Monday 31 December 1660

At the office all the morning and after that home, and not staying to dine I went out, and in Paul’s Church-yard I bought the play of “Henry the Fourth,” and so went to the new Theatre (only calling at Mr. Crew’s and eat a bit with the people there at dinner) and saw it acted; but my expectation being too great, it did not please me, as otherwise I believe it would; and my having a book, I believe did spoil it a little.

That being done I went to my Lord’s, where I found him private at cards with my Lord Lauderdale and some persons of honour. So Mr. Shepley and I over to Harper’s, and there drank a pot or two, and so parted. My boy taking a cat home with him from my Lord’s, which Sarah had given him for my wife, we being much troubled with mice.

At Whitehall inquiring for a coach, there was a Frenchman with one eye that was going my way, so he and I hired the coach between us and he set me down in Fenchurch Street. Strange how the fellow, without asking, did tell me all what he was, and how he had ran away from his father and come into England to serve the King, and now going back again.

Home and to bed.

35 Annotations

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Probably Henry IV, Part I

L&M say Killigrew's company staged Part I, according to one source. There were nine editions of the play published since Shakespeare wrote it in 1598 and 1639.

Just today, a friend of mine arranged to stay with me when he visits New York to see a current performance of the play (combination of Parts 1 & 2, as it's usually presented nowadays) at Lincoln Center. Some things change, some remain the same. Apparently, chimes at midnight are part of one of the plays -- appropriate for the last day of the year.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

A description of Henry IV, parts 1 and 2
from Playbill (28 November):

"The work focuses on the familial, royal and political conflicts surrounding Henry Bolingbroke, the king, who usurped the crown from Richard II (all detailed in Shakespeare's Richard II). Prince Hal, the king's son, is a callow youth who hangs out with a group of jolly reprobates led by Falstaff, a corpulent, cowardly, but quick-witted and endearing lush. All the while, however, Hal privately vows to himself that he will one day mend his ways and assume the throne.

"Meanwhile, that throne is beset upon from all sides. The woebegone Henry IV, trying to defuse the hot-blooded Henry Percy—son of the Earl of Northumberland, and known as Hotspur—instead inspires a rebellion led by Hotspur and including his father the Earl; his uncle, the vain and ambitious Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester; as well as the Welsh warrior Owen Glendower and the Scottish Earl of Douglas. The ensuing conflict calls Hal to his senses and an unwilling Falstaff to arms. Hal and his father reconcile, and the conflict eventually leads to a battle to the death between Hal and Hotspur. At the same time, Hal must resolve the battle for his affections, choosing between his real father and the surrogate one he has found in Falstaff. ..."

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/83033.html

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Correction

In the first annotation above, I meant to say:

"There were nine editions of the play published between 1598 and 1639."

Pepys will see the play again in 1661, 1667 and 1668, according to the L&M Index.

daniel   Link to this

what a delight it is to read something like this! Sam's description of the one-eyed frenchman shows a remarkable power of observation better than many of today's writers. twice as entertaining as it intends to entertain no one

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"but my expectation being too great, it did not please me, as otherwise I believe it would; and my having a book, I believe did spoil it a little."

Ah, how often are we prisoners of our expectations! Sam learns a valuable lesson ... better to just sit back, suspend disbelief (and expectations) and enjoy the show.

David, I can see both Kline (who's a fantastic actor ... he did the best Hamlet I've ever seen) and Hawke in those roles ... yeah, EH is a bit more of a surprise, but he's done quite a bit of stage work, so I would bet he's up for this role.

Finally, as this first year of Sam's life with us draws to a close, I'd like to thank Phil -- you RAWK, dude -- and all of you amazing annotators for much enlightenment and enjoyment throughout 2003. I'm really looking forward to the next nine years ... lots of exciting stuff ahead.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, everyone!

Pauline   Link to this

Todd, my message comes from the old year
Out here on the further edge of things it is four hours 'til we enter Year 2P.

But Sam just bought the playbook! How can this spoil the performance he goes to immediately thereafter? Anyone know if he ever mentions Shakespeare by name?

Yes! Phil "RAWKS"! Health and happiness to all you fellow Pepysters for the coming nine years -- and beyond.

Scarabaeus pilularius   Link to this

Please anot: "Rawk": I just hope that my be-knobbled stick will keep me watching and that I don't need a physick !
'tuther wise have great and prosperous novus annus one and all.

vincent   Link to this

31: I gave God thankes for his many signal mercies to my selfe Church & Nation this wonderfulle Yeare:

John Evelyn [diarist]seems to have recognise this day as years end.

vincent   Link to this

"new year": this be strange too: dec 30 /31 1660
towards the morning of 31. I found a lamb in my field our first this year, Toms sheep lambed. Jan: 4th. from Josselyn of Essex: It appears that jan 1st is new year by some but not by the Officialdom.

Mary   Link to this

When does the new year start?

According to L&M's introduction to Vol. I of the diary, although the year ran from March 25th (Lady Day) to March 24th for all legal purposes (and would continue to do so until 1752) the general custom was to accept January 1st as the beginning of the year. This is reflected in the way that Pepys notes the dates between January 1st and March 25th, e.g. January 1659/60, with the figures 59 and 60 displayed to resemble a vulgar fraction, one above the other.

The L&M edition has chosen to show this split-year form only at the beginning of the entries for the month of January.

Mary   Link to this

The one-eyed Frenchman.

We think of Sam as a pretty gregarious fellow, but it's amusing to note that he displays the same instinct for reserve that we, modern Englishmen, are accused of displaying when it comes to being buttonholed by a complete stranger and treated to unexpectedly intimate personal revelations.

For the Frenchman, the agreement to share a coach constituted some form of introduction; for Sam it clearly didn't.

helen   Link to this

When does the new year start?

Here's how Sam started the diary exactly one year ago: "Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health ..."

I've just been a lurker all year, but this site means a lot to me. Thanks to Phil and to all the annotators. This truly is the Web at its best -- a Net of interconnected information surrounding and supporting the splendid original.

Kevin Sheerstone   Link to this

When does the New Year start?
I am trying to follow the diary using a one-volume version named "Everybody's Pepys", edited by O.F.Morshead, and based on the Wheatley edition. The entry for Dec. 31 mentions the play, but makes no reference to either the cat or the one-eyed Frenchman. The last paragraph of the entry begins:"At the end of the last and the beginning of this year..."(a brief summary of his domestic arrangements follows). The last sentence reads:"I take myself now to be worth 300 pounds clear in money, and all my goods and all manner of debts paid, which are none at all".
It seems that Sam, so far as his personal affairs are concerned, takes this to be year's end.

Mary   Link to this

Pepys summary of his year end/start situation.

The passage that Kevin mentions appears in the L&M edition as a foreword to the diary for 1661. No doubt Phil will 'publish' it together with the entry for January 1st.

Thanks to everyone (most especially to Phil) who has made this such a terrific site over the past 12 months. We've all learnt a great deal and made many new friends whilst enjoying it. Best wishes to everyone for another happy year of daily fixes of Pepys and his world.

David A.Smith   Link to this

"Strange how the fellow, without asking, did tell me all what he was"
Isn't that a perfect unwitting description of Sam's relation to us, even across a 343-year gap: without asking, he tells us all that he was?
From where I sit, it is now 2004. Happy New Year to all of us, most especially to Phil Gyford, for:
* Genius in establishing the site (a definitive retro-blog, a truly new innovation in Web culture).
* Fidelity in posting it every day (rain, shine, or ISP crashes).
* Grace in creating the annotation climate (as Helen said, the Web at its best).
So with Mary, and on behalf of all us Pepys-o-philes worldwide, I raise an electronic champagne glass to toast:
Here's to you, Phil -- Happy New Year.

vincent   Link to this

I thought the slash 59/60 was a retrofit for the "johnny come latelys"
who would be upset with new year starting under IRS rules {take yer pick: Inland Revenue S or Internal revenuers S} april 5th/15th after
it rains in Portugal.

helena murphy   Link to this

I daresay had it been a one eyed French woman come to London to serve the king the "reserved Pepys "would have found it by far more thrilling!Happy New Year to Phil Gyford and all the other readers and annotators of the site.

Emilio   Link to this

Here's a neat link with information about Killigrew's company - seemingly the drama behind the stage was at least as good as the performances themselves.

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_se/murray/Rest...

The page is part of a site that provides an astonishing amount of info about Restoration drama - the companies, theatres, critics, and playwrights.

diphi   Link to this

Let me add my toast to Phil and all the Friends of Pepys. I've been reading daily since the beginning, and the joy of the diary itself is only matched by the pleasure of the annotations. I feel like I know you all, and I look forward to the next nine years with you. The best of new years to you all, and especially to Phil!

Hip Hip...

A. De Araujo   Link to this

I have been reading it daily since day 1,after I read a review of Tomalin's book in the New York Times ;in it the reviewer quoted some naughty writings in a mix of spanish and latin and french;so I am still waiting for them;I have even accessed the site by satelite in the boondocks of Brazil.
To all of the readers a very Happy New Year and to Phil a special thank you

Alan Bedford   Link to this

Thanks, Emilio, for the link to background info on the politics and economics of Restoration theatre.

... and to Phil and the rest of you Annotators, who make this site deserving of the Guardian's recent award.

Bradford   Link to this

Ah, who of the merry band that started reading the site a year ago tomorrow (or catching up a few days later) could have guessed how far our acquaintance with Mr. Pepys would lead us? To all those, and the many who have swelled the ranks of enthusiasts since, may it please GOD to send us another such twelvemonth in 2004/1660-61!

Nigel Pond   Link to this

One-eyed Frenchman...

The equivalent of our "nutter on the bus"?

Grahamt   Link to this

...with one eye that was going my way...
The comma can't have been too popular in Sam's time: If one eye is going his way, where was the other going?

Alan Bedford   Link to this

Graham: That role would have been played by the late Marty Feldman. http://www.cmgww.com/stars/feldman/photo1.html (Sorry, Phil. I couldn't resist...)

Glyn   Link to this

Who was Sarah, and are cats really any good at keeping the mice population down - or is that just an urban myth? It might catch a few but surely it couldn't get them all?

Bradford   Link to this

What game soul will volunteer to research late-17th century English mousetraps?

vincent   Link to this

And are cats really any good at keeping the mice pop. down or
She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous
Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Of smale houndes hadde she that she fedde
With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed.
But soore wepte she if oon of hem were deed.
The Canterbury Tales

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the previous century, wrote an Epistolary Satire based on the story of the town mouse and the country mouse, translated from a work by Petrarch, but the nearest thing to a mouse trap in it was a cat! You can read the whole thing on http://oldpoetry.com/poetry/27585

dirk   Link to this

"of mice and men"

On mousetraps and their history, see (and enjoy):
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl...
http://www.themut.com/site/exhibit/mousetrapess...

vincent   Link to this

Chaucer did record mouse trap? Now the the patent may have been latter recorded signed and sealed .. Many times the patent writer is not the originator of the idea. As in W.C. [water closet] and many other ideas. But for prosterity it is the man with the lucid latinise/legal words duely filed with the proper legal houses of Seal. [publish or perish]
As for the Cat, it might catch 'em but it had to be taught to kill its catch by another cat. One cat that prowld our yard, like to leave the victim as a peace offering or a thank you for a nice lick of milk that it had filtch.

Laura K   Link to this

cats, mice, henry iv and happy new year

In reverse order.

Being unable to access the site, I missed all the Happy New Years and good wishes, but I certainly want to add mine to the bunch. Here's to many more years reading and commenting together!

A cat will indeed solve your mouse problems, first by direct assault, later by deterrent. It's no myth.

And the Henry IV now playing in New York, featuring Kevin Kline and Ethan Hawke, among others, is superb. If you haven't seen Ethan Hawke in a film adaptation of Hamlet, do rent it. It's very powerful. Hawke is among the younger generation of actors doing well with Shakespeare, along with Liev Schriber.

dirk   Link to this

Chaucer's mousetrap

Vincent is right: Chaucer mentions a mousetrap (obviously a deadly mechanical device of some sort) in the prologue to the Canterbury Tales - the part about the Prioress:

143 She was so charitable and so pitous
144 She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous
145 Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.

Translation:
143 She was so charitable and piteous
144 That she would weep if she but saw a mouse
145 Caught in a trap, though it were dead or bled.

Pedro   Link to this

The return of the Kinsale.

On th 11th Sam says...

"This last tide the Kingsale was also run aboard and lost her mainmast, by another ship, which makes us think it ominous to the Guiny voyage, to have two of her ships spoilt before they go out."

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/12/11/#ann...

On this day the repairs have been completed and the Kinsale joins Holmes at Portsmouth for his first West African adventure.

Chris Squire UK   Link to this

David Quidnunc 1 Jan 2004:

Henry IV, part 2 | Act 3, Scene 2:

‘ . . SHALLOW
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that
this knight and I have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well?

FALSTAFF
We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW
That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith,
Sir John, we have: our watch-word was 'Hem boys!'
Come, let's to dinner; come, let's to dinner:
Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.

Exeunt FALSTAFF and Justices . .

http://shakespeare.mit.edu/2henryiv/2henryiv.3....

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