Wednesday 27 May 1663

So I waked by 3 o’clock, my mind being troubled, and so took occasion by making water to wake my wife, and after having lain till past 4 o’clock seemed going to rise, though I did it only to see what she would do, and so going out of the bed she took hold of me and would know what ailed me, and after many kind and some cross words I began to tax her discretion in yesterday’s business, but she quickly told me my own, knowing well enough that it was my old disease of jealousy, which I denied, but to no purpose. After an hour’s discourse, sometimes high and sometimes kind, I found very good reason to think that her freedom with him is very great and more than was convenient, but with no evil intent, and so after awhile I caressed her and parted seeming friends, but she crying in a great discontent. So I up and by water to the Temple, and thence with Commissioner Pett to St. James’s, where an hour with Mr. Coventry talking of Mr. Pett’s proceedings lately in the forest of Sherwood, and thence with Pett to my Lord Ashley, Chancellor of the Exchequer; where we met the auditors about settling the business of the accounts of persons to whom money is due before the King’s time in the Navy, and the clearing of their imprests for what little of their debts they have received. I find my Lord, as he is reported, a very ready, quick, and diligent person. Thence I to Westminster Hall, where Term and Parliament make the Hall full of people; no further news yet of the King of France, whether he be dead or not. Here I met with my cozen Roger Pepys, and walked a good while with him, and among other discourse as a secret he hath committed to nobody but myself, and he tells me that his sister Claxton now resolving to give over the keeping of his house at Impington, he thinks it fit to marry again, and would have me, by the help of my uncle Wight or others, to look him out a widow between thirty and forty years old, without children, and with a fortune, which he will answer in any degree with a joynture fit for her fortune. A woman sober, and no high-flyer, as he calls it. I demanded his estate. He tells me, which he says also he hath not done to any, that his estate is not full 800l. per annum, but it is 780l. per annum, of which 200l. is by the death of his last wife, which he will allot for a joynture for a wife, but the rest, which lies in Cambridgeshire, he is resolved to leave entire for his eldest son. I undertook to do what I can in it, and so I shall. He tells me that the King hath sent to them to hasten to make an end by midsummer, because of his going into the country; so they have set upon four bills to dispatch: the first of which is, he says, too devilish a severe act against conventicles; so beyond all moderation, that he is afeard it will ruin all: telling me that it is matter of the greatest grief to him in the world, that he should be put upon this trust of being a Parliament-man, because he says nothing is done, that he can see, out of any truth and sincerity, but mere envy and design. Thence by water to Chelsey, all the way reading a little book I bought of “Improvement of Trade,” a pretty book and many things useful in it. So walked to Little Chelsey, where I found my Lord Sandwich with Mr. Becke, the master of the house, and Mr. Creed at dinner, and I sat down with them, and very merry. After dinner (Mr. Gibbons being come in also before dinner done) to musique, they played a good Fancy, to which my Lord is fallen again, and says he cannot endure a merry tune, which is a strange turn of his humour, after he has for two or three years flung off the practice of Fancies and played only fidlers’ tunes. Then into the Great Garden up to the Banqueting House; and there by his glass we drew in the species very pretty. Afterwards to ninepins, where I won a shilling, Creed and I playing against my Lord and Cooke. This day there was great thronging to Banstead Downs, upon a great horse-race and foot-race. I am sorry I could not go thither. So home back as I came, to London Bridge, and so home, where I find my wife in a musty humour, and tells me before Ashwell that Pembleton had been there, and she would not have him come in unless I was there, which I was ashamed of; but however, I had rather it should be so than the other way. So to my office, to put things in order there, and by and by comes Pembleton, and word is brought me from my wife thereof that I might come home. So I sent word that I would have her go dance, and I would come presently. So being at a great loss whether I should appear to Pembleton or no, and what would most proclaim my jealousy to him, I at last resolved to go home, and took Tom Hater with me, and staid a good while in my chamber, and there took occasion to tell him how I hear that Parliament is putting an act out against all sorts of conventicles, and did give him good counsel, not only in his own behalf, but my own, that if he did hear or know anything that could be said to my prejudice, that he would tell me, for in this wicked age (specially Sir W. Batten being so open to my reproaches, and Sir J. Minnes, for the neglect of their duty, and so will think themselves obliged to scandalize me all they can to right themselves if there shall be any inquiry into the matters of the Navy, as I doubt there will) a man ought to be prepared to answer for himself in all things that can be inquired concerning him. After much discourse of this nature to him I sent him away, and then went up, and there we danced country dances, and single, my wife and I; and my wife paid him off for this month also, and so he is cleared. After dancing we took him down to supper, and were very merry, and I made myself so, and kind to him as much as I could, to prevent his discourse, though I perceive to my trouble that he knows all, and may do me the disgrace to publish it as much as he can. Which I take very ill, and if too much provoked shall witness it to her. After supper and he gone we to bed.

30 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Damnit, Samuel...Kiss that sweet girl and thank God she tolerates you.

Lawrence   Link to this

" and there by his glass we drew (Magnified) in the Species very pretty, I'll bet they weren't all our feathered friends!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...though I perceive to my trouble that he knows all, and may do me the disgrace to publish it as much as he can."

So, was it Sam's guilt talking? Or did he perceive some attempt by Mr. P to avoid any hints of contact with Bess? Or did Pembleton actually refer to it, perhaps making a well-intended but badly-timed light joke?

Oh, the shame...

"Why, here's our dear Thee, come to..."

"Cousin Samuel, Mama sends her regards and asked me to leave this basket of wine." Curtsy. "Cousin Bess, might I have a word in private?" Theophilia giving a stare with all the cool dignity a brattily precocious preteen can muster.

"Cousin Samuel." Curtsy. Thee leaves fifteen minutes later with all the grace of a queen...

A blinking, sputtering Bess staring after her as she emerges from her chamber...

"What did Thee want with you...?"

"That...That...She told me...She'd heard...From 'acquaintances'...That you...That I and Mr. Pembleton...My French wiles...That little..."

"I knew it. Everyone knows. Disgraced. A laughinstock. Look what your indiscretion has brought me down to, Bess."

"YOU and your stupid jealous fits!! 'Everyone' saw you running around to the house every half-hour...The maids have been telling 'everyone' how you were even checking the beds and looking in the wash for my drawers, you idiot!!"


"And by the way, Monsieur. It's high time you told that little brat of a cousin you are not merely bidding time until she's a bit more grown."

TerryF   Link to this

"I...took occasion to tell him how I hear that Parliament is putting an act out against all sorts of conventicles,"

Samuel has knowledge of what occurred in Commons four days ago and resulted in the footnoted Act:

Sectaries, &c.

A Bill to retain his Majesty's Subjects in their Obedience, and to provide Remedies against the unlawful Meeting of Sectaries, Non-conformists, and Dissenters from the Church, was this Day read the Second time.

Resolved, &c. That the said Bill be committed to [57 named M's of P] : And all the Members of this House, to whom it was formerly referred, to prepare and bring in the Bill, are appointed to be of the Committee: And all Members that shall come, are to have Voices thereat: And they are to meet on Monday at Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Court of Wards: And to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 23 May 1663', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), p. 491. URL: Date accessed: 27May 2006.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"27 May 1663"
The days are getting longer but Sam's entries are getting ridiculously long.

Bradford   Link to this

"Then into the Great Garden up to the Banqueting House; and there by his glass we drew in the species very pretty."

I am dim. Species of what? Butterflies? Birds? The fairer (or should I say stronger) sex?

The chance to make music with the son of Orlando Gibbons and teacher of John Blow was a rare opportunity (see Alan Bedford's informative note on him). A "fancy" is one of many English terms for a fantasia, "an instrumental composition whose form and invention spring 'solely from the fantasy and skill of the author who created it.'" The English predilection was for "diversity of material"---in other words, the player would improvise at will, with runs, variations, informal fugues, "bindings with discordes, quicke motions, slow motions, proportions, and what you list" (Thomas Morley). (Cf. The New Grove, 1980) Though Pepys contrasts the piece to the country fiddler's tunes formerly enjoyed by My Lord, the fancy would not necessarily have been solemn.

dirk   Link to this

"no further news yet of the King of France, whether he be dead or not"

It strikes me that at the time being ill must have been such a serious business that the idea of death was always present in people's minds.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"in his glass"

Is this a microscope and are they drawing what they see under the lens?

Or a magnifying glass?

or a camera obscura?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam takes the first opportunity he can to warn Tom Hater of what is in the wind and the dangers he may face if not discreet - Sam is being a careful friend here.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Banstead Downs

later known as Epsom Downs. This is an early mention of what has become one of the most famous racecourses in the world. See

TerryF   Link to this

Messrs. Pepys and Hater are protecting one another.

"I...did give him good counsel, not only in his own behalf, but my own, that if he did hear or know anything that could be said to my prejudice, that he would tell me, in this wicked age...a man ought to be prepared to answer for himself in all things that can be inquired concerning him."

Samuel's word to Mr. Hater recalls this sequence of events:

9 May 1663: "Mr. Hater...the poor man began telling me that by Providence being the last Lord’s day at a meeting of some Friends upon doing of their duties, they were surprised, and he carried to the Counter, but afterwards released; however, hearing that Sir W. Batten do hear of [it,] he thought it good to give me an account of it, lest it might tend to any prejudice to me. I was extraordinary surprised with it, and troubled for him, knowing that now it is out it is impossible for me to conceal it, or keep him in employment under me without danger to myself....I could not without tears in my eyes discourse with him further, but at last did pitch upon telling the truth of the whole to Mr. Coventry as soon as I could, and to that end did use means to prevent Sir W. Batten...from going to that end to-day, lest he might doe it to Sir G. Carteret or Mr. Coventry before me; which I did prevail and kept him at the office all the morning."

10 May 1663 "I telling [Mr. Coventry] what had happened to Tom Hater, at which he seems very sorry, but tells me that if it is not made very publique, it will not be necessary to put him away at present, but give him good caution for the time to come. However, he will speak to the Duke about it and know his pleasure."

15 May 1663: "Mr. Coventry...told me that for Mr. Hater the Duke’s word was...that he found he had a good servant, an Anabaptist, and unless he did carry himself more to the scandal of the office, he would bear with his opinion till he heard further, which do please me very much."

But not even the Duke can protect one like Hater from Parliament, the glove of the fist of his Royal Brother, Charles Rex. And Pepys?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"all the way reading a little book I bought of “Improvement of Trade,”

From a review of titles published 1600 to 1663 the most plausible candidate (the other potential works are all 4to.) appears to be:-

FORTREY, Samuel: England's Interest and Improvement, consisting in the increase of the store, and trade of this kingdom..
Cambridge, 1663.. 8vo.

For the text of the editon of 1673 see:-

JWB   Link to this

"...and there by his glass we drew in the species very pretty."
From Webster's 1913 Dictionary: \Spe"cies\, n. sing. & pl. [L., a sight, outward appearance, shape, form, a particular sort, kind, or quality,
a species. See {Spice}, n., and cf. {Specie}, {Special}.]
1. Visible or sensible presentation; appearance; a sensible
percept received by the imagination; an image. [R.] ``The
species of the letters illuminated with indigo and
violet.'' --Sir I. Newton
In that they went "up to the Banqueting House;" and "drew in" the species or image, I imagine Sam's writing about looking though a telescope.

language hat   Link to this


The word has become so narrowed in sense it's hard to read older texts without importing the modern meaning. But in Sam's day it still had the whole range of meanings of the Latin word (which is derived from specio 'to see, observe'): 'something presented to view, spectacle, sight; outward appearance, look, aspect; subdivision of any class or kind, sort; (in Platonic philosophy = Gk. idea) an eternally existing archetype of any class of thing.' Here are some relevant OED definitions (with a few quotes from Sam's period):

1. Appearance; outward form.
1660 BARROW Euclid I. xxxii, All right-lined figures of the same species.

3. a. The outward appearance or aspect, the visible form or image, of something, as constituting the immediate object of vision. (Common in 17th cent.)
1699 LD. TARBUT Let. in Pepys' Diary (1870) 688 That which is generally seen by them is the species of living creatures, and inanimate things, which are in motion.

b. Similarly without of.
1613 W. BROWNE in Sir T. Overbury's Wks. (1856) 12 Yet through thy wounded fame, as thorow these Glasses which multiply the species, We see thy vertues more.
1654 GAYTON Pleas. Notes I. viii. 27 For he saw at a convenient distance forty windmills to be the very same, that the species represented them.

c. The image of something as cast upon, or reflected from, a surface; a reflection. Obs.
1638 WILKINS New World v. (1707) 41 The Light which appears in the Moon at the Eclipses, is nothing else but the second Species of the Sun's Rays. 1669 Phil. Trans. IV. 1104 The way of casting the Species of the Sun through a good Telescope of a competent length, on an extended paper.

4. A thing seen; a spectacle; esp. an unreal or imaginary object of sight; a phantom or illusion.
1652 J. WRIGHT tr. Camus' Nat. Paradox VI. 134 Shee had no sooner opened her Eyes, but the first species that formed it self to her sight, was an horrible Serpent of an immense growth.

Mary   Link to this

"a musty humour"

What a descriptive phrase!

TerryF   Link to this


Without access to an OED at the moment, an internet search suggests this is an early occurrence of this term connoting
1. An ambitious person, likely to achieve their goals.
2. Someone naturally skilled and competent in their career.

Etymology: 17c.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

specious derived from species?

Stolzi   Link to this

"Specious derived from species"

Yes, from the Latin word's sense of "outward appearance," O waterily written one.

I rather imagine that "by his glass we drew in the species very pretty" means that with a spyglass, or telescope, they were able to observe either birds or plant species in the Great Garden as if from close up.

Stolzi   Link to this

A very interesting night
and early morning chez Pepys.

Once again, the censor is off duty, as Pepys "makes water." And does other things in the effort to make his spouse ask "What's the matter?"

How this resonates across three centuries, as we today still do things to make our spouses ask "What's the matter?" I know I've done it myself.

"She crying in a great discontent." As well might be, if she were innocent; and if she were guilty, she'd be sure to put on a big show in that kind.

Some cross words, and some kind, all mixed together with tears and kisses. Oh, bless their dear hearts.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Terry ye must tuned in to SP's wave length, another Pepys word hits the O[dd] E. Dictiionary
high-flyer, -flier
2. One who soars high in his aims, ambitions, notions, etc.
1663 PEPYS Diary 27 May, He..would have look him out a widow..A woman sober, and no high-flyer, as he calls it.

1. a. lit. One who or that which flies high, as a person, a bird, a balloon, or the like; also, a swing set in a frame. 1589 R. HARVEY Pl. Perc. (1590) 15 Men haue great desire to be compted high fliers and deepe swimmers. 1698 W. CHILCOT Evil Thoughts vi. (1851) 61 These highflyers, when they are in their altitudes, suddenly their waxen wings melt, and down they fall headlong.

Bradford   Link to this

"Then into the Great Garden up to the Banqueting House; and there by his glass we drew in the species very pretty."

Based on Language Hat's multiple definitions, I would now interpret the sentence as meaning that, through a telescope, they now could see the prospect before them in great detail.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Presumably high-flier derives from the legend of Icarus, so Sam saying this implies the headlong fall is to be expected as well.

dirk   Link to this

"a little book I bought of 'Improvement of Trade'"

From the link provided by Michael Robinson above:

"...forein commodities are grown into so great esteem amongst us, as we wholly undervalue and neglect the use of our own, whereby that great expence of treasure, that is yearly wasted in clothing, furnitures, and the like; redounds chiefly to the profit of strangers, and to the ruine of his Majesties Subjects."

The old Mercantilistic argument again --- see also:

Roger   Link to this

Banstead Downs
There still is a Banstead Downs, not far from Epsom Downs, where there is some evidence that horse-racing took place before the first Epsom Derby in 1780(117 years after Pepys's 'great horse race' which may well have been in Banstead, not Epsom) Indeed, I dont think the current racecourse is in exactly the same place as in 1780. There will be a 'great thronging', no doubt, to Epsom next Saturday for the latest renewal of this great part of the English social scene(for all 'classes'). I shall probably throng over myself.

Pedro   Link to this

Banstead Downs

King Henry VIII used to hold races on the 4-mile stretch of land then called the Banstead. It was later known as Epsom for mineral springs in the area, and also “the Hill” for a large hill on which spectators would view the action.
In the old days, a horseshoe-shaped course was marked out with white sticks on the open, rolling meadow.
Horse racing was suppressed in England after the English Civil War, but when it was revived after the Restoration in 1660, Epsom is where the first race was held

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Could be, Susan AUS 'Presumably high-flier derives from the legend of Icarus, so Sam saying this implies the headlong fall is to be expected as well'
But Sam has been reading Aesops fables, there are 600 or so, therefore it could have been taken from the book.The closest I could find,on line be

'Pride goes before destruction'
The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle
I remember a piece about a Lapwing flying high and singing away, did not see the hawk then there was silence,
and then a feather or two twitching to the terrain.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Pedro and Roger - see my link posted above for history of race course.

Nix   Link to this

Conventicle --


b. spec. in Eng. Hist. A meeting of (Protestant) Nonconformists or Dissenters from the Church of England for religious worship, during the period when such meetings were prohibited by the law.
This specific application gradually became distinct after 1593, and may be said to have been recognized by the ‘Conventicle Act’ of 1664; for although the word there occurs in constant conjunction with assembly and meeting, and always with qualification, it was entitled ‘An Act to prevent and suppress seditious conventicles’, by which title it is cited in the Act of Toleration of 1689. The application to Nonconformist worship after its legalization or ‘establishment’ in 1689, and esp. after the repeal of the Conventicle Act in 1812, comes, according to circumstances, from a historical survival of the idea of illegality or from a living idea of schism or heresy.
1593 Act 35 Eliz. c. I. present at any unlawful Assemblies, Conventicles or Meetings, under Colour or Pretence of any Exercise of Religion. 1631 High Commission Cases (Camden) 200 Mr. Viccars preacheth at Stamford and blesseth some and curseth others that doe not frequent his conventicles. 1663 PEPYS Diary 27 May, The first [bill], he [Roger Pepys] says, too devilish a severe act against conventicles. 1664 Act 16 Chas. II, c. 4 (Conventicle Act) Any Assembly Conventicle or Meeting under colour or pretence of any Exercise of Religion in other manner than is allowed by the Liturgy or practise of the Church of England. 1664 PEPYS Diary 7 Aug., Came by several poor creatures carried by constables, for being at a conventicle. 1678 BUTLER Hud. III. ii. 1388 Take all religions in, and stickle From Conclave down to Conventicle. 1682 DRYDEN Medal 284 A Conventicle of gloomy sullen Saints. 1711 Act 10 Anne c. 6 (Occasional Conformity Act) Present at any Conventicle Assembly or Meeting..for the Exercise of Religion in other Manner than according to the Liturgy and Practice of the Church of which Conventicle Assembly or Meeting there shall be Ten Persons or more assembled together over and besides those of the same Houshold. 1711 ADDISON Spect. No. 127 {page}7, I wish it may not drive many ordinary Women into Meetings and Conventicles. 1827 HALLAM Const. Hist. (1876) I. iv. 185 When..even those who voluntarily renounced the temporal advantages of the establishment were hunted from their private conventicles. 1878 LECKY Eng. in 18th C. II. v. 39 It was made a capital offence to preach in any conventicle.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

“high-flyer” The L&M equates the saying to the high and mighty Bishops [in the Sense of Church and State] 'tis better than Hog-high [pig headed]

Patricia   Link to this

In Georgette Heyer's novels set in the period of George III & IV, "high flyer" is a euphemism for a woman of loose morals. If it had this idiomatic meaning in Pepys' time, I can certainly see why his cousin doesn't want such a wife.

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