Monday 24 May 1669

To White Hall, and there all the morning, and thence home, and giving order for some business and setting my brother to making a catalogue of my books, I back again to W. Hewer to White Hall, where I attended the Duke of York and was by him led to [the King], who expressed great sense of my misfortune in my eyes, and concernment for their recovery; and accordingly signified, not only his assent to desire therein, but commanded me to give them rest summer, according to my late petition to the Duke of York. W. Hewer and I dined alone at the Swan; and thence having thus waited on the King, spent till four o’clock in St. James’s Park, when I met my wife at Unthanke’s, and so home.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"setting my brother to making a catalogue of my books"

Pepys records having catalogued and ordered his books since late 1666:

"Spent the evening in fitting my books, to have the number set upon each, in order to my having an alphabet [index] of my whole, which will be of great ease to me. "

"I to my chamber, and there to ticket a good part of my books, in order to the numbering of them for my easy finding them to read as I have occasion."

"...finished the putting of little papers upon my books to be numbered hereafter."

"my wife and Deb. and I and Betty Turner, I employed in the putting new titles to my books "

"I had tired my own backe, and my wife’s, and Deb.’s, in titleing of my books for the present year, and in setting them in order "

"all the morning making a catalogue of my books, "

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Up till now the cataloging and ordering of books has been a wintertime activity; but he's currently planning to leave for France.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M note none of the catalogues referred to in the Diary appear to have survived.

Allen Appel  •  Link

I think he's just giving his brother a little job to do so he can pass along a few pounds that the brother may need. Besides, why are we not commenting on the fact that he just went before the King who commiserated about our boy's eyes, told him to take the summer off and generally showed him great kindness. I mean, this is the King, the King of England! But of course you knew that. Sorry, I'm pretty impressed, even if Sam is extremely modest about this honor. Perhaps my after dinner whiskey is altering my judgment.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Charming of Charlie to show Sam such kindness...But he was famous for doing well charmwise in one-on-one personal relationships. Does go far to explain why Catherine continued to find him lovable. Nice to see in spite of recent shakeups at Navy, Sam is still held in high esteem.

And of course Charles may be aware of Jamie and Sam's plans for Samuel Pepys, master spy, in Holland.

"Eh, Jamie...Explain to me again why we're sending a half-blind agent to Holland to observe their navy?"

"It's the perfect cover, Charlie...He's our top naval Renaissance man. His wife is a fine sketch artist, trained by him in various sciences. You see the way it works?"

"I see two English spies hanging from Dutch yardarms. Any children I will have to console?"

Jesse  •  Link

re: Sam is still held in high esteem

By the DoY certainly, but by the King I'm not so sure. The DoY and the King don't exactly see eye to eye as it were. Also Pepys has been 'professionally' close with Sir W. who is not exactly a favorite w/HRH (recall the visits to the Tower last March). The King may be glad to get Pepys out of the way for awhile.

Peter Last  •  Link

The king's genuine kindness to Sam brings me to Phil's request for the diary entry we regard most highly. For me, it's the Great Fire, when Sam consciously recorded the history that he became part of.

He went of his own volition to Westminster, being then a minor civil servant, confronted the King and the Duke of York with the disaster, and returned to take royal commands to the Lord Mayor. It's more than great prose, because it shows how Sam's initiative started the process whereby he became a familiar and respected figure to the royal couple and the great people in their penumbra.

In addition, there are so many delightful little pieces, displays of his honesty in confronting his weaknesses, self-indulgences and impulses, and the infatuation with Deb Willet.

It's deeply sad that it's all about to end.

I can't thank too much Phil for making it possible and the bloggers who have contributed so much since the beginning. My daily regime will be very much the poorer without the pleasure and stimulus of the Diary.

Chris Squire  •  Link

St Olave’s Annual Pepys Commemoration Service: Friday 25 May 2012 at 12 noon

The service traditionally features an address on aspects of Pepys, his life and times and the church has been honoured to welcome a number of extremely fine speakers over the years. This year we will be pleased to have with us Prof. Peter McCullough of Oxford University, who will speaking on the subject “Pepys and Faith”. This is a subject which we have wanted to address for a number of years and are very glad that Prof. McCullough has been able to accept our invitation on this occasion.

He is Professor and Fellow in English at Lincoln College, Oxford, and a Lay Canon of St Paul's Cathedral. His research specialism is the religious literature and history of early modern England, particularly the works of Lancelot Andrewes and John Donne , and religious life in London in the seventeenth century . .…

NJM  •  Link

I am looking forward to the lecture and also the chance to see Elizabeth's monument once again - but also to the "wittals" at Trinity House after the service !

See you there !!

languagehat  •  Link

"The king’s genuine kindness to Sam"

What "genuine kindness"? He murmured a few polite phrases, as bosses are wont to do when they're in a good mood. Let's not fall into the absurd error of Ezra Pound, who mistook Mussolini's "Thanks for the gift of your very nice book" (or whatever his exact wording was) for a knowledgeable endorsement of his entire poetic, philosophical, and economic system. Kings are just people.

Linda F  •  Link

Re: the King, "who expressed great sense of my misfortune in my eyes, and concernment for their recovery"

We have sometimes seen Sam very impressed with himself, and we don't know how that "great sense of my misfortune in my eyes" and "concernment for their recovery" was expressed, but this does suggest a King with good interpersonal skills when he chooses to exercise them, much more than, "so sad -- however shall we replace you?"

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