Friday 1 June 1666

Being prevented yesterday in meeting by reason of the fast day, we met to-day all the morning. At noon I and my father, wife and sister, dined at Aunt Wight’s here hard by at Mr. Woolly’s, upon sudden warning, they being to go out of town to-morrow. Here dined the faire Mrs. Margaret Wight, who is a very fine lady, but the cast of her eye, got only by an ill habit, do her much wrong and her hands are bad; but she hath the face of a noble Roman lady. After dinner my uncle and Woolly and I out into their yarde, to talke about what may be done hereafter to all our profits by prizegoods, which did give us reason to lament the losse of the opportunity of the last yeare, which, if we were as wise as we are now, and at the peaceable end of all those troubles that we met with, all might have been such a hit as will never come again in this age, and so I do really believe it. Thence home to my office and there did much business, and at night home to my father to supper and to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Michael Robinson  •  Link

the Four Days Battle, Willem Van de Velde, the Elder

graphite and grey wash,

"The drawing shows the English and Dutch fleets engaged probably on the first day of the battle, 1/11 June 1666. Van de Velde the Elder was present at the battle in a galjoot put at his disposal by de Ruyter."…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

the Four Days Battle, Willem Van de Velde, the Elder

Additional drawings, associated with Day 1:

Willem Van de Velde, the Elder
The Zeeland squadron lying to (PAF6852)
(Part of the Dutch 'reserve')…

Portrait of the [damaged] ‘Swiftsure’, 64-guns, built in 1621 and rebuilt in 1653
The ‘Swiftsure’, viewed from slightly before the starboard beam. Her rail shows signs of damage. She was taken by the Dutch on the first day of the Four Days’ Battle in 1666 and later added to their navy as the ‘Oudshoorn’.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"After dinner my uncle and Woolly and I out into their yarde, to talke about what may be done hereafter to all our profits by prizegoods, ... all might have been such a hit as will never come again in this age, and so I do really believe it."

This really is beyond caricature as an evening's discussion at the start of the 'greatest naval battle of the age of sail.' (N.A.M. Rodger 'Command' p. 72) Might they be planning to cut out Captain Cooke from his former role as the middleman?

Carl in Boston  •  Link

"all might have been such a hit as will never come again in this age"
Indeed, licking his chops over the prospect of Big Money. We too have had such a hit in the stock market as has not been seen in 80 years, but it's gone the wrong way. As we see with Sam, there's always a tomorrow.

Bradford  •  Link

"a very fine lady, but the cast of her eye, got only by an ill habit, do her much wrong and her hands are bad;"

Does she have an unconscious squint, or feigns one she thinks winsome? No one would be cross-eyed if they could help it. As for bad hands: roughened by overwork? (No rubber gloves for household tasks.) Knotted from arthritis? Or ugly as feet?

Mary  •  Link

Who was in the garden, hearing the great guns go thick off, please? It wasn't Pepys.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sorry, Mary, et al., I neglected to say the text was from the Diary of John Evelyn, whose estate is in Deptford.

Mary  •  Link

Thanks, Terry. That's what I thought, but it's nice to have the reference.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

1666. June 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke Mazzarini writes from Brittany that the English fleet [Prince Rupert's squadron ] has been sighted off the coasts of that province with a very large number of ships. In letters from private individuals we read that their numbers exceeded a hundred and forty; much firing was heard and several fires were seen. So the Court is filled with apprehension that a fight may have occurred with Boffort, unless it was the junction of another squadron with the fleet. Boffort runs great risks. He ought to have about seventy ships since the fifty with which he left Toulon should be joined by sixteen more which were at la Rochelle and by some others besides, scattered in different ports, which were waiting for him. It is estimated that there will be from 11,000 to 12,000 good soldiers in the fleet; but the ships are not all of the same condition. There may be 32 warships of the greatest size, well provided with guns. The others are of inferior condition, which have served for convoying merchantmen; but all are fitted and provided in the best manner.
They have caused this force to advance to the Ocean for the purpose of uniting it with the Dutch, and upon the word of these, orders were given to Boffort to hasten his move. But the Dutch still remain in port. Some weeks ago they made an announcement and even caused some ships of Ruiter to leave port, but subsequently they withdrew again to the Texel. They made this show to act as a spur for Boffort. Here they complain strongly about the procedure of the Dutch. Van Boninghen is looked at askance and if any disaster should happen to his Majesty's forces the Dutch would experience the royal indignation.…

Glyn  •  Link

The Four Days’ Battle / Vierdaagse - the Greatest Battle between Sailing Ships in history

Preliminaries and Day One (June 1st)

The English have put to sea with a fleet of 76 ships-of-the-line (thanks for your efforts, Sam). They are in search of the Dutch and are confident of victory, partly because of their larger ships and greater firepower. They don’t fully appreciate that the Dutch have themselves begun building larger ships with extra gunnery.

Pepys’ patron, Lord Sandwich, is arguably England’s greatest sea-captain but he is out of the country in disgrace and the fleet is led by Albermarle and Prince Rupert. Both of them are efficient but they are about to face de Ruyter, one of the greatest admirals of all time. On 29 May they decide to divide the fleet and separate in search of the Dutch. Albermarle now has 56 ships, and Prince Rupert 20.

June 1st and Albermarle locates the Dutch fleet of 86 ships under the command of de Ruyter. Albermarle has the opportunity to retreat but the winds and current are in his favour and he orders the attack. The battle begins. Fighting is fierce and in the long summer day continues until after 10 o’clock. Notable deaths in battle: Vice-Admiral Sir William Berkeley; Admiral Cornelis Evertsen (the Elder). Ship totals: English 50 from 56, Dutch 77 from 86. (Based on the account in “The Command of the Ocean” by N.A.M. Rodger.)

Stacia  •  Link

Bradford, I would suspect cast to mean color. Perhaps Sam is referring to something that she has done to make her eyes red much of the time? I'm only speculating, of course.

Mary  •  Link

"the cast of her eye"

Stacia's suggestion (colour) is just about feasible. It had occurred to me, however, that she may be one of those irritating people whose glance always slides downwards and off to the side rather than looking one in the face. Perhaps originally due to bashfulness, but off-putting as an ingrained habit.

cgs  •  Link

“the cast of her eye”
"...Here dined the faire Mrs. Margaret Wight, who is a very fine lady, but the cast of her eye, got only by an ill habit, do her much wrong and her hands are bad; but she hath the face of a noble Roman lady...."
Cast meaning to throw , to cast ones eye, [evil eye?}
She be eyeing all the possibilities.
'Tis alright for Mr Sam to cast his eye on the Damsels but for a lady to have a twinkle, well, well, it be ok if she kept her hands were they be seen, oh! dear.

cgs  •  Link

cast, n.
6. A throwing or turning of the eye in any direction; a glance, a look, expression. ? Obs.
c1325 E.E. Allit. P. B. 768 He conueyen hym con with cast of his y{ygh}e.

1631 GOUGE God's Arrows I. §41. 66 Passion will soone manifest a fierce cast of his eyes.

1632 MILTON Penseroso 43 With a sad, leaden, downward cast.

1661 Origen's Opin. in Ph{oe}nix (1721) I. 5 A direct View of him without so oblique a Cast upon his Opinions.
1661 Origen's Opin. in Ph{oe}nix (1721) I. 5 A direct View of him without so oblique a Cast upon his Opinions.

1768 STERNE Sent. Journ. (1778) I. 161, I had given a cast with my eye into half a dozen shops.

some other meanings:
21. A burden cast or laid upon people; an impost, a charge. Obs.
1597 Cartmel Ch. Acc. in Stockdale Ann. Cartmel 36 A caste or laye should bee forthwith had throughout all the parish to the value of twenty marks.

1619 in N. Riding Rec. (1884) II. 209 Paying castes imposed on him by the parishe for..the poore. 1696
VI. 22. a. Calculation, reckoning; an act of calculation; techn. the addition of the columns of an account.

1575 LANEHAM Let. (1871) 56 By great cast & cost. Mod. If the account does not balance now, there must be an error in the cast.

24. a. A contrivance, device, artifice, trick. Obs.

X 33. A permanent twist or turn, esp. to one side; a warp. cast of the eye: a slight squint.
1505 F. MARSIN, etc. Mem. Hen. VII (1858) 278 He hathe a litell caste with his lefte eye. 1635 H. GLAPTHORNE Lady Mother II. i. My lady has got a cast of her eye.

1677 Lond. Gaz. No. 1251/4 Trots all, and hath a Cast in her Gallop with her Off leg before. Ibid. No. 1183/4 Very small Eyes, with a squint or cast with one of them.

36. A ‘dash’ of some ingredient or quality.
1662 FULLER Worthies (1840) III. 499 This mungrel name seemeth to have in it an eye or cast of Greek and Latin.

..............cast, a.

to cast

General arrangement: I. To throw. II. To throw down, overthrow, defeat, convict, condemn. III. To throw off so as to get quit of, to shed, vomit, discard. IV. To throw up (earth) with a spade, dig (peats, a ditch, etc.). V. To put or place with haste or force, throw into prison, into a state of rage, sleep, etc. VI. To reckon, calculate, forecast. VII. To revolve in the mind, devise, contrive, purpose. VIII. To dispose, arrange, allot the parts in a play. IX. To cast metal, etc. X. To turn, twist, warp, veer, incline. XI. To plaster, daub. XII. Hunting and Hawking senses, those of doubtful position, and phrases. XIII. Adverbial combinations.

I. The simple action: To throw.

and..began listlessly to cast the pool.

7. a. to cast an eye, glance, look, etc. Still in common use.
a1225 A....

1605 SHAKES. Lear IV. vi. 13 How fearefull And dizie 'tis to cast ones eyes so low.

1662 STILLINGFL. Orig. Sacr. Ded. 2 Cast your eye on the matter contained in it.

1697 DRYDEN Virg. Georg. IV. 708 Th' unwary Lover cast his Eyes behind.

1732 T. LEDIARD Sethos II. IX. 302 My family have cast their eyes on an excellent person.

b. Formerly, also, to cast a thought, a reflection upon; to cast one's heart, affections, etc. (now, to set); also, to cast love, favour, a fancy unto. Obs.1297 R. GLOUC.
1601 HOLLAND Pliny I. 64 An harlot that Anniball cast a fancie vnto.
c1665 MRS. HUTCHINSON Mem. Col. H. 9 A rich widow..cast her affections on him.
70. cast about. a. trans. See simple senses and ABOUT adv.
1648 HERRICK Hesper. (1885) 36 Sighs numberless he cast about. 1697 DRYDEN Virg. Past. iv. 73 cast about Thy Infant Eyes. 1789 WOLCOTT (P. Pindar) Subj. for Paint. 69 She cast about her eyes in thought profound.
1736 BUTLER Anal. I. iii. 64 Who casts a transient reflection upon the Subject.
c. To bend and turn downward (the head, face, the gaze of the eyes).
c1374 CHAUCER Boeth. I. i.

7 {Th}us {th}is compaygnie of muses I-blamed casten wro{th}ely {th}e chere adounward to {th}e er{th}e.

a1533 LD. BERNERS Huon li. 172 Huon..spake no worde but cast downe his hede.
1752 JOHNSON Rambl. No. 190 1 Every eye was cast down before him.
1873 BLACK Pr. Thule iv. 60 Sheila cast down her eyes, and said nothing.
8. To emit, give out, send forth (light, darkness, fire, heat, cold, an odour). Obs. (exc. as in 9).

...d. To throw, turn up or raise suddenly (the eyes, the head; formerly also, the nose, arms, etc.).
c1384 CHAUCER H. Fame 935 Now quod he thoo cast vp thyn ye.
1859 SALA Tw. round Clock 39 His eyes..cast up to count the peaches on the wall.

j. To add up, reckon up, calculate....
1660 PEPYS Diary 10 Dec., Did go to cast up how my cash stands.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Four Days' Battle was a naval battle of the Second Anglo–Dutch War. Fought from 1 June to 4 June 1666 in the Julian or Old Style calendar then used in England (11 June to 14 June New Style) off the Flemish and English coast, it remains one of the longest naval engagements in history.

The Dutch inflicted significant damage on the English fleet. The English had gambled that the crews of the many new Dutch ships of the line would not have been fully trained yet, but were deceived in their hopes: they lost ten ships in total, with around 1,500 men killed including two vice-admirals, Sir Christopher Myngs and Sir William Berkeley, while about 2000 English were taken prisoner. Dutch losses were four ships destroyed by fire and over 1,550 men killed, including Lieut-Admiral Cornelis Evertsen, Vice-Admiral Abraham van der Hulst and Rear-Admiral Frederik Stachouwer.…

This Wikipedia article includes images of six dutch paintings of the battle and its aftermath, including most of those once linked by Michael Robinson above at the National Maritime Museum .

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"So you can see the cheerful attitude of the time in their pots and their dress."

That's what survivors do after dreadful wars. They drown their sorrows, numb their emotions, eat and drink too much, make babies, and write clever poetry and books about the meaning of life. The Roaring Twenties. The Swinging Sixties. Woodstock in the middle of the Vietnam War.

In this case, a lot of motherless boys were trying to be men, including their King who had terrible nightmares and told the same stories over and over and over again -- I think it's fair to say Charles II had untreated PTSD.

Pepys doesn't have an excuse, besides wanting to do what everyone else is doing, being one of the boys, and/or keeping up with the Joneses.

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