Sunday 9 August 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and walked to Holborne, where got John Powell’s coach at the Black Swan, and he attended me at St. James’s, where waited on the Duke of York: and both by him and several of the Privy-Council, beyond expectation, I find that my going to Sir Thomas Allen was looked upon as a thing necessary: and I have got some advantage by it, among them. Thence to White Hall, and thence to visit Lord Brouncker, and back to White Hall, where saw the Queen and ladies; and so, with Mr. Slingsby, to Mrs. Williams’s, thinking to dine with Lord Brouncker there, but did not, having promised my wife to come home, though here I met Knepp, to my great content. So home; and, after dinner, I took my wife and Deb. round by Hackney, and up and down to take the ayre; and then home, and made visits to Mrs. Turner, and Mrs. Mercer, and Sir W. Pen, who is come from Epsom not well, and Sir J. Minnes, who is not well neither. And so home to supper, and to set my books a little right, and then to bed. This day Betty Michell come and dined with us, the first day after her lying in, whom I was glad to see.

4 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Curious thing life...Sam calmly calling on the uncle who once offered to purchase his wife's "services" for 500Ls...Betty Michell calmly coming to dine at the home of her serial groper about whose intentions being fairly dishonorable she can't have much doubt after the "box incident".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“the Black Swan”

What a wonderful name: at the time = "There's nothing like it!"

“The term black swan derives from a Latin expression—its oldest known reference comes from the poet Juvenal’s characterization of something being “rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” (6.165).In English, this Latin phrase means “a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan.” When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist.,,,Juvenal’s phrase was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement of impossibility. The London expression derives from the Old World presumption that all swans must be white because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers. In that context, a black swan was impossible or at least nonexistent. After a Dutch expedition led by explorer Willem de Vlamingh on the Swan River in 1697, discovered black swans in Western Australia, he term metamorphosed to connote that a perceived impossibility might later be disproven.”…

Carl in Boston  •  Link

When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist.
What a useful annotation, what a rare insight into the ballet "Swan Lake". The black swan is next to impossible, a rare creation of the evil Rothbart to cloud the mind of the Prince. In the Paris Opera Ballet version, the black swan appears to dance briefly and then disappears while other dancers presented by Rothbart dance in front of the confused Prince. It's like a game of Three Card Monte, trying to spot the black swan. Alas, too late, the Prince plights his troth, and then the true White Swan is revealed, to his dismay. The Prince loses. In the Italian version, the Prince stomps Rothbart down to Hell, eventually. I always thought one was a black or white swan depending on whether you were dancing matinee or evening.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

The link to Mr. Slingsby goes to Sir Arthur Slingsby. I'm pretty sure that's incorrect because Sir Arthur Slingsby died back in 1665.

I wonder if this Mr. Slingsby is related Sir Arthur.

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