Friday 20 March 1667/68

Up betimes, and to my Office, where we had a meeting extraordinary to consider of several things, among others the sum of money fit to be demanded ready money, to enable us to set out 27 ships, every body being now in pain for a fleete, and everybody endeavouring to excuse themselves for the not setting out of one, and our true excuse is lack of money. At it all the morning, and so at noon home to dinner with my clerks, my wife and Deb. being busy at work above in her chamber getting things ready and fine for her going into the country a week or two hence. I away by coach to White Hall, where we met to wait on the Duke of York, and, soon as prayers were done, it being Good Friday, he come to us, and we did a little business and presented him with our demand of money, and so broke up, and I thence by coach to Kate Joyce’s, being desirous and in pain to speak with her about the business that I received a letter yesterday, but had no opportunity of speaking with her about it, company being with her, so I only invited her to come and dine with me on Sunday next, and so away home, and for saving my eyes at my chamber all the evening pricking down some things, and trying some conclusions upon my viall, in order to the inventing a better theory of musique than hath yet been abroad; and I think verily I shall do it. So to supper with my wife, who is in very good humour with her working, and so am I, and so to bed. This day at Court I do hear that Sir W. Pen do command this summer’s fleete; and Mr. Progers of the Bedchamber, as a secret, told me that the Prince Rupert is troubled at it, and several friends of his have been with him to know the reason of it; so that he do pity Sir W. Pen, whom he hath great kindness for, that he should not at any desire of his be put to this service, and thereby make the Prince his enemy, and contract more envy from other people. But I am not a whit sorry if it should be so, first for the King’s sake, that his work will be better done by Sir W. Pen than the Prince, and next that Pen, who is a false rogue, may be bit a little by it.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: Dublin - 20 March 1668

Ormond to Anglesey

... Within ten days, will have put himself into such a readiness [for the voyage into England] as to be able to embark ... if he arrives at that resolution.

Lord Meath seems to be a generous enemy, by his letting the Duke's friends & relatives know what he has to assault him with. ... Sir Charles Wheeler's attack [in the English House of Commons] was less generous, though it was an expedient to supply the King with the Duke's money - who was not backward, in that kind, when there was less hope of recompense. ...

Ormond to Arlington

... The writer ... desires to beg the King's pardon if his apprehensions ... shall bring him sooner into England than his Majesty may think requisite. That what Sir Charles [Wheeler] set on foot had no worse effect [in respect to the Duke's interest under the Settlement Acts] may be imputed to the Duke's good fortune, or to Sir Charles' ill conduct. But there will be no ease, whilst it may be supposed possible that the one may fail, & the other be supplied by more skilful managers. ...…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"pricking down some things, and trying some conclusions upon my viall, in order to the inventing a better theory of musique than hath yet been abroad;"

PRICK: to write out music.... (L&M Select Glossary)


CAUTION: Ambition at work!

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... all the evening pricking down some things, ..."

This was common form of simplified staff notation used at the time, Playford ( ) used it in the publications SP owned.

Another example from the period:
"Singing. He had always books of prick-song lying on his table - e.g. of H. Lawes', etc, Songs [ ]- which at night, when he was abed, and the doors made fast, and was sure nobody heard him, he sang aloud (not that he had a very good voice, but for his health's sake); he did believe it did his lungs good and conduced much to prolong his life." Aubrey, Life of Hobbes

Spoiler -- for a discussion of the various changes in notation, and SP's difficulties with composition and comprehension, see the entry 'Music' in the L&M Companion:…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nothing like setting out with England's precious fleet, secure in the knowledge that you have support at home.

27 ships? That's it?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Prick"song`\ (?; 115), n. [See Prick, v. t., 4.] Music written, or noted, with dots or points; -- so called from the points or dots with which it is noted down. [Obs.]

He fights as you sing pricksong. --Shak.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Jesse  •  Link

"that [the King's] work will be better done by Sir W. Pen than the Prince, and...that a false rogue"

I pick up a slight nod of respect towards Sir W. Pen rather than Pepys simply settling for the lesser of two evils; separating (at least some elements of) character from the ability to do the job.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The entry ‘Music’ in the L&M Companion linked by MR above suggests one might learn a good deal about ambient London noise from that of Paris as depicted in Nicolas Boileau's Satire VI, "Embarras de Paris" (1666). Here's the Babel Fish translation of it:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day at Court I do hear that Sir W. Pen do command this summer’s fleete;"

L&M note Penn never took up this appointment. Within a month he was impeached in parliament.

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