Friday 1 January 1663/64

Went to bed between 4 and 5 in the morning with my mind in good temper of satisfaction and slept till about 8, that many people came to speak with me. Among others one came with the best New Year’s gift that ever I had, namely from Mr. Deering, with a bill of exchange drawn upon himself for the payment of 50l. to Mr. Luellin. It being for my use with a letter of compliment. I am not resolved what or how to do in this business, but I conclude it is an extraordinary good new year’s gift, though I do not take the whole, or if I do then give some of it to Luellin. By and by comes Captain Allen and his son Jowles and his wife, who continues pretty still. They would have had me set my hand to a certificate for his loyalty, and I know not what his ability for any employment. But I did not think it fit, but did give them a pleasing denial, and after sitting with me an hour they went away. Several others came to me about business, and then being to dine at my uncle Wight’s I went to the Coffee-house, sending my wife by Will, and there staid talking an hour with Coll. Middleton, and others, and among other things about a very rich widow, young and handsome, of one Sir Nicholas Gold’s, a merchant, lately fallen, and of great courtiers that already look after her: her husband not dead a week yet. She is reckoned worth 80,000l.. Thence to my uncle Wight’s, where Dr. of –—, among others, dined, and his wife, a seeming proud conceited woman, I know not what to make of her, but the Dr’s. discourse did please me very well about the disease of the stone, above all things extolling Turpentine, which he told me how it may be taken in pills with great ease. There was brought to table a hot pie made of a swan I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Howe, but we did not eat any of it. But my wife and I rose from table, pretending business, and went to the Duke’s house, the first play I have been at these six months, according to my last vowe, and here saw the so much cried-up play of “Henry the Eighth;” which, though I went with resolution to like it, is so simple a thing made up of a great many patches, that, besides the shows and processions in it, there is nothing in the world good or well done. Thence mightily dissatisfied back at night to my uncle Wight’s, and supped with them, but against my stomach out of the offence the sight of my aunt’s hands gives me, and ending supper with a mighty laugh, the greatest I have had these many months, at my uncle’s being out in his grace after meat, we rose and broke up, and my wife and I home and to bed, being sleepy since last night.

21 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

hot pie made of a swan I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Howe,

Where did WIll Howe get the swan: t'was posh nosh indeed.

http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page4952.asp
http://www.thamesweb.co.uk/windsor/windsor1999/...

Patricia   Link to this

"... a bill of exchange drawn upon himself for the payment of 50l. to Mr. Luellin. It being for my use with a letter of compliment." This sounds to me like a gift certificate bought by Deering, for Pepys to spend at Luellin's. Can that be right?

And how often one has wished to sneak out on some pretext, go to a show, and then pop back in again for supper...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

gift certificate bought by Deering ...

Its like a check; made out by Deering on Deering with Luellin as payee; Pepys then draws cash from Luellin on the authority of Deering's paralel letter. The only paper evidence for the transaction Deering-Pepys is the letter held by Pepys which I assume is destroyed once the cash is paid.

Laura   Link to this

"out of the offence the sight of my aunt's hands gives me"
What does that mean?

jeannine   Link to this

out of the offence the sight of my aunt's hands gives me"
What does that mean?
Sam has a "thing" about being grossed out by people's hands, so if someone has dirty hands while preparing food, etc. (meaning could be greasy from the prep, etc.) then he seems to feel sick to his stomach and loses his desire to eat. I don't have the exact references handy, but basically it's just something that makes him very squeamish.

jeannine   Link to this

gift certificate bought by Deering
MR -thanks for the clarification here.

jeannine   Link to this

Laura
Found a past reference to Sam's aunt's hands "where we had but a poor dinner, and not well dressed; besides, the very sight of my aunt's hands and greasy manner of carving, did almost turn my stomach." Also, in the string of annotations for that day are other references too!
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/04/22/
(Happy New Year too!)

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Next best to banking in the Bahamas or off shore in the s[c]illy isles or be that in Jersey "...with a bill of exchange drawn upon himself for the payment of 50l. to Mr. Luellin..."

Miss Ann fr Home   Link to this

Do we assume the Henry VIII is the work by Shakespeare that we all laboured over at high school? He doesn't seem nearly as excited about this work as Miss Brown my old English Literature teacher. I have the feeling, some 35 years after leaving school, that I was channelling Sam's attitude to the text! I felt the same way about the Merchant of Venice - although today I don't mind the movies of the same.

"Captain Allen and his son Jowles and his wife, who continues pretty still" - I'm imagining here that a woman's looks fade fairly quickly in that day and age, so a comment is warranted by our diarist. Put together with his recent comments about poor Pall and her fading hopes and the recently widowed Mrs Nicholas Gold, and her L80,000 -- I'm so glad I'm not living in the 17C.

Mary   Link to this

Henry VIII and swans.

L&M suggests that this was a very spectacular revival of the Shakespeare play, produced by Davenant.

As for the swan pie, Sandwich was Master of the King's Swans and Will Hewer was his servant, so this is the probable source of the posh nosh.

Laura   Link to this

Thank you Jeannine
for answering the hand repulsion question. What a funny man Sam is... talking of boils and bowel movements won't disturb him, yet dirty hands turn his stomach! Too bad he didn't live to see antibacterial soap.
Happy New Year to you, too.

Ruben   Link to this

"woman's looks fade fairly quickly in that day and age"
do you think?
Beauty is something relative and Pepys is just writing a sexist opinion still around in our days. He should look in the mirror!

Cosmetics and the like were popular. Some two years ago we discussed the small black patches lady's used in Pepys times to enhace their faces.

From the net:
"From the 1400s onwards whitening the face was one of the most common cosmetic practices. This was still popular in the 1800s. A mixture composed of carbonate, hydroxide, and lead oxide was commonly used. This could lead to muscle paralysis or death when used repeatedly. It was replaced by zinc oxide in the 1800s.

Another way to have whiter skin was to bleed yourself.
Hair dye and dressing hair is not new. The Romans, Ancient Egyptians and Greeks were all involved in elaborate forms of hairdressing and dyeing. Most of the early hair dyes, such as henna, indigo, sage and camomile, could only darken the hair. Roman women would show off their dark shiny tresses that had been dyed with a mixture of boiled walnuts and leeks. They also used blond dyes made from goat's fat and ashes.

In the Renaissance, blond was also popular as it was considered angelic and mixtures of black sulphur, alum and honey were painted onto the hair and left to work in the sun."
see:
http://www.rpsgb.org.uk/informationresources/mu...

"Other poisonous substances were used in eyeshadow (lead and antimony sulfide), lip reddeners (mercuric sulfide), and to make one's eyes sparkle (belladonna, or deadly nightshade)."
see:
http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/cosmet...

Ruben   Link to this

more on cosmetics
http://influx.uoregon.edu/1999/makeup/history.html

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I know not what to make of her, but the Dr's. discourse did please me very well about the disease of the stone, above all things extolling Turpentine, which he told me how it may be taken in pills with great ease."

Don't do it, Samuel.

***

"But my wife and I rose from table, pretending business..."

Nothing more fun than being sneaky together...

"And now, nephew. We shall partake
"Ah, swan pie. How...Lovely."

"Oh, yes." Bess nods. "But, oh! Sam'l! Don't we have that urgent trip to Deptford to for you to take measures with your remarkable new slide rule while I strive to patch up your frayed relationship with Commissioner Pett?"

"Ah, drat, yes. Uncle, I fear my dear Bess is right. We must reluctantly leave you for a bit. But I assure you we shall return as soon as these weary duties can be completed."

Uncle Wight's ferret-like eyes darting...Suspicion plain...But, hmmn...

Perhaps something can be made use of here...

"Never any rest for my poor Sam'l, Uncle." sigh from Bess.

"Indeed, niece. But...Mayhaps it is not all that necessary that we be deprived of your fair company." broad smile.

Suspicious look from Aunt Wight now...

Worried one from Bess to Sam...Followed by stern one...

If you think I'm missing out on the first play we've seen in months...The biggest block-buster since "Siege of Rhodes, Part II"...

Reassuring look from Sam...

"Oh, I am sorry, Uncle. But I must have Bess with me. As we mentioned, we must butter ole Pett up a bit, get the wheels oiled with a little friendly chit-chat. No one better than my Bess for that assignment."

Hmmn...Few wheels here could stand a little oiling, Wight thinks.

Ole fool, Aunt Wight glares at her rotund, would-be Lothario.

"But we will return as quickly as we can...." Bess notes hastily as she and Sam rise and race for the door.

"Don't forget the Turpentine, Pepys! Best thing for you!" the Doctor calls as they hurry out the door before Uncle Wight can lodge another protest.

Outside, Sam eyes Bess...Bess, Sam.

"Wicked, wicked woman. 'Oh, Cresid, false, false'..."

"'Clarence is come...False, fleeting, perjured Clarence'..."

Mutual grins...

"C'mon, lets hurry before the first wife's head rolls."

"Second..." Bess corrects. "And I don't think we get much past Anne Boleyn."

Sam draws up in mid-step. Oh?

"Only one executed wife? No Anne of Cleaves? Well, we do get Cromwell torturing the musician and the others for false confessions, and More buys it, right?"

"Don't think so. And I don't think we get Anne's or Sir Thomas' head in a basket. Will still had to tread carefully then, Sam'l."

"Hmmn...This just isn't sounding as good as I was expecting, but lets hurry."

Meanwhile at Uncle Wight's...

"You pushed the Turpentine well, Doctor." Wight smiles as he and the Doctor sit apart.

"I believe you can count on blindness at the very least if he embarks on my course of treatment, sir. A tragic side effect I forgot to mention." smile.

"Yes. Thank ye for helping to remove my little...obstacle."

***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...among other things about a very rich widow, young and handsome, of one Sir Nicholas Gold's, a merchant, lately fallen, and of great courtiers that already look after her: her husband not dead a week yet. She is reckoned worth 80,000l..."

"Bess, you tired?"

"Not very. Why...My little perpetual motion machine in need of some... activity?"

"Oh yes. But Bess...I was wondering if you would mind...?"

"Sam'l...I don't want to be Lady Castlemaine again. How about the Queen for a change? 'Guard who be that lusty, virile youth in the handsome perriwig escorting the Duke?'"

"No, not Castlemaine. Nor the Queen, though that is an idea for next week. I was thinking more of you being the young and beautiful widow of..."

"Nicholas Gold and his 80,000? I might've guessed." Bess sighs.

"No regrets, truly, Bess. Truly, darling. But just this one time...?"

"Oh...All right... 'Oh, these foolish courtiers and great men hounding me. How can they think I could forget my dearest Nicholas so...Oh, my God. Be still my incredibly wealthy and beautiful heart, but tell me steward sitting beside me in this carriage, who is that small in stature but great in lustiness, young Adonis gracing the entrance to the Naval Office?'"

Bradford   Link to this

"By and by comes Captain Allen and his [family]. . . . They would have had me set my hand to a certificate for his loyalty, and I know not what his ability for any employment."

Like a letter of recommendation, or "references"?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

""By and by comes Captain Allen and his [family]... . They would have had me set my hand to a certificate for his loyalty, and I know not what his ability for any employment."

I dunno Bradford. First I think Sam's talking about young Jowles (what a name) the son. Second, the loyalty thing I think is more serious than a recommendation. Cromwell's old captains and personnel are being kicked out to make room for "gentlemen" (ie, idiots who fought for or vaguely supported the Stuarts, mostly lacking any sea experience) and if Allen and family are former Cromwellians than Sam could be taking a chance in swearing to their loyalty should anything serious pop up in their pasts.

"Hmmn...Would that be the same Jowles Allen who vowed to gun down the King before he would allow him to take the throne?"

"I do believe there's an error on the form, your Grace." Sam nervously grabs his letter back from the frowning Duke. "Yes, it was Bowles Allen I was vouching for."

Xjy   Link to this

Sam's all over the place today.

"did please me very well" - "mightily dissatisfied". Resolution and irresolution. Money money money. Great gift, buying himself free from vows, widow worth thousands, people trying to cash in on his status.
However, the trajectory seems clear enough. Do what you need to look after number one, but keep your hands as clean as (or a little bit cleaner than) all the others in your position.

language hat   Link to this

"Dr. of -----"

Anybody know what the dash signifies? Is it the same in L&M?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

If the annotation link is correct and Sam is referring to the (spoiler, plague time) brave and rather noble Dr. Alex Burnet, he'd simply be a Doctor of Medicine. Perhaps Sam didn't remember the name or formal title and left -- to remind himself to try and find out.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Sam has a "thing" about being grossed out by people's hands,

" ...I cannot feed on, because of my she-cozen Claxton's gouty hands; ..."

Saturday 11 October 1662

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