Saturday 29 June 1661

By a letter from the Duke complaining of the delay of the ships that are to be got ready, Sir Williams both and I went to Deptford and there examined into the delays, and were satisfyed. So back again home and staid till the afternoon, and then I walked to the Bell at the Maypole in the Strand, and thither came to me by appointment Mr. Chetwind, Gregory, and Hartlibb, so many of our old club, and Mr. Kipps, where we staid and drank and talked with much pleasure till it was late, and so I walked home and to bed.

Mr. Chetwind by chewing of tobacco is become very fat and sallow, whereas he was consumptive, and in our discourse he fell commending of “Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity,” as the best book, and the only one that made him a Christian, which puts me upon the buying of it, which I will do shortly.

22 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"by chewing of tobacco is become very fat and sallow" sallow I agree but fat I don't; when I did quit smoking I gained 20 pounds;nicotine causes vasoconstriction in the skin but it also decreases your appetite.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

From the Laws: A sample of Hooker's gorgeous Gorgianic prose:

"Wherefore that here we may briefly end, of law there can be no
lesse acknowledged, then that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the
harmony of the world, all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very
least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power, but angels and men and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the
mother of their peace and joy."

Louis  •  Link

Over half a century ago, at the University of Chicago, Hooker's "Eccclesiastical Polity" was announced as the set text for Ph.D. aspirants in English Literature to work up. A friend of mine, a much-decorated professor emerita now 88, has never forgotten the horror this inspired in her and her classmates.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Why such a down on Hooker? Richard Hooker, a statue of whom sits in the Cathedral Close in Exeter, Devon was the man who, almost singlehandedly brought the Anglican Church into existence as a viable church. Previous to his work, the various religious 'camps' in England were at war (a few years before literally), but his work had the effect of bringing that to an end. The 'camps' still existed of course (and still do), but following 'Polity' became wars of words.

Don't make the mistake (unfortunately, often made on these comment pages) of judging him, his works, etc., by 21st century 'standards'. It is simply anachronistic to do so.

Richard Hooker was indeed a very great man, a native of Heavitree, Exeter (declare an interest - born a mile from my own birthplace).

Roger Arbor  •  Link

A little quote to show Richard Hooker's (impenetrable it seems to some) wisdom:

"That to live by one man's will became the cause of all men's misery.”
(Ecclesiastical Polity. Book i. )

Echoed in the lives of millions… particularly in the 20th Century!

Mary  •  Link

The maypole in The Strand.

This was the tallest maypole in London, erected opposite Somerset House, near the hackney coach stand. Liza Picard (Restoration London) describes how the pole, having been torn down under Cromwell, was re-erected in April 1661 by a team of twelve sailors under the command of the Duke of York. As it was re-erected "little children did much rejoice, and ancient people did clap their hands saying, golden days began to appear."

Pedro.  •  Link

The maypole in The Strand.

The most famous Maypole in England was erected on the first May Day of Charles II reign in 1661. An enormous pole, 40 metres high, was floated up the Thames and erected in the Strand where it remained for almost 50 years.
Sam missed the celebrations due to his business trip on the 29th April...

"I am sorry that I am not at London, to be at Hide-parke to-morrow, among the great gallants and ladies, which will be very fine."…

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link


I urge anyone interested in political debate to read Hooker's preface to the Laws, and offer as a foretaste the following opening sentences from that work:

"He that goeth about to persuade a multitude, that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive hearers; because they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject, but the secret lets and difficulties, which in public proceedings are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgment to consider. And because such as openly reproive supposed disorder of state are taken for friends to the common benefit of all, and for men that carry singular freedom of mind, under this fair and plausible colour whatsoever they utter passeth for good and current. That which wanteth in the weight of their speech, is supplied by ther aptness of men's minds to accept and believe it."

JWB  •  Link

To put the present into the past, or more recent events, people etc. into less recent times, is anachronistic. To judge people & events by whatever standard is not. There is a school of thought that thinks so, but then it is a present day school of thought, the application of which violates itself in self-referent manner. Besides, I wouldn't dismiss Kant's idea of the "categorical imperative" out of hand, by a word.

matthew  •  Link

aren't we then in danger of transgressing against morals which don't yet exist?

Eric Walla  •  Link

Anachronism considered

This has always been an interesting question: by what standards do we judge figures from the past, by their social morals and ethics or our own? It does appear that if you are using their lives and acts as an instructional device, as a commentary on our own values by contrasting them with a previous time, then by all means be "self-referential." Yet if you are intent on exploring that time and the thoughts and deeds of its inhabitants, then our own contemporary standards seem out of place.

What do we expect of a person from the 17th century? If we fault him or her for not satisfying our criteria for moral/ethical/intellectual behavior, we in fact seem to be searching for those precious few who could stand outside of time, who spring whole and fully armed out of the Godhead of society, spouting streams of Universal Truth.

These few tend to end up as martyrs or madmen, or both. Important figures such as Hooker (to try and bring this post back on-topic) live within their times and still bring about incremental and lasting societal change. We all must simply choose through what prism--and to what purpose--we wish to refract the light of their lives.

Jesse  •  Link

"which puts me upon the buying of it"

I wonder if the intent is to actually read through it or to keep it as a casual reference, a required part of a gentleman's library.

tc  •  Link

...the Duke complaining of the delay of the ships that are to be got ready...

One wishes Sam would go into a little more detail as to what these delays were, and why, after a trip to Deptford, he is "satisfyed"... obviously he went to Deptford to sniff around and perhaps light a fire under someone's bum, get them to shake a leg, get the lead out; but why?

He is satisfied that the delays were unavoidable? He is satisfied that whatever caused the delays has now rectified?

Surely this has nothing to do with the Margate hoy and all that tizzy from a few days past; but what is it all about? No powder, no shot, no victuals? No cordage, no canvas, no spare spars? Crew troubles? Lazy workmen? Worms in the keelsons, weevils in the biscuits?

Inquiring sailor wants to know...

(and the inquiry is from one who is constantly dealing with the modern-day equivalents of the Duke (dukes of industry and high finance, big shots, big cheeses)asking "Why isn't my boat ready?!?"

I hope we hear more about Sam's response to the Duke, beyond that he is "satisfyed"- maybe he's got a good excuse I can poach!)

Bradford  •  Link

Hooker has his merits; but after several hundred pages of his prose you will find, as Dorothy Parker put it, me and Morpheus off in a corner, necking.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

The delay of the ships is fortunate for Pepys, as it has presumably given the hoy enough time to catch up and deliver the cloth that Sandwich will present to the Turks.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Here's an event happening today that will be important in SP's life:

1661 - June 29, Davenant opens the Duke's Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn-fields
---Handbook of London: past and present. P. Cunningham, 1849.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Samuel Pepys to Sandwich

Written from: Lincoln's Inn Fields

Date: 29 August 1661

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 73, fol(s). 585

Document type: Holograph

Mentions family news [see MS. Carte 73, fol. 581]. States that the present season is generally sickly both in town & country; "Even to a contagion, or very neere it" ... "The known Dr. Fuller (of the Holy War) is dead" ... "All but Church matters are very quiet, & them [sic], especially in Scotland, make great noise". Mentions the delay of the fleet for Lisbon, "through want of tidings from Portugal".…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Maypole in the Strand"

When the Restoration occurred in 1660, common people in London, in particular, put up maypoles "at every crossway," according to John Aubrey. The largest was in the Strand, near the current St Mary-le-Strand church. The maypole there was the tallest by far, reaching over a hundred and thirty feet, and it stood until being blown over by a high wind in 1672, when it was moved to Wansted in Essex and served as a mount for a telescope.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Chetwind by chewing of tobacco...."

In the 16th and 17th centuries tobacco was frequently used as a medicine.
(L&M note)

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