Friday 29 May 1668

Betimes up, and up to my Tangier accounts, and then by water to the Council Chamber, and there received some directions from the Duke of York and the Committee of the Navy there about casting up the charge of the present summer’s fleete, that so they may come within the bounds of the sum given by the Parliament. But it is pretty to see how Prince Rupert and other mad, silly people, are for setting out but a little fleete, there being no occasion for it; and say it will be best to save the money for better uses. But Sir W. Coventry did declare that, in wisdom, it was better to do so; but that, in obedience to the Parliament, he was [for] setting out the fifty sail talked on, though it spent all the money, and to little purpose; and that this was better than to leave it to the Parliament to make bad construction of their thrift, if any trouble should happen. Thus wary the world is grown!

Thence back again presently home, and did business till noon: and then to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner, with much good company, it being the King’s birthday, and many healths drunk: and here I did receive another letter from my Lord Sandwich, which troubles me to see how I have neglected him, in not writing, or but once, all this time of his being abroad; and I see he takes notice, but yet gently, of it, that it puts me to great trouble, and I know not how to get out of it, having no good excuse, and too late now to mend, he being coming home. Thence home, whither, by agreement, by and by comes Mercer and Gayet, and two gentlemen with them, Mr. Monteith and Pelham, the former a swaggering young handsome gentleman, the latter a sober citizen merchant. Both sing, but the latter with great skill — the other, no skill, but a good voice, and a good basse, but used to sing only tavern tunes; and so I spent all this evening till eleven at night singing with them, till I was tired of them, because of the swaggering fellow with the base, though the girl Mercer did mightily commend him before to me. This night je had agreed par’ alter at Deptford, there par’ avoir lain con the moher de Bagwell, but this company did hinder me.

17 Annotations

Mary  •  Link

"but this company did hinder me."

I wonder which of the two, Sam or Mrs.B, was the more disappointed.

ONeville  •  Link

Does anyone know whether Mercer ever married? She certainly seems to have many accomplishments and is very popular (in the nicest possible way).

Mary  •  Link

Mary Mercer.

L&M offers no information on this question, nor does Claire Tomalin.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

this was better than to leave it to the Parliament to make bad construction of their thrift
Spend everything in the budget. Sound advice, still followed.

language hat  •  Link

"This night je had agreed par’ alter at Deptford, there par’ avoir lain con the moher de Bagwell"

In other words, "This night I had agreed to stop at Deptford, there to have lain with Bagwell's wife."

Mary  •  Link

The L&M version reads -

"This night yo had agreed para ander at Deptford, there para haber lain con the moher de Bagwell ...."

- which comes to the same thing, though I wonder why dog-French was substituted for dog-Spanish in the Wheatley edition.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So music really doth hath charms to still the savage beast, eh Sam?

language hat  •  Link

Mary: That's very interesting; I had originally assumed "alter" was a mistake for "aller," but then I realized "go at" didn't make sense, and it occurred to me that "(h)alter" = "stop" made perfect sense. I wonder if L&M didn't think of that, and emended it to another word meaning "go," even though it doesn't make sense with "at"?

Mary  •  Link


I agree that the 'at' comes very awkwardly after 'ander' and wonder whether the answer may not lie in interpretation of the shorthand.

martinb  •  Link

Surely what Pepys wrote, or wrote shorthand for, was "andar at Deptford", i.e. walk at D? It seems to me that this is not the only instance where transcribers' apparent lack of familiarity with the Spanish language has led to misunderstandings or misrepresentations and, indeed, made Pepys seem to be less comfortable in that language than he probably was.

language hat  •  Link

Why "surely"? It doesn't seem to me any more likely than the other suggestions; less, in fact, since "walk at Deptford" doesn't really make sense in context. I continue to think "(h)alter" is what he intended. "Stop at" is perfectly idiomatic English for the period and makes sense in context.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

FWIW, L&M transcribe "This night yo had agreed para andar at Deptford."
There is no instance in the Diary of SP writing in English "walk at [ place x ]," but, by the same token, is there any certain case in which Pepys used dog-German?
'tis a perplexity!

language hat  •  Link

"is there any certain case in which Pepys used dog-German?"

I wasn't thinking of it as dog-German but as a verbalized form of French halte 'halt' (noun); faire halte is 'to make a stop,' which would fit well here. But on reflection, I guess that's not really much more likely than the other suggestions. Be less obscure, Sam!

pepfie  •  Link

“is there any certain case in which Pepys used dog-German?”

Why yes, bien sûr, dos veces, (not dog-, but absolutely perfect German that is): the first time a week ago "and so to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did hazer cet que je voudrai *mit* her" and (spoiler) he'll do it again soon according to the Project Gutenberg text. Our polyglot knows his prepositions.

BTW, Germans wouldn't drop aitches, would they? That's a French or Cockney thing, I think.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...if any trouble should happen. Thus wary the world is grown!"

L&M: Sc. since the Chatham disaster of the previous summer.

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