Friday 24 July 1663

Up pretty early (though of late I have been faulty by an hour or two every morning of what I should do) and by water to the Temple, and there took leave of my cozen Roger Pepys, who goes out of town to-day. So to Westminster Hall, and there at Mrs. Michell’s shop sent for beer and sugar and drink, and made great cheer with it among her and Mrs. Howlett, her neighbour, and their daughters, especially Mrs. Howlett’s daughter, Betty, which is a pretty girl, and one I have long called wife, being, I formerly thought, like my own wife. After this good neighbourhood, which I do to give them occasion of speaking well and commending me in some company that now and then I know comes to their shop, I went to the Six clerks’ office, and there had a writ for Tom Trice, and paid 20s. for it to Wilkinson, and so up and down to many places, among others to the viall maker’s, and there saw the head, which now pleases me mightily, and so home, and being sent for presently to Mr. Bland’s, where Mr. Povy and Gauden and I were invited to dinner, which we had very finely and great plenty, but for drink, though many and good, I drank nothing but small beer and water, which I drank so much that I wish it may not do me hurt. They had a kinswoman, they call daughter, in the house, a short, ugly, red-haired slut, that plays upon the virginalls, and sings, but after such a country manner I was weary of it, but yet could not but commend it. So by and by after dinner comes Monsr. Gotier, who is beginning to teach her, but, Lord! what a droll fellow it is to make her hold open her mouth, and telling this and that so drolly would make a man burst, but himself I perceive sings very well. Anon we sat dawn again to a collacon of cheesecakes, tarts, custards, and such like, very handsome, and so up and away home, where I at the office a while, till disturbed by, Mr. Hill, of Cambridge, with whom I walked in the garden a while, and thence home and then in my dining room walked, talking of several matters of state till 11 at night, giving him a glass of wine. I was not unwilling to hear him talk, though he is full of words, yet a man of large conversation, especially among the Presbyters and Independents; he tells me that certainly, let the Bishops alone, and they will ruin themselves, and he is confident that the King’s declaration about two years since will be the foundation of the settlement of the Church some time or other, for the King will find it hard to banish all those that will appear Nonconformists upon this Act that is coming out against them. He being gone, I to bed.

18 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"Betty, which is a pretty girl, and one I have long called wife, being, I formerly thought, like my own wife."

A credit to his uxoriousness, though not perhaps an observation to advance your suit with another woman. As for trying to make up in quantity what it lacks in strength, let us take warning from his drinking "nothing but small beer and water, which I drank so much that I wish it may not do me hurt."

"what a droll fellow it is to make her hold open her mouth, and telling this and that so drolly would make a man burst": instruction in the mysteries of vocal production doesn't change much.

jeannine   Link to this

"They had a kinswoman, they call daughter, in the house, a short, ugly, red-haired slut"
I love this description-it's just so "Samish" and funny, but I am curious about the use of the word "slut" here. I know we've talked about it before and when it appears in the Diary it usually means "lazy" or "slovenly" as opposed to the meaning in today's world, but I would wonder how Sam would draw this conclusion about someone he's observing for the first time. Any thoughts?

TerryF   Link to this

"neighbourhood"

A very appealing usage; but might we not today perhaps say "neighborliness"? OED, anyone?

jeannine, can't you tell from her slack and sloppy dress, &c., a "slut" in this sense at first sight?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Be interesting to know what the elegant Mr. Povey thought about the singer...

Hmmn...Gauden is a Navy victualler while merchant Bland is very interested in becoming supplier to the Tangier colony. Now gee, why would he invite Tangier Treasurer Povey and Tangier Commissioner Pepys to dinner?

Perhaps more to the point, why would they accept?

It is a little touching though to think of Bland desperate to get the contract but unable to resist letting his kinswoman (adopted daughter?) perform for the guests. Povey unfallingly gracious, Pepys trying to endure...Gauden waiting for it to be over so they can get down to business.

Of course Bland may not have exactly been musically inclined himself.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Up pretty early (though of late I have been faulty by an hour or two every morning of what I should do)..."

The Missus is gone a few weeks and you're falling apart, Sam...Well do I know the experience.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Slut

Our Sam likes things to be neat and tidy (the tailor's son) and Elizabeth usually is turned out well - Sam has commented before now when he does not like her appearance, so I think the poor girl was just badly dressed, maybe grubbily dressed and with messy hair. Possibly dirty hands too: Sam has commented on people's handcleanliness (or lack thereof) and also if someone is playing a keyboard instrument - you notice the hands.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

“what a droll fellow it is to make her hold open her mouth, and telling this and that so drolly would make a man burst”: instruction in the mysteries of vocal production doesn’t change much.

A few years ago we had my wife's favorite vocal teacher, a fairly prominent and very likable lady named Beatrice Dobell (sp?) stay over for a week and it was one steady week of open mouths, long, sustained, shrieking cries (ow! I meant me, honey!), and "up,up,get that stomach up, breath in, in..."

But it does work, Sam.

aqua   Link to this

another scan ' a ' for 'o' or be it the pronunciation slippage,-" dawn" .." ...Anon we sat dawn again to a collacon of cheesecakes, tarts, custards, and ........."
I be set down
on the lawn
as I was born
at early dawn
not a stich on.

TerryF   Link to this

"I was not unwilling to hear him talk,..."

Interesting to ponder how Samuel Pepys is comforted by what Mr. Joseph Hill, of Cambridge, has to say about the likely fate of Nonconformists like himself - wherefore he'd been deprived of his Fellowship at Magdalene (where Pepys had been ubder his tutelage) - and elso Will Hewer, and the likes of others he's admired -- Sir Harry Vane and Dr. William Bates....

Methinks our former Puritan is a man
who admires moral rectitude above religious adherence.

Mary   Link to this

small beer and water.

Sam is probably worried that the quantity of water that he has drunk is the most likely beverage to do him harm. London water was not very wholesome.

Benvenuto   Link to this

one I have long called wife
I wonder if she ever got fed up with this 'amusing' habit, particularly if she grew to look less like his wife as time went on. But maybe it was always considered flattering.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"which I do to give them occasion of speaking well and commending me in some company that now and then I know comes to their shop"

Even as he's carousing with the ladies, Sam's a political creature. How many birds is he killing with this stone...?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"and then in my dining room walked, talking of several matters of state till 11 at night, giving him a glass of wine"

What, no supper? Must have been all them cheesecakes, tarts, custards, and such like...

And how big is Sam's dining room, that they can do the room circuit while sipping a glass of wine?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

I be sat down
on the lawn
as i was born...
Visions of Le dejeuner sur l'herbe.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Water

Sam does not like to drink a lot of water all at once: doing this when an undergraduate (he walked out from Cambridge in summer, got hot and drank a great deal of well water)did, he believed, bring on his first attack of kidney stone problems.

Ossian   Link to this

Slut
There is a modern discussion of the word "slut" in http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1828126,00

Ossian   Link to this

Slut
The full Guardian reference is
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1828126,0...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

This day in Lords' Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey defends the Irish

Protest against the Bill, for Encouragement of Trade.

"A Bill, intituled, An Act for the Encouragement of Trade, being this Day read the Third Time, and ready to be put to the Question for passing into a Law; it was moved, and granted by the House, That, if the Question passed in the Affirmative, such Peers as were against the Bill might enter their Protestation. And accordingly we whose Names are subscribed do protest against the said Bill being made a Law, for the Reasons following:

[....]

"8ly, It threatens Danger to the Peace of the Kingdom of Ireland, by universal Poverty, which may have an unhappy Influence upon the rest of His Majesty's Dominions.

"9ly, The Restraint upon Importation of Irish and Scotch Cattle will, we conceive, be Decay of Two of His Majesty's Cities of England, Carlisle and Chester, make a Dearth in London, and discommode many other Parts of England.

"Other Reasons are forborne, which Time will produce.

"Anglesey."

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

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