Monday 1 June 1663

Begun again to rise betimes by 4 o’clock, and made an end of “The Adventures of Five Houres,” and it is a most excellent play. So to my office, where a while and then about several businesses, in my way to my brother’s, where I dined (being invited) with Mr. Peter and Dean Honiwood, where Tom did give us a very pretty dinner, and we very pleasant, but not very merry, the Dean being but a weak man, though very good. I was forced to rise, being in haste to St. James’s to attend the Duke, and left them to end their dinner; but the Duke having been a-hunting to-day, and so lately come home and gone to bed, we could not see him, and Mr. Coventry being out of the house too, we walked away to White Hall and there took coach, and I with Sir J. Minnes to the Strand May-pole; and there ‘light out of his coach, and walked to the New Theatre, which, since the King’s players are gone to the Royal one, is this day begun to be employed by the fencers to play prizes at. And here I came and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life: and it was between one Mathews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times both in the head and legs, that he was all over blood: and other deadly blows they did give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a most sad pickle. They fought at eight weapons, three bouts at each weapon. It was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think that it has only been a cheat; but this being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest; and I felt one of their swords, and found it to be very little, if at all blunter on the edge, than the common swords are. Strange to see what a deal of money is flung to them both upon the stage between every bout. But a woful rude rabble there was, and such noises, made my head ake all this evening. So, well pleased for once with this sight, I walked home, doing several businesses by the way. In my way calling to see Commissioner Pett, who lies sick at his daughter, a pretty woman, in Gracious Street, but is likely to be abroad again in a day or two. At home I found my wife in bed all this day … . I went to see Sir Wm. Pen, who has a little pain of his gout again, but will do well. So home to supper and to bed. This day I hear at Court of the great plot which was lately discovered in Ireland, made among the Presbyters and others, designing to cry up the Covenant, and to secure Dublin Castle and other places; and they have debauched a good part of the army there, promising them ready money.1 Some of the Parliament there, they say, are guilty, and some withdrawn upon it; several persons taken, and among others a son of Scott’s, that was executed here for the King’s murder. What reason the King hath, I know not; but it seems he is doubtfull of Scotland: and this afternoon, when I was there, the Council was called extraordinary; and they were opening the letters this last post’s coming and going between Scotland and us and other places. Blessed be God, my head and hands are clear, and therefore my sleep safe. The King of France is well again.

  1. This was known as “Blood’s Plot,” and was named after Colonel Thomas Blood, afterwards notorious for his desperate attack upon the Duke of Ormond in St. James’s Street (1670) and for his robbery of the crown jewels in the Tower (1671). He died August 24th, 1680.

21 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

"[The prize fight] was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think that it has only been a cheat; but this being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest....Strange to see what a deal of money is flung to them both upon the stage between every bout. But a wo[e]ful rude rabble there was, and such noises...."

The "private quarrel" bit acted out/played up on the telly in professional wrestling matches in the US before the cheering "woeful rude rabble" in 2006 is over 343 years old.

Samuel, you've been gulled. Man of the world? not yet OR not lowbrow enough to be one. Hang around.

TerryF   Link to this

And, of course, the usual Wheatley elision:

"At home I found my wife in bed all this day . . . . "

L&M have: "At home I find my wife in bed all this day of her months."

Does anyone else wonder whether there was a 17th-century remedy for menses besides bedrest - for the well-off.
(Has Elizabeth a flask under the covers?)

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"Blessed be God, my head and hands are clear, and therefore my sleep safe."

If only the one could always ensure the other...

TerryF   Link to this

(Perhaps a rude or uninformed question - about the flask.)

Pedro   Link to this

"What reason the King hath, I know not; but it seems he is doubtfull of Scotland:"

It could be safe to say, that like his old man he did not like the Scots.

Summary from Charles II by Antonia Fraser…

After Charles had sworn the oath in Scotland, the Kirk pressed on him, amongst other humiliations, the need to denounce his mother and father, that there must have been a measure of revenge in it against the whole House of Stuart. A day was appointed to bewail the sins of the late King…

The mixture of religious fanaticism and low living did not endear itself to the newly acclaimed King of Scotland.

To Dr. King, Dean of Tuam (Anglican), he observed in conversation “The Scots have dealt very ill with me, very ill.”

He had written to Nicolas that it was difficult to conceive the villainy in Scotland “Indeed it has done me a great deal of good, for nothing could have confirmed me more to the Church of England than being here seeing their hypocrisy.”

In March of 62 he had carelessly remarked to Clarendon “For my part, rebel to rebel, I had rather trust a Papist rebel than a Presbyterian one.” He is also quoted as saying “Was it possible for a man to be a Presbyterian and a gentleman?”

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"Begun again to rise betimes by 4 o’clock"

Another indication of what Sam considers "betimes" (though I'd thought 5:00 was betimes, and 4:00 "very betimes").

dirk   Link to this

Irish affairs: the Blood’s Plot

Some extra info, from the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

A letter from Sir Arthur Forbes to the Duke of Ormond, 22 May:
There is just ground to suspect "some sudden design" against the State. The people generally, hereabouts, seem to apprehend present trouble ... Some have been known to say that the Castle of Dublin is the place aimed at ...

Dublin Castle, 23 May:
a proclamation by the Duke of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant and Council of Ireland, "for the apprehension of Thomas Blood, and others, concerned in a traitorous conspiracy for surprising and taking his Majesty's Castle of Dublin" (sixteen signatures).

A letter from Ormond to the King
Dublin, 30 May 1663:
"The late design was much more general than the writer at first believed it to be. It is very probable that, notwithstanding this disappointment, the like will be again undertaken, unless such use shall be made of the discovery as may let the conspirators see that there is no probability of success, and a certainty of ruin to the contrivers, if they fail ... "

dirk   Link to this

Blood's Plot - cont'd

Letter from Ormond to Bennet,
Dublin, 30 May 1663

... "It will be impossible to get full evidence against any of the conspirators, but at the price of pardoning some, to give testimony against the rest ...

---

Letter from Ormond to Clarendon,
Dublin Castle, 3 June 1663

Imparts various particulars concerning the late Conspiracy against the King's Government, in which, he says, "it is evident many of the disaffected subjects of Scottish birth & extraction have had a great part in the contrivance; and more were to have had their hands in the execution".

dirk   Link to this

"What reason the King hath, I know not; but it seems he is doubtfull of Scotland."

(From a newsletter, addressed by Mr Ross, from the Court at Whitehall, to Sir George Lane, at Dublin Castle)

Whitehall, 25 May 1663.
... in Scotland, upon occasion of a Minister being put into a living by the Bishop of the diocese, "contrary to the humour of some seditious schismatics", the women of the place fell upon him, and put a stop to the induction, whereupon, by order of the Council, the husbands were imprisoned; and a troop of Horse sent to keep the peace. --- Other "traitorous practices" in various places are noticed.

Source:
The Carte Papers, Bodleian Library
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Terry, I'd think it more likely Bess has a good...Or racy...French novel under the covers.

"The shirt torn from his chest by the foul D'Arcy's wicked sword cut, Raoul flexed his manly..."

"Bess? Feeling any better? I had the most fascinating day at the office compiling my new book of contracts...The one on shore supplies, not the one on sea gear."

"Ooooohhh..."

"Right. Well, I'll head over to see the Penns. Sir Will's got a touch of the gout again. Back soon."

***

"God, Ted...This is truly the most excellent place Rufus has sent us yet."

"And Mr. Pepys the most excellent host, Bill." Clink of glasses...

"Not to mention Bess..."

Whoa...Both shake themselves to express their appreciation of Bess' divine excellence. The said Bess beaming happily at the time travelers.

"Uh, not meaning to offend, dude Samuel."

"No, no way, dude."

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Remedies for "the months"
I used to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle or two, the cat, a couple of paracetamol and a good book. I no longer need to (age), but maybe I could convince my husband........ ("It's the HRT side effects, dear. Sorry, cannot do accounts, proof read reports, answer the phone, book flights etc etc.")
Oops. Yes, well, I'm not actually doing any of that at the moment am I folks.

graybo   Link to this

Westwicke was in a most sad pickle.

Is this an early example of this phrase? I thought being in a pickle was much more recent in origin.

Tom Burns   Link to this

... the Dean being but a weak man, though very good.

OK, I give up. Weak, how? Uninfluential, perhaps? A poor conversationalist? Can any of you etymologists out there help out with this?

language hat   Link to this

pickle

OED definition, with early citations:

4. a. A (usually disagreeable) condition or situation; a plight, a predicament. Now colloq.
The exact sense in quot. 1562 is unclear.
1562 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue Prov. & Epigr. sig. Uiii, Man is brickell. Freilties pickell. Poudreth mickell, Seasonyng lickell. 1573 T. TUSSER Fiue Hundreth Points Good Husb. 125 Reape barlie with sickle, that lies in ill pickle. 1585 J. FOXE Serm. 2 Cor. v. 21 In this pickle lyeth man by nature, that is, all wee that be Adams children. a1616 SHAKESPEARE Tempest V. i. 284 Alo. How cam'st thou in this pickle? Tri. I haue bin in such a pickle since I saw you last, That [etc.]. 1658 J. MENNES Wit Restor'd 45 What sad plight are we in? what pickles? That we must drink in conventicles? 1672 H. HERBERT Narr. in Camden Misc. XXX. 323 Their superiours.. were in the same pickle.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: "a most sad pickle"

Graybo, the first time Sam uses this phrase can be found here:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/09/26/

The estimable Language Hat then followed up, and found that, according to the OED, the usage went back to the 1560s:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/09/26/#c7533

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Estimable, and quicker on the draw than I, LH! :-)

That'll teach me to check for recent entries before clicking the Post button!

language hat   Link to this

weak

There's not enough information to say what exactly Sam meant by this; if I had to guess, I'd pick the OED's definition 9b. "Of a person: Wanting in ability, ill-qualified, unskilled or inefficient"; in other words, the Dean, though a good fellow, wasn't much of a conversationalist.

Araucaria   Link to this

"betimes" and "very betimes":

If it is already light enough to see clearly, you wouldn't say it's *very* early, would you? Betimes seems to be sunrise or shortly before or after -- the sky is bright. Very betimes seems to be about an hour earlier, or first cockcrow. The dawn's early light, if you will :-). The sky is just getting gray.

June 1 Julian = June 11 Gregorian, and there's no daylight savings. Sunrise is about as early as it will in this year's episode of the diary. At this northern latitude, 4AM is very close to sunrise, and it's already pretty bright out (if clear).

OSuzanna   Link to this

"If it is already light enough to see clearly, you wouldn’t say it’s *very* early, would you?"

Some of us most certainly would, thank you very much!

The "remedy" for menses would be time. As Australian Susan points out - either a couple of days of keeping all warm cats on lap duty, or a whole bunch of years. Or was Bess in bed because it would have been expected of a woman of her station? I don't remember any mention of the servant girls being abed of their monthlies.

ignis fatuus   Link to this

'The “remedy” for menses would be [at this] time' sloe wine? later it be that inport from Holland, Gin.
The 'ired Help had to just G[r]in and bare[sic] the pain.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Elizabeth obviously had some serious complaints - endometriosis maybe - not just the usual cramps and backache, so I think is justified in the bed rest.

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