Saturday 6 May 1665

Up, and all day at the office, but a little at dinner, and there late till past 12. So home to bed, pleased as I always am after I have rid a great deal of work, it being very satisfactory to me.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

I would love to know what Bess is getting up to with all these late nights at the office. Sam may be smug at work well done, but I bet she isn't.
OK, yes, I am subject to a lot of this and I don't have a Mercer to chat to. grumblegrumble.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Don't worry, Aussie Sue, she's got the staff to torture during these long, long evenings...

But seriously folks, I am struck by the universality of Sam's feelings here. Who hasn't felt satisfied by "being tired ... but it's a *good* tired" when they've gone to bed after a particularly productive day?

C.J.Darby  •  Link

Busy, busy, a few words from Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes several days ago have had their effect on Sam so its all dry diligence, for a while at least, with no socialising to oil the wheels of commerce. I hope he returns to his old habits soon.

cgs  •  Link

old habits die hard

cgs  •  Link

Varnish or some veneer [OED] [V-F]
[ad. OF. vernis (varnis), verniz (12th c.), = Prov. vernis, -nitz, Pg. verniz, It. vernice, Cat. barnis, Sp. barniz, of unknown origin. Cf. med.L. vernicium and vernix (bernix), med.
Gr. {beta}{epsilon}{rho}{nu}{giacu}{kappa}{eta}, mod.Gr. {beta}{epsilon}{rho}{nu}{giacu}{kappa}{iota}.

French is also the source of MHG. firnîs,
G. firnis(s, Du. vernis, Da. fernis, Sw. fernissa.]

1. a. Resinous matter dissolved in some liquid and used for spreading over a surface in order to give this a hard, shining, transparent coat, by which it is made more durable or ornamental.
In early use, dry resinous matter for making a solution of this kind.
1598 BARRET Theor. Warres 135 Aqua vitæ, liquid vernize, arsenike. 1633 HART Diet of Diseased I. xvii. 69 The oile of walnuts painters for vernice. 1638 JUNIUS Paint. Ancients 285 Apelles..did by an inimitable invention anoint his finished workes with..a thinne kinde of inke or vernish. .....

b. With a and pl. A special preparation of this nature.
Many varieties are enumerated in special works from Chambers' Cycl. Suppl. (1753) onwards.
{alpha} 1667 Phil. Trans. II. 417 How, in China and Japan, they make the Black-vernish. Ibid. 487 This Author mentions..their [sc. Chinese] Vernice, of which he sets down some Receipts both for the Red and Black. 1676 Ibid. XI. 714 An Oyl, of which the Persians make a Vernis.

............. c. A solution of this kind spread on a surface; the coating or surface so formed.
1643 Plain English 13 Posts whose varnish is..worne off. 1662 EVELYN Chalcogr. 9 Not much unlike to our Etching with points and Needles on the Vernish.

............... 2. fig. a. A specious gloss or outward show; a pretence.
1565 JEWEL Reply Harding (1611) 438 This of late yeeres was the Schoole-doctours Catholike meaning,..which now M. Harding and his Fellowes are faine for shame, to colour ouer with some finer Vernish.
1617 HIERON Wks. II. 362 God will not be dallyed with; this outward varnish cannot bleare His eyes.
1647 N. BACON Disc. Govt. Eng. I. xliv. (1739) 71 For the better varnish, the Duke would not be his own Judge.

3. a. A means of embellishment or adornment; a beautifying or improving quality or feature.

4. An external appearance or display of some quality without underlying reality. (Cf. VENEER n.)
1662 STILLINGFL. Orig. Sacræ II. ii. §8 He lived long enough to have..judgement to distinguish a meer outside and varnish, from what was solid and substantial.
[f. the vb.]

An act of varnishing; an application of varnish.
1601 HOLLAND Pliny II. 515 If you be desirous to keepe any yron-worke from rust, give it a vernish with cerusse, plastre, and tar, incorporat all together.

varnished, ppl. a.

1. Coated with varnish; {dag}painted.

1671 BOYLE Usef. Exp. Nat. Philos. II. v. 29, I am credibly inform'd, that the Art of making the like Varnish'd Wares, is now begun to be a Trade at Paris.

2. fig. a. Embellished; speciously tricked out.

1607 T. WALKINGTON Opt. Glass 129 A smug neate stile,..vernished phrases.

1662 HOPKINS Funeral Serm. (1685) 103 Nor easily cousened by varnisht and plausible error.

b. Simulated, pretended.
1607 SHAKES. Timon IV. ii. 36 To haue his pompe..But onely painted like his varnisht Friends.

[f. as prec.]

1. One who varnishes; spec. one who makes a business or trade of varnishing.
1598 FLORIO, Inuernicatore, a varnisher.

1669 PEPYS Diary 26 Apr., To Lilly's, the Varnisher, who is lately ......
veneering, vbl. n.
[Veneer ]4[Later form (cf. next) of FINEER v., ad. G. furni(e)ren, fourni(e)ren, ad. F. fournir FURNISH v. Cf. Da. finere, Sw. fanéra.]

[Later form of faneering, fineering (cf. FINEER v.), ad. G. furni(e)rung, fourni(e)rung: see prec. and cf. Da. finering, Sw. fanering.

The form faneering occurs in 1670 in Evelyn Sylva xxiv. 121, and in 1685 in Cotton Montaigne's Ess. (1711)

III. 247. Fineering is common in the 18th cent.]

CGS  •  Link

Yes Samuell is in his own orbit that sometimes bumps into Eliza's orbit like a comet, that be life for most, occasionally the gravity will hold a fellow star, but then another more powerful mass will pull an orbiting one into their own orbit leaving the other in space on their own choice.

the piece on Varnish belongs in yesterdays comments..

CGS  •  Link

Another view of a husband:
He be like the moon.
You only see one side of him,
his other side be watching the world.
Mother earth you only see him
when every thing be rosy and starry
then only when and if he decides to show all
that once every 28 days if you be starry eyed,
I wonder why,
other wise
you only get a slither of him waxing and waning.
Of course you may be lucky and see every blue day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The office is so close Bess can probably look out and see Sam's candle blazing. We know she spent at least one evening sitting by him there, it might well be she even makes such a routine practice of going over to stay with him our boy doesn't find it necessary to record it.

Pedro  •  Link

Sir William Penn’s Son writes again…

At my arrival at Harwich, (which was about one of the clock on the Sabath, and where I stayed till three), I took post for London, and was at London the next morning by almost daylight.. I hastened to Whitehall, where, not finding the King up, I presented myself to Lord Arlington and Colonel Ashburnham. At his Majesty’s knocking, he was informed there was an express from the Duke; at which, earnestly skipping out of his bed he came only in his gown and slippers; who when he saw me said “Oh its you, how is Sir William?” He asked how you did at three several times. He was glad to hear your message about Ka. After interrogating me above half an hour, he bid me now go about your business and mine to. As to the Duchess, he was pleased to ask several questions, and so dismissed me. I delivered all the letters given to me. My mother was to see Lady Lawson, and she was here. I pray God be with you, and be your armour in the day of controversy! May that power be your salvation, and for his name’s sake! And so will he wish and pray, that is, with all true veneration.

Honoured father,

your obedient son and servant,

William Penn.

(Memorials of Sir William Penn by his grandson Granville Penn)

cgs  •  Link

Ah! Ha! traveled by [ moon light ] night, that I never heard of before, the over night post.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In young Will Penn's letter with its rather touching informality among the great another strong indication that we should take Sam's rants against Admiral Sir Will with a very strong grain of salt... Indeed, given the high favor Penn seems to be in, we might ask if perhaps the Admiral either treated our impetuous young Mr. Pepys with tremendous patience and kindness or Sam was a first-rate actor in concealing his hatreds...A little of both I imagine.

Bryan M  •  Link

"we should take Sam’s rants against Admiral Sir Will with a very strong grain of salt…"

Indeed, RG, and perhaps the same applies to Sir William B and his good lady. How else do we reconcile Sam's sometimes venomous remarks about them with the following from 21 February:

"I dined with Sir W. Batten and my Lady, they being now a’days very fond of me."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thoughts on William Penn Jr.'s letter to Admiral Will:

This letter reports on Penn's ride from Harwich to London the night of Sunday/Monday April 23/24.

[Tuesday 25 April 1665 – Pepys reports: This afternoon W. Penn, lately come from his father in the fleet, did give me an account how the fleet did sayle, about 103 in all, besides small catches, they being in sight of six or seven Dutch scouts, and sent ships in chase of them.]

The people Penn asked to wake up Charles II were:

Colonel William Ashburnham MP, who was made Cofferer to Charles II after the Restoration, and
Sir Henry Bennet, who was created Baron Arlington on 14 March, 1665.

Now, the meaning of "Ka":
Remember, on Wednesday 25 January 1660, Pepys recorded that “I called at Paul’s Churchyard, where I bought Buxtorf’s Hebrew Grammar …”? Well, it so happens that Ka is Hebrew -- A: The Hebrew word in the Masoretic Hebrew text is “ka'ariy” which is the prefix “ka” meaning "like" and the word “ariy” meaning "lion," hence the translation "like a lion". The translation may mean nothing, because it was a common practice in Pepys' day to use characters that were not part of the standard alphabet in one's ciphers. In addition to a simple substitution scheme (where a=l, b=m, c=n, etc.), other original, i.e., non-alphabetical, symbols might be used to replace common words …
My nomination, based entirely on a mother’s instinct, is that Ka stands for the Duke of Monmouth.

Penn is teaching James, Duke of York, how to conduct naval warfare; James is teaching Monmouth how to be a Royal.

And "As to the Duchess, he was pleased to ask several questions, ..." -- I suspect this refers to the visit by Anne Hyde, Duchess of York and several of her Ladies-in-Waiting to the fleet at Harwich. However, I have Googled and searched my history books, and not come up with a date. But it's the only thing I can think of that would fit here. Unless The Duchess is a ship???

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I was thinking about the Sunday, 30 April, 1665 (Lord’s day) cliffhanger:

"Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all!"

Has Pepys taken any precautions -- gone to Church to ask for forgiveness -- sent Elizabeth out of town? Hell no -- he's running around looking at John Evelyn's bee hives, frustrated that his water mast storage unit is rejected, testing coach springs with the Royal Society, worrying about whether or not to keep on wearing his periwiggs, and musing about how beautiful his varnish purveyor's wife is, so he will give them business. Oh ... and his mom is coming in from the country for a visit, and he doesn't tell her not to come.

I don't understand Pepys. Why even mention that Sunday is the Lord's Day? Clearly he doesn't care one whit about anything except money and power at this time. Even Elizabeth has stopped trying to get his attention by her passive-aggressive tactics of last year (besides over-tipping the delivery men).

Que sera, sera.

RSGII  •  Link

I do understand him. He is working most nights to midnight to help keep those 105 ships at sea. England in those days did not have enough mast trees and had to import them. They had to be properly stored in water so that mast dock was crucial.

Spare masts were critical to warships of the day as they were usually damaged in battle. It is why one of the most important officers on the ship was the carpenter. He was responsible for repair during and after battle. One of the Dutch’s favorite tactics was to shoot chain connected shot at the masts to disable an enemies ship. (See the Davies book).

John Evelyn has the critical assignment from the King to organize care for wounded seamen, both British and Dutch, who were already flowing ashore. Pepys had sought his help and vice versa and they worked together for years. He was trying to see him because he lived at Deptford.

Hardly frivolous stuff.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

So far as Elizabeth was concerned, one of the most important changes since a year ago is that she has mended her fences with Lady Batten. I would imagine that means that Bess feels less isolated, whereas before there might have been a bit of a siege mentality in the Pepys' quarters?

Scube  •  Link

Thanks RSG, very interesting on the masts.

RSGII  •  Link

Yes, I hadn’t realised the importance of spare masts, sails, and cordage to the warfare of the day until I read the Davies book “Pepys Navy”. Or that the Carpenter and his crew were as important as the Gunner and the Master to success.

Some of those mast and spares were huge pieces of timber. A first rate ship, the largest, had a lower main mast 3 foot in diameter at the base and over 100 ft high. And the spars were nearly as big. Moving this stuff around required a lot of men and skill. And this explains the concern of Pepys and others about the supply of good masts (Baltic, New England), sails (France), and hemp (Baltics).

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