Wednesday 12 September 1660

(Office day). This noon I expected to have had my cousin Snow and my father come to dine with me, but it being very rainy they did not come.

My brother Tom came to my house with a letter from my brother John, wherein he desires some books: Barthol. Anatom., Rosin. Rom. Antiq., and Gassend. Astronom., the last of which I did give him, and an angel against my father buying of the others.

At home all the afternoon looking after my workmen, whose laziness do much trouble me.

This day the Parliament adjourned.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

"looking after my workmen, whose laziness do much trouble me" --

Remodeling: another thing that hasn't changed in 350 years.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Barthol. Anatomy, Rosinus Roman antiquities, and Gassendus astronomy
Barthol. Anatomy: "Probably Thomas Bartholinus, Anatomia (5th ed., Leyden, 1651, or 6th ed., The Hague, 1660). Pepys retained a copy of the latter."
Rosinus Roman antiquities: "Johannes Rosinus, Antiquitatum romanorum corpus absolutissimum ex variis scriptoribus collect. (1st ed., Basle, 1583; many times reissued). Pepys kept a copy of the Amsterdam edition of 1685.... The work was said to be most useful to both students and teacher -- too useful, since it saved them the trouble of going to the original authors."
Gassendus astronomy: "Pierre Gassendi, Institutio Astronomica (1st ed., Paris 1647). Pepys retained the 1683 edition (London)."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

looking after my workmen in my house
L&M insert the phrase "in my house"

Paul Brewster  •  Link

This day the Parliament adjourned
As L&M noted yesterday, this is a mistake. They'll adjourn tomorrow.

chip  •  Link

You missed one Paul. L&M also have toward my father's buying of the others, as opposed to the against. I have noticed before the use of against for 'for', but I am not sure what is happening here. Pepys is giving the book and an angel (we need Vincent), to his brother Tom for his brother John. It appears Pepys has all these books in his library, chance of that? Is he selling them to his brother? I guess it's fair as the father charges for the tailoring. There is no doubt our Pepys covets books, a known affliction, but in light of his economic well-being, I find it odd that he wants to sell the books rather than lend or give.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

the last of which I did give him, and an angel against my father buying of the others.

The way I read this, he had one of the books in his library, so gave it to his brother, and also sent an angel to enable his father to buy the other books.

Mary  •  Link


in the sense of 'with regard to, in respect of', cited from the 15th Century and hence 'for'. I can't quote chapter and verse, but this seems to me a usage familiar from the King James Bible.

Sara  •  Link

'Against' is surely just shorthand for "to set against", ie a payment defraying an expense.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

While looking at Dirk's new annotation for February 4th, I spotted another occasion on which Sam uses 'against' to mean 'for':

"I was fain to slip from there and went to Mrs. Crew's to her and advised about a maid to come and be with Mrs. Jem while her maid is sick, but she could spare none. Thence to Sir Harry Wright's, but my lady not being within I spoke to Mrs. Carter about it, who will get one against Monday.”

Paul Brewster  •  Link

In the February 4th entry L&M and Wheatley agree. What's striking about this situation is the fact that L&M uses the more common "toward" and Wheatley uses the less common "against". I've been wondering about that. The word "against" is represented by a single symbol in the shorthand while "toward" would appear to be a much longer compound symbol. My supposition is that the word "toward" is hard to interpret from the manuscript. Wheatley in trying to decipher it chose a more "antique" usage to achieve what he thought ought to be the right feel.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Books for Brother John
I agree with Ms. Dougherty on the interpretation of what's happening in the transaction. I would add, however, that it reads to me as if SP has all three books in his library (John may have known this), but that the Astronomy was the only one he was willing to surrender; for the other two he would rather pay for new copies than give up the use for his own. We know how much SP values his books. The L&M annotation that Mr Brewsters cites implies that SP had copies of all three books at the time of his death.

Glyn  •  Link

Sam studied the same courses at Cambridge that his little brother is doing now, and his brother could be fairly sure that Sam had kept the course textbooks (he doesn't seem to the type of person to discard books easily). So if John could get these books from big brother, that would be all to the good.

However, if you refer to Paul Brewster's comment, you will see that Pepys acquired two of these books as late as the 1680s - perhaps as replacements for earlier editions?

Margaret  •  Link

In the Ozarks, "against," usually pronounced "gin" (hard g) is used to mean "in anticipation of." As: She put up 20 quarts of tomatoes gin winter. He hid the liquor gin the sheriff come.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The books John Pepys, jun. desired:

Thomæ Bartholini Anatomia, Ex Caspari Bartholini Parentis Institutionibus, Omniumque Recentiorum & propriis Observationibus 5th ed., The Hague: Adrian Vlacq , 1655…

Johannes Rosinus, Antiquitatum romanorum corpus absolutissimum ex variis scriptoribus collect. (1st ed., Lugdunum Batavorum [Leyden], apud Hackios, parentem & filios, 1663…

Pierre Gassendi, INSTITVTIO ASTRONÓMICA Iuxta Hypothefeis TAM VETERVM. QVAM COPERNK^I, ET TYCHONIS. (1st ed., Paris 1647).…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

This is the sense here:

‘against . . IV. In relation to time.
10. In anticipation of, in preparation for, in time for . .
. . 1577–87 W. Harrison Descr. Eng. (1877) i. ii. v. 121 This furniture is to be provided against his installation.
. . 1740 S. Richardson Pamela II. 80 If I chose to order any new Cloaths against my Marriage.
1758 J. Wesley in Wks. (1872) II. 435 Having a Sermon to write against the Assizes at Bedford.’ [OED]

Gerald Berg  •  Link

"Against" I read this as Tom comes for some books for young John. Sam gives Tom one book for John and some cash to help Dad buy the others for John as Sam wished to keep his own copies. As to how many books one angel will buy I cannot say. Nor whether this was a generous or miserly effort on Sam's part.

Third Reading

Jude Russo  •  Link

Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655) was a well-regarded French philosopher and an astronomer by training. His life's project was reviving the atomic physics of the ancient Epicurean school; in the mid-1650s, these efforts made a bit of a splash in English academic circles, particularly after the 1654 publication of a work titled "Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charletoniana, or A Fabrick of Science Natural, upon a Hypothesis of Atoms, Founded by Epicurus, Repaired by Petrus Gassendus, and Augmented by Walter Charleton."

It's neat to see our man Pepys having the most cutting-edge scientific thinkers in his library---all the more interesting if, as Glyn persuasively suggests above, that it's his old college textbooks.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Yes, Jude, Pepys' friends and colleagues were mostly well-educated people -- we're not dealing with many dunces here. And even they could speak 3 languages.
What I find interesting is the growth of philosophy with mathematics. Apparently as our brains accept the inevitability and logic of maths, so goes our rejection of magical thinking and our desire to understand our world.
And the 17th century is where that happened. Slowly but surely, progress towards the enlightenment.

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