Friday 21 August 1668

Up betimes, and with my people again to work, and finished all before noon: and then I by water to White Hall, and there did tell the Duke of York that I had done; and he hath to my great content desired me to come to him at Sunday next in the afternoon, to read it over, by which I have more time to consider and correct it. So back home and to the ’Change, in my way calling at Morris’, my vintner’s, where I love to see su moher, though no acquaintance accostais this day con her. Did several things at the ’Change, and so home to dinner.

After dinner I by coach to my bookseller’s in Duck Lane, and there did spend a little time and regarder su moher, and so to St. James’s, where did a little ordinary business; and by and by comes Monsieur Colbert, the French Embassador, to make his first visit to the Duke of York, and then to the Duchess: and I saw it: a silly piece of ceremony, he saying only a few formal words. A comely man, and in a black suit and cloak of silk, which is a strange fashion, now it hath been so long left off: This day I did first see the Duke of York’s room of pictures of some Maids of Honour, done by Lilly: good, but not like.1 Thence to Reeves’s, and bought a reading-glass, and so to my bookseller’s again, there to buy a Book of Martyrs,2 which I did agree for; and so, after seeing and beginning acquaintance con his femme, but very little, away home, and there busy very late at the correcting my great letter to the Duke of York, and so to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"by and by comes Monsieur Colbert, the French Embassador, to make his first visit to the Duke of York, and then to the Duchess:"

L&M note Colbert had already had audiences with the King and cite this source:
335. Piero Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week your Excellencies heard how the impatience of the French ambassador had gained him an audience without the usual lengthy affair with the Master of the Ceremonies. With this example I expressed the desire to have the same courtesy as had been extended to the French ambassador. But as the Court disliked the innovation, and as the Master of the Ceremonies, as the person most interested, opposes, I have enjoyed the favour by another means, and as this exceeds the customary style, as I shall show, it is less likely to be made practicable with other ministers in the future. On Tuesday after dinner I sent my esquire to the Secretary Arlinton, informing him of my arrival in London, assuring him of my esteem for his office and person and telling him that during the time that I was remaining incognito I did not wish to remain idle, and that I hoped for guidance from him in all occurrences....Arlinton replied that he would try to oblige me with an audience of the king. With regard to the queen and the duchess of York he did not advise me to follow Colbert's example, who had special letters for both of them from the queen mother. Here introducing the Master of the Ceremonies to acquit him of the past exclusion of Colbert, he said that he would have arranged the visit with the duke of York and would come to fetch me from my house for that of the king.....London, the last of August, 1668. [Italian.]…

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"bought a reading-glass"
about time.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

by which I have more time to consider and correct it.
Very wise on the part of the Duke of York, to put off the eager Pepys and give him a couple days to polish his report. York must have been a good boss.

Mary  •  Link

Pepys on the prowl.

Can't help wondering whether Pepys didn't decide where to bestow his patronage solely on the basis of which tradesmen had comely wives.

Don O'Shea  •  Link

This is a bit off topic, but voyagers to this site should enjoy a book that I have just finished. Instead of Sam's description of everyday events in the 1660's and English naval power, the events in this book occur about 100 years later and include some of the descendants of the people that Sam treats with.

The more compelling link is that it is fascinating history written with great style. It is the story of English and American botanists during the Age of Discovery. The book is "The Brother Gardeners" by Andrea Wulf (Knopf in the US, Heinemann in the UK). In addition to describing the efforts that a small, but determined group of men did to promote gardening that incorporated plants from all over the world, the book also touches on their personalities and their encounters with Franklin, Capt. James Cook, Capt. Wm. Bligh, George III and a host of other famous people of the period.

For those who garden, it is a feast and a revelation. For those who don't, the interplay of personalities much like those in Sam's diary should keep you engrossed.

Oh, yes. There is a fair number of pages on orangeries in there.

laura k  •  Link

"there to buy a Book of Martyrs"

This book is a landmark in the history of book publishing. Many consider it the first best seller, and the earliest mass-produced propaganda, as it whipped up anti-Catholic sentiment on very wide scale.

It was one of the first books to go through successive editions of printing, incorporating changes based on feedback from readers. It also used new technology to reproduce elaborate woodcuts. At that time, it was the most advanced publishing project ever undertaken in England.

"Bootlegged" (unauthorized) versions appeared with just the most lurid martyrdoms depicted.…

complete text:

Brought to you by the department of better late than never.

languagehat  •  Link

Thanks for an extremely interesting and useful comment, laura!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"A comely man, and in a black suit and cloak of silk, which is a strange fashion, now it hath been so long left off:"

L&M note cloaks had been out of fashion (except for riding) since the Restoration.

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