Friday 2 August 1661

At the office all the morning. At noon Dr. Thos. Pepys dined with me, and after dinner my brother Tom came to me and then I made myself ready to get a-horseback for Cambridge. So I set out and rode to Ware, this night, in the way having much discourse with a fellmonger, a Quaker, who told me what a wicked man he had been all his life-time till within this two years. Here I lay, and… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

15 Annotations

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"what a wicked man he had been all his life-time till within this two years" Amazing Grace how sweet thy sound, well maybe tomorrow

L Crichton   Link to this

I'm intrigued - what a pity Sam didn't record some of this man's tales of wickedness! but, yes, maybe tomorrow.
It sounds as if the fellmonger is boasting and has a kind of perverse pride in his extreme badness, if he will relate these stories to a stranger he meets on the road. Of course he is now a reformed character and so can look back on his old life with a new superiority.

Tristan   Link to this

It seems some things never change :)

niamh   Link to this

what does he mean by a horseback for Cambridge?
Is he planning to go to Cambridge and looking for a horse or is it a type of carriage?

Terry   Link to this

Niamh: to get a-horseback for Cambridge. Sam simply means "to ride to Cambridge". "A-" in this case means "on", as in "afoot" or "afire".

vicente   Link to this

re: horsing it: His first trip he borows a Mr Blaytons nag,[horse] then wears hole in boot,[ must not get feet wet, chasing the kings deer in Epping forest????]
1st trip 24th feb to 28th wears out boot: tells of of borrowing a nag
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/02/24/
and had some red herrings to our breakfast, while my boot-heel was a-mending, by the same token the boy left the hole as big as it was before
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/02/28/
tells how he sellects his mount.
picks nag
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/02/23/
Then he has sock problem even after buying special riding boots, on another trip
gets good boots and poste house
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/07/06/
wrong socks http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/08/02/

Glyn   Link to this

He is even more worried about the inheritance than I had thought, and is acting much more decisively than I would have expected.

As I see it, he wants to consult with his cousin the lawyer Thomas Pepys, so yesterday he went to the Assizes to find out which court he is currently in. And then, rather than wait for him to return to London he has decided to ride to Cambridge to get his legal advice.

That's several more days that he is not at work - has anyone calculated how many days' work he has lost so far?

But then we get the part of Pepys' character that is constantly curious about other people. Speaking personally, if a born-again Christian was next to me on a journey for several hours I would have no curiosity about hearing of their life; but Pepys will happily ride along with someone from a lower class and soak up their life-experiences, which is why he seems to know a wider range of people than I do (and have a more interesting diary).

vicente   Link to this

FELLMONGER:
A fellmonger was a remover of hair or wool from hides in leather making.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mcneil...

dirk   Link to this

Fellmonger

Can also mean "dealer in hides and skins esp. sheep".
Ref. background info:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/329/#c9600

Josh   Link to this

I don't know, Glyn---I think even I could put up with, say, John Bunyan for an hour if he happened along. Who knows? Perhaps the chronicle of transgressions featured sins of particular interest to Sam. And every experience can be turned into a Diary entry.

vicente   Link to this

Dirk: Ah! hair splitting, every apprentice has to start somewhere and if he is good at the Job, would not want to share a hide, and be skinned by the Middleman.
Every Traveller faces the the problem of one that has a rattling tongue.He even had a similar experience from Pom to Petersfield,"... having nothing more of trouble in all my journey, but the exceeding unmannerly and most epicure-like palate of Mr. Creed..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/05/03/

vicente   Link to this

Re: entries on out of town excursions are limited to notes taken and remembered. Then entered later?

Louise Hudson   Link to this

As for Sam's willingness to chat with almost anyone--it's amazing what a person might do who has no Internet, no radio, telephone, television or movies--not even a paperback novel to while away the hours. We'd all happily talk to our traveling companions if we lived under those conditions. Most people were probably starved for connection, conversation and entertainment most of the day. A completely different world than we live in today.

Sasha Clarkson   Link to this

"... much discourse with a fellmonger, a Quaker ..."

Even today, I often chat with accidental travel companions on trains, planes etc. The eye-contact (or lack of it) determines whether discourse is desired.

From the context, it seems that the fellmonger may have been rather older than Sam, so the conversation might have been about rather more than his sins. Many early Quakers were ex-Cromwellian soldiers who renounced violence in the light of their experiences. Like many Independents, they tended to be literate artisans with a trade. Sam was always interested in the details of how tradesmen worked too, partly for his own professional reasons.

GrannieAnnie   Link to this

Louise Hudson seems to have hit the nail on the head: today we struggle to decrease the interruptions, advertisements, news and noise intruding on our day hardly leaving us clear time to think, where as 1600's folk must have been hungry for news from any source especially when traveling.

Recently I was driving fast through the countryside but came to a hill behind an Amish horse drawn buggy which dropped my speed to a slow crawl since there was no place to pass. I put the car window down to enjoy the horse's clop-clop besides having plentry of time to study the landscape and got to thinking "this speed is the fastest most of the world traveled for centuries." It almost seemed like time had stopped, which was fine for 10 minutes but I'd be craving some sensory stimulation if a long trip was that slow.

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