Saturday 20 June 1663

Up and to my office, where all the morning, and dined at home, Mr. Deane, of Woolwich, with me, and he and I all the afternoon down by water, and in a timber yard, measuring of timber, which I now understand thoroughly, and shall be able in a little time to do the King great service.

Home in the evening, and after Will’s reading a little in the Latin Testament, to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

"Will’s reading a little in the Latin Testament"

Yesterday's Diary entry ended "making Will read a part of a Latin chapter, in which I perceive in a little while he will be pretty ready, if he spends but a little pains in it."

Ready for what? Is Pepys prepping Will Hewer for St Paul's School?

Bradford  •  Link

How about, for a bedtime reading,
"Et pastores erant in regione eadem uigilantes et custodientes uigilias noctis supra gregem suum," etc.?
---Secundum Lucam 2:8.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"reading a little in Latin ... to bed"
A bed time story is good with "pastores" and sheep;I would suggest a text from my high school days: "Ad rivum eundem lupus et agnus venerant siti compulsii...."

in Aqua scripto  •  Link

Sam be providing 'materia' for the protection of LRH

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Pepys' pedagogic practice was not unusual for the period, see:-

Adagialia sacra Novi Testamenti, Selecta & exposita ab Andr. Schotto. Compendifacta in gratiam studiosæ juventutis, opera C. B. [i.e. Clement Barksdale].
Excudebat L. Lichfield, & veneunt apud Tho. Robinson: Oxoniæ, 1651.
12º. pp. 134

dirk  •  Link

"making Will read a part of a Latin chapter, in which I perceive in a little while he will be pretty ready" -- Ready for what?

Maybe not ready for anything in particular, Terry.

Could this word "ready" here be a now possibly obsolete derivation from the verb "to read"? "Read-y" = reading fluently? LH?

Or it could just mean "ready" in the sense of "prompt in apprehending or reacting" [The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language].

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Brampton...

"Darcy, really. You must join in the dance tonight. Lady Sandwich did ask us to attend this thing to present us both to the locals, you know. Just for once, can't you relax those standards of yours and enjoy yourself. It really is a pleasant little gathering." Friendly nod to the just arrived, passing elderly John and Margaret Pepys' nervous bow, Pall behind them openly and raptly staring at everyone, particularly the two handsome gentlemen speaking to each other...

"My friend. As all Darcys, past, present, and even to the nineteenth century have, do, and will attest...I do not care to perambulate round the floor with such specimens as I am likely to find here tonight."

"Dash it, Darcy. There are some deuced pretty girls here. Miss Jemina, Lady Jem, some of the country gentry..."

"Please...Hobbling about the floor with the 'country' gentry?" Darcy eyes Pall and several others. "Perhaps you would have me take the transplanted tailor's daughter in hand? Or perhaps I should allow those Civil War upstart Montagus to once again spend the evening trying to marry me off to their crooked-necked daughter?"

"Now, Darcy. I know Lady Jem is a bit eager regards you for her Jemina but...Ah, and there's Lady Sandwich's cousin's wife, Mrs. Pepys." Polite nod to Bess as she enters with Lady Jem from a door further down the hall. "Now we've seen she can dance, eh Darcy? Part French, I believe...Now there's quite a beauty. Even my Lord.."


"Lady Jemina." Formal bow from Darcy. "I hope this night finds you and your daughter well."

"Ah, Mr. Darcy." Lady Jem beaming. Eagerly looking round for Jemina...After all this one's got the noble connections to please Ed and the cash and property in hand to secure the family's wobbily financial state.

"Mrs. Pepys, good evening. Might I request the first dance of the evening?"

Hmmn...Knew those lessons would come in handy, Bess beams.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

after Will’s reading a little in the Latin Testament

reminds me of a Latin class in which a student stumbled over "In principio, ut"
to which another said, "John 1:1. 'Ut' means 'was.'" It was considered witty, don't ask me why.

OzStu  •  Link

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God".

My Latin is at about the level of "Caeser adsum iam forte; passus sum sed Antoni" but I seem to recall that "Principio" could mean "God", in which case the witty respondee is pointing out that the difficult word "was God".

However I'm sure that LH, IAS, OzSue or others can produce a more erudite explanation.

graybo  •  Link

This seems to be one of the shortest diary entries for a while.
Clearly it was an uneventful day.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

"Clearly it was an uneventful day."

Not if Robert is right.

Bradford  •  Link

But we could make it more eventful yet with a debate on the ethical ramifications of doing great service for an undeserving monarch, under cover of advancing one's career. Or vice-versa. Me, I'm going to go out and play my flute on the leads; it's just too darn hot to argue.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam is operating, I think at least, on the principle that service to the country, personified by the King, is more important than consideration of the qualities of the human monarch currently holding the throne. Coventry, his current model, seeks to create a technocrat team that would guide benevolent despot Charles (or at least Jamie when the autocracy can finally be secured) to reform the government and run it efficiently. If all goes well, troublesome, messy, and inefficient Parliament is sent home permanently, worthless favorities find themselves out, and honest and skilled advisers will rule in the King's name with absolute authority bringing all the bright, developing ideas of the Enlightment into play for the good of all. (Uh-huh....Sorta like how the Communists, Technocrats, and other "scientific" fascists of the Twenties and Thirties were going to get dictatorship right 'cause they were superior to all petty hatreds and corruptions.)

Well, one can respect the idealism...And considering Parliament had failed to govern successfully one can see why an able man like William Coventry or Sam Pepys might feel the only hope was a well-run autocracy with (hopefully) just laws providing protections for the citizen...A pity Coventry and Sam can't see the idealism buried somewhere there among Parliament's members.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Latin was the common language of diplomacy, serious books, royal proclamations, etc. If Will Hewer was to advance in life, he needed to have a working knowledge of the language. This may be the first move Pepys has taken to build his own network of influential young people who, in later life, will go to other departments of the government and report the gossip back to him. We call it mentoring today.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

You're right Sarah: Will Hewer seems to be from a merchant background, wealthier perhaps than Pepys, but without the aristocratic connections or University education. He's also a connection to the Commonwealth/Protectorate regime via his uncle Richard Blackburne/Blackborne, whom Pepys respected highly, and for whose advice he was very grateful early in the diary years.…

So Pepys in teaching Will Latin, and whatever else he can, is passing on some of the advantages of Pepys' own formal education. His association with Sam, effectively as what we would now call a personal assistant, will give Will the connections which helped him prosper and rise though the system.

If it were not for the long association with James which, with the impending exclusion crisis, and long before James' accession, endangered both Sam and Will, both of them might well have been knighted or better.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Will Hewer seems to be from a merchant background, wealthier perhaps than Pepys, but without the aristocratic connections or University education. He's also a connection to the Commonwealth/Protectorate regime via his uncle Richard Blackburne/Blackborne, whom Pepys respected highly, and for whose advice he was very grateful early in the diary years."

Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, says Will was the son of Thomas Hewer, a stationer (p. 119). Pepys met his uncle, Robert Blackborne, then secretary both to the naval commissioners and to the customs, in March 1660… before he went with Edward Mountagu to fetch Charles Stuart from Holland -- and months before he became Clerk of the Acts on 13 July, a period in which he did indeed value Blackborne's advice.

For Tomalin:…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘ready, adj., adv., int., and n Middle English . .
3. a. Willing or eager to act when required; prompt to oblige. Also: quick at one's work; skilled.
. . 1647 J. Howell New Vol. of Lett. 22 So I am Your most affectionate ready servant, J. H. . .

4. a. Of the mind or mental faculties: quick to understand, plan, etc.; alert, perceptive, incisive. Now chiefly in ready wit.
. . 1688 P. Rycaut tr. G. de la Vega Royal Comm. Peru i. xxxviii. 479 Atahualpa..was of a quick and ready Understanding . . ‘

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

DNB has:

‘Hewer, William (1642–1715), naval administrator, . . the eldest son of . . Anne Blackborne, sister of Robert Blackborne, navy and admiralty secretary during the Commonwealth and subsequently secretary of the East India Company. It was at Blackborne's prompting that on 18 July 1660 the new clerk of the acts, Samuel Pepys, took on Hewer as his clerk in the Navy Office and as a domestic employee. The relationship with Pepys would mature into professional collaboration and lifelong friendship. In the early days Hewer was occasionally rebuked for small failings in dress and drink, but was soon the trusted aide and favoured companion of Pepys and his wife, Elizabeth . .

. . Hewer acquired [in 1688] . . a handsome house on the north side of Clapham Common . . Here Pepys came to live in his old age and to die in 1703 . . Hewer was Pepys's executor . . [he] lived ‘very handsomly and friendly to every body’ and who had in particular assisted Pepys's wayward in-laws . . He died . . there on 3 December 1715 . . ‘

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