Thursday 2 January 1667/68

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes by coach to White Hall, and there attended the King and the Duke of York in the Duke of York’s lodgings, with the rest of the Officers and many of the Commanders of the fleete, and some of our master shipwrights, to discourse the business of having the topmasts of ships made to lower abaft of the mainmast; a business I understand not, and so can give no good account; but I do see that by how much greater the Council, and the number of Counsellors is, the more confused the issue is of their councils; so that little was said to the purpose regularly, and but little use was made of it, they coming to a very broken conclusion upon it, to make trial in a ship or two. From this they fell to other talk about the fleete’s fighting this late war, and how the King’s ships have been shattered; though the King said that the world would not have it that about ten or twenty ships in any fight did do any service, and that this hath been told so to him himself, by ignorant people. The Prince, who was there, was mightily surprised at it, and seemed troubled: but the King told him that it was only discourse of the world. But Mr. Wren whispered me in the eare, and said that the Duke of Albemarle had put it into his Narrative for the House, that not above twenty-five ships fought in the engagement wherein he was, but that he was advised to leave it out; but this he did write from sea, I am sure, or words to that effect: and did displease many commanders, among others, Captain Batts, who the Duke of York said was a very stout man, all the world knew; and that another was brought into his ship that had been turned out of his place when he was a boatswain, not long before, for being a drunkard. This the Prince took notice of, and would have been angry, I think, but they let their discourse fall: but the Duke of York was earnest in it. And the Prince said to me, standing by me, “God damn me, if they will turn out every man that will be drunk, they must turn out all the commanders in the fleete. What is the matter if he be drunk, so when he comes to fight he do his work? At least, let him be punished for his drunkenness, and not put out of his command presently.” This he spoke, very much concerned for this idle fellow, one Greene. After this the King began to tell stories of the cowardice of the Spaniards in Flanders, when he was there, at the siege of Mardike and Dunkirke; which was very pretty, though he tells them but meanly. This being done I to Westminster Hall, and there staid a little: and then home, and by the way did find with difficulty the Life of Sir Philip Sidney (the book I mentioned yesterday). And the bookseller told me that he had sold four, within this week or two, which is more than ever he sold in all his life of them; and he could not imagine what should be the reason of it: but I suppose it is from the same reason of people’s observing of this part therein, touching his prophesying our present condition here in England in relation to the Dutch, which is very remarkable. So home to dinner, where Balty’s wife is come to town; she come last night and lay at my house, but being weary was gone to bed before I come home, and so I saw her not before. After dinner I took my wife and her girl out to the New Exchange, and there my wife bought herself a lace for a handkercher, which I do give her, of about 3l., for a new year’s gift, and I did buy also a lace for a band for myself, and so home, and there to the office busy late, and so home to my chamber, where busy on some accounts, and then to supper and to bed. This day my wife shows me a locket of dyamonds worth about 40l., which W. Hewer do press her to accept, and hath done for a good while, out of his gratitude for my kindness and hers to him. But I do not like that she should receive it, it not being honourable for me to do it; and so do desire her to force him to take it back again, he leaving it against her will yesterday with her. And she did this evening force him to take it back, at which she says he is troubled; but, however, it becomes me more to refuse it, than to let her accept of it. And so I am well pleased with her returning it him. It is generally believed that France is endeavouring a firmer league with us than the former, in order to his going on with his business against Spayne the next year; which I am, and so everybody else is, I think, very glad of, for all our fear is, of his invading us. This day, at White Hall, I overheard Sir W. Coventry propose to the King his ordering of some particular thing in the Wardrobe, which was of no great value; but yet, as much as it was, it was of profit to the King and saving to his purse. The King answered to it with great indifferency, as a thing that it was no great matter whether it was done or no. Sir W. Coventry answered: “I see your Majesty do not remember the old English proverb, ‘He that will not stoop for a pin, will never be worth a pound.’” And so they parted, the King bidding him do as he would; which, methought, was an answer not like a King that did intend ever to do well.

13 Annotations

Margaret   Link to this

A locket of diamonds, worth forty pounds??? How can Will afford it? Has he been receiving "gifts" from clients too?

Does he have a major crush on his boss's pretty wife, or is this a type of "butter up the boss with a fancy New Year's gift"?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Curious that Sam doesn't confront Will personally about the locket...Perhaps he doesn't wish to have Will think he knows about it in order to spare his feelings? Having Bess return it with thanks as too much is probably the easiest and most acceptable way. Seems however fond Bess is of Will things haven't gone beyond a sort of crush on his part.

***
"...but I do see that by how much greater the Council, and the number of Counsellors is, the more confused the issue is of their councils..."

Always the way...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Well, Mrs. Pepys?"

"Here." hands locket, frowning. "And it was a flat failure. Not even an extra 3Ls on the lace."

"Perhaps Mr. P wants to surprise you on Twelfth Night?"

"Will, you're very sweet but there's no way in Hell that man is getting me a decent New Year's gift...Let alone a diamond locket."

"I thought sure this would work, Ma'am. He hates it when men pay your attentions."

"Should've paid Coleman to offer it to me." Bess fumes. "At least he got a rise out of him, though it cost me enough."

"That actor bloke would've taken the locket and run, ma'am."

"Still might have been worth it."

"Perhaps, Mrs. Pepys...We could try a little more forcefully. I may lack the charming appearance and distinctive and unique voice of Mr. Coleman's but..."

"Aw, Will...You're so sweet."

"Ah, Bess...If I were King...What splendid treasure..."

"Will, you are the sweetest thing but please get up off your knees now."

"...Would I bring...Oh, Bess, my darling."

"Will, that's very nice but..."

"Bess, say I may have some hope. Just one word..."

"William Hewer! Please take your hand from my waist, sir."

"Sorry, bit carried away, ma'am."

"Indeed, sir. But actually not too bad, Will."

"I thought it not bad at all." Sam notes, entering.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

they coming to a very broken conclusion upon it, to make trial in a ship or two
Awkward to have a big committee where everyone must have his say, but they came out with the right answer: Give it a try. They all laid their hands to the tiller on this one so they are all part of the experiment and none can say later they didn't want to do this.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Hooke Folio Online

Ian: 2: 1667/8. Dr. Ferne will try transfusion). mr. Townly his micrometer presented) siluer pipes for transfusion returned to him) tht he was turning optick glasses wth a lath)

mr Hooke produced a piece of Clockwork sayd to serue always to promote a pendulum streigh wthout any check at all, but not being now compleat twas orderd to be produced againe at next meeting with the additions of wt is necessary to perfect it. The same was put in mind of his new Cyder Engine and orderd to get a module of it made as soon as convenient. The same produced a paper concerning a way diuised by him of Discouering the various pressures of the [In margin]Vz. air at Sea to predict the Alterations of weather & foresee stormes. twas orderd to be registred and the authour desired to get such a weather glasse made as in described in this paper as soon as he could.

The same was putt in mind of making Expts. wth. shining wood and fish both in the Exhausting Engine and in a close glasse wth the same air always Remaining in it.
Item of the Expt. of circulating blood in an open pipe wthout passing through the Lungs.

Item of the Expt. In the Rarefying box. & that in the park when the weather serues.

item the tying the Iugular.

(Dr. Crone for his winegathering vessel.) Heuelius paper to be consider. mr. Hooke produced a Latine Letter sent him from a Bohemian wth. a little Booke in the German tongue, which was deliuerd to mr Oldenburg to pervse & giue an account of it the next [In margin]q Day . Sr. Th Deuaux a Letter from mr Walch in worstersh: of seuerall scowring clays.

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Raymond   Link to this

Well that explains everything ?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the business of having the topmasts of ships made to lower abaft of the mainmast; a business I understand not"

I too understand this business not, Mr. Pepys, but there are some sites on the web with mast info, e.g.:

The masting and rigging of English ships of war, 1625-1860, By James Lees
http://is.gd/k1b21

Ruben   Link to this

How can Will afford it?

I presume Will worked with and for Pepys to learn the inner parts of the business and transactions involved in serving the Navy.
His father was a merchant, I presume richer than Pepys and died during the plague (14 sept 65). So he had enough money to do as he pleased.
I also presume that Will knew to read the shorthand Pepys used (it was not that rare in those days). Pepys did not care to let him have his diary because Will knew everything about him.

cum salis grano   Link to this

William also had Samuel's ear and a whisper with the appropriate persuasion material is always effective.

Katherine Anderson   Link to this

'After dinner I took my wife and her girl out to the New Exchange, and there my wife bought herself a lace for a handkercher, which I do give her, of about 3l., for a new year’s gift, and I did buy also a lace for a band for myself' (Diary entry for 2 January).

Can someone explain the anomoly (to me) of this entry discussing a new year's gift in January, but at the time (and until 1752), the new year started on lady's day - 25 March.

Katherine Anderson   Link to this

Apologies: my previous annotation sent before editing:

'After dinner I took my wife and her girl out to the New Exchange, and there my wife bought herself a lace for a handkercher, which I do give her, of about 3l., for a new year’s gift, and I did buy also a lace for a band for myself ...'

Could someone explain the anomaly (to me) of this 2 January diary entry in which Sam buys Bess a new year's gift, but at the time (and until 1752), the new year started on lady's day - 25 March.

Mary   Link to this

the January/March anomaly.

We are in a period of gradual change. Lady Day will continue to mark the turn of the legal and financial year until 1752 but January 1st has been gaining ground for some time as the commonly accepted first day of the year (as in the Julian calendar). Pepys acknowledges this duality by marking all dates between the two points in a way that demonstrates its existence: e.g. January 1 1659/60.

Katherine Anderson   Link to this

Many thanks, Mary.

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