Monday 30 December 1667

Up before day, and by coach to Westminster, and there first to Sir H. Cholmly, and there I did to my great content deliver him up his little several papers for sums of money paid him, and took his regular receipts upon his orders, wherein I am safe. Thence to White Hall, and there to visit Sir G. Carteret, and there was with him a great while, and my Lady and they seem in very good humour, but by and by Sir G. Carteret and I alone, and there we did talk of the ruinous condition we are in, the King being going to put out of the Council so many able men; such as my Lord Anglesey, Ashly, Hollis, Secretary Morrice (to bring in Mr. Trevor), and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and my Lord Bridgewater. He tells me that this is true, only the Duke of York do endeavour to hinder it, and the Duke of York himself did tell him so: that the King and the Duke of York do not in company disagree, but are friendly; but that there is a core in their hearts, he doubts, which is not to be easily removed; for these men do suffer only for their constancy to the Chancellor, or at least from the King’s ill-will against him: that they do now all they can to vilify the clergy, and do accuse Rochester [Dolben] … and so do raise scandals, all that is possible, against other of the Bishops. He do suggest that something is intended for the Duke of Monmouth, and it may be, against the Queene also: that we are in no manner sure against an invasion the next year: that the Duke of Buckingham do rule all now, and the Duke of York comes indeed to the Caball, but signifies little there. That this new faction do not endure, nor the King, Sir W. Coventry; but yet that he is so usefull that they cannot be without him; but that he is not now called to the Caball. That my Lord of Buckingham, Bristoll, and Arlington, do seem to agree in these things; but that they do not in their hearts trust one another, but do drive several ways, all of them. In short, he do bless himself that he is no more concerned in matters now; and the hopes he hath of being at liberty, when his accounts are over, to retire into the country. That he do give over the kingdom for wholly lost. So after some other little discourse, I away, meeting with Mr. Cooling. I with him by coach to the Wardrobe, where I never was since the fire in Hatton Garden, but did not ‘light: and he tells me he fears that my Lord Sandwich will suffer much by Mr. Townsend’s being untrue to him, he being now unable to give the Commissioners of the Treasury an account of his money received by many thousands of pounds, which I am troubled for. Thence to the Old Exchange together, he telling me that he believes there will be no such turning out of great men as is talked of, but that it is only to fright people, but I do fear there may be such a thing doing. He do mightily inveigh against the folly of the King to bring his matters to wrack thus, and that we must all be undone without help. I met with Cooling at the Temple-gate, after I had been at both my booksellers and there laid out several pounds in books now against the new year. From the ‘Change (where I met with Captain Cocke, who would have borrowed money of me, but I had the grace to deny him, he would have had 3 or 400l.) I with Cocke and Mr. Temple (whose wife was just now brought to bed of a boy, but he seems not to be at all taken with it, which is a strange consideration how others do rejoice to have a child born), to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and there did dine together, there being there, among other company, Mr. Attorney Montagu, and his fine lady, a fine woman. After dinner, I did understand from my Lady Jemimah that her brother Hinchingbroke’s business was to be ended this day, as she thinks, towards his match, and they do talk here of their intent to buy themselves some new clothes against the wedding, which I am very glad of. After dinner I did even with Sir G. Carteret the accounts of the interest of the money which I did so long put out for him in Sir R. Viner’s hands, and by it I think I shall be a gainer about 28l., which is a very good reward for the little trouble I have had in it. Thence with Sir Philip Carteret to the King’s playhouse, there to see “Love’s Cruelty,” an old play, but which I have not seen before; and in the first act Orange Moll come to me, with one of our porters by my house, to tell me that Mrs. Pierce and Knepp did dine at my house to-day, and that I was desired to come home. So I went out presently, and by coach home, and they were just gone away so, after a very little stay with my wife, I took coach again, and to the King’s playhouse again, and come in the fourth act; and it proves to me a very silly play, and to everybody else, as far as I could judge. But the jest is, that here telling Moll how I had lost my journey, she told me that Mrs. Knepp was in the house, and so shews me to her, and I went to her, and sat out the play, and then with her to Mrs. Manuel’s, where Mrs. Pierce was, and her boy and girl; and here I did hear Mrs. Manuel and one of the Italians, her gallant, sing well. But yet I confess I am not delighted so much with it, as to admire it: for, not understanding the words, I lose the benefit of the vocalitys of the musick, and it proves only instrumental; and therefore was more pleased to hear Knepp sing two or three little English things that I understood, though the composition of the other, and performance, was very fine. Thence, after sitting and talking a pretty while, I took leave and left them there, and so to my bookseller’s, and paid for the books I had bought, and away home, where I told my wife where I had been. But she was as mad as a devil, and nothing but ill words between us all the evening while we sat at cardsW. Hewer and the girl by — even to gross ill words, which I was troubled for, but do see that I must use policy to keep her spirit down, and to give her no offence by my being with Knepp and Pierce, of which, though she will not own it, yet she is heartily jealous. At last it ended in few words and my silence (which for fear of growing higher between us I did forbear), and so to supper and to bed without one word one to another. This day I did carry money out, and paid several debts. Among others, my tailor, and shoemaker, and draper, Sir W. Turner, who begun to talk of the Commission of accounts, wherein he is one; but though they are the greatest people that ever were in the nation as to power, and like to be our judges, yet I did never speak one word to him of desiring favour, or bidding him joy in it, but did answer him to what he said, and do resolve to stand or fall by my silent preparing to answer whatever can be laid to me, and that will be my best proceeding, I think. This day I got a little rent in my new fine camlett cloak with the latch of Sir G. Carteret’s door; but it is darned up at my tailor’s, that it will be no great blemish to it; but it troubled me. I could not but observe that Sir Philip Carteret would fain have given me my going into a play; but yet, when he come to the door, he had no money to pay for himself, I having refused to accept of it for myself, but was fain; and I perceive he is known there, and do run upon the score for plays, which is a shame; but I perceive always he is in want of money.1 In the pit I met with Sir Ch. North, formerly Mr. North, who was with my Lord at sea; and he, of his own accord, was so silly as to tell me he is married; and for her quality (being a Lord’s daughter, my Lord Grey), and person, and beauty, and years, and estate, and disposition, he is the happiest man in the world. I am sure he is an ugly fellow; but a good scholar and sober gentleman; and heir to his father, now Lord North, the old Lord being dead.

  1. The practice of gallants attending the theatre without payment is illustrated by Mr. Lowe in his “Betterton,” from Shadwell’s “True Widow”:

    1st Doorkeeper. Pray, sir, pay me: my masters will make me pay it.

    3d Man. Impudent rascal, do you ask me for money? Take that, sirrah.

    2nd Doorkeeper. Will you pay me, sir?

    4th Man. No; I don’t intend to stay.

    2nd Doorkeeper. So you say every day, and see two or three acts for nothing.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"That they do now all they can to vilify the Clergy, and do accuse Rochester (Dolben), of his being given to boys and of his putting his hand into a gentleman (who now comes to bear evidence against him) his codpiece while they were at table together.  And so do raise scandals, all that is possible, against other of the Bishops."

L&M text.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Phew! Quite a entry.

"and in the first act Orange Moll come to me, with one of our porters by my house, to tell me that Mrs. Pierce and Knepp did dine at my house to-day, and that I was desired to come home. So I went out presently, and by coach home, and they were just gone away so, after a very little stay with my wife,"

Oh, the possibilities for the imagination...How did Bess know where Sam was unless Pierce or Knipp suggested it? And how joyful she must have been at that hint, if made. And the dinner itself...Had Sam thoughlessly organized the most repulsive company possible for poor suffering Bess and then forgotton his own party? Or had Bess bitten the bullet and braved the supposed, but alas wrong, enemy...The real if involuntionary one helpfully standing at her side...In her own den? And the very little stay...

Followed by...
"and away home, where I told my wife where I had been. But she was as mad as a devil, and nothing but ill words between us all the evening while we sat at cards — W. Hewer and the girl by — even to gross ill words, which I was troubled for, but do see that I must use policy to keep her spirit down, and to give her no offence by my being with Knepp and Pierce, of which, though she will not own it, yet she is heartily jealous. At last it ended in few words and my silence (which for fear of growing higher between us I did forbear), and so to supper and to bed without one word one to another."

Speaking such volumes one hopes Sam had tongue firmly in cheek writing some of this. But hey, what possibly could have irritated the woman so?

It's as if Sam takes what in other men would simply be gross insensitivity and crafts it into a whole glorious new art form, spiraling off in directions one could never imagine until, greatest irony of all, he winds up paying perhaps one of the sweetest tributes to a suffering wife any man ever has. Cause after all, he could have torn this out and cast it into the fire at any time. And Elisabeth lives forever...Reminding us what a dunderheaded jerk her husband could be...And what a life-affirming spirit.

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘Cabal n. . .  5. A small body of persons engaged in secret or private machination or intrigue; a junto, clique, côterie, party, faction.
. . 1670    A. Marvell Corr. cxlvii, in Wks. (1875) II. 326   The governing cabal are Buckingham, Lauderdale, Ashly, Orery, and Trevor. Not but the other cabal [Arlington, Clifford, and their party] too have seemingly sometimes their turn.

. . 6. a. Applied in the reign of Charles II to the small committee or junto of the Privy Council, otherwise called the ‘Committee for Foreign Affairs’, which had the chief management of the course of government, and was the precursor of the modern cabinet.
. . 1667    S. Pepys Diary 21 Dec. (1974) VIII. 585   The Caball at present being, as he says, the King and the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Keeper, and Privy Seale.

. . b. in Hist. applied spec. to the five ministers of Charles II, who signed the Treaty of Alliance with France for war against Holland in 1672: these were Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley (Earl of Shaftesbury), and Lauderdale, the initials of whose names thus arranged chanced to spell the word cabal. This was merely a witticism referring to sense 6; in point of fact these five men did not constitute the whole ‘Cabal’, or Committee for Foreign Affairs; nor were they so closely united in policy as to constitute a ‘cabal’ in sense 5 where quot. 1670 shows that three of them belonged to one ‘cabal’ or clique, and two to another.
. . 1673    England's Appeal 18   The safest way not to wrong neither the cabal nor the truth is to take a short survey of the carriage of the chief promoters of this war.
. . 1848    Macaulay Hist. Eng. (1864) I. 101   It happened by a whimsical coincidence that, in 1671, the Cabinet consisted of five persons the initial letters of whose names made up the word Cabal‥These ministers were therefore emphatically called the Cabal; and they soon made that appellation so infamous that it has never since their time been used except as a term of reproach.’ [OED]

language hat   Link to this

"and he, of his own accord, was so silly as to tell me he is married"

Does anyone know why he would think this was "silly," in any of the then current senses of the word? It seems like the most normal sort of thing one could possibly say. Surely well-bred men weren't expected to hide the subject of their marital status?

Mary   Link to this

Silly.

I think that the word probably means something like 'unsophisticated' in this instance. It is found used in this sense in the 17th and 18th centuries (OED).

North and Pepys are not (so far as we know) more than slight acquaintances, so Sam is a little amused to find himself, upon a chance meeting, the sudden recipient of so much exuberant information.

cum salis grano   Link to this

"...This day I did carry money out, and paid several debts. Among others, my tailor..."
To walk around with just a few farthings for the lamp boy or just cab fare on most days.

Fern   Link to this

"After dinner I did even with Sir G. Carteret the accounts of the interest of the money..."

End of the calendar year, and I've been evening my accounts too. Income exceeded expenditure, hurrah!

nix   Link to this

Samuel squares accounts -- a good day for bookseller, tailor, shoemaker and draper. When I was in private law practice, my partners and I would spend the last week of December chasing clients for overdue fees so that we could pay down the line of credit and parcel out some (never enough) cash before closing the books for the year. Bless you, Samuel!

cum salis grano   Link to this

"a good day for bookseller, tailor, shoemaker and draper."
They have supported the gentry for months, financing their life style with no interest, now it is 29.9 % if ye be late. Can you imaging Samuel's Bookbinder say to Mr P, you are a day late, that will be 25 % more.
Credit, he believes he will pay.

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