Saturday 8 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, where sat all day, and at noon home, and there find cozen Roger and Jackson by appointment come to dine with me, and Creed, and very merry, only Jackson hath few words, and I like him never the worse for it. The great talk is of Carr’s coming off in all his trials, to the disgrace of my Lord Gerard, to that degree, and the ripping up of so many notorious rogueries and cheats of my Lord’s, that my Lord, it is thought, will be ruined; and, above all things, do skew the madness of the House of Commons, who rejected the petition of this poor man by a combination of a few in the House; and, much more, the base proceedings (just the epitome of all our publick managements in this age), of the House of Lords, that ordered him to stand in the pillory for those very things, without hearing and examining what he hath now, by the seeking of my Lord Gerard himself, cleared himself of, in open Court, to the gaining himself the pity of all the world, and shame for ever to my Lord Gerard. We had a great deal of good discourse at table, and after dinner we four men took coach, and they set me down at the Old Exchange, and they home, having discoursed nothing today with cozen or Jackson about our business. I to Captain Cocke’s, and there discoursed over our business of prizes, and I think I shall go near to state the matter so as to secure myself without wrong to him, doing nor saying anything but the very truth. Thence away to the Strand, to my bookseller’s, and there staid an hour, and bought the idle, rogueish book, “L’escholle des filles;” which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found. Thence home, and busy late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed. My wife well pleased with my sister’s match, and designing how to be merry at their marriage. And I am well at ease in my mind to think that that care will be over. This night calling at the Temple, at the Auditor’s, his man told me that he heard that my account must be brought to the view of the Commissioners of Tangier before it can be passed, which though I know no hurt in it, yet it troubled me lest there should be any or any designed by them who put this into the head of the Auditor, I suppose Auditor Beale, or Creed, because they saw me carrying my account another way than by them.


23 Annotations

Christopher Squire  •  Link

Re: ’Carr’s coming off in all his trials’

‘come off
. . 7. To get off, escape. Obs.
. . 1694    R. South 12 Serm. II. 584   If, indeed, upon such a fair and full Trial he can come off, he is then Rectus in curiâ, clear and innocent.
1813    J. Austen Let. 24 Sept. (1995) 228   They talked of cupping me, but I came off with a dose or two of calomel.’

= ‘get off’ in 2011 English:

‘ . . 2. To escape from punishment, defeat, etc., either entirely or with or for a specified loss or penalty; to be acquitted in a criminal trial.
. . 1720    D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier 288   He got off for 4000l.
. . 1841    Dickens Barnaby Rudge lxxiii. 367   He had got off very well with a reprimand.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

What Mr. Cade predicted to Pepys 20 January is come to pass

“my Lord Gerard is likely to meet with trouble, the next sitting of Parliament, about [Carr] being set in the pillory”

See last 16 December: “And so to Westminster, where I find the House mighty busy upon a petition against my Lord Gerard, which lays heavy things to his charge, of his abusing the King in his Guards; and very hot the House is upon it. “
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/01/20/#c3173…

I.e., Carr was found innocent of his purported offense -- "a scandalous printed Paper, published in the Name of William Carr Gentleman, a Prisoner in The King’s Bench Prison, against the Lord Gerrard of Brandon, a Peer of this Realm" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/12/16/#c3194… for which he (Carr) had stood in the pillory as the House of Lords had ordered http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The World Upside Down?

As I read it, Carr's Judgement by the Lords http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?comp… was essentially that he was not deferential to one of them, viz. Lord Gerard. But the Court (of the King's Bench, yet) has found a charge of libel by Carr unfounded and upheld his complaints against Lord Gerard.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Thence away to the Strand, to my bookseller’s, and there staid an hour, and bought the idle, rogueish book, “L’escholle des filles;” which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found."

"Hey, Arney...Guess what little Pepys bought of me today?" "If I had to, I should say...Hmmn...A certain plain-bound book of extremely French words?"

"You have hit the mark, lad."

"It seemed like his choice of reading matter...The fellow's always leerin' round at the girls. And you've heard how he carries on?..."

"I keep my daughter out of his sight when I see him comin', that's for sure. But, he is a good customer and the customer, I say...Is always right."

"Rigidly so, in this case, I should say..."

"Arney...Sir, may I help ye?"

"Oh no, good fellow...Just looking...Just looking..." figure in cloak, hat pulled down. "I say...Any copies of that new French book left?"

"Just one, sir..." pulls out a second copy from behind counter...On top of stash of several hundred. "Fraid it's in plain-binding, sir."

"Quite all right...Quite all right...I'll take it as is."

"Right we are, sir. Here you go."

"Pardon me...Your Grace?"

"Pepys?" Jamie blinks.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

I expect Michael Robinson will verify for us that SP in fact disposed of the offensive volume without dignifying it with a PL number.

I love the image of Sam furtively buying the book in the plain brown wrapper, taking it home well concealed and with the stated intent of burning it. It brought to mind a scene in a Woody Allen movie, where he buys a skin magazine and about half a dozen highbrow magazines to cover it up. Then the newsstand proprietor yells to his assistant in the back of the store, "How much do we charge for Big-Busted Mamas (or whatever the title was)?"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Book-burnings

There are two referenced in today's Journall entry, both offstage: (1) Carr's in the past by the Hangman; (2) Pepys's in some possible future by himself....

Australian Susan  •  Link

The Naughty Book

All the booksellers in London probably only had plain bound copies of this book!

It reminds me of the copy of the Kama Sutra which went the rounds when I was in the VIth Form in a brown paper cover with "Life of Shakespeare" written on it.

language hat  •  Link

"and, above all things, do skew the madness of the House of Commons"

"Skew" should read "shew" (i.e., "show").

Phoenix  •  Link

"...I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found."

Sentient books or surrogates?

nix  •  Link

Too bad it's a scanning error -- "skew" is so much more evocative.

martinb  •  Link

This is probably a very obvious point to make, but it's curious to see that Pepys was, unlike most of us (I imagine), capable of burning books and yet did not burn the one big book in his possession which contained so many secrets and might be thought by some "to disgrace him if it should be found". The fact that he was a book-burner seems to make his decision not to dispose of the diary just that little bit more momentous.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"My wife well pleased with my sister’s match, and designing how to be merry at their marriage."

"This wedding is getting a bit out of hand, Bess."

"Now, Sam'l...No one likes a good party like you, dearest or can throw it...er one, like you."

"True enough, I suppose."

"And think of all the lovely ladies we'll be having...It'll be a regular..." innocent smile...

Narrow look at Bess' innocent face... "You found my book, didn't you?"

“What book, darling? Anyway it's like to be a regular l’escholle des filles."

"Oh, you are so funny, Mrs. Pepys."

"Betty Pierce says she's willing to dress up like in chapter four. I told her you'd prefer chapter seven."

"So very funny. We'll have you stand-in for Nelly Gwyn."

"You haven't read chapter seven, have you?"

"Enough...I planned to burn the dratted thing, after scanning it briefly...To acquire a few facts useful to any man who must brave this dark and evil world."

"I applaud you...I mean to actually say that with a straight face." grin.

"Bess..."

"And here you have a wife...Of some attractiveness, at least some have said...Who actually spent time in a French convent. What do you need fiction for?"

"What about Raoul in your novels? 'He entered her room, bare-chested, his manly physique revealed in all its rapturous wonder as he approached the bed on which she lay.'"

"Glad you're such a fan."

"I'm just suggesting that we both have a need for a little fantasy."

"Well, Sam'l..." shrewd, appraising glance... "I'd say I need a load of fantasy given what I was stuck with."

"Really...Well, perhaps Knipp would be willing to join Betty in a performance of the book in play form."

"Not much different from some of the stuff currently on stage. You know, if you'd stop your whining about the expense of poor Pall's one big day...A day some of us have never had." Solemn look. "...I might give you a command performance."

"You mean 'command' as in chapter six?"

"So long as it's one...Not six."

"Oh...Well, I suppose that'd be nice too."

Glare...

"I don't suppose that thing about Betty Pierce...?OW!!!"

"Be glad you didn't get it properly bound."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Wait...Who said that about your attractiveness?"

"What? I'm not attractive?"

"Was it Will Hewer, the diamond necklace pedlar?"

"Oh, now, Sam'l...After all, when one has spent time in a French convent...Learning to appeal to all types of..."

"Bess?!"

"I really should write my own book..."

Batch  •  Link

He's not the first or the last to lament
"the base proceedings (just the epitome of all our publick managements in this age) . . . ."
Insert the present or any age.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The following leads me to think that Charles II has concluded that neutrality will serve England best this summer.
To that end this was finalized today:

Feb. 8. 1668
Whitehall.
Proclamation of rules to be observed relative to English ports, &c. during this time of hostility between neighboring nations; viz.,
* That no violence or surprise between men-of-war or merchantmen be attempted within any tract at sea that can be reasonably construed to be an English port, on pain of proceedings in the Admiralty Court.
* That men-of-war be prohibited from hovering so near the coast as to cause apprehension to merchantmen.
* That any vessel in our ports likely to pursue one of the enemy in the same port shall not be allowed to sail within two tides of the adverse vessel.
* That English ships be not allowed to go out on other than trading or fishing voyages.
* That no prizes or prize goods be sold in our harbors, no traffic in pirates' goods allowed, and that no English officer or mariner enter the service of any foreign Prince or State;
* if they be so entered, they are to leave the service, on pain of seizure on their return.
[Printed. S.P. Dom., Proclamations, Vol. 3, p. 256.]

It can't be more clear than that: No local prize goods distributions; let the enemy go; don't harass merchantmen; only fishing and trading for now, boys.

'Charles II: February 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 204-261.
British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

Mike Zim  •  Link

Paul Chapin
"I love the image of Sam furtively buying the book in the plain brown wrapper, taking it home well concealed and with the stated intent of burning it. It brought to mind a scene in a Woody Allen movie, where he buys a skin magazine and about half a dozen highbrow magazines to cover it up. Then the newsstand proprietor yells to his assistant in the back of the store, "How much do we charge for Big-Busted Mamas (or whatever the title was)?" "

The movie was Bananas (1971), and the magazine of interest was "Orgasm".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgYuQ4hLxo

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The proclamation which the State Papers calendars as of February 8 is actually slightly more lenient in the version, dated February 7 (of which our spy brought us the galley proofs yesterday), to appear in the next Gazette. We now wonder at which may be the version of record, however the Gazette version is more detailed, printed by Authority, and is what the Publick at large will have seen. Significantly, it doesn't prohibit all sales of prize goods, only those from "Privateers with foreign Commission" (pfew, big sigh of relief there). It also doesn't quite shut the door on foreign adventures, except "without leave from His Majesty", or HRH or the High Admiral. For the record it also doesn't ask port officers to restrain mutual enemies for two tides, which may be a long time to delay a foreign warship intent on action, but to keep them from sailing on the same tide - within the reach of "just one more signature" or "we can't find the key" delaying tactics. (Or maybe, "we're trying to get through to a Mr Pepys in London but at this time he's often in the theater, so sorry captain").

Neutrality (for now) indeed seems a good idea as the Most Christian seems so intent on dragging half of Europe into war, and England (for now, in the person of Sandwich) being the peacemaker between Spain and Portugal, but the decree would also serve a Noble Purpose in fixing some of the chaos in the Channel and North Sea. The Gazette version's preamble references "the Insolencies of private Men of War", a clear allusion to the Ostenders' unrestrained plundering of French ships (a favorite tactic is to strip the crew, we wonder how thoroughly), then often dragging them for sale into English ports (imagine the complications if they got resold there). They tend to leave English vessels alone, but not always, and recall that they recently plucked a Portuguese right from an English dock. English privateers are also going by the hundreds to the Continent and, apart from their getting into contact with the French, have turned up en masse in Dutch crews, boasting it pays better than the Navy. Ultimately this all seems favorable to the French; Charles wouldn't be laying the groundwork for an alliance with them, now?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Apart from that, in the next few days Sam will be Very Busy with a letter sent him this day by a Captain John Poyntz, who "would undertake to make a lighthouse, and build a castle on the Goodwin Sands (...) and if I did not complete them this summer, would be bound to lose my life". Poyntz then says it would be cheap, too, and asks Sam to get "the King and Council" to provide him, among other supplies, "2 open vessels of 30 tons each (...) with 100 carpenters, seamen, and labourers to be in the King's pay". (State Papers, No. 111, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…). It's tempting to imagine that letter being passed around the Office as the day's crank piece ("he bets his life on building a castle on sand? How' bout just his honor, if he don't deliver we could do him like it says in that book of yours, Mr. Sam"), but next week Sam will draft no less than four letters to the Commissioners, so it may have been taken seriously.

Captain Poyntz isn't unknown, in 1664 he was Clerk Comptroller of the office of the Master of the Revels, which licensed lotteries and entertainment of all sorts (https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/7890). So of course now he could be building a lighthouse; why, you Office boys could then visit for, you know, Revels. A lighthouse on the Goodwin Sands would indeed have been a good idea, as the treacherous sandbank will cause shipwrecks by the thousands, but it won't be acted upon before around 200 years (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/south-foreland-l…). We wish Poyntz had kept a Journall too.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Ultimately this all seems favorable to the French; ..."

Agreed, but I don't think Captain Lois de la Roche would be terrorizing the south coast without the permission of Louis XIV, do you? After all, in the end he hands everything back to Allin. They all shake hands and agree nothing really happened, so they should go home now.

The whole episode is very odd. Perhaps Louis wanted Charles to know that everyone knew England was toothless and defenseless in 1668?

There must be other documents I haven't found yet which would clarify.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Nobody is terrorizing the south coast right now (for which God be praised), but that could change if England goes too far in its friendship with Spain, and providing help and shelter to their current privateers the Ostenders could qualify. What Louis thinks of the English Navy, we'll have to ask him, but it's still got a lot of ships and occasionally he gets walloped in the West Indies, so "toothless and defenceless" shouldn't be in it. But yeah, some of the ports are a bit lonely, and burning down one or two would be easy, and arguably the logical thing to do against piracy.

So, given the recent deals with Spain and the States and the fury in which Louis reportedly flew when he learned of the latter, 'tis the season to not be nasty to the Frogs. On this very day, another 12 horses are on their way as a personal gift from Charles (maybe with large tattoos that say "personal gift from Charles, your brother") to no less than the marquis de Turenne, who happens to command all French troops in Flanders (https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…). Whether a treaty is in the works, we're not sayin', but the all-knowing Venetian ambassador reported today that Temple had actually threatened De Witz to sign one with France if the Dutch didn't (No. 277 in https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…). And remember that St. Albans was in Paris recently; and it surely wasn't to visit the Eiffel tower.

Speaking of mysteries however, here's another one: a rumor in France, which agent Anthony Thorold is picking up from arriving vessels and preparing to report (it will appear at https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=gCk5AQAAM…) that Louis expects to capture all of Flanders by summertime, "except Ostend". Except Ostend? Is it that well defended? Or would Louis consider that missile launchpad better potentially too useful to burn to the ground? And useful against who, then?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Ostenders are being a pain in the tush, mostly on the south coast, these days -- to both English and French vessels, and in stormy weather (even if Pepys isn't complaining about it). They might be doing things mostly pleasing to Louis XIV??? Just a thought, but we do read of French people being left naked and needing clothing from their rescuers, and French soldiers needing rides back to Dieppe, none of which can be pleasing to him.

And Charles II -- after issuing the above call for peace and restraint -- now felt the need to mobilize Adm. Allin and his squadron to go after Captain Lois de la Roche. If that doesn't indicate his response to an attack, what does? (By the sound of it, Allin has all the warships still seaworthy, so this is a big gamble.)
He doesn't call out the fleet after the Ostenders.

Anyways, we're getting ahead of the story here, Stephane.

People can make up their own minds, as the evidence for all the above is scattered through the official records:
'Charles II: February 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 204-261. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

Pepys' responses are to follow (I hope, because I haven't read this part of the Diary before).

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Regarding Charles II's Proclamation yesterday and published in the Gazette today:

* That no prizes or prize goods be sold in our harbors, no traffic in pirates' goods allowed, and that no English officer or mariner enter the service of any foreign Prince or State;

I had forgotten that on 17 January, 1667/68 the Venetian Ambassador in Paris reported back to the Doge et al on their request to raise 3,000 troops, 1,500 from both England and Holland.
He had approached Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans asking if that would be possible, and St. Albans said he'd ask.

Evidently Charles II's answer was Hell No.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/01/17/?c=55…

I suspect if Charles can get enough ships afloat, he'll send an English fleet to the Mediterranean to further his own policies with the Barbary pirates; he doesn't want to have to raise money to rescue more English slaves lost because of Venetian misadventures.

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