Friday 2 April 1669

Up, and by water to White Hall, and there with the Office attended the Duke of York, and staid in White Hall till about noon, and so with W. Hewer to the Cocke, and there he and I dined alone with great content, he reading to me, for my memory’s sake, my late collections of the history of the Navy, that I might represent the same by and by to the Duke of York; and so, after dinner, he and I to White Hall, and there to the Duke of York’s lodgings, whither he, by and by, by his appointment come: and alone with him an hour in his closet, telling him mine and W. Coventry’s advice touching the present posture of the Navy, as the Duke of Buckingham and the rest do now labour to make changes therein; and that it were best for him to suffer the King to be satisfied with the bringing in of a man or two which they desire. I did also give the Duke of York a short account of the history of the Navy, as to our Office, wherewith he was very well satisfied: but I do find that he is pretty stiff against their bringing in of men against his mind, as the Treasures were, and particularly against Child’s coming in, because he is a merchant. After much discourse with him, we parted; and [he to] the Council, while I staid waiting for his telling me when I should be ready to give him a written account of the administration of the Navy. This caused me to wait the whole afternoon, till night. In the mean time, stepping to the Duchess of York’s side to speak with Lady Peterborough; I did see the young Duchess,1 a little child in hanging sleeves; dance most finely, so as almost to ravish me, her ears were so good: taught by a Frenchman that did heretofore teach the King, and all the King’s children, and the Queen- Mother herself, who do still dance well. Thence to the council door and Mr. Chevins took me into the back stairs, and they with his friend, Mr. Fowkes, for whom he is very solicitous in some things depending in this Office, he did make me, with some others that he took in (among others, Alderman Backwell), eat a pickled herring, the largest I ever saw, and drink variety of wines till I was almost merry; but I did keep in good tune; and so, after the Council was up, I home; and there find my wife not yet come home from Deptford, where she hath been all this day to see her mother, but she come and by, and so to talk, and supper, and to bed. This night I did bring home from the King’s potticary’s, in White Hall by Mr. Cooling’s direction, a water that he says did him mighty good for his eyes. I pray God it may do me good; but, by his description, his disease was the same as mine, and this do encourage me to use it.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

2d April, 1669. Dined at Mr. Treasurer's, where was (with many noblemen) Colonel Titus of the bedchamber, author of the famous piece against Cromwell, *Killing no Murder*. I now placed Mr. Wase with Mr. Williamson, Secretary to the Secretary of State, and Clerk of the Papers.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Charming little vignette of a future Queen, who was not a Duchess, but was styled "The Lady Mary". Usually she lived at Richmond with her governess, Lady Frances Villiers, so Sam was lucky to see her. We see here not only Sam's love of dancing, but also his capacity to love children and be enchanted by them. Mary grew up to be similarly childless - a great sorrow to her.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...Her ears were so good..."?

"...drink variety of wines till I was almost merry; but I did keep in good tune..." Read "almost soused but I did keep on my feet"? What a charming bedfellow Bess can look forward to tonight.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's frequent use of "merry" and "very merry" have seemed to me to mean approx. "tipsy" and "soused" respectively throughout.

Mary  •  Link

Degrees of merriness.

Not throughout, surely? There are numerous occasions when Pepys describes what appears to have been a thoroughly convivial though hardly tipsy/sozzled gathering.

Egoscribo  •  Link

I suspect that "ears" is a misreading of "airs" in the sense of "mien, demeanor, attitude, gesture, manner, look;" OED cites Steele, writing in the Tatler in 1709, with "He is of a noble Family, has naturally a very good air," and similar uses.

Chris Faulkner  •  Link

The tiny error from 31st shows just how much work Phil has put into this labour of love. We are as someone said a couple of days ago all ‘a little to involved with S Pepys’ Oh dear, what shall we all do? I’ve tried reading the diary from a hardbound version, but without the notes, references and annotations it’s very difficut to keep track of who’s who. We all owe Phil a huge vote of thanks. If the Pepys Day event goes ahead it will be good to put some faces to some names to those who have added their comments and additions over the last few years.

JWB  •  Link

Egoscribo...;therfore, you exist in cyberspace...:

I think by 'ears' Pepys meant that Lady Mary danced in time with the music.

Mark S  •  Link

Irregular verb:

I am merry
You are tipsy
He is drunk

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"There are numerous occasions when Pepys describes what appears to have been a thoroughly convivial though hardly tipsy/sozzled gathering. "

Mary, that's been a topic of sometimes oblique discussion for several years now. It may be irresolvable. I must say I did think a while before I took the plunge and claimed that Pepys llinks "merry" to the most common beverage "throughout" the Diary.

Mary  •  Link

Lady Mary's 'ears' are rendered 'airs' by L&M.

Mary  •  Link

Those airs.

I meant to add that it is still possible (just) to hear a criticism of someone, usually female, as "all airs and graces."

i.e. pretending to great gentility

Pat Stewart Cavalier  •  Link

I think "ears" means she has a good ear for rhythm ; he goes on to say "taught by a Frenchman .... who do still dance well."

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