Thursday 9 July 1668

Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, and after noon to the office again till night, mighty busy getting Mr. Fist to come and help me, my own clerks all busy, and so in the evening to ease my eyes, and with my wife and Deb. and Betty Turner, by coach to Unthanke’s and back again, and then to supper and to bed.

4 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

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

Iuly. 9. 1668. the expt of mixing [mercury] & [aqua fortis] . together was made . [mercury] weighd 1 1/2 [ounce] . [aqua fortis] 4 1/2 [ounce] the Ball in [aqua fortis] 131 graines the Solution of the [mercury] Lasted too long to make an end of the expt. at this meeting, the Issue of it was Referred to [nothing further here.]

The Curator proposed an expt. to try in an instrument for compressing air how much longer a bird would liue in the compressed air of a glasse than in the ordinary air of it accordingly a bird was put into the glasse with ordinary air at 6 minutes past 5 a clock & taken out at 30' when it began to be sick being taken out & recouered it was put in againe at 40' & 3/4 of the air was compresst vpon it in the space of 11 minutes by the gage. the bird was kept in this condensed air for 33'. and seemd to be very well but the Instrument not being stanch it was ordered the expt. should be repeated at the next meeting. soe as to prouide diuers glasses of seuerall dimensions and some birds of the same kind to see if there would be an aequall proportion between the time of the birds life & the quantity of the air in the glasses.

The curator affirmd that an expt had been formerly made by order of the Society as would appear by their Iournall where a burning Lamp Lasted much Longer in compressed than vncompressed air the amanuensis was orderd to find out that note against the next meeting.

(Rights Letter about the sandflood at Downham in Suffolk.[ ] about improued heath by Marling. the like in cornwall.Sr. Th: De Vaux about antiquitys at Ariconium) Mr Hoskins 2 tortois eggs.) Sr R Moray. old Almonack) oldenb: Letter to Curtius).…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Now let me understand this, son..." John Sr., blinking.

"You're giving up your position at the naval office..."

"And high time, too, father-in-law..." Bess, eagerly, "The strain wears on my poor Samuel night and day...It's destroying his eyesight almost as fully as his moral character...Hmmn. Something Biblical there, isn't there?"

Glare from John silencing her...

"Father..." Sam tries... "Let me explain again...Apart from my eyes, the Duke is on the reform warpath again and..."

"Oh, I understand well enough, boy. You're moving to Brampton...Permanently. To escape the hue-and-cry."

"Only partly, Pa."

"Sam'l has more important things in him than to reform the Royal Navy, father-in-law."

"Indeed...So you're going to write? Plays?" John stares at his idiot son. "The sort of nonsense that fellow Shakespeare churned out in hopes of making enough to live on?"

"I have a, hum, very small...(Very small, Bess nods)...fortune, Father. And whilst I do not claim Mr. Shakespeare's talent..."

"Sam'l is a marvelous writer, father-in-law. I had my doubts until he read me his Diary." Bess, enthused again...

"His diary..." John sighs. "And you want to put your diary on the London stage? In a play?"

"Not just one play, father-in-law...A series of plays...A cycle..." Bess, beaming. "The history of our daily lives..."

"Our daily lives? Christ, son...Even in a city like London who gives a damn about our daily lives? What are these plays to be about?"

Bess eyes Sam, arch look...Sam, a bit hesitant...

"Can I?" Bess, eagerly...


"They're about...Nothing...Father-in-law."

"Nothing?" John, dumbstruck. "Nothing, you say?"

"Exactly..." Bess, nodding...

"Is the French harlot having some kind of mental aberration?" John eyes Sam.


"Son...I don't know anything about playwriting or writing. But who in his right state of mind would go and pay good money to see plays of daily life which are about...Nothing?"

"It's a new form, Father...A chance for me to experiment artistically and creatively."

"And I'm the Muse." Bess, happily.

"The Muse inspiring Nothing...I think I can believe that." John, nodding.

"Father...If I could just make you see..."

"Well, there is lots of sex..." Bess notes. "Which didn't sit too well with me at first. But the work is so outstanding and human...And Sam'l's honesty so overwhelming...I couldn't help but be, well, overwhelmed. Plus I'm the Muse of the work."

"Right...Overwhelmed Muse...I got that." John, grimly. Then pondering...

"Sex, eh?"

"Tons..." Bess, nodding...

"Some..." Sam, nervously...

"Betterton wants to play Sam..." Bess, bubbling proudly... "And Neil Gwyn is already studying me..."

"Neil Gwyn? And lots of sex?" Hmmn...On the other hand, one should support creativity in one's children...

"I couldn't believe it myself..." Bess, grinning. "Didn't know he had it in him. Thought it's all poetic license, mostly."

"Overwhelmingly..." Sam, hastily...Careful look at dear old Dad...Who takes the desperate plea...

"Try reading the first in the series, father-in-law...All the way back to the Restoration in '60. Or just this new scene Sam'l wrote today. You won't be able to put it down." Bess offers manuscript to John.


"Penn at door...'Hello, Pepys.' 'Hello, Penn.' Sam replies."

"No, father-in-law...Some of that's stage direction, in the brackets. Try it like ths."

"'Hello....Pepys.'" coldly.

"'Hello....Pepys.'" John repeats, frowning.

"'Hello....Penn.'" Bess, even colder, with glare.

"Couldn't you go into bear-baiting or some other profitable venue, if you must try the entertainment industry, son?" John sighs.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"mighty busy getting Mr. Fist to come and help me, my own clerks all busy,"

"What did you do at the Navy Office today, dear?"

The Clerk of the Acts seems to have spent the morning trying to harness Sir W. Batten's clerk to work in the traces alongside the members of his own scribbleria.

"I was mighty bzbzbzbzbzbzbzbzbz, dear."

arby  •  Link

Sam would end up like Kramer in the "Master of his own domain" contest, he wouldn't last a day. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.