Sunday 9 December 1666

(Lord’s day). Up, not to church, but to my chamber, and there begun to enter into this book my journall of September, which in the fire-time I could not enter here, but in loose papers. At noon dined, and then to my chamber all the afternoon and night, looking over and tearing and burning all the unnecessary letters, which I have had upon my file for four or five years backward, which I intend to do quite through all my papers, that I may have nothing by me but what is worth keeping, and fit to be seen, if I should miscarry. At this work till midnight, and then to supper and to bed.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Minor entries today from our diarists. Apparently Evelyn did naught nor met superior persons of note while in London this trip. He seems to be accounting for his whereabouts. (Will his calendar be summoned by the House of Commons?)

cape henry  •  Link

An unusual Sunday when our protagonist isn't out chasing skirts. Weather?

CGS  •  Link

Not so minor entree; notes for those that keep records of their activities, they should take notice, never keep incriminating evidence on anything that can be perused and used to thy detriment, like hard drives sorry papers, or any other magnetic materials, for the Tower doth await, if not that then, the wife with the rolling pin, or kitchen staff looking for a comfy position. Many an indiscretion has come to the surface for the vultures and other carrion to feast on and found on recording surfaces that were thought to have been hidden.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

We can be grateful the Diary did not accompany those sadly lost papers.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Unusual Sunday. Weather?

"Sam, please delete all e-mails from me."
Proto-Phil Jones from the proto-Met?

Jesse  •  Link

"which I have had upon my file for four or five years backward"

Quite an interval. One might conclude that Pepys's office was generally messy w/papers piled everywhere. IIRC he let his books pile for awhile before sorting them out (though I'm sure those took up too much space to let too long an interval pass).

Over a decade ago upper management pushed 'housekeeping'. After my initial is-this-what-they-get-paid-the-big-bucks-for I noticed there were some counter intuitive aspects to it. I still argue w/local management who tend to see little or no cost (and no fears of miscarry :) in keeping absolutely everything indefinitely.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Essential and extraneous papers

In creating a Committee to frame a law, the House of Commons routinely names its members, its meeting-time, "And [ charges it ] to send for...such Persons, Papers, and Records, as they shall find necessary."

This is consistent with what Pepys [and methinks Evelyn] is attending to.

Records-retention and -discarding deadlines are matters of statute when some public agencies in the US (e.g., public universities) are concerned.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"If I should miscarry"
I wonder if Sam made use of some "papers" when-SPOILER-in later life he was accused of being a Catholic.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I wonder if Sam made use of some “papers” when-SPOILER-in later life he was accused of being a Catholic."

Lots of them. Do read 'The Plot Against Pepys' by James Long and Ben Long

Reviewed by Jeannine Kerwin.…

CGS  •  Link

Miscarry how the word was used:


1. a. intr. To come to harm, suffer misfortune, perish; (of a person) to meet with death; (of an inanimate object) to be lost or destroyed. Obs.
1601 R. JOHNSON tr. G. Botero Travellers Breviat (1603) 63 The great ships bringing corne from Siria and Egipt..doe seldome miscarrie.

a1604 M. HANMER Chron. 186 in J. Ware Hist. Ireland (1633), [He] shortly after miscarried at Athlone, by the fall of a Turre

t. 1668 W. TEMPLE Let. to Charles II in Wks. (1731) II. 58 If we had miscarried, your Majesty had lost an honest diligent Captain and sixteen poor Seamen.

b. trans. To cause to perish or suffer harm or misfortune. Usu. in pass. Obs.
c1440 ...
1565 Act 8 Eliz. c. 13 §1 Divers Shyppes..have by the lacke of suche Markes of late yeres ben myscaried peryshed and lost in the Sea.

1608 SHAKESPEARE King Lear V. i. 5 Our sisters man is certainly miscaried.

1655 LD. ORRERY Parthenissa IV. II. viii. 743 Learning that his first Embassadors..were miscarried, he employ'd others.
2. intr. To go wrong or astray; to do wrong, misbehave. Also refl. Now rare.
a1706 J. EVELYN Mem. for my Grand-son (1926) 3 So many of my deare Children have ben taken away & miscaryed.

2. intr. To go wrong or astray; to do wrong, misbehave. Also refl. Now rare.
1568 D. LINDSAY Satyre (Bannatyne) Proclam. 57 in Wks. (1931) II. 14 Maister, quhairto sowld I my self miskary, Quhair I, as preistis, may swyve & nevir mary?

1632 W. LITHGOW Totall Disc. Trav. VIII. 348 [They] may not marry, and yet may mis-carry themselues in all abhominations.

1649 F. ROBERTS Clavis Bibliorum 368 Solomon more miscarrying in that [sc. prosperity] then Job in this [sc. adversity].

3. trans. To cause (a person) to go wrong or astray; to mislead, delude, or seduce. Obs.
1633 BP. J. HALL Plaine Explic. Hard Texts I. 121 He was not miscarried into any..enormous crime. 1

650 J. TRAPP Comm. Num. xx. 11 The best may be mis-carried by their passions.

4. {dag}a. trans. To induce (a woman) to have a miscarriage. Obs. rare.
1527 L. ANDREWE tr. H. von Braunschweig Vertuose Bk. Distyllacyon sig. C iij b, Women whiche be myscaryd of the mydwyfe in the byrthe of her chylde.

1560 J. DAUS tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. cxiijv, She had dyuerse tymes miscaried of chylde.
1643 SIR T. BROWNE Religio Medici (new ed.) I. §57. 130 Eve miscarried of mee before she conceiv'd of Cain.

1662 J. GRAUNT Nat. & Polit. Observ. Bills Mortality v. 37 The Question is, Whether Teeming-women died, or fled, or miscarried?

c. intr. Of a fetus: to be born too prematurely to survive; to fail to survive to the stage of viability. rare before 20th cent.
1600 SHAKESPEARE Henry IV, Pt. 2 V. iv. 9 And the child I go with, do miscarry.
1600 SHAKESPEARE Henry IV, Pt. 2 V. iv. 15 But I pray God the fruite of her wombe miscarry

a. Of a plan, business, etc.: to go wrong; to fail; to come to nothing, prove abortive.
{dag}Also trans. (in pass.): to cause (an enterprise) to fail (obs.).
1589 G. PUTTENHAM Arte Eng. Poesie III. xxiii. 226 Ye may see how a word spoken vndecently, not knowing the phrase or proprietie of a language, maketh a whole matter many times miscarrie.

a1616 SHAKESPEARE Coriolanus (1623) I. i. 266 What miscarries Shall be the Generals fault.
1639 T. FULLER Hist. Holy Warre II. xlv. 105 When a great action miscarrieth, the blame must be laid on some.
1654 MARQ. ORMONDE in G. F. Warner Nicholas Papers (1892) II. 142 It is ordinary when a busines is miscaryed to blame the ways taken to effect it.
1726 SWIFT Gulliver II. IV. vii. 105 If they find their Project hath miscarried,
they return home.

(BNC) 104 Ras Hailu planned to free him and to raise the north in his name. The plot, however, miscarried.

b. Of a person: to fail in one's purpose or object; to be unsuccessful. {dag}Also with of.

6. a. intr. Of a letter, etc.: to fail to reach its proper destination; to be delivered to the wrong recipient.
1592 H. WOTTON Let. 3 Dec. in L. P. Smith Life & Lett. Sir H. Wotton (1907) I. 293 Upon doubt lest some have miscarried, I have in this included a post-cipher. 1623 SHAKESPEARE & J. FLETCHER Henry VIII III. ii. 30 The Cardinals Letters to the Pope miscarried, And came to th'eye o' th' King.

b. trans. (in pass.). To take or deliver (a letter, etc.) to the wrong destination. Obs.
1651 in W. Fraser Douglas Bk. (1885) IV. 258, I perswad my self still my letters and my sisters have been miscaryed that you came not to us heer. 1665 J. STRYPE in H. Ellis Orig. Lett. Lit. Men (1843) 183, I..think my Tuesday letter was miscarried, because no Answer to it.

7. intr. Of plants, seeds, land, etc.: to be unfruitful or unproductive; to fail to produce growth. Now rare (arch. and poet. in later use).
1598 SHAKESPEARE Loves Labours Lost IV. i. 111 My Lady goes to kill hornes, but if thou marrie, hang me by the necke, if horns that yeere miscarrie.

8. trans. In physical sense: to carry to destruction. Obs.
1632 W. LITHGOW Totall Disc. Trav. VI. 262 If any of them had missed [his footing], his sliding downe had miscarried them both ouer the Rocke.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Up, not to church"

Methinks going to church to hear the KJV of the Bible read and expounded would have done a former Puritan sympathizer's ears and heart good -- what with all the "thee's" and "thou's", etc. -- all other things being equal,

CGS  •  Link

Going to Church, was it not, a means of keeping everyone on the straight and narrow like a herd of wildebeest, to prevent them from falling down the crevices of sins, away from the weaknesses of human frailty, contaminated by pleasure that gave way to illnesses that failed to be cured.
Of course England had all these deviant groups , the list is long, unlike the rest of Europe that expelled or detongued them, that is, alternative means of inter mingling of the various thoughts.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Diary of Ralph Josselin
9 December 1666
document 70015365
... sad afflictive rainy weather, ...

Not good for skirt chasing.

Colin Skyrme  •  Link

Thank you San Diego Sarah for this and all your other helpful comments too.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

You're welcome, Colin Squared. And a very Merry London Christmas to you -- I beat you to it this year!

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