Monday 22 March 1668/69

Up, and by water, with W. Hewer, to White Hall, there to attend the Lords of the Treasury; but, before they sat, I did make a step to see Sir W. Coventry at his house, where, I bless God! he is come again; but in my way I met him, and so he took me into his coach and carried me to White Hall, and there set me down where he ought not — at least, he hath not yet leave to come, nor hath thought fit to ask it, hearing that Henry Saville is not only denied to kiss the King’s hand, but the King, being asked it by the Duke of York, did deny it, and directed that the Duke shall not receive him, to wait upon him in his chamber, till further orders. Sir W. Coventry told me that he was going to visit Sir John Trevor, who hath been kind to him; and he shewed me a long list of all his friends that he must this week make visits to, that come to visit him in the Tower; and seems mighty well satisfied with his being out of business, but I hope he will not long be so; at least, I do believe that all must go to rat if the King do not come to see the want of such a servant. Thence to the Treasury-Chamber, and there all the morning to my great grief, put to do Sir G. Downing’s work of dividing the Customes for this year, between the Navy, the Ordnance and Tangier: but it did so trouble my eyes, that I had rather have given 20l. than have had it to do; but I did thereby oblige Sir Thomas Clifford and Sir J. Duncombe, and so am glad of the opportunity to recommend myself to the former for the latter I need not, he loving me well already. At it till noon, here being several of my brethren with me but doing nothing, but I all. But this day I did also represent to our Treasurers, which was read here, a state of the charge of the Navy, and what the expence of it this year would likely be; which is done so as it will appear well done and to my honour, for so the Lords did take it: and I oblige the Treasurers by doing it, at their request. Thence with W. Hewer at noon to Unthanke’s, where my wife stays for me and so to the Cocke, where there was no room, and thence to King Street, to several cook’s shops, where nothing to be had; and at last to the corner shop, going down Ivy Lane, by my Lord of Salisbury’s, and there got a good dinner, my wife, and W. Hewer, and I: and after dinner she, with her coach, home; and he and I to look over my papers for the East India Company, against the afternoon: which done, I with them to White Hall, and there to the Treasury-Chamber, where the East India Company and three Councillors pleaded against me alone, for three or four hours, till seven at night, before the Lords; and the Lords did give me the conquest on behalf of the King, but could not come to any conclusion, the Company being stiff: and so I think we shall go to law with them. This done, and my eyes mighty bad with this day’s work, I to Mr. Wren’s, and then up to the Duke of York, and there with Mr. Wren did propound to him my going to Chatham to-morrow with Commissioner Middleton, and so this week to make the pay there, and examine the business of “The Defyance” being lost, and other businesses, which I did the rather, that I might be out of the way at the wedding, and be at a little liberty myself for a day, or two, to find a little pleasure, and give my eyes a little ease. The Duke of York mightily satisfied with it; and so away home, where my wife troubled at my being so late abroad, poor woman! though never more busy, but I satisfied her; and so begun to put things in order for my journey to-morrow, and so, after supper, to bed.

9 Annotations

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"At it till noon, here being several of my brethren with me but doing nothing, but I all."

Busy, busy, busy Mr Pepys - but if you want a job done properly, best do it yourself I say.....

Peter Last  •  Link

"I do believe that all must go to rat if the King do not come to see the want of such a servant."

Assuming that this is not a scanning error, what does "go to rat" mean? None of the entries in OED seems to cover this sense.

As the little party trudged from one full eatery to another, what did the coach do? Parking such vehicles and their horses must have been a problem. Did they have anything like parking lots to cater for groups of coaches?

Poor Sam's apparently self-limiting eye problem is steadily getting worse and, sad to say, the end of the diary is now growing close because of it.

languagehat  •  Link

There was an exclamation "rat (it/me)!" current at this time, with a slang verb "rat" equivalent to Standard English "rot," and I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume there was occasional use as a noun, as here: "go to rat [=rot]." Of course, that's just a guess.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

It appears that Sam means to be away from home on Friday, the day of the wedding of his servants and his "great day, or feast, for my being cut of the stone," taking a little R&R at Chatham. Curious.

(R&R - "rest and recreation")

Don McCahill  •  Link

So long as the R&R isn't Rachel and Rose.

Horace Dripple  •  Link

"I think we shall go to law with them." Oh no. I envision endless proceedings, like something out of Dickens.

pepfie  •  Link

"...all must go to rat"

OED: rat, n.2 Obs. exc. north. dial.


Forms: 3–4 ratte, 8–9 dial. rat.

[Of obscure etym.]

A rag, scrap.

   a 1240 Wohunge in Cott. Hom. 277 Þu wunden was i rattes and i clutes.    13‥ S. Erkenwolde 260 in Horstm. Altengl. Leg. (1881) 272 In cloutes, me thynkes, Hom burde haue rotid & bene rent in rattis longe sythene.    a 1796 Pegge Derbicisms s.v., All to rats, i.e. scraps.    1847 Halliwell, Rats, pieces, shreds, fragments. North.

Pat Stewart Cavalier  •  Link

I'm a complete newcomer, having discovered the site only a couple of weeks ago.
About "go to rat" ; in my edition (Everyman's Library, 1949 reprinting), it's "go to rack", which I immediately associated with "rack and ruin". Would that not make sense ?

Mary  •  Link

"all must go to wrack"
is the L&M reading and most likely to be accurate.

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