Thursday 24 December 1663

Up betimes; and though it was a most foggy morning, and cold, yet with a gally down to Eriffe, several times being at a loss whither we went. There I mustered two ships of the King’s, lent by him to the Guiny Company, which are manned better than ours at far less wages. Thence on board two of the King’s, one of them the “Leopard,” Captain Beech, who I find an able and serious man. He received me civilly, and his wife was there, a very well bred and knowing woman, born at Antwerp, but speaks as good English as myself, and an ingenious woman. Here was also Sir G. Carteret’s son, who I find a pretty, but very talking man, but good humour. Thence back again, entertaining myself upon my sliding rule with great content, and called at Woolwich, where Mr. Chr. Pett having an opportunity of being alone did tell me his mind about several things he thought I was offended with him in, and told me of my kindness to his assistant. I did give him such an answer as I thought was fit and left him well satisfied, he offering to do me all the service, either by draughts or modells that I should desire. Thence straight home, being very cold, but yet well, I thank God, and at home found my wife making mince pies, and by and by comes in Captain Ferrers to see us, and, among other talke, tells us of the goodness of the new play of “Henry VIII.,” which makes me think [it] long till my time is out; but I hope before I go I shall set myself such a stint as I may not forget myself as I have hitherto done till I was forced for these months last past wholly to forbid myself the seeing of one. He gone I to my office and there late writing and reading, and so home to bed.

14 Annotations

Pedro  •  Link

The Leopard.

In 1672 over 60% of the men on the Leopard were pressed.

(Gentlemen and Tarpaulins by J. D. Davies)

Bradford  •  Link

"The Shorter Pepys" makes this insertion in this sentence:

"till I was forced for these [six] months last past wholly to forbid myself the seeing of one."

The mince pies seem the sole sign of the season. One wonders what process rendered them, over the ensuing centuries, fit for vegetarians.

Captain Ferrers seems to be comporting himself with suitable decorum these days. Pity.

Ruben  •  Link

We read today that Elizabeth prepared mince pies, a traditional Christmas delicacy. This is the only sign of a celebration.
Following the link "mince pies" you will find some eye popping recipes from the old times.

I wish a peaceful day to all those that are eating leftovers today and all the others too.

Bradford  •  Link

"Thence back again, entertaining myself upon my sliding rule with great content": Sam's equivalent of a Gameboy, though characteristically rather than escaping from his day job, he is making himself more adept at it.

"I'll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams."

Kelly  •  Link

the new play of "Henry VIII.,A "New Play"???

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess seems to take it as either a housewifery point of honor or matter of family tradition to make the Xmas mince pies herself.

Aw Sam, damn it...Break the vow as a gift for Bess and take her to your day's blockbuster.

Harvey  •  Link

"The mince pies seem the sole sign of the season. One wonders what process rendered them, over the ensuing centuries, fit for vegetarians."

I think the 'mince' here is its now uncommon original meaning of 'finely divided', still used in 'mincing steps' and 'don't mince words'. The 'mince' was probably minced fruit as it is today.



michael j gresk m.a.  •  Link

mince?? mince meat ?? Could it not be a finely chopped meat?? I recall purchasing 'mince', pre-wrapped in the supermarkets in London or bulk from a butcher shop.

jeannine  •  Link

Mince originally was finely chopped meat. From "Pepys at Table" by Driver and Berriedale-Johnson

"Mince pies are almost the only one of our Christmas dishes which were as regularly eaten in Pepys time as today. Even though a seventeenth-century mince pie still contained the meat which had originally been predominate, the balance of the recipe had already shifted towards the sweet ingredients." (p. 100)

Mary  •  Link

mince and mince pies.

The British still regularly go to both the supermarket and the butcher's to buy beef mince, lamb mince or pork mince. (ground beef, ground lamb etc.)

Vegetarians should note that the standard mince pie is not, even now, an entirely meat-free article, as the traditional recipe includes beef suet. Vegetarians often substitute grated margarine for the suet.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

to mince matters, the word was used back in 11th c
[< Anglo-Norman and Old French mincer, mincier to cut up (food) into small pieces (late 11th cent.; late 12th cent. in fig. use; also mincher (13th cent.); French mincer (now rare), French regional (Normandy) mincher, minser), doublet of menuiser MINISH v., arising as an accentual variant. Cf. MYCE v.]
I. Simple uses.
1. trans. a. To cut up or grind (food, esp. meat) into very small pieces, now typically in a machine with revolving blades;
the first noted use for the mince[d] pie be early 1600's
1607 R. JOHNSON Pleas. Conceites Old Hobson (Percy Soc.) 9 Cramming their bellies with minced pyes.
1655 T. MOFFET & C. BENNET Healths Improvem. (1746) 297 Dates are usually put into..minced pies
2. a. trans. In extended use. To cut up, subdivide minutely; to tear, smash, etc., to pieces. Also with up. Occas. refl. or intr.
1639 T. FULLER Hist. Holy Warre V. xxi. 264 We will not take notice of Germanie as it is minced into pettie Principalities.
1643 SIR T. BROWNE Relig. Medici I. §8 Nor contented with a general breach or dichotomy with their Church do subdivide and mince themselves almost into Atoms
For RG:
c. To cut (a person) up into small pieces. Now rare.
1603 SHAKESPEARE Haml. II. ii. 517 She saw Pirrus with malitious strokes, Mincing her husbandes limbs.

a1616 SHAKESPEARE Timon (1623) IV. iii. 123 Spare not the Babe..Thinke it a Bastard..And mince it sans remorse
c. intr. To prevaricate; to be reticent (in speech or writing). Now rare. 1615

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Plus ca change (alack no cedilla)

My London visit at Christmas was marked by heavy mists (Heathrow was closed for a spell) and the making of mince pies.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"'the new play of 'Henry VIII.,A 'New Play'???"

Kelly, it was new to the Restoration stage: recently revived by Davenant, added to the plays staged by the Duke's Company at the Lincoln's Inn Fields theatre,.

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