Friday 17 April 1668

(Friday). Called up by Balty’s coming, who gives me a good account of his voyage, and pleases me well, and I hope hath got something. This morning paid the Royall Society, 1l. 6s.
and so to the office all the morning. At noon home to dinner with my people, and there much pretty discourse of Balty’s. So by coach to White Hall: the coachman on Ludgate Hill ‘lighted, and beat a fellow with a sword, 2s. 6d.
Did little business with the Duke of York. Hear that the House is upon the business of Harman, who, they say, takes all on himself. Thence, with Brouncker, to the King’s house, and saw “The Surprizall,” where base singing, only Knepp, who come, after her song in the clouds, to me in the pit, and there, oranges, 2s.
After the play, she, and I, and Rolt, by coach, 6s. 6d.
to Kensington, and there to the Grotto, and had admirable pleasure with their singing, and fine ladies listening to us: with infinite pleasure, I enjoyed myself: so to the tavern there, and did spend 16s. 6d.
and the gardener 2s.
Mighty merry, and sang all the way to the town, a most pleasant evening, moonshine, and set them at her house in Covent Garden, and I home and to bed.

[The entries from April 10th to April 19th are transcribed from three leaves (six pages) of rough notes, which are inserted in the MS. The rough notes were made to serve for a sort of account book, but the amounts paid are often not registered in the fair copy when he came to transcribe his notes into the Diary.]

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The 1l. 6s. went to the Royal Society, whose fellows, L&M note, paid 1s. weekly "towards the defraying of occasional charges." (Birch's History of the RS, i.237).

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Hear the the House is upon the business of Harman, who, they say, takes all on himself"

[ Commons examined Sir John Harman, Capt. Cox, Mr. Brouncker, et al., in relation to the miscarriage in slacking sail, and not pursuing the Dutch Fleet after the Battle of Lowescroft in 1665 ]

See Commons Journal - Friday, April 17.
Miscarriages of the War.

and Grey's Debates

Christopher Squire   Link to this

’ . . and there much pretty discourse of Balty’s . . ’

‘pretty, adj., n., and int. Etym:  < prat n.1 + -y suffix1. Compare Dutch prettig...
A. adj.
 1. . . b. Cleverly or elegantly made or done; ingenious, artful, well-conceived.
. . 1671    tr. J. de Palafox Conq. China vi. 119   The King‥at last thought of a very pretty way to suppress him, and this was by a stratagem.
1707    J. Mortimer Whole Art Husbandry (1721) I. 84   They have in Kent a pretty way of saving of Labour in the digging of Chalk.

. . 3. Used as a general term of admiration or appreciation.
. .  b. Of a thing or action: fine, pleasing, commendable, etc.; proper, appropriate, or polite.
. . 1667    S. Pepys Diary 1 Sept. (1974) VIII. 412   It is pretty to see how strange everybody looks.’ [OED]

Jesse   Link to this

"the coachman on Ludgate Hill ‘lighted, and beat a fellow with a sword"

17th century road rage? ( )

language hat   Link to this

Yes, one would like to know more about that incident. Did the fellow bellow an unforgivable insult, was he caught in flagrante delicto, or did the coachman simply not like his face?

Alan Kerr   Link to this

“the coachman on Ludgate Hill ‘lighted, and beat a fellow with a sword”
In fact, one of the joys of English is that it seems to make equal sense for the coachman or the "fellow" to have had the sword.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

A review of entries noting Pepys's passages over Ludgate Hill by coach show traffic often "jammed" there, so incidents can and have happened.

Mary   Link to this

Ludgate Hill has proved (and still proves) a steep and difficult stretch of road for horses to manage. In very recent times the prospect of negotiating this hill with (State) carriage and horses has caused problems and head-scratching.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Mary, illustrating your point is "Ludgate Hill - A block in the Street" -- from London, A Pilgrimage, 1872. Gustave Doré (1832-1883), French illustrator.é_...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Another image of the same engraving.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Finally, *Ludgate Hill: past and present : a narrative concerning the people, places ...* By Sir William Purdie Treloar (bart.) 2nd ed. 1881
[book w/ plates devoted to getting the streets widened]

Ivan   Link to this

Mr Pepys, Captain Rolt, and Knepp certainly enjoyed themselves in the tavern and our hero appears to have spent sixteen shillings and sixpence on drink. A considerable sum. I hope the others bought their rounds!

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