Sunday 19 July 1663

(Lord’s day). Lay very long in pleasant dreams till Church time, and so up, and it being foul weather so that I cannot walk as I intended to meet my Cozen Roger at Thomas Pepys’s house (whither he rode last night), to Hatcham, I went to church, where a sober Doctor made a good sermon. So home to dinner alone, and then to read a little, and so to church again, where the Scot made an ordinary sermon, and so home to my office, and there read over my vows and increased them by a vow against all strong drink till November next of any sort or quantity, by which I shall try how I can forbear it. God send it may not prejudice my health, and then I care not. Then I fell to read over a silly play writ by a person of honour (which is, I find, as much as to say a coxcomb), called “Love a la Mode,” and that being ended, home, and played on my lute and sung psalms till bedtime, then to prayers and to bed.

10 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and increased them by a vow against all strong drink"

I wonder if this includes wine? Or only spirits?

Bradford   Link to this

Pretty fancy: a poetical collection for those of a devout and a licentious nature by turns, "Psalms à la Mode.”

Clement   Link to this

Sam's vows apparently contain no prohibition against sexually licentious conduct, since he hasn't made a compensatory payment to his poorbox for yesterday's bout with Mrs. Lane.

Considering the absence of something like clean drinking water in London I think "strong drink" must be in a different class than the wine Sam has casked below, or the occasional draught pulled in a pub.

Clement   Link to this

...though he has successfully sworn off drinking wine to excess, to our occasional regret.

TerryF   Link to this

But he hasn't drunk so much in a while that his head "aked", which shows the prudence of vows against extreme drink of any kind.

TerryF   Link to this

Drink and plays lead to inefficiency at work, but sexual license?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Lay very long in pleasant dreams till Church time..."

"Oh, Samuel...Tell me we'll never be separated again."

"Now, Barbara." Sam sighs at Castemaine's lovely face, she draped about him. "You know not only that I'm happily married, but also that I never know when the King's Duty may call me."

"Oh, let me deal with silly old Charles, darling..." Frances Stewart to his other side now pouts.

"I'll deal with Charles." Castlemaine glares.

"Now, now..." Catherine, at Sam's head, nibbling on his ears, cuts in. "I am ze Queen and I will..."

A somewhat flustered Hewer appears at the bedroom door...

"Excuse the intrusion, sir? Mr. Coventry's man at the door. The Nation has an emergency only its top operative agent...And finest administrator can solve."

"Oh..." all three ladies pout.

"As I expected...No doubt the French again." Sam nods, coolly. "Hewer, my best suit. My sword, cloak...And dagger. I'm on His Majesty's Secret Service and Duty calls, ladies." Ultra cool firm stare.

Say what is that music? Hewer wonders as he heads off, hearing the James Bond theme playing faintly on the air...

"Oh, but Sam. Your Queen needs you more...Right now." Catherine tries, insistent.

"Catherine. Barbara...Dear little Frances. You know I'll return soon."

Hmmn...He turns over and finds himself rolling into a firm, warm object...And suddenly awake.

"Return soon from where? And who may I ask are Catherine, Barbara, and dear little Frances?" Bess asks, coolly.

"Ah, ha...ha. Bess, darling! You're back! What a pleasant surprise."

"In the nick of time, I suspect." she frowns.

"I see I'll have to give you one of our most pleasant mornings." she eyes him.

Ultra cool, literally...Look.


"Sir? Mr. Pepys?" Hewer tapping him, Sam wakes, blinking...

"Bess?..." he looks round.

"You wanted to be woken for church, sir. It's getting on time."

TerryF   Link to this

I wonder what the sermons were - at least they didn't put him

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Brilliant, Robert - the dream within a dream - and the substance of it!! Thanks for that; 'twill give me something to work on; and Mrs. Gertz...?

Shane   Link to this

Ah... What a nice, relaxing day for our Sam.

What with all the events of the past few days, he needed it!


Michael Robinson   Link to this

"sung psalms till bedtime, ..."

Sternhold and Hopkins had great qualms
When they translated David's psalms,
To make the heart full glad.
But had it been poor David's fate
To hear thee sing, and then translate,
By God! 'twould have made him mad.

Spoken Extempore to a Country Clerk after having heard him Sing Psalms
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

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