Thursday 18 February 1663/64

Called up to the office and much against my will I rose, my head aching mightily, and to the office, where I did argue to good purpose for the King, which I have been fitting myself for the last night against Mr. Wood about his masts, but brought it to no issue. Very full of business till noon, and then with Mr. Coventry to the African House, and there fell to my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, and by and by to dinner, where excellent discourse, Sir G. Carteret and others of the African Company with us, and then up to the accounts again, which were by and by done, and then I straight home, my head in great pain, and drowsy, so after doing a little business at the office I wrote to my father about sending him the mastiff was given me yesterday. I home and by daylight to bed about 6 o’clock and fell to sleep, wakened about 12 when my wife came to bed, and then to sleep again and so till morning, and then: [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

21 Annotations

Lawrence   Link to this

"wakened about 12 when my wife came to bed," probably to tell him, the dog had messed, and that he'd best clean it up in the morning!

djc   Link to this

All these late nights!
All this quite contrary to the impression that people without electric light went to be when it was dark and rose at dawn.

Terry F   Link to this

Inspiration for "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?!

Called up to the office and much against my will I rose,
my head aching mightily,
and to the office,
where I did argue to good purpose for the King,
which I have been fitting myself for the last night against Mr. Wood about his masts,
but brought it to no issue.

Precocious, Samuel Pepys! Simply precocious.

Terry F   Link to this

Or better....

Called up to the office and much against my will
I rose,
my head aching mightily,
and to the office,

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Mastiff: Dad here be dog for thee to keep, makes a good bedwarmer, keeps all unruly bulls in their pasture, so that thee can chat up the milk maids. It can even pull thee free from the ousing waters if thee slip on some ice. luv S.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

I did argue to good purpose for the King ...

... and SP's own "gift" account

jeannine   Link to this

"I wrote to my father about sending him the mastiff was given me yesterday"

Hmmm, this is the second letter to his father this month. I can't help but wonder if the offer of the dog is a 'peace offering" after writing to him in anger on the 13th :

"And there wrote fair my angry letter to my father upon that that he wrote to my cozen Roger Pepys, which I hope will make him the more carefull to trust to my advice for the time to come without so many needless complaints and jealousys, which are troublesome to me because without reason".

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/02/13/

or perhaps "revenge", depending upon how one looks at being offered a gift that one has to feed, clean up after, etc.

Nate   Link to this

All this quite contrary to the impression that people without electric light went to be when it was dark and rose at dawn.

He had lanterns, fire, and candles but I expect that those to poor to afford them probably did go to bed early or discoursed in the dark.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Early to bed
Yes, all depends on the money. Up until the end of the 18th century/beg of 19th, the dinner hour was most often kept within daylight hours to save on articifial light: only the wealthy could afford to have fashionably late dinner hours. Jane Austen lampoons this in her unfinished novel fragment The Watsons, where a very smart young man calls on a household of impoverished gentry to be asked to stay for supper, but he retreats to his own home because he has not yet had dinner! In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte demonstrates knowledge of the condition of the rural poor when she has her hero knocking up a cottage family (to ask directions). It is a winter morning, but quite late: he is surprised to find them all in bed still. This is because (as Anne knew) there was no work, so they were staying in bed to keep warm and save on precious, expensive fuel (not all cottagers had the right to collect kindling or forewood from their landlord's land).

Robert Gertz   Link to this

What was Bess doing till midnight?

JWB   Link to this

"What was Bess doing till midnight?"

Talking of Michelangelo & counting the spoons.

ruizhe   Link to this

The luncheon meal is called "dinner" even today in rural parts of Illinois (at least by a Mormon family who's son I'm acquainted with), dinner being the main meal of the day, and lunch being a well-needed energy boost for the farming types.

jeannine   Link to this

The Love Song of Samuel Pepys

(For Terry F -your welcome back!)

Oh us women we come and go
Talking of Michelangelo

Of our Sam Pepys women oft have their say
Sharing female insights many a day

But to dare disturb Sam's universe
Fine female comments we intersperse

We're no prophets--and here's no great matter
Women join male friends in this idle chatter

We measure Sam's life daily in coffee spoons
Stringing thoughts in air in a festive festoon

We squeeze Sam's universe into a ball
Sharing our great insights with one and all

Is it impossible to say just what we mean
The findings so vast from the Dairy we glean

Full of high sentences, but a bit obtuse
In all this writing that Sam did oft produce

We've time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions

As Sam's attendants, this chatty writing we do
Will it swell a progress, start a scene maybe two

At times, we're indeed, almost ridiculous
Then politic, cautious, and meticulous

Almost, at times, the Fool we all may be
At times writing with dreaded uncertainty

Unraveling Sam's words as a Diary sleuth
A moment of clarity when I see the truth

Do I dare risk writing my thoughts all down
When others debate me, I fear I'll drown

Have I strength to force the moment to its crisis
My findings so fruitful my mind is now Isis

Should I let precious Diary secrets unfold
Gather my bravery now, before I grow old!

Dear friends who are reading I'd now make my speech
But I'm too busy eating my lunch, a peach........

Lawrence   Link to this

I know this is a silly question????
But will we be dead centre of the Diary on 24th of this month? hope somebody out there will work it out for me, because maths is not my strong point!

EKmathcountschamp   Link to this

Sam started the Diary on Jan 1, 1660 and stopped on May 31, 1669, for a total of 3439 days (there are 3 leap years -in 1660, 1664 and 1668). The midpoint of his Diary would be 1719.5 days which (including the 2 leap years of 1660 and 1664) would bring us to the September 14/15 date.

(EK is 10 years old!)

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Dead Centre of diary

By "length" of text, end May 31st. / start June 1st 1665; -- quick and dirty method based on a page count of a Wheatley edn. reprint. (1667 is a long text year, about 50% more than the average, which skews the result)

Lawrence   Link to this

Thanks EK, (Jeannine)
Bit early to start celebrating Then!

Pedro   Link to this

Further Correspondence...

"I send you an excellent mastiffe, his name Fido..."

cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"length" of text" unci cum aut vacuus

Rod McCaslin   Link to this

A highly informative and wonderful read on the early modern experience of night-
*At Day's Close*
http://www.amazon.com/At-Days-Close-Night-Times...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The frequent activity in the middle of the night Pepys records

Research suggests this may be the natural order of things: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/opinion/sunda...

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