Tuesday 8 April 1662

Up very early and to my office, and there continued till noon. So to dinner, and in comes uncle Fenner and the two Joyces. I sent for a barrel of oysters and a breast of veal roasted, and were very merry; but I cannot down with their dull company and impertinent. After dinner to the office again. So at night by coach to Whitehall, and Mr. Coventry not being there I brought my business of the office to him, it being almost dark, and so came away and took up my wife. By the way home and on Ludgate Hill there being a stop I bought two cakes, and they were our supper at home.

17 Annotations

jan   Link to this

I guess I don't know what Sam means by "were very merry" He uses that phrase all the time an I always interpreted it to mean the party was lively and enjoyed themselves, maybe had wine and stayed long. But what is with this dull impertence? Doesn't sound very merry to me.

Mark Ynys-Mon   Link to this

"were very merry" = drunk ISTM.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"the two Joyces"
for whatever reasons Sam can't just stand the Joyces!

roboto   Link to this

"and were very merry"
Well at least he wasn't "vexed" which he has been the last two days.

Mary House   Link to this

I took this to mean that his guests were merry, althought he secretly found their company dull and their manner impertinent.

David Ross McIrvine   Link to this

"and on Ludgate Hill there being a stop I bought two cakes, and they were our supper at home."

Busy up-and-comer Sam grabs family dinner at The Mickey D's of the Restoration (ducking in case trademark lawyers come to sue).

vicenzo   Link to this

"...were very merry; but I cannot down with their dull company and impertinent..."
'very merry' Lots of Mirth, belly Laughs and street jokes.
Dull subject matter, not to his liking and position in Life. Unfortunately some people grow and values change, 'tis sad to see it when it is a husband and wife, and one or t'other grow at differing rate.
re: Impertinent, they do not appreciate his Position in his new world, there be Sir Geo., he be discussing the finer points of office life and now he is listening to the "Common talk" of the Gutter not the edificated points of English Diction. Oh! wot a ghastly bunch of geezers, be the Joyces.

vicenzo   Link to this

see Paulines comment at Ludgate site: the Naked Boy be the Cake shop?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So Beth had, I suppose, hitched a coach ride with Sam to visit her parents?... Meaning, as Sam never visits the aged St Michels and seems to avoid them like the plague, she must have been standing out somewhere waiting for him as Whitehall went dark? Course Balty may have been with her for protection.

Now if only Sam had thought to include the 'adventures of my wife'...

Mary   Link to this

"... took up my wife"

Whether Elizabeth was visiting her parents or the Pepys' old neighbours in Axe Yard, it's more likely that she remained in the house until fetched out, either by Sam himself or by an accompanying Will.

Ian   Link to this

Merry, in this context, would mean that they didn't talk business or serious matters - frivolous conversation. It's the antonym of 'grave.' That was not an uncommon use of the word in the 17th century.

"I cannot down with their dull company and impertinent."

Surely there's some misreading or an error on Sam's part in this line. 'Down' does not make any sense here.

David Ross McIrvine   Link to this

The coach stop is probably due to
1) the need to rest (maybe change, if
it's a luxury service) the horses before they go up Ludgate hill

2) The atrocious congestion in this area
(London's britches were splitting at her Western seams in Sam's time) noted by John Graunt (sometimes called "Grant" here) in 1662:

17. Where note, that when Lud-gate was the only western Gate of the City, little building was westward thereof. But when Holborn began to increase New-gate was made. But now both these gates are not sufficient for the communication between the Walled City and its enlarged western suburbs, as daily appears by the intolerable stops and embaresses of coaches near both these gates, especially Lud-gate." Chapter IX

From John Graunt's *Natural and Political Observations made upon the Bills of Mortality*, 1662 ed., page 43.

Mary   Link to this

"to down with ..."

OED records this usage, but not with the meaning that Pepys implies here. The sense cited is: to put or throw down, to have done with.

L&M confirms that the reading is "I cannot down with their dull company". What Sam means is, surely, "I cannot be doing with their dull company". Perhaps he just made a mistake in writing?

JWB   Link to this

down-
to "stomach" or tolerate.

vicenzo   Link to this

Ludgate Hill, even in the early nineteens hundreds, caused problems for the Early omnibus, I remember hearing Tales about Ludgate.from mon Pere. There must dpcumentation of complaints about this location.

vicenzo   Link to this

" dull": dull said on ten previous occasions
'...(where I saw General Monk and methought he seemed a dull heavy man), ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/03/14/#c3112
"...where we had a dull sermon of a stranger, which made me sleep,..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/12/25/

1 dull music and one dull play, the rest, it be Sermons by Strangers.

David Ross McIrvine   Link to this

vicenzo:

"Ludgate Hill, even in the early nineteens hundreds, caused problems for the Early omnibus, I remember hearing Tales about Ludgate.from mon Pere. There must dpcumentation of complaints about this location."

Apart from the 1662 citation from Graunt I quoted, I can remember lots of 19th century comments on the Ludgate Hill traffic.

I am suspecting horses were indeed changed or rested before Ludgate Hill, as I'd earlier today speculated. Sorry to give a spoiler, but on Easter Sunday 1666 (April 15th that year of Our Lord), Sam notes that the horses were stopped that night at Ludgate Hill.

"but the horses at Ludgate
Hill made a final stop; so there I 'lighted, and with a linke, it being
about 10 o'clock, walked home, and after singing a Psalm or two and supped
to bed."

Also as far as foodsellers and Sam's purchase of two cakes this day, here is something from Mayhew, a propos of where foodsellers (specifically costermongers)
especially plied their trade around 1851. Note that there was a large stagecoach yard at an Inn (the Belle Sauvage, whence Austen's heroines would depart by coach for Bath) at Ludgate Hill:

"The great theatre of this traffic was in the stagecoach yards in such inns as the Bull and Mouth (St. Martin

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