Friday 24 January 1661/62

This morning came my cozen Thos. Pepys the Executor, to speak with me, and I had much talk with him both about matters of money which my Lord Sandwich has of his and I am bond for, as also of my uncle Thomas, who I hear by him do stand upon very high terms.

Thence to my painter’s, and there I saw our pictures in the frames, which please me well. Thence to the Wardrobe, where very merry with my Lady, and after dinner I sent for the pictures thither, and mine is well liked; but she is much offended with my wife’s, and I am of her opinion, that it do much wrong her; but I will have it altered. So home, in my way calling at Pope’s Head alley, and there bought me a pair of scissars and a brass square. So home and to my study and to bed.

19 Annotations

Louis  •  Link

"after dinner I ^seat^ for the pictures thither"

This would seem a typo for "sent."

andy  •  Link

a pair of scissars and a brass square

aren't these masonic symbols? or is Sam up for a bit of DIY/home improvements?

Mary  •  Link

matters of money.

This concerns a loan of £1000 made in 1658 by Thomas the Executor to Sandwich, for which Pepys stood bond. This Thomas was clearly a very wealthy man and it is thought that he gained his riches through trade and/or business.

[Spoiler] This loan was to cause Pepys continuing worry until Sandwich was finally able to pay it off in 1666 out of prize-money.

Michael Slater  •  Link

"very merry with my Lady"

Is this a euphemism for Samuel getting his freak on with the countess?

Mary  •  Link


Alan Bedford  •  Link

"...very merry..."

You'll find that this generally means an enjoyable, purely social time with friends and acquaintances. Sam uses the expression frequently and consistently with this meaning.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"a pair of scissars and a brass square"

I would think that the correct answer here is "B." I haven't read ahead, but it would not surprise me if Sam wants to draw up some plans for his contractors.

The Masonic symbols would be a compass and square. One would think that if Sam were a Mason, he'd mention it in the diary.

gerry  •  Link

And according to L&M Sam had originally written "quadrant" and changed it to square.

Peter  •  Link

Lots of children still use a set-square at school.

vicenzo  •  Link

always called it a T-Square "THE ENGINEERS TRY-SQUARE" but I doth think it be a simple L square 3 to 4 [or is it 4:3]ratio as in hypopotumuse[hypothenuse] sine [with abl]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This morning came my cozen Thos. Pepys the Executor, to speak with me, and I had much talk with him...about matters of money...of my uncle Thomas, who I hear by him do stand upon very high terms" i.e. has become financially comfortable by virtue, note L&M, of claiming, as the heir-at-law, his annuity from his late brother Robert Pepys's estate.

Bill  •  Link

"there bought me a pair of scissars and a brass square"

A SQUARE, an Instrument used by Masons, Carpenters, &c. for squaring.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Sarah Mae  •  Link

"where very merry with my Lady"

Was Samuel actually very excited to spend the night with his wife or was it just his sarcasm?

"pair of scissars"

Did he spell 'scissors' incorrectly here on purpose? Was this an alternative way of spelling it back then? It seems quite dangerous to be carrying around such a thing as the night progresses.

john  •  Link

"My Lady" is Lady Sandwich and see Alan's comment on the use of "very merry".

Spellings of words have changed over the past few centuries and oftimes there was no standard spelling then. (The OED lists dozens of variations over the centuries.)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘scissor A. n.
1. An instrument used for cutting paper, fabric, hair, etc., consisting of a pair of pivoted blades attached to handles, each handle having a hole for the thumb and some of the fingers respectively, and operated by bringing the handles together so that the sharp edges of the blades close on the material to be cut . .
. . b. In plural form . . Freq. as a pair of scissors . The usual form.
. . γ.
. .1568 V. Skinner tr. R. González de Montes Discouery Inquisition of Spayne Pref. sig. *B iijv, This gentleman..toke a paire of scissoures, and pared his maker where he was ouergrowne.
1673 J. Ray Observ. Journey Low-countries 460 They take the fairest bunches, and with a pair of scissers snip off all the faulty grapes.
1712 J. Arbuthnot John Bull Still in Senses iv. 15 To go hawking and peddling about the Streets, selling Knives, Scissars and Shoe-buckles . . ‘

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