Wednesday 25 September 1667

Up as soon as I could see and to the office to write over fair with Mr. Hater my last night’s work, which I did by nine o’clock, and got it signed, and so with Sir H. Cholmly, who come to me about his business, to White Hall: and thither come also my Lord Bruncker: and we by and by called in, and our paper read; and much discourse thereon by Sir G. Carteret, my Lord Anglesey, Sir W. Coventry, and my Lord Ashly, and myself: but I could easily discern that they none of them understood the business; and the King at last ended it with saying lazily, “Why,” says he, “after all this discourse, I now come to understand it; and that is, that there can nothing be done in this more than is possible,” which was so silly as I never heard: “and therefore,” says he, “I would have these gentlemen to do as much as possible to hasten the Treasurer’s accounts; and that is all.” And so we broke up: and I confess I went away ashamed, to see how slightly things are advised upon there. Here I saw the Duke of Buckingham sit in Council again, where he was re-admitted, it seems, the last Council-day: and it is wonderful to see how this man is come again to his places, all of them, after the reproach and disgrace done him: so that things are done in a most foolish manner quite through. The Duke of Buckingham did second Sir W. Coventry in the advising the King that he would not concern himself in the owning or not owning any man’s accounts, or any thing else, wherein he had not the same satisfaction that would satisfy the Parliament; saying, that nothing would displease the Parliament more than to find him defending any thing that is not right, nor justifiable to the utmost degree but methought he spoke it but very poorly. After this, I walked up and down the Gallery till noon; and here I met with Bishop Fuller, who, to my great joy, is made, which I did not hear before, Bishop of Lincoln. At noon I took coach, and to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, to the house that is my Lord’s, which my Lord lets him have: and this is the first day of dining there. And there dined with him and his lady my Lord Privy-seale, who is indeed a very sober man; who, among other talk, did mightily wonder at the reason of the growth of the credit of banquiers, since it is so ordinary a thing for citizens to break, out of knavery. Upon this we had much discourse; and I observed therein, to the honour of this City, that I have not heard of one citizen of London broke in all this war, this plague, this fire, and this coming up of the enemy among us; which he owned to be very considerable.1 After dinner I to the King’s playhouse, my eyes being so bad since last night’s straining of them, that I am hardly able to see, besides the pain which I have in them. The play was a new play; and infinitely full: the King and all the Court almost there. It is “The Storme,” a play of Fletcher’s; which is but so-so, methinks; only there is a most admirable dance at the end, of the ladies, in a military manner, which indeed did please me mightily. So, it being a mighty wet day and night, I with much ado got a coach, and, with twenty stops which he made, I got him to carry me quite through, and paid dear for it, and so home, and there comes my wife home from the Duke of York’s playhouse, where she hath been with my aunt and Kate Joyce, and so to supper, and betimes to bed, to make amends for my last night’s work and want of sleep.

  1. This remarkable fact is confirmed by Evelyn, in a letter to Sir Samuel Tuke, September 27th, 1666. See “Correspondence,” vol. iii., p. 345, edit. 1879.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I saw the Duke of Buckingham sit in Council again, where he was re-admitted, it seems, the last Council-day:"

L&M note this had been 23 September, when he was also restored to his place in the Bedchamber.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"wonder at the reason of the growth of the credit of banquiers, since it is so ordinary a thing for citizens to break, out of knavery ... I have not heard of one citizen of London broke in all this"

I don't understand the use of "break/broke" in this passage. Is it as in 'breaking and entering', or 'out of money', or 'breaking a promise' (to repay a debt), or something else? Since Lord B considers it a "remarkable fact", it would be nice to know exactly what's being asserted.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Paul, "to break" seems to be an old form of the idiom "to go broke" or "to be bankrupt" -- though, with Evelyn, it is hard to believe none did!

Mary   Link to this

Bankers' solvency.

An L&M footnote refers to the plight of Backwell (goldsmith/banker) who, in 1665, suffered a run on his bank and was bailed out by an Exchequer grant. The government could not afford to allow a banker to be broken.

martinb   Link to this

"The government could not afford etc"

Yep, I think we've heard that one before somewhere...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and betimes to bed, to make amends for my last night’s work and want of sleep."

Hmmn...This doesn't sound like our superhuman Sam. Has age and a terrible couple of years finally started to take toll?

JKM   Link to this

the King at last ended it with saying lazily, “Why,” says he, “after all this discourse, I now come to understand it; and that is, that there can nothing be done in this more than is possible,” which was so silly as I never heard....

Cf Dilbert: http://www.untethereddreams.com/inspiration/200...

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...only there is a most admirable dance at the end, of the ladies, in a military manner, which indeed did please me mightily...."

A vision swam before my eyes of a chorus line of 20th century Principal Boys, with much slapping of rounded thighs..... But, whatever the "military manner" was, Sam enjoyed it so much, he takes Bess the next day.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Or some grand Busby Burkely dance set, with Eleanor Powell in sequined outfit vaguely resembling a military unirorm above the ballerina frillies tapping her way round a chorus of beauties.

Sam snoozing...

Finds himself on stage in favorite gold-lace cuffed suit with straw hat in hat.

Girl chorus clustering round...

"Sir... 'Beautiful girl, what a gorgeous creature...Beautiful girl...'" Hewer hisses from left wing.

Finds Bess to his right in fluffy dress...Frowning at him...

Don't blow my first big break, Sam'l.

"...'Somebody call a preacher...'" Hewer hisses...

Hmmn...Oh, well. Sam taps cane on floor, extends hand to Bess.

"What can I do...But give my heart to you..."

Ooooh...Chorus clusters again...Knipp pulling back at Bess' glare.

***

Log in to post an annotation.

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