Saturday 13 February 1663/64

Up, and after I had told my wife in the morning in bed the passages yesterday with Creed my head and heart was mightily lighter than they were before, and so up and to the office, and thence, after sitting, at 11 o’clock with Mr. Coventry to the African House, and there with Sir W. Ryder by agreement we looked over part of my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, these being by Creed and Vernaty. Anon down to dinner to a table which Mr. Coventry keeps here, out of his 300l. per annum as one of the Assistants to the Royall Company, a very pretty dinner, and good company, and excellent discourse, and so up again to our work for an hour till the Company came to having a meeting of their own, and so we broke up and Creed and I took coach and to Reeves, the perspective glass maker, and there did indeed see very excellent microscopes, which did discover a louse or mite or sand most perfectly and largely. Being sated with that we went away (yet with a good will were it not for my obligation to have bought one) and walked to the New Exchange, and after a turn or two and talked I took coach and home, and so to my office, after I had been with my wife and saw her day’s work in ripping the silke standard, which we brought home last night, and it will serve to line a bed, or for twenty uses, to our great content. And there wrote fair my angry letter to my father upon that that he wrote to my cozen Roger Pepys, which I hope will make him the more carefull to trust to my advice for the time to come without so many needless complaints and jealousys, which are troublesome to me because without reason.

40 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

I think that I remember Pepys finding a silk flag in the Office when they were renovating the place. Didn't he decide to keep it safe for a while until he was sure that no-one would claim it?

As tomorrow is Valentine's Day but is also a Sunday, I was expecting Sam and Elizabeth to have their Valentine's Celebration today (see previous years for what they've done). Maybe tomorrow after all.

Glyn  •  Link

It is the people at the African House for whom Captain Holmes is currently on his expedition to Africa.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

so many needless complaints and jealousys, which are troublesome to me because without reason

Oh dear. Now its not just Mother Pepys who is querulous and cranky, but Father Pepys is also losing it -- according to Sam.

Lawrence  •  Link

"which did discover
a louse or mite or sand most perfectly and largely. Being sated with that we went away" Sated I guess he mean's he'd had his fill; Back together Creed and Pepys, all yesterday behind them, enjoying their discoveries together!!!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Dad's stock is way down; Bess' way up. I take it Bess was an appreciative audience as to Sam's tales of "handling" the ungrateful Creed.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"(yet with a good will were it not for my obligation to have bought one)" Oh, please Sam...Like Reeves bent your arm till you agreed to buy. You know you couldn't resist the latest cool toy.


Best of all we get the Professors Pepys embarking on their joint study of the microscopic flora and fauna.

Ok, Pierre and Marie Curie they are not...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So, I saide 'Creed,you are a rogue and have wronged me. Put me to risk and trouble without the recompense I deserve and I demand satisfaction.'"

"And...?" Bess, eagerly.

"He tried to put me off...As usual. But I could see he feared my cutting him off entirely. 'Pepys.' he says. 'I would never do such a man as you a wrong in faith I would not. You have mistaken me, surely. Do not say you would venture to lose my good opinion of you for such trifles.' Naturally I cast him a look of intense, yet cool, scorn."

"Ahhh... 'Trifles' he says. After all the risk you took and the hard hours with his accounts." Bess shakes head. "Do say you gave him what for, Sam'l..."

"Indeed, my darling. 'I care not for your good opinion, Creed.' saith I. 'Why not even my dear father may use me in such manner without my rebuke...And am I to receive it now at your hands?'"

"Good!" Ummn... "I was thinking you were a bit harsh with Father Pepys, Sam'l. He's so proud of you he forgets you're not a lord and independently wealthy yet."

"Tone it down a bit?"

"A wee..." she nods. He nodding assent.

"Kind of you, Bessie. Given that summer and all."

"Thank ye, Sam'l." Beam. "I would not bear a grudge to my father-in-law if he will not. So, as to that rogue...?"

"Oh..." Casual wave... "He could see now
I saw him for what he was. And that I was a man not to be moved when I was in the right...And he agreed I should be properly recompensed. I go to meet with him this very day as to that. Following the Royal Company dinner."

"Yeah!" fist in air.

"Well, we shall see how the fellow does. If he should do right by me, I shall say no more to his detriment. Should he not...I know his secrets and who might be properly annoyed to learn of them." Cold nod... "Well, Bess, my love. I must be off."

"Go to it, boy darling. And let me know what the microscopes are like. I can't wait to try one." she hugs him, patting him off.

Bess eyeing us...

"Of course I know it was horse... But my little fellow works hard as a dog for us, Creed did treat him like manure, and tomorrow's Valentine's Day. And he is getting me a microscope." Grin and wink.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"Ok, Pierre and Marie Curie they are not..."? Nae but they still be curious which be good sign, to see such creatures, especially that breed of Prick louse, with all its pins and needles.
This adventure to the wee world be like a modern to pics of a luna rover.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"(yet with a good will were it not for my obligation to have bought one)"

This phrase means the opposite of what it looks like at first. It's clearer if we insert a couple of commas:
"yet with a good will, were it not for my obligation, to have bought one"
What Sam means here is that he really wanted to buy one, but his oath against spending money except when necessary kept him from doing so.

Nate  •  Link

I understood it as Paul explained.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

By the way, before we find out who has latched on to our hero for this year's annual V-Day gifts. How were Valentine's Day gift-givers selected? It seems both genders selected one. I'd thought they drew lots,etc, but heard or read somewhere recently that it could be quite random and a matter of choice.

"Bess, Happy...Bess?"

"That linen-seller from Whitehall is here...Mrs. Rotten Alley or Filthy Path..."

"Lane...?" Peep from Pepys...

"Yeah. Says you're her Valentine." grim look.

"Ummn...Well, silly woman. Just trying to get a bit from her cust..."

"And, congratulations." Icy smile. "You're a father at last."


QuantumLobster  •  Link

"and saw her day's work in ripping the silke standard"

Not ripping as in tearing into pieces, but carefully picking out stitches so as to preserve the material. As a sewist myself, I can attest that this is a very tedious process! Also, keep in mind the poor lighting of the time...!

ruizhe  •  Link

At least she's doing most of the work by sunlight.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Link to some nice pics and info on early microscopes.…

Not quite sure yet just what Creed, Sam, and Bess would have been capable of seeing...Some of the instruments by this time were quite effective.

jeannine  •  Link

A mitey limerick

Microscopes are good to have on hand
To enlarge little pieces of sand
Looking close at a mite
Could bring on such a fright
That such viewing should surely be banned!

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"which did discover a louse"
Husband of mine come here and take a look;a member of your family!

Pedro  •  Link

Robert Hooke's "Micrographia" (1665)--

Adding to Michael's info...

Spectacular engraved plates recorded the minutiae of phenomena, ranging from the tip of a needle, a drop of urine and a snow flake to mould, fleas and fish scales but always noting their divine provenance. As Hooke wrote: "the Wisdom and Providence of the All-wise Creator, is not less shown in these small despicable creatures."

(from Gillian Darley's biography of John Evelyn)

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

For the gander at a bookworm thee can obtain they version 'ere.

"...Observ. LII. _Of the small Silver-colour'd _Book-worm_._...
Micrographia by Robert Hooke

Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon…
or see how they shaved.
Observ. II. _Of the Edge of a Razor._

John M  •  Link

Sam and Creed

Why is Sam so pleased with himself. Its not as if he has screwed any more money out of skinflint John Creed. Or am I missing something?

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

This be the age of beginning of Enlightenment, each action gets a reaction, Politics in motion stay in motion to a leveller comes along ...... , with one man observing white light being broken up, another peering at the miniscule, another making lenses so that he could come up with a word on ethics, so many basic rules coming to light so that we be may boil water and another using mercury for us to predict a storm.
All this did upset the clergy, that Des Cartes did say use thy noodle before taking everything on faith [ cum salis grano ]
It must be all those sugars, spices and baccy that upset the genetic balance that more men started to query what they saw.

Lawrence  •  Link

Does John Creed own a coach?
thought he did for some reason!

Pedro  •  Link

"Des Cartes did say use thy noodle before taking everything on faith"

And at this very time of 1663-5 in the tollerent Netherlands, Spinoza, greatly influenced by Des Cartes, is forming his own philosophy.

Australian Susan  •  Link

There is a specialised little tool called a stitch ripper to make removing lines of stitching easier. Elizabeth probably had one of these. Nowadays they tend to be used for correcting mistakes (I have used them a lot), but up until the days of mass production of materials, cloth was re-used frequently. I have been reading a book on women in the 18th century recently. Mention is made in that of women having garments unstitched and then sent away for re-dying before being remade into "new" garments. Elizabeth, 50 years earlier than my example, would undoubtedly have done the same kind of thing, although being urban and having tailoring in the family, probably had better access to new materials at a better price, than country ladies.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I can still remember as a teenager first seeing things under a microscope: it was amazing! Sam, always alive with curiosity after new things, was obviously equally fascinated.

Birdie  •  Link

Pedro, Also at this time (1663) the works of Descartes (latinized name Cartesius) were banned by the pope. Descartes, however, did not experience this honor - he died 1650 in Stockholm, Sweden where he was employed as a teacher to the queen.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"tollerent Netherlands" The Dutch may have been, but Espinoza's peers be not. They caste him out of the fold , So he be veddy careful to whom he said things to, he kept a low profile except he did like to receive more tollerant brains.
To get a flavor of Baruch, one can find it below. Google will provide plenty of fodder.
AXIOMS. I. Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else.
II. That which cannot be conceived through anything else must be conceived through itself.
III. From a given definite cause an effect necessarily follows ; and, on the other hand, if no definite cause be granted, it is impossible that an effect can follow.
IV. The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves the knowledge of a cause.
V. Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood, the one by means of the other ; the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other.
VI. A true idea must correspond with its ideate or object.
VII. If a thing can be conceived as non-existing, its essence does not involve existence.

ala Euclid…

Des Cartes became only known to the thinking Publick after his bout of Pneumonia and his demise in 1649.
more here……

Ruben  •  Link

"tollerent Netherlands" The Dutch may have been, but Espinoza's peers be not.
I am not an expert in Spinoza, but I feel at easy with "Baruch's flavor".
If you look at Wikipedia you see that:
"After his excommunication, it is purported that Spinoza lived and worked in the school of Franciscus van den Enden, who taught him Latin in his youth and may have introduced him to modern philosophy, although Spinoza never mentions Van den Enden anywhere in his books or letters. Van den Enden was a Cartesian and atheist who was forbidden by the city government to propagate his doctrines publicly." (this I think is the reason Spinoza never mentions his teacher!). I do not feel that this was a tolerant time, including Netherlands burghers. The reason to admit Jews was that it was good for the country (skilled workers and the like). They were expected to comply with their own religion. Atheism was considered a crime by all. For this reason Spinoza kept his mouth shut most of his life. After the initial works, he published posthumously, the same that Copernicus did and Galileo should have done.
I do not think Samuel would agree with Spinoza, except that he probably could have read and read Spinoza's work. I would like to know what his reaction could have been. This is a tall job for me. Maybe Robert can help here?

May be Samuel would have appreciated his lenses more than his philosophy, lenses that fetched a very high price in the market.

Pedro  •  Link

"tollerent Netherlands"

I think that I should have written religious tollerence in the Netherlands, as it does not seem that all religions could take part in the civil life.

Some info from Calvinism and Religious Toleration in the Dutch Golden Age by R. Po-Chia Hsia, Henk Van Nierop...

Union of Utrecht (1579), the rebel provinces agreed
in article 13 that 'nobody shall be persecuted or examined for religious

By requiring the different religious communities to take care of their own poor, the regents effectively carved up Dutch society into clearly recognisable 'pillars' (zuilen), to use a term from later Dutch sociology, with sharply marked boundaries between the larger civil sphere and the separate religious spheres, as Joke Spaans argues in her essay. This genius in mapping social topography ensured that religious and civil identities were anchored in separate spaces...

Expressions of loyalty to the House of Orange, for example, enabled all religious communities, including the Jews and Catholics, to celebrate a common atriotism, in spite of the unequal legal and civil status enjoyed by the different religious groups. Religious plurality was thus predicated upon a rigorous and vigilant patrolling of boundaries, undertaken by individuals, communities, and above all by the civil authorities. Order and discipline, therefore, laid the foundations for religious pluralism.

Ruben  •  Link

"tollerent Netherlands"

what you could not do was to be not religious, meaning agnostic, atheist.
As the Americans like to say after their independence: "all equal under God". (So you need a God to be equal...)
Not to believe in God was considered blasphemous by all the others.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Jeannine's ditty reminds me of "The Microbe," by Hilaire Belloc:

The Microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen--
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so....
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"tollerent Netherlands" Tolerance or open mindedness was NOT the order of the day, anywhere. If thy wanted to say 'sumert' that would caste a shadow of disrespect on any of the political/religeos power centers then thee would keep 'mum' or caste thy comment in sugar coated glop for the fop.
One is welcome anywhere when thee bring wealth potential or gifts that the locals need. The problem comes about, is when the locals no longer need thy expert knowledge, silver talents or silver tongue, then jealously rises, then thee be unwanted and must leave or thee be forced to enforce thy superior ways with a superior weapon.

dirk  •  Link

Religious tolerance in the Netherlands

"Expressions of loyalty to the House of Orange, for example, enabled all religious communities, including the Jews and Catholics, to celebrate a common patriotism, in spite of the unequal legal and civil status enjoyed by the different religious groups." & "What you could not do was to be not religious"

Pedro and Ruben, I think this is basically a correct description of the situation! This was merely an extended, tempered form of the contemporary legal principle "cuius regio, eius religio" [lit. "of whom the region, of him the religion"] - not freedom of religion as we now understand it, as the latter would imply that religious convictions don't have any influence on a person's civil life and carreer. [BTW I'm not so sure that even today all the countries that claim to have freedom of religion would comply completely to that last statement...]

There's a very well-written roughly contemporary text on the subject of political behaviour (including religion vs politics) by Simon Stevin (political philosopher as well as a fine mathematician). Unfortunately it's in 16th c. Dutch, so I'll make a VERY crude attempt here at summarizing the essentials in English -- I just hope the ghost of Stevin will forgive me for ignoring the many subtleties of the original text -- any mistakes are my own -- Ahem!


"Vita Politica - Het Burgherlick Leven",
Simon Stevin, Leyden 1590

(Chapters 6 & 7) Religion is absolutely necessary to have and maintain a well functioning political system, because it provides a clear concept of right and wrong. Combined with the fear of God this makes the citizen go for good rather than evil, order rather than disorder, and thus provides a sound foundation for social action. The sovereign state can allow other religions, or can choose not to. Every citizen, whatever his religious preference, should behave in a civil manner, i.e. conform to the rules and customs of the social and religious order of the country he lives in. Those who have no religion and don't want to conform outwardly don't have a place in the political system. ["...daer moet dan nootsaklick een Religie sijn ende sonder Religie gaet het al verloren ... dit houden wij voor een vaste stercke eeuwighe reghel ende diet soo niet en verstaet voor hem en dient het volgende niet want hy daer toe onbequaem is als meer onderdanich wesende sijn verkeerde eyghensinnelycheyt..."] Citizens who have no religion should at least conform their outward behaviour to the existing order ["hun ghevoughen na de teghenwoordighe oirdeninge der plaetse"]. Those with a religion that is not allowed fall into one of two categories: those whose conscience will allow them to fully conform in their outward behaviour and not disturb the common peace, and those who feel they cannot but follow their faith even if that is not in accordance with law and order. The latter should leave the country and either seek a place where they can practice their religion (there will always be a place to go to, though one might have to leave the civilized world) -- or a country from where they can legitimately fight the social order they don't agree with, using "honest violence" (declared war) ["Eerlicke ghewelt"] when they see no other way. "Dishonest", subversive resistance from within is not permissible, from the point of view of political phylosophy and international law, and out of honest respect for one's own conscience.

[If you want the original text, just mail me -- the pdf version is 26 pages.]

dirk  •  Link

Re the above, I found a direct link online to Stevin's text -- I probably got it from there long ago, though I couldn't trace it anymore...…

Terry F  •  Link

"As the Americans like to say after their independence: "all equal under God". (So you need a God to be equal...)"

Ruben, you have been misled. The phrase "under God" was added only in the early 1950's at a time of anti-Communist enthusiasm to the American Pledge of Allegiance, writ first by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy only on September 7, 1892.…

Nick Flowers  •  Link

I wonder if the silk standard that Mrs. P. is unpicking is one of the Commonwealth or Protectorate. Only one of these survives (possibly England's oldest surviving naval flag or standard), in store at the National Maritime Museum. Charles II ordered the destruction of all flags and images of the Interregnum and I wonder if it had been discovered that Samuel had been hoarding one, he would have had some explaining to do.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"with Sir W. Ryder by agreement we looked over part of my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, these being by Creed and Vernaty."

Philibert Vernatty was a clerk or accountant at Tangier in the service of Peterborough (Governor, 1661-3). Disputes over the accounts continued for several months, principally between Peterborough and Thomas Povey, Treasurer of the Tangier Committee. Pepys was involved not only as a member of the committee but also as Sandwich's agent. A report on them was made on 19 May 1664:…
(Per L&N footnote)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ Being sated with that we went away . . ‘

‘sate, v. < Apparently a pseudo-etymological alteration of sade v., after Latin sat, satis enough . .

1. a. trans. To fill or satisfy to the full (with food); to indulge or gratify to the full by the satisfaction of any appetite or desire.
. . 1639 W. Whately Prototypes (1640) ii. xxvi. 84 So that no outward benefits may glut and satt our hearts.
1713 R. Steele in Guardian 20 Mar. 2/1 As his Resentment was sated, he now began to reflect . . ‘

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