Sunday 20 December 1663

(Lord’s day). Up and alone to church, where a common sermon of Mr. Mills, and so home to dinner in our parler, my wife being clean, and the first time we have dined here a great while together, and in the afternoon went to church with me also, and there begun to take her place above Mrs. Pen, which heretofore out of a humour she was wont to give her as an affront to my Lady Batten. After a dull sermon of the Scotchman, home, and there I found my brother Tom and my two cozens Scotts, he and she, the first time they were ever here. And by and by in comes my uncle. Wight and Mr. Norbury, and they sat with us a while drinking, of wine, of which I did give them plenty. But the two would not stay supper, but the other two did. And we were as merry as I could be with people that I do wish well to, but know not what discourse either to give them or find from them. We showed them our house from top to bottom, and had a good Turkey roasted for our supper, and store of wine, and after supper sent them home on foot, and so we to prayers and to bed.

11 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"But the two would not stay supper, but the other two did."

Anyone care to speculate which couple won a dinner with Sam?

Glad to see Elizabeth is up and about (and "clean") again...

djc   Link to this

"But the two would not stay supper, but the other two did."

"my two cozens"

"the first time they were ever here"
"but know not what discourse either to give them or find from them. We showed them our house from top to bottom"

Maura Moran   Link to this

Sounds like a familiar Christmas predicament, trying to make conversation with cousins whom you wish well but don't really know. A tour of the house still comes in handy as a topic of conversation.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Must have been the Cousins Scott who stayed to dinner as Uncle Wight and co were just drinking. Say, didn't Tom feel like staying? Maybe Sam just didn't find it necessary to state him as a dinner guest.

Who hasn't had relatives over for the holidays with the best intentions but nothing to say to them...Unless time allows to recover old shared memories and concerns.

"So...Ummn. Benjamin Scott. How's business these days?"

"Good, cousin Samuel. And for you?"

"Very good, very good. Yes, we're quite busy at the Navy these days."

"The Navy. Yes."

"Yes. And how is the pewter trade?"

"Eh, pewtered, cousin. Ah, ha."

"Benjamin likes to joke, cousin Samuel."

"Yes. Yes, very funny, very funny. Another glass of wine, Benjamin? Judith?"

"No, not for me, cousin. I'm quite as...Pewtered...As I care to be."

"Samuel is taking me to a play at Christmas." Bess tries valiantly. "We swear off them until the holidays and he keeps his vow most nobly till then, much as he loves plays."

"Must cost a petty penny. Seems a great waste of a man's labor to sit and watch lewd women and men cavort about some boards pretending to be what and whom they are not." Benjamin, solemnly.

"Plays are the devil's work and lead women to whoredom." Judith notes.

"So they can be, quite right, cousin. But we only attend the lighter, non-lewd ones." Sam smiles.

"They can be quite beautiful...The sets..." Bess makes a last try.

"Vain frippery, lass. I should think your good man would have better things to use his money for. I understand, cousin, that your father for instance..."

"Yes, yes but one show and I turn to my vows again." Sam moves to deflect the approaching storm, no doubt involving Father's year long lament over his son's careful husbandry. "More wine, cousin?"

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"heretofore out of a humour she was wont to give her"
I *think* this means that Elizabeth previously gave Margaret Penn her elevated seat to annoy Lady Batten, although today she took it for herself. Anybody have a better idea?

Tom Burns   Link to this

...my wife being clean...

I wonder if this means that Elizabeth's ailment has finally resolved? For today, at least, she is no longer "my poor wife".

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"but know not what discourse either to give them or find from them"
Talk about the weather.

JWB   Link to this

"...but know not what discourse either to give them or find from them."

They could have been dead-heads from the lead used in the pewterer's trade.

Bradford   Link to this

"after supper sent them home on foot":

Doubtless a figure of speech; otherwise it is hard to figure how this could be politely done: "You all go on home now, so we can go to bed. Sure I can't call you a coach?" After a "great store of wine," friends don't let friends ride drunk.

John M   Link to this

It is nice to see Elizabeth not only back on her feet, but also able to sit down (at table and in church)

Cactus Wren   Link to this

"sent them home"
... I think, probably means "saw them off". (Although I can imagine Samuel telling Elizabeth, "Come, Bess, let us to bed, that Cousin Scott and his wife may go home.")

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