Sunday 23 February 1667/68

(Lord’s day). Up, and, being desired by a messenger from Sir G. Carteret, I by water over to Southwarke, and so walked to the Falkon, on the Bank-side, and there got another boat, and so to Westminster, where I would have gone into the Swan; but the door was locked; and the girl could not let me in, and so to Wilkinson’s in King Street, and there wiped my shoes, and so to Court, where sermon not yet done I met with Brisband; and he tells me, first, that our business of tickets did come to debate yesterday, it seems, after I was gone away, and was voted a miscarriage in general. He tells me in general that there is great looking after places, upon a presumption of a great many vacancies; and he did shew me a fellow at Court, a brother of my Lord Fanshaw’s, a witty but rascally fellow, without a penny in his purse, that was asking him what places there were in the Navy fit for him, and Brisband tells me, in mirth, he told him the Clerke of the Acts, and I wish he had it, so I were well and quietly rid of it; for I am weary of this kind of trouble, having, I think, enough whereon to support myself. By and by, chapel done, I met with Sir W. Coventry, and he and I walked awhile together in the Matted Gallery; and there he told me all the proceedings yesterday: that the matter is found, in general, a miscarriage, but no persons named; and so there is no great matter to our prejudice yet, till, if ever, they come to particular persons. He told me Birch was very industrious to do what he could, and did, like a friend; but they were resolved to find the thing, in general, a miscarriage; and says, that when we shall think fit to desire its being heard, as to our own defence, it will be granted. He tells me how he hath, with advantage, cleared himself in what concerns himself therein, by his servant Robson, which I am glad of. He tells me that there is a letter sent by conspiracy to some of the House, which he hath seen, about the matter of selling of places, which he do believe he shall be called upon to-morrow for: and thinks himself well prepared to defend himself in it; and then neither he, nor his friends for him, are afeard of anything to his prejudice. Thence by coach, with Brisband, to Sir G. Carteret’s, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and there dined: a good dinner and good company; and after dinner he and I alone, discoursing of my Lord Sandwich’s matters; who hath, in the first business before the House, been very kindly used beyond expectation, the matter being laid by, till his coming home and old Mr. Vaughan did speak for my Lord, which I am mighty glad of. The business of the prizes is the worst that can be said, and therein I do fear something may lie hard upon him; but, against this, we must prepare the best we can for his defence. Thence with G. Carteret to White Hall, where I, finding a meeting of the Committee of the Council for the Navy, his Royal Highness there, and Sir W. Pen, and, some of the Brethren of the Trinity House to attend, I did go in with them; and it was to be informed of the practice heretofore, for all foreign nations, at enmity one with another, to forbear any acts of hostility to one another, in the presence of any of the King of England’s ships, of which several instances were given: and it is referred to their further enquiry, in order to the giving instructions accordingly to our ships now, during the war between Spain and France. Would to God we were in the same condition as heretofore, to challenge and maintain this our dominion! Thence with W. Pen homeward, and quite through to Mile End, for a little ayre; the days being now pretty long, but the ways mighty dirty, and here we drank at the Rose, the old house, and so back again, talking of the Parliament and our trouble with them and what passed yesterday. Going back again, Sir R. Brookes overtook us coming to town; who hath played the jacke with us all, and is a fellow that I must trust no more, he quoting me for all he hath said in this business of tickets; though I have told him nothing that either is not true, or I afeard to own. But here talking, he did discourse in this stile: “We,” — and “We” all along, — ” will not give any money, be the pretence never so great, nay, though the enemy was in the River of Thames again, till we know what is become of the last money given;” and I do believe he do speak the mind of his fellows, and so let them, if the King will suffer it. He gone, we home, and there I to read, and my belly being full of my dinner to-day, I anon to bed, and there, as I have for many days, slept not an hour quietly, but full of dreams of our defence to the Parliament and giving an account of our doings. This evening, my wife did with great pleasure shew me her stock of jewells, encreased by the ring she hath made lately as my Valentine’s gift this year, a Turky stone set with diamonds: and, with this and what she had, she reckons that she hath above 150l. worth of jewells, of one kind or other; and I am glad of it, for it is fit the wretch should have something to content herself with.

10 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"our business of tickets did come to debate yesterday, it seems, after I was gone away, and was voted a miscarriage in general."

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"and I am glad of it, for it is fit the wretch should have something to content herself with."

Sam's "Poor wretch" often sounds affectionate...Somehow this doesn't.

Christopher Squire   Link to this

Re: ’ . . it is fit the wretch should have something . . ’:
Not as unkindly meant by Pepys as it now sounds:

‘ . . 2e. A person or little creature. (Used as a term of playful depreciation, or to denote slight commiseration or pity.)
. . a1616    Shakespeare Othello (1622) iii. iii. 91   Excellent wretch, perdition catch my soule, But I doe loue thee.
1663    S. Pepys Diary 25 May (1971) IV. 155   She being a good-natured and painful wretch.
1749    H. Fielding Tom Jones I. i. vii. 34   Had you exposed the little Wretch in the Manner of some inhuman Mothers.’ [OED]

andy   Link to this

Mile End, for a little ayre;

We used to live across the road from the Mile End tube station. A small park opposite I believe is now bigger, and of course Victoria Park very near for a little air: pushed my children about in their prams...

Matt   Link to this

It's interesting that this is the first time in the diary that Pepys does not mention his birthday. Clearly he was too busy for it today – or perhaps he was no longer so worried that each year might be his last.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...where I would have gone into the Swan; but the door was locked; and the girl could not let me in..."

Couldn't or...a little too familiar with our boy to be caught with him alone?

language hat   Link to this

"Sam’s 'Poor wretch' often sounds affectionate…Somehow this doesn’t."

It may not sound affectionate to you, but I'm sure he meant it that way. The word did not sound then as it does now.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Global peacemongers?

"the practice...for all foreign nations, at enmity one with another, to forbear any acts of hostility to one another, in the presence of any of the King of England’s ships"

If only.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

A century and a half later on

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Britannica

nix   Link to this

"He tells me in general that there is great looking after places, upon a presumption of a great many vacancies; and he did shew me a fellow at Court, a brother of my Lord Fanshaw’s, a witty but rascally fellow, without a penny in his purse, that was asking him what places there were in the Navy fit for him" --

The "witty but rascally fellow" is eternal. The American variety surfaces every fourth year. I was working for a prominent Congressman in Washington during a presidential transition, and chatted with the very same fellow a number of times.

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