Thursday 8 January 1662/63

Up pretty early, and sent my boy to the carrier’s with some wine for my father, for to make his feast among his Brampton friends this Christmas, and my muff to my mother, sent as from my wife. But before I sent my boy out with them, I beat him for a lie he told me, at which his sister, with whom we have of late been highly displeased, and warned her to be gone, was angry, which vexed me, to see the girl I loved so well, and my wife, should at last turn so much a fool and unthankful to us. So to the office, and there all the morning, and though without and a little against the advice of the officers did, to gratify him, send Thomas Hater to-day towards Portsmouth a day or two before the rest of the clerks, against the Pay next week. Dined at home; and there being the famous new play acted the first time to-day, which is called “The Adventures of Five Hours,” at the Duke’s house, being, they say, made or translated by Colonel Tuke, I did long to see it; and so made my wife to get her ready, though we were forced to send for a smith, to break open her trunk, her mayde Jane being gone forth with the keys, and so we went; and though early, were forced to sit almost out of sight, at the end of one of the lower forms, so full was the house. And the play, in one word, is the best, for the variety and the most excellent continuance of the plot to the very end, that ever I saw, or think ever shall, and all possible, not only to be done in the time, but in most other respects very admittable, and without one word of ribaldry; and the house, by its frequent plaudits, did show their sufficient approbation. So home; with much ado in an hour getting a coach home, and, after writing letters at my office, I went home to supper and to bed, now resolving to set up my rest as to plays till Easter, if not Whitsuntide next, excepting plays at Court.

20 Annotations

dirk   Link to this

Evelyn also saw the play.

"I went to see Sir S: Tuke (my kindsmans) Comedy acted at the Dukes Theater, which so universaly tooke as it was acted for some weekes every day, & twas believed would be worth the Comedians 4 or 5000 pounds: Indeede the plot was incomparable but the language stiffe & formall."

Leslie Katz   Link to this

"sent my boy to the carrier’s with some wine for my father, for to make his feast among his Brampton friends this Christmas"

Which Christmas?

Australian Susan   Link to this

This entry is a wonderful example of why we are all still reading Sam over 300 years after he wrote: the domestic details are acutely and honestly observed and recorded, but with a n economy of style to make them easy reading. Office politics are touched on too and Sam's astuteness in knowing when to gratify a clerk: building up future payback and loyalty. And I liked the detail of Sam ensuring that a present to his mother was sent "as from my wife" - we are all still doing such things today to keep the domestic peace.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"turn so much a fool and unthankful to us"
Blood is thicker than water!

Terry F   Link to this

"I went home to supper and to bed, now resolving to set up my rest as to plays till Easter, if not Whitsuntide next, excepting plays at Court."

“The Adventures of Five Hours,” at the Duke’s house was so good that a serious renewal of vows to see none for a few months is in order (even if that is somewhat ameliorated by "excepting plays at Court" where the, ah, sights [female] and the being-seen by more than mere citizens is assured).

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

'Tis always the problem after the show "...So home; with much ado in an hour getting a coach home,..."

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

The Plays words "He is a fool who thinks by force or skill, To turn the current of a woman’s will."
Samuell's "...we were forced to send for a smith, to break open her trunk, her mayde Jane being gone forth with the keys, and so we went;..."

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"Which Christmas?" A fit of conscience, Gift giving not fully established, but the Well off, are showing the way , ala the Three Wise Men. The Puritans, I dothe think be not into ostentatious Gift giving.

dirk   Link to this

"we were forced to send for a smith, to break open her trunk"

A sidenote:

The coat hanger hadn't been invented yet. As a result trunks were used to put away clothes and coats, folded neatly. And there were usually several around in any well-to-do household. One 17th c. house inventory provided at
http://www.kirtlingandupend.org.uk/html/janes_i...
mentions 4 trunks in that particular household:
"In his bedchamber...Itm there more 1 table wth a drawer 1 wicker/ chayre 1 stoole 3 chayres 1 trunk... In the chamber over his bedchamber...Itm there 3 trunks 1 chest..."

As to the coat hanger:

"Thomas Jefferson invented the wooden clothes hanger! However, today's most used hanger, the wire hanger, was inspired by a clothes hook.

In 1903, Albert Parkhouse, a novelty company employee, tired hearing complaints about too few coat pegs in the factory, bent a piece of wire into two ovals and twisted the ends together to form a hook, creating the first wire hangers.

In 1932, Schuyler Hulett improved it by screwing cardboard tubes onto the upper and lower parts of the wire to prevent wrinkles. In 1935, Elmer Rogers added a tube on the lower bar, which is still used today."
From:
http://www.hotelsupplies-online.com/public_hang...

See also:

Clothes hanger - Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothes_hanger

Who Invented The Coat Hanger?
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl...

Thomas jefferson as an inventor
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl...

"The Clothes Hanger: And Thereby Hangs the Tale", by Marjorie Dorfman
http://www.cultureschlockonline.com/Articles_p/...

And don't forget to have a look at the **"Museum of Coathangers"**
http://homepage.mac.com/marchesbaugh/moch/intro...

dirk   Link to this

Easter & Whitsuntide 1663:

Easter: 19 April
Whitsuntide (Pentecost): 7 June
http://www.albion.edu/english/calendar/easter.htm

Pauline   Link to this

'The coat hanger hadn’t been invented yet.'
The very wire coat hanger that will get the clothes out of the trunk and into the closet could also have been used to fiddle the trunk's lock--if only it had been invented.

Mary   Link to this

for his feast this Christmas.

An L&M footnote points out that John Pepys' birthday falls on 14th January, so that this may be the feast-day to which Sam alludes.

andy   Link to this

though without and a little against the advice of the officers did, to gratify him....

dubious personnel practice here - it will be remembered and held against him in the future.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam and Hayter
Sam obviously trusts the man and is asserting his rights to make character judgements, *but* maybe he is having just a few niggles of doubt now he comes to think it over and write it up! We shall see whether the trust was misplaced or not. Sam will be most vexed if Penn, Batten et al get to do a lot of sneering told you so-ing.

Samwatcher   Link to this

Which Christmas?
Why THIS Chirstmas - it being the 14th day of Christmas... on the 14th Day of Christmas my true son sent to me - 14 bottles of muscat, 13....12...11... and a muff!!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

If you loved "Rhodes I and II"...You'll adore "The Adventure of Five Hours"!

Sounds fast-paced enough for our time.

Say didn't Sam vow yesterday? Lemme check a mo...Ok, on the 6th he said he would on the 7th but the entry doesn't record a vow till today. Good enough.

And I like that "plays at Court" dodge...Though possibly there's office politics behind it as well as Sam's desire to evade the vow. If the gang goes as a group or at invitation, etc, he would be required or at least find it highly advisable to go.
***

Right, Sam. How could Jane be so ungrateful as to object to your beating her brother over what you insist (but we do not know and she may one way or the other) is a lie?

That's our Jane... Who could probably tell better tales than Sarah about you, Samuel were she so inclined.

To put it in a later historical context I'd guess Jane would be the maid who'd smuggle her employers out of Paris to safety in England while Sarah would be leading the mob to drag the aristocrat wanna-be Pepyses to the gullotine.

"Tis a far, far better thing I do..." Will "Monsieur Samuel Pepys" Hewer begins as the cart bearing him and "Mrs. Pepys" heads down the bloody road to the shrieks and vicious screams of the howling mob. Passing Sarah's conviently if mysteriously stabbed and now trampled corpse.

"Shut up and sit down, Will...er Sam." Jane "Madame Pepys" hisses.

Things a girl does for a few francs a year...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"This be the wine Sam'l promised to send for Christmas?" Margaret eyes the newly arrived box.

"Aye." John sighs.

"Tis a bit late. Thought our boy was a scholar, can't he read a calendar?"

"Now, wife."

"Oh and look, tis a muff for me from that half-French hussy. Funny, looks a bit worn and rather like the one Tom says Sam'l always wore to his place."

"Mrs. Pepys." John sighs.

"Tis there nothing for me?..." Paulina eyes the box sadly.

celtcahill   Link to this

The Puritans disapproved of celebrations of christmas and had made it illegal some forty years before. It was still illegal in Massacheusettts at this time and there was a system of fines for doing so. So, Sam sends some wine to acknowledge epiphany instead.... Russian orthodox and some Catholic countries still do the gift-giving an the 14th day too.

Leslie Katz   Link to this

"this Christmas"

So my mistake was reading the above words as if they referred to "Christmas Day", when really they were referring to a day at the end of "the Christmas period", which day hadn't yet arrived at the time of this diary entry.

Thanks for the clarification.

Leslie

Pauline   Link to this

"...wine for my father, for to make his feast among his Brampton friends..."
Leslie K: Mary's annot about the L&M footnote makes sense. "His feast" is his birthday and has probably always been the last hurrah in his Christmas celebrations.

The last unwindings of the holiday season for the Pepys family.

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