Sunday 22 December 1661

To church in the morning, where the Reader made a boyish young sermon. Home to dinner, and there I took occasion, from the blacknesse of the meat as it came out of the pot, to fall out with my wife and my maid for their sluttery, and so left the table, and went up to read in Mr. Selden till church time, and then my wife and I to church, and there in the pew, with the rest of the company, was Captain Holmes, in his gold-laced suit, at which I was troubled because of the old business which he attempted upon my wife. So with my mind troubled I sat still, but by and by I took occasion from the rain now holding up (it raining when we came into the church) to put my wife in mind of going to the christening (which she was invited to) of N. Osborne’s child, which she did, and so went out of the pew, and my mind was eased. So home after sermon and there came by appointment Dr. T. Pepys, Will. Joyce, and my brother Tom, and supped with me, and very merry they were, and I seemed to be, but I was not pleased at all with their company. So they being gone we went to bed.

11 Annotations

tc   Link to this

"...troubled...troubled...not pleased..."

A grumpy day.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: A grumpy day

My thoughts exactly! Sam got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning ... or maybe it was the "boyish young sermon" that got his panties in a bunch...? In any case, I bet he regretted his falling out with his wife over the black meat once Captain Holmes was there in his gold-laced suit!

Buck up, Sam. Tomorrow's another day.

Bradford   Link to this

In the background link to Captain Holmes, Pauline kindly copied this from the Companion, repeated here for the convenience of the curious:

"Pepys had a particular animus against him in the early diary years because of the 'old business' -- whatever that was -- he had attempted on his wife.”

So not even L&M, with their thorough knowledge, can tell us whether this matter had to do with sex or money---though if you can think of another topic which might get Pepys in a swivet (religion seems unlikely here), speak up.

Josh   Link to this

Grumps indeed! Yet only the sufferer suffers from them, at least.

vicenzo   Link to this

Yesterday, after being put in ones place, Hurts. So the cat, maids etc., stay out of sight[site]. He is P****d ***. Equal but not equal. Even Generals get that way when one of equal rank but has hours more superiority, is doing stupid things and ye swallow ye pride.
It takes a certain personality to keep ye counsel inspite of the obvious mistakes, because ye do not have parchment required, and ye want to progress.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"in his gold-laced suit,at which I was troubled"
male display to attract the female?

David A. Smith   Link to this

"it raining when we came into the church"
Writers call this the 'pathetic fallacy,' the sense that it rains when we are unhappy. Rather, rain and gloom contribute to making us unhappy, and we *notice* and *interpret* the weather based on our internal mood.

Mary   Link to this

Pathetic fallacy.

Certainly self-conscious writers do use the pathetic fallacy to heighten the effect of their writing, but I don't believe that Pepys is being 'literary' here; he's simply recording the fact that the cessation of the rain that was falling earlier allows him to extricate his wife from a situation that he doesn't like.

The rain may have added to his catalogue of grumps, but he's not implying that the heavens were weeping in sympathy with his mood.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Pathetic Fallacy

Mary is right.

We owe the term to John Ruskin, who wrote "Of the Pathetic Fallacy" in Modern Painters, vol iii, pt 4, 1856. Although he concedes that we often enjoy descriptions of nature that impute to it human characteristics and feelings, he finds that this is a distortion of reality most often indulged in by poets of the second rank. Or as Robert Frost notes in "The Need of Being Versed in Country Things," concerning a burned-out farmhouse, "One needed to be versed in country things/Not to believe the phoebes wept."

Glyn   Link to this

Personally, I just admire the cunning, indeed sly, way Sam steers Elizabeth away from the captain without putting his foot down and insisting she didn't talk to him. Was it a case of the christening being after service in another church so Elizabeth wasn't bothered in going to it at first - I'm a little surprised she wasn't going anyway.

Bill   Link to this

"to fall out with my wife and my maid for their sluttery"

1 A dirty woman.
2 A word of slight contempt to a woman.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

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