Friday 27 March 1663

Up betimes and at my office all the morning, at noon to the Exchange, and there by appointment met my uncles Thomas and Wight, and from thence with them to a tavern, and there paid my uncle Wight three pieces of gold for himself, my aunt, and their son that is dead, left by my uncle Robert, and read over our agreement with my uncle Thomas and the state of our debts and legacies, and so good friendship I think is made up between us all, only we have the worst of it in having so much money to pay. Thence I to the Exchequer again, and thence with Creed into Fleet Street, and calling at several places about business; in passing, at the Hercules pillars he and I dined though late, and thence with one that we found there, a friend of Captain Ferrers I used to meet at the playhouse, they would have gone to some gameing house, but I would not but parted, and staying a little in Paul’s Churchyard, at the foreign Bookseller’s looking over some Spanish books, and with much ado keeping myself from laying out money there, as also with them, being willing enough to have gone to some idle house with them, I got home, and after a while at my office, to supper, and to bed.

16 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

Sunday's solemn vows seem to take a rather severe effect, but....

"with Creed...and...a friend of Captain Ferrers I used to meet at the playhouse,
they would have gone to some gameing house, but I would not but parted, and staying a little in Paul's Churchyard, at the foreign Bookseller's looking over some Spanish books, and with much ado keeping myself from laying out money there, as also with them, being willing enough to have gone to some idle house with them, I got home, and after a while at my office, to supper, and to bed."

Sunday 18 January, 1662/63 we debated what the solemnity of the vows meant to Sam'l: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/01/18/ Today we have him both leading himself to and fro temptation - eyeing some Spanish books!, but foregoing some idle house - retaining, by his account, money and time, which are the same, and is, apparently, the bottom line. Delaying gratification is a necessary, albeit not a sufficient condition of financial success.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Nothing like thinking about debts ("only we [Sam and his father, I assume] have the worst of it in having so much money to pay") to help keep one from financial temptation.

As you imply, Terry, watch the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves...

Bradford   Link to this

As for "idle house" and "gameing house"---the Glossaries in the Companion and "Shorter Pepys" do not offer special definitions of either descriptive term. This "gameing house" apparently is, as in today's industry, just for gambling. (Though doesn't "gaming house" later take on the sense of "fancy house"?)

Others may say that if your troubles can be cured by parting with your dough, shell it out.

dirk   Link to this

"...and there paid my uncle Wight three pieces of gold for himself, my aunt, and their son that is dead, left by my uncle Robert, and read over our agreement with my uncle Thomas and the state of our debts and legacies"

I take it that these payments are part of the "annuities and legacies" that had to be settled by Sam (as executor of uncle Robert's will), after the out-of-court settlement with the "heir-at-law" Thomas Pepys on 14 February 1662/1663.

See:
Pauline's excellent summary (based on L&M):
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/3384/#c2...
and my own "summary of the summary":
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/02/14/#c41993

TerryF   Link to this

"piece of gold"

The background info suggests this is a sovereign. How much is that worth?

dirk   Link to this

sovereign

A sovereign was a gold coin worth 22s 6d until the reign of Charles I, later £1.
(background annotation by Todd Bernhardt)
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/316/#c1778

dirk   Link to this

22s 6d

For those no longer familiar with the pre-decimal pound sterling:

22s 6d = £1.125 = £1 & 1/8

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Note- Entries to show to Bess in afterlife...

continued.

3/27/63- I avoid getting drunk and losing everything we have in a gaming house."

"Entries not to show to Bess in afterlife..."

Pauline   Link to this

"...I got home....."
It was a trial to get past the gaming house and the idle house, but he "got home" safely.

"...and so good friendship I think is made up between us all...."
Easy to admire Sam's balance between inheriting out of line and being willing to adjust as he must and being determined to preserve good will within the family--and I credit his father for this impulse, for some unclear-to-me reason. A good sense of how to take his place as upcoming head of the family while deferring to influential uncles, whether the uncle is leaving a difficult legacy or consulting over how best to sort it out. It will be interesting to see how much of the playing out of this we will get in the short years of the diary.

GrahamT   Link to this

A sovereign was one pound:
This was reintroduced by Charles II as the commonwealth had removed the sovereign - both king and coin - from circulation.
In cockney slang, one pound is a "sov", though a gold sovereign coin is worth far more than its £1 face value.
When a £1 coin was introduced a few years ago, it was nicknamed the Thatcher, because it was thick, brassy, and thought it was a sovereign.

celtcahill   Link to this

Pauline

I agree as to the influence of his Father and am equally inarticulate. We are seeing an adult and seeing the product of his raising. With and without his warts, he got his sense and sensebilities at home like the rest of us.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

Gaming and Idle Houses
I may be wrong, but my first thought was that "idle house" is just another term for "gaming house;" that is, he is talking about one place, not two. That would render the passage, "I would have been happy to have gone to the gaming house with them, just as I would to have bought the books, but restrained myself in both cases."

Bradford   Link to this

Sorry for lack of clarity about the house in question: plainly only one place is meant. It seemed worth checking whether either term might also refer to a house of ill repute, before someone with a mind as prurient as mine brought it up.

Pedro   Link to this

Gaming/Gambling House?

Robert Baker's Piccadilly Hall is often confused with Osbaldeston's Shaver's Hall. The latter was a large imposing building (see Faithorne's map of 1658), widely famed as an inn and gambling house, and was often referred to as Piccadilly Hall. From: 'The early History of Piccadilly', Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2 (1963), pp. 32-40. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 28 March 2006.

From Book of Days somewhat later, after 1724…

Walpole relates that General Wade was at a low gaming house, and had a very fine snuff -box, which on a sudden he missed. Everybody denied having taken it, and he insisted on searching the company. He did; there remained only one man who stood behind him, and refused to be searched unless the general would go into another room alone with him. There the man told him that he was born a gentleman, was reduced, and lived by what little bets he could pick up there, and by fragments which the waiters sometimes gave him. 'At this moment I have half a fowl in my pocket. I was afraid of being exposed. Here it is! Now, sir, you may search me.' Wade was so affected, that he gave the man a hundred pounds; and 'immediately the genius of generosity, whose province is almost a sinecure, was very glad of the opportunity of making him find his own snuff' box, or another very like it, in his own pocket again.'

Pedro   Link to this

Piccadilly Hall.

Piccadilly Hall, mentioned by Lord Clarendon, in his "History of the Rebellion," under date 1640. Referring to himself, Clarendon says: " Mr. Hyde going to a house called Piccadilly, which was a fair house for for entertainment and gaming, with handsome gravel walks and with shade, and where were an upper and a lower bowling-green, whither very many of nobility and gentry of the best quality resorted for exercise and conversation."

Ruben   Link to this

Thank you Pedro for the interesting incident about half a fowl in the pocket.
This is the kind of stories that go around the world every time with other heroes. I remember reading this story as happening after the first World War, during the big economic debacle in a French veterans soldiers gathering. A watch is lost and one of the veterans refuses to be searched, and is outcast by his friends, etc. Years later the watch is found and the owner looks for the one who did not want to be searched and discovers the truth...
This was published in the Reader's Digest during the 1940'.

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