Wednesday 4 March 1667/68

Up betimes and with Sir W. Pen in his coach to White Hall, there to wait upon the Duke of York and the Commissioners of the Treasury, [Sir] W. Coventry and Sir John Duncombe, who do declare that they cannot find the money we demand, and we that less than what we demand will not set out the fleet intended, and so broke up, with no other conclusion than that they would let us have what they could get and we would improve that as well as we could. So God bless us, and prepare us against the consequences of these matters. Thence, it being a cold wet day, I home with Sir J. Minnes in his coach, and called by the way at my bookseller’s and took home with me Kercher’s Musurgia — very well bound, but I had no comfort to look upon them, but as soon as I come home fell to my work at the office, shutting the doors, that we, I and my clerks, might not be interrupted, and so, only with room for a little dinner, we very busy all the day till night that the officers met for me to give them the heads of what I intended to say, which I did with great discontent to see them all rely on me that have no reason at all to trouble myself about it, nor have any thanks from them for my labour, but contrarily Brouncker looked mighty dogged, as thinking that I did not intend to do it so as to save him. This troubled me so much as, together with the shortness of the time and muchness of the business, did let me be at it till but about ten at night, and then quite weary, and dull, and vexed, I could go no further, but resolved to leave the rest to to-morrow morning, and so in full discontent and weariness did give over and went home, with[out] supper vexed and sickish to bed, and there slept about three hours, but then waked, and never in so much trouble in all my life of mind, thinking of the task I have upon me, and upon what dissatisfactory grounds, and what the issue of it may be to me.

9 Annotations

Christopher Squire   Link to this

’ . . Brouncker looked mighty dogged . . ’
‘dogged, adj.
. . 1.b. In weakened use: ill-tempered, surly; sullen, morose. Now with some mixture of sense 1d: having an air of sullen obstinacy.
. . 1622    J. Mabbe tr. M. Alemán Rogue i. 248   So his Steward‥turn'd me out of doores. Which I tooke in that foule scorne‥that in a kind of sullen and dogged fashion‥I left the house.
1700    W. Philips St. Stephen's-Green i. 3   Oh, 'tis such a Comfort! When my Husband is in a Dogged Humour, to call for my Glass Chariot, take the Air on the Strand . .

d. In neutral or positive sense: having the persistence or tenacity characteristic of some breeds of dog; obstinate, stubborn; resolute. (Now the usual sense.)
1700    tr. M. de Cervantes Don Quixote I. ii. iv. 107   Her courteousness and fair looks draw on every body to love her; but then her dogged, stubborn coyness breaks their Hearts.
1791    J. Boswell Life Johnson anno 1779 II. 284   [He commended one of the Dukes of Devonshire for] ‘a dogged veracity’ . . ‘ [OED]

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the shortness of the time and muchness of the business"

Sometimes it's like that. As the Dormouse says to Alice in *Alice's Adventures in Wonderland* -- "That begins with an M, such as... muchness - you know you say things are 'much of a muchness' - did you ever see... a drawing of a muchness?"

Christopher Squire   Link to this

I hadn’t realised that ’muchness’ was not a coinage of Carroll; OED has:

‘muchness, n.
1. Large size or bulk; bigness. Also: size, amount, magnitude (large or small). Now rare.

2. Greatness in quantity, number, or degree.
. . 1669    S. Pepys Diary 27 Mar. (1976) IX. 500   To bed, my head a little troubled with the muchness of business I have upon me at present . .

3. An instance of large quantity or (less commonly) large size.
1674    N. Fairfax Treat. Bulk & Selvedge 21   After the nice brattling out of reality, into muchnesses and littlenesses, there falls to the share of this, as little as may be . .
1983    E. McClanahan Nat. Man (1984) v. 60   There framed in the window stood Oddles herself in all her monumental naked splendor‥a true abundance of womanly charms, a plenitude, a muchness . .

 4. much of a muchness: (of) much the same importance or value; very much the same or alike; undifferentiated; occas. also of a muchness (colloq.). a bit of a muchness (rare): rather similar.
The phrase usually occurs predicatively, but occas. as the object.
1728    J. Vanbrugh & C. Cibber Provok'd Husband i. i. 17   Man. I hope‥, you and your good Woman agree still. J. Moody. Ay! ay! much of a Muchness.
1848    T. De Quincey Forster's Life of Goldsmith in N. Brit. Rev. 202   Compare Addison's age‥with Goldsmith's‥the two ages will be found to offer ‘much of a muchness’.
1865    ‘L. Carroll’ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland vii. 109   That begins with an M, such as‥muchness—you know you say things are ‘much of a muchness’—did you ever see‥a drawing of a muchness?’ . .

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Meanwhile no doubt Penn and Brouncker and "Honest John" Minnes are working on their own back-up defenses.

"It was Pepys. I never knew what was going on. Pepys ran everything."

"Naval Office? Did I work there? Not, really...I was sort of a consultant, an inspector for the king...It was that little fellow Pepys who ran the place. My friend Mrs. Williams can give testimony that I was rarely there and had little to do with the place's operation."

"While I defended the Nation from the deck of my fighting vessel, shedding my blood for Crown and England, the administration of affairs in the Naval Office was entirely in the hands of Samuel Pepys, Clerk of the Acts, a creature of the notorious Lord Sandwich."

language hat   Link to this

Reminds me of the time I visited the Soviet Union and wound up with a group of fellow night owls trying to get back to our hotel (the Ostankino, well north of the central city) after the subway had stopped running. I was the only one who spoke Russian, not very well, and I was having trouble finding out how to manage it; fed up with the querulous complaints of my group, I finally threatened to leave them to their own devices and go find my own way back, at which point they shut up. (A kindly bus driver eventually drove us there, even though he was theoretically off duty and heading back to the garage.)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"much of a muchness"

"In fact, the word was in use by the 14th century, predating Shakespeare by more than a century. Also, the Shakesperian-sounding phrase 'much of a muchness' first appeared considerably later, in the play The Provok'd Husband, 1728, which was a collaboration between John Vanbrugh and Colley Cibber:

" Man: I hope.., you and your good Woman agree still.
J. Moody: Ay! ay! much of a Muchness."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The provok'd husband: or, a journey to London. A comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre Royal, by His Majesty's Servants, Written by the Late Sir John Vanbrugh, and Mr. Cibber.
LONDON: Printed by and for J o B N Watts at the Printing-office in Wild-Court near Lincoln's-Inn Fields.
(search for "muchness" > P. 31.)

pepfie   Link to this

Addendum to "dogged" citations:
OED SE on CD-ROM v. sub 2.c (same sense as CS' 1.b above)
"1667 Pepys Diary (1879) IV. 424 My wife in a dogged humour for my not dining at home. "

pepfie   Link to this

Sorry, should have remembered the nose-pulling and ill words:

Kudos to Phil's truly marvellous retrieval aids.

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