Tuesday 19 February 1660/61

By coach to Whitehall with Colonel Slingsby (carrying Mrs. Turner with us) and there he and I up into the house, where we met with Sir G. Carteret: who afterwards, with the Duke of York, my Lord Sandwich, and others, went into a private room to consult: and we were a little troubled that we were not called in with the rest. But I do believe it was upon something very private. We staid walking in the gallery; where we met with Mr. Slingsby, that was formerly a great friend of Mons. Blondeau, who showed me the stamps of the King’s new coyne; which is strange to see, how good they are in the stamp and bad in the money, for lack of skill to make them. But he says Blondeau will shortly come over, and then we shall have it better, and the best in the world.

The Comptroller and I to the Commissioners of Parliament, and after some talk away again and to drink a cup of ale. He tells me, he is sure that the King is not yet married, as it is said; nor that it is known who he will have. To my Lord’s and found him dined, and so I lost my dinner, but I staid and played with him and Mr. Child, &c., some things of four parts, and so it raining hard and bitter cold (the first winter day we have yet had this winter), I took coach home and spent the evening in reading of a Latin play, the “Naufragium Joculare.” And so to bed.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Lorenzo  •  Link

Naufragium Joculare would be Latin for The Hilarious Shipwreck! Pepys should not be enjoying tales of shipwreck and drowning like this!

skutch  •  Link

why not, byron laughed at a shipwreck and cannibalism in don juan book ii?

David A. Smith  •  Link

"a little troubled that we were not called in"
Must have been to do with the wedding rumors, and whether they were true.

daniel  •  Link

"how good they are in the stamp and bad in the money"

the meaning of this is lost on me. Could sensible Sam be commenting on the sorry state of accounts of the Royal Navy?

dirk  •  Link

"played (...) some things of four parts"

Does this refer to a known game? Or a piece of music? Does anyone have any idea what was played here?

Louis Anthony Scarsdale  •  Link

"Happy Drownings!"
An "English University drama" by Abraham Cowley (1618-67), one of the sicklier Metaphysical poets:
"Dana F. Sutton’s online edition of Cowley’s 1638 Latin comedy Naufragium Joculare with several supporting texts is at
http://e3.uci.edu/~papyri/cowley ."
Thereupon the curious reader will find a contemporary English translation, with a preface by the anonymous traduttore:
"I have changed most of the names that did not sound well in English, and purposely alter'd the title, because Naufragium Joculare, or The Merry Shipwreck is no more than an incident, and, having hardly any relation to the main design is quite over in the first Act." (What that alternate title is he does not disclose.) "This play was publickly acted at Trinity College in Cambridge on the 4th of February 1638, and written when Mr. Cowley was about 19 Years of Age, before which time he had given the world great proofs of a surprizing genius."
The scene is set in Dunkirk, and features the likes of Bombardo (braggart soldier, miles gloriosus), Grinn ("heir to an English gentleman"), and Eucomissa, daughter to Bombardo, with her maid Pert. The mirth begins when the clever servant (insert Latin type-designation here), Dinon, upbraids the porters off-stage: "Come take up your burthens, beasts, and follow me. Methinks these sailors stink of pitch damnably, they are always hawling ropes: very familiar with their destiny."
Did Pepys chuckle?

Alistair Clayton  •  Link

"how good they are in the stamp and bad in the money"
I read this as the stamp being either a mould, or engraving for the mould, or possibly an inked/wax imprint of the mould, which is of good quality. However when the coins are actually cast, the definition on them is not of such good quality. It is hoped Blondeau will work at the mint and improve the quality.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

Things of four parts

Music, most likely, though I'm not sure how three people managed four parts between them.

Emilio  •  Link

"bad in the money"

L&M confirm Alistair's reading: "They were hurriedly made and by methods known to be obsolescent. HENRY SLINGSBY (brother of Sir Robert, Comptroller of the Navy) was now Deputy-Master of the Mint. Pierre BLONDEAU, engineer to Cromwell's mint, returned to take office there again in 1662, and was responsible for the production, though not the design, of the milled money which from that year onwards replaced the older type struck by hammering."

So there we are - Charles is back, and as a sign of this the government needs money with his head on ASAP. So they literally bashed out a few, only later bringing in the people who know what they're doing to get the process sorted out. (I've capitalized the names above, by the way, to help introduce the cast of characters for today.)

roberto  •  Link

"we were a little troubled that we were not called in with the rest"

I know how you feel Sam. The adults go into a room and talk about things that don't concern you. :(

dirk  •  Link

Things of four parts - re M.Stolzenbach

Actually there were four, not three, people present:
"My Lord", Comptroller Slingsby, Mr Child and Sam. Slingsby is probably the "&c" in the text. Maybe there were other people there too, who aren't "worth mentioning".

The Bishop  •  Link

That preface to the Naufragium translation is neither anonymous nor contemporary. It's Charles Johnson's 1705 translation, which he retitled "Fortune in Her Wits". There's another translation on that same site that is contemporary, however.

Abraham Cowley is considered the cutting edge of English verse at this time (he will be completely forgotten in 50 years). That must be why someone would bother to publish this farce he wrote while he was a student at Cambridge. There was a long tradition of university students putting on farcial plays in Latin to amuse themselves, though I think it died out not long after Cowley wrote this in 1638.

retzsch  •  Link

Things of four parts - could this mean whores??

vincent  •  Link

4 parts Mr Childs [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo… ] is big on music.
Waiting for a free meal[dinner], his leader had already eaten and it is that 'lousey' besoaking [bitter is the word for those that have suffered the glories of Essex weather ] that English[Essex]weather set in and with an empty stomack, growling, so what to do. Make music .

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'I staid and played with him and Mr. Child, &c'

This suggests to me that as well as 'my lord' and Sam and Mr Child, there was at least one other person there who could have taken the fourth part.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Beginning of today's entry in the Rev. Ralph Josselin's diary:

"Snow, cold wintery weather, a nip for our pleasant warm winter before."


Webster's New World, definition #2 for the transitive verb: "to sever." So Josselin means "an end to our pleasant, warm weather." We could call that day's weather "nippy," but that seems to be a coincidence.

Josselin is in Essex. Pepys has rain, but Josselin apparently doesn't. I'm guessing it's a bit below freezing in Josselin's locale, a bit above in Pepys's. It's interesting that Pepys calls it "bitter cold," which I'd associate with something much, much colder than that. Maybe the "raining hard" has something to do with Pepys feeling cold. Perhaps Sam gets pretty wet despite the coach. Maybe he's just got a lousy coat. Wind would be a likelier culprit, though.

daniel  •  Link

"..some things of four parts"

okay, sillies, it's musical parts Sam refers too. Sam is a very enthusiastic amateur chamber-musician as attested by his acquaintance of many of the finest musicians of his day. most of the time he will mention the composer of the pieces(of four or any other number of parts)but in this case the pieces didn't seem to merit mentioning.

Johnny Adnams  •  Link

Re: David's comment above that he'd expect bitterly cold to be below freezing.

It's 3 degrees C in London today, and I've just been outside, and it is definitely bitterly cold. Right about the wind though. There's an evil wind blowing right now and it's not nice at all.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

The references to Essex weather baffle me; I suspect local humor. Where does Montagu live?

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

No worries about global warming in those days and despite that a mild winter. Still the years in the middle of the 17th century are known as the "little ice age", of which numerous winterscapes by Dutch painters from those years are proof.

mary  •  Link

Essex weather.

I think this is cited simply because there is a contemporary diarist (Josselin) writing in an area not too far distant from London who is commenting on the weather from day to day. However, as we have seen, Josselin and Pepys do not always enjoy the same weather.

Sandwich's home is at Hinchinbrooke, half a mile west of Huntingdon, which itself lies roughly north-west of Cambridge and south of Peterborough. Still (just) in the eastern part of England, but close to neither Essex nor London.

Pauline  •  Link

Where does Montagu live?
He has a residence in Whitehall, Westminster, too. That's where Sam is today.

dirk  •  Link

The fourth person present

re Jenny Doughty

"The Comptroller and I to the Commissioners of Parliament, and after some talk away again and to drink a cup of ale. (...) To my Lord's (…)”

As I read the entry, Colonel Slingsby, (the Comptroller) was with Sam from the time they left for the Commissioners - so there’s the missing fourth person.

vincent  •  Link

Rev Josselyn's place, [Earls Colne] lies near the Suffolk border north of the road, between Brain tree and Col chester, near the junction of Two Roman Roads, Dane Street (A120 E-W) and another [A12 S-Ne] at Marks Tey.
When the weather is out of the south West it can be rather nice but when It swings to the North Easterlies watch out,the North sea is rather rough and icy {baltic weather?} Then London gets the results later, mix that with the smoke of sea coales one gets a marvelous lung filling gook.
Fortunatly the banning of coal fires and the advent of central heating, few of the under 40's suffer from the damp cold bracing climate , seeping into the bones waiting for the No 11 bus, {now that every one has a bemer}. The last 40 years have seen so many improvements to the torments of the elements that it may make it difficult to have empathy with the Drayman or those that ride Coach ,in soakin' clothin' . 'Tis why Tars are called Tars as thy soaked their cloth in tar to keep the wet from soakin' in. The ladies walkin' the streets had to pick up their skirts [to skirt the dirt] to keep from draggin' in the mire and then they had calfs a soaking.
Oh well! [song: Mud mud glorios mud]

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Uh, um, well, er ... never mind.

Just took a look at the dates of Pepys's and Josselin's diary entries. My reference was to Josselin's entry of the 17th (Sunday), not the 19th. That might just possibly, uh, account for a bit of a difference in the weather. Sorry guys.

Mary House  •  Link

Thanks Vincent for the links to the coins. I was just thinking that I would like to see some coins with Chas.11 and presto, there they are. I love this site.

Nigel Pond  •  Link

Bishop: maybe the present day Footlights Review is the equivalent of the old farcical plays in Latin?

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

That's what I was thinking, Nigel Pond. Clever satirists from from Oxbridge have enriched our lives for decades.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

"Nor that it is known who he", the king, "will have", for a queen. Once again we count ourselves fortunate to be so well tapped into the best intelligence network of Europe, that of Venice of course. And so we know better, and allow ourselves a smug half-smile as we listen to Sam and Slingsby from the next table (we'll pretend, if they ask, being amused by the cleavage of that gipsy girl over there).

For tomorrow Giacomo Quirini, the republic's ambassador in Spain, will write (but he's already drafting today, for sure) that the Portuguese are so sure of their candidate, Catherine de Braganza, being picked, that "in Lisbon they have had illuminations, processions and public games, the people being pleased and the whole country rejoicing", and "they have also begun to give the Princess Caterina the title of Majesty".

In two fascinating dispatches at https://www.british-history.ac.uk…, Quirini adds, sourcing it to "a great personage who frequents the king's apartments" in Madrid, that Queen Caterina's dowry is to include "all the East Indies and the fortress of Tangier", among other things, such as half a million ducats in cash. True, the bargaining does go on, with "the English claim[ing] a part of Brazil and the Tercere Islands [one of the Azores] with two million ducats", while Francesco Giavarina, Quirini's colleague in London, will chime in on March 4 (new style, three days from now) that a mysterious envoy from Madrid made a quick dash to the Spanish embassy and, he heard, before rushing back to Spain left "notes of exchange for 5 to 600,000 crowns, for the use of the king here, to constrain him". Not yet a dowry, in this case - a bribe. We phant'sy the Spanish courier had a cloak with a deep cowl and the curtains in his coach were drawn tight.

Of course, nothing is decided, as Slingsby says. But, according to Giavarina, "many of the Council, who are Presbyterians, which means irreconcileable enemies of the Spanish monarchy, favour [the Portuguese ambassador, count de Ponte], forwarding and pushing his proposals". And, for now, the feverish haggling is the toast of the diplomatic scene; Giavarina notes that the courier's visit to the Spanish ambassador "is known to all the foreign ministers, though they have tried to keep it secret". Alas, it's not known to Sam; but it does concern him, already the name Tangiers imprints itself as a faint palimpsest in his life.

Oh and, there's madeira wine hanging in the balance, and the future independence of Portugal, and those inconsequential little bastions in India, which England so disdains right now - mere confettis, when the future is so clearly in Brazil. What do you call them again? Bombay? Hooghly? Chittagong? What could Englishmen possibly do with that?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Stephane, Madeira was left to to Catherine by her father, and according to one of my specialists a few years ago was also ALMOST included as part of Catherine's dowry. I guess that conversation was also going on now:

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