Friday 20 March 1662/63

Up betimes and over the water, and walked to Deptford, where up and down the yarde, and met the two clerks of the Cheques to conclude by our method their callbooks, which we have done to great perfection, and so walked home again, where I found my wife in great pain abed … . 1 I staid and dined by her, and after dinner walked forth, and by water to the Temple, and in Fleet Street bought me a little sword, with gilt handle, cost 23s., and silk stockings to the colour of my riding cloth suit, cost I 5s., and bought me a belt there too, cost 15s., and so calling at my brother’s I find he has got a new maid, very likely girl, I wish he do not play the fool with her. Thence homewards, and meeting with Mr. Kirton’s kinsman in Paul’s Church Yard, he and I to a coffee-house; where I hear how there had like to have been a surprizall of Dublin by some discontented protestants, and other things of like nature; and it seems the Commissioners have carried themselves so high for the Papists that the others will not endure it. Hewlett and some others are taken and clapped up; and they say the King hath sent over to dissolve the Parliament there, who went very high against the Commissioners. Pray God send all well! Hence home and in comes Captain Ferrers and by and by Mr. Bland to see the and sat talking with me till 9 or to at night, and so good night. The Captain to bid my wife to his child’s christening. So my wife being pretty well again and Ashwell there we spent the evening pleasantly, and so to bed.

  1. Nearly every month Pepy’s documents his wife’s menstrual cramps—and every month Mr. Wheatly’s delicately censors this out. D.W.

32 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...in Fleet Street bought me a little sword, with gilt handle, cost 23s., and silk stockings to the colour of my riding cloth suit, cost I 5s., and bought me a belt there too, cost 15s., and so calling at my brother’s I find he has got a new maid, very likely girl, I wish he do not play the fool with her..."

Oh, Sam...I tremble at the thought of what my brother would do to me with the material you've just given Tom. Please let me believe you strode in wearing your cute little sword, with its gilt handle, praising the fine matching colour of your new stockings ("Look, Tom. My stockings match my riding cloth suit. Isn't that grand?") and giving solemn stare at said new maid (after giving Tom numerous opportunities to view your leering at Jane and others).

***
"...in comes Captain Ferrers and by and by Mr. Bland to see the and sat talking..."

See the what, Sam?! I've got to know!

["Ah, ha ha ha hah! When we see each other in hell! I knew it would drive you fools mad!"

"Sam'l, you can't do that to posterity, tis' unkind."

"The fools deserve it, Bess. Let'em suffer!"]

***
Cap't Ferrers is married? Well, that does explain a few things.

["Hmmphf...I said his child was christened. I never said he was married. Methought you future types would be at least as free-thinging as us."]

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"I found my wife in great pain abed"
The next cycle should be in the 3rd week of April; Let us see if she is regular.

TerryF   Link to this

"I...walked forth, and...bought me a little sword, with gilt handle."

Shades of Sir Caradoc?
Struck by the phrase "walked forth," a search revealed this is its third appearance in the Diary, the most recent 29 April 1662, the first 12 May 1661, on a another day when Bess was in pain, but not with her monthlies.

Miss Ann   Link to this

"to conclude by our method their callbooks, which we have done to great perfection"

Isn't it great to put in place some policies & proceedures and watch them work - a great deal of satisfaction for all concerned.

"... a little sword, with gilt handle, cost 23s., and silk stockings to the colour of my riding cloth suit, cost I 5s., and bought me a belt there too, cost 15s.,"
So, the wife is in bed in pain and Sam goes out and spends approx. four pounds and three shillings on his little outfit - I bet if Bess did the same when he was not well she'd be given the rounds of the kitchen.

On another matter, what with Bess' painful periods and Sam's operation and on-going troubles there no wonder they didn't have any children. They both need a good physician.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So the Pepys boys share a trait...

Wonder if it's inherited.

"F-Father?"

Ummn... "Here what you be lookin' at, boy?! On about yer business with your brother and look sharp or it'll be a thick ear for the two of ye! Go on now...er not you, Mary."

TerryF   Link to this

Scanning error in Wheatley's text

"in comes Captain Ferrers and by and by Mr. Bland to see me"

TerryF   Link to this

"I wish he do not play the fool with her."

Methinks we would say "I hope he doesn't play" etc.

Dave   Link to this

As wisely observed elsewhere:

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
There’s no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I ain’t lying
Everybody plays the fool

(The Main Ingredient)

TerryF   Link to this

"I find my wife in great pain abed of her months"

read L&M; SO Wheatley not only edits out certain delicate matters, but he updates the spelling, either unwittingly in transcribing, or deliberately for contemporaneity as did a spate of English Bibles in his time. http://www.bible-researcher.com/versions.html

Kilroy   Link to this

Curious about the word suprizall.

Did it have the same meaning as today's (American English) word surprisal? I didn't recognize the word at first because the way it is used in the entry seems to relate a sense of ambush or seizure.

I couldn't find definitions for suprizall or suprisall. But I did find them used in a number of on-line documents.

A site on Peregrine White in 17th Century Records http://www.pilgrimhall.org/whiteprecords.htm contains:

"Court of Massachusetts shall appoynt for that purpose, vpon such heads & pposicons as the Lord shall direct them for our combineing together mutually in a defensiue and offensiue wrar for our psent defence against the intended surprisall of the natiues…" (pposicons?)

A perhaps more relevant posting "Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Material Condition of the People, Based on Original and Contemporaneous Records." http://www.dinsdoc.com/bruce-1-15.htm which contains this account:

"1651, when Virginia yielded to Cromwell, a war was in progress between England and Holland, but it appears to have had no influence upon the intercourse between the planters and the owners of Dutch vessels. When the surrender to the Commissioners of the Commonwealth took place, the quantity of goods in the Colony belonging to Dutch merchants was so large that a special clause was introduced in the articles of submission, stipulating that these goods should be protected from surprisal."

I can't see how you can suprise inanimate objects. Has the word's usage changed? The modern equivalent to me would be in responsending to Captain Renault's exclaimation "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!".

And Rick's response could have been "Don't act so surpizall."

Kilroy   Link to this

Sorry its surprizall. Not suprizall or surpizall. Getting too dependent on spell-checkers.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Scanning errors

There are at least three scanning errors in this entry. Besides the one Terry mentions, we also have the cost of the stockings at "I 5s.", and "till 9 or to at night." I don't have L&M, but based on some prior observations of how the scanner works, I read these as "15s." and "10 at night." Somebody with L&M can check.

Peter Last   Link to this

Oxford English Dictionary gives for surprisal ‘The act of surprising or state of being surprised; something that surprises.’ (sic: surprizal is not listed in OED.)

The first citation is 1591 and the latest is 1865.

Mary   Link to this

"play the fool with her"

This could be taken in various ways.

Most obviously, Tom could press unwelcome attentions upon her. Then again, he might treat her shabbily as a servant (Sam clearly regards her as a promising employee) and so lose her services. Given what we know of his previously disclosed record as an employer and businessman, Sam may fear that Tom will allow her to become as slack in her household duties as his tailoring assistant was alleged to be in the shop a few months ago and so play the fool in that way.

Sam has no great opinion of his brother's conduct of any of his affairs.

TerryF   Link to this

Scanning errors

Paul Chapin's keen eye is confirmed by L&M - “15s.” and “10 at night.”

TerryF   Link to this

surprizall

Methinks "seizure" or "surprise taking" seems to fit the examples Kilroy adduces. It is a strange word, now clearly obs.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...how there had like to have been a surprizall of Dublin by some discontented protestants..."

Nothing like busting a few of the other (preferably defenseless) guys' (in this case my fellow Irish Catholics) heads when things get annoying and you don't have the guts to take on the government.

It is interesting that there's little reference to Irish problems by Sam. I guess the echoes of Cromwell's "pacification" campaign are still felt...for now.

TerryF   Link to this

"The Surprizall" was in time a comedy by Sir Robert Howard (1626-1698) - mild SPOILER - which the Pepys's will see at the King's playhouse 26 December 1667.
I wonder whether, in this context, "surprizall" could be a synonymn for 'kidnap' or 'rape' in the sense in which Alexander Pope would use it in 1712 in "The Rape of the Lock".

Stolzi   Link to this

Bess's terms

She was "ill..." on the 21st January and again on the 17th of February. Yes, pretty regular.

Ann   Link to this

"and so calling at my brother’s I find he has got a new maid, very likely girl, I wish he do not play the fool with her."
I took this to mean that Tom found a new prospective bride, and Sam doesn't want him to screw this deal up like he did the last one, making all kinds of rash promises he couldn't keep, and foolishly falling in love before the deal was cemented. Anyone else read it this way?

language hat   Link to this

surprisal (surprizall)
The OED's first definition is:
The (or an) act of assailing or attacking unexpectedly or without warning, or of taking by this means; sudden attack or capture of a fort, a body of troops, etc. that is unprepared; formerly also in more general sense, seizure (of a person, a place, or spoil).

Some citations:
1611 SPEED Hist. Gt. Brit. VII. xvii. §4. 289 The surprizal of these three Cities, Glocester, Bathe, and Cirencester.
1620 in Foster Eng. Factories Ind. 222 Their to land our masters monies and goods, for whose surprizall the Portingalls fought.
1627 W. SCLATER Exp. 2 Thess. (1629) 111 The siege and surprisall of Ierusalem by Titus and Vespatian.
1634 MILTON Comus 618 How to secure the Lady from surprisal.
1648 Eikon Bas. xxvi. 223 (heading) The Armies Surprisall of the King at Holmeby.
1757 HUME Hist. Gt. Brit. II. ii. 192 (an. 1668) An insurrection was projected, together with a surprizal of the castle of Dublin.

Yonmei   Link to this

“I found my wife in great pain abed”

Menstrual cramps before ibuprofin (or really efficient hot water bottles). I feel for her.

JWB   Link to this

"The Lord Chief Barons speech before the Sentence"

Worth time & effort to read. Follow link under Hewlett and scoll down ~ 80%.

TerryF   Link to this

“The Lord Chief Barons speech before the Sentence”

JWB, fine site and speech as you say. Thanks for it. Hewlett escaped the death-sentence once, but perhaps not again?
Might the link not also be added to the page for Col. Daniel Axtel http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1469/ a regicide hanged, drawn, and quartered on 19 October 1660? http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/10/19/

dirk   Link to this

Just a note

Because of the error in the British calendar at the time, this 20 March would *not* have been the beginning of astronomical spring! That was on March 10 1662/1663, at 16:15 hrs to be precise (calculation for 1663 by AstronomyLab 2). The weather was clearly not cooperating though -- very much like what we're going though this year 2006...

For those who are somewhat confused about this calendar business: when in 1582 the beginning of spring fell on 11 March, the Gregorian calendar reform readjusted this to 21 March on the continent (the date we still use, although astronomically 20 March would be more correct) by dropping 10 days from the calendar for 1582 -- instead of the traditional 25 March which had been used before the calendar reform. At the time (1582 that is) the British ignored this "catholic" reform, and went on using the old inaccurate Julian calendar.

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

Australian Susan   Link to this

Hot water bottles

In those days, bricks or stones were heated in an oven and wrapped in flannel. They also had earthernware vessels with stoppers which could be filled with hot water and placed in a bed, but these could only have been used to prop your feet against - not to tuck behind the small of the back or clutched to the stomach. A nice, warm fat cat is also very comforting if persuaded to lie on your tum in this state and we know the household had a cat. Camomile tea or raspberry leaf tea help too. The active ingredient in raspberry leaves acts as a relaxant of smooth muscle tissue and has been known for centuries as an aid for menstrual crampings. Jane may have been plying Elizabeth with herbal tea.
(Warming pans were just that - used to warm or air a bed and not to leave in the bed. Some wealthy people used to travel with their own sheets to be sure they would get aired, flea and bug free linen in inns.)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Tom and the maid.

I concur with Mary's ideas about this: although we naturally spring to the conclusion that playing the fool means sexual dalliance,it may not here and I think Sam is more concerned at this time with Tom's general hopelessness as an employer and a the master of a household.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Julian calendar

Remember that Russia used the Julian calendar until the 1917 revolution.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Hanky panky "...I wish he do not play the fool with her..." in other words, he a goo garh , no work done and might lead to some extra feeding responsibilities.

Patricia   Link to this

Nov. 23, Dec. 24, Jan. 21, Feb. 17 and now. As with any other time her menses have been mentioned, Mrs. P is depressingly regular. For those who have not suffered this, it can be really debilitating.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I hear how there had like to have been a surprizall of Dublin by some discontented protestants, and other things of like nature; and it seems the Commissioners have carried themselves so high for the Papists that the others will not endure it. Hewlett and some others are taken and clapped up; and they say the King hath sent over to dissolve the Parliament there, who went very high against the Commissioners."

The Commissioners had been adjudging competing land claims. [ See Mary's post on 5 March http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/03/05/#c42771 ] Ormond, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was empowered to dissolve the Irish Parliament if he thought it necessary. In fact, it was adjourned and then prorogued on no fewer than thirty-four occasions, and did not meet again for more than two years -- until October 1665. A plot to take Dublin Castle and kidnap the Lord Lieutenant had been discovered (see Ormond's reports, 7 and 28 March, in CSP Ireland 1663-5, pp. 34-51) . William Hewlett (Hulet), one of the small party who were to execute the plot, was imprisoned, but for lack of evidence could not be arraigned. He was reported to have boasted that he had been the executioner of Charles I.
(Calendar of the State Papers, Relating to Ireland Preserved in the Public Record Office, pp. 34-51 http://books.google.com/books?id=UFoMAQAAIAAJ&p... ) (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...in Fleet Street bought me a little sword, with gilt handle, cost 23s."

A low price. Small-swords (originally French) were now in fashion. The hilt would probably be bound in gilt wire.
(L&M footnote)

The size of the sword evidently refers to its breadth. The small sword or smallsword (also court sword, fr: épée de cour or dress sword) is a light one-handed sword designed for thrusting which evolved out of the longer and heavier rapier of the late Renaissance. The height of the small sword's popularity was between mid 17th and late 18th century. It is thought to have appeared in France and spread quickly across the rest of Europe....Small swords were also used as status symbols and fashion accessories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_sword

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