Tuesday 11 February 1667/68

At the office all the morning, where comes a damned summons to attend the Committee of Miscarriages to-day, which makes me mad, that I should by my place become the hackney of this Office, in perpetual trouble and vexation, that need it least. At noon home to dinner, where little pleasure, my head being split almost with the variety of troubles upon me at this time, and cares, and after dinner by coach to Westminster Hall, and sent my wife and Deb. to see “Mustapha” acted. Here I brought a book to the Committee, and do find them; and particularly Sir Thomas Clarges, mighty hot in the business of tickets, which makes me mad to see them bite at the stone, and not at the hand that flings it, and here my Lord Brouncker unnecessarily orders it that he is called in to give opportunity to present his report of the state of the business of paying by ticket, which I do not think will do him any right, though he was made believe that it did operate mightily, and that Sir Fresh. Hollis did make a mighty harangue and to much purpose in his defence, but I believe no such effects of it, for going in afterward I did hear them speak with prejudice of it, and that his pleading of the Admiral’s warrant for it now was only an evasion, if not an aspersion upon the Admirall, and therefore they would not admit of this his report, but go on with their report as they had resolved before. The orders they sent for this day was the first order that I have yet met with about this business, and was of my own single hand warranting, but I do think it will do me no harm, and therefore do not much trouble myself with it, more than to see how much trouble I am brought to who have best deported myself in all the King’s business. Thence with Lord Brouncker, and set him down at Bow Streete, and so to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw the last act for nothing, where I never saw such good acting of any creature as Smith’s part of Zanger; and I do also, though it was excellently acted by –––, do yet want Betterton mightily. Thence to the Temple, to Porter’s chamber, where Cocke met me, and after a stay there some time, they two and I to Pemberton’s chamber, and there did read over the Act of calling people to account, and did discourse all our business of the prizes; and, upon the whole, he do make it plainly appear, that there is no avoiding to give these Commissioners satisfaction in everything they will ask; and that there is fear lest they may find reason to make us refund for all the extraordinary profit made by those bargains; and do make me resolve rather to declare plainly, and, once for all, the truth of the whole, and what my profit hath been, than be forced at last to do it, and in the meantime live in gain, as I must always do: and with this resolution on my part I departed, with some more satisfaction of mind, though with less hopes of profit than I expected. It was pretty here to see the heaps of money upon this lawyer’s table; and more to see how he had not since last night spent any time upon our business, but begun with telling us that we were not at all concerned in that Act; which was a total mistake, by his not having read over the Act at all. Thence to Porter’s chamber, where Captain Cocke had fetched my wife out of the coach, and there we staid and talked and drank, he being a very generous, good-humoured man, and so away by coach, setting Cocke at his house, and we with his coach home, and there I to the office, and there till past one in the morning, and so home to supper and to bed, my mind at pretty good ease, though full of care and fear of loss. This morning my wife in bed told me the story of our Tom and Jane:— how the rogue did first demand her consent to love and marry him, and then, with pretence of displeasing me, did slight her; but both he and she have confessed the matter to her, and she hath charged him to go on with his love to her, and be true to her, and so I think the business will go on, which, for my love to her, because she is in love with him, I am pleased with; but otherwise I think she will have no good bargain of it, at least if I should not do well in my place. But if I do stand, I do intend to give her 50l. in money, and do them all the good I can in my way.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the Act of calling people to account"

‘Charles II, 1667 & 1668: An Act for taking the Accompts of the severall So[m]ms of Money therein menc[i]oned’, Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 624-627. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...
...

With detailed authorization to gather information about paying Seamen by tickets.

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘Miscarriages
1. a. An instance of misconduct or misbehaviour; a lapse of conduct; a misdemeanour or misdeed. Obs.
2. a. A failure; a blunder or mistake. Now rare . .
b. A mishap, a disaster. Obs.
. . d. Failure (in an enterprise, etc.); mismanagement or maladministration (of a business).

‘I should by my place become the hackney of this Office
hackney < Old French haquenée..
. . 2. a. From an early date mention is found of hackneys hired out; hence the word came often to be taken as, A horse kept for hire. Obs.
†3. One who is used to do mean or servile work for hire; a common drudge, ‘fag’, ‘slave’. Also fig. Obs.
. . 1668    S. Pepys Diary 11 Feb. (1976) IX. 62   Which makes me mad that I should by my place become the hackney of this Office, in perpetual trouble and vexation.’

‘live in gain
. .  2.a. Increase of possessions, resources or advantages of any kind, consequent on some action or change of conditions; an instance of this; profit, emolument; opposed to loss. Also (in somewhat rhetorical use), acquisition of wealth viewed as an object of desire; ‘lucre’, ‘pelf’.’

‘It was pretty here . . to see how he had not since last night spent any time upon our business
c. ironic. Awkward, difficult, deplorable, unwelcome, etc. Cf. fine adj. 12c.
. . 1742    H. Fielding Joseph Andrews I. ii. ii. 140   ‘A pretty Way indeed,’ said Mr. Tow-wouse, ‘to run in debt, and then refuse to part with your Money.’‘

[OED]

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Quite a surprise, at least to me, about Tom and Jane. Somehow I had the impression that he was about half her age, no more than 13 or 14 at most. Does anyone have correct information about their ages?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The L&M Companion says this March he will be 23 and she 24.

Australian Susan   Link to this

I'm surprised about Tom's age too. It seems that Sam calling him "boy" refers to his educational attainments and his status in the household, rather than his actual age. Just a few days ago, we were given a disparaging comparison of Hewer with "the boy" - Sam saying Hewer's spelling and grammar were such that he would expect of Tom.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Somehow I had the impression that he was about half her age, no more than 13 or 14 at most. "

Perhaps because he was hired by Pepys in 1663 August when his voice broke and he could no longer be a "treble" at the Chapel Royal; but "It has been observed that boy sopranos in earlier times were, on average, somewhat older than in modern times. For example, Johann Sebastian Bach was considered to be an outstanding boy soprano until halfway through his sixteenth year, and Ernest Lough was 16 when he recorded his famous "Hear My Prayer", but for a male to sing soprano with an unchanged voice at that age is currently fairly uncommon. In the developed world, puberty tends to begin at younger ages (most likely due to differences in diet, including greater availability of proteins and vitamins). It is also becoming more widely known that the style of singing and voice training within Cathedrals has changed significantly in the past century, making it more difficult for boys to continue singing soprano much beyond the age of 13 or 14.

"The fact that boys are no longer trained to sing in the head voice is a significant factor in the demise of the older boy soprano. In times past it was common for boys to sing soprano well beyond the changes at puberty and it was common (and entirely correct) to refer to a choirboy's voice as 'breaking' as the singing voice had been preserved by methods now generally lost." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_soprano

When I was 13 1/2 and a boy soprano soloist, my family moved to another town and I was assigned to the tenor section, and I sang in that range without break, but that was relatively recently.

language hat   Link to this

"and in the meantime live in gain"

"Gain" is an error for "pain."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...which makes me mad to see them bite at the stone, and not at the hand that flings it..."

And whom might that hand be, Sam?

Allen Appel   Link to this

There's a wonderful documentary on Ernest Lough on youtube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06TGRxJ8KFE&feat...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...where comes a damned summons to attend the Committee of Miscarriages..."

Tall grim-visaged man in black approaches the door...

I love that committee name. Someone in Parliament has quite a dry sense of humor. There's little doubt what this group wants to discuss as opposed to say the Committee on Finance, etc.

nix   Link to this

“ . . . which makes me mad to see them bite at the stone, and not at the hand that flings it . . . ”

That's a wonderful expression, and new to me -- I will have to remember to use it on an appropriate occsion.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Mr Vaughan.] A difference betwixt a miscarriage and a mis-event—A miscarriage must have some person guilty, mis-event may be from many accidents—There are fortuita in intelligence, and no man can perform what he would perform by it—It is sometimes impossible to have it, and always by treachery when 'tis had. —Enemies may prevent or delude intelligence—We are industrious to prevent it, so are they—We must have then what we can get—Intelligence is what a man can have, not what he would have—If you say, a man did not his duty, or contrived intelligence, or brought none when he might, 'tis a miscarriage—The Hollanders might work better than we for intelligence, and not set out their fleet when we had information they would—Who can be guilty in this? No man can—We were unfortunate in our intelligence; and no man can be charged with the ill event of it." http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

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