Sunday 6 December 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and with my wife to church; which pleases me mightily, I being full of fear that she would never go to church again, after she had declared to me that she was a Roman Catholique. But though I do verily think she fears God, and is truly and sincerely righteous, yet I do see she is not so strictly so a Catholique as not to go to church with me, which pleases me mightily. Here Mills made a lazy sermon, upon Moses’s meeknesse, and so home, and my wife and I alone to dinner, and then she to read a little book concerning speech in general, a translation late out of French; a most excellent piece as ever I read, proving a soul in man, and all the ways and secrets by which nature teaches speech in man, which do please me most infinitely to read. By and by my wife to church, and I to my Office to complete my Journall for the last three days, and so home to my chamber to settle some papers, and so to spend the evening with my wife and W. Hewer talking over the business of the Office, and particularly my own Office, how I will make it, and it will become, in a little time, an Office of ease, and not slavery, as it hath for so many years been. So to supper, and to bed.


11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ormond to Ossory
Date: 6 December 1668

Continues his account of various incidents affecting the question of a change in the government of Ireland. ... Both the Lord Keeper and Lord Arlington are, he believes, "unwilling to bear the burthen of the advice; which yet they must do, or endanger their influence with my Lord of Buckingham. ... They must resolve upon it, some time before the Parliament sits, if it shall sit at all (which is become a question in public discourse) that they may have his Grace of Buckingham or me to friend. Which they will choose I know not, but it is not like they can have both." ...

"All that Lord Ossory has to do is to attend, with more than ordinary diligence, his charge; to be just, and soberly affable, to all." ...

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"But though I do verily think she fears God, and is truly and sincerely righteous, yet I do see she is not so strictly so a Catholique as not to go to church with me, which pleases me mightily."

Hmmn...I begin to wonder if Sam isn't a closet Papist after all...

***
Sam discussing the adminstration of the office with Bess? And with an eye to lightening his load? Bess off to church on her own for a second service? Have we entered a bizarre parallel universe?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"...she to read a little book concerning speech in general, a translation late out of French; a most excellent piece as ever I read, proving a soul in man, and all the ways and secrets by which nature teaches speech in man, which do please me most infinitely to read."

Can this have been the Port-Royal Grammar, published in French in 1660? That book worked out in some detail, with special reference to French, Descartes' ideas about language, viz., that the creativity available in human language distinguishes it absolutely from animal communication systems and from the products of mechanical automata. Descartes took this as reliable evidence of the existence of other minds - the "cogito ergo sum" demonstrates one's own existence, but not necessarily that of others.

Noam Chomsky published a book in 1966 called "Cartesian Linguistics" in which he called attention to this book as an intellectual predecessor of his program of generative grammar. It's fun for me, as a linguist, to think of Sam Pepys reading the book when it was (nearly) new, and being impressed by it.

For a little more information about the Port-Royal Grammar, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port-Royal_Grammar
For Chomsky's take on it, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartesian_linguistics

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Paul,Phil has now added a link showing this was a book by another French Cartesian. However, methinks the links you provided are certainly not off-topic!

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yes, Mr Mills is not going by the Prayer Book "Table of proper lessons" - Advent is wading through whole chapters of Isaiah (1, 5, 25 and 30), which is actually rather odd as these are not the chapters with the Messianic prophecies in them (Virgin, Names, Light - 7 and 9). Maybe Mr Mills is having a dig at a leader who has become too proud? Could be a dangerous sermon. Not sure what Sam means by a "lazy" sermon - did he just read out from a commentary on the text? I think TF is on the money here with his choice of quotation. My first thought had been Mpses reaction to his call (burning bush episode) but that is more about a sense of unworthiness, not meekness. And the passage in the orginal KJV does not have the word meekness - like the Numbers passage TF has quoted.

JWB  •  Link

Perhaps Mills was comparing the 'unbecoming passion' (Matthew Henry)of the Nonconformists preaching openly (Pepys yesterday) to Miriam & Aaron, in contrast to the meek & mind Moses in the matter of the Ethiopian bride.

Timo  •  Link

Slightly off topic but I’ve finished the remarkable Plot Against Pepys. As good a read as many annotators have already mentioned. (I wanted to wait until the diary was finished but I just couldn’t.) RG’s comment “I begin to wonder if Sam isn't a closet Papist after all...” made me chuckle because all the way through the book there is always the thought “but what if…?” A cracking read and the absolute essential companion to the diary.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“A lazy sermon”. As a preacher, I too would love to know what Pepys means by this.
I could only suggest:
First, a sermon which is inadequately prepared so that the points made bear no resemblance to what the text actually says, and which may in fact reflect a misunderstanding of what the text actually says.
Second, a short sermon: there just isn’t much of it.
Third, one which was delivered in a lazy manner; especially if a full text is written beforehand which is read hurriedly, or inaccurately, or inaudibly.
Finally one which is not original to the preacher but where they have simply gone to a book of sermons and read someone else’s text.
But this is all speculation, unless anyone can point me to some examples of what Pepys actually meant!

john  •  Link

"so to spend the evening with my wife and W. Hewer talking over the business of the Office, and particularly my own Office, how I will make it, and it will become, in a little time, an Office of ease, and not slavery, as it hath for so many years been."

This hope and plan for the future hits home (though, unlike Pepys, I retired to make it so). Again, an indicator that Elizabeth is consulted.

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