Tuesday 15 September 1668

Up mighty betimes, my wife and people, Mercer lying here all night, by three o’clock, and I about five; and they before, and I after them, to the coach in Bishopsgate Street, which was not ready to set out. So took wife and Mercer and Deb. and W. Hewer (who are all to set out this day for Cambridge, to cozen Roger Pepys’s, to see Sturbridge Fayre); and I shewed them the Exchange, which is very finely carried on, with good dispatch. So walked back and saw them gone, there being only one man in the coach besides them; and so home to the Office, where Mrs. Daniel come and staid talking to little purpose with me to borrow money, but I did not lend her any, having not opportunity para hater allo thing mit her.1 At the office all the morning, and at noon dined with my people at home, and so to the office again a while, and so by water to the King’s playhouse, to see a new play, acted but yesterday, a translation out of French by Dryden, called “The Ladys a la Mode:” so mean a thing as, when they come to say it would be acted again to-morrow, both he that said it, Beeson, and the pit fell a-laughing, there being this day not a quarter of the pit full. Thence to St. James’s and White Hall to wait on the Duke of York, but could not come to speak to him till time to go home, and so by water home, and there late at the office and my chamber busy, and so after a little supper to bed.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I shewed them the Exchange [ rebuilding ], which is very finely carried on, with good dispatch" -- L&M note: and the inner quad will be finished a year from now, but the whole not until 1671.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a new play, acted but yesterday, a translation out of French by Dryden, called “The Ladys a la Mode:”

Pepys was misinformed; the author, Richard Flecknoe, tells us in the preface:—

”This comedy is taken out of several excellent pieces of Molière. The main plot out of his ‘Pretieusces Ridiculees ‘; the counterplot of Sganarelle out of his ’ Escole dee Femmes’ and out of the ’ Escole des Marys ’ the two Naturals ; all of which, like so many Pretieuse stones I have brought out of France; und as a Lapidary set in one Jewel to adorn our English Stage.”

This is the earliest known reference to Molière by an English writer. http://goo.gl/dI2p1

Pepys may be correct about the play's performance history.

Mary  •  Link

"para hazer alieno thing mit her"

This is the L&M reading, though there are notes that the shorthand is partly garbled and blotted.

However, the general sense is clear; Mrs. Daniel didn't come across, so neither did Pepys.

martinb  •  Link

allo/alieno = alguno/alguna? i.e. some or any.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

The D.W. footnote is incorrect: there is nothing remotely German about that phrase. Having learned both German and Spanish, it looks like mangled Spanish to me.

I think martinb is on the right track.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"mit" is German for "with," apparently the focus of D.W.'s note: Pepys is normally a Romance-language garbler.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume covering correspondence from November 1667 through September 1668 is at
PAGES 634-635


Sept. 15. 1668
Hugh Salesbury to Williamson.

A London vessel came to Spithead, arrived from Havre de Grace, intending to fit for sea, and she is not allowed to come into Portsmouth from fear of infection.

The paymasters will finish today the payment of the half year's wages to the dock, but his Majesty has promised to send more money, there being still a year and 3 quarters due at Michaelmas.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 52.)

Sept. 15.
Joseph Blaydes to the Navy Commissioners.

Asks for payment of money disbursed by his father;
as all the townsmen that had money due to them from the victualling officers have got it, it goes the harder with him and his creditors, he having nothing wherewith to pay his father's debts.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 53.]

Sept. 15.
Col. Thos. Middleton to Sam. Pepys.

Has paid near 400 of the Royal Sovereign's men.

Asks whether to stay here to pay the Royal Katherine and Revenge, or come to town;

and what is to be done about paying tickets for service in other ships.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 54.]

Sept. 15.
Sir Wm. Penn to the Navy Commissioners.

Sends accounts of provisions delivered to ships belonging to Sir Wm. Warren,
that they may be deducted out of his bills of freight;

also accounts of provisions delivered to merchant ships bound to Barbados, that they may be stopped;

also a list of pursers dead, that their securities may be summoned to pass their accounts.

Wants an account of the ships that have been at short allowance.

Believes there was some beverage wine bought abroad for the use of his Majesty's ships, of which he has no account;
wants any papers they may have that will show it.
[1] pages. [S.P. Dom., Car. II. 246, No. 55.]
I had to go back to 1660 notes to find out what Penn’s portfolio included: “Of the commissioners, Sir William Penn was given a brief to take an interest in every aspect of the board's work, also owed his appointment to his years of experience as a naval commander.”

I've been reading the Navy Board mail for 6 months now, and this is the first indication I have of Penn doing any work. That doesn't mean he wasn't working, but this reads like a "CYA" memo documenting his activities.
Surely his clerks could just pull the docs and work it out?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Penn's letter is indeed a rare example of the Admiral at work, but it should be entirely representative of what he does, which is, as "controller of victualling accounts", to nitpick over invoices which Sam has approved (see the job description at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con…). What an exalting occupation, if you happen to not like the Clerk of the Acts very much; one even wonders if the enmity was known and played a role in Penn's appointment.

And so, today, when the whole office still quietly seethes over Sam's Great Letter - he ratted them out to HRH, then everyone had to think (argh) and write out a report with correct spelling and no inkspots (urgh) - Penn chooses to put his nose into, for instance, ships belonging to Sam's crony William Warren - check out his Encyclopedia entry (https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…) and decide if it's likely to be a random target.

This is followed by a bunch of open-ended queries which could require a lot of archive boxes to be dredged out and explored, indeed (if, that is, archive boxes had yet been invented). Provisions to *all* merchant ships to Barbadoes (and on what grounds, pray tell, do those have to be "stopped"?)

"Dead pursers". Sam shakes his head. "Sir", he tells Penn in the stiff tone reserved for him in particular, "I regret to inform your Lordship that this office, as may surprise any tourist who wanders in by accident, does not get a card when a purser, of which the King's Navy has hundreds, marries, or passes away. We're not their mommies".

Penn continues: "Sir, I also believe that some beverage wine was delivered to, er, some of those ships, would you have some records documenting that, Mr. *Clerk* [heavy emphasis]? Do feel free to say no, it's common knowledge that your record-keeping is, ah, sometimes a bit rushed. Which we understand, it's a lot of work to cram between plays..."

Recall that shambolic archiving was, from all that the other Commissioners had to say in their replies to the Great Letter, the only charge that stuck on Sam enough to make the Diary - and indeed, there are few worse insults you can aim at a bureaucrat.

A snicker from Sam: "Sir, you 'believe' that ships receive 'beverage wine'? Your belief is entirely correct; this has to show your keen naval expertise. In fact, *all* of His Majesty's vessels receive wine, and many other things besides. Care you to make your query more specific? My clerks are busy fellows, they do have 90,000 sailors to manage. And alas, we sometimes lose records to the rats that escape from your kitchen".

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And so on and on, for over an hour, while the clerks in the next room strain to listen and not to laugh out loud, on a day when Sam was roused at 3 and got up at 5 for no good reason.

Then poor Mrs. Daniel shows up, unaware of her poor timing. "I leave you to your discussion grope", Penn says, holding the door for the lady as she fumbles a half-curtsey. "I mean group. Your servant, madam. Have fun".

No wonder she doesn't get the loaner if Sam doesn't get Das Thing, as he brutally tells the Diary. And the quid pro quo is rarely so explicit as today, with the Thing exposed in plain English as a jewel on a cushion of folderol – the unusually rich mix of language suggests how exasperated Sam still was when he recalled the episode and wrote it out.

Or is it that, notwithstanding Mrs. Daniel's open-mindedness (she knows the frailty of men), there is just no Opportunity? Penn waits outside ten minutes, then winks at the clerks and cracks the door open: "And Pepys, I forgot to ask... Oh, sorry. I'll come back later!"

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

One clarification ... Penn appears to have compiled the list of dead pursers.
I wonder if he had compiled the marriages list as well.

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