Friday 5 February 1663/64

Up, and down by water, a brave morning, to Woolwich, and there spent an houre or two to good purpose, and so walked to Greenwich and thence to Deptford, where I found (with Sir W. Batten upon a survey) Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Pen, and my Lady Batten come down and going to dinner. I dined with them, and so after dinner by water home, all the way going and coming reading “Faber Fortunae,” which I can never read too often. At home a while with my wife, and so to my office, where till 8 o’clock, and then home to look over some Brampton papers, and my uncle’s accounts as Generall-Receiver of the County for 1647 of our monthly assessment, which, contrary to my expectation, I found in such good order and so, thoroughly that I did not expect, nor could have thought, and that being done, having seen discharges for every farthing of money he received, I went to bed late with great quiett.

14 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I went to bed late with great quiett."

Sad-eyed Bess eyeing the snoring Sam...God knows the poor fellow works hard and deserves his rest but...Tis not the way it used to be.

John MacDougall   Link to this

"a brave morning"
Is this just an expression, or is he acting bravely by traveling on water twice?

Bryan M   Link to this

"a brave morning"

The Websters Dictionary 1913 cites Pepys as an example of meaning 2 below.
URL: http://machaut.uchicago.edu/websters

Brave (?), a. [Compar. Braver; superl. Bravest.] [F. brave, It. or Sp. bravo, (orig.) fierce, wild, savage, prob. from. L. barbarus. See Barbarous, and cf. Bravo.]

1. Bold; courageous; daring; intrepid; -- opposed to cowardly; as, a brave man; a brave act.

2. Having any sort of superiority or excellence; -- especially such as in conspicuous. [Obs. or Archaic as applied to material things.]

Iron is a brave commodity where wood aboundeth. Bacon.

It being a brave day, I walked to Whitehall. Pepys.

3. Making a fine show or display. [Archaic]

Wear my dagger with the braver grace. Shak.

For I have gold, and therefore will be brave. In silks I'll rattle it of every color. Robert Greene.

Frog and lizard in holiday coats And turtle brave in his golden spots. Emerson.

Firenze   Link to this

Where I come from (north of Ireland) a brave day would still be a common expression. Also, if someone asked you how you were - 'Oh, bravely'.

I'm sorry it's an expression that seems to have slipped down the ratings elsewhere.

BTW, I am not surprised the uncle's accounts are in good order: must be where Sam gets the Pepysian gene for efficiency (which seems to have rather bypassed his father and siblings).

adam w   Link to this

A brave morning
I imagine this was like last Saturday morning here in SW England - clear blue sky, crisp frost, perfect visibility. A brave morning indeed for a boat trip down the Thames, if you're well wrapped up.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"I am not surprised the uncle's accounts are in good order"

But was "contrary to my [Sam's] expectation," Sam having had so much trouble over the uncle's will, which was far from being in good order. Made me wonder whether Uncle Robert had a decline in later years.

Thomas   Link to this

A Brave Morning
As Firenze points out brave is still widely used in N.Ireland, where many 17th century expressions and pronunciations are still used however, I don't think it means cold here just good or great.
Brave is sometimes used with a double entente in that ..thats a brave hat your wearing (and it's very courageous of you to wear it)

cumgranosalis   Link to this

Brave be brisque [brisk]or invigorating , enough to put 'airs on ones chest, be my version of the word , a day found plentiful in March along with the mad march 'are.

PK   Link to this

I read 'Brave' as being equivalent to the Scots 'Braw'. It seems it may be according to a light websearch.

mary mcintyre   Link to this

PK is right; with both Scots and Irish forebears, I will weigh in to say that "brave" is used (and was prob. used by Sam) to indicate something that is beautiful, or makes a bold display.

CF also "A Christmas Carol" in which Dickens describes Mrs. Cratchit "dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons"

mary mcintyre   Link to this

PK is right; with both Scots and Irish forebears, I will weigh in to say that "brave" is used (and was prob. used by Sam) to indicate something that is beautiful, or makes a bold display.

CF also "A Christmas Carol" in which Dickens describes Mrs. Cratchit "dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons"

mary, in "brave" (sunny, but ****ing cold) Toronto

Bradford   Link to this

Would that be "smiting cold"?

And to think that from Bacon's "Faber Fortunate" are descended such other financial classics as Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich." But they probably do not bear REreading.

wisteria53   Link to this

Brave (from the Oxford English Dictionary) - definition 3b, I think, applies:
3. loosely, as a general epithet of admiration or praise: Worthy, excellent, good, 'capital', 'fine', 'famous', etc.; 'an indeterminate word, used to express the superabundance of any valuable quality in men or things' (J.). arch. (Cf. BRAW a.)

a. of persons.
1600 SHAKES. A.Y.L. III. iv. 43 O that's a braue man, hee writes braue verses, speakes braue words. 1603 Mournef. Dittie in Shaks. C. Praise 56 You Poets all, brave Shakspeare, Johnson, Greene. 1673 Ess. Educ. Gentlewom. 29 Zeuxes and Timanthes were brave Painters. 1679 PENN Addr. Prot. I. §5 (1692) 20 Many brave Families have been ruin'd by a Gamester. 1740 J. CLARKE Educ. Youth (ed. 3) 57 His Son is a brave Scholar.

b. of things.
1577 J. NORTHBROOKE Dicing (1843) 102 Nowe are the braue and golden dayes. 1599 SHAKES. Much Ado V. iv. 130 Ile deuise thee braue punishments for him. 1605 Lear III. ii. 79 This is a braue night to coole a Curtizan. 1653 WALTON Angler 104 We wil make a brave Breakfast with a piece of powdered Bief. 1798 SOUTHEY Eng. Eclog. ii, Here she found..a brave fire to thaw her. 1834 Doctor xxii. 51 Knowledge is a brave thing. 1850 MRS. BROWNING Poems I. 5 Here's a brave earth to sin and suffer on!

Australian Susan   Link to this

I wonder if Batten et al were hoping to have a dinner *without* Sam: ("It's all right, he's gone to Woolwich") and then they find out he's marched on to Greenwich and then Deptford. ("I say, Penn, guess who's coming down the road?!" "*****").
Sam's relief at finding the accounts for Brampton in order is almost palpable! He has been putting this off: he knows from his own experience with accounts that it is going to be difficult - might involve hours of shuffling documents, doing calculations on scraps of paper, eyes sore in the candlelight, wondering if Will has turned up at the house whilst he's over in the office...etc. And then, oh, Joy! It's *perfect* - to the last farthing!

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