Saturday 10 August 1667

Up, and to the Office, and there finished the letter about Carcasse, and sent it away, I think well writ, though it troubles me we should be put to trouble by this rogue so much. At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where I sang and piped with my wife with great pleasure, and did hire a coach to carry us to Barnett to-morrow. After dinner I to the office, and there wrote as long as my eyes would give me leave, and then abroad and to the New Exchange, to the bookseller’s there, where I hear of several new books coming out — Mr. Spratt’s History of the Royal Society, and Mrs. Phillips’s poems. Sir John Denham’s poems are going to be all printed together; and, among others, some new things; and among them he showed me a copy of verses of his upon Sir John Minnes’s going heretofore to Bullogne to eat a pig. Cowley, he tells me, is dead; who, it seems, was a mighty civil, serious man; which I did not know before. Several good plays are likely to be abroad soon, as Mustapha and Henry the 5th. Here having staid and divertised myself a good while, I home again and to finish my letters by the post, and so home, and betimes to bed with my wife because of rising betimes to-morrow.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nothing like a trip to the booksellers when the new stuff hits the shelves. And chatting up the latest summer blockbusters.

"You loved 'Siege of Rhodes I and II'...You'll be blown away by the new version of...'Mustapha'!"

Hmmn...Has the RS been round long enough for a history?

Oooh...Outing to Barnett tomorrow and we are invited.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Or how about these new items, Sam ponders, peering. Hmmn. "How They Lost the Second Dutch War!" "The Case for Cromwell" ,"Backstairs at WhiteHall" "The Stuarts:Family in Turmoil", "The King's New Clothes: How the Stuarts Blew It", "Leave Now! Why England Must Abandon America to Its Natives", "Stop Continental Warming: One Step at A Time", "The Autobiography of Louis XIV, Volumes I-XL", "Why Rome Fell", "Other Reasons Why Rome Fell", "Wild Guesses as to Why Rome Fell", "Montagu: Portrait of England's Savior", "Secrets of a Dutch Spy" oooh...Opens... "At that point I was able to make the acquaintence of Elisabeth, the wife of the Clerk of the Acts, Samuel Pepys. AFter a few quiet rendezvous in a nearby cafe, the poor woman, driven to desparation by her unfeeling oaf of a husband..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Hewer!!! We're going home! Now!!"

Damn...Will sighs, putting down "You-At A Roman Orgy".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"upon Sir John Minnes’s going heretofore to Bullogne to eat a pig"



1 All on a weeping Monday,
With a fat vulgarian sloven,

Little admiral John
To Boulogne is gone,
Whom I think they call old Loven.

2 Hadst thou not thy fill of carting,1
Will Aubrey, Count of Oxon,

When nose lay in breech,
And breech made a speech,
So often cried, A pox on?

3 A knight by land and water
Esteem'd at such a high rate,

When 'tis told in Kent,
In a cart that he went,
They '11 say now, Hang him, pirate.

4 Thou might'st have ta'en example
From what thou read'st in story;

Being as worthy to sit
On an ambling tit
As thy predecessor Dory.

5 But, oh, the roof of linen,
Intended for a shelter!

But the rain made an ass
Of tilt and canvas,
And the snow, which you know is a melter.

6 But with thee to inveigle
That tender stripling Astcot,

Who was soak'd to the skin,
Through drugget so thin,
Having neither coat nor waistcoat.

7 He being proudly mounted,
Clad in cloak of Plymouth,

Defied cart so base,
For thief without grace,
That goes to make a wry mouth.

8 Nor did he like the omen,
For fear it might be his doom

One day for to sing,
With gullet in string,
A hymn of Robert Wisdom.

9 But what was all this business ?
For sure it was important;

For who rides i' th' wet
When affairs are not great,
The neighbours make but a sport on't.

10 To a goodly fat sow's baby,
0 John ! thou hadst a malice;

The old driver of swine

That day sure was thine,
Or thou hadst not quitted Calais.


1 Fill of carting': we three riding in a cart from Dunkirk to Calais, with a fat Dutch woman.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Don't worry, Sir John...We'll get him for you.

Thanks, Terry. Hilarious.

highheeledhistorian  •  Link

Fascinating about the "new books coming out"! Nowadays, I suppose we'd be waiting in such anticipation for Katie Price's new autobiography book signing or the shopaholic books. Funny.

andy  •  Link

and betimes to bed with my wife

with her - he has not "lain with her" for 7 months - or at the same time as her?

language hat  •  Link

Note to highheeledhistorian: You don't need to sign every comment and add your URL; those are automatically the header of every comment.

Michael L  •  Link

At first I assumed that one of our readers had quickly written that poem, but after following the link, it appears legitimately 17th C.

I must say, I feel considerably less embarrassed for the mush-headed screenplays and rap lyrics of our age after reading Denham's poorly metered and forcibly rhymed doggerel.

Glyn  •  Link

Yes, clicking on Robert Gertz's and language hat's names takes you to interesting places. Also for some of the Dutch contributors when they post messages.

Miss Ann  •  Link

RG - if Justin Beiber can write his autobiography at his age then the RS certainly can have its own book too!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Hmmn…Has the RS been round long enough for a history?"

In An Adverisement to the Reader [n.p.], Sprat admits that “in the Title of my Book I have taken a Liberty, which may be liable to Exception [ such as RG takes ]: I have called it a History of the Royal Society; whereas the first Part wholly Treats of the State of the Ancient Philofophy and the third chiefly contains a Defence and Recommendation of experimental Knowledge in general: So that it is only the second Book that peculiarly describes their Undertaking.”…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The romance of Experimental Knowledge...Always one of the nicest traits of Humanity, that keen interest everyone, regardless of education or experience, takes in such things. I remember years ago coming across a letter home by a Roman centurion on the Eastern front (Syria, I think) eagerly describing some observations on the action of a catapult he'd helped to rework.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Cowley, he tells me, is dead; who, it seems, was a mighty civil, serious man; which I did not know before."

Abraham Cowley had died on 28 July at Chertsy, Surrey, had lain in state at Wallingford House, and had been buried in Westminster Abbey on 2 August. Evelyn at Sayes Court heard of his death on 1 August, possibly because the poet's brother, Thomas (… ) lived near by. (Per L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to the bookseller’s there, where I hear of several new books coming out — Mr. Spratt’s History of the Royal Society, and Mrs. Phillips’s poems. "

L&M: Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society of London had been licensed on 25 July, and Katherine Philips's Poems on 21 January 1667: Trans. Stst. Reg., ii. 373. Pepys later acquired the first, but not, apparently, the second. See… and…
The bookseller was Henry Herringman, publisher of the Philips.

James Morgan  •  Link

Does anyone know the story of Mennes going to Boulogne to eat a pig? The poem by Denham reads like encoded political satire. I didn't find anything in the entries under Mennes or Denham to explain the poem.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

James, I Googled "Mennes going to Boulogne to eat a pig" and all that came back were citations to this story by Pepys. This must be one of the best teasers in history.

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