Sunday 12 October 1662

(Lord’s day). Made myself fine with Captain Ferrers’s lace band, being lothe to wear my own new scallop, it is so fine; and, after the barber had done with us, to church, where I saw most of the gentry of the parish; among others, Mrs. Hanbury, a proper lady, and Mr. Bernard and his Lady, with her father, my late Lord St. John, who looks now like a very plain grave man. Mr. Wells preached a pretty good sermon, and they say he is pretty well in his witts again. So home to dinner, and so to walk in the garden, and then to Church again, and so home, there coming several people about business, and among others Mr. Piggott, who gives me good assurance of his truth to me and our business, in which I am very much pleased, and tells me what my uncle Thomas said to him and what he designs, which (in fine) is to be admitted to the estate as well as we, which I must endeavour to oppose as well as I can. So to supper, but my mind is so full of our business that I am no company at all, and then their drink do not please me, till I did send to Goody Stanks for some of her’s which is very small and fresh, with a little taste of wormewood, which ever after did please me very well. So after supper to bed, thinking of business, but every night getting my brother John to go up with me for discourse sake, while I was making unready.1

  1. That is, “undressing.” So of the French lords leaping over the walls in their shirts “Alenc. How now, my lords! what all unready so? Bast. Unready! ay, and glad we ‘scaped so well.” Henry VI., act ii., sc. i.—M. B.

16 Annotations

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"with a little taste of wormwood"
Methinks he is avoiding wine because of the headaches or maybe the cost.

Leslie Katz   Link to this

"... saw ... Mr. Bernard and his Lady, with her father, my late Lord St. John, who looks now like a very plain grave man"

Why "late"? It can't mean recently died; had he recently ceased to be a Lord?

Pauline   Link to this

Why ?late??
Leslie, as you typed, I typed (from L&M Companion into Background).
"...'my Lord' by virtue of his judicial office and membership of the Council of State in 1659-60."
So since we are beyond this honorific by his office and membership in time, the title is "late", without deceasement required.

His L&M bio offers an intriguing aside into survival of a 'Protectorian', with many interesting holes in the story to be filled. For example, he is declared 'incapable' of office in 1661. Is this an official categorization? Quite political?Related to his age? Whatever, he flees.

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Thanks for the clarification, P. "...with her father, my late Lord St. John, who looks now like a very plain grave man...." not death that do us part but title, as men doth live by Title it could be just as bad. So many are just known by the 'onorifical nomenclementation, to keep their esteem above ground level.

Pauline   Link to this

"...their drink do not please me..."
Quite a distancing of himself from his family---"their". And after going to church and identifying with "the gentry of the parish". Wonder if the family finds him tolerable?

"...getting my brother John to go up with me for discourse sake...." Is John pleased or finding his brother overbearing? Is Tom totally put out by this preference for the student brother? And Pall, whose mutton and drink fall short, is she impressed or irate? Has she even recovered from Elizabeth's long visit? Alas, we only have Sam's report.

Australian Susan   Link to this

I find this fascinating! Yesterday we had the sniffy judgement on the housekeeping and the mortification of presenting a cheap cut to a high status visitor and today we have Sam, not joining in any conversation at supper (and this would have been very rude) and sending a servant to fetch in freshly made and very weak beer just for him. If I'd been his mother, I would have been Having Words with him at the least and if his sister, Fuming!! And he decided his new scallop was too good for the country. Mind you, this kind of two tier system for clothing etc. was going on in Edwardian times: it was said that no true lady ever wore her diamonds at a country house party; they were for London.

Brian   Link to this

"...and they say he is pretty well in his witts again." Oh, wouldn't it be fun to know what that is all about?

JohnT   Link to this

To the modern eye the juxtaposition of "late" and "grave" seems like a deliberate conceit.

tc   Link to this

Mr. Wells preached a pretty good sermon...

How contemporary this sounds! However, in this instance is it more likely Sam is saying "Mr. Wells preached a pretty and good sermon" rather than something like "Mr. Wells preached a sermon, which, though not great, was not too bad..."?

language hat   Link to this

"a pretty good sermon"
No, it's the adverb we're familiar with.
OED definition, with the first few citations:

To a considerable extent, considerably; in a fair or moderate degree, fairly, moderately, tolerably; rather. Sometimes expressing close approximation to quite, or by meiosis equivalent to very; at other times denoting a much slighter degree. (Qualifying an adj. or adv.)
1565 COOPER Thesaurus, Audaculus, a pretie hardie felow: vsed in derision. 1598 FLORIO Dict. Ep. Ded. 3 Boccace is prettie hard, yet understood: Petrarche harder but explaned. 1599 MASSINGER, etc. Old Law V. i, The Dutch what-you-call I swallowed pretty well. 1638 ROUSE Heav. Univ. (1702) 166 They are of a pretty ancient date. 1677 W. HUBBARD Narrative 44 By the end of November the coast was pritty clear of them.

...Huh! I was curious about the "Dutch what-you-call" in the 1599 quote, so I googled around, and I actually found an online text of The Old Law at
http://www.tech.org/~cleary/oldlaw.html
and it has this exchange:

SECOND COURTIER
The nimble fencer this, that made me tear
And traverse 'bout the chamber?

SIMONIDES
Ay, and gave me
Those elbow healths, the hangman take him for it!
They had almost fetched my heart out. The Dutch venny
I swallowed pretty well, but the half-pike
Had almost [pepper'd] me. But had I took,
Being swollen, I had cast my lungs out.

The Dutch venny! ("Venny," an alteration of "venue," is 'a hit or thrust in fencing; a wound or blow,' according to the OED.) I wonder if "what-you-call" represents somebody's half-remembering of the line?

A.Hamilton   Link to this

Hats off, LH

What a find! ( BTW When I Googled "Dutch what-you-call" one of the returns was to your site!)

Terry F   Link to this

And "Dutch what-you-call-'em [~]: whore; cf. "Dutch widow" in A Trick to Catch the Old One III.iii, and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside V.i. The bawdy innuendo continues throughout this "duel." http://www.tech.org/~cleary/oldlaw.html#DUTCHWHA

Hats off to LH indeed!!

Leslie Katz   Link to this

"we are beyond this honorific by his office and membership in time"

Thanks for that information, Pauline. I admit I'm typing this without doing any independent research beforehand, but I'm wondering--presumably, there were many people who'd gained some title during Cromwellian times. Unless those titles were somehow confirmed after the Restoration, I suppose they were lost. I remember that the Convention Parliament ratified various Cromwellian laws. Did they do anything in the titles line as well? If not the legislature, what about the King?

Cumgranissalis   Link to this

Leslie; If one reads the House of Commons and House of Lords site for May 1660 thru 1661, one can read about the process of those that be forgiven , not forgiven and those only partially forgiven, [ie stay out of town and do not darken London town with thy shadow]. The period be interesting in that it be a period of minimum blood letting, there be those that wanted blood but failed to get their way, as many just be tired of the near anarchy, be knowing that revenge never stops once it is allowed to proceed, there be few that have understood that point of view. 'Tis why wars come back like a plague of the mind every generation,they be mostly revenge of wot be done not a real settlement of the differences of real thought if fully analyzed.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

unready OED
3. Undressed; in deshabille. Obs. or dial.
In common use from c 1595 to 1640.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"what my uncle Thomas said to him and what he designs, which (in fine) is to be admitted to the estate as well as we"
See http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/10/14/ (L&M note)

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