Sunday 23 September 1660

(Lord’s day). My wife got up to put on her mourning to-day and to go to Church this morning. I up and set down my journall for these 5 days past. This morning came one from my father’s with a black cloth coat, made of my short cloak, to walk up and down in. To church my wife and I, with Sir W. Batten, where we heard of Mr. Mills a very good sermon upon these words, “So run that ye may obtain.”

After dinner all alone to Westminster. At Whitehall I met with Mr. Pierce and his wife (she newly come forth after childbirth) both in mourning for the Duke of Gloucester. She went with Mr. Child to Whitehall chapel and Mr. Pierce with me to the Abbey, where I expected to hear Mr. Baxter or Mr. Rowe preach their farewell sermon, and in Mr. Symons’s pew I sat and heard Mr. Rowe. Before sermon I laughed at the reader, who in his prayer desires of God that He would imprint his word on the thumbs of our right hands and on the right great toes of our right feet. In the midst of the sermon some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey, that made me and all the rest in our pew afeard, and I wished myself out.

After sermon with Mr. Pierce to Whitehall, and from thence to my Lord, but Diana did not come according to our agreement. So calling at my father’s (where my wife had been this afternoon but was gone home) I went home.

This afternoon, the King having news of the Princess being come to Margate, he and the Duke of York went down thither in barges to her.

14 Annotations

Paul Miller   Link to this

"some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey, that made me and all the rest in our pew afeard, and I wished myself out".
That, Samuel, was for laughing at the reader!

roberto   Link to this

“some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey,...."
Methinks that it might have been for the planned assignation with Diana!!

john lauer   Link to this

"...plaster fell..."
No, his worst sin was being 5 days behind in his writing!

Paul Brewster   Link to this

So run that ye may obtain.
per L&M: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthian 9:24

Paul Brewster   Link to this

where I expected to hear Mr. Baxter or Mr. Rowe their farewell sermon in the abbey
L&M leave out the word "preach".

Paul Brewster   Link to this

imprint his word on the thumbs of our right hands and on the right great toes of our right feet
L&M point (careful to use the right digit) to the following:
Exodus 29:20
Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

Leviticus 8:23
And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.

Leviticus 14:14
And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Mr. Baxter or Mr. Rowe
L&M Note: "Since 1650 an Independent congregation had met in the Abbey, John Rowe being its second minister after 1654. It now moved first to Smithfield and then to Holborn. ... Richard Baxter, leader of the moderate Puritans, had never been a pastor of this church, but had used its pulpit."

J A Gioia   Link to this

some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey

nay brethren, i say it is for his gross gluttony and o'erweening pride in his costume.

M.Stolzenbach   Link to this

For me, it is interesting to see, here in the very heart of the Church of England,and with the Restoration in full swing, a puritan-type clerk still getting away with puritan-type extemporary (and heavily scripture-based, as one poster has pointed out) prayer instead of the set petitions (also Scriptural but perhaps less comical) of the BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.

Interesting that, though five days behind in his writing, Samuel still put in the more embarrassing facts such as "vomiting up his breakfast." When something like that happens to me, I might e-mail it to a friend on the very day, but afterwards, would prefer to forget all about it!

Roger Arbor   Link to this

Mmmm.. interesting, yes. But the Puritan 'party' never really died out at all you know... they are still about and still recognisable. Nothing really changes, we just go around in circles!

Glyn   Link to this

I'm with M Stolzenbach in that I'd write things in my diary to make myself look good - or at least put myself in the best possible light. But for all his many faults, Pepys has one strong virtue in that he is completely honest when writing his Diary even when it makes him look bad.

But what does he use his Diary FOR? It isn't to record his innermost feelings and beliefs in any great depth - we don't get his reactions to a beautiful sunset, thoughts about his ill mother, or his own political beliefs. Is it just an accurate record of each day, but no better (or worse) than that?

Nix   Link to this

Perhaps Samuel is simply not a "deep thinker" --

We get his thoughts about beautiful women, about money (particularly his insecurities), about his enthusiasms, and about people in general. Perhaps those are the things that matter to him. Besides, how many beautiful sunsets was he likely to see in crowded, dirty, smoky, rainy 17th Century London? (My regional bias is showing.)

One wonderful thing about this series of entries is his honesty, even when he is writing from four-day-old notes.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

He hasn't talked about his music as of late and I wonder why!...

vincent   Link to this

"In the midst of the sermon some plaster fell from the top of the Abbey, that made me and all the rest in our pew afeard, and I wished myself out." I wonder why? a small tremor maybe, I remember being in England feeling a 2.5 approx, and most people did not react. Living In California I am sensitive to such small shakes because the next one may be a 6 to7 or the big one .

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