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.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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

"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

’ . . 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]

language hat  •  Link

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

“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

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

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

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

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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