Tuesday 17 March 1667/68

Up betimes and to the office, where all the morning busy, and then at noon home to dinner, and so again to the office awhile, and then abroad to the Excize-Office, where I met Mr. Ball, and did receive the paper I went for; and there fell in talk with him, who, being an old cavalier, do swear and curse at the present state of things, that we should be brought to this, that we must be undone and cannot be saved; that the Parliament is sitting now, and will till midnight, to find how to raise this 300,000l., and he doubts they will not do it so as to be seasonable for the King: but do cry out against our great men at Court; how it is a fine thing for a Secretary of State to dance a jigg, and that it was not so heretofore; and, above all, do curse my Lord of Bristoll, saying the worst news that ever he heard in his life, or that the Devil could ever bring us, was this Lord’s coming to prayers the other day in the House of Lords, by which he is coming about again from being a Papist, which will undo this nation; and he says he ever did say, at the King’s first coming in, that this nation could not be safe while that man was alive. Having done there, I away towards Westminster, but seeing by the coaches the House to be up, I stopped at the ‘Change (where, I met Mrs. Turner, and did give her a pair of gloves), and there bought several things for my wife, and so to my bookseller’s, and there looked for Montaigne’s Essays,1 which I heard by my Lord Arlington and Lord Blaney so much commended, and intend to buy it, but did not now, but home, where at the office did some business, as much as my eyes would give leave, and so home to supper, Mercer with us talking and singing, and so to bed. The House, I hear, have this day concluded upon raising 100,000l. of the 300,000l. by wine, and the rest by a poll-[tax], and have resolved to excuse the Church, in expectation that they will do the more of themselves at this juncture; and I do hear that Sir W. Coventry did make a speech in behalf of the Clergy.

  1. This must have been Florio’s translation, as Cotton’s was not published until 1685.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

House of Commons Journal

Post Meridiem.
Irish Land Adventurers.

ORDERED, That the Petitioners of the Adventurers for Lands in Ireland, or any assigned by them, have Liberty to have Recourse, from time to time, to the Books and Papers concerning the said Adventurers, in the Hands of Joseph Williamson Esquire, or any of the Clerks of his Majesty's Council, for Perusal of them; and to take out such Copies from them as they think fit, attested under the Hand of the said Mr. Williamson, or one of the said Clerks of his Majesty's Council: And also to peruse and take out Copies from the Records of the Court of Claims in Ireland, or any other Court of Record in Ireland.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Too bad Grey's doesn't report Sir W. Coventry's speech in behalf of the Clergy.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"The House, I hear, have this day concluded upon raising 100,000l. of the 300,000l. by wine, and the rest by a poll-[tax], and have resolved to excuse the Church, in expectation that they will do the more of themselves at this juncture..."

"Why...Of course we will...Right after we welcome back the Pope." Ecclesiastical chuckle...

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"how it is a fine thing for a Secretary of State to dance a jigg"

How timely! Mrs Clinton has every right to be jubilant today, having led a reluctant president and Pentagon into a "humanitarian" war on Libya. I hope she proves more successful in this venture than the last Madame Secretary to clash with the Pentagon and an indecisive president was in the sad case of Sudan.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"This must have been Florio’s translation, as Cotton’s was not published until 1685."

Not necessarily? My understanding of Sam's language skills is that his French would have been strong enough to read the original essays. He's mentioned reading other French "literature," oui? ("L’escholle des filles" comes to mind... :-)

Terry, thanks for the Irish reference on St. Patrick's Day!

language hat   Link to this

Can we please keep current politics out of this blog? Thanks.

Larry   Link to this

I'm all for it, language hat, but I'll not be silent when others make gratuitous and provocative remarks.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Mr Ball...who, being an old cavalier, do swear and curse at the present [insubstantial] state of things...[e.g.] how it is a fine thing for a Secretary of State to dance a jigg...and, above all, do curse my Lord of Bristoll, saying the worst news that ever he heard in his life, or that the Devil could ever bring us, was this Lord’s [insincerely] coming to prayers the other day in the House of Lords, by which he is coming about again from being a Papist, which will undo this nation;"

Bristol -- an inconstant and vacillating figure (see the link and read the details) -- L&M note had converted to Catholicism before the Restoration, back briefly in 1664, but now as a Catholic again would normally not attend the Anglican prayers in the House of Lords.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? asks Mr. Ball.

martinb   Link to this

"Montaigne's Essays"

If there's one book you would want to recommend to Pepys, this is it, surely?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Indeed, the Essays might have been an interesting way to conceal Sam's plain brown paper wrapper book had he not already burnt it.

"What's so interesting?" Bess eyes book. "Oh, it's in French... "Essays"? Can I have a look?"

"Just a mo, just a mo...Let me finish."

"You could read it to me. We can discuss it."

Hmmn...Would make for an interesting...No, I don't think so...

"I'd like to contemplate these brilliant essays properly in my own time...Later we can read them again together."

Might even be something interesting there as well...Sam muses, eyeing the rest of the book for a moment.

But first I must know what Madeleine and M. Abelaird are up to...And more important why Heloise ran from the room in horror after taking one look. Though given early chapters, I think she'll be back.

In its way, after all...A study of the human condition, worthy of the review of a sober man of the world to arm himself against the...

Oh, my God in Heaven! Turns book...

"What's so...?" Bess, suspiciously...

"The uh...Thoughts, the gentleman expresses...And his...Gestures in expressing them. Simply amazing...Transcendent."

"Gestures?...I thought it was a book of essays. Let me see that..."

"His literary gestures, I mean, of course. Just let me finish this in my study and ponder its meaning a while." hurries in, slamming door.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"The House, I hear, have this day concluded upon raising 100,000l. of the 300,000l. by wine, and the rest by a poll-[tax], and have resolved to excuse the Church, in expectation that they will do the more of themselves at this juncture;"

L&M note these were committee votes, confirmed by the whole House on the morrow. In the event the clergy did not tax themselves as they had last in 1663.

john   Link to this

Was such a jigg ever danced by the Secretary or this a metaphor and why such a choice of metaphor?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... a fine thing for a Secretary of State to dance a jigg, ..."

" ... a most sad, melancholy play, and pretty good; but nothing eminent in it, as some tragedys are; only little Mis. Davis did dance a jig after the end of the play, and there telling the next day’s play; so that it come in by force only to please the company to see her dance ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/03/07/

"... at the end of a play, it was the practice to conclude with a sung and danced theatrical afterpiece or * jig. ..." Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
http://books.google.com/books?id=tRajFq8EnEEC&p...

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