Monday 18 November 1661

By coach with Sir W. Pen; my wife and I toward Westminster, but seeing Mr. Moore in the street I light and he and I went to Mr. Battersby’s the minister, in my way I putting in at St. Paul’s, where I saw the quiristers in their surplices going to prayers, and a few idle poor people and boys to hear them, which is the first time I have seen them, and am sorry to see things done so out of order, and there I received 50l. more, which make up 100l. that I now have borrowed of him, and so I did burn the old bond for 50l., and paying him the use of it did make a new bond for the whole 100l. Here I dined and had a good dinner, and his wife a good pretty woman. There was a young Parson at the table that had got himself drunk before dinner, which troubled me to see.

After dinner to Mr. Bowers at Westminster for my wife, and brought her to the Theatre to see “Philaster,” which I never saw before, but I found it far short of my expectations. So by coach home.

14 Annotations

daniel   Link to this

"and am sorry to see things done so out of order"

what is Sam sorry to see? poor idle people watching choristers going to prayers?

RexLeo   Link to this

"... and there I received 50l. more, which make up 100l."

Sam is borrowing quite a bit and quite often. No wonder he is sleepless at night fretting over his finances.

Pedro.   Link to this

"that had got himself drunk before dinner, which troubled me to see"

Was it the fact that he was a Parson that troubled Sam, or the fact that the young man could not hold his booze?
"and at noon left them, and with my head full of wine,"...see...
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/11/06/#ann...

Bradford   Link to this

Go on, guess who wrote "Philaster"!

Beaumont & Fletcher's "PHILASTER or LOVE LIES BLEEDING was probably produced in London about 1608."

To read the entire farrago of a plot, go to:

http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/beaumont0...

Despite the title, ends with wedding bells all round.

Pauline   Link to this

Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding
This is the play that Sam starred in as a young boy of about nine. He was taken on a visit to Durdans by John and Anne Pepys. The house party staged the play--commonly done in the days of no public playhouses. He took the part of the beautiful woman, Arethusa, Philaster falls in love with and marries in the end. "He learnt his part so well that he could still remember almost every word trenty-five years later." This quote from Claire Tomalin's biography.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"things done so out of order"
I took this to mean that the whole manner of conducting the service was inharmonius, badly managed, poorly done, with people unsure what to do when and so on. For someone who takes a pride in doing his work well, with everything done as it should be, and who likes everything about his house to be neat and working well,Sam would find a service in a shambles very distasteful. Also note the use of the word "drunk". Sam definitely seems to be making a distinction between him and his friends being "very merry" and someone today being "drunk" - so my assumption yesterday of disastrous hangover today was ill-founded - word sense wrong!

vicente   Link to this

Tainted maybe by Roman church influence "saw the quiristers in their surplices going to prayers, and a few idle poor people and boys to hear them, which is the first time I have seen them, and am sorry to see things done so out of order"
Besides which, going into the church out of the cold and damp how darstardly? Not for the Chant I be sure.

vicente   Link to this

Rabby Burns did say later to the effect ' oh! to have the gift to see our selves as others see us'
none of us want that.
"... There was a young Parson at the table that had got himself drunk before dinner, which troubled me to see..."

pat stewart cavalier   Link to this

Samuel "very merry" and the parson "drunk" : doesn't that remind one of motes (piece of straw) in the neigbour's eye and beams in one's own ?

Bill   Link to this

"I saw the quiristers in their surplices going to prayers, and a few idle poor people and boys to hear them, which is the first time I have seen them, and am sorry to see things done so out of order"

Four months ago, on 15 July 1661, Sam saw "scholars in their surplices" which he found "a strange sight." Perhaps he just hasn't adjusted yet to surplices. (Or even to prayer services on Monday mornings.)

Louise Hudson   Link to this

Too bad there was no Alcoholics Anonymous in Pepys' time. They would have told him that there is no difference between being merry amd being drunk and that alcoholics try to fool themselves that way all the time. Come on Sam. Up on your feet: "My name is Samuel Pepys and I am an alcoholic."

Sasha Clarkson   Link to this

Snide and anachronistic comments and value judgements contribute nothing to our understanding of Pepys' times. Is there any evidence that Sam was regarded as a drunkard by his contemporaries? No, because he held down his job and functioned socially at least as well as his superiors like Admiral Penn. Hence he increased in wealth and influence over the next couple of decades. Pepys' alcohol consumption was normal for his time and class: had it not been, encyclopaedia biographies would mention the exceptional part that alcohol played in his life. Apart from a single incident whilst he was a student at Cambridge, they don't, and Sam lived to a decent old age despite his chronic kidney problems.

The term "alcoholic" did not exist in the 17th century, nor were there even any temperance movements anywhere until around the time of the American Revolution. In cities, these were the days when, because of poor water quality, those who drank beer for breakfast had a longer life expectancy than those who didn't.

When temperance movements did begin, they were largely a reaction to the increased prevalence of strong spirits, and the damage they did to the poor. Even Quakers did not come to temperance until the 19th century; prior to that many were involved in the brewing trade. According to Quaker historian Adrian Cadbury, "Although much concerned with the scourge of cheap spirits, brewing ale was considered acceptable."

Alcoholism, clinically, refers to a disease of addiction and not merely to the regular use of alcohol. That being drunk and being merry are the same thing was not the general view in Pepys time, nor is it now.

Richard Law   Link to this

From the OED: 1648 T. Gage Eng.-Amer. xix. 144 If they can get any drink that will make them mad drunk..they never leave off, untill they bee mad and raging drunke.

Perhaps the difference between merrie and drunke is the resulting behaviour after having drink taken. Can I suggest that getting drunk leads to behaviour that might be (or ought to be) regretted when sober, whereas merrie has no lasting effects.

Chris Squire UK   Link to this

‘Very merry’ = still just about capable of routine work without a mistake though perhaps slow.

‘Drunk’ = incapable of working.

Drunk before dinner meant you were good for nothing and not to be relied on. Drunk after dinner meant much less as you had had ample time before dinner to do the important tasks of the day

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