Wednesday 25 January 1659/60

Called up early to Mr. Downing; he gave me a Character, such a one as my Lord’s, to make perfect, and likewise gave me his order for 500l. to carry to Mr. Frost, which I did and so to my office, where I did do something about the character till twelve o’clock. Then home find found my wife and the maid at my Lord’s getting things ready against to-morrow. I went by water to my Uncle White’s to dinner, where I met my father, where we alone had a fine jole of Ling to dinner. After dinner I took leave, and coming home heard that in Cheapside there had been but a little before a gibbet set up, and the picture of Huson hung upon it in the middle of the street. I called at Paul’s Churchyard, where I bought Buxtorf’s Hebrew Grammar; and read a declaration of the gentlemen of Northampton which came out this afternoon. Thence to my father’s, where I staid with my mother a while and then to Mr. Crew’s about a picture to be sent into the country, of Mr. Thomas Crew, to my Lord. So [to] my Lady Wright to speak with her, but she was abroad, so Mr. Evans, her butler, had me into his buttery, and gave me sack and a lesson on his lute, which he played very well. Thence I went to my Lord’s and got most things ready against tomorrow, as fires and laying the cloth, and my wife was making of her tarts and larding of her pullets till eleven o’clock. This evening Mr. Downing sent for me, and gave me order to go to Mr. Jessop for his papers concerning his dispatch to Holland which were not ready, only his order for a ship to transport him he gave me. To my Lord’s again and so home with my wife, tired with this day’s work.

39 Annotations

Susanna   Link to this

A Lesson on his Lute

The lute had been popular since the Renaissance, but would go out of fashion in the 18th Century, due in part to the rise of the orchestra. There is more information on the lute and its history available here:

http://www.lutesoc.co.uk/

language hat   Link to this

buttery:
From butt 'cask'; nothing to do with butter. The OED:

1 A place for storing liquor; but the name was also, from an early period, extended to `the room where provisions are laid up' (J.).

1389 in Eng. Gilds (1870) 98 Whoso entre into ye boteri yer ye ale lytz. 1596 Shaks. Tam. Shr. i. i. 102 Take them to the Butterie, And giue them friendly welcome euerie one. 1608 Armin Nest Ninn. 8 [He] giues them each one a hand, and so takes them into the buttry to drinke. 1665 Pepys Diary (1879) III. 212 Then down to the buttery, and eat a piece of cold venison pie. 1832 Scott Woodstock 180 When the pantry has no bread and the buttery no ale.

michael f vincent   Link to this

the 500l that he moved around: what form did it take? it was enough money to keep 40 servants for a year and in gold coin, quite heavy too I would imagine.
In 1947 that amount was a years pay for country headmaster.

language hat   Link to this

Buxtorf's Hebrew Grammar:
Johannes Buxtorf the Elder (1564-1629), either his _Thesaurus grammaticus linguae sanctae hebraeae_ or his popular shorter _Epitome grammaticae Hebraeae, breviter & methodice ad publicum scholarum usum proposita_ (both went through various editions). If anybody really wants to get into Buxtorf, the historian Stephen Burnett wrote a book From Christian Hebraism to Jewish Studies: Johannes Buxtorf (1564-1629) and Hebrew Learning in the Seventeenth-Century. Studies in the History of Christian Thought, Vol. 68. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996.

Wulf Losee   Link to this

"...he gave me a Character, such a one as my Lord’s, to make perfect…"

By "Character", I think that Pepys means Downing gave him a code book (or a cipher) to improve upon. Interesting that Downing would trust Pepys with such a project. Obviously, he trusts Pepys, and he must therefore trust Pepys’ patron, Montagu.

I wonder if Pepys owned a copy of John Wilkins’ classic book on ‘cryptographia’, "Mercury, the Secret and Swift Mssenger". Is there a catalog of the Pepys library on line?

—Wulf

Wulf Losee   Link to this

Buxtorf’s Hebrew Grammar:
Just a flight of inductive fantasy on my part, but I wonder if Pepys’ mention of Downing’s ‘Character’ and his subsequent purchase of the Hebrew grammar aren’t related. The search for a universal language was a big deal in the 17th Century. A universal language is a language that could express without ambiguity any philosophical concept. Ancient Hebrew from the time before Babel was considered to be a (potential) universal language. Maybe Downing’s ‘Character’ was based on Hebrew? ;-)

Of course, a century later, Dean Swift lampooned the efforts of the wise to develop a universal language. Viz: "An expedient was therefore offered, ‘that since words are only names for things, it would be more convenient for all men to carry about them such things as were necessary to express a particular business they are to discourse on.’ And this invention would certainly have taken place… if… the vulgar and illiterate, had not threatened to raise a rebellion unless they might be allowed the liberty to speak with their tongues, after the manner of their forefathers; such constant irreconcilable enemies to science are the common people. However, many of the most learned and wise adhere to the new scheme of expressing themselves by things; which has only this inconvenience attending it, that if a man’s business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged, in proportion, to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back, unless he can afford one or two strong servants to attend him. I have often beheld two of those sages almost sinking under the weight of their packs, like pedlars among us, who, when they met in the street, would lay down their loads, open their sacks, and hold conversation for an hour together; then put up their implements, help each other to resume their burdens, and take their leave." (from Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 5).

I suspect that much of modern academic thought is undermined by Swift.

cheers!
—Wulf

Wulf Losee   Link to this

"...where we alone had a fine jole of Ling to dinner."

Websters sez: jole means jowl, cheek or jaw, and ling is "any of various marine food fishes related to or resembling the cod, especially Molva molva of northern European waters."

Were they eating the cheek of a cod for dinner? Or am I misreading this passage? In many Asian countries the cheek of the fish is considered to be the tastiest flesh, but, the fish must have been enormous to make a meal of the cheek.

Roger Miller   Link to this

This is the site for the Pepys Library:

http://www.magd.cam.ac.uk/pepys/contents.html

No sign of an on-line catalogue.

Bob Terry   Link to this

Before the moratorium was placed on the cod fishery in Newfoundland, children would earn pocket money, selling cod cheeks. They would get cod heads from the processing plants, and cut out the tongues and cheeks. It took a lot of cheeks to make a meal, but at one time there were lots of cod.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Languages Pepys knew

Pepys would have studied Hebrew, Ancient Greek and Latin in school. He and his brother Tom both knew French, which Claire Tomalin thinks may have been the result of a French boarder in Pepys's boyhood household. (I wonder if Pepys talked French with his wife whenever they didn't want Jane, their servant, to know what they were talking about.) Pepys also seems to have known Spanish.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Uncle Wight

William Wight (d. 1672) was the step-brother of Pepys's father, John. Wight was a fishmonger and general merchant who had become rich but lost all his children, according to Tomalin (p. 128). "Pepys was not enthusiastic about many of his blood relations. Like most people, he preferred the ones who did well in life."

Pepys hoped to become Wight's heir (p. 199). Without revealing any plot details, years from now Wight will reveal a certain bizarre and insulting proposal which Pepys will take quite calmly. Tomalin thinks Pepys is so tolerant of Wight because he hopes to become his heir. But it's just possible Pepys might also view Wight as a harmless eccentric, or at least harmless. (Claire Tomalin, "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self," pp. 199-200; she cites entries for 21, 22 Feb. and 11, 15 May 1664)

Wight's age is unknown, but he was probably in his early 50s (possibly late 40s) in early 1660.

Wulf Losee   Link to this

Languages Pepys knew...

Certainly Pepys knew Latin, and he must have soaked up some Greek as well. Seeing a catalog of his library, however, would indicate something about his proficiency in Greek. To the best of my understanding, Hebrew was not necessarily on the university curriculum -- although the Puritans encouraged the study of Hebrew (to get a better understanding of the Old Testament). Pepys went up to Cambridge in 1650 on scholarship for St. Paul's boys from the Mercers' company. The amount of his exposure to Hebrew would have depended on his instructors, I think. I don't know what the situation was a Cambridge during that period. Cambridge was strongly Puritan, wasn't it?

Pepys certainly knew French. I'm afraid the Spanish he uses to describe his extramarital liasons sounds rather rudimentary. So I don't think he was proficient in Spanish.

This discussion of Hebrew set me to looking for more information about the role of Hebrew in 17th Century curriculum. I haven't found much, yet (any refereces would be appreciated!). But I did find an in interesting quote from Joseph Addison (1712)...

"...Hebrew idioms run into English tongue with particular grace and beauty. Our language has received innumerable elegancies and improvements...out of the poetical passages in Holy Writ." [i.e. the Tyndale and King James Bibles]

FYI, an excellent book on the development of the English Bible is "Wide as the Waters" by Benson Bobrick.

--Wulf

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Where Pepys learned languages

At Huntingdon School, Pepys teacher's job was to drill Latin into little skulls so forcefully that thinking and writing in Latin was as fluid as in English. The boys didn't study much else, except for some Greek by the better students and some Hebrew for the truly exceptional. The concentration on Latin was so intense that parents sometimes complained their sons had forgotten how to read English. Students became familiar with Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Terence, Juvenal and Livy. Pepys read Latin as recreation all his life. (Tomalin, p. 19-20).

On to St. Paul's: Students started learning Greek in the sixth form, Hebrew in the eighth, Latin throughout. Students would have been able to translate the words inscribed on the windows above them: AUT DOCE, AUT DISCE, AUT DISCEDE ("Either teach, or study, or leave"). The boys would speak as well as write Latin, and public speaking was one of Pepys's strengths through life. (p. 25)

At Magdalene: Speeches in Latin were part of the curriculum, and philosophy was studied (in the original Greek and Latin?). (p. 39)
-- from Claire Tomalin's "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Life"

Now I have a request: Would someone please explain to this American how the English "forms" correspond to the American "grades" in school?

becky   Link to this

Larding of her pullets

I assume that since she's making tarts, "larding" means putting lard on a pullet, but what is a pullet?

Patrice   Link to this

A pullet is a young hen, less than a year old.

maureen   Link to this

Larding is the insertion - by use of a large needle - of strips of fat from, say, a pig under the skin / through the flesh before cooking. The idea is to ensure that the meat remains moist at the end of thee cooking process.

The word is from Old English but my home dictionary is not big enough to quote early examples! Compare French 'lardon'.

Peter Marquis-Kyle   Link to this

Becky: A pullet is a young hen, in her first season of laying.

Larding is inserting strips of bacon into the chicken -- a larding needle is the tool for this.

PHE   Link to this

Pullet and lardon
Perhaps I'm stating the obvious, but for pullet, compare with 'poulet' - French for chicken. Also, 'lardon' is French for bacon. Many English words for edible meat come from the French name for the animal. Eg. beef = boeuf = cow/bull; pork = porc = pig; mutton = mouton = sheep; veal = veau (spellling?) = young cow. This presumably indicates an English respect for French cooking from an early time.

Glyn   Link to this

"This presumably indicates an English respect for French cooking from an early time."

No it doesn't - it means that when the Normans invaded in 1066 they ate all the best food! And since they spoke in French the words used were French. The Saxon words are still used for the animals themselves (pig, sheep, cow etc) because it was the Saxons who were tending them.

Pullet is still a common-enough word in England

Glyn   Link to this

The American writer Bill Bryson has written a great book called "The Mother Tongue" showing how English grew into a global language, and explaining the differences between American-English, English-English etc.

Emilio   Link to this

A couple of interesting notes on French in English: After William the Conqueror French was the language of the English court for more than 300 years. In fact, by the time of Chaucer French nobility taken prisoner to England could still find French books to read from street booksellers. Because of Wm of Normandy (among other influences), English has one of the more complex vocabularies in the world - much more so than French, for instance, which sensibly calls both the ox and its meat 'boeuf.'
Sorry about the brief lecture - I studied linguistics for a number of years, and all this language trivia just fascinates me . . .

PHE   Link to this

Food and French
Glyn maybe right about the language history. However, Pepys clearly had a great respect for good food, which exists in France today in all levels of society (one of the best places to eat being Les Routiers where truck drivers stop for hearty local produce. Compare to our truckers' caffs serving only fried food and chips). Unfortunately, the average Englishman today has very little respect for good quality food - with the result that an appreciation for it is considered 'snobby'. It would be interesting to know if Pepys's love of food was typical for the day, or whether he was unusual - perhaps linked to his general love of life's pleasures.

gerry healy   Link to this

Regarding school "forms". In my day after passing an exam,the 11+ one went to grammar school at about 11 years old and started out in the first form.Each subsequent year one would progress until reaching the sixth form at which juncture one went on to university, assuming one had passed the right exams.
My bording school had a terminology of it's own. Amongst other names I was in "science remove 1". No idea where that comes from.

Bored   Link to this

Uncle Wight "Without revealing any plot details, years from now Wight will reveal a certain bizarre and insulting proposal which Pepys will take quite calmly."

Please reveal now what this plot detail is, as "years from now" we will have forgotten about it, and some of us may not still be on this earth! I can't stand the suspense for all that time!

grahamt   Link to this

Forms and lard...
British schools now have the American style 'Grades' system. You start at year one at 5 years old and progress until year 13 (18 years old) when you go to University. However up until about 15 years ago we had 'forms' starting at form one at 5 years old, then restarting at form one when you progressed to secondary school at 11 y.o. This was confused by the fact that there was no 7th form, but lower 6th and upper 6th. The fact that 8th form is mentioned indicates that in Pepys time forms ran straight through, as 'grades' and 'years' do. Do any of the historians here know at what age children started school in Pepys' era?

Lard has been used in British English to mean rendered animal fat, (beef as well as pork) used for cooking, since at least the 15th century. Larding can also mean to smear with lard. (and in the slang of my youth, to give someone a thorough beating!)

Phil   Link to this

For what it's worth, my experience of "forms" was slightly different to that of Grahamt's.

I started at Infant school at around 5-6 years old, where the years where, I guess, numbered 1 to 2 (or 3). Then from age 7/8 you go to Junior school where the years are numbered from 1 to 4, and you leave at the age of 11. Then, as Grahamt says, you go to Secondary school for years 1 to 5 until the age of 16 when you can leave school. If you stay, sixth form is either a continuation of Secondary school or at a Further Education college and consists of Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth years until the age of 18.

This is confused slightly by some schools having Infants and Juniors in one school - I think "Primary school" is the correct term for this. It's all a bit vague though.

In my experience, at a comprehensive school (that's public, rather than private, for Americans), this old system resulted in a student being in, say, "4th year." In the new US-style system the words are changed round so a student will be in "Year 4."

And, of course, what the British call a "public school" is synonymous with "private school"; a private fee-paying institution.

nix   Link to this

French, English and Legalese:

One of the reasons legal usage is so verbose dates back to the coexistence of French and English in the post-conquest legal system. To be sure that the meaning was clear, lawyers used both the Anglo-Saxon and the Law-French versions, such as "grant and convey" or "lease and demise". The law being a conservative institution, this redundancy has carried forward through the centuries and across the oceans.

PM   Link to this

St Paul's refers to it's years, from entry aged 13, as:
4th form, 5th form, 6th form, lower 8th, upper 8th.
8th form therefore refers to both lower and upper 8th. This may be what's being referred to, since the 8th form is effectively the university preparation stage.

language hat   Link to this

Early examples of "lard" from the OED:

1 Cookery. (trans.) To insert small strips of bacon (or of other fat meat) in the substance of (meat, poultry, etc.) before cooking. Also absol. (Cf. interlard v. 1.)
c.1330 R. Brunne Chron. Wace (Rolls) 15756 He schar [sheared=cut] a pece out of his the [its thigh], & lardid & rostoid. c.1420 Liber Cocorum (1862) 21 Perboyle the hare and larde hit wele, Sethyn [sith(en)=next] loke thou rost hir everydele [in every part, entirely]. c.1430 Two Cookery-bks. 18 Take Conyngys [conies=rabbits].. & sethe hem [boil them], other [or] larde hem & Rost hem. 1615 Markham Eng. Housew. ii. ii. (1664) 73 If you will Roast any Venison,.. if it be lean, you shall either lard it with Mutton lard, or Pork lard. 1661 Lovell Hist. Anim. & Min. 73 The skinn being pulled off, the flesh larded, & stuck with cloves, may be rosted. 1741 Compl. Fam.-Piece i. ii. 136 Flea [flay=skin] your Hare, and lard it with Bacon.

Stephen Hannaford   Link to this

Adding bacon or fat to chicken may sound like cholesterol overkill to us. but the use of larding (whether with bacon or grease) occurs often in older cookbooks and in other prose. Poultry before modern times was all very much free-range, therefore deficient in fat for roasting. It was necessary to add fat of some kind to keep the flesh from being overly dry. This technique is descrinbed by Escoffier and Dumas among others, and is still recomended today for game like pheasant or rabbits. Even turkeys, except for the pre-larded "Butterball", tend to come out dry without either larding (usually butter) or extensive basting.

Carol Hunt   Link to this

"he gave me a character, such a one as my Lord's, to make perfect..... Wulf Losee says its a code book or a cipher and talks about Buxdorf's Hebrew Grammar. Could be, but could also be something as ordinary as a reference, in todays language.

Roger Miller   Link to this

There was a reference on January 18th to interpreting a letter from Montague 'by his character' that makes it clear that this is to do with cyphers.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

I'll email the plot spoiler on Wight to anyone who asks for it. (Put "plot spoiler" in the subject line.) I'm asking Phil to set up a page where we can comment on how we'd like to handle plot spoilers. I think Bored makes an excellent point that this one really shouldn't matter -- but for now I'll just do it by email.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Ciphers/transporting money/Thanks!

Wulf makes an excellent point that some trust may exist between Downing and Pepys (and Downing and Montagu) if Sam is drawing up codes for his boss.

More precisely, Downing shows he doesn't fear that Montagu or Pepys would decipher the messages Downing will send. There's a pretty good reason for that, but it's another plot spoiler! (Part of the answer will come within a day or two.)

On Michael Vincent's point: Apparently Pepys carried the formal or informal equivalent to a check or withdrawal slip to the man or business who held the money, and, as we've seen by now, the money gets delivered the next day. I wonder if the delivery was kept safe by simply secreting it on someone or if guards were used (or some combination of both methods).

And thanks everyone for help with the "form" system of identifying education years.

michael f vincent   Link to this

re: larding ? during world 2 we dipped our meager bread in the lard (left over fat) from the meat and fried it. Needed all extra warmth on those coal lest (no heat also cold) days.

My school used the another way of counting the years. From 12yrs of age it was rudiments then grammer, then syntax, then poetry then finally for those who may go on to a better education rhetoric.

Tina Warburton   Link to this

Yet another variation on school forms;
the girl's school I went to from age 11 started you in the upper III, followed by lower IV, upper IV, lower & upper V, thence into the sixth form for A-levels, these 2 years being -you've guessed it - lower and upper VI. Things have obviously changed a bit in the last 30 years

Glyn   Link to this

Apologies to vegetarians

But you can still buy lard at your local supermarket/store, and I and all my friends always put a few strips of fatty bacon across chicken and other meats when roasting them just to keep them moist. Don't bother with putting them under the skin. I hadn't realised that other people didn't do that.

It looks like medieval people ate a wider range of food than we do - perhaps because they were poorer so couldn't afford to waste anything. For example, our supermarkets looked crammed with different foods but when you come down to it, all the breakfast cereals are basically barley, and our meats are restricted to about 3 or 4 different animals unlike in Sam's time. It's very rare that I buy a rabbit (although I sometimes do) and the only time I buy a goose, for instance, is every other Christmas.

Jenny   Link to this

It is interesting to see how squeamish we have become about food. My mother in law, who grew up in the north of England remembers being sent to the butcher for a "bull's pizzle" which would have been cooked and eaten. I am talking about the 1920s. Offal wasn't thought of as inferior meat, it was just another part of the animal to eat. Larding is still used today and means threading pieces of lard (lardons) through meat to moisten it as it cooks.

Jenny   Link to this

Also, on the subject of vegetables not being mentioned very often, I think we still do this today. When you are telling a friend about what you ate at a restaurant you are more likely to say "I had the roast pork belly" without going into detail about the vegetables which were served.

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