Saturday 26 December 1663

Up and walked forth first to the Minerys to Brown’s, and there with great pleasure saw and bespoke several instruments, and so to Cornhill to Mr. Cades, and there went up into his warehouse to look for a map or two, and there finding great plenty of good pictures, God forgive me! how my mind run upon them, and bought a little one for my wife’s closett presently, and concluded presently of buying 10l. worth, upon condition he would give me the buying of them. Now it is true I did still within me resolve to make the King one way or other pay for them, though I saved it to him another way, yet I find myself too forward to fix upon the expense, and came away with a resolution of buying them, but do hope that I shall not upon second thoughts do it without a way made out before I buy them to myself how to do [it] without charge to my main stock. Thence to the Coffee-house, and sat long in good discourse with some gentlemen concerning the Roman Empire. So home and found Mr. Hollyard there, and he stayed and dined with us, we having a pheasant to dinner. He gone, I all the afternoon with my wife to cards, and, God forgive me! to see how the very discourse of plays, which I shall be at liberty to see after New Year’s Day next, do set my mind upon them, but I must be forced to stint myself very strictly before I begin, or else I fear I shall spoil all. In the evening came my aunt Wight’s kinswoman to see how my wife do, with a compliment from my aunt, which I take kindly as it is unusual for her to do it, but I do perceive my uncle is very kind to me of late. So to my office writing letters, and then to read and make an end of Rushworth, which I did, and do say that it is a book the most worth reading for a man of my condition or any man that hopes to come to any publique condition in the world that I do know. So home to supper and to bed.

14 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"Thence to the Coffee-house, and sat long in good discourse with some gentlemen concerning the Roman Empire."

As one might hear it being paralleled with another Empire today. In lieu of football, of course.

"I did still within me resolve to make the King one way or other pay for them, though I saved it to him another way,"

Talk about pushing the Royal envelope to see how far the expense account will stretch before bursting!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

a book the most worth reading for a man of my condition or any man that hopes to come to any publique condition in the world ...

Rushworth, the Bob Woodward of his day ...

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"God forgive me! to see how the very discourse of plays, which I shall be at liberty to see after New Year's Day next, do set my mind upon them"

Wonder how many plays Sam will gorge himself with once he's at liberty to see them?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Odd...I was just talking to a couple of folks about the Roman Empire...And the HBO series about its founding a day ago...In a coffee shop.... More things change, more they stay the same I guess. I suppose Augustus and co would be pleased, though I wonder before Gibbon just how detailed the info would have been.

{I blame Stilicho, Sam. How could a good commander ignore the Rhine defenses like that? And what about Spain? After all, Honorius actually did a fairly good job once he took the reins. Lets not even get started on Romanus IV and that worm Michael Psellus. More coffee, anyone?)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"good discourse...concerning the Roman Empire"

Robert, thanks for the tip-off
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_(TV_series)

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"upon condition he would give me the buying of them"
Does anyone understand what this means? I'm at a loss.

Mary   Link to this

"upon condition he would give me the buying of them."

An L&M footnote suggests that this means, "Provided that he would reserve them for me."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...bought a little one for my wife's closett presently..."

An Xmas or New Year's present? Sam, I'd suggest a necklace...And perhaps that velvet gown.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

My uncle is very kind to me lately ...

L&M note (slight spoiler coming) that "Uncle Wight appears to have been overfond of Mrs Pepys: see the remarkable proposition he (will make) to her on 11 May 1664. The kinswoman here mentioned was possibly the 'cousin Mary" of 1 April 1666."

Rex Gordon   Link to this

The Minerys (or Minories) ...

From Stow's Survey of London (Portsoken Ward):

"From the west part of this Tower hill, towards Aldgate, being a long continual street, amongst other smaller buildings in that row, there was sometime an abbey of nuns of the order of St. Clare, called the Minories, founded by Edmond, Earl of Lancaster, Leycester, and Darbie, brother to King Edward I, in the year 1293; the length of which abbey contained fifteen perches and seven feet, near unto the king's street or highway, etc., as appeareth by a deed, dated 1303.

"A plague of pestilence being in this city, in the year 1515, there died in this house of nuns professed to the number of twenty-seven, besides other lay people, servants in their house. This house ... was surrendered by Dame Elizabeth Salvage, the last abbess there, unto King Henry VIII in the 30th of his reign, the year of Christ 1539.

"In place of this house of nuns is now built divers fair and large storehouses for armour and habiliments of war, with divers workhouses, serving to the same purpose: there is a small parish church for inhabitants of the close, called St. Trinities."

A. Hamilton   Link to this

I've been reading about another clever young man who got his start as private secretary to an admiral some years after Sam. According to his Wikipedia biography, in 1808 Thomas Love Peacock, the satirical novelist and poet, became private secretary to Sir Home Popham, commanding the fleet before Flushing. "His preconceived affection for the sea did not reconcile him to nautical realities. 'Writing poetry', he says, 'or doing anything else that is rational, in this floating inferno, is next to a moral impossibility.'" Like Pepys, Peakcock became the very accomplished high-ranking clerk of a major British institution, in his case the East India Company, where he succeeded James Mill and was in turn suceeded by John Stuart Mill. Peakcock left behind a bit of verse that reminds me of Sam's more routine days at the Navy Office:

A DAY AT THE INDIA HOUSE

From ten to eleven, have breakfast for seven;
From eleven to noon, think you've come too soon;
From twelve to one, think what's to be done;
From one to two, find nothing to do;
From two to three, think it will be
A very great bore to stay till four.

JWB   Link to this

"Now it is true I did still within me resolve to make the King one way or other pay for them..."

And it was just on the 23rd that Sam wrote: "...my great content to see God bless me in my place and opening honest ways..."

language hat   Link to this

It's fascinating to see Sam's honesty struggle with his eye for the main chance.

Cactus Wren   Link to this

" ... to Brown's, and there with great pleasure saw and bespoke several instruments ... "
Sam Pepys, bleeding-edge techie! "Ooh, got to have one of those, and one of those too, and that, whatever it is ..." And as we've seen, he plays with them for fun as well as using them professionally.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.