Saturday 7 September 1661

At the office all the morning. At noon Mr. Moore dined with me, and then in comes Wm. Joyce to answer a letter of mine I wrote this morning to him about a maid of his that my wife had hired, and she sent us word that she was hired to stay longer with her master, which mistake he came to clear himself of; and I took it very kindly. So I having appointed the young ladies at the Wardrobe to go with them to a play to-day, I left him and my brother Tom who came along with him to dine, and my wife and I took them to the Theatre, where we seated ourselves close by the King, and Duke of York, and Madame Palmer, which was great content; and, indeed, I can never enough admire her beauty. And here was “Bartholomew Fayre,” with the puppet-show, acted to-day, which had not been these forty years (it being so satyricall against Puritanism, they durst not till now, which is strange they should already dare to do it, and the King do countenance it), but I do never a whit like it the better for the puppets, but rather the worse.

Thence home with the ladies, it being by reason of our staying a great while for the King’s coming, and the length of the play, near nine o’clock before it was done, and so in their coach home, and still in discontent with my wife, to bed, and rose so this morning also.

14 Annotations

Josh  •  Link

O ye Sons of Ben: what it is with the puppets in "B. Fair"?---a scene which seems to escape my memory (no hard task).
Perhaps one reason Samuel is reluctant to engage with Elizabeth directly is that he knows (remember the incident of the torn letters that Tomalin highlights) that she is an equal match for him, seventeenth-century wife or no.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam's Bad Day...

Have to be polite to that worthless, no good Will Joyce (fake smile)...Miserable, lousy puppets (Can't kick em with the Sandwich kids about, damn...)...Beth not takin' my gentle, humorous, morosely sulking hints about not going.

And she still hasn't told me anything about it!!! #$%&$!!!

And so, to bed...(Sigh from across bed..."Saaaammm'lll..."

Stop making those French vowel sounds, Beth...Ummn...You're shaking my vow to sulk for two days...Bethie, stop now...)

vicente  •  Link

He,[Sam] the girls and then his ex girl friend.
The small talk would have been nice to over hear.
"...I can never enough admire her beauty..." Palmer that is. Oh! what thoughts?
"...and still in discontent with my wife, to bed, and rose so this morning also..."[no couch?]
he writes this in minutes,then a civil letter regarding new maid [ strange to get one from a household that is not on his A list. Was Liz getting even? Not unlike mum when she picks a new maid that does not cut the mustard with Pops.

helena murphy  •  Link

Today's entry shows the easing of censorship in the arts as well as the affection with which the king is held,due in a sense to his proximity to the people. Incidentally,the traditon of puppet theatre is alive and well today in the city of Prague ,I having recently attended a puppet performance of Don Giovanni while there.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"still in discontent with my wife, to bed, and rose so"
Concur with Robert, Sam is sorely vexed at Elizabeth's impending departure (for where?), which she apparently announed several days ago and *still* has not undertaken. By now Elizxabeth must surely know Sam is out of sorts, yet (apparently) she remains resolute. Stay tuned ...

steve h  •  Link

The Puppet SHow in Bartholomew Fair

is truly hilarious, and ends up with a Puritan preacher (Zeal-of-the-Land Busy) who attacks the theatre as lascivious, getting in a debate with a puppet. A wicked satire on Puritans, maybe too close to Pepys's former life for comfort.

A quote:

Busy: "Yes, and my maine argument against you, is, that you
are an abomination: for the Male, among you, putteth on the apparell
of the Female, and the Female of the Male.


Puppet: "It is your old stale argument against the Players, but it will not
hold against the Puppets; for we have neyther Male nor Female amongst
us. And that thou may'st see!"

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

In this case we can see that Sam put in his diary entry on the day after. It is possible that most of the times he wrote them in the mornings.

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Probably the Puppet Show was too postmodern for Sam. As Selden characterizes it in *Table-Talk*:

"Ben Johnson Satyrically express'd the vain
Disputes of Divines by Inigo Lanthorne, disputing with his puppet in a
Bartholomew Fair. It is so; It is not so: It is so, It is not so, crying thus
one to another a quarter of an Hour together."

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

Selden's reference to Lanthorn Leatherhead as "Inigo Lanthorne" is unique and may need glossing--this has to do with the (disputed) equation of Leatherhead with Jones (Inigo).

Bill  •  Link

"So I having appointed the young ladies at the Wardrobe"

Lord Sandwich's family of daughters
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

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