Tuesday 4 September 1660

I did many things this morning at home before I went out, as looking over the joiners, who are flooring my diningroom, and doing business with Sir Williams both1 at the office, and so to Whitehall, and so to the Bullhead, where we had the remains of our pasty, where I did give my verdict against Mr. Moore upon last Saturday’s wager, where Dr. Fuller coming in do confirm me in my verdict.

From thence to my Lord’s and despatched Mr. Cooke away with the things to my Lord. From thence to Axe Yard to my house, where standing at the door Mrs. Diana comes by, whom I took into my house upstairs, and there did dally with her a great while, and found that in Latin “Nulla puella negat.”

So home by water, and there sat up late setting my papers in order, and my money also, and teaching my wife her music lesson, in which I take great pleasure.

So to bed.

  1. “Both Sir Williams” is a favourite expression with Pepys, meaning Sir William Batten and Sir William Penn.

35 Annotations

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

The Latin phrase is revealed by Google to come from one of Martial's epigrams:

71

Quaero diu totam, Safroni Rufe, per urbem,
si qua puella neget: nulla puella negat.
Tamquam fas non sit, tamquam sit turpe negare,
tamquam non liceat, nulla puella negat.
Casta igitur nulla est? Sunt castae mille. Quid ergo
casta facit? Non dat, non tamen illa negat.

Unfortunately I have little Latin, and it certainly isn't up to this, but I'm sure some of the distinguished contributors to this site can tell us both the meaning of the phrase and how it fits into the whole epigram.

Glyn   Link to this

Mistress Diana is the daughter he met on 2 September and "and I fear is not so good as she should be." - so, I guess it's good to see him confronting his fears so quickly.

Of course this is his old house, of which she is a neighbour and has appeared in the diary several times before.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

nulla puella negat.
Here's a translation that I found on the internet.

From: "Drusus Caelius Salto"
Subject: Martial: Epigrams, IV, 71

Rufus, I've searched all Rome for a long time
To find a girl who says no. There are none.
It seems as if it's simply just not done,
As if it's impermissible, a crime,
To say no. Does that mean that they're all whores,
That virgins don't exist? No, there are scores.
Then what does a good girl do? She doesn't give
Either herself or a plain negative.


Ed LeZotte   Link to this

I"m going out on a very shakey limb here -- "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" -- ??

Graups   Link to this

"Nulla puella negat"; looks more like "Young girls never say no".

Robin   Link to this

"No young girl says no," or possibly "No young girl denies [anything]," is a closer translation -- "nulla" modifies "puella" and it's all singular.

My Latin is very rusty, but that sounds about right.

language hat   Link to this

Quite right: 'no girl says no.'

The down-to-earth Martial seems a good match for Sam:
"He had the keenest capacity for enjoyment, the keenest curiosity and power of observation. He had also a very just discernment. It is rare to find any one endowed with so quick a perception of the ridiculous who is so little of a caricaturist. He was himself singularly free from cant, pedantry or affectation of any kind. Though tolerant of most vices, he had a hearty scorn of hypocrisy. There are few better satirists of social and literary pretenders in ancient or modern times. Living in a very artificial age, he was quite natural, hating pomp and show, and desiring to secure in life only what really gave him pleasure. To live one's life heartily from day to day without looking before or after, and to be one's self without trying to be that for which nature did not intend him, is the sum of his philosophy."
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial

chip   Link to this

The play is on the subjunctive. Notice the change from neget to negat. This is the verb to deny, or say no. Thus, the first implies he searched all day throughout the town if any young thing might say no, no young girl did say no. Pepys has no problem having an affair and going home to teach Elizabeth her music lesson; he is a better, or worse, man than I.

vincent   Link to this

"amere et sapare vix deo conceditur" Syrus Maxims
for the rest:" Cum tua pervideas oculis mala lippus inunctis; cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum quam aquila?"
Horice , Satirae,III 25-27

Pauline   Link to this

Don't do this to us, vincent
We're working on "nulla puella negat."

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur.
Wisdom with love is scarcely granted to a god.

For the rest.......?

Pauline   Link to this

"...to Axe Yard to my house, where standing at the door..."
Perhaps not by verbal agreement the night before, but it looks like our man and the "puella" have made themselves available for this meeting. He hanging around the door; she on watch at her window. Or either may have dropped a hint of when they would be in the street today.

Roger Arbor   Link to this

Human nature has not changed one iota... we see our own vices writ large. As the preacher says, "It's the same old sin".

David Goldfarb   Link to this

"Cum tua pervideas oculis mala lippus inunctis; cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum quam aquila?"

When you look on your own wrongs with eyes half-blinded with oil; how is it that you discern your friends’ faults as keenly as an eagle?

John Ryan   Link to this

According to the Tomalin book,the phrase means 'She refused me nothing'.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"nulla puella negat" another good translation could be"Cosi fan tute"

JWB   Link to this

You are what you eat. Pepys taking on attributes of a three day old pasty.

Nigel Pond   Link to this

To John Ryan:

I think Ms Tomalin is wrong on this one. As has been pointed out earlier "nulla" in this context is clearly singular feminine nominative case (with a short-sounding "-a") and qualifies "puella", rather than being a plural neuter nominative (which has a long-sounding "-a")

Brian G McMullen   Link to this

Didn't SP rent the Ax Yard home recently for a reasonable profit? Is the tenant not yet in or has SP simply commandeered the home for an afternoon dalliance?

Be that as it may there was a reference to a London map circa 1740 a few days ago and I have found it very useful in locating SP's coming and goings. Most of today's geography can be found at:

http://www.motco.com/Map/81002/SeriesSearchPlat...

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Paul, The translation you cite -- really a poetic adaptation -- is an extraordinary find! I have searched the Web high & low to no avail, with the possible exception of a book on Questia. As I'm not a subscriber I couldn't discover whether it contained IV.71. Here's my amateur prose take:

I ask all day, Rufus Safronus, through the city,
If any girl say no: No girl says no.
Just as if it were not right, just as if it were a disgrace to deny,
Just as if it weren't allowed. No girl says no.
Is there no chaste woman then? There are a thousand. What then
Does the chaste woman do? She does not consent, but at the same time, she does not say no.

Pepys clearly knows his classics. It appears he had a first rate education for his time.

Nix   Link to this

Mr. Hamilton, that's a lovely translation.

But does Samuel's citation mean that she is one of the chaste women who remain chaste despite "not saying 'No'"?

Or does he mean that she is a hypocrite, passing herself as chaste but never saying no?

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

I take it she didn't say no and I think Pepys is very pleased to find that the
Latin tag has truth.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Andrew -- Your translation is to my taste a far superior one.
For the record, here's the site where I found the one I quoted:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/legiovi/messages/...

The material is contained in a message to a Yahoo group called "legiovi -- Legio VI - Roman Empire Reenactment Group in Los Angeles”

Brad W   Link to this

I took the wrong approach to our puella.

Instead of searching for the source document and a translation, I tried putting her through an online Latin-English dictionary, which fell far short. My own lack of knowledge of roots and inflections to blame. I did find a nice Klingon-English translator, though, and an extensive site on languages in the works of JRR Tolkien. Carpe hobbit.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

With today's entry ("Nulla puella negat") Pepys is beginning to come into focus for me as a very recognizable character. I see him as a prototypical whiz kid, bright, well-networked, opportunistic and highly capable. I've known scores of young men at his age rising fast in government circles in Washington, London and Paris - the type is ubiquitous. He lives at a time when social mores are being liberated from strict scrutiny — think swinging London of the 60's -- and is discovering what that means. A taste for Martial puts him at the cutting edge of the literary trend of the time, a revival of Roman satire. Andrew Marvell, some dozen years older, takes up political satire in the later 1660s. William Wycherley, seven years younger, is beginning to savor the emerging fashionable life in London -- he becomes a favorite of the King's mistress -- that he later skewers in A Country Wife.

Here's a brief excerpt from a Wycherley biography at a University of Florida website:

He had been entered in Lincoln’s Inn since 1659, and now went into residence there, but the law received very little of his attention. The fashionable and profligate court of Charles II contained all he desired, and he soon became a favorite of the king’s mistress, the Duchess of Cleveland. It was to her that he dedicated his first play, and the handsome young man with accommodating manners was a member of her inner circle. Some time during this period he spent a few months at sea, fighting the Dutch—not that he had any naval experience, but ‘all gentlemen must pack to sea.’ In 1674 he was made a captain in the Duke of Buckingham’s regiment, but resigned his commission within a week. In 1678, his health being poor after a fever, he went to Montpelier for a while to recuperate, and Charles gave him £500 for his expenses. His four plays, which were all performed between 1671 and 1677, kept him in the public eye; only the second was a comparative failure. Finally Charles offered him a munificent position—he was to become tutor of the king’s son, the Duke of Richmond, at a salary of £1500 a year—quite a recompense for a tutor even today—with a pension to follow when his charge no longer needed him.

Nix   Link to this

"the king's mistress, the Duchess of Cleveland" --

Samuel has already met her, or at least laid eyes on her, as Madame Palmer. See the entry for July 13, and annotations under her link for a very remarkable life story.

Glyn   Link to this

One of the originals of Brian McMullen's map is currently on display in the British Museum as part of its 18th-century London exhibition. It is very large (I would guess about 6ft high by 12ft wide)and you can get right up close to it. Should you wish, you can buy smaller prints of it in the Museum Shop but at an exorbitant price. This exhibition ends in late November.

language hat   Link to this

Cum tua pervideas...:
For wherefore while you carelessly pass by
Your own worst vices with unheeding eye,
Why so sharp-sighted in another's fame,
Strong as an eagle's ken, or dragon's beam?

Or, less poetically:
When you look over your own vices, winking at them, as it were, with sore eyes; why are you with regard to those of your friends as sharp-sighted as an eagle, or the Epidaurian serpent?

Context here:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=...

David A. Smith   Link to this

"Did she or didn't she?"
Sex brings out the commenters, doesn't it? :)
Even 340 years later, our boy Sam shows both wit and verbal legerdemain. The Latin epigram -- kudos to Paul for the lovely translation -- signals that she toyed and Sam did "dally with her a great while," but whether they consummated, or just engaged in heavy flirting, remains a mystery.
Maybe I'm entirely too married, but I think she led Sam to that wonderful place that he is sure he *could* have had her (ego flattered) but in fact he *did not* have her (guilt assuaged, "it's not sex if I didn't ..."), so he can go home to Elizabeth with a clear conscience and "take great pleasure" in her music lesson. Titillation, ego gratification, and courageous self-discipline all in one flirty little encounter with Ms. Diana.

Julia   Link to this

I think the context of the epigram supports David A. Smith's supposition. The young girls are chaste, but they remain so coyly, by avoiding the act without making a direct refusal. They flirt and play, but they move a straying hand or re-tie a garment without saying anything about it. But of course, Sam could be taking the phrase out of context . . .

The wonderful ambiguity leaves our desire for the truth unfulfilled -- and keeps us coming back for more.

Laura K   Link to this

Interestingly, I barely see the ambiguity referred to by Julia and David, above.

Sam dallied with her a great while, finding that "no girl says no". Looks pretty clear to me. But it's no less fascinating to note how different readers take away different meanings.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Latin translations. I'd be lost without you!

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Flash! Great new Latin resource!!

Like Laura, I want to thank all the Latin scholars out there for helping with the translations. In return, I'd like to contribute what I can ... it's not much, but hey, I'm not much of a Latin scholar!

http://www.porkpie.demon.co.uk/slighty.htm

Sic faciunt omnes,
Todd

Glyn   Link to this

Personally, I've changed my mind about this after having read the translations and Julia's and others comments: Diana didn't say No, but that doesn't necessarily that she meant Yes either.

Todd's Latin website is a mine of useful phrases.

J B Fisher   Link to this

John Donne cites the same line from Martial(Tamquam non liceat nulla puella negat) in his Paradoxes and Problems (Paradox 6: That it is Possible to Find Some Virtue in Some Women) and here the sense is certainly taken as
"as long as it is forbidden, no girl will deny it"

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"and so to the Bullhead, where we had the remains of our pasty, where I did give my verdict against Mr. Moore upon last Saturday’s wager,"

Last Satuday "Here rose in discourse at table a dispute between Mr. Moore and Dr. Clerke, the former affirming that it was essential to a tragedy to have the argument of it true, which the Doctor denied, and left it to me to be judge, and the cause to be determined next Tuesday morning at the same place, upon the eating of the remains of the pasty, and the loser to spend 10s. " http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/09/01/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The impending recess of Parliament prompts Commons to ask Lords to meet afternoons and Lords to agree.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

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