Thursday 2 April 1668

Up, after much pleasant talk with my wife, and upon some alterations I will make in my house in her absence, and I do intend to lay out some money thereon. So she and I up, and she got her ready to be gone, and by and by comes Betty Turner and her mother, and W. Batelier, and they and Deb., to whom I did give 10s. this morning, to oblige her to please her mistress (and ego did baiser her mouche), and also Jane, and so in two coaches set out about eight o’clock towards the carrier, there for to take coach for my father’s, that is to say, my wife and Betty Turner, Deb., and Jane; but I meeting my Lord Anglesey going to the Office, was forced to ’light in Cheapside, and there took my leave of them (not baisado Deb., which je had a great mind to), left them to go to their coach, and I to the office, where all the morning busy, and so at noon with my other clerks (W. Hewer being a day’s journey with my wife) to dinner, where Mr. Pierce come and dined with me, and then with Lord Brouncker (carrying his little kinswoman on my knee, his coach being full), to the Temple, where my Lord and I ’light and to Mr. Porter’s chamber, where Cocke and his counsel, and so to the attorney’s, whither the Sollicitor-Generall come, and there, their cause about their assignments on the 1,250,000l Act was argued, where all that was to be said for them was said, and so answered by the Sollicitor-Generall beyond what I expected, that I said not one word all my time, rather choosing to hold my tongue, and so mind my reputation with the Sollicitor-Generall, who did mightily approve of my speech in Parliament, than say anything against him to no purpose. This I believe did trouble Cocke and these gentlemen, but I do think this best for me, and so I do think that the business will go against them, though it is against my judgment, and I am sure against all justice to the men to be invited to part with their goods and be deceived afterward of their security for payment. Thence with Lord Brouncker to the Royall Society, where they were just done; but there I was forced to subscribe to the building of a College, and did give 40l.; and several others did subscribe, some greater and some less sums; but several I saw hang off: and I doubt it will spoil the Society, for it breeds faction and ill-will, and becomes burdensome to some that cannot, or would not, do it. Here, to my great content, I did try the use of the Otacousticon, —[Ear trumpet.]— which was only a great glass bottle broke at the bottom, putting the neck to my eare, and there I did plainly hear the dashing of the oares of the boats in the Thames to Arundell gallery window, which, without it, I could not in the least do, and may, I believe, be improved to a great height, which I am mighty glad of. Thence with Lord Brouncker and several of them to the King’s Head Taverne by Chancery Lane, and there did drink and eat and talk, and, above the rest, I did hear of Mr. Hooke and my Lord an account of the reason of concords and discords in musique, which they say is from the equality of vibrations; but I am not satisfied in it, but will at my leisure think of it more, and see how far that do go to explain it. So late at night home with Mr. Colwell, and parted, and I to the office, and then to Sir W. Pen to confer with him, and Sir R. Ford and Young, about our St. John Baptist prize, and so home, without more supper to bed, my family being now little by the departure of my wife and two maids.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Aprill 2. 1668. Dr. Kings account of tying artery of a dog)

the curator produced a glasse Recieuer for the improuement of hearing. being tryd by holding the neck of it to the eare it was found that a stronger sound was conueyed by it then would haue been wthout it Orderd that the next day there be brought in a better & larger Receiuer for hearing.

The same mentiond that there was a person who did offer his seruice to the Society for Diuing the offer was Imbraced and the Curator orderd to consider against next day of the Apparatus fit for it and of the Expts. to be made by it

(Slusius his Letter of March 29. 1668. a generall Descript: of the Country about Leige) Sr. A King Relation about Amphisbena [… ])

Taylor Amber & petrifyd wood from Harwich) wallis Letter about tides)…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

2 April 1668. To the Royal Society, where I subscrib'd 50,000 bricks, toward building a college.
Amongst other libertine libels, there was one now printed and thrown about, a bold petition of the poore whores to Lady Castlemaine.*

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Otacousticon...What a grand name. Surely it deserves more formality in its use

"Raise the Otacousticon! Uncouple the Otacousticon restraining bands. Activate the Otacousticon!"

(ie, lift it up, untie the rope securing the glass, uncork the ear portion.)

Aims open portion toward Whitehall...

"So I says to Charlie...'Your Majesty...Either I gets a bigger house and a 10% raise to me pension or this royal floozy walks'...And he says...'Nellie, light of me life...'"

"Tell DeWitt I've the new plans for this year's naval expedition straight from His Majesty's mouth. Now tell him, this comes direct from me, not the usual intermediary..." "Yes, Queen Catherine..."

Hmmn...Puts ear again...

"So then that little bug-eyed philandering hypocrite Pepys gives me this sympathetic look and says 'Oh, Admiral Sir Will, I am glad that you shall command the fleet this year..."

Narrowing of eyes...Slight shake moves instrument...

"So we're agreed, Jamie...If things get any worse, we stick the whole thing on Pepys. Parliament now sees him as the voice of the Naval Office and if it gets out just how much money was lost, they're sure to believe some of it stuck to his little fingers." "Sounds good...He's been strutting around like a rooster ever since that speech and..."

Gasp...Slight shift...

"So his wife comes to me and she says... 'Mrs. Martin, we've a mutual interest in seeing one Sam Pepys gets his just desserts and we ladies gets our share.' So I says, 'Be all right by me...But I don't cares for killing a man that way...Strangling him in a back room then dumping the parts in the Thames...Doesn't sound quite nice to me...Seein' as Mr. Pepys and I been friendly-like so long...But then she says, 'Betty, do you know how much the man is worth now...?' And I says... 'Sounds like he's worth enough to ease my conscience...'" chuckle. "Anyways, Martin'll do it...I'll just go to the front room whiles he saws him up. The wife, she'll be in the country so..."

"I say, Pepys..." Hooke taps him again...The third time. "A few other gents would like to try the Otacousticon (ahhhhh sound). Could you possibly...Pepys?"

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘otacousticon, n. Now hist. and rare.  An instrument to assist hearing, such as an ear trumpet. Cf. otacoustic n.
. . 1668    S. Pepys Diary 2 Apr. (1976) IX. 46,   I did try the use of the Otacousticon, which was only a great glass bottle broke at the bottom, putting the neck to my eare; and there I did plainly hear the dashing of the oares of the boats in the Thames.’ [OED]

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"ego did baiser her mouche"
Anyone have a good idea how to gloss "mouche" (lit. housefly) in this context? Do you suppose Sam meant to say "bouche" (mouth)?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M transcribe "and yo did besar her mucho"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I doubt it will spoil the Society"

DOUBT = fear

The Society failed to raise enough to build, but it wasn't spoiled by the effort!

john  •  Link

"mouche II. 2. (1655) Petit morceau de taffetas noir que les femmes mettaient sur la peau pour en faire ressortir la blancheur" [Petit Robert]

Mary  •  Link

mouche (Petit Robert)

i.e. a beauty patch.

But I think that we should stick with the L&M reading "mucho". Apart from anything else, Sam disapproved of face-painting and the wearing of patches.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So late at night home with Mr. Colwell, and parted, and I to the office, and then to Sir W. Pen to confer with him, and Sir R. Ford and Young, about our St. John Baptist prize..."

"I dunno..."Penn frowns. "Mrs. Pepys has dance training and not to mention, is French."

"What's that meant to imply, Admiral Sir Will?" Sam, frowning...

"Just that she'd have a good lcok on Salome..." Penn, narrow-eyed stare.

"Admiral Sir Will...Are you suggesting I would fix our Salome contest in favor of my own wife?"

"For a silver platter? Pepys, I think you'd sell your mother..."

"Now, gentlemen." Sir Richard Ford cuts in... "I'm sure our other Salome competitors will all have their own unique attributes to bring to our St. John Baptist competition..."

"Your daughter Meg should do just fine..." Sam, slight leer. "...she seems quite...Talented in those areas."

Glare from Penn... "What...Areas, you little...?"

"Why dancing of course...And I've always noticed a bit of the flirt in the dear girl."

"Gentlemen..." Ford tries... "Lets us remember this is to raise funds for our beloved Navy."

"Perhaps we should include that girl of yours...Deborah, isn't it? She seemed quite a fine candidate when I saw her at 'practice' with you last night through your closet window..." Penn, sneering loor. "Quite the limber athlete, that one. Though you were no slouch yourself, Pepys."

"Now, gentlemen..." Young, desperately.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Terry and Mary, mucho thanks. Makes me wonder if Wheatley decided to substitute his own Franglais for SP's Spanglish. If so, he did a poor job of it.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here, to my great content, I did try the use of the Otacousticon"

Birch, ii. 261-2. Hooke appears to have been the inventor, and at the
request of the Society produced on 9 April two larger and better models -- one of latten [a copper alloy… ] and the other of glass: ib. p. 263. There were other varieties by pther inventors. (L&M)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

All the news that's fit to print:

April 2. 1668
News from 27 March to 2 April.

The Lord Mayor having fallen sick, the Recorder and his brethren presented themselves before Council, when the Lord Keeper reprehended them on behalf of his Majesty, for their remissness in not suppressing the disorders of the apprentices; but they answered that all within the city liberties was easily quieted, and that the disorders were committed in Middlesex;
upon this the Lord Keeper was ordered to take an account of the carriage of the justices of those parts, and if they were found faulty, to turn them out of the Commission.

At parting he commended them to be punctual concerning the re-building of the city, and to see that the several houses are built uniform according to the rule and model given.

The order for free import of timber was read and allowed.

The Resolution, a new ship, is rigging at Harwich.

Sir Thos. Morgan has orders to return to his command at Jersey, and to carry with him all necessaries for the supply and defence of that island, and a recruit of men.

Bills were brought into the House [of Commons] for encouraging tillage, navigation, and the breed of cattle.

Mr. Solicitor brought in a Bill for raising 100,000/. on wines and brandies towards his Majesty's supply.

The King requested the House to despatch business, that they might adjourn at Whitsuntide.

The Duke of York dined with the Countess of Devonshire at Southampton House, and went down to Deptford to hasten the fitting out of the Charles.

The French King, having made a project of a treaty upon the foundation of the alternative accepted by the Marquis, has sent it to the mediators, who think it not unreasonable, and have pressed the Marquis to accept and sign it, which if he agrees to, the peace is like to follow.

Sir Godfrey Lloyd, by leave of his Majesty, has accepted the offer of Quartermaster-General to the States.

Upon the complaints of his Majesty to the French King against the Duke of Monaco, that King [Louis XIV] has answered that he has only undertaken the protection of the town, does not trouble himself with any of the Duke's affairs, and so leaves his Majesty to do as he pleases.

The House has resolved to raise the whole 300,000l. by the imposition on wines, and the Poll bill is wholly laid aside.

Mr. Williamson had his chamber robbed by Sherwood and 2 other confederates, who stole 1,500l. in jewels, gold, and silver; but Sherwood being taken, he confessed; so another of the birds was taken, and most of the goods recovered; but the third, being alarmed by the apprehension of the others, fled away.

A sad fire happened in Tuthill Street, opposite the Globe tavern, which destroyed 4 houses.

[4 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 191.]…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We wager that talk at the Office and at the King's Head today featured the word "gunners". Recall, that troublesome caste had been noted a few days ago for staying home with their retinues of servants. Today they appear in two letters of April 2, from the Ordnance Office to the Commissioners ("We desire you will order the gunners to wait upon us") and, writing from Chatham and so likely in response to a separate thread of complaints, by Commissioner Middleton to Sam, who apparently had to be involved in these matters: "I have spoken to the gunners of the ships; they will observe his Royal Highness's instructions" -- good! -- "but will not yield further attendance" -- ah well, thanks for the observance anyway -- "or be under the boatswain's commands".

Interesting, that one; you could indeed expect the gunners to be more soldiers than seamen, and to be under a combat commander. This could have the advantage of allowing them to wallow in deck chairs between engagements, cocktails at hand and filing their gunpowder-encrusted fingernails, while the ordinary seamen run about. Maybe the command structure wasn't so cleanly partitioned, but it seems the gunners were of the opinion it should be (and, moreover, were moving as a pack). Or, being neither/both soldiers and seamen and less replaceable than either by pressed men, they find so many loopholes to exploit and leverage to flex. In any case the Ordnance Office, whose job is guns and gunpowder, seems to find them beyond its power.

So anyway, Sam had to know. Not that he can do much, surely. We imagine the big, burly gunners, in their wigs and lace and surrounded by their younger, equally roguish and fanatically devoted servants, sipping French wine in their castles, a purloined 8-pounder at the ready should - ha ha - one of the Navy Office come knocking... Unless of course he makes a correct offer? When is it again you want the fleet to sail? Hmm, and the French are streaming out of Brest, you say. Yes, more money will do. And a boatswain's head on a silver platter.

But, anyway squared, Middleton continues, "I believe the gunners and all the servants in the ship have run away, as no news is to be heard of any of them."

(State Papers Nos. 187 and 190,…)

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

A further note on the Ordnance Office: on March 16 it had received a warrant for cutting salaries, "and lessening the number of gunners" (…). So Ordnance does have at least part management of the gun crews. All the same, it's calling for help.

RSGII  •  Link

For a better understanding of the various key officers and specialties on a warship (captain, master, boatswain, gunner, carpenter, purser, surgeon), and their training and skills, as well as the transformation and increasing professionalism over the period, in which Pepys played a major role, I commend “Pepys’s Navy, Ships, Men, & Warfare, 1649-1689” by J.D. Davies.

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