Wednesday 3 February 1663/64

Up, and after a long discourse with my cozen Thomas Pepys, the executor, I with my wife by coach to Holborn, where I ‘light, and she to her father’s, I to the Temple and several places, and so to the ‘Change, where much business, and then home to dinner alone; and so to the Mitre Taverne by appointment (and there met by chance with W. Howe come to buy wine for my Lord against his going down to Hinchingbroke, and I private with him a great while discoursing of my Lord’s strangeness to me; but he answers that I have no reason to think any such thing, but that my Lord is only in general a more reserved man than he was before) to meet Sir W. Rider and Mr. Clerke, and there after much ado made an end, giving Mr. Custos 202l. against Mr. Bland, which I endeavoured to bring down but could not, and think it is well enough ended for Mr. Bland for all that. Thence by coach to fetch my wife from her brother’s, and found her gone home. Called at Sir Robert Bernard’s about surrendering my estate in reversion to the use of my life, which will be done, and at Roger Pepys, who was gone to bed in pain of a boyle that he could not sit or stand. So home, where my wife is full of sad stories of her good-natured father and roguish brother, who is going for Holland and his wife, to be a soldier. And so after a little at the office to bed. This night late coming in my coach, coming up Ludgate Hill, I saw two gallants and their footmen taking a pretty wench, which I have much eyed, lately set up shop upon the hill, a seller of riband and gloves. They seek to drag her by some force, but the wench went, and I believe had her turn served, but, God forgive me! what thoughts and wishes I had of being in their place. In Covent Garden to-night, going to fetch home my wife, I stopped at the great Coffee-house there, where I never was before; where Dryden the poet (I knew at Cambridge), and all the wits of the town, and Harris the player, and Mr. Hoole of our College. And had I had time then, or could at ether times, it will be good coming thither, for there, I perceive, is very witty and pleasant discourse. But I could not tarry, and as it was late, they were all ready to go away.

36 Annotations

cumgranosalis  •  Link

So now we know "... stopped at the great Coffee-house there, where I never was before; where Dryden the poet (I knew at Cambridge), and all the wits of the town, and Harris the player, and Mr. Hoole of our College. ..."

jeannine  •  Link

"I saw two gallants and their footmen taking a pretty wench, which I have much eyed, lately set up shop upon the hill, a seller of riband and gloves. They seek to drag her by some force, but the wench went, and I believe had her turn served, but, God forgive me! what thoughts and wishes I had of being in their place."
Most disturbing, I read that Sam is witnessing a rape and wishing he was one of the men having a go at the woman???

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Jeanine: I fear so, here one does see the base nature of man.
Like war: As Man has the opportunity to reason but?
"......I have shown what must the fabric of the nerves and muscles of the human body to give the animal spirits contained in it the power to move the members [parts of], ....: what changes that take place in the brain to produce waking, sleep, and dreams; how light , sounds, odours, tastes, heat, and all the other qualities of external objects impress it different ideas by means of the senses; how hunger, thirst, and the other internal affections can likewise impress upon diverse ideas; what must be understood sensus communis in which these ideas are received by the memory which retains them, ....."

Des Cartes discourse of method part V of the meaning of why?
My summation man is an animal [machine] controlled by his brain fed by stimuli, of which a large portion is the same as animals with a segment that can be controlled when he chooses to apply reason, [or ask thy God for help].
When the Hormones or his lower brain try to take control then man must Think of the consequences of his actions.
i.e. he has choices?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Say Bess...Guess what I saw while coming up Ludgate Hill?"

I suppose the really sad thing is that if the girl had shot or stabbed the "gallants" and their footman, Sam would have happily given testimony against her.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...roguish brother..."

Who despite his wife not being nearly as well off as he'd apparently thought has stuck with her rather than abandoned her in their mutual poverty. Now he's "going for Holland and his wife, to be a soldier." Today, Sam, Balty isn't looking too bad.

Ruben  •  Link

I usually understand or condone or identify myself with Pepys. Just like looking on a football match and identifying yourself with a successful player.
Concerning what looks at face value like a rape, Pepys did the same kind of identification in todays entry. As for me, this time I feel more than ever the great distance between his environment and mores and mine...

Bryan M  •  Link

I stopped at the great Coffee-house ...where Dryden the poet

Dryden's play, the Wild Gallant, was staged a year earlier. (Sam saw it on 23 February 1663). Looking at the map, Ludgate Hill appears to be on the way to Seething Lane from Will's Coffee House. So, on the way home after bumping into Dryden, Sam sees a couple of wild gallants up to no good. Probably just a coincidence.

ruizhe  •  Link

Did men abandon wives so much in those days in England? Rape of lower-class women by higher-class men might have been condoned (really, many abuses of lower class folks by those of noble birth), but wasn't a maritial vow made before God?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It has to said that we physically have it much easier in terms of summoning help. Sam is presumably alone in a coach at night, no cell phone conveniently by, no 911, not much of a police force in fact if any. The "gallants" and co would've made short work of him and none of us can honestly answer till the moment comes that we would, alone, challenge a group of thugs for a stranger's sake, much as we might hope we would. Naturally, it's the response Sam makes, suggesting no concern for the girl and even a wish that he could've joined the gang (rape) that makes us most uncomfortable. He might point out that we see little wrong with much of our entertainment industry featuring rape and violence. Was it the costar of the TV series "Hunter" a few years ago who refused to do a scene where her character was to be raped for the third time?

[Spoiler] To be fair, when the time comes Sam will defend Bess from a rogue.

jeannine  •  Link

"[Spoiler] To be fair, when the time comes Sam will defend Bess from a rogue."

Sorry Robert, but this doesn't fly with me as a positive statement about Sam. Defending one's wife is a hell of a lot different than having the courage of conviction to one's morals to stand up and defend a stranger in need. Sam is defending his own interests' if/when defending his wife as he'd never want to be the husband of a "stained" woman. Even the cuckolding libertines of the court of Charles II may go out and sleep with anyone they could get their hands on but when it came to their own wives they'd be a fool if anyone had touched them. There is a horrible double standard in the culture at this time, and Sam is unfortunately part of it.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So, Mr. Dryden. I've been anxious to meet up with you, sir."

A somewhat under the weather John eyes the little bouncing non-stop talking fellow at his elbow in rather loose perriwig. Bulbous lips, big eyes.

"Eh?" the young poet blinks.

"Yes. I've been a bit of a writer myself in my day...Just reviewed a few old things of mine...Foolish stuff, college days, you know...Tearing it up and into the fire with it." Sam pauses.

"But one or two of the things...A little promise, you know. Out of my line of course...With the Naval Office, you know. Clerk of the Acts. Still...Always had a great love of the theater."

"Coffee, gents." the host plunks two cups of the...For Dryden, at least...Badly needed...For the distraction of his uninvited guest as much as the bracing effect...liquid.

"Yes..." Pepys eyes Dryden's untouched cup. "You might also want to consider eating something...A bun or loaf, perhaps."

Diplomatically... "I greatly admired your "Wild Gallants" last year. Oddly enough, just today coming over..."

"F- the Wil' Gals..." Dryden groans, wearily. "That fool made a mudd' o' it...Mess...Shay no mor' o' the dratted slop."

"Yes...yes...I do see. Managers, middlemen all get in the way. Even Shakespeare's works are so badly mounted these days."

"F' bleedin' Shakescen'!...Miserable bald son o'...!"

"Uh...Yes, I can see where one, a young man of promise like yourself...Might feel blocked, as it were...By such an imposing figure. And I myself must say I've some excellent new plays by other young men like you that quite knock old Will into a corner. Are you familiar with "The Adventure of Five Hours" by Mr. Tuke?

"F- bloody Tuke!..."

"Yes...Well, I agree...Perhaps not up to old Will on the spiritual, Hamletian side of the matter but a roaring good time all the same. Anyway I was hoping to meet with you since the other day...As I say, having been looking over my old works of yore...With the idea of discussing with you, my own thoughts on a play."

Dryden stares...Which of those four...Five...coffees be mine? And where's the bloody rum to sweeten...

"I was thinking of a comedy of manners about love in marriage...Based partly on a silly little work of mine from the past that I called 'Love, A Cheate'
...On the follies and fobiles of a young man, a husband in the new work. I thought of calling it 'Marriage, A'la Mode'."

"Wher' the bloody rum?!...Ho ther, boy!"

"Yes...I really think you should eat something, Mr. D."

"Wha' was that?...'Marr' Model'?"

"'Marriage A'la Mode'" Sam, pleased...

"No' a bad title... Boy! The damned rum, me coffee needs coolin'..."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Ruben, on the other hand the President of Israel might identify with Sam :)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Minutes of the Pepysian Academy as recorded by A Hines for the Evening Press...2/3/07 regarding debate on entry 2/3/63-4:

A motion put forward by several members to denounce our revered Diarist on the subject of passive observation of gang rape of a stall seller by aristocratic cads was seconded with reservation by one R. Goertez. To which member J. Kerwin took issue on the limited defense of our Diarist by said Goertez on the grounds of the matter being far too serious to admit of light passing-off with reference to the latter member's consideration of the times, present-day morality, casting of the first stone, and so on...

Member Cumgranosalis did concur with member Kerwin to wit that the incident did reflect on the "base nature of Man" at which numerous members did provide hearty support, including member R. Uben. Member R Uizhe noting that the subject of wife abandonment should included in the discussion to contrast with treatment of the lower class, unattached woman.

The censure of our famed if flawed Diarist on the said incident was then passed with near unanimous support.

Member B Ryan, M. did then offer a welcome move to consider the meeting of our Diarist with the famed poet/playwright, JD. Allusion being made to the incident noted above in that the said JD had in fact written a play "The Wild Gallant" which could be termed a rather curious coincidence to which all heartily agreed. Member Goertez contributing a bit of doggerel on the subject.

JWB  •  Link

"Probably just a coincidence."
1 Feb anecdote " justling for the wall" establishes cover for Sam's amour propre.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Was it a rape?

Why are we leaping to this conclusion? "But the wench went ..." the entry says. One frequently can see the same kind of thing going on outside Baltimore's bars at closing time. Try saying "Hey, leave her alone" and it's sometimes the lady who tells you to mind your own business. I don't think we have enough evidence in this entry to pass judgment on anybody's character. (By the way, as a career prosecutor I don't have any sympathy for rapists or any other sort of violent felon! I've put my share of women-abusing louts away.)

Xjy  •  Link

"surrendering my estate in reversion to the use of my life"

Anyone know what this entails?? Sorry I'm asking a bit late...

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Re: interfering with a Laudly one or his hired hands by a constable on patrol could and did get the constable a slot in the klink.
It even happens to day, a drug smuggler can get a duly sworn in member of a protection group years in the Can for trying to apprended a protected species of a foreign embassy.
Privileges of those that be better, is much sighted in Houses of Lauds and House communis, where a constable or just a gent could get thee in deep water. Justice be not readily available for Hoi Polloi. The likes of of those that not be blessed by a Bishop would complain in the broad sheets.
It is still who thee Know when it comes escaping sanction for morally despicable actions.

ruizhe  •  Link

Well, "had her turn served" means something.

BTW, what's with Pepys's frequent use of "but" when he means "and"? Is this a peculiarism or a usage of "but" that has died out? What did the English of the day use to mean "but"?

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Re: searching the Condo Communis [commilitonis] the Date accessed: 04 February 2007.
using " privilege constable, Privilege constable ",for search will get you as an example the following.
privilege constable, Privilege constable

RESOLVED, That the Constable of Westminster, William Dibden, alias Dabene, William Barrington, Samuell Roper, Richard Knight, Arthur Butterworth, Richard Loveland, and John Bowman, be apprehended, and brought in the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms; to answer their Breach of Privilege, in imprisoning Mr. Speccott, and Mr. Southcott, Two of the Members of this House; and for using them in a reproachful Manner; and using ignominious Words against the Members of this House.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 7 January 1662', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 340-41. URL: Date accessed: 04 February 2007.
.Privilege-Arrest of a Witness.
UPON Information that Mr. Clement Oxenbridge, being summoned as a Witness to attend the Committee of the Revenue, was, whilst he was attending the said Committee, arrested, at the Suit of Mrs. Hampden, in Breach of the Privilege of this House; and is still detained in Custody;
Resolved, That Mr. Clement Oxenbridge shall have Privilege allowed him: And that he be discharged of the Arrest and Imprisonment at the Suit of Mrs. Hampden.
Upon Information that the Wife of Mr. Broome Whorwood, a Member of this House, having obtained a Decree in the High Court of Chancery, against Mr. Whorwood, for Alimony, in the late Times of Usurpation; and he having brought his Bill of Review, to reverse the Decree; his Wife claims Privilege of Parliament against her Husband, as the Wife of a Member of the House of Commons; and refuses to answer;
Resolved, &c. That no Wife or Servant of any Member of this House ought to have Privilege of Parliament allowed, in any Case, against the Husband of such Wife, or Master of such Servant.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 16 July 1663', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), p. 525. URL: Date accessed: 04

cumgranosalis  •  Link

London as seen in poetry
'To the City of London' (c.1501/02)

The anonymous poet seems to have taken part in a mission to London in 1501 to arrange the marriage of James IV of Scotland to Mary Tudor. The occasion for this poem was probably a reception for the mission by the Lord Major of London in Christmas week of that year. On December 31st, Henry VII had a payment of £6.13s.4d made 'to the Rhymer of Scotland in reward'.
At one time the poem was attributed to William Dunbar (1465?-1530?), court poet to James IV.
London, thou art of townes A per se.
Sovereign of cities, semeliest in sight,
Of high renoun, riches, and royaltie;
Of lordis, barons, and many goodly knyght;
Of most delectable lusty ladies bright;
Of famous prelatis in habitis clericall;
Of merchaunts full of substaunce and myght:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Pedro  •  Link

"[Spoiler] To be fair, when the time comes Sam will defend Bess from a rogue."

I knew it! That false knave with his base treacherous tricks, as devious as any spaniel can be, that rascal Uncle Wight.

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

> London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

London, truly a yeasty place where you can make your dough (or crumb).

Ruben  •  Link

Ruben, on the other hand the President of Israel might identify with Sam :)
This person is a disgrace for the country and I am ashamed that he has any public role here. I never liked him and now I know better why. Lets hope he gets some rest in jail.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

surrendering my estate in reversion to the use of my life

Under Uncle Robert's will, Pepys has the remainder interest in the Brampton lands after his father's death.

See Pauline's annotation:-

Presumably in the course of drafting his will, rather than disposing of this future interest under the terms of his own will, Pepys has decided to go through the formal procedures, which require much drafting of documents of surrendering this interest and converting it to an interest for his life with another person as the final remainderman. Hence his visit to Bernard and to Robert Pepys to draft documents which, I think at some stage, will have to be presented and recognized by the Manorial Court of Brampton.

At the time, and for a further 200 or so years, this were pretty standard form of arrangement for the intergenerational transfer of real property.

What does this entail -- the procedure was known as "baring the entail."

cumgranosalis  •  Link

only if proven: Rape punished by death

ruizhe  •  Link

Rape was the least-charged violent crime back then (and probably throughout human history), was it not?

BTW, did people those days think of pedophilia as being wrong? I ask, since children were seen from the Middle Ages onward as just smaller adults.

Bradford  •  Link

"what's with Pepys's frequent use of "but" when he means "and"?"

Conjunctions are multivalent; "but" can signify an oppositional cast of mind. Think how often Pepys says, "I would have done A, but B prevented me"; or "He claimed that A was so, but I have my doubts." He is always setting this against that, and it shows up in even so small a particle of speech.

Pedro  •  Link

"children... just smaller adults."

Yes, you have to have your 17C hat on at times. John Evelyn had entered into a contract of marriage (from 7 years old at the time) and the legal age of marriage being 12.

(John Evelyn, Living for Ingenuity by Gillian Darley)

ruizhe  •  Link

About "but"s:

I can see that, but here is an example from January 20th this year where the use of "but" does't signify opposition to the original thought (emphasis added by me). In fact, they're consistent:

"that the King do not openly disown my Lady Castlemaine, BUT that she comes to Court; but that my Lord FitzHarding and the Hambletons,1 and sometimes my Lord Sandwich, they say, have their snaps at her."

The only way a "but" makes sense (to a modern reaer) in the rape passge is if Pepys meant "but she went (willingly)".

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Amen to cumgranosalis, who said
"Privileges of those that be better, is much sighted in Houses of Lauds and House communis, where a constable or just a gent could get thee in deep water. Justice be not readily available for Hoi Polloi."

We saw a particularly mordant example of this the other day, reported as an annotation on Abraham Granger
of which the following is the relevant extract:

"The pamphlet laid bare the facts that Charles Gerard had acquired Gawsworth by means of a forgery and had fraudulently produced evidence to discredit the genuine will. Unfortunately Alexander Fitton was perhaps unaware of the statute of Scandalum magnatum which protected the 'great men' of the land from such accusations. As a peer of the realm Charles Gerard was entitled to the protection of this statute and simply presented a copy of the offending pamphlet to the House of Lords who promptly called Alexander Fitton before them and forced him to apologise on bended knee and fined him £500. Since Alexander Fitton didn't have the necessary £500 to pay the fine, he was clapped in prison, which is where he spent the next twenty years of his life."

Bryan M  •  Link

About "but"s

Sam's meaning in the passage you quote isn't particularly clear, is it? An interpretation consistent with the use of "but" is: that the King do not openly disown my Lady Castlemaine, "except when" she comes to Court. I guess we would have to know more about court life to know what Sam meant.

djc  •  Link

'but that' could be taken to mean 'nonetheless'

Australian Susan  •  Link

The gallants seem to be doing to the wench very much what Sam has recently done to Mrs Lane. And this is a woman whom Sam has been fancying for some time, ever since she set up her stall it seems. His recording of this incident, I think, shows he had been contemplating paying attention to her (Bess gets new ribbands, maybe?)and inticing her away as he did Mrs Lane. I think the girl seems to have been threatened (at least 4 against one)and went with them because she knew putting up a fight would have been pointless. Were all women stall holders in the household and fancy linen trade considered fair game for "tousing" (or worse)??

language hat  •  Link

"went with them because she knew putting up a fight would have been pointless"

That was my reading as well. And yes, I'm afraid all women without obvious male protectors were considered fair game. And I'm not sure things have changed much in most of the world.

Glyn  •  Link

Rape: if you go to

and key in the word 'rape' in the keyword search box, you'll get numerous court cases about this. Of course, these were only the ones that were brought to trial.

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