Tuesday 4 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, where a full Board sat all the morning, busy among other things concerning a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose. After dinner I abroad by coach to Kate Joyce’s, where the jury did sit where they did before, about her husband’s death, and their verdict put off for fourteen days longer, at the suit of somebody, under pretence of the King; but it is only to get money out of her to compound the matter. But the truth is, something they will make out of Stillingfleete’s sermon, which may trouble us, he declaring, like a fool, in his pulpit, that he did confess that his losses in the world did make him do what he did. This do vex me to see how foolish our Protestant Divines are, while the Papists do make it the duty of Confessor to be secret, or else nobody would confess their sins to them.

All being put off for to-day, I took my leave of Kate, who is mightily troubled at it for her estate sake, not for her husband; for her sorrow for that, I perceive, is all over. I home, and, there to my office busy till the evening, and then home, and there my wife and Deb. and I and Betty Turner, I employed in the putting new titles to my books, which we proceeded on till midnight, and then being weary and late to bed.


16 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

4th February, 1668. I saw the tragedy of 'Horace' (written by the VIRTUOUS Mrs. Philips acted before their Majesties. Between each act a masque and antique dance. The excessive gallantry of the ladies was infinite, those especially on that [whore] Castlemaine, esteemed at ,£40,000 and more, far outshining the Queen.

http://is.gd/fY5wB

Mrs. Philips "went to London in March 1664 with a nearly completed translation of Corneille's Horace, but died of smallpox."
( http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/11468/ ) To the tragedy of Horace "a fifth act was added by Sir John Denham; and which was represented [when performed] by persons of rank at court, with a prologue spoken by the duke of Monmouth." ( http://is.gd/bvrUrj )

Michael L  •  Link

The pronouns are a little confusing here. I understand this to mean: "[Stillingfleete] declaring, like a fool, in his pulpit, that [Joyce] did confess that his losses in the world did make him do what he did."

This makes it sound like Joyce confessed (on his deathbed?) to Stillingfleete about why he had tried to kill himself, and Stillingfleete made that public. Otherwise, the following sentence about secret confession is hard to make sense of.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Arlington to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 4 February 1668

Since his Grace is willing to trust much to the writer's judgment (bad as it may be) for directing himself as to his coming over to England, the writer can but still profess the opinion that it is not yet fit to determine the time, although wholly agreeing as to the thing....

...As to the appointment of a Deputy, during the Lord Lieutenant's absence, the nomination of Lord Ossory [his oldest son http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Butler,_6th_E… ] would "carry a great deal of envy with it". ...

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘doubt v. . . II 5. b. With infinitive phrase or objective clause: To fear, be afraid (that something uncertain will take or has taken place). arch. and dial.
. . 1665    S. Pepys Diary 27 Nov. (1972) VI. 387   Doubting that all will break in pieces in the Kingdom.
. . 1897    N.E.D. at Doubt,   Mod. dial. I doubt we are too late.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose.”

Christopher Squire, the L&M Large Glossary agrees you are correct.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"...a solemn letter we intend to write to the Duke of York about the state of the things of the Navy, for want of money, though I doubt it will be to little purpose....."

Oh, haven't we all been involved with this! Trying to make them [insert managers of choice] understand that you cannot do what is expected of you without sufficient funds!! And yet you know that the letter will just be slam-dunked in the nearest waste bin.......

Kate Joyce

"...who is mightily troubled at it for her estate sake, not for her husband; for her sorrow for that, I perceive, is all over. ...."

I think Sam may be being a little harsh here. Sometimes it is easier to concentrate on practical things after a bereavement - it takes your mind off your loss - and then when your mind next comes to dwell on the deceased, maybe the loss will be a little easier to bear.

Phoenix Rhys  •  Link

"Sometimes it is easier..."

Wise observation Susan.

language hat  •  Link

"I think Sam may be being a little harsh here."

Sam is routinely harsh on other people's failings (or in his interpretation of other people's actions, as here). I put it down to a combination of youth and self-absorption.

Fern  •  Link

I think Sam doesn't quite comprehend the depth of anxiety of a widow with children, if she thinks she is facing destitution. It must drive all other concerns from her mind, at least temporarily.
He's right about Stillingfleete though, what an idiot.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"I employed in the putting new titles to my books, which we proceeded on till midnight, "

Spoiler -- There are no surviving traces of these and similar titling labels, unlike the occasional traces or fragmentary survivals of press mark labels placed at either head or tail or the spine.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/02/02/#c3191…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Confession

Even if Stilingfleet was not bound by the seal of the confessional, he should have exercised some discretion.

It was part of folk religion, that truth was always spoken by a dying man, so weight would have been given to Stillingfleete's reporting of Joyce's deathbed words. Furthermore, the words spoken by a minister in his pulpit would have been received with great respect and credence by his congregation. No wonder Sam was irritated by him.

The Anglican Church does allow for personal, private confession (summed up by the phrase "all can, some should, none must") and the same rules apply to those hearing confession in the Anglican church as in the Roman. Not sure what the situation was in the 17th c. C of E.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"then home, and there my wife and Deb. and I and Betty Turner, I employed in the putting new titles to my books"

L&M: Mr H. M. Nixon writes: 'Few of Pepys's books at this time had binders' titles, and Pepys and his companions may now have been pasting paper labels on to the spines. If so, it is odd that no trace of the labels remains. He refers again. at 15 February, to "titleing" the books. The words used in both entries make it clear that he was dealing with his new books, and it is difficult to believe that he was merely listing them. On the 16th he made a new catalogue.'

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We tend to agree that it's hard to see what a solemn letter to His Grace can change exactly. Everybody knows England is broke and the Duke sees the Commissioners all the time. But this letter we only learn of now cannot be just the morning's idea and it may be meant to circulate more broadly. If examples are needed to illustrate the situation, Sam won't have to dig very deep in the mailbag, which provides an endless stream of whimperings about money and in which, on this day in Portsmouth, John Tinker is throwing the following to Sam's attention:

-- Capt. John Tinker to Sam Pepys: (...) The oar-makers are content to make 20s. and to comply with their contract, but doubt the goodness of the pay, alleging that they sold goods to the purveyor for ready money, and are yet unpaid; their faith is weak. If I make it my own debt, they will be contented. (...) [State Papers, No. 43, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…].

And so on and so forth, from the oar-makers, the sail-makers, the rope-makers, the timbermen, the caulkers and all the rest. On January 29 Chris Pett wrote of trying to recover eight caulkers "employed in the river", apparently in private business, who told him "they will rather be hanged than come, unless they can be better paid"; and so he asked for a press warrant. Enough expedients are found for some business to continue, notably big salvage projects to rebuild the Royal Oak and a first-rate newbuild, the Charles. It's actually not so bad; according to threedecks.org over 1667-68 the Navy will acquire 55 ships of all sizes, while the Dutch State Navy and its five admiralties will add 33, and the warmongering French 35. But the incessant battering of grouchy and grubby tradesmen is surely enough to make a honest clerk want to go paste labels in his library.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I think it was a "cover your ass" letter, putting the pleas from those heartbreaking letters from indigent Royalist servants from all over the country on record.
The members of the Navy Board must have felt awful, knowing how important those craftsmen were to the safety of the country. So they kicked the problem upstairs, and were able to sleep that night knowing they had done something.
After all, they knew they couldn't short-stop Prize Goods to raise the money to pay the bills any more. What other options did they have?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Shrove Tuesday is at the start of Lent. It's the day the cooks empty the kitchen of the foods forbidden for the next six weeks. Traditionally masters were encouraged to share the excess with their laborers. Pepys has recently discovered the benefits of breaking bread with his clerks, but not today apparently.

By this time the spirit of egalitarianism implied by the boss feeding a pancake dinner to the workers had taken the next step: The workers were demanding more equality, so the officials started downplaying the idea of pancakes for all. (Very Cromwellians, somehow.) Of course, these cutbacks only increased the ill-will between the classes.

Rioting is a great bother to the authorities ... but, as today, they present an opportunity for people to tag along with the students and apprentices who traditionally attacked the bawdy houses (I'll never understand that!), and so landlords would evict unwelcome tenants, etc. during the chaos. Mayhem is unkind.

And in 1668 there were a lot of unhappy people just waiting for the students and apprentices to riot. I'm surprised Pepys isn't boarding up his office windows.

For more about this misunderstood holy day ...
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/446/#disc…

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