Tuesday 2 October 1660

With Sir Wm. Pen by water to Whitehall, being this morning visited before I went out by my brother Tom, who told me that for his lying out of doors a day and a night my father had forbade him to come any more into his house, at which I was troubled, and did soundly chide him for doing so, and upon confessing his fault I told him I would speak to my father.

At Whitehall I met with Captain Clerk, and took him to the Leg in King Street, and did give him a dish or two of meat, and his purser that was with him, for his old kindness to me on board. After dinner I to Whitehall, where I met with Mrs. Hunt, and was forced to wait upon Mr. Scawen at a committee to speak for her husband, which I did. After that met with Luellin, Mr. Fage, and took them both to the Dog, and did give them a glass of wine. After that at Will’s I met with Mr. Spicer, and with him to the Abbey to see them at vespers. There I found but a thin congregation already. So I see that religion, be it what it will, is but a humour,1 and so the esteem of it passeth as other things do. From thence with him to see Robin Shaw, who has been a long time ill, and I have not seen him since I came from sea. He is much changed, but in hopes to be well again. From thence by coach to my father’s, and discoursed with him about Tom, and did give my advice to take him home again, which I think he will do in prudence rather than put him upon learning the way of being worse.

So home, and from home to Major Hart, who is just going out of town to-morrow, and made much of me, and did give me the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, that I may be capable of my arrears.

So home again, where my wife tells me what she has bought to-day, namely, a bed and furniture for her chamber, with which very well pleased I went to bed.

  1. The four humours of the body described by the old physicians were supposed to exert their influence upon the mind, and in course of time the mind as well as the body was credited with its own particular humours. The modern restricted use of the word humour did not become general until the eighteenth century.

27 Annotations

Paul Miller   Link to this

"So I see that religion, be it what it will, is but a humour"

humours : The term humour (it derives from Latin humor 'moisture'; hence humid) was used in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance period - in the tradition of Hippocratic pathology and physiology - to denote the four humours of the body. These depended on the four fluids: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The admixture or commingling of these determined a person's disposition, character, mind, morality and temperament. The humours released spirits or vapours which affected the brain, and thence a person's behaviour. According to the predominant humour a man was sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric or melancholy. Robert Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, I, ii, 3 (1621), gives an excellent description of the qualities of the humours.

Vestigially, the theory of humours survives in such expressions as: 'ill-humoured', 'good-humoured', 'black with rage', 'in a black mood', yellow with jealousy', 'green with envy', 'yellow-livered', 'red with remorse', and so forth. And we still use 'sanguine' or 'melancholy' to describe certain temperaments.

The theory of humours had a considerable influence on writers when it came to the creation of characters. Dramatists devised characters based on the theory of the imbalances that occurred between the bodily fluids. Comedy of humours developed characters who were dominated by a particular mood, inclination or peculiarity. Ben Jonson is the most notable instance of a dramatist to do this - in Every Man in His Humour; almost certainly the first play created on the theory of personality and ruling passion. This he followed with Every Man Out of His Humour (1599).

It may be no coincidence that at this period writers were also addressing themselves to the depiction of 'characters' in character sketches, and analysing character and temperament.

It is not until the 18th c. that we find 'humour' associated with laughter and being used in contradistinction to wit.

The four humours were originally thought of as four liquids existing in the human body, and the balance of the humours dictated a person's personality and his health. Much medieval and Jacobean writing refers to this theory. Earlier references tend to refer to the basic fluids and the features they were meant to give people. A person with excess of the humour blood in him was called sanguine, and was pleasure-loving, amorous, kind, and jovially good-natures; the Franklin in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is such a figure. Someone with an excess of phlegm in them was described as phlegmatic and was dull, cowardly, unresponsive, dour, and unexciting. An excess of yellow bile gave rise to a choleric person: vengeful, obstinate, impatient, intolerant, angry, and quick to lose his temper. An excess of black bile produced a person who was melancholic: moody, brooding, sharp-tongued, liable to sudden changes of mood, and often lost in thought and contemplation. The poet John Donne (?1571-1631) was supposed to be highly melancholic. By the start of the seventeenth century the 'comedy of humours' had developed, in which people's behaviour was linked to one humour of feature. Every Man in His Humour by Ben Johnson (1572-1637) is a good example of such a play. Humour here is coming to have its wider meaning of personality, rather than the specific four humours meant in medieval times. In medieval and Jacobean times the four humours were thought of as equivalents of the four elements around which the Universe was created.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

After dinner I to Westminster-hall
L&M replace "Whitehall" with "Westminster-hall".

Paul Brewster   Link to this

them at vespers there, where I find
L&M insert the word "where" and change "found" to present tense.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

viz, a bed and furniture for her chamber
L&M use "viz" (in italics) instead of "namely". Can't imagine why Wheatley made the choice. Seems like just a random substitution. Viz appears elswhere in the our electronic version of Wheatley.

Viz is an abbreviation for videlicet. From the OED:
A. adv. That is to say; namely; to wit: used to introduce an amplification, or more precise or explicit explanation, of a previous statement or word. (Cf. the abbreviated forms vid.2, videl., vidz(t., and viz.)
...
1642 Rogers Naaman ... The stupid King mistakes the letter and construes it to a sinister sense viz. that a quarrel was pickt with him. 1645 in Ellis Orig. Lett. ... His Matye had opportunity to effect his designe, vizt. the releife of Westchester. a1700 in Cath. Rec. Soc. Publ. ... In the time of the first Lady-Abbesse of that house viz Dame Francis Gawen. 1728 Swift Mullinix & Tim. Wks. ... Observe my counsel, (viz.) Adapt your habit to your phyz.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

that I may be capable of my arreares
L&M footnote this as follows: "The pay due to him as secretary to Sandwich's regiment."

Paul Brewster   Link to this

was forced to wait upon Mr. Scawen at a committee to speak for her Husband, which I did.
Robert Scawen (M.P. for Cockermouth), whom Pepys knew well as a commissioner for disbanding the forces, had been recently appointed one of the commissioners for regulating the Excise. John Hunt either now or shortly afterwards held a sub-commissionership under him.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Captain Clerke
He of the "noted caudle" or "knotted cane". http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/04/05/

IronRoads   Link to this

"So I see that religion, be it what it will, is but a humour, and so the esteem of it passeth as other things do."

The gist of this sentence seems to go against everything that has been posted so far about the humours, viz. that the humours fundamentally determine a man's nature. SP seems to be saying instead, that there is nothing fundamentally solid about a man's devotion. It is nothing but fad and fashion.

I think he is using the term humour in the context of something vaporous and easily dispersed.

Nix   Link to this

"lying out of doors a day and a night" --

I assume that he means that Tom had been out drinking/gambling/whoring, not camping out under the starts -- using "out of doors" to mean "away from the house".

OED doesn't list a usage of "out-of-door" (in either sense) until the 19th century

Paul Brewster   Link to this

humour
I think this may be the more appropriate definition from the OED:
6. A particular disposition, inclination, or liking, esp. one having no apparent ground or reason; mere fancy, whim, caprice, freak, vagary.
(In this sense very frequent in late 16th and early 17th c., and ridiculed by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.)
1565 J. Calfhill Answ. Martiall's Treat. Cross ... They neded no more for hallowing of a Church, but a sermon, and prayers, in which peraduenture (that I may feede your humor) they made the signe of a crosse with their finger. 1588 Shakes. L.L.L. ... These are complements, these are humours. 1598 B. Jonson Ev. Man in Hum. ... What is that humour? Cas. It is a gentleman-like monster, bred, in the speciall gallantrie of our time, by affectation; and fed by folly. 1611 [Tarlton] Jests ... How now, dog, saies Tarlton, are you in your humours? and many daies after it was a by-word to a man being drunke. that he was in his humours. 1634 Laud Wks. ... The humours of those men that do not conform. 1675 Traherne Chr. Ethics ... A wise man discards the predominancy of all humors for he is to live the life of reason, not of humor. 1715 De Foe Fam. Instruct. ... And have you really burnt all your plays to please a humour? 1770 Burke Pres. Discont. Wks. ... All which had been done was the effect not of humour, but of system. 1822 W. Irving Braceb. Hall ... The Squire receives great sympathy in his antiquated humours, from the parson.

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

'lying out of doors a day and a night' -

I think Nix is right that Sam is using ‘out of doors’ to mean ‘away from the house’. American readers may not be familiar with the British expression ‘her indoors’ to mean ‘the wife at home’, but this seems to fall within the same category of usage.

Eric Walla   Link to this

In regards to Elizabeth's furniture purchase ...

... in light of Sam bemoaning the cost of the house remodeling yesterday, does his pleased reaction indicate more that she got a bargain rather than a nice bedroom set?

Mary   Link to this

The new furniture

Sam is presumably pleased both with the price that Elizabeth paid and with the description that she gives him of her purchases. We have seen in earlier entries that a lady's chamber was not always the purely private room that we would nowadays expect it to be. We must assume that Sam would expect it to be furnished in such a way as would bring no harm to their reputation if Elizabeth should need or choose to receive visitors in her chamber.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: "So I see that religion, be it what it will, is but a humour, and so the esteem of it passeth as other things do."

What a lovely bit of observation from our boy. I collect quotes that I find particularly enlightening/funny/etc., and as soon as I read this sentence, I copied and pasted it into that file.

If only we could get the various people around the world who are fighting over religion to buy into Sam’s point of view…

JWB   Link to this

"...is but a humour" is followed in this same diary entry by "...and did give me oaths of supremacy and allegiance". This is not "lovely", this is chilling.

language hat   Link to this

oaths of supremacy and allegiance:
These are the oaths that were created after the Reformation to make sure of allegiance to the King rather than the Pope.
The Oath of Supremacy was imposed in March 1534 (26 Henry VIII, c. 1) and in Elizabeth's time ran "I, A.B., do utterly testify and declare in my conscience, that the Queen's Highness is the only supreme Governor of the Realm... as well in all Spiritual or Ecclesiastical things or causes as Temporal, &c. &c. &c. So help me God." The Catholic Encyclopedia adds: "This was not to be proposed at once to every one; but was to be taken by the clergy, and by all holding office under the Crown; by others, when asked. This moderation in exacting the oath helped to prevent an outcry against it, and enabled the Government to deal with the recalcitrant in detail. Many years elapsed, for instance, before it was imposed on the graduates of the universities."
The Oath of Allegiance was established by James I in 1606; The more important clauses are the following:--"I, A.B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, &c. that our sovereign lord, King James, is lawful and rightful King &c. and that the pope neither of himself nor by any authority of Church or See of Rome, or by any other means with any other, has any power to depose the king &c., or to authorize any foreign prince to invade him &c., or to give licence to any to bear arms, raise tumults, &c. &c. Also I do swear that notwithstanding any sentence of excommunication or deprivation I will bear allegiance and true faith to his Majesty &c. &c. And I do further swear that I do from my heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as impious and heretical this damnable doctrine and position,--that princes which be excommunicated by the pope may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or by any other whatsoever. And I do believe that the pope has no power to absolve me from this oath. I do swear according to the plain and common sense, and understanding of the same words &c. &c. &c" (3 James I, c. 4). "When the Puritan party had gained the upper hand during the civil wars, the exaction of the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance fell into desuetude, and they were repealed by the Act of February, 1650, and their place taken by an 'engagement of allegiance' to the Commonwealth... The first Parliament after the Restoration revived the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, which were taken on 14 July, 1660. The Catholics in England being at first in some favour at Court, managed, as a rule, to escape taking it."

JWB, what exactly is so "chilling" about Sam observing that religion is not as firmly established as he had once thought in the same entry as he records having taken the standard oaths of allegiance required for his position? There may be some cheap irony in the juxtaposition, but basically it sounds like life as we know it. Personally, I don't believe in government and don't like the one I've got, and yet I pay my taxes. Chilling!

It's funny, but it didn't really sink in that Sam had moved until I read "With Sir Wm. Pen by water to Whitehall..."

JWB   Link to this

Chilling...
My folks, being Quakers, left their homeland so as not to be prosecuted for refusing to swear to this re-established oath. The Presbyterian army, their protector, was being disbanded and that man on horseback, Rupert, had just returned. The Abbey held the body of the Protector, to be disenterred and savaged 3 months later. It would have been imprudent for anyone but of the Royal party,viz Pepys and associates,to be attending Vesper in that place at that time. His observation is shallow, indifferent-in a word Cavalier and to me chilling.

Mary   Link to this

Pepys and religion

The L&M Companion volume contains an excellent (and long) essay on Pepys beliefs and attitudes, based on the the reading of the whole series of diaries. Observations pertinent to today's annotations state:

"His churchmanship was of a moderate and pragmatic sort - neither 'enthusiastic' on the one hand nor high-flying on the other.........'Fanatics' - the extreme Puritan sects - he abhorred as holding beliefs that were dangerous to civil peace and offensive to common sense. At the same time, he distrusted those of the established clergy who made absurdly high claims for their authority. Londoners were often strongly anti-clerical and Pepys was no exception".

The L&M essay is a well-balanced piece that deserves reading in toto; sadly, too long to reproduce here.

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

'Londoners were often strongly anti-clerical'

So no change there then!

Roger Miller   Link to this

Vespers?

I thought Vespers was the Catholic evening service and that the equivalent in the Cburch of England was called Evensong.

tamara   Link to this

influence of the Authorized Version

did anyone else feel an echo in Pepys's line ("So I see that religion, be it what it will, is but a humour, and so the esteem of it passeth as other things do.") of Ecclesiastes?

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Vespers?
I think the OED is uncertain about this as well. They only have one quotation on which to base this definition. It's this same entry from SP.
6. Eccl.
...
b. Applied to the Evening Prayer or Evensong of the Church of England. Obs. rare.
1660 Pepys Diary 2 Oct., At Will’s I met with Mr. Spicer, and with him to the Abbey to see them at vespers.

Margaret   Link to this

Pepys had observed plaster falling from the Abbey ceiling on September 23rd "that made me and all the rest of our pew afeard." Perhaps that is why people were avoiding the Abbey. It's odd that he didn't think of it.

Bill   Link to this

VESPERS [in the Church of Rome] Evening Songs, or Evening Prayers.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

The proper time for Vespers or Even-song is six of the clock.
---A Rational Illustration of the Book of Common Prayer. C. Wheatly, 1720.

Bill   Link to this

HUMOUR (Humeur, F, of Humor, L.) Moisture, Juice; also Temper of Mind, Fancy, Whim.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

Does anyone else think it odd that Mrs. Hunt asks Sam to speak for her husband, John? Why doesn't John ask Sam to speak for him? I assume that there is some good reason why John can't speak for himself, like, maybe, he has already made some application or other and needed someone to second the application? The Hunts appear to have been friends and neighbors of both Sam and Elizabeth Pepys.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

David Quidnunc hypothesizes Hunt's wife, Elizabeth, may have helped him get his job at the Excise Office through her family connections with the Cromwells. http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/239/#c1136

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