Saturday 24 October 1668

This morning comes to me the coachmaker, and agreed with me for 53l., and stand to the courtesy of what more I should give him upon the finishing of the coach: he is likely also to fit me with a coachman. There comes also to me Mr. Shotgrave, the operator of our Royal Society, to show me his method of making the Tubes for the eyes, which are clouterly done, so that mine are better, but I have well informed myself in several things from him, and so am glad of speaking with him. So to the office, where all the morning, and then to dinner, and so all the afternoon late at the office, and so home; and my wife to read to me, and then with much content to bed. This day Lord Brouncker tells me that the making Sir J. Minnes a bare Commissioner is now in doing, which I am glad of; but he speaks of two new Commissioners, which I do not believe.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Tubes for the eyes, which are clouterly done, so that mine are better"

CLOUTERLY : clumsily (L&M Large Glossary)

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘clouterly, adv. Obs. Clumsily.
. . 1696 London Gaz. No. 3212/4, She seems to cut behind but don't, unless clouterly shod.’

‘clouterly, adj. Like or characteristic of a botcher; clumsy, awkward; clownish.
1675 E. Phillips Theatrum Poetarum Pref. 14 Spencer, with all his Rustic, obsolete words, with all his rough-hewn clowterly Verses . . ‘

‘clouter, n. One who clouts, mends, or patches (lit. and fig.); a cobbler, or patcher; a botcher.
. . 1708 P. A. Motteux Wks. F. Rabelais (1737) V. 214 Clowters, and Botchers of old trumpery Stuff.’

‘clout, n.1 Etym: Old English clút . .
I. gen. Piece, patch, flat piece, shred.
1. A piece of cloth, leather, metal, etc., set on to mend anything; a patch. arch. and dial.
a700 Epinal Gloss. 789 Pittacium, clut.

. . II. spec. Piece of cloth, a cloth.
4.b. Applied contemptuously to any article of clothing; in pl. clothes. (Cf. rag n.2 1c.) Still dial. and in proverb ne'er cast a clout till May be out (and variants).
. . 1732 T. Fuller Gnomol. 276 Leave not off a Clout Till May be out.
. . 1948 R. Graves White Goddess x, A custom referred to in the proverb ‘Ne'er cast a clout ere May be out’, meaning ‘do not put on new clothes until the unlucky month is over’.’ [OED]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Possible spoiler for the unwary...

"What are you looking at Hewer?"

"Tis a comet, methinks, sir..."

"A comet?"

"Aye, sir...And last night there was strange talk of terrible visions. You've seen 'Julius Caesar', sir?"

"Not in public, Hewer..." waving hands...Major political no-no...

"Sorry, sir...But I refer only to the visions that night before Caesar bought it."

"'When beggars die no comets are seen...The heavens themselves blaze forth' and so on...What, Will? You fear some great upheaval?"

"A gypsy fortuneteller did warn me to beware the next few days, sir. And a soothsayer was howling...Well, something..."


"I'd rather not say, sir..."


"He said... 'Tell that idiot boss of yours to knock it off and thank God he has a sweet wife who loves him'..."

"He said that?..."

"Indeed, sir..."

"Do you think he was talking about His Grace the Duke?"

"Uh...No, sir..."

"The King himself? Oh, now that could be dangerous, Will...Much as I deplore his treatment of the Queen..."

"I think not, sir...To be honest, the man did say... 'Tell your idiot boss, Pepys...' sir..."

"Did he?"

"Yes, sir."

"Disgruntled sailor, no doubt...Pay no heed, Hewer."

"But, sir..."

"Hewer...Only a fool heeds such nonsense...What the devil's that cat doing crossing me path like that, repeatedly? And in the office?"

"Tis a black cat, sir...Watch out for the ladder, sir!"

"Damn...And broke that mirror as well..." Pushes fallen ladder off and rises, dusting... "Say, what the devil is a mirror doing out here anyway?"


"What now, Hewer?"

"Why are the walls bleeding, sir?"

"That's just seepage, Hewer..."

"But it's spelling a name, sir...And it smells of blood..."

"Hmmn..." Sam peers at the slowly forming 'Willet' on the office wall...

"Balderdash and nonsense..." turns on heel, enters private closet. Hewer shaking head...

"Well, Hewer...We tried." Sir John, up from his desk, pats Will's shoulder.

"Yes, Sir John." sigh... "Really thought the
Shakespearian allusions might do the trick."

"Sometimes not even the Bard can deflect a man on a destructive path, Will..." Sir John shakes head.


martinb  •  Link

Perhaps things will work out differently in this online version?

AnnieC  •  Link

"...stand to the courtesy..."
I can't work out what this means. Can someone please help?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

AnnieC, I believe the coach maker has agreed to take 53L for the job, plus whatever additional sum Sam decides to give him for a good job when the work is completed. A bonus, in other words.

AnnieC  •  Link

Thank you, Paul.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...stand to the courtesy..." ??

STAND TO IT : to stick to it - (Large Glossary)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day Lord Brouncker tells me that the making Sir J. Minnes a bare Commissioner is now in doing, which I am glad of; but he speaks of two new Commissioners, which I do not believe."

L&M: Nothing came of these proposals. No new commissioners were now appointed, and Mennes kept the comptrollership until his death in 1671, by which time he had held office for a longer period than any other Principal Officer except Pepys himself.

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