Saturday 8 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, where sat all day, and at noon home, and there find cozen Roger and Jackson by appointment come to dine with me, and Creed, and very merry, only Jackson hath few words, and I like him never the worse for it. The great talk is of Carr’s coming off in all his trials, to the disgrace of my Lord Gerard, to that degree, and the ripping up of so many notorious rogueries and cheats of my Lord’s, that my Lord, it is thought, will be ruined; and, above all things, do skew the madness of the House of Commons, who rejected the petition of this poor man by a combination of a few in the House; and, much more, the base proceedings (just the epitome of all our publick managements in this age), of the House of Lords, that ordered him to stand in the pillory for those very things, without hearing and examining what he hath now, by the seeking of my Lord Gerard himself, cleared himself of, in open Court, to the gaining himself the pity of all the world, and shame for ever to my Lord Gerard. We had a great deal of good discourse at table, and after dinner we four men took coach, and they set me down at the Old Exchange, and they home, having discoursed nothing today with cozen or Jackson about our business. I to Captain Cocke’s, and there discoursed over our business of prizes, and I think I shall go near to state the matter so as to secure myself without wrong to him, doing nor saying anything but the very truth. Thence away to the Strand, to my bookseller’s, and there staid an hour, and bought the idle, rogueish book, “L’escholle des filles;” which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found. Thence home, and busy late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed. My wife well pleased with my sister’s match, and designing how to be merry at their marriage. And I am well at ease in my mind to think that that care will be over. This night calling at the Temple, at the Auditor’s, his man told me that he heard that my account must be brought to the view of the Commissioners of Tangier before it can be passed, which though I know no hurt in it, yet it troubled me lest there should be any or any designed by them who put this into the head of the Auditor, I suppose Auditor Beale, or Creed, because they saw me carrying my account another way than by them.

13 Annotations

Christopher Squire   Link to this

Re: ’Carr’s coming off in all his trials’

‘come off
. . 7. To get off, escape. Obs.
. . 1694    R. South 12 Serm. II. 584   If, indeed, upon such a fair and full Trial he can come off, he is then Rectus in curiâ, clear and innocent.
1813    J. Austen Let. 24 Sept. (1995) 228   They talked of cupping me, but I came off with a dose or two of calomel.’

= ‘get off’ in 2011 English:

‘ . . 2. To escape from punishment, defeat, etc., either entirely or with or for a specified loss or penalty; to be acquitted in a criminal trial.
. . 1720    D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier 288   He got off for 4000l.
. . 1841    Dickens Barnaby Rudge lxxiii. 367   He had got off very well with a reprimand.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman   Link to this

What Mr. Cade predicted to Pepys 20 January is come to pass

“my Lord Gerard is likely to meet with trouble, the next sitting of Parliament, about [Carr] being set in the pillory”

See last 16 December: “And so to Westminster, where I find the House mighty busy upon a petition against my Lord Gerard, which lays heavy things to his charge, of his abusing the King in his Guards; and very hot the House is upon it. “
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/01/20/#c31...

I.e., Carr was found innocent of his purported offense -- "a scandalous printed Paper, published in the Name of William Carr Gentleman, a Prisoner in The King’s Bench Prison, against the Lord Gerrard of Brandon, a Peer of this Realm" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/12/16/#c31... for which he (Carr) had stood in the pillory as the House of Lords had ordered http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The World Upside Down?

As I read it, Carr's Judgement by the Lords http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co... was essentially that he was not deferential to one of them, viz. Lord Gerard. But the Court (of the King's Bench, yet) has found a charge of libel by Carr unfounded and upheld his complaints against Lord Gerard.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Thence away to the Strand, to my bookseller’s, and there staid an hour, and bought the idle, rogueish book, “L’escholle des filles;” which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found."

"Hey, Arney...Guess what little Pepys bought of me today?" "If I had to, I should say...Hmmn...A certain plain-bound book of extremely French words?"

"You have hit the mark, lad."

"It seemed like his choice of reading matter...The fellow's always leerin' round at the girls. And you've heard how he carries on?..."

"I keep my daughter out of his sight when I see him comin', that's for sure. But, he is a good customer and the customer, I say...Is always right."

"Rigidly so, in this case, I should say..."

"Arney...Sir, may I help ye?"

"Oh no, good fellow...Just looking...Just looking..." figure in cloak, hat pulled down. "I say...Any copies of that new French book left?"

"Just one, sir..." pulls out a second copy from behind counter...On top of stash of several hundred. "Fraid it's in plain-binding, sir."

"Quite all right...Quite all right...I'll take it as is."

"Right we are, sir. Here you go."

"Pardon me...Your Grace?"

"Pepys?" Jamie blinks.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

I expect Michael Robinson will verify for us that SP in fact disposed of the offensive volume without dignifying it with a PL number.

I love the image of Sam furtively buying the book in the plain brown wrapper, taking it home well concealed and with the stated intent of burning it. It brought to mind a scene in a Woody Allen movie, where he buys a skin magazine and about half a dozen highbrow magazines to cover it up. Then the newsstand proprietor yells to his assistant in the back of the store, "How much do we charge for Big-Busted Mamas (or whatever the title was)?"

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Book-burnings

There are two referenced in today's Journall entry, both offstage: (1) Carr's in the past by the Hangman; (2) Pepys's in some possible future by himself....

Australian Susan   Link to this

The Naughty Book

All the booksellers in London probably only had plain bound copies of this book!

It reminds me of the copy of the Kama Sutra which went the rounds when I was in the VIth Form in a brown paper cover with "Life of Shakespeare" written on it.

language hat   Link to this

"and, above all things, do skew the madness of the House of Commons"

"Skew" should read "shew" (i.e., "show").

Phoenix   Link to this

"...I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found."

Sentient books or surrogates?

nix   Link to this

Too bad it's a scanning error -- "skew" is so much more evocative.

martinb   Link to this

This is probably a very obvious point to make, but it's curious to see that Pepys was, unlike most of us (I imagine), capable of burning books and yet did not burn the one big book in his possession which contained so many secrets and might be thought by some "to disgrace him if it should be found". The fact that he was a book-burner seems to make his decision not to dispose of the diary just that little bit more momentous.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"My wife well pleased with my sister’s match, and designing how to be merry at their marriage."

"This wedding is getting a bit out of hand, Bess."

"Now, Sam'l...No one likes a good party like you, dearest or can throw it...er one, like you."

"True enough, I suppose."

"And think of all the lovely ladies we'll be having...It'll be a regular..." innocent smile...

Narrow look at Bess' innocent face... "You found my book, didn't you?"

“What book, darling? Anyway it's like to be a regular l’escholle des filles."

"Oh, you are so funny, Mrs. Pepys."

"Betty Pierce says she's willing to dress up like in chapter four. I told her you'd prefer chapter seven."

"So very funny. We'll have you stand-in for Nelly Gwyn."

"You haven't read chapter seven, have you?"

"Enough...I planned to burn the dratted thing, after scanning it briefly...To acquire a few facts useful to any man who must brave this dark and evil world."

"I applaud you...I mean to actually say that with a straight face." grin.

"Bess..."

"And here you have a wife...Of some attractiveness, at least some have said...Who actually spent time in a French convent. What do you need fiction for?"

"What about Raoul in your novels? 'He entered her room, bare-chested, his manly physique revealed in all its rapturous wonder as he approached the bed on which she lay.'"

"Glad you're such a fan."

"I'm just suggesting that we both have a need for a little fantasy."

"Well, Sam'l..." shrewd, appraising glance... "I'd say I need a load of fantasy given what I was stuck with."

"Really...Well, perhaps Knipp would be willing to join Betty in a performance of the book in play form."

"Not much different from some of the stuff currently on stage. You know, if you'd stop your whining about the expense of poor Pall's one big day...A day some of us have never had." Solemn look. "...I might give you a command performance."

"You mean 'command' as in chapter six?"

"So long as it's one...Not six."

"Oh...Well, I suppose that'd be nice too."

Glare...

"I don't suppose that thing about Betty Pierce...?OW!!!"

"Be glad you didn't get it properly bound."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Wait...Who said that about your attractiveness?"

"What? I'm not attractive?"

"Was it Will Hewer, the diamond necklace pedlar?"

"Oh, now, Sam'l...After all, when one has spent time in a French convent...Learning to appeal to all types of..."

"Bess?!"

"I really should write my own book..."

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