Tuesday 27 November 1660

To Whitehall, where I found my Lord gone abroad to the Wardrobe, whither he do now go every other morning, and do seem to resolve to understand and look after the business himself.

From thence to Westminster Hall, and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed. At the Hall I met with Mr. Creed, and he and I to Hell to drink our morning draught, and so to my Lord’s again, where I found my wife, and she and I dined with him and my Lady, and great company of my Lord’s friends, and my Lord did show us great respect.

Soon as dinner was done my wife took her leave, and went with Mr. Blackburne and his wife to London to a christening of a Brother’s child of his on Tower Hill.

And I to a play, “The Scorn-full Lady.”

And that being done, I went homewards, and met Mr. Moore, who had been at my house, and took him to my father’s, and we three to Standing’s to drink. Here Mr. Moore told me how the House had this day voted the King to have all the Excise for ever.

This day I do also hear that the Queen’s going to France is stopt, which do like me well, because then the King will be in town the next month, which is my month again at the Privy Seal. From thence home, where when I come I do remember that I did leave my boy Waineman at Whitehall with order to stay there for me in the court, at which I was much troubled, but about 11 o’clock at night the boy came home well, and so we all to bed.

38 Annotations

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

'The Scornful Lady' by Beaumont and Fletcher, first produced in 1616, features a serving maid called 'Abigail' - I think this is the origin of the use of the word as a generic name for a maidservant.

vincent   Link to this

"...Here Mr. Moore told me how the House had this day voted the King to have all the Excise for ever..." A very important piece of legislation , I do beleive. Carte blanche to all the taxes[revenue that is ].

Ruben   Link to this

Abigail was one of King David's wifes. She had an outstanding personality and is extensively quoted in the Bible. I am sure that in SP's time every learned person in the Kingdom knew this Bible story.
Following I quote from the Bible the most interesting part. It is a litttle long, but it explains a lot about her personality. Consider that in those days a lady would better keep her thougths to herself...
In verse 24 you may find the reason for a maid to be called Abigail.
1 Samuel 25
1: And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2: And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3: Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
4: And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
5: And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
6: And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
7: And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
8: Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
9: And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
10: And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
11: Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
12: So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
13: And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
14: But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.
15: But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields:
16: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17: Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
18: Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
19: And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
20: And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
21: Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.
22: So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
23: And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
24: And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
25: Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
26: Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
27: And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
28: I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
29: Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
30: And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;
31: That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
32: And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
33: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
34: For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
35: So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
36: And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
37: But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38: And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
39: And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head, And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.
40: And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee to take thee to him to wife.
41: And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
42: And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.

Mary   Link to this

"one of his footmen killed"

Road rage is not a new phenomenon: it just has a new name.

andy   Link to this

"except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."

Doncha love the old testament?

helena murphy   Link to this

Thank you Ruben,that is a lovely story and thanks to all the other annotators who help to make the site so entertaining.

Steve   Link to this

"- and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed."

Fatal RTA, traffic backed up. The morning rush hour has always been dangerous and frustrating.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"a falling out ... and one of his footmen killed"
We should remark not so much the dispute but that it led to fatal violence, that doubtless will have no further consequences.
It was only nine years earlier that, in Leviathan, Hobbes described life as "Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (which has always seemed to me the ideal name for a City law firm). The police force will not be invented (by Sir Robert Peel) for 225 years, nor the concept of a proper judicial inqurity for some other long time.

Gary J. Bivin   Link to this

"which do like, me well"
I assume that the comma is splurious. Our Sam is well pleased at the prospect of being on stage when the Big Boss is around.

language hat   Link to this

The police force will not be invented for 225 years:
Yes, I read a novel set in the 17th century in which the protagonist was set upon in the street at night and reflected that if the night watch happened to be anywhere near and heard the commotion, they would certainly hasten elsewhere, having no wish to get mixed up in an altercation. The concept that private violence was a public concern took a long time to get established.

Glyn   Link to this

No further consequences? On the contrary, I imagine that the murderer will shortly be carted to Tyburn Gallows to dance the rope fandango.

A while ago Language Hat posted a link to the trials at the Old Bailey courthouse. It was just after Pepys time but a long time before the creation of the Police Force:

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/

If you have a particularly trivial mind you can type your name or surname in and see if anything comes up (nothing interesting for me).

And Phil has put a whole section about the laws of the time in the Reference Section at:

http://www.pepysdiary.com/background/?c=law

By the way, David Smith - did you notice that Sam took your advice about the paintings, and a few days later went to buy some more - but his wife was with him this time!

Ruben   Link to this

Andy:
"those who pissed against the wall" are males: men + dogs. The intention is: I will kill not only Nabal and his men but also his beasts (his possesions). This very graphic expression repeats itself in other parts of the Bible and is part ot its greatness.

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

Ruben - thanks for the extra info. That story had obviously escaped me!

Peter   Link to this

Poor young Waineman must be wondering what he has got involved in. Sam is getting into a habit of telling him to wait somewhere and then forgetting all about him (see 21st October). At least Waineman has the sense to give up and make his own way home after a decent period.

Conrad   Link to this

It is jumping to conclusions to say that the Drayman is a murderer. The footman may have been killed in the accident. The difference of opinion between the Drayman & the Coachman may well be over right of way, excessive speed, etc.

john lauer   Link to this

"...which do like, me well,"
was perhaps "which do like I well", after misreading the "I" as a comma, and inserting "me" to make some (less grammatical) sense of it. Oh, to see the original!

vincent   Link to this

"...This day I do also hear that the Queen's going to France is stopt, which do like, me well, because then the King will be in town the next month…” I do believe, he means it is a good idea , Queen has a good influence on son Chas.

vincent   Link to this

"...in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield's coachman, and one of his footmen killed….” ‘Tis like arguing of a trucker with the chauffer of a Roller. ‘Tis a shame, that SP does not inform us of the out-come of this meeting of minds and limbs {mud, mud everywhere and the beer? must get to the pub!..}

vincent   Link to this

From Glyn's lead: here is one account of accident ending in only a branding
William Crow, for that he driving an empty Cart with 4 Horses the Fore-Horse did strike and throw the Deceased to the Ground, and the near Wheel of the Cart ran over the Small Part of the Deceased's Back, of which she instantly died
http://hri.shef.ac.uk/db/bailey/gtrial.jsp?id=t...

Ruben   Link to this

may be that if the King is out of town there is no bussiness in the Privy Seal, and no money and other gratuities or benefits will come in SP's hands.

Mary   Link to this

'which do like, me well'

Wherever it came from, the comma appears entirely spurious. 'It do like I well' makes no grammatical sense at all; this impersonal construction using 'like' to mean 'please' already exists in Anglo-Saxon, remains current throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries (many instances in Shakespeare) and does not completely disappear from general use until the 19th Century

Peter   Link to this

Like Ruben, I also assumed that Sam's reasons for being pleased that the King would stay in town were selfish. The Privy Seal money is probably a factor, but I wonder if Sam also sees it as an opportunity to shine and be noticed ...possibly even by the King himself.

john lauer   Link to this

The point is that the subject is "I", not the queen's stopping, "which I do like well", to use non-Shakespearean word-order, Mary.

Mary   Link to this

'which do like me well

It's worth noting that the L&M edition at this point gives: " which doth like me well." This seems a more convincing reading all round; the comma has disappeared and 'do' has become'doth', taking us back to more typical 17th Century idiom.

language hat   Link to this

"The point is that the subject is 'I'"
john: You're misunderstanding 17th-century use. They didn't say "I like it," they said "it liketh me" (with "me" in what is traditionally called the dative, ie = "to me"; cf "He gave me the book").

Jenny Dought   Link to this

The Germans still use this dative form for some things. If you want to say you're hot, you say 'Es ist mir heiss', which literally means 'it is to me cold'. If you say 'ich bin heiss', which makes more sense to an English speaker, you're making a different statement altogether (and if you're female and unaccompanied, don't say it to a man).

Kevin Peter   Link to this

I had to look up what a drayman was. So here's the definition according to www.onelook.com in case you are in the same situation.

Drayman
(n.) A man who attends a dray.

Dray

noun: a low heavy horse cart without sides; used for haulage

name: A surname (rare: 1 in 100000 families; popularity rank in the U.S.: #14081)

Grahamt   Link to this

A drayman:
I guess all the Brits had assumed, like me, that a drayman was the same then as now. The guy that delivers the barrels of beer to the pub.

Pedro   Link to this

On this day 28th November…

Allin has sailed from Algiers…

"About noon we were frightened. The cooper going to stave an empty cask in my storeroom of the Purser's, wherein had been aqua vitae, a candle in one hand and his adze in the other, a piece of snare dropped upon a piece of cork that tumbled into the cask and fired, he presently clapped a poor-jack upon the bunghole and called out fire, but it was out before anyone came to his assistance, although all people were ready with wet cloths and buckets of water, but it much troubled me for the frightening of My Lord and Lady "

(Journal of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Rainer Doehle   Link to this

A few days ago, on 12 November, Samuel was dining in Heaven, today he is in Hell. That's a remarkable decline. There were three alehouses at Westminster called "Heaven", "Purgatory", and "Hell", obviously referring to one another: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/188/

So remember, it's just a very short way from Heaven to Hell.

cgs   Link to this

re:
"...there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed...."
Besides committing Manslaughter the "poor illiterate "lawyerless" one, the Drayman violated the privileges of a Laudly one and it would have gotten the deliveryman a spell on tyburnes limb even if he failed to even wound the becostumed man.
just a thought.

Gerald Berg   Link to this

Let me get this straight. David tries a shake down on Nabal and foolishly Nabal tells the henchmen to take a hike. Abigail realizes the mistake and tries to make amends. David likes the way she handles herself and sure enough Nabal winds up dead a few days later. Like we're supposed to believe God killed him? Then Abigail cuts the only deal a widow in her situation can and marries the local creep. Good thing she had her looks! God be blessed. Then again, Nabal was from that low life Caleb clan so it was all for the better anyways. What a terrible story and lousy moral!

Tonyel   Link to this

Excellent précis, Gerald. Whether it's Nabal or the drayman, the idea of the meek inheriting the earth has never really caught on, has it?

Nate Lockwood   Link to this

"the meek inheriting the earth" is analogous to "when hell freezes over" is it not?.

MarkS   Link to this

On the story of Nabal:

a) David was not a Christian, so the comments about the meek inheriting the earth are not relevant. This is the Old Testament, not the New - there is a big difference.
b) There is a lot more to the story if you understand some of the cultural subtleties.

A couple of links:

Nabal on Wikipeda
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabal

A good line-by-line commentary which brings out details which may be unclear to a modern reader
http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0925.htm

Tonyel   Link to this

Thanks Mark, but perhaps I should have made it clearer that this was a mild joke. I don't take any sort of superstition very seriously.

MarkS   Link to this

Tonyel, this is not about our own belief systems, either yours or those of any other modern commentators. Nor do I think this is an appropriate forum to advocate personal convictions about the nature of reality.

This about understanding historical texts, beliefs, concepts, and attitudes - especialy those of Pepys' time, but also those more generally related to it.

Every single writer, from the Middle Ages up to at least the middle of the 20th century, was familiar with the Bible and took it for granted that all his readers were equally familiar with it. So many references and allusions were not explicit. It was expected that readers would simply understand them.

For that reason alone, anyone wanting a reasonable knowledge of Western literature, history or culture should read the Bible at some stage. This has nothing to do with belief. It is a vital historical text for understanding the history of the past.

We couldn't possibly understand ancient Greek literature without having some understanding of ancient Greek mythology. That that doesn't mean that we have to believe ancient Greek mythology. It's the same with the Bible. It's a vital text for understanding the whole of Western culture.

Also, theology played such a pivotal role throughtout Western history that one has to understand some of the theological issues in order to have a good understanding of history.

The biggest single issue in 17th century Europe was the rift between between Catholics and Protestants. How can one possibly understand the history of the times without understanding the details of what the beliefs and issues were?

Even such a 'scientist' as Sir Isaac Newton was a deeply religious Christian his whole life. Newton spent far more time and energy writing about mystical interpretations of the Bible than he ever did on science or mathematics.

It's all very well to say, "Oh, I'm ever so superior in my understanding of reality than they were (at least, in so far as my currently evolved ape-brain allows me to understand the nature of reality at all)". But that doesn't get us anywhere in terms of understanding Western history, philosophy, literature, art, and culture.

Tonyel   Link to this

MarkS, I don't disagree about the relevance of religion in the 17thC. However, I was merely using the line about the meek as a familiar cliché in the 21stC. Just because David was not a Christian doesn't make it irrelevant - although it's getting less and less amusing.
Perhaps we should not take up any more annotation space on this.

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