This day I went to my Lord, and about many other things at Whitehall, and there made even my accounts with Mr. Shepley at my Lord’s, and then with him and Mr. Moore and John Bowles to the Rhenish wine house, and there came Jonas Moore, the mathematician, to us, and there he did by discourse make us fully believe that England and France were once the same continent, by very good arguments, and spoke very many things, not so much to prove the Scripture false as that the time therein is not well computed nor understood. From thence home by water, and there shifted myself into my black silk suit (the first day I have put it on this year), and so to my Lord Mayor’s by coach, with a great deal of honourable company, and great entertainment. At table I had very good discourse with Mr. Ashmole, wherein he did assure me that frogs and many insects do often fall from the sky, ready formed. Dr. Bates’s singularity in not rising up nor drinking the King’s nor other healths at the table was very much observed. From thence we all took coach, and to our office, and there sat till it was late; and so I home and to bed by day-light. This day was kept a holy-day through the town; and it pleased me to see the little boys walk up and down in procession with their broom-staffs in their hands, as I had myself long ago gone.1
- Pepys here refers to the perambulation of parishes on Holy Thursday, still observed. This ceremony was sometimes enlivened by whipping the boys, for the better impressing on their minds the remembrance of the day, and the boundaries of the parish, instead of beating houses or stones. But this would not have harmonized well with the excellent Hooker’s practice on this day, when he “always dropped some loving and facetious observations, to be remembered against the next year, especially by the boys and young people.” Amongst Dorsetshire customs, it seems that, in perambulating a manor or parish, a boy is tossed into a stream, if that be the boundary; if a hedge, a sapling from it is applied for the purpose of flagellation.—B.