Sunday 20 May 1660

Up early, and with Mr. Pickering and the child by waggon to Scheveling, where it not being yet fit to go off, I went to lie down in a chamber in the house, where in another bed there was a pretty Dutch woman in bed alone, but though I had a month’s-mind1 I had not the boldness to go to her. So there I slept an hour or two. At last she rose, and then I rose and walked up and down the chamber, and saw her dress herself after the Dutch dress, and talked to her as much as I could, and took occasion, from her ring which she wore on her first finger, to kiss her hand, but had not the face to offer anything more. So at last I left her there and went to my company.

About 8 o’clock I went into the church at Scheveling, which was pretty handsome, and in the chancel a very great upper part of the mouth of a whale, which indeed was of a prodigious bigness, bigger than one of our long boats that belong to one of our ships.

Commissioner Pett at last came to our lodging, and caused the boats to go off; so some in one boat and some in another we all bid adieu to the shore.

But through badness of weather we were in great danger, and a great while before we could get to the ship, so that of all the company not one but myself that was not sick. I keeping myself in the open air, though I was soundly wet for it. This hath not been known four days together such weather at this time of year, a great while. Indeed our fleet was thought to be in great danger, but we found all well, and Mr. Thos. Crew came on board.

I having spoke a word or two with my Lord, being not very well settled, partly through last night’s drinking and want of sleep, I lay down in my gown upon my bed and slept till the 4 o’clock gun the next morning waked me, which I took for 8 at night, and rising … mistook the sun rising for the sun setting on Sunday night.

  1. Month’s-mind. An earnest desire or longing, explained as alluding to “a woman’s longing.” See Shakespeare, “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” act i. sc. 2:

    I see you have a month’s mind to them.

    — M. B.

18 Annotations

language hat   Link to this

month's-mind:
Nothing to do with women. It's a pun on the religious meaning (translating Latin dies mensis):
1. Chiefly R.C. Church. The commemoration of a deceased person by the celebration of a requiem mass, prayers, etc., on a day one month from the date of the death or funeral.
Hence:
2. Used allusively or humorously as a synonym for MIND n.1 14: an inclination, fancy, liking. Esp. in "to have (also bear) a month's mind". "to be in a month's mind": to have a strong expectation (rare). Now regional.
1580 J. LYLY Euphues (1868) 464 Determininge to ende his lyfe in Athens, although he hadde a moneths minde to England. 1598 BP. J. HALL Virgidemiarvm IV. iv. 34 He thaw's like Chaucers frosty Ianiuere; And sets a Months minde vpon smyling May. 1660 S. PEPYS Diary 20 May (1970) I. 150 In another bed there was a pretty Duch woman..but though I had a month's mind to her, I had not the boldness to go to her. 1700 W. CONGREVE Way of World III. i. 37 She has a Month's mind; but I know Mr. Mirabell can't abide her. 1755 J. SHEBBEARE Lydia (1769) II. 76 This baronet then had a month's mind to the Dowager Viscountess. 1956 P. O'BRIAN Golden Ocean (1996) iii. 61 I've got a month's mind to have you keel-hauled.

"slept till the 4 o'clock gun the next morning waked me, which I took for 8 at night, and rising -- mistook the sun rising for the sun setting on Sunday night.”
Some things never change…

(Definitions and citations are OED.)

Paul Brewster   Link to this

rising [to piss] mistook the sun rising for the sun setting on Sunday night
per L&M

Appropriately this day like several others we have seen continues to the next with only a marginal notation of the day. Again per L&M.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

where in another bed there was a pretty Dutch woman
L&M notes that "Bedrooms at inns (English as well as Dutch) were often occupied by several people of both sexes who were stangers to each other and incidents of this sort were not uncommon."

Paul Brewster   Link to this

month's-mind
The gloss on this phrase in the Arden Shakespeare version of Two Gents clearly supports the religious derivation. It goes on to say that “The phrase seems, however, to have acquired, in the late sixteenth century, the sense of ‘longing’ such as that experienced by a pregnant woman in the last month of pregnancy.”

This association with things female is reinforced by the conventional relationships between women, the duration of a month and our changeable moon. An overloaded meaning of this kind plays well in the context of the sexually charged dialogue between Lucetta and Julia. SP may well have called up these same associations when he wrote down his recollection of the sexually charged scene with the Dutch woman.

Mike Bursell   Link to this

Well, it seems that Sam's definitely got his sea-legs, then!

Glyn   Link to this

Todd Bernhardt (on 15 May) wrote that Sam is working with very little sleep at the moment, but now his irregular sleeping patterns have finally caught up with him: he’s obviously extremely tired. He gets up very early (if at first light then that’s at about 4 a.m.), travels some distance, takes a nap for a couple of hours until 8 a.m. then goes to church, sightsees and travels back to his ship where he has to take another nap, but this one lasts at least 8 hours longer than he expected (waking up at 4 a.m. rather than 8 p.m.) then going back to sleep again. His body clock has gone haywire, and if this was the present day I’d say he was jet-lagged.

mw   Link to this

I love the "Months' mind".
I will add it to my lexicon immediately.
Pepys being able to sleep with his "months mind" is an indication of just how tied he is. That and his subsequent day confusion points to a very tied chap. Well done Todd.

Pepys, "Where is your time piece?"
I have been as tied but only confused when, on waking I could not glance at my watch.

Phil I'm enjoying the new editorial facility. Thanks

johng   Link to this

What were the social conventions to govern behaviour in shared bedrooms in inns?

vincent   Link to this

Behaviour: from free love to no love 'tis part of the revolution ;Puritans(Pure to puritanical) :the popists to free thinkers : take ones pick based on where ones brain is at on the spine; at the top or bottom:

Bill   Link to this

MONTH'S mind n.f. Longing desire

You have a month's mind to them. Shakespeare

For if a trumpet sound or drum beat
who has not a month's mind to combat. Hudibras

---A Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1799.

Bill   Link to this

The church [at Scheveling] is situated at the extremity of the village and contains the skull of a whale fifty six feet in length, which was thrown on shore in 1617.
---The Belgian Traveller. Edmund Boyce, 1827.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

I was of the impression that they rang bells aboard ship to mark the passing hours of the watch but here they are shooting guns at 4 in the morning. Are they going to do that after the King comes aboard?

Bill   Link to this

We had a discussion a while back as to whether bells were used in this fleet to mark watch changes or the passage of time. If so, why hasn't Pepys mentioned those bells? Were bells indeed used in 1660? Or perhaps guns were used as implied here, and as was the case in many places on land to mark, say, noon? The common sailor would have no access to time-keeping instruments, yet his life was well-regulated by the "clock".

A google search produced no results for me - I hope we have a reader more knowledgeable than I.

MarkS   Link to this

Regarding time-keeping aboard ship, the problem with clocks in the 17th century was that they were not very accurate. Different clocks might be many minutes apart.

In an individual ship a bell would serve to indicate the official time for the whole ship, but in a fleet there was a need was to coordinate the time across several ships.

The sound of a bell wouldn't carry far enough, particularly in bad weather, so they were using a gun to synchronize the time throughout the whole fleet.

Bill   Link to this

Well, of course, bells couldn't be used to coordinate time across a fleet (at anchor or otherwise) but MarkS, are you saying that bells were actually being used in 1660 within ships? We still have the non-barking dog. Our Sam never mentions multiple bells ringing in the middle of the night.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

My Google Search turned up references to ship's bells at a date early enough for them to have become in common use by the 1660's. Pendulum clocks would not work at all on shipboard. They had a half-hour sand glass (How do you call a half-hour glass, an hourglass?) and a ship's boy appointed to watch it. He would turn it over every half hour, and they would ring the bell, adding one stroke to it until 8 bells signaled the end of a 4-hour watch. As MarkS reports, it makes sense for the flagship to coordinate the time aboard all ships of a flotilla at anchor, by firing a gun. Once daily would do it; not every half hour. Thanks, MarkS!

Dick Wilson   Link to this

Except Pepys mistook the 4AM gun for the 8PM gun, so, maybe twice daily would serve.

Bill   Link to this

Most of us know how multiple bells are used to mark the half-hours of a marine watch. Today. But I find no google result to indicate such a system was in use in the 17th or early 18th centuries. Though certainly ships in 1660 had bells. I do find references to the evening gun and morning gun to indicate time, as Sam seems to be telling us. (There was twilight at both times, which confused him.) The "sand glasses" were called watch-glasses and were well tended but how was this information transmitted to the crew?? We don't really know.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.