Wednesday 22 March 1664/65

Up, and to Mr. Povy’s about our business, and thence I to see Sir Ph. Warwicke, but could not meet with him. So to Mr. Coventry, whose profession of love and esteem for me to myself was so large and free that I never could expect or wish for more, nor could have it from any man in England, that I should value it more. Thence to Mr. Povy’s, and with Creed to the ’Change and to my house, but, it being washing day, dined not at home, but took him (I being invited) to Mr. Hubland’s, the merchant, where Sir William Petty, and abundance of most ingenious men, owners and freighters of “The Experiment,” now going with her two bodies to sea. Most excellent discourse. Among others, Sir William Petty did tell me that in good earnest he hath in his will left such parts of his estate to him that could invent such and such things. As among others, that could discover truly the way of milk coming into the breasts of a woman; and he that could invent proper characters to express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes. And says, that to him that invents gold, he gives nothing for the philosopher’s stone; for (says he) they that find out that, will be able to pay themselves. But, says he, by this means it is better than to give to a lecture; for here my executors, that must part with this, will be sure to be well convinced of the invention before they do part with their money.

After dinner Mr. Hill took me with Mrs. Hubland, who is a fine gentlewoman, into another room, and there made her sing, which she do very well, to my great content.

Then to Gresham College, and there did see a kitling killed almost quite, but that we could not quite kill her, with such a way; the ayre out of a receiver, wherein she was put, and then the ayre being let in upon her revives her immediately;1 nay, and this ayre is to be made by putting together a liquor and some body that ferments, the steam of that do do the work.

Thence home, and thence to White Hall, where the house full of the Duke’s going to-morrow, and thence to St. James’s, wherein these things fell out:

  1. I saw the Duke, kissed his hand, and had his most kind expressions of his value and opinion of me, which comforted me above all things in the world.
  2. The like from Mr. Coventry most heartily and affectionately.
  3. Saw, among other fine ladies, Mrs. Middleton, a very great beauty I never knew or heard of before.
  4. I saw Waller the poet, whom I never saw before.

So, very late, by coach home with W. Pen, who was there. To supper and to bed, with my heart at rest, and my head very busy thinking of my several matters now on foot, the new comfort of my old navy business, and the new one of my employment on Tangier.

20 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Sir William Petty"
Talks too much, a real bore.

JWB  •  Link

"...characters to express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes..."

The word 'gastrography' has been taken (& best left unspoken w/in hearing of old men). On a related, more welcome note Horace Walpole wrote: "Why should not there be a language for the nose? The more the senses can be used indifferently for each other, the more our understandings would be enlarged. A rose, jassamine, a pink, a jonquil and a honeysuckle might signify the vowels, the consonants to be represented by other flowers. How charming it would be to smell an ode from a nosegay "

JWB  •  Link

"to smell an ode from a nosegay "

And on this Easter morning, hope from a lily.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

invent proper characters to express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes.
A.D.Little used to train tasters on V8 juice, which has 10 or 12 distinct flavors, which can be picked apart and identified with training, starting with celery and tomato. There are the distinctive flavors and noses of coffees, teas, and wines, but the champion of all is Scotch whiskey. Lagavulin single malt and Johnny Walker Red is where it's at for me. Some Scottish Masons came over to the USA for a Masonic Installation, and they said Scotch whiskey is much more expensive for them than for us in the USA, so of course we all drank our fill of single malt. It's all in the smell.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"dined not at home, but took him (I being invited) to Mr. Hubland’s"

This would seem to answer Robert Gertz's Q yesterday -- "Kudos to Bess and staff for her elastic dinners…I wonder if Sam even warned her in advance of Sheply’s coming let alone Andrews." in at least the partly negative --: One may have been invited, but there was alway the expectation of extras (a friend, a boy or two); it seems such "elastic dinners" were everyday affairs and a proper household's regular routine. Always another bean for the pot!

Pedro  •  Link

“And says, that to him that invents gold, he gives nothing for the philosopher’s stone; for (says he) they that find out that, will be able to pay themselves.”

I don’t think that Petty would have been a bore if you look to the encyclopedia…

“Contemporaries described him, nonetheless, as humorous, good-natured and rational.”

The quote above from Sam shows some of his humour, and from More’s biography of Boyle…

Petty was friend and physician to Robert Boyle, to whom he taught anatomy. When Boyle was ill in Ireland he told him that he had “embarrassed his mind with too much knowledge and warned him about reading too much, a habit he quaintly said, which weakens the brain, causing defluxions, and hurts the lungs.

He was a friend of Aubrey, and from Aubrey comes the story that Petty had amused the King by preaching mock sermons in which he drolly imitated in succession the manner of a Presbyterian, an Independent, a Capuchin friar, and a Jesuit.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"embarassed his mind with too much knowledge"
He had to be a bore@Pedro!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there did see a kitling killed almost quite, but that we could not quite kill her..."

"So what did you do at Gresham this afternoon?"

Ummn...Sam eyes Bess' study's collection of "I love Cats" needlework.

Still, could be worse, he notes to himself...Turning to view the "...Mais, j'adore le chien." wall.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Gotta have our guys give their leader, Coventry, Sandwich, et al an appropriate sail-off...

Sam, Bess, Minnes, Batten, and the Naval Office chorus, led by Tom Edwards...

"Start spreading the news...
He leaving today...
He's off to be a part of it...Our Duke of York.

Our Dutch war blues...
Now melting away...
Cause now Jamie Stuart is out for it...
Our Duke of York.

If he can...Take them there...
We'll win this...Everywhere.

C'mon come through, our Duke of York."

Bess, belting...

"These little war blues...
Are fading away...
Cause now our Jamie's part of it...
Our Duke of York."


"If he beats De...Ruyter...
England wins it...Everywhere.

We're countin' on you, our Duke of York."

Pedro  •  Link

Sir William Petty…a real bore.

I am sorry to find his ingenuity discouraged so. (Samuel Pepys Diary 22/1/1664)

Sam certainly does not consider him a bore as the following remarks show…

“Sir William Petty, who in discourse is, methinks, one of the most rational men that ever I heard speak with a tongue, having all his notions the most distinct and clear…”

“and then walked back together to the waterside at Redriffe, with good discourse all the way.”

“and excellent company and good discourse: but, above all, I do value Sir William Petty.”

The humour of the point that Boyle had embarrassed his mind with too much knowledge probably needs more explanation. Petty held Boyle in high regard as a man of great knowledge, but as his physician knew that he was a sickly man, who like Pepys was in fear of loosing his sight. He was therefore talking a little tongue in cheek to dissuade from burning the midnight oil.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Apart from "our family"-Sam, Bess, Will Hewer, Jane Birch, Sir Will Petty is one of the half-dozen or fewer folks in the Diary I'd most love to spend a few hours with. And I think, one of the few who, should it ever be possible, would deal best with an invite to tour our own era. His willingness to give a junior like Sam so much of his attention and time when little or no gain is involved bespeaks a generous soul and an honest, wide-ranging interest in people. And greatly to Sam's credit, he appreciates and reciprocates it. If there is an afterlife, I look forward to meeting him and I imagine a very gratified Sam finds him a firm fan of the Diary.

Australian Susan  •  Link


Sam is now a reasonably prosperous person. A dinner in his household would normally now consist of a roasted joint. This would be eaten hot by however many there were for dinner and used cold for made dishes based on minced meat. These would be consumed by the household only for suppers. Bones would be boiled for stock for soup or given to the dogs. So, Sam would know it would be all right to bring someone to a dinner - it would just mean there would be less leftover meat on the joint for further household meals.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I saw Waller the poet, whom I never saw before. "

Not exactly: 13 May 1664 Pepys saw Waller (there writ "Walker") speak as MP (for Hastings) in the Painted Chamber at Westminster in "a fine conference between some of the two Houses upon the Bill for Conventicles."…

Richard Waller  •  Link

Thank you for the correction regarding my great(x8)grandfather. Regrettably, although some of his correspondence remains, I have never seen Pepys mentioned. By this time Waller had already been an MP for more than 40 years, and a full 20 years still remained for him to continue being one of the best speakers in the House.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Gresham College ­ from the Hooke Folio Online

March 22. 1664/5. ) there were made 2 expts. for the finding out a way to breath vnder water vseful for Diuers.

1. by putting a bird into the Rarifying Engine and wth. it a glasse bottle wth Distilld vinegar and pounded oyster shells. which whilst the vinegar is Dissoluing them affords a steam which is supposed to be a kind of new air fit for Respiration the bottle was also close stopped wth. a cork soe orderd that by putting the stop cock placed at the top of the Receiuer the cork might by turning it be pulled out without admitting an ingresse of the externall air. then the Rcr being accurately cemented to the Engine, the air was pumpd out wherevpon the bird grew sick and when it was thought neer dying, the bottle was vnstopped that the steames and supposed air that had been shut vp in it during the operation might haue liberty to expand themselues in the Receiuer for the Refreshing & Recouery of the animall. But here it succeeded not insoemuch tht though the bird was taken out of the Receiuer and exposed to the fresh air yet it Recouered not.

the 2d was made wth a kitling after the same manner only that insteed of Distilld vineger, [] was imployed, whereof the successe was that the air being drawn out till the cat had done strugling. and was vpon point of expiration, and the bottle being vnstoppd to emitt the steames, & supposed air into the Receiuer, the cat did soon begin to Recouer. wherevpon the animal had fresh air giuen it, which - was again exhausted to see whether it would Reuiue of it self wthout the nitrous exhalations. But after this exhaustion the Cat appeared Dying, wherevpon she was after a Little while taken out into the open air - whereon shee reuiued againe (suggestion.) also that a standerd might be made to see wt quantity of air was generated.

The glasse phiol & sweld bladder shut vp Last day was produced & the bladder found shrunk (The same expt. to be made with a glasse. whelmed ouer the corroding body to catch all the steames). It being queryd by wt token these steames were proued air the Pret said that a body rarifyd by heat & condensed by cold was air: thereupon the bladder heated was found to swell & coold to grow flaccid againe. farther tryall was made of the steam of vinegar & shells for Respiration by Smelling to it but found offensiue to all) It being moued by mr Hook that the air boxes contriued for Diuing might be tryd by the Person bespoke by mr Pepys. It was orderd that this Diuer should be sent to mr Hooke to be instructed by him teaching the vse of the sd boxes vnder water. orderd also that mr Hooke procure glasses fit to see wth vnder water as farr as the thicknesse of the water will permitt.

(Auzout Letter of Campany good Glasses) query to be sent)

mr Hooke offerd to Consider of Exp[ts. of Respiration for next meeting -…

GrahamT  •  Link

Vinegar (dilute acetic acid) or Aquea Fortis (nitric acid) - the [] above is AF in the manuscript - and oyster shells (mainly calcium carbonate) when mixed produce carbon-dioxide, so if the 'kitling' recovered it isn't likely to be because of the 'new air' created. I wouldn't like to be Mr Pepys' bespoke diver trying to breathe CO2 in a diving bell.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"“The Experiment,” now going with her two bodies to sea."

It was shortly afterwards wrecked in a storm, and Petty designed no more double-keeled ships for twenty years. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir William Petty did tell me that in good earnest he hath in his will left such parts of his estate to him that could invent such and such things."

Petty's final will (2 May 1685, two years before his death) contains no such bequests: BM, Add. 155858, ff. 109-10. (L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But, says [ Sir William Petty ], by this means it is better than to [ endow ] a lecture; for here my executors, that must part with this, will be sure to be well convinced of the invention before they do part with their money."

Endowing lectureships had become a worthy thing to do in a bequest:

The early seventeenth century...marked the time many Oxford colleges proceeded to emulate the example of Laurence Humfrey who, in about 1566 established a public Hebrew lectureship at Magdalen College. At New College, Warden Arthur Lake endowed such a lectureship in 1616, allocating to its incumbent a stipend of £5 a year. Two decades later, in 1637, Sir John Maynard settled £12 on a lectureship in the oriental languages established by him in Exeter College. At approximately the same time, John Branston provided a similar post at Brasenose College. ... Seventeenth-century Oxford By Nicholas Tyacke…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"he that could invent proper characters to express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes."

CHARACTER : code, cipher (Large Glossary)
character noun (MARK)
​grammar [ C ] a letter, number, or other mark or sign used in writing or printing.…

The difficulty of describing and/or comparing, ergo communicating tastes is a well-known; methinks a solution by a code is what Sir William Petty has in mind. In 1668 another FRS, John Wilkins, will use "character" in this sense in the title of An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language.…

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