Thursday 5 March 1667/68

With these thoughts I lay troubling myself till six o’clock, restless, and at last getting my wife to talk to me to comfort me, which she at last did, and made me resolve to quit my hands of this Office, and endure the trouble of it no longer than till I can clear myself of it. So with great trouble, but yet with some ease, from this discourse with my wife, I up, and to my Office, whither come my clerks, and so I did huddle the best I could some more notes for my discourse to-day, and by nine o’clock was ready, and did go down to the Old Swan, and there by boat, with T. H[ater] and W. H[ewer] with me, to Westminster, where I found myself come time enough, and my brethren all ready. But I full of thoughts and trouble touching the issue of this day; and, to comfort myself, did go to the Dog and drink half-a-pint of mulled sack, and in the Hall [Westminster] did drink a dram of brandy at Mrs. Hewlett’s; and with the warmth of this did find myself in better order as to courage, truly. So we all up to the lobby; and between eleven and twelve o’clock, were called in, with the mace before us, into the House, where a mighty full House; and we stood at the bar, namely, Brouncker, Sir J. Minnes, Sir T. Harvey, and myself, W. Pen being in the House, as a Member. I perceive the whole House was full, and full of expectation of our defence what it would be, and with great prejudice. After the Speaker had told us the dissatisfaction of the House, and read the Report of the Committee, I began our defence most acceptably and smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or losse, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, as if it had been at my own table, from that time till past three in the afternoon; and so ended, without any interruption from the Speaker; but we withdrew. And there all my Fellow- Officers, and all the world that was within hearing, did congratulate me, and cry up my speech as the best thing they ever heard; and my Fellow- Officers overjoyed in it; we were called in again by and by to answer only one question, touching our paying tickets to ticket-mongers; and so out; and we were in hopes to have had a vote this day in our favour, and so the generality of the House was; but my speech, being so long, many had gone out to dinner and come in again half drunk; and then there are two or three that are professed enemies to us and every body else; among others, Sir T. Littleton, Sir Thomas Lee, Mr. Wiles, the coxcomb whom I saw heretofore at the cock-fighting, and a few others; I say, these did rise up and speak against the coming to a vote now, the House not being full, by reason of several being at dinner, but most because that the House was to attend the King this afternoon, about the business of religion, wherein they pray him to put in force all the laws against Nonconformists and Papists; and this prevented it, so that they put it off to to-morrow come se’nnight. However, it is plain we have got great ground; and everybody says I have got the most honour that any could have had opportunity of getting; and so with our hearts mightily overjoyed at this success, we all to dinner to Lord Brouncker’s — that is to say, myself, T. Harvey, and W. Pen, and there dined; and thence with Sir Anthony Morgan, who is an acquaintance of Brouncker’s, a very wise man, we after dinner to the King’s house, and there saw part of “The Discontented Colonel,” but could take no great pleasure in it, because of our coming in in the middle of it. After the play, home with W. Pen, and there to my wife, whom W. Hewer had told of my success, and she overjoyed, and I also as to my particular; and, after talking awhile, I betimes to bed, having had no quiet rest a good while.

17 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

march. 5. Stenos expt. by artery bound the dogg stood and went to be prosecuted)

Sr G. Ent mr Graues hatching Egges at Cairo. mr Hooke moued that some way might be considerd of to practise the hatching of chicken here in England without any animall & hauing suggested the Lamp furnace and a certaine sweet substance keeping heat for many dayes which he did not think fit to name now he was disired to make the expt the best way he could and to giue the Society an account of its Sucesse

(account of mr Smethwicks glasses being Read it was desired that / 69 / they might be tryd once more.

mr Hook was desired to prouide against next day as good sphericall glasses as he could both for telescope Reading & Procuring glasse which he vndertook.

the nice wind contracting vessel wth improuement produced it appeard sensible of the least wind made neer it, it was orderd a Description of it wth a scheam should be made & registred mr Hook suggested that such a vessell as this might by some variation be turned into a good Otacousticon [ http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/otacousticon ] he was desired to prepare such a one against the next Day.

http://webapps.qmul.ac.uk/cell/Hooke/hooke_foli...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Pepys's speech, given "from [between eleven and twelve o'clock] till past three in the afternoon; and so ended, without any interruption from the Speaker; but we withdrew."

Commons Journal -- Seamens Tickets.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

L&M note Pepys's speech is summarized in The Diary of John Milward, Esq., Member of Parliament for Derbyshire, September, 1666 to May, 1668, pp. 207-9; Grey, i, 71-4 (misdated 15 February)

Grey's Debates
[The defence of Lord Brunkard, and the Commissioners of the Navy....was delivered, in substance, by one of their clerks, with the help of books and notes; Lord Brunkard, and the rest of the Commissioners of the Navy present at the Bar, standing:] http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Ramona   Link to this

Bravo, well done, a true highlight of the
diary. We're all heaving a huge sigh of relief for our man,Mister Pepys.

Michael L   Link to this

The frequency of good quality entries (such as today's) is increasing. I will be truly sorry when this diary ends.

Mary   Link to this

"getting my wife to talk to me to comfort me"

A rare glimpse into the relationship between Sam and Elizabeth that goes beyond the mundane, day-to-day ups and downs.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

And there all my Fellow- Officers, and all the world that was within hearing, did congratulate me, and cry up my speech as the best thing they ever heard
This is the finest moment in Pepys' Diary, a moment every Pepysian carries in his heart. Any Pepysian can remember the hour, and the times, and the circumstance of this famous speech, by memory and with only occasional looking at the written diary just for reference.

Margaret   Link to this

"...but my speech, being so long, many had gone out to dinner and come in again half drunk..."

Not a very edifying view of parliament!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"This is the finest moment in Pepys’ Diary,..."

It surely helped lay the foundation for his 1684 appointment as the King's Secretary for the affairs of the Admiralty.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

The glorious day...Though given as Margaret notes, the condition of many members it may be just as well that the vote wasn't held today. Sam's joy and relief after the tension of the past weeks is palpable and it seems he won over the decisive middle grounders who were leaning to turn the whole office out. And of course it is sweet that he not only sought comfort from his "poor wretch", Bess, but shared the great news with her and noted her joy for him.

A "Discontented Colonel" but an overjoyed Clerk of the Acts.

john   Link to this

For once, a prophet with honour in his own country (though I find shameful the description of Pepys as "one of their clerks").

arby   Link to this

"se'nnight"?
And it sounds like Bess took some convincing to get her to talk about it, any thoughts about why?

Mary   Link to this

Well, it's a bit difficult to be aroused from sleep in the early morning and then be expected to offer sympathetic and constructive advice about a crisis in one's husband's career. Pepys has perhaps been churning this over and over in his mind for some time but Elizabeth may have been peacefully sleeping until wakened and put on the spot.

Louise H   Link to this

Another thing amazing about this entry is that Sam had the discipline not to jump right in and say "A great day of vindication," as I surely would have done. Instead, he went back and remembered the continued trepidation of the morning, with his huddling of more notes and the half-pint of sack. So we share his suspense until the triumphal moment of congratulation. Splendid writing, and for his own pleasure and edification only (we think).

JWB   Link to this

"...turned into a good Otacousticon..."

Hooke invents coffee-can telephone:

"...how far Otocousticons may be improv'd, nor what other wayes there may be of quickning our hearing, or conveying sound through other bodies then the Air: for that that it not the only medium, I can assure the Reader, that I have, by the help of a distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in an instant,..." Preface to "Micrgraphia"

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam's splendid performance today, and meticulous preparation served him in good stead when he had to defend himself against the Popish Plot accusations in the 1670s.

The phrase "The defence of Lord Brunkard, and the Commissioners of the Navy….was delivered, in substance, by one of their clerks, with the help of books and notes; " sounds as though it was thought the Commissioners had prepared the defence and then had the clerk read it - so far from the truth!

This is a wonderful entry.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"I began our defence most acceptably and smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or losse, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, as if it had been at my own table"
I love this succinct description of the feeling of being "in the zone," something that we get to experience a few times in our lives if we're fortunate. "All my reason free about me" is a phrase that I will remember.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Nothing like some sack and brandy to get one's reason free about one...

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