Saturday 14 March 1667/68

Up very betimes, and with Jane to Levett’s, there to conclude upon our dinner; and thence to the pewterer’s, to buy a pewter sesterne, which I have ever hitherto been without, and so up and down upon several occasions to set matters in order, and that being done I out of doors to Westminster Hall, and there met my Lord Brouncker, who tells me that our business is put off till Monday, and so I was mighty glad that I was eased of my attendance here, and of any occasion that might put me out of humour, as it is likely if we had been called before the Parliament. Therefore, after having spoke with Mr. Godolphin and cozen Roger, I away home, and there do find everything in mighty good order, only my wife not dressed, which troubles me. Anon comes my company, viz., my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady, Sir Philip Carteret and his lady, Godolphin and my cozen Roger, and Creed: and mighty merry; and by and by to dinner, which was very good and plentifull: (I should have said, and Mr. George Montagu), who come at a very little warning, which was exceeding kind of him. And there, among other things, my Lord had Sir Samuel Morland’s late invention for casting up of sums of L. s. d.;1 which is very pretty, but not very useful. Most of our discourse was of my Lord Sandwich and his family, as being all of us of the family; and with extraordinary pleasure all the afternoon, thus together eating and looking over my closet: and my Lady Hinchingbroke I find a very sweet- natured and well-disposed lady, a lover of books and pictures, and of good understanding. About five o’clock they went; and then my wife and I abroad by coach into Moorefields, only for a little ayre, and so home again, staying no where, and then up to her chamber, there to talk with pleasure of this day’s passages, and so to bed. This day I had the welcome news of our prize being come safe from Holland, so as I shall have hopes, I hope, of getting my money of my Lady Batten, or good part of it.

  1. The same as Morland’s so-called calculating machine. Sir Samuel published in 1673 “The Description and Use of two Arithmetick Instruments, together with a short Treatise of Arithmetic, as likewise a Perpetual Almanack and severall useful tables.”

5 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...thence to the pewterer’s, to buy a pewter sesterne, which I have ever hitherto been without..."

Brampton...Sam happily regaling the family with proud tales of his magnificent dinner party following his magnificent triumph in Parliament. Pretty magnificent all around, he beams...

"So, son...You needed to get a what?" John Sr, staring.

Bess delicately eyeing Sam...Poor ole fellow...

"A pewter sesterne, Father...One cannot do without it at a dinner party. It's for..."

"I know what a sesterne is, boy...But why should you waste good money when your people could just wipe their hands or use a good wooden bowl."

"Oh...Father-in-law..." Bess, chuckling softly. "You are too witty."

"So." New bro-in-law Jackson stares... "It be a thing to wash one's hands in? While eatin?"

"Yes, Mr. Jackson." Sam nods patiently. "And a damned fine one I got, too. So then I had to see to the man folding the place settings..."

"A man folding the place settings...?" John eyes him.

"Yes, a real find, Father...Magnificent talent. Never a better napkin folder in England."

"The man folds napkins, Mr. Pepys? For his livin'?" Jackson stares, eyeing a grinning Pall with small smile.

I can go on playing stupid lout like this all evening if ye like, love...He nods.

"Yes, yes. Quite a common thing in London. Father, you must have seen such things as a quality tailor."

"Aye..." John sighs. Rolling eyes... "And did hope never to see the like again after Oliver came to..."

"Father!" Sam, gasping.

"You were telling them of Lord Hinchingbroke and the rest of the family, Sam'l." Bess cutting in to redirect away from politics as John shows signs of agitation...

And why might I not talk of Oliver in me own...

"Uh yes...It was pleasant to have that side of the family all together..." Sam, smugly.

Pall rolling eyes...Lord...If my Lord Sandwich were here to hear Sam talk of "the family"...Methinks he'd be setting his ex-servant to a more traditional sense of his place in the world.

"Fortunately our chef Mr. Levitt was trained in both the Continental and English manners..." Sam continues...

***

"I away home, and there do find everything in mighty good order, only my wife not dressed, which troubles me."

Hmmn...I can see where it might.

Bess in Martha mode...Ready to play "humilate the host" and "get the guests"...

Spoiler...The really curious thing is that Lord Hinchingbroke's name will come up much later during a real Sam and Bess do George and Martha scene.
***

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... to buy a pewter sesterne, which I have ever hitherto been without, ..."

Spoiler - Slightly later example in silver, few examples in either pewter or silver survive from the period:

Silver Wine Cistern of Thomas Wentworth, 3rd Baron Raby.
Philip Rollos Senior, London, 1705/06
Measures 51 in. (129.5 cm) over the handles
http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetail....

Mary   Link to this

"which I have ever hitherto been without"

Does Sam mean that he has never had a pewter cistern before, or that he has never had a cistern at all before? On 7th September 1667 he went to price a copper cistern (told that it would cost him £6 or £7 to buy one) and immediately resolved to have one, but he doesn't appear to have gone through with the purchase.

john   Link to this

"my Lord had Sir Samuel Morland’s late invention for casting up of sums of L. s. d.; which is very pretty, but not very useful."

I often say similar things about today's electronic paraphernalia.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... my Lord had Sir Samuel Morland’s late invention for casting up of sums of L. s. d.;1 which is very pretty, but not very useful. ... "

Spoiler -- Described in:

A new, and most useful instrument for addition and substraction [sic] of pounds, shillings, pence, and farthings; without charging the memory, disturbing the mind, or exposing the operator to any uncertainty; which no method heretofore published, can justly pretend to. Invented and presented to His most Excellent Majesty Charles II. King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c. 1666. By S. Morland. And by the importunity of his very good friends, made publick, 1672.
[London : s.n., 1672]

8vo., [2], 78, [16], p., [7] leaves of plates : ill., port. ; title on [A2]; numbered leaves skip leaf 8; pages 17 and 18 misnumbered as 71 and 81. Plates labeled A-G and A-D mounted on versos of initial leaves 1-10.
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), M2781

PL 293

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