Sunday 13 September 1668

(Lord’s day). The like all this morning and afternoon, and finished it to my mind. So about four o’clock walked to the Temple, and there by coach to St. James’s, and met, to my wish, the Duke of York and Mr. Wren; and understand the Duke of York hath received answers from Brouncker, W. Pen, and J. Minnes; and as soon as he saw me, he bid Mr. Wren read them over with me. So having no opportunity of talk with the Duke of York, and Mr. Wren some business to do, he put them into my hands like an idle companion, to take home with me before himself had read them, which do give me great opportunity of altering my answer, if there was cause. So took a hackney and home, and after supper made my wife to read them all over, wherein she is mighty useful to me; and I find them all evasions, and in many things false, and in few, to the full purpose. Little said reflective on me, though W. Pen and J. Minnes do mean me in one or two places, and J. Minnes a little more plainly would lead the Duke of York to question the exactness of my keeping my records; but all to no purpose. My mind is mightily pleased by this, if I can but get time to have a copy taken of them, for my future use; but I must return them tomorrow. So to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"finished [my reply to the 'great letter'] to my mind. ...and understand the Duke of York hath received answers from Brouncker, W. Pen, and J. Minnes"

L&M note copies of Pepys's reply (13 September) and those of the others are ( in Gibson's hand) in the Pepysian Library. The original of Mennes's elaborate reply is in James R. Tanner, *Mr. Pepys* (1925)(44ff.). Mennes and his colleagues plead they were following the custom of their predecessors. and the circumstances of the war, the Plague and the Fire.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"if I can but get time to have a copy taken of them, for my future use"
Makes me want to send a Xerox machine back through time for Sam to use. Marvelous times we're living in.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

I intended to add, for all the similarities we note between then and now, there's also a lot that's very different.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“if I can but get time to have a copy taken of them, for my future use”

Pepys's copy machine was apparently a Gibson.

Mary   Link to this

"he put them into my hands"

Proof for Sam, if proof were needed, that James really does mean to back his position in this whole matter.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"J. Minnes a little more plainly would lead the Duke of York to question the exactness of my keeping my records..."

Sir John apparently not as out of it in the office as Sam and co would lead us to believe, at least in the fine art of self defense.

Stan Oram   Link to this

Ref Paul Chapin's 'Marvelous times we’re living in'. Only this morning as I cleaned a stainless steel cook's knife I had used, I wondered what stone age man would have made of it. It occured to me that we have not by any means reached the limit of man's development so I wonder what will replace a cook's knife in the future!

JWB   Link to this

Less than honorable behavior by Duke of York.

Mary   Link to this

Politics and honour don't necessarily go together.

JWB   Link to this

No, but they do go well together. Reminded of the honorable Sec. of State Henry Stimson's 1929 remark that "gentlemen do not read other peoples mail".

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Yet, as Mary has pointed out, James has already clearly made up his mind, and for him, Sam's the Man.

One more reason why Sam showed so much loyalty to him later, I think.

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