Friday 8 May 1663

Up very early and to my office, there preparing letters to my father of great import in the settling of our affairs, and putting him upon a way [of] good husbandry, I promising to make out of my own purse him up to 50l. per annum, till either by my uncle Thomas’s death or the fall of the Wardrobe place he be otherwise provided. That done I by water to the Strand, and there viewed the Queen-Mother’s works at Somersett House, and thence to the new playhouse, but could not get in to see it. So to visit my Lady Jemimah, who is grown much since I saw her; but lacks mightily to be brought into the fashion of the court to set her off: Thence to the Temple, and there sat till one o’clock reading at Playford’s in Dr. Usher’s ‘Body of Divinity’ his discourse of the Scripture, which is as much, I believe, as is anywhere said by any man, but yet there is room to cavill, if a man would use no faith to the tradition of the Church in which he is born, which I think to be as good an argument as most is brought for many things, and it may be for that among others. Thence to my brother’s, and there took up my wife and Ashwell to the Theatre Royall, being the second day of its being opened. The house is made with extraordinary good contrivance, and yet hath some faults, as the narrowness of the passages in and out of the Pitt, and the distance from the stage to the boxes, which I am confident cannot hear; but for all other things it is well, only, above all, the musique being below, and most of it sounding under the very stage, there is no hearing of the bases at all, nor very well of the trebles, which sure must be mended. The play was “The Humerous Lieutenant,” a play that hath little good in it, nor much in the very part which, by the King’s command, Lacy now acts instead of Clun. In the dance, the tall devil’s actions was very pretty. The play being done, we home by water, having been a little shamed that my wife and woman were in such a pickle, all the ladies being finer and better dressed in the pitt than they used, I think, to be. To my office to set down this day’s passage, and, though my oath against going to plays do not oblige me against this house, because it was not then in being, yet believing that at the time my meaning was against all publique houses, I am resolved to deny myself the liberty of two plays at Court, which are in arreare to me for the months of March and April, which will more than countervail this excess, so that this month of May is the first that I must claim a liberty of going to a Court play according to my oath. So home to supper, and at supper comes Pembleton, and afterwards we all up to dancing till late, and so broke up and to bed, and they say that I am like to make a dancer.

31 Annotations

dirk   Link to this

Remember Mr Elliston?
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/04/24/#c44967

The Rev. Josselin's Diary cont'd... with some moral considerations about debt & expenses vs. income.

"Mr Ed. Ellistons estate made over to me and Mr Harlakenden for payment of his debts(.) its one of the best pieces of moral wisdom to our estates, to live within our bounds and so pay our debts because we contract none, he that once overshoots on hope of a good crop, to repay and clear, in my mind runs into the dirt to better his shoes by thoughts of wiping them, if god raise my expense at one time beyond my income, I will shorten it, if I can, to come even."

jeannine   Link to this

"they say that I am like to make a dancer."
Hmm, do you suppose he believes them?

Eric Walla   Link to this

Is Sam acting out the part of a good lawyer here? He comes up with a perfectly respectable (though silly) nit-picky excuse why he CAN go to that particular public house (why it wasn't even built when I made that oath), then counters himself with the generalist, rational view that he meant All public houses. How to resolve this quandry?

Of course he must agree to disagree ... with himself, and then makes a note to change the contract. Thus, you see, it wasn't a violation after all, but ... umm ... a lack of precision in the language.

TerryF   Link to this

Life under The Oath requires double-entry moral account-books.

There are debits and credits, strictly itemized; they can be quantified and their discount value calculated and made fungible.

"Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things "
-- *Ash-Wednesday* by T S Eliot, VI
http://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/~gjm11/poems/ashwed....

Roy Feldman   Link to this

"...which is as much, I believe, as is anywhere said by any man, but yet there is room to cavill, if a man would use no faith to the tradition of the Church in which he is born, which I think to be as good an argument as most is brought for many things, and it may be for that among others."

Anyone able to elucidate here? The first part seems like Pepys is saying that the book is full of trite opinions. But I'm not sure what relation (if any) that has to the second part. "And it may be for that among others" also seems obscure to me.

Roy Feldman   Link to this

"...and afterwards we all up to dancing till late..."

Nowadays, if you were simply going to tell some you danced until dawn, you'd say, "...and afterwards we were all up dancing till late..."

It's the inclusion of the word "to" that intrigues me. It makes me wonder if the common question "What are you up to?" actually contains a construction that used to be more frequent, and have less of a connotation of mischief -- namely, "to be up to". Any Language Hatters able to shed some light on Pepys's word choice? (For all I know, that intriguing "to" is just a transcription error...)

Pauline   Link to this

"...up to dancing..."
Or, upstairs to dance.

Pauline   Link to this

"...if a man would use no faith to the tradition of the Church in which he is born...."
I'm with you Roy F. This passage is disjointed! Maybe he is saying that Dr. Usher has said no more than has been said before; and Sam takes issue with the idea that embrassing your faith just because you were born to it isn't enough. He feels being born to it ranks among the other arguments for belief and therefore stands among them.

??

Pauline   Link to this

"...as good an argument as most is brought for many things...
Let me amend myself. Not among other arguments for faith, but other arguments for other things we believe or base our lives on--who we are by what we are born into. Very interesting indeed, IF this is what he is saying. Saying it disjointedly because it is thinking emerging, without the way to say it already swirling about in how people talk about such things?

TerryF   Link to this

Well, that intriguing “to” is in the L&M text also.

Also intriguing, Roy Feldman, is the possibility that "to dance" is why "we all" [were] "up."

TerryF   Link to this

“…as good an argument as most is brought for many things…"

A later philosopher wrote: "If the settlement of opinion is the sole object of inquiry, and if belief is of the nature of a habit, why should we not attain the desired end, by taking as answer to a question any we may fancy, and constantly reiterating it to ourselves, dwelling on all which may conduce to that belief, and learning to turn with contempt and hatred from anything that might disturb it? This simple and direct method is really pursued by many men....

"But this method of fixing belief, which may be called the method of tenacity, will be unable to hold its ground in practice. The social impulse is against it. The man who adopts it will find that other men think differently from him, and it will be apt to occur to him, in some saner moment, that their opinions are quite as good as his own, and this will shake his confidence in his belief...."

-- "The Fixation of Belief" [by the American Pragmaticist] Charles S. Peirce. Popular Science Monthly 12 (November 1877), 1-15. http://www.peirce.org/writings/p107.html

TerryF   Link to this

Which is to say, Pauline, that Peirce is on your wavelenth, methinks.

* * *

A bit Off Topioc: the too-little-known Peirce (whose name sounds like "purse") is arguably "the most original and the most versatile intellect that the Americas have so far produced." http://www.peirce.org/

Mary   Link to this

The women fall short.

Sam seems remarkably sensitive to the niceties of fashion today. Even Lady Jem is looking dowdy and as for Elizabeth and Ashwell, they are thoroughly outshone by the other women in the theatre. More expense to come? Or simply, no more theatre trips for the women of the Pepys household?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and thence to the new playhouse but coul not get in to see it"
What? Isn't he a VIP?!

A. Hamilton   Link to this

till either by my uncle Thomas’s death or the fall of the Wardrobe place he be otherwise provided

I note that Sam, having told himself he would subsidize his father in the amount of 20l. a year, now writes to him to say it will be "up to" 50 l. a year. I can't tell if this be a change of heart or a desire to sound more generous than he intends to be. Any ideas? Does L&M shed any light on the Wardrobe place mentioned here? Is Sam trying to get a Wardrobe stipend for himself or his father through the good offices of Sandwich?

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

there sat till one o’clock reading

Sam apparently skips dinner to read Ussher. I think he intends both praise by the expression "as much, I believe, as is anywhere said by any man" (cf. "what oft was said, but ne'er so well expressed" -Pope) and an assessment that Ussher's is the then currently cannonical view of Scripture (whatever that was). I read Sam's comment,"as good an argument as most is brought for many things" as endorsing the view that a man should (be allowed to) keep the faith in which he was raised -- in other words, an argument for plural views on Scripture and things religious, as opposed to a single cannonical law.This, I seem to recall, is essentially Sandwich's view, and perhaps the King's, but not the prevailing view of Parliament, and Sam probably opens his views on such subjects only to his diary.

language hat   Link to this

“…up to dancing…”
I agree with Pauline: this simply means "upstairs to dance."

jeannine   Link to this

"Is Sam trying to get a Wardrobe stipend for himself or his father through the good offices of Sandwich?"
Spolier, Spolier, Spolier....
More detail on this will come in about 10 days, but Sam is trying to secure a position in the Wardrobe (through Sandwich) for his father. All of the Brampton discussions between father and son will be summarized in a letter from Sam to his father, which Phil will post to coincide with the day Sam would have sent it. So, hang tight.

jeannine   Link to this

PS--EEK I can't type/spell or proofread today (or most days if you read my entries) I meant SPOILER!

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Sam seems remarkably sensitive to the niceties

I would extend Mary's acute comment about Sam's critical frame of mind today to other parts of this entry, such as the critique of the layout of the Theater Royal, the quality of the play, the views of Bishop Ussher and even the close reading of his vows to determine whether he owes a penalty for today's theater visit. In most cases (Ushher being a possible exception) we know where he stands!

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"... afterwards we all up to dancing till late..." afterwards we all got up to dance, and then swung [hoofed] until the late hours.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"... they say that I am like to make a dancer..." flattery works, as Sam has to pay the piper and the Maestro too.
If they had told him that he had two left feet and the Ladies toes be flattened, then he would not want to pay the master of the One Two, or he would be mouthing off about how the maestro be incompetant.

Pauline   Link to this

"...my Lady Jemimah, who...lacks mightily to be brought into the fashion of the court to set her off..."
Mary, I don't think he means she looks dowdy. He appears to think that she can't be brought into fashion--fancy clothes alone won't do it. Remember that at the beginning of the diary she was living in London to go through a series of treatments to straighten out her neck (with Sam as her guardian). I am afraid she is not a straight-carriaged and pretty young girl.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

insight to religious thinking"
Here be the Kings speech on the subject'I did expect to have had some Bills presented unto me against the several Distempers in Religion, against seditious Conventicles, and against the Growth of Popery: But it may be you have been in some fear of those Contradictions in Religion in some Conspiracy against the public Peace, to which I doubt Men of the most contrary Motives in Conscience are inclinable enough. I do promise you to lay this Business, and the Mischiefs which must flow from these Licences, to heart; and if I live to meet with you again, as I hope I shall, I will myself take care to present two Bills to you to that end. And as I have already given it in charge to the Judges, in their several Circuits, to use their utmost endeavours to prevent and punish the scandalous and seditious Meetings of Sectaries, and to convict the Papists; so I will be as watchful, and take all the pains I can, that neither the one nor the other shall disturb the Peace of the Kingdom. I shall not need to desire you to use all diligence in levying and collecting the Subsidies you have given me, and heartily wish the distribution may be made with all Equality and Justice, and without any Animosity or Faction, or remembring any thing that hath been done in the late ill Times; which you know we are all oblig'd to forget, as well as to forgive. And indeed till we have dene so, we can never be in perfect Peace; and therefore I can never put you too much in mind of it. I think it necessary to make this a Session, that so the Current of Justice may run the next two Terms, without any obstruction by privilege of Parliament: And therefore I shall prorogue you till March, when I doubt not but by God's Blessing we shall meet again, to our joint Satisfaction; and that you shall have cause to thank me for what I shall have done in the Interval.'

From: 'The second parliament of Charles II: Third session- begins 18/2/1663', The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons : volume 1: 1660-1680 (1742), pp. 60-72. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 09 May 2006.

TerryF   Link to this

Thanks, i.A.S., for reminding us of the age's major theme.

Some days' Diary entries make it easy to forget that the Pepys's dances are always accompanied by the deep drum-beat of religious conflict.

Bradford   Link to this

"“…my Lady Jemimah, who…lacks mightily to be brought into the fashion of the court to set her off…”

Might what she lacks be money? You can't keep up with fashion on the cheap (unless that's the fashion)---viz. his reflections on the figures cut by Elizabeth and Ashwell.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

insight to religious thinking

This reminds me that the Act of Uniformity is only a few months old, when 2000 clergy lost their jobs, including some who were preachers to Sam in his youth. The king must have heard the grumbling. He seems to be treading tricky ground here, promising to bring the law down on Sectaries as well as Papists (with whom he has secret sympathy?), but also advising that "we are all oblig’d to forget, as well as to forgive" the past? His main concern appears to be "Conspiracy against the public Peace" rather than religious conscience per se.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my Lady Jemimah, who is grown much since I saw her; but lacks mightily to be brought into the fashion of the court to set her off..."

Sounds to me like a subtle criticism of Sandwich who is not seeing that his daughter be properly fitted for court life.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Sam's subsidy to his father

A. Hamilton writes:
"I note that Sam, having told himself he would subsidize his father in the amount of 20l. a year, now writes to him to say it will be “up to” 50 l. a year. I can’t tell if this be a change of heart or a desire to sound more generous than he intends to be. Any ideas?"

Without anticipating the letter Jeannine tells us we will see soon, recall that on May 1 Sam calculated that the Brampton estate would yield 50 l. per annum, but he would tell his father a lower number, and say that he would provide 20 l. out of his own purse to make the annual income 50 l. (father John apparently lacking either the information or the skill to figure this out for himself). So what I think Sam is saying here is that he will ensure that his father has 50 l. a year to live on, however much of that Sam has to provide, although privately he believes he may have to lay out little or nothing.

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/05/01/

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Sam's subsidy

Paul, that makes sense to me now that you've laid it out. Thanks.

slangist   Link to this

“…my Lady Jemimah, who is grown much since I saw her; but lacks mightily to be brought into the fashion of the court to set her off…”

possible translation:
but would have her beauty well-accentuated if she were dressed in the height of fashion as at court, though she is far from being so now [=lacks mightily]

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