Monday 1 October 1666

Up, and all the morning at the office, getting the list of all the ships and vessels employed since the war, for the Committee of Parliament. At noon with it to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there dined with him and [Sir] W. Batten, and [Sir] W. Pen, and after dinner examined it and find it will do us much right in the number of men rising to near the expense we delivered to the Parliament. [Sir] W. Coventry and I (the others going before the Committee) to Lord Bruncker’s for his hand, and find him simply mighty busy in a council of the Queen’s. He come out and took in the papers to sign, and sent them mighty wisely out again. Sir W. Coventry away to the Committee, and I to the Mercer’s, and there took a bill of what I owe of late, which comes to about 17l.. Thence to White Hall, and there did hear Betty Michell was at this end of the towne, and so without breach of vowe did stay to endeavour to meet with her and carry her home; but she did not come, so I lost my whole afternoon. But pretty! how I took another pretty woman for her, taking her a clap on the breech, thinking verily it had been her. Staid till [Sir] W. Batten and [Sir] W. Pen come out, and so away home by water with them, and to the office to do some business, and then home, and my wife do tell me that W. Hewer tells her that Mercer hath no mind to come. So I was angry at it, and resolved with her to have Falconbridge’s girle, and I think it will be better for us, and will please me better with singing. With this resolution, to supper and to bed.

15 Annotations

First Reading

CGS  •  Link

"...But pretty! how I took another pretty woman for her, taking her a clap on the breech, thinking verily it had been her..."
Samuell, Still have your nose intact?

CGS  •  Link

Breech when I used a fowler was where I inserted the cartridge.

breech, n.

....OTeut. type *brôk-s fem. monosyl. ‘article of clothing for the loins and thighs’.

1. A garment covering the loins and thighs: at first perh. only a ‘breech-cloth’; later reaching to the knees. a. in OE. bréc, plural of bróc.
b. in ME. usually br{emac}ch, breech as a sing.
1562 J. HEYWOOD Prov. & Epigr. (1867) 16 To beg a breeche of a bare arst man.
1642 Jack Puffe 39 in Hazl. E.P.P. IV. 316 With out-stucke bomm, streight breech, and spit at side.

c. Now always in pl. breeches ({sm}br{shti}t{sh}{shti}z), or a pair of breeches (perh. not so used before 15th c.). Breeches are distinguished from trousers by coming only just below the knee, but dialectally (and humorously) breeches includes trousers.
c1205 ...

1591 SPENSER M. Hubberd 211 His breeches were made after the new cut.
1661 PEPYS Diary 6 Apr., To put both his legs through one of his knees of his breeches.....

2. a. Hence the phrase, said of a wife, to wear the breeches (breech obs.): to assume the authority of the husband; to rule, be ‘master’.
[1553 T. WILSON Rhet. 89 As though the good man of the house weare no breeches or that the Graye Mare were the better horse.]

1606 Choice, Chance & C. (1881) 22 She that is master of her husband must weare the breeches.
1665 GLANVILL Sceps. Sci. xvi. 100 The Female rules, and our Affections wear the breeches.

b. Phr. too big for one's breeches or britches: see BIG a. 3e.

3. A term of ridicule applied to the Commonwealth coinage, suggested by the arrangement of two shields on the reverse side of the coin.
1673 LD. LUCAS Sp. in Ho. Peers 3 All the Parliament money called Breeches, (a fit Stamp for the Coyn of the Rump) is wholly vanished.

4. a. The part of the body covered by this garment; the buttocks, posteriors, rump, seat. (Instances of this sense before 16th c. are very doubtful: the OE. passage, so often cited, as well as the ME. ones, prob. belong to 1.)
[c1000 Sax.

1630 HAYWARD Edw. VI, 74 A lewd boy turned towards him his naked britch.
1682 N. O. Boileau's Lutrin II. 147 She dropt backwards upon her breech.

with a kick on the breech. 1821 BYRON Juan V. lxviii, Trowsers..such as fit an Asiatic breech.

b. spec. in Obstetr.; also ellipt. for breech delivery, position, presentation.

5. techn. a. Gunnery. ‘The hindermost part of a piece of ordnance’ (Bailey); the part of a cannon behind the bore; the corresponding part in a musket or rifle (cf. BREECH-LOADER). Also attrib.

1626 CAPT. SMITH Accid. Yng. Seamen 32 Her carnooze or base ring at her britch.

1664 BUTLER Hud. II. I. 264 Cannons shoot the higher pitches The lower we let down their Breeches.
c. Ship-building. ‘The outside angle formed by the knee-timber, the inside of which is the throat’ (Smyth Sailor's Word-bk.).

6. pl. The roe of a cod-fish. Obs.
1688 R. HOLME Armoury II. xiv. 324 The Spawn, or Frye, is the seed of the fish: of some called Eggs; in a Cod-Fish termed the Breeches.

CGS  •  Link

addition ammo:

breech, v.

2. To whip on the buttocks; to flog. Obs.
1573 G. HARVEY Lett.-bk. (1884) 33 The bois must be britch[t]. 1580 HOLLYBAND Treas. Fr. Tong., Fesser, to breech boyes, to scourge them. 1639 MASSINGER Unnat. Comb. I. i, Tales out of school! Take heed, you will be breeched.

3. Naut. To secure (a cannon) by a breeching.

Breecher: One who flogs.

A girdle or belt worn round the loins; a belt to keep up the breeches.

breechless, a.

Without breeches; bare or naked about the buttocks.

1638 Songs Costume (1849) 141 Some like breechless women go, The Russ, Turk, Jew, and Grecian. 1822 SCOTT Pirate v. 45 A breekless loon frae Lochaber.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Some mighty interesting turns of phrase today:
"and find him simply mighty busy"
"and sent them mighty wisely out again"

Haven't seen Sam use "simply" and "wisely" in these ways before ... have we?

Love the image of him going forward into the breech, so to speak...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Once more onto the breech, dear friends, once more...

Mary  •  Link

"without breach of vow"

Presumably Sam has vowed not to go out specifically in search of Betty Michell, but if he should chance upon her in the street, then that's a different matter. Another moral hair being split.

andy  •  Link


Robert Gertz  •  Link

So as to Mitchell, Sam is well aware his campaign of seduction is morally wrong...To the extent of making vows not to indulge, so so much for 'the man of his times' argument...But he's unable to give up his fantasy.

Cactus Wren  •  Link

Today and yesterday -- is this the first time Sam's omitted the honorifics before the names of the Sir Ws?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Lord Bruncker’s for his hand"

Presumably for Lord Brouncker's signature.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Lord Bruncker’s for his hand, and find him simply mighty busy in a council of the Queen’s."

Since 1662 Brouncker had been Chancellor to the Queen.

arby  •  Link

I wonder why "mighty wisely"? 'Sent them out again' would have sounded like a completely normal thing to do, but the wisely throws me. Speedily?

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Breech. He meant her bum. You’re intellectualizing it too much.

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