Tuesday 5 July 1664

Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon to the ’Change a little, then with W. Howe home and dined. So after dinner to my office, and there busy till late at night, having had among other things much discourse with young Gregory about the Chest business, wherein Sir W. Batten is so great a knave, and also with Alsop and Lanyon about the Tangier victualling, wherein I hope to get something for myself.

Late home to supper and to bed, being full of thoughts of a sudden resolution this day taken upon the ’Change of going down to-morrow to the Hope.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...much discourse with young Gregory about the Chest business, wherein Sir W. Batten is so great a knave, and also with Alsop and Lanyon about the Tangier victualling, wherein I hope to get something for myself."

Kinda just speaks for itself, doesn't it?

And not even the customary..."with profit to the King."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

There's obviously Hope in 'Change.(Stop hissing).

In any case it's nice to see Sam able to push thoughts of ill health back and begin to resume his usual frenzied pace. Bess must be doing better as well.

cape henry  •  Link

"There's obviously Hope in 'Change." Indeed there is, RG, and it's a point made in one of Alsop's Fables somewhere I'm sure.

JWB  •  Link

"Hope in the 'Change"

Documented by London Business School professors Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton in " Triumph of the Optimists".

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

alsops/aesops fable :
The old frog was about to cross the pond when a pretty young scorpion whistles "Hey laddie give me a lift to the other side" The Old Frog stops and squints, seeing the miss scorpion says "Lassie ye will sting me." In her dulcet tones says "why would I sting yee as yee be my life saviour", the old Frog says " OK then , hop aboard and then away we go".
The old frog, so happy, he be smiling now that a pretty young thing is riding on his back , gets to the other bank, and is about to say "here ye be", when he feels a giant stinger enter and he has time enough to say " why did thee do that, pretty miss?" and miss S. says , " sorry me olde china, that be my nature."
then the olde frog gasps 'is last breath.

Mary  •  Link

ref: Aesop re-told.

"china" = china plate = mate. Cockney rhyming slang.

alanB  •  Link

Just a thought: perhaps the reason that Sam is 'full of thoughts' is his intention to stow-away in the scuttle-butt when he gets down to the Hope tomorrow. Sam is contemplating doing 'a runner'

No doubt Mr Gertz will reveal Sam's intentions and the reaction of Lord Sandwich, Lizzie, Billy Batten et al.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"From the heroic front of Christendom in Germany...

My dear brother-in-law...Of the horrors I have witnessed, of the sufferings I have endured, of the heroic courage I have displayed, I will say nothing, as befits a gentleman of the line of St. Michel. Whilst the jealousy of certain so-called "superior" officers...Men lacking any of the qualities of a true gentleman...Have prevented me obtaining an officer's commission, our Holy Crusade against the Turk continues with many a weary march, many a bitter struggle as we drive the infidel back town by town. I wish you to inform my dear sister who always remains in my heart that I am well as yet, God sparing me from the severe wounds and disease that have taken so many in this glorious campaign. However, dear brother...A liberty I take as you have always been a dear and good brother to me...I must tell you personally that I have received a few trifling hurts which make it difficult for me to continue in the ranks..."

"You sure your brother's good for money? 'Cause you go to jail if this score ain't paid." the innkeeper of the Blue Fox at Hamburg eyes Balty.

"Indeed, I must venture on your good nature, brother, in the hopes that you might out of your good fortune, long may you continue to be blessed in both it and my good sister, be able to assist me in having my injuries properly treated. In carrying out a dangerous assignment involving crucial dispatches from our General to the Emperor..."

"And that officer, that Major, said if you didn't get them letters to his wife in Bremen by Thursday he'd have you out of this messenger job and your ass in the firing line for once for sure."

"Where I should have a proper chance to display the courage of a gentleman, sir. Ummn...Is my horse saddled?"

"No money, no horse, Herr St. Michel."

"Private St. Michel!" a barking German call. The innkeeper eyes Balty. "Tell the Major I'll be there in a moment."

"...So my dear brother, I must request a modest sum, a few pounds on loan in order to speed my recovery and ensure my safe return, with honor, to my family. I trust, dear brother, you will not fail me, I must now close as the trumpet calls us to battle once more. Yours in haste, Balthazar St. Michel."

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

And of course the scorpion drowns too, sincere in her regret that she's killed her helpmate but unable to fight her nature. A lovely fable, wonder if Castlemaine's read it.

I dunno Robert, something tells me Balty never managed to leave England and Sam will find that letter came from Dover. But thanks for it. :)

Gerry  •  Link

It's hardly a spoiler to point to today as a pre anniversary date of the publication, in a couple of years of Newton's Principia with Sam's name on the title page. Wikipedia reminded me of this and also (stretching a bit) its the 70th anniversary of Spam, which, as any tyke growing up in England post WW2, will tell you was the venison pasty of it's day!
Only thing Maggie T. and I agreed on.

Gerry  •  Link

Today, as Wikipedia reminds me, is the pre-anniversary of the publication, in a couple of years or so of Newton's Principia with Sam's name on the title page. It's also the 70th anniversary of Spam, which as any tyke growing up in post WW2 England would tell you was the venison pasty of it's day.
Only thing Maggie T and I ever agreed on!

JWB  •  Link


"Derived from the village of Alsop en la Dale in Derbyshire, England. The place name means "Ælli's valley"'

Sop's great name for a valley, just think of a black burn running through a black sop.

Bradford  •  Link

"much discourse with young Gregory about the Chest business, wherein Sir W. Batten hopes to get something for himself, and also with Alsop and Lanyon about the Tangier victualling, wherein I am so great a knave."

How that's for revisionist history? As Mr. Ovid says, change the names and the story can be about yourself.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Only something like "We attacked the village, slaughtering the men as they gave themselves up to us, sparing not women nor children whom we cast into the flames despite their piteous cries and then finding the great store of treasure we had hoped for gave gracious thanks to Gold...er God for our glorious victory."...quite matches Sam here for sheer blockheaded audacity.

"Hmmn...Or was I the one involved with the Chest, hoping to get something for myself, and Sir Will playing the knave with Alsop and Lanyon over the Tangier victualing? Ah, well, no matter..."

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Aw, c'mon, you guys are being too hard on Sam. Clearly he feels there is a qualitative (and, no doubt, quantitative) difference between his actions and Batten's. The Chest, if I recall correctly, is set up to help pensioners and such, while Sam's simply working on a business deal. He always drives a hard bargain, and strives to get the best price for the king. If he takes a little off the top, look at it as a bit of recompense for his hard work. Not kosher by today's standards (in some countries, anyway!), but certainly excusable by his...

Pedro  •  Link

And on the Coast of West Africa.

Holmes reaches Cape Lopez Gonsalves and spends 4 days refitting; tallowing, scraping, tarring and taking in wood and water.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Parliamentary hearing on the Dutch war disaster...

(Alternate universe...BTW see the neat Nature tribute to Hugh Everett, who came up with the whole concept from quantum physics.)

"Mr. Pepys, your sordid affairs stinketh in the nostrils of the Lord. Clearly you and Mr. Pett..."

Naturally, the only non-Sirs available for public disembowelment, Sam thinks, eyeing Pett.

"...Are a set of vile rogues out to rob King and Country and left our Navy helpless before the mighty Dutch fleet."

"My Lord, I never did anything without profit to the King..." Sam tries. ...excepting that one day in July of '64, he thinks. "Certainly nothing I ever did was to the extent of Sir William Batten...Merely a little taken off the top, my lord."

"Strike that libel of our noble and courageous Sir William, clerk. And we will merely take a little off your top, Mr. Pepys."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ooops, the link to Everett, here it is...


(Quick, relation to Sam...Ummn...Ummn...Right, all the possible existences of Pepys-King Pepys, Dictator Pepys, Bloomish Pepys (never made it past junior clerk), Musician Pepys, Prime Minister/Chancellor Pepys, Revolutionary Pepys, Scientist Pepys, Wronged Othelloish husband Pepys, Really abusive Pepys, Wife-Murdering Pepys, Historian Pepys, Refugee Pepys, Twenty-first century Pepys, It's a Wonderful Life, Pepys ("but to you, Penn, a warped, frustrated old man..."), Courageous Captain Pepys, Explorer Pepys, American colonist Pepys, Pepys the Butler/Servant, Captain MacHeath Pepys, Traitor/Spy Pepys...And you know, the interesting thing is, he actually was quite a bit of most of them.)

Terry F  •  Link

RG: How much do you get per Premium plus subscriber to Nature you recruit?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

difference between his actions and Batten's.

Batten skims from widows, orphans and the disabled; Pepys from the stomachs of the King's loyal fighting forces in constant action against the Moors ...

The only rationalization I can see is that certain Royal officers, Cartaret as Treasurer for example, were entitle to 'poundage,' a small percentage handling fee, and other government business was paid for by fee -- could SP and Batten both see themselves as receiving merely traditional emoluments to which they would have been entitled had the instructions for their offices been 'properly drafted.'

tonyt  •  Link

Gerry. The publication of 'Principia' was 23 years away not 2 years. In 1664, Newton (aged 22) may well have already have had some of the ideas for Principia in his head but putting them down in writing was a long way off.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ooops again, sorry. That one should have been open access, at least it was. Anyway, Hugh Everett came up with the parallel worlds concept about 50 years ago and wrote a paper on it that has since received considerable attention arguing that the old idea that quantum parallels must instaneously collapse into a single continuous existence was not necessarily correct and that parallel existences fit quantum theory and observations (including some made since) better.

A couple of generations of sci-fi writers bow in homage...

Alternate universe, 1664...

"She was back to dinner...Again." Barbara Villiers Pepys, annoyed wife of the energetic Clerk of the Acts, Samuel Pepys, fumes to her neighbor and friend, Lady Batten. "And Sam spent the whole night talking Royal Society this and Natural Philosophy that to her, patting my head and calling me poor wretch when I told him I didn't want her back."

"Well, you might take care, Babs. The King is very fond of Elizabeth St. Michel Palmer, Lady Castlemaine, even if she did refuse his advances. And she did get your Sam into the Royal Society."

"She likes him. Any fool can see that. And he, damn him...Always going on about her merger of beauty and intellectual curiosity. Ignoring me and my incredible beauty, right in front of him. 'The first female member of the Society, Babs. And such a brilliant woman.' he's always saying. I just know he's trying to get into her...Damnit, I'm a Villiers and I'm far more radiantly beautiful. When I can get the little... to buy me decent clothes. The King would have me for his mistress with a snap of my fingers, he would. As did...er would the Duke himself, Lord Sandwich, and that Sir William Warren. Sam wouldn't be where he is today, poised to be named Secretary of the Navy if it weren't for my charms."

Ummn... "Exercised discretely, of course."

"God knows the little man ought to be grateful to you, Mrs. Pepys. Frankly I never could understand why you tolerate him and his treatment of you. Why a thousand great men at court would take you up in..."

"I know...And a few...Well..." grin. "But I don't want 'em. Damnit. Ever since I first saw that hopping, bug-eyed little son of a prick-louse back at that bookstall in '55..." sigh, shrug. Followed by determined look. "But no little half-French blue-stocking widow with looks is taking my man away from Barbara Pepys, I promise you that."


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Actually it should be "The Diary of Samantha Pepys St. Michel"...since Bess and Balty would have to be switched and...

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