Tuesday 4 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, where a full Board sat all the morning, busy among other things concerning a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose. After dinner I abroad by coach to Kate Joyce’s, where the jury did sit where they did before, about her husband’s death, and their verdict put off for fourteen days longer, at the suit of somebody, under pretence of the King; but it is only to get money out of her to compound the matter. But the truth is, something they will make out of Stillingfleete’s sermon, which may trouble us, he declaring, like a fool, in his pulpit, that he did confess that his losses in the world did make him do what he did. This do vex me to see how foolish our Protestant Divines are, while the Papists do make it the duty of Confessor to be secret, or else nobody would confess their sins to them. All being put off for to-day, I took my leave of Kate, who is mightily troubled at it for her estate sake, not for her husband; for her sorrow for that, I perceive, is all over. I home, and, there to my office busy till the evening, and then home, and there my wife and Deb. and I and Betty Turner, I employed in the putting new titles to my books, which we proceeded on till midnight, and then being weary and late to bed.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

4th February, 1668. I saw the tragedy of 'Horace' (written by the VIRTUOUS Mrs. Philips acted before their Majesties. Between each act a masque and antique dance. The excessive gallantry of the ladies was infinite, those especially on that [whore] Castlemaine, esteemed at ,£40,000 and more, far outshining the Queen.

http://is.gd/fY5wB

Mrs. Philips "went to London in March 1664 with a nearly completed translation of Corneille's Horace, but died of smallpox."
( http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/11468/ ) To the tragedy of Horace "a fifth act was added by Sir John Denham; and which was represented [when performed] by persons of rank at court, with a prologue spoken by the duke of Monmouth." ( http://is.gd/bvrUrj )

Michael L   Link to this

The pronouns are a little confusing here. I understand this to mean: "[Stillingfleete] declaring, like a fool, in his pulpit, that [Joyce] did confess that his losses in the world did make him do what he did."

This makes it sound like Joyce confessed (on his deathbed?) to Stillingfleete about why he had tried to kill himself, and Stillingfleete made that public. Otherwise, the following sentence about secret confession is hard to make sense of.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Arlington to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 4 February 1668

Since his Grace is willing to trust much to the writer's judgment (bad as it may be) for directing himself as to his coming over to England, the writer can but still profess the opinion that it is not yet fit to determine the time, although wholly agreeing as to the thing....

...As to the appointment of a Deputy, during the Lord Lieutenant's absence, the nomination of Lord Ossory [his oldest son http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Butler,_6th... ] would "carry a great deal of envy with it". ...

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/ca...

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘doubt v. . . II 5. b. With infinitive phrase or objective clause: To fear, be afraid (that something uncertain will take or has taken place). arch. and dial.
. . 1665    S. Pepys Diary 27 Nov. (1972) VI. 387   Doubting that all will break in pieces in the Kingdom.
. . 1897    N.E.D. at Doubt,   Mod. dial. I doubt we are too late.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose.”

Christopher Squire, the L&M Large Glossary agrees you are correct.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose....."

Oh, haven't we all been involved with this! Trying to make them [insert managers of choice] understand that you cannot do what is expected of you without sufficient funds!! And yet you know that the letter will just be slam-dunked in the nearest waste bin.......

Kate Joyce

"...who is mightily troubled at it for her estate sake, not for her husband; for her sorrow for that, I perceive, is all over. ...."

I think Sam may be being a little harsh here. Sometimes it is easier to concentrate on practical things after a bereavement - it takes your mind off your loss - and then when your mind next comes to dwell on the deceased, maybe the loss will be a little easier to bear.

Phoenix Rhys   Link to this

"Sometimes it is easier..."

Wise observation Susan.

language hat   Link to this

"I think Sam may be being a little harsh here."

Sam is routinely harsh on other people's failings (or in his interpretation of other people's actions, as here). I put it down to a combination of youth and self-absorption.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"to Kate Joyce’s, where the jury did sit where they did before, about her husband’s death"

This is the Crowner's jury (later Coroner):
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/01/22/#c31...

Fern   Link to this

I think Sam doesn't quite comprehend the depth of anxiety of a widow with children, if she thinks she is facing destitution. It must drive all other concerns from her mind, at least temporarily.
He's right about Stillingfleete though, what an idiot.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"I employed in the putting new titles to my books, which we proceeded on till midnight, "

Spoiler -- There are no surviving traces of these and similar titling labels, unlike the occasional traces or fragmentary survivals of press mark labels placed at either head or tail or the spine.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/02/02/#c31...

Australian Susan   Link to this

Confession

Even if Stilingfleet was not bound by the seal of the confessional, he should have exercised some discretion.

It was part of folk religion, that truth was always spoken by a dying man, so weight would have been given to Stillingfleete's reporting of Joyce's deathbed words. Furthermore, the words spoken by a minister in his pulpit would have been received with great respect and credence by his congregation. No wonder Sam was irritated by him.

The Anglican Church does allow for personal, private confession (summed up by the phrase "all can, some should, none must") and the same rules apply to those hearing confession in the Anglican church as in the Roman. Not sure what the situation was in the 17th c. C of E.

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