Friday 26 October 1660

Office.

My father and Dr. Thomas Pepys dined at my house, the last of whom I did almost fox with Margate ale. My father is mightily pleased with my ordering of my house. I did give him money to pay several bills.

After that I to Westminster to White Hall, where I saw the Duke de Soissons go from his audience with a very great deal of state: his own coach all red velvet covered with gold lace, and drawn by six barbes, and attended by twenty pages very rich in clothes.

To Westminster Hall, and bought, among, other books, one of the Life of our Queen, which I read at home to my wife; but it was so sillily writ, that we did nothing but laugh at it: among other things it is dedicated to that paragon of virtue and beauty, the Duchess of Albemarle.

Great talk as if the Duke of York do now own the marriage between him and the Chancellor’s daughter.


22 Annotations

Paul Miller  •  Link

"My father and Dr. Thomas Pepys dined at my house, the last of whom I did almost fox with Margate ale".

So the Margate ale rears it's head once more almost "foxing" someone.
[Monday 7 May 1660 This morning Captain Cuttance sent me 12 bottles of Margate ale. Three of them I drank presently with some friends in the Coach.]

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Sam in a playful and sarcastic mood. What is a barbe?

ellen  •  Link

A barbe is a horse.

john lauer  •  Link

barbe: specifically, the Barberian horse, a quarter horse.

vincent  •  Link

A lesson in communication "...To Westminster Hall, and bought, among, other books, one of the Life of our Queen, which I read at home to my wife; but it was so sillily writ, that we did nothing but laugh at it: among other things it is dedicated to that paragon of virtue and beauty, the Duchess of Albemarle. ..."Always put the best spin on it. Unfortunately most of us never witness'd the tale told, first hand. I have, that is why I am such a cynic.

vincent  •  Link

The blunder buss of Hyde is out on show. Even the prince cannot escape."...Great talk as if the Duke of York do now own the marriage between him and the Chancellor's daughter…” Why is it men never think before leaping?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

I saw the Duke de Soissons go from his audience
L&M: "Recte the Comte de Soissons, French ambassador-extraordinary sent to congratulate Charles II on his restoration. The audience had been held in the Banqueting House of Whitehall; he was now returning to Somerset House."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

among, other books, one of the Life of our Queen
L&M: "John Dauncey, 'The history of the thrice illustrious Princess Henrietta Maria de Bourbon, Queen of England', just published was inscribed to 'the Paragon of Vertue and Beauty, her Grace, the Dutchesse of Aubemarle'. The epistle dedicatory ended with the prayer 'that the Rising Sun of your Graces Vertues and Honours may still soar higher, but never know a declension'. The rest of the book was in similar style. No in the PL [Pepys Library]. To most people (including Pepys) the Duchess was a slut."

Mary  •  Link

The barb(e)

A horse with a N. African blood-line, prized for both speed and endurance. The OED's first citation comes from 1636, so they are still a fairly new-fangled introduction into England. Hence Pepys' special mention of them here.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Margate ale... I you'd like to taste a VERY decent Kentish (real) ale... look for 'Bishop's Finger' or 'Spitfire'... both ancient brews by Shepeard Neame. Not quite what Samuel would have known, but quite wonderful... a toast to dear Sam!

J A Gioia  •  Link

I did almost fox with Margate ale

the oed has 'fox' as to fool or sham; 'foxed' as 'make drunk or stupefy', which is a new one on me.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Dr. Thomas Pepys dined at my house, the last of whom I did almost fox with Margate ale
I think SP finds it a bit of fun to toy with this fellow: "But I found him a weak man, and speaks the worst French that ever I heard of one that had been so long beyond sea."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/08/24/

Jim  •  Link

"The Barb is the horse of the Berbers, not the horse of the Americas."

I'm not a horse expert but it seemed to me that the horses ridden by the western tribes were descended from the horses brought by the Spanish Conquistadors... So I just did a bit of online searching and found a page about the origin of the American Mustang: "The modern horse evolved over three million years ago and then disappeared from this hemisphere 10,000 years ago. The horse returned to North America when explorers Cortes and DeSoto came mounted on magnificent Barbs from Morocco, Sorraia from Portugal and Andalusians from Spain."

So it would appear that there actually is a connection between the wild mustang and the barbe.

That comes from
http://www.imh.org/imh/bw/mustang.html#history

If I may quote a bit more from that page that contains a date just two decades away from today's Pepys entry: "The Pueblo Indians learned to ride and passed this skill on to other Indians. In 1680, the Indians revolted against the Spanish rule and the Spaniards left thousands of horses behind in their hasty retreat. The Indians could have rounded up these horses, but chose to let them run wild. It was much easier to raid the Spanish settlements and steal horses. In an effort to stop the Indian raids, the Spanish government shipped a steady flow of mounts to the New World. It was hoped that the Indians would catch the 'wild' horses and leave the Spaniards alone."

I find it fascinating to consider the wide range of information we can stumble upon from reading Pepys.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

"..among other things it is dedicated to that paragon of virtue and beauty, the Duchess of Albemarle"

This is an ironic expression from Pepys, as the Duchess of Albemarle was widely known as vulgar and homely woman. She was originally part of the lower-class, and after managing to become a duchess, was regarded with derision by those of the upper-class.

vincent  •  Link

A phrase I remember when I was a tot :"... Hell brakes loose when the Under Maide marries the Lord" or sumert likes thart. "...She was originally part of the lower-class, and after managing to become a duchess, was regarded with derision by those of the upper-class.
..."

Mary  •  Link

that paragon of virtue and beauty...

Pepys seems to be developing a taste for irony; only eight days ago he referred to Mrs. Blackburne as a 'high dame' in similar vein.

Jesse  •  Link

"but it was so sillily writ"

Perhaps it was meant to be?

wisteria53  •  Link

"fox" was the Word of the Day (http://www.oed.com/cgi/display/wotd) from the OED for Saturday 3 November 2007, with today's diary cited for definition 2a:

2. a. trans. To intoxicate, befuddle. Also (?nonce-use), to redden (one's nose) with drinking.

1611 [TARLTON] Jests (1844) 21 Before they parted they foxt Tarlton at the Castle in Pater Noster Row. 1649 W. BLITHE Eng. Improv. Impr. (1652) 258 It [Cider] serves as well..for men to fox their noses. 1660 PEPYS Diary 26 Oct., The last of whom I did almost fox with Margate ale. a1734 NORTH Exam. II. iv. §41 (1740) 251 Mr. Atkins was..at Greenwich, and there, at an Entertainment of some Ladies, soundly foxed, the Attorney General threw up.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Barb horse or Berber horse (Arabic: حصان بربري) is a northern African breed with great hardiness and stamina. The Barb generally possesses a fiery temperament and an atypical sport-horse conformation, but nevertheless has influenced modern breeds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barb_horse

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Methinks "the Life of our Queen" (the late King's widow) Samuel bought and over which he and Bess laughed shows it's "sillily writ" on its face. Consider the (pretensions) Renaissance coding in the title that calls her "thrice illustrious," suggesting Trismegistus (Ancient Greek: Τρισμέγιστος, "thrice-greatest") and the Holy Trinity itself.

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