Thursday 21 August 1662

Up early, and to my office, and by and by we sat all the morning. At noon, though I was invited to my uncle Fenner’s to dinner to a haunch of venison I sent him yesterday, yet I did not go, but chose to go to Mr. Rawlinson’s, where my uncle Wight and my aunt, and some neighbour couples were at a very good venison pasty. Hither came, after we were set down, a most pretty young lady (only her hands were not white nor handsome), which pleased me well, and I found her to be sister to Mrs. Anne Wight that comes to my uncle Wight’s. We were good company, and had a very pretty dinner. And after dinner some talk, I with my aunt and this young lady about their being [at] Epsom, from whence they came to-day, and so home and to my office, and there doing business till past 9 at night, and so home and to bed. But though I drank no wine to-day, yet how easily was I of my own accord stirred up to desire my aunt and this pretty lady (for it was for her that I did it) to carry them to Greenwich and see the pleasure boats. But my aunt would not go, of which since I am much glad.

26 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

Apparently it is Venison Season again. As this is not a farmyard meat, does anyone know when it was most likely to be, er, harvested and brought to London at this time?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Greetings from Brazil
"yet how easily was I of my own accord
stirred up to desire my aunt"
Sam, God doesn't forgive incestuous relationships very easily!

dirk   Link to this

"yet how easily was I of my own accord stirred up to desire my aunt and this pretty lady ... to carry them to Greenwich and see the pleasure boats"

re - A. De Araujo

Maybe a slight misunderstanding here! Samuel doesn't "desire his aunt" - but he wants to take them to go and see the boats (admittedly because he likes the young lady).

T, Foreman   Link to this

"yet how easily was I of my own accord stirred up to desire [that I carry] my aunt and this pretty lady (for it was for her that I [desired] it)...to Greenwich and see the pleasure boats."

I forget the name of this kind of subordinate clause, but it seems to be one that Sam doesn't use.?

dirk   Link to this

Some grammar

re - T. Foreman

Technically this subclause would be the direct object of the main clause, and the verb of the subclause should be in the infinitive (as is the case here), or if conjugated in the subjunctive (although that wouldn't show in the form of the verb).

T, Foreman   Link to this

My grammar is slipping

Thanks muchly, Dirk: I knew that cold 45 years ago and LOVED diagramming sentences; the tenses and moods are still with me.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Well scrubbed and callousted, maybe "...most pretty young lady (only her hands were not white nor handsome), which pleased me well..." or does Sam be hinting at another meaning.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

'As this is not a farmyard meat' Nay, it be from the roving stock on the Earls lands up at Brampton [my deduction, as it has been done in previous Jugging seasons], and it would not be poached from Epping Forest, not worth the trip to Assizes. And as he be a Middlesex JP he be in a right old pickle, and he be on moral grounds to not be misusing his perkes of Office.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

re: hansome not hands, they be from brushing down a steed or two . I doubt it be from the Salts, they be effective in other ways.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Samuell freudian slip. "... my own accord stirred up to desire my aunt and this pretty lady...".

Pauline   Link to this

'the tenses and moods are still with me'
T.Foreman, thank you; I am mulling over the usefulness of this line.

JWB   Link to this

roving hoard
As I mentioned last year, deer have again picked my pear trees clean and have started on the low hanging peaches and apples. All this may be why Sam has repeatedly mentioned venison in the last few days. Countrymen would be killing them off to salvage their fruit & vegetables & field crops.

JWB   Link to this

That's horde after my hoard. Unlike Sam I've had that glass.

T, Foreman   Link to this

"to carry them to Greenwich"

This sense of "carry" ("give a ride to") is idiomatic among the older folk in the US mid-South, though not north, NE, or NW of here, nor on either Coast, as far as I know.

T, Foreman   Link to this

"the tenses and moods are still with me"
Pauline, I viewed it aesthetically in the preview mode, and in synch with mehitabel, thot, wotthehell wotthehell http://www.donmarquis.com/readingroom/archybook...

Mary   Link to this

"white, handsome hands"

At times and in places where women's dress tends/tended to cover almost the entire female form, areas of the body that are not necessarily so exciting to modern/Western etc. man in general can have an added significance. e.g. delicate, "aristocratic" hands and feet, the nape of the neck, finely-moulded ears and so forth. Sam is attracted to the pretty lady despite her less-than-alluring hands.

Firenze   Link to this

Hands etc. I agree with Mary about the limited exposure - though to judge from the Lely portraits of court ladies, considerably more could go on show. But I also think it typifies Pepys' eye for the telling detail, the little circumstance that brings the moment to life.

steveh   Link to this

Epsom

This town became a fashionable spa resort for Londoners during the 17th century, thanks to its wells. In 1672, Thomas Shadwell (most famous for being ridiculed by Dryden in his poem Mac Flecknoe) wrote a popular comedy called "Epsom Wells" (1672), basically a set of resort hijinks in that town. An online blurb for an edition calls it "an amusing portrayal of licentiousness and intrigue among the London citizenry and gentry who frequented the fashionable spa at Epsom, Surrey."
http://www.us.es/restoration/editions.html

By the way, the Derby horse race started over a century later, or should we say the Vodafone Derby, as it is affectionately called nowadays.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

(only her hands were not white nor handsome)

perhaps what, until the near universal advent of dish washing machines in the USA, were called "dishpan hands" -- chapped & red. In Sam's day, probably the sign of a servant,not a lady.

T, Foreman   Link to this

Tempted again today, Sam didn't mention God.

Why doesn't he explicitly credit his aunt with being an agent of Divine intervention?

Afraid I find his negotations in this respect, ah, interesting.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Venison
The young stags would be culled at this time, before they start bredding in the autumn.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sorry, *breeding*

Australian Susan   Link to this

Just in case you all thought bredding was an esoteric practise connected with hunting like collecting fewmets or looking for spraints.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Bess would be so proud of her boy...Though I should think Aunt Wight would be suitable enough chaperone.

"I say, Aunt Wight. I'd like to take you and your delightful (oh, so delightful with that quick, beaming smile...One can almost forget those hands) guest to Greenwich, to see the new boats the King is having made."

"Boats?" Auntie Wight looks puzzled. "Don't want to see boats, Samuel. I do damned well see enough boats whens I goes down with your Uncle Wight for his fish."

"No, Aunt, you see these are yachts, new made for the King himself."

"Yachts? Well, what be they?"

"Boats, Aunt Wight. Pleasure boats."

"I don't like boats, Samuel. I just tole ye."

"But Aunt. These are special boats, for the King. Pleasure boats."

"Well, if they be for the King, he be welcomed to them, Samuel. They may be very pleasuring boats but I don't like boats. See the damned things enough each day, by the Mass. I'll leave the King to do his pleasuring on his boats, thank ye, Samuel."

"Aye, Aunt."

"I'd like to see them, Samuel." Uncle Wight chimes in.

"Ye most certainly do not, old fool." Aunt Wight frowns...

"I damned well may go where I damned well...!"

"Right. Well, must be going everyone, pressing business, wonderful time, thanks."

T, Foreman   Link to this

"so home and to bed. But though I drank no wine to-day, yet how easily was I of my own accord stirred up to desire [that I carry] my aunt and this pretty lady....But my aunt would not go, of which since I am much glad [, Amen].

Today's entry, like many others, after recording his going to bed, adds a coda, usually a recall of something heard and his reaction. But this day, he concludes with what seems to me to be a psalmic record of a moral struggle, of his subsequent gratitude, lacking the divine ascription (noted above) and the formal ending (provided here).

Terry F   Link to this

Epsom and John Dryden's "MacFlecknoe"

Re the nice post by steveh, above, here's an article about and link to the poem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacFlecknoe

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