Wednesday 13 November 1667

Up, and down to the Old Swan, and so to Westminster; where I find the House sitting, and in a mighty heat about Commissioner Pett, that they would have him impeached, though the Committee have yet brought in but part of their Report: and this heat of the House is much heightened by Sir Thomas Clifford telling them, that he was the man that did, out of his own purse, employ people at the out-ports to prevent the King of Scots to escape after the battle of Worcester. The House was in a great heat all this day about it; and at last it was carried, however, that it should be referred back to the Committee to make further enquiry. I here spoke with Roger Pepys, who sent for me, and it was to tell me that the Committee is mighty full of the business of buying and selling of tickets, and to caution me against such an enquiry (wherein I am very safe), and that they have already found out Sir Richard Ford’s son to have had a hand in it, which they take to be the same as if the father had done it, and I do believe the father may be as likely to be concerned in it as his son. But I perceive by him they are resolved to find out the bottom of the business if it be possible. By and by I met with Mr. Wren, who tells me that the Duke of York is in as good condition as is possible for a man, in his condition of the smallpox. He, I perceive, is mightily concerned in the business of my Lord Chancellor, the impeachment against whom is gone up to the House of Lords; and great differences there are in the Lords’ House about it, and the Lords are very high one against another. Thence home to dinner, and as soon as dinner done I and my wife and Willet to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw the Tempest again, which is very pleasant, and full of so good variety that I cannot be more pleased almost in a comedy, only the seamen’s part a little too tedious. Thence home, and there to my chamber, and do begin anew to bind myself to keep my old vows, and among the rest not to see a play till Christmas but once in every other week, and have laid aside 10l., which is to be lost to the poor, if I do. This I hope in God will bind me, for I do find myself mightily wronged in my reputation, and indeed in my purse and business, by my late following of my pleasure for so long time as I have done. So to supper and then to bed. This day Mr. Chichly told me, with a seeming trouble, that the House have stopped his son Jack (Sir John) his going to France, that he may be a witness against my Lord Sandwich: which do trouble me, though he can, I think, say little.

6 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"only the seamen’s part a little too tedious"

L&M note Davenant had introduced [what were supposed to be] comic seamen into the altered *Tempest*. The link Michael Robinson provided permits a sample of their nugatory dialogue with which the first Act is larded. Typical is:

Enter Mariners and pass over the Stage.
Trincalo (boatswain)
"Heigh, my hearts, chearly, chearly, my hearts, yare, yare. "


"Brace off the Fore-yard."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

The House in a mighty heat over Commissioner Pett, but I see from the scholarly notes that Pett remains a commissioner until 1672. I suppose this will blow over for Pett. I was getting alarmed for his safety, and indeed, his head.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Oops, I have now learned from Wikipedia that Pett was fired, probably in 1667. He died in 1672, and in comfortable circumstance, so he had 5 good years of retirement.

nix  •  Link

Having sung the part of the Boatswain in H.M.S. Pinafore last week, I heartily endorse the practice of introducing comic seamen into any context. Imagine:

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum
Till Birnam Wood to Dunsinane is come ....

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of beer
He poured the poison in the old king's ear ....

Yo, ho, ho and a flagon of mead
If you prick us, do we not bleed ....

nix  •  Link

Correction -- make that a schooner of beer.

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