Sunday 5 October 1662

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed talking with my wife, and among other things fell out about my maid Sarah, whom my wife would fain put away, when I think her as good a servant as ever came into a house, but it seems my wife would have one that would dress a head well, but we were friends at last. I to church; and this day the parson has got one to read with a surplice on. I suppose himself will take it up hereafter, for a cunning fellow he is as any of his coat. Dined with my wife, and then to talk again above, chiefly about her learning to dance against her going next year into the country, which I am willing she shall do. Then to church to a tedious sermon, and thence walked to Tom’s to see how things are in his absence in the country, and so home and in my wife’s chamber till bedtime talking, and then to my office to put things in order to wait on the Duke to-morrow morning, and so home and to bed.

23 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

A lot of post-separation chat to catch up on; but how do you suppose "her learning to dance" connects with "her going next year into the country"? Are there more opportunities to dance out among the haystacks?

Jeannine   Link to this

Bradford .. as one definition of "against" is "in preparation of" perhaps there were some festivities tha Elizabeth felt she could not properly partake of since she didn't have the skills to dance properly?? That's how I read it, but I'm not totally sure. Also, as to what those opportunities would be, unless she reveals them to Sam over the next few days (weeks?) and he records them, I don't think that we'll ever know.

Joe   Link to this

Does Mrs. Pepys go to church too?

Pauline   Link to this

Does Mrs. Pepys go to church too?
Sam almost always takes in the morning service alone. The whole "family" usually goes to the after dinner service, but often it is not stated. Like here, he neither says nor doesn't say. As it is written today, Elizabeth could have been with him and gone on to Tom's house too, or gone home from church with the servants.

Australian Susan   Link to this

So, Elizabeth has decided she needs a maid who is up to doing the newest hairstyles (Sam just wouldn't understand how important that can be) and that she needs dancing skills. Treading on dangerous ground here with the dancing??? Is Sam to learn too? All those male partners? Even if they were only holding hands and not with an arm round the waist as in the 19th century, I think Sam is going to be watching the "gentlemen" closely.
Sam is rather sneery about the parson, it seems to me. Seeing the parson's clerk in a surplice, Sam assumes that the parson will be wearing one soon and that this is "cunning" , not an open and honest gesture. He assumes the parson is only complying to save his stipend.

Pauline   Link to this

"...will take it up hereafter, for a cunning fellow he is..."
At first I thought it meant that he had been cunning in letting the reader break the ice by showing up in a surplice first. But it may just mean he has a sharp eye for 'style' and will want to don a surplice himself. OED?

dirk   Link to this

cunning (adj.)

(According to WordNet - Princeton University)

1: attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness; "a cute kid with pigtails"; "a cute little apartment"; "cunning kittens"; "a cunning baby" [syn: cute]

2: marked by skill in deception; "cunning men often pass for wise"; "deep political machinations"; "a foxy scheme"; "a slick evasive answer"; "sly as a fox"; "tricky Dik"; "a wily old attorney" [syn: crafty, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, slick, sly, tricksy, tricky, wily]

3: showing inventiveness and skill; "a clever gadget"; "the cunning maneuvers leading to his success"; "an ingenious solution to the problem" [syn: clever, ingenious]

It seems to me that 3 is the most likely meaning in this context.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

The Puritan in Samuell be coming out, as all this vestment- Surplice smacks of Vatican influence, the self grandisement of the Religion rather than the simple service of the Puritan era, this business of Hat on or cap on or be it off. Subserviance and its manifestastions be rejudged, other changes in this Restoration, the restoration of separation of people from the alter that be reserved for the elected ones.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Grain of Salt has it, I think! Sam has a Puritan soul and he is not happy all this use of surplices (wonder what he thinks of more elaborate vestments!). He thinks the parson is being hypocritical. I am sure, however, that Sam's thoughts on this are being firmly kept between the pages of the Diary - speaking out against these changes could be dangerous and Sam is ever cautious. In the post-Diary period, religious paranoia greatly increased, but even now speaking out against the Book of Common Prayer or the use of surplices or other vestments would be unwise in a Government Officer.

Joe   Link to this

Thanks, Pauline. It's that way that Pepys "neither says nor doesn't say" (compared to when he DOES say) that is so interesting--those subjectless, telegraphic verbs. Mrs. Pepys most likely didn't go with him to his office after bedtime, for example. He doesn't tell us about Sarah's fate, either.

I remember Marianne Moore's epigraph to her collected poems: "Omissions are not accidents." Maybe here it neither does nor doesn't apply.

Pauline   Link to this

"...I to church..."
He actually says "I" today, so he may have gone alone to the afternoon service as well. Sorry, I sorta skipped the pronoun as being a bracket ([) or something.

Pedro   Link to this

"Are there more opportunities to dance out among the haystacks?"

As well as the opportunities in the haystacks she has Hinchingbrooke, that newly renovated House a short distance up the road. Not to mention all those gallants that will be invited to see how Sandwich has spent his cruzados.

Jeannine   Link to this

"The Puritan in Samuell be coming out"
As the Puritan in Sam comes out today it seems to do so only in regards to religion. In the same passage where he is not tolerant of changes in clothing at the church service he is open to the idea of having his wife learn to dance, which leans in another direction altogether. Here is an example of the confusion that is brewing in the Restoration --the more open social manners and interactions among the sexes vs. the private desire to maintain a more Puritanical influence in regards to one's religious practices.
Side note: Charles II was well known as an excellent dancer and dancing was a place where people got to be noticed and appreciated for thier skills or horrifically lampooned for thier lack of skills (ie. Queen Catherine). Having a wife, who could dance well (or sing, etc.) often meant inclusion in certain social activites, etc. where those talents could be appreciated.

Pauline   Link to this

'not tolerant of changes in clothing at the church service'
I can't see that Sam has a problem with the surplice. Pretty straightforward reporting, followed by speculation.

Australian Susan   Link to this

When I use the word "Puritan" , I am using it in the sense understood in the 16th and 17th centuries, not 20th and 21st - i.e. referring to religious matters: we now use thet erm as a catchall for killjoys, but this was not necessarily the case then. Cromwell enjoyed dancing and music and encouraged both in his home. He also drank. What he and other reformed believers did not approve of was music in Church or display of any form in church - to the extent that people would always refer to the altar as a Communion table, the eucharist was The Lord's Supper, and this Table was kept in the body of the church, not up at the end of the building attached to the wall and raised up. Men would put their hats on it. This would have been the style of worship Sam was used to - very different from what he would be seeing now: Communion Table firmly in the chancel, pushed to the back wall (so the priest *must* adopt a particular posture to celebrate) and with a "fair white linen cloth" on it (as commanded by the Prayer Book rubric) and candlesticks and a cross and then the priest in fancy dress. *But* this was church, not the outside world. Although we might see him as being contradictory, he would not and would think it OK to indulge himself - but in moderation.

JWB   Link to this

"Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit."
Almost nobody dances sober, unless he happens to be insane.
Cicero.
And herein lies the danger.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"about her learning to dance"
What will she be dancing? the minuet?
the gavotte, quadrille?fandango very unlikely.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

"lead us not into temptation" and "God rewards virtue, he should not have to furnish it."
'Di immortales virtutem approbare, non adhibere debent.' from a speech by Quintus Metellus Numidicus.

Terry F.   Link to this

A. De Araujo you ask ?about her learning to dance? --
"What will she be dancing? the minuet? the gavotte, quadrille?"

The answer could have been: likely all of these and more.
See *The Dancing Master, 1651-1728: An Illustrated Compendium* By Robert M. Keller
http://www.izaak.unh.edu/nhltmd/indexes/dancing...

Mary   Link to this

The need for a dancing master.

Keller's book lists well over 1000 different dances, each with its own more-or-less complicated figure to be learnt and remembered by both men and women. The book itself ran to many editions and, no doubt, inspired numbers of men to take up the new profession of dancing master.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Wonderful site Terry F.,many thanks!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Invitation to the dance, eh?

Somehow I don't see John in his truss and Margaret steppin' out in a joyous summer of dancing parties, much as old John at least loves music. Paulina I'd have to see as grimly trying to work her way around a floor, no one having ever bothered to consider teaching her or allowing her to learn steps...

Meaning I'd say Bess is expecting to be a frequent guest of the Earl and his lady.

Though perhaps in part a rather annoyed Bess is trying to get a rise out of her born again workaholic...As even having Ferrers pay a visit hasn't jolted him yet.

Two weeks later...It finally hits...

"Dancing?...Who would she dance with at Brampton?"

Terry F.   Link to this

To clarify: John Playford was the author of the first three editions, Robert M. Keller the digital compiler of the many editions of *The [English] Dancing Master* (1651 et sqq.).
The 1651 book "contained the figures and the tunes for 105 English country dances, the first printing of these group social dances that were to dominate Western ballrooms for the next 150 years. The book appeared at a time of great upheaval in England. Civil disorder and natural disasters forced city residents to seek refuge on remote country estates; expanding trade and emigrations to distant lands carried Englishmen far from their homeland. Both phenomena affected the social life of the upper classes for whom these dances were a satisfying vehicle for leisure time recreation.

"Playford's slim volume sold quickly and he issued a second edition with nine additional dances the next year. Two editions of a third appeared in 1657 and 1665. He dropped the term 'English' in the second edition and thereafter the books were simply called *The Dancing Master*. The books evidently filled a real need in Englishmen's lives and copies were very likely carried or shipped to country homes and colonial outposts as soon as they appeared in Playford?s shop.

"The series eventually grew to eighteen editions of the first volume (1651/1728), four of a second (1710/1728), and two of a third (1719/1726) and long out-lived its originator. The three volumes eventually encompassed 1,053 unique dances and their music. Many were copied from one edition to the next so that the entire contents, with duplicates, amounts to 6,217 dances, including 186 tunes without dances and 3 songs (Dunmore Kate, Mr. Lane's Magot, and The Quakers Dance)." http://www.izaak.unh.edu/nhltmd/indexes/dancing...

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