had we been in it; but, however, there was cause enough for us to do what we could to save ourselves. So being all dusty, we put into the Castle tavern, by the Savoy, and there brushed ourselves, and then to White Hall with our fellows to attend the Council, by order upon some proposition of my Lord Anglesey, we were called in. The King there: and it was about considering how the fleete might be discharged at their coming in shortly (the peace being now ratified, and it takes place on Monday next, which Sir W. Coventry said would make some clashing between some of us twenty to one, for want of more warning, but the wind has kept the boats from coming over), whether by money or tickets, and cries out against tickets, but the matter was referred for us to provide an answer to, which we must do in a few days. So we parted, and I to Westminster to the Exchequer, to see what sums of money other people lend upon the Act; and find of all sizes from 1000l. to 100l. nay, to 50l., nay, to 20l., nay, to 5l.: for I find that one Dr. Reade, Doctor of Law, gives no more, and others of them 20l.; which is a poor thing, methinks, that we should stoop so low as to borrow such sums. Upon the whole, I do think to lend, since I must lend, 300l., though, God knows! it is much against my will to lend any, unless things were in better condition, and likely to continue so. Thence home and there to dinner, and after dinner by coach out again, setting my wife down at Unthanke’s, and I to the Treasury-chamber, where I waited, talking with Sir G. Downing, till the Lords met. He tells me how he will make all the Exchequer officers, of one side and t’other, to lend the King money upon the Act; and that the least clerk shall lend money, and he believes the least will 100l.: but this I do not believe. He made me almost ashamed that we of the Navy had not in all this time lent any; so that I find it necessary I should, and so will speedily do it, before any of my fellows begin, and lead me to a bigger sum. By and by the Lords come; and I perceive Sir W. Coventry is the man, and nothing done till he comes. Among other things, I hear him observe, looking over a paper, that Sir John Shaw is a miracle of a man, for he thinks he executes more places than any man in England; for there he finds him a Surveyor of some of the King’s woods, and so reckoned up many other places, the most inconsistent in the world. Their business with me was to consider how to assigne such of our commanders as will take assignements upon the Act for their wages; and the consideration thereof was referred to me to give them an answer the next sitting: which is a horrid poor thing: but they scruple at nothing of honour in the case. So away hence, and called my wife, and to the King’s house, and saw “The Mayden Queene,” which pleases us mightily; and then away, and took up Mrs. Turner at her door, and so to Mile End, and there drank, and so back to her house, it being a fine evening, and there supped. The first time I ever was there since they lived there; and she hath all things so neat and well done, that I am mightily pleased with her, and all she do. So here very merry, and then home and to bed, my eyes being very bad. I find most people pleased with their being at ease, and safe of a peace, that they may know no more charge or hazard of an ill-managed war: but nobody speaking of the peace with any content or pleasure, but are silent in it, as of a thing they are ashamed of; no, not at Court, much less in the City.

  1. So much of London was yet in ruins. — B
  2. See note on introduction of glass coaches, September 23rd, 1667.

10 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"so we were forced to leap out — he out of one, and I out of the other boote"

The Project Gutenberg Diary of Samuel Pepys/1667/August reproduces this note:

"The "boot" was originally a projection on each side of the coach, where the passengers sat with their backs to the carriage. Such a "boot" is seen in the carriage containing the attendants of Queen Elizabeth, in Hoefnagel's well-known picture of Nonsuch Palace, dated 1582. Taylor, the Water Poet, the inveterate opponent of the introduction of coaches, thus satirizes the one in which he was forced to take his place as a passenger: "It wears two boots and no spurs, sometimes having two pairs of legs in one boot; and oftentimes against nature most preposterously it makes fair ladies wear the boot. Moreover, it makes people imitate sea-crabs, in being drawn sideways, as they are when they sit in the boot of the coach." In course of time these projections were abolished, and the coach then consisted of three parts, viz., the body, the boot (on the top of which the coachman sat), and the baskets at the back."
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Diary_of_Samuel_P...

***

"Hoefnagel's well-known picture of Nonsuch Palace, dated 1582"

One copy:
http://image.wetpaint.com/image/1/TpkgP-GE1sqxO...

Another copy:
http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_210638...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...where I waited, talking with Sir G. Downing, till the Lords met. He tells me how he will make all the Exchequer officers, of one side and t’other, to lend the King money upon the Act; and that the least clerk shall lend money, and he believes the least will 100l.: but this I do not believe."

Given Downing's ruthless reputation, I think I can believe it.

So..."Sir W. Coventry is the man..." Would that were true, England might have won this last war. Even if I take Sir Will to be a good man in a bad, deceived cause...Pushing for the triumph of absolute despotism in hopes the trains will be made to run on time.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Among other things, I hear him observe, looking over a paper, that Sir John Shaw is a miracle of a man, for he thinks he executes more places than any man in England; for there he finds him a Surveyor of some of the King’s woods, and so reckoned up many other places, the most inconsistent in the world."

God, but I'd love to have dinner with Coventry...That dry, sardonic wit coupled to a brilliant, devoted mind. If only we could win him to Parliamentary government.

cum salis grano   Link to this

boot OED whence my trunk was/is in Blighty
The other meanings are many.
such a luverly word: 4 major variations
boot, n.3
1-2-3- 3. An instrument of torture formerly used in Scotland to extort confessions from prisoners.
1618 FIELD Amends for L. I. i, The rack, strapado, or the boiling boot.

1663 SPALDING Troub. Chas. I (1829) 7 She is..put into the boots, and cruelly tortured, yet confesses nothing.

4. Part of a coach. a. The fixed external step of a coach (cf. Fr. botte 5 in Littré); b. An uncovered space on or by the steps on each side, where attendants sat, facing sideways; later, a low outside compartment before or behind the body of the vehicle. Obs.
1608 R. ARMIN Nest Ninn. 27 Shee sets in the boote and rides on.

1609 DEKKER Gull's Horn-bk. I. (1862) 7 In the boots of which coach Lechery and Sloth sit like the waiting-maid.

1618 J. TAYLOR (Water P.) in Knight Once upon Time I. 152 Drawn sideways, as they are when they sit in the boot of the coach.

1626 BACON Sylva §202 If in a Coach, one side of the Boot be down, and the other up. c1645 HOWELL Lett. I. iii. 15. 1669 Lond. Gaz. No. 421/2, 5 or 6 persons..opening the boot of his Coach discharged on him their Pistoll.

a1670 HACKET Abp. Williams (1693) I. 196 (D.) He received his son into the coach, and found a slight errand to leave Buckingham behind, as he was putting his foot in the boot.
1714 T. ELLWOOD Autobiog. 10 My Father, opening the Boot, step't out, and I followed.

1716 T. WARD Eng. Ref. 400 Rogues to sally out And charge the Coach at either Boot.
c. The receptacle for luggage or parcels under the seats of the guard and coachman. (This appears to have been the fore and hind boot of sense b, covered in as a box, ? about the middle of the 18th c.) Now the ordinary name for the luggage compartment usu. at the rear of a motor vehicle. Also attrib.
1781
-----------------------
boot 1

.... 1660 PEPYS Diary 13 Feb., For two books that I had and 6s. 6d. to boot I had my great book of songs.
...
[Com. Teut.: OE. bót fem., corresponds to OFris. bôte, OS. bôta (MDu. and Du. boete, LG. bote), OHG. buo{hgz}a (MHG. buo{hgz}e, mod.G. busze), ON. bót (Sw. bot, Da. bod), Goth. bôta ‘boot, advantage, good’:{em}OTeut. *bôtâ- (Aryan type *bh{amac}d{amac}-), prob. a derivative of root bat- (Aryan *bhad-) ‘good, useful’: see BETTER. Hence the vb. BEET, to make good or better.]

I. Good, advantage, profit, use.

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

the peace being now ratified, and it takes place on Monday next, which Sir W. Coventry said would make some clashing between some of us twenty to one, for want of more warning
Can anyone translate this? Twenty to one sounds like gambling odds, or is he saying that he is the only one out of twenty to welcome the peace?

Frank G.   Link to this

"Can anyone translate this?"

Doesn't it refer to the possiblity of unwitting captains continuing their attcks on 'enemy' ships?

Mary   Link to this

twenty to one

I take it that Coventry thinks it's a racing certainty that there will be clashes over the ratification of the peace treaty.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

twenty to one

The Q seems to be whether the phrase applies to what is inside the parenthetical phrase or to the sentence in which it is embedded. I'm voting at the present for the former, with Frank G.:

"(the peace being now ratified, and it [ -- sc. the formal cessation of hostilities -- ] takes place on Monday next, which Sir W. Coventry said would make some clashing between some of us twenty to one, for want of more warning, but the wind has kept the boats from coming over)"

The naval communication problems seem central here.

Erin Blake   Link to this

Many thanks to Terry Foreman for elucidating the boots! I've never noticed the sideways-standing attendant in the Hoefnagel picture before. Note that the images linked to are cropped too close on the right to show the relevant section, though. If you allow pop-ups and go to http://titania.folger.edu:80/BrowserInsight/Bro... you can zoom in on the center of the far right edge and see the boot in a print made from the drawing.

Erin Blake   Link to this

The link to the Hoefnagel picture showing a carriage boot posted on 26 Aug. seems to be broken. Here's a better one: http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/s/b8gox1

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