Tuesday 16 April 1661

So soon as word was brought me that Mr. Coventry was come with the barge to the Tower, I went to him, and found him reading of the Psalms in short hand (which he is now busy about), and had good sport about the long marks that are made there for sentences in divinity, which he is never like to make use of. Here he and I sat till the Comptroller came and then we put off for Deptford, where we went on board the King’s pleasure boat that Commissioner Pett is making, and indeed it will be a most pretty thing.

From thence to Commr. Pett’s lodging, and there had a good breakfast, and in came the two Sir Wms. from Walthamstow, and so we sat down and did a great deal of public business about the fitting of the fleet that is now going out.

That done we went to the Globe and there had a good dinner, and by and by took barge again and so home. By the way they would have me sing, which I did to Mr. Coventry, who went up to Sir William Batten’s, and there we staid and talked a good while, and then broke up and I home, and then to my father’s and there lay with my wife.

22 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "good sport about the long marks that are made there for sentences in divinity..."

"...which he is never like to make use of." Nor I, for that matter. Anyone with L&M access ... help, please?

Pauline  •  Link

"...which he is never like to make use of."
Perhaps the "sport" is that Coventry is studying short hand using the Psalms and therefore learning phrases he may not need in using short hand in his life. Sam "sports" from some experience, using short hand in his diary and not keeping the diary in biblical language, or topic--as we have seen.

And yes, Todd, what does L&M say? What are the long marks for sentences in divinity?

dirk  •  Link

"the long marks..."

Possibly special shorthand abbreviations for Latin terms & phrases - for it appears to me learned texts re the interpretation of the Psalms would be in Latin.

Such special signs would indeed be useless in a normal context.

Vicente  •  Link

Must be a different version to Sam's, surely, otherwise he would or may be ,or will be a little paranoid about what he enters in his own diurnal. May be this is why he will use a linguae variation.
The Yacht 'pleasure boat'.
"... By the way they would have me sing, which I did to Mr. Coventry..."
Oh! by the way. On second thoughts 'a nice reminder.'.

Susan  •  Link

Surely Mr Coventry would have been reading the Psalms in the vernacular? From the Prayer Book version?
And I took "by the way" to be an archaic rendering of "on the way", not the current "oh I've just remembered" sort of phrase (although that would be Pepsian). What do others think??

Mary  •  Link

The shorthand psalms.

L&M footnote refers to Thomas Crosse's edition of the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalms, engraved in the shorthand system of Jeremiah Rich. Rich made lavish use of special signs; particular wavy lines, for example, represented the whole clause "the devills feare and tremble." One can see why Pepys is amused.

Apparently Rich used his signs partly in order to write whole sermons in a very small space. Clever, no doubt, but not of much use for recording everyday matters.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

The shorthand psalms
The Shelton system that SP uses is not devoid of special symbols for religious use. Each book of the Bible has its own special symbol and the words chosen for special treatment (i.e., their own character) have a distinctly religious cast to them (e.g. Afflictions, Adulterie, Apostles, Angells, etc.)

Paul Brewster  •  Link

More on religious shorthand
An excellent children's book, The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood, casts an interesting light on the use of shorthand for 'religious' purposes. A young boy, who is an indentured servant to a lazy, country parson, is taught shorthand in order to steal sermons from other preachers. His skill then features in an attempt by a rival company to steal Hamlet from Shakespeare's company of players.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"That done, we went to the Globe and there had a good dinner. And by and by took barge again and so home -- and by the way they would have me sing, which I did to Mr. Coventry -- who went up to Sir Wm. Battens, and there we stayed and talked a good while;"

I think the L&M punctuation makes a little more sense of the passage but I'm still not sure what to make of the word, "who", in the sentence.

From the L&M footnote, I gather that Coventry and SP sang a duet in which our hero featured as the bass.

Emilio  •  Link

"who went up to Sir Wm. Battens, and there we stayed"

The 'who' must refer to Coventry, I would think, since he's the only person who had been mentioned recently. He seems to have gone in Sir W. Batten's house with Sam (who glossed over a "with me", judging from the rest of the sentence) rather than back to his own house.

Vicente  •  Link

I do believe that S.P. is a little rushed these days, so his entrees are are shy of all his thoughts. Maybe he had foresight and he was thinking of us, centuries later nit picking his thoughts, keeping us on our toes.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"and there lay with my wife"
Language hat and other experts, does this indeed mean connubial bliss, Biblical knowledge, as opposed to mere snoozing?
If so, the mention of it is curious, almost as if Sam is apologizing to his father in absentia for doing it under Dad's roof.

language hat  •  Link

"and there lay with my wife"
I wondered about this myself. It's not a linguistic issue -- it could mean either -- so you just have to weigh the probabilities. I lean towards the Biblical interpretation, but we'll never really know, will we?

Vicente  •  Link

Note Bene: there is no 'so to bed', does that make a difference? he did say before that he did lie with a male {it being a no contact}, if course we will never know as L.H., does point out.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"reading of the Psalms in short hand"

From a rare book catalogue http://books.google.com/books?id=…

265 SHORTHAND Rich (Jeremiah) The Whole Book Of Psalms In Meter. According to the Art of Short-Writing. London, Printed for the Author, and are to be sould at his house the Golden Ball in Swithins Lane neare London Stone, N.D. (c. 1660). 64mo., engraved throughout by T. Cross, within rules, the portrait of Rich, title, next 4 leaves and last page within ornamental borders, FINE COPY, contemporary black morocco gilt, g.e., £7 7s

* Extremely rare in any state, but practically unobtainable in the choice condition of the present copy. Dedicated to the Duke of Buckingham and others. The last page contains "The Names of those Ingenious Schollars that were ye first incouragers of this incomparable peice."

eileen d.  •  Link

Wikipedia entry https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…

Vicente (yes, you are missed)... Seems like many people would have been using the same system as our Sam. I guess the only really secure parts would have been written in his lingua franca.

"The main advantage of the system was that it was easy to learn and to use. It was popular, and under the two titles of Short Writing and Tachygraphy, Shelton's book ran to more than 20 editions between 1626 and 1710."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and there lay with my wife"

Is he marking his territory? She was just back from Brampton; he remarked on having lain with her in their Seething Lane home and now at his father's.

John Pennington  •  Link

"and there lay with my wife."

It's actually hilarious that SP manages to phrase this in the most ambiguous way possible. I incline to read this as the reason he went to his father's and not something incidental; which I suppose would mean they did take pleasure together. But I agree that it's very, very close.

Third Reading

Elisabeth  •  Link

The Golden Ball in Swithins Lane neare London Stone

What a lovely phrase! Also it’s interesting to note that London Stone was still a well-known landmark in the late 17th century.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“ … and there lay with my wide.”

I posted about this a couple of days ago here: https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/….

It’s not clear, and in context today’s entry doesn’t (to me) have the overtone of sexual intimacy which the previous entry seems (to me) to suggest.

He does keep us guessing!

RLB  •  Link

Note that, despite Sam's obvious fondness for the stage, the Globe mentioned here is not Shakespeare's theatre. That was demolished in, IIRC, 1644, and not rebuilt until Sam Wanamaker came along in the 1990s. This appears to have been a pub in East (as it was then) London.

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