Wednesday 31 December 1662

Lay pretty long in bed, and then I up and to Westminster Hall, and so to the Swan, sending for Mr. W. Bowyer, and there drank my morning draft, and had some of his simple discourse. Among other things he tells me how the difference comes between his fair cozen Butler and Collonell Dillon, upon his opening letters of her brother’s from Ireland, complaining of his knavery, and forging others to the contrary; and so they are long ago quite broke off. Thence to a barber’s and so to my wife, and at noon took her to Mrs. Pierces by invitacion to dinner, where there came Dr. Clerke and his wife and sister and Mr. Knight, chief chyrurgeon to the King and his wife. We were pretty merry, the two men being excellent company, but I confess I am wedded from the opinion either of Mrs. Pierces beauty upon discovery of her naked neck to-day, being undrest when we came in, or of Mrs. Clerke’s genius, which I so much admired, I finding her to be so conceited and fantastique in her dress this day and carriage, though the truth is, witty enough. After dinner with much ado the doctor and I got away to follow our business for a while, he to his patients and I to the Tangier Committee, where the Duke of York was, and we staid at it a good while, and thence in order to the despatch of the boats and provisions for Tangier away, Mr. Povy, in his coach, carried Mr. Gauden and I into London to Mr. Bland’s, the merchant, where we staid discoursing upon the reason of the delay of the going away of these things a great while. Then to eat a dish of anchovies, and drink wine and syder, and very merry, but above all things pleased to hear Mrs. Bland talk like a merchant in her husband’s business very well, and it seems she do understand it and perform a great deal. Thence merry back, Mr. Povy and, I to White Hall; he carrying me thither on purpose to carry me into the ball this night before the King. All the way he talking very ingenuously, and I find him a fine gentleman, and one that loves to live nobly and neatly, as I perceive by his discourse of his house, pictures, and horses. He brought me first to the Duke’s chamber, where I saw him and the Duchess at supper; and thence into the room where the ball was to be, crammed with fine ladies, the greatest of the Court. By and by comes the King and Queen, the Duke and Duchess, and all the great ones: and after seating themselves, the King takes out the Duchess of York; and the Duke, the Duchess of Buckingham; the Duke of Monmouth, my Lady Castlemaine; and so other lords other ladies: and they danced the Bransle. After that, the King led a lady a single Coranto —[swift and lively]— and then the rest of the lords, one after another, other ladies very noble it was, and great pleasure to see. Then to country dances; the King leading the first, which he called for; which was, says he, “Cuckolds all awry,” the old dance of England. Of the ladies that danced, the Duke of Monmouth’s mistress, and my Lady Castlemaine, and a daughter of Sir Harry de Vicke’s, were the best. The manner was, when the King dances, all the ladies in the room, and the Queen herself, stand up: and indeed he dances rarely, and much better that the Duke of York. Having staid here as long as I thought fit, to my infinite content, it being the greatest pleasure I could wish now to see at Court, I went out, leaving them dancing, and to Mrs. Pierces, where I found the company had staid very long for my coming, but all gone but my wife, and so I took her home by coach and so to my Lord’s again, where after some supper to bed, very weary and in a little pain from my riding a little uneasily to- night in the coach.

Thus ends this year with great mirth to me and my wife: Our condition being thus:— we are at present spending a night or two at my Lord’s lodgings at White Hall. Our home at the Navy-office, which is and hath a pretty while been in good condition, finished and made very convenient. My purse is worth about 650l., besides my goods of all sorts, which yet might have been more but for my late layings out upon my house and public assessment, and yet would not have been so much if I had not lived a very orderly life all this year by virtue of the oaths that God put into my heart to take against wine, plays, and other expenses, and to observe for these last twelve months, and which I am now going to renew, I under God owing my present content thereunto. My family is myself and wife, William, my clerk; Jane, my wife’s upper mayde, but, I think, growing proud and negligent upon it: we must part, which troubles me; Susan, our cook-mayde, a pretty willing wench, but no good cook; and Wayneman, my boy, who I am now turning away for his naughty tricks. We have had from the beginning our healths to this day very well, blessed be God! Our late mayde Sarah going from us (though put away by us) to live with Sir W. Pen do trouble me, though I love the wench, so that we do make ourselves a little strange to him and his family for it, and resolve to do so. The same we are for other reasons to my Lady Batten and hers. We have lately had it in our thoughts, and I can hardly bring myself off of it, since Mrs. Gosnell cannot be with us, to find out another to be in the quality of a woman to my wife that can sing or dance, and yet finding it hard to save anything at the year’s end as I now live, I think I shall not be such a fool till I am more warm in my purse, besides my oath of entering into no such expenses till I am worth 1000l.. By my last year’s diligence in my office, blessed be God! I am come to a good degree of knowledge therein; and am acknowledged so by all the world, even the Duke himself, to whom I have a good access and by that, and my being Commissioner with him for Tangier, he takes much notice of me; and I doubt not but, by the continuance of the same endeavours, I shall in a little time come to be a man much taken notice of in the world, specially being come to so great an esteem with Mr. Coventry. The only weight that lies heavy upon my mind is the ending the business with my uncle Thomas about my dead uncle’s estate, which is very ill on our side, and I fear when all is done I must be forced to maintain my father myself, or spare a good deal towards it out of my own purse, which will be a very great pull back to me in my fortune. But I must be contented and bring it to an issue one way or other. Publique matters stand thus: The King is bringing, as is said, his family, and Navy, and all other his charges, to a less expence. In the mean time, himself following his pleasures more than with good advice he would do; at least, to be seen to all the world to do so. His dalliance with my Lady Castlemaine being publique, every day, to his great reproach; and his favouring of none at Court so much as those that are the confidants of his pleasure, as Sir H. Bennet and Sir Charles Barkeley; which, good God! put it into his heart to mend, before he makes himself too much contemned by his people for it! The Duke of Monmouth is in so great splendour at Court, and so dandled by the King, that some doubt, if the King should have no child by the Queen (which there is yet no appearance of), whether he would not be acknowledged for a lawful son; and that there will be a difference follow upon it between the Duke of York and him; which God prevent! My Lord Chancellor is threatened by people to be questioned, the next sitting of the Parliament, by some spirits that do not love to see him so great: but certainly he is a good servant to the King. The Queen-Mother is said to keep too great a Court now; and her being married to my Lord St. Albans is commonly talked of; and that they had a daughter between them in France, how true, God knows. The Bishopps are high, and go on without any diffidence in pressing uniformity; and the Presbyters seem silent in it, and either conform or lay down, though without doubt they expect a turn, and would be glad these endeavours of the other Fanatiques would take effect; there having been a plot lately found, for which four have been publickly tried at the Old Bayley and hanged. My Lord Sandwich is still in good esteem, and now keeping his Christmas in the country; and I in good esteem, I think, as any man can be, with him. Mr. Moore is very sickly, and I doubt will hardly get over his late fit of sickness, that still hangs on him. In fine, for the good condition of myself, wife, family, and estate, in the great degree that it is, and for the public state of the nation, so quiett as it is, the Lord God be praised!

31 Annotations

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

interesting connection "...Mr. W. Bowyer, and there drank my morning draft, and had some of his simple discourse. Among other things he tells me how the difference comes between his fair cozen Butler and Collonell Dillon, upon his opening letters of her brother’s from Ireland, complaining of his knavery,..."

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...the Duke of Monmouth’s mistress,..." Was this in the Original diary or be this Editorial help?

Terry F   Link to this

L&M vouch for this text as Wheatley has it -- save for minor differences in spelling and orthography, paragraphs, etc. (as far as I can tell).

daniel   Link to this

Happy New Year, Sam and one and all who read his diary!

Bradford   Link to this

Can anyone recall a longer entry, thus far? 1,657 words.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

No ? but it be an informative one.

slangist   Link to this

novo ordo calendorum...
may the deity of your several choices, if any, shed his or her or their blessings or disaster-avoidance or whatever is available from him or her or them, upon all pepysianists of whatsoever description, condition, or bearing, for any or all of the new calendrical period commencing henceforth...

Leslie Katz   Link to this

"Thus ends this year..."

I don't follow this reference. I understood that the last day of 1662 wouldn't be occurring until the following 24 March.

Why is Pepys using a twelve month period that ends on 31 December 1662?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

And thus ends this year ...
for our small but ubiquitous band of Pepysians, our third. Good health and happiness to all in 2006 (or 1663), and three cheers and a tiger to Phil for making it happen.

dirk   Link to this

Why is Pepys using a twelve month period that ends on 31 December 1662?

Because by the time Sam is writing his diary the 1st of January has been generally accepted as the beginning of the year. The old "style" -- i.e. the rules for the change in year number -- is only preserved in some "time relics" like the old financial year starting ob 25 March etc...

See also background info on "Calendar":
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/352/

Kent Kelly   Link to this

Dang! Mr. Pepys, I do wish you'd been more specific on those dance names (or the tunes). I don't remember the bransle being any great shakes but those country dances? Now, there's some good fun.

Terry F   Link to this

It isn't just Pepys who's observing New Year's eve -- the whole court is doing it, doing it, doing it - in 3/4 time, a Coronto ("—[swift and lively]—" is added by Wheatley or his editor).

Lea   Link to this

The dance "Cuckolds all awry" seems to be the same as the Playford tune "Cuckolds all a-row." Playford's instructions, with the tune, can be found here: http://www.pryanksters.org/dances/cuckolds.htm

There's a modern set of instructions (which I find likewise incomprehensible, but I'm no dancer) here: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/del/sections/englis...

Pedro   Link to this

Adding to Lea above...

The "old dance of England" is, no doubt, identical with Playford's "Cuckolds all a row," and, under its alternative title, "Hey boys, up go we," is given in the text. It is a dance "for foure," that is, one of the old forms of the Cuntry Dance, and is pretty certain to have been familiar to Pepyes; for on Nov. 22nd, 1662, he records: "This day I bought the book of country dances against my wife's woman Gosnell comes, who dances finely; and there, meeting Mr. Playford, ..."

http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/round/dances/cdb...

J A Gioia   Link to this

thence into the room where the ball was to be, crammed with fine ladies...

splendid entry, one senses that as sam gains in the world, the diary itself becomes more important to him as a way of keeping track, and score, of a life as complex as any lived in england until then.

a prety fine new year to all, and to sam, our brave companion and guide.

Mary   Link to this

"our late mayde, Sarah..."

No wonder Sam is bothered. He has made no secret of his distrust/dislike of Penn though has contrived to remain on 'workable'terms with him. It must be very uncomfortable to find that a former member of his own household, dismissed on what Sam himself feels inappropriate grounds, has now become a member of the 'enemy' household. What tales will be told?

jeannine   Link to this

Lady Castlemaine’s Glowing Jewels… Davidson reports that (p 168) “It was at this New Year’s Eve ball that Lady Castlemaine’s blaze of costly jewels far outshone those worn by the Queen and the Duchess of York together, and that people told each other she had coaxed the King to hand over to her all the Christmas presents given in the usual custom by the peers. This old custom was soon after discontinued. Perhaps the peers hardly appreciated being made this involuntarily to contribute to the possessions of ‘the Lady”.”

Pedro   Link to this

syder…for tonight we merry be.

"What follows is the true tale of this mythic beverage, loved by millions of Englishmen, which explains why, for over a decade, I have dreamed about introducing it to Americans…dreams have power."

http://www.dryblackthorncider.com/b/quest.html

Jesse   Link to this

"pleased to hear Mrs. Bland talk like a merchant in her husband’s business very well"

Is this unusual for his time to support a role for women in business? Or perhaps it's okay for merchants but not for (what Thorstein Veblen some 200 years later would call) the 'honourable employments', e.g. government, military & church.

jeannine   Link to this

"pleased to hear Mrs. Bland talk like a merchant in her husband’s business very well". Jesse, although it is unusual for a woman to partake in business in this time, it's hardly rare. In her book, the Weaker Vessel" Antonia Fraser devotes a chapter to this called "The Delight of Business" and brings forth a variety of examples of women in business. There is a reference to Mrs. Bland, and other women that Sam will point out during the course of the diary as good business women. As long as the woman's role was basically an "extension" of her husband and household, then this was an admired phenomenon. For instance, if a woman ventured to learn arithmetic in order to do the accounts, etc. for her husband's business then this would be admired, whereas if she ventured to learn the classics for instance, this would no doubt bring forth criticism (not practical, not supporting the household, etc.). Many widows also picked up the businesses left behind by their departed husbands out of necessity and did admirably with these roles. Finally, and a little touchy here no doubt, there were some women that were just plain "smarter" or better at business than were their partners so picking up the slack or taking over in some cases ensured a cash flow into the household. If egos could be somehow kept in check along the way, then maritial harmony could also prevail if a woman took more of a lead position. More of there types of entries should be forthcoming and fun to note as Sam partakes more in equipping the Navy.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"After dinner with much ado the doctor and I got away to follow our business for a while, he to his patients and I to the Tangier Committee..."

I dunno Sam...You really want to leave poor Bess in the company of Pierce and Clerke?

"My God, Bess! What are you wearing?!"

"Mrs. Clerke made them herself, it's a form of pantaloon for women. Nice, huh?"

Sam dutifully drags his eyes away from the allure of shapely leg.

Hmmn. Rather...No, no...No!

"For the love of God, girl put something respectable on before we leave! You can't go out like that!"

"Mrs. Clerke says it'll be the fashion soon...She hopes to have Lady Castlemaine in them by spring."

"She'll be in the Tower by spring if she keeps trying to promote...Those." Sam glares, covering offending eyes.

"Mrs. Clerke

***

gerry   Link to this

At the very end of the entry as opposed to the summary a couple of words have been removed:...and in a little pain fom my riding a little uneasily tonight (for my testicles) in the coach.

dirk   Link to this

Dancing, balls & Queen Catherine

Comments on Queen Catherine's dancing.

From "Sinais de controvérsia: D. Catarina de Bragança em dois poemas seiscentistas ingleses", by the Portuguese author Maria da Conceição Emiliano Castel-Branco, discussing “The Queen’s Ball”, a contemporary satirical poem (1670) by Andrew Marvell (?):

Background info:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/2381/#c4...

Nix   Link to this

"in a little pain fom my riding a little uneasily tonight (for my testicles) in the coach" --

Oh, Samuel, you must have overimbibed at the ... er ... ball. You're supposed to ride inside the coach, not straddle it!

A.Hamilton   Link to this

"but I confess I am wedded from the opinion either of Mrs. Pierces beauty upon discovery of her naked neck to-day, being undrest when we came in, or of Mrs. Clerke’s genius, which I so much admired, I finding her to be so conceited and fantastique in her dress this day and carriage, though the truth is, witty enough."

Ah, poor Sam. The disillusionment of 10 o'clock. Curious phrasing, "I am wedded from" when the sense seems to be,"I am freed from."

language hat   Link to this

"Curious phrasing, 'I am wedded from'"

Indeed, and unknown to the OED. I wonder if it's Pepys' own idiosyncrasy?

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

“Curious phrasing, ‘I am wedded from’” could it be 'I am weeded from" a phrase quite common at one time?

Mary   Link to this

"weeded from" common at one time?

Which time? When? Passive or active mood? In which region/dialectal area?

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

'weeded out', 'weeded from' the influence of the toffs or other bad influences, whether it be in a book of note, I do not know, but for us lesser than Hoi Polloi it be used in East Angle/Saxon, in there thar 'ills. Now we be Beebed.

Pedro   Link to this

"other bad influences"

At this present time certain "Influences" are trying to debeeb our language.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

OED: to take out of wed: to redeem (something pledged). Obs
"...but I confess I am wedded from the opinion either of Mrs. Pierces beauty upon discovery of her naked neck to-day, being undrest when we came in, or of Mrs. Clerke’s genius, which I so much admired, I finding her to be so conceited and fantastique in her dress this day and carriage, though the truth is, witty enough..."
I Wonder If Samuell be having us on?
He being in hock because of the beauty,
another if the spelling be as random it could be this
OED : "wede v b. Phrase. to wede (out) of, but wit. "
Did Samuell write ?
'but I confess I am weded from the opinion"
Just a guess by a nut not a macadamian.

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