Tuesday 23 February 1663/64

Up, it being Shrove Tuesday, and at the office sat all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change and there met with Sir W. Rider, and of a sudden knowing what I had at home, brought him and Mr. Cutler and Mr. Cooke, clerk to Mr. Secretary Morrice, a sober and pleasant man, and one that I knew heretofore, when he was my Lord ‘s secretary at Dunkirke. I made much of them and had a pretty dinner for a sudden. We talked very pleasantly, and they many good discourses of their travels abroad. After dinner they gone, I to my office, where doing many businesses very late, but to my good content to see how I grow in estimation every day more and more, and have things given more oftener than I used to have formerly, as to have a case of very pretty knives with agate shafts by Mrs. Russell. So home and to bed.

This day, by the blessing of God, I have lived thirty-one years in the world; and, by the grace of God, I find myself not only in good health in every thing, and particularly as to the stone, but only pain upon taking cold, and also in a fair way of coming to a better esteem and estate in the world, than ever I expected. But I pray God give me a heart to fear a fall, and to prepare for it!

17 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link

"of a sudden" - "for a sudden"

sudden. n. *Obs.* an unexpected occurrence; energency. 'of a sudden' or 'on a sudden'. adv. sooner than was expected : at once : suddenly. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary)

Australian Susan  •  Link

Shrove Tuesday - but no mention of pancakes or football matches or cock-fighting. And no birthday celebrations either. This year's Easter is almost in sync with Sam's: Shrove Tuesday being Feb 20th this year.
I wonder what it was that Sam had at home which he suddnely decides is fit to share with a group of friends: a venison pasty? another swan? a good joint of beef? Whatever it was, I wonder if Elizabeth was happy to see it wolfed down by a lot of Sam's mates with hearty appetites!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and of a sudden knowing what I had at home"

After reading this, I was expecting something really special waiting for him at home, but then he simply talks about "a pretty dinner for a sudden" (with no mention of Elizabeth). I wonder why...

In any case, Happy Birthday Samuel! We're glad you're here.

jeannine  •  Link

Gee, no celebration of Valentine's Day and no birthday feast this year either, but he is STILL Sam as he did mention his stone. Like death and taxes, the mention of "the stone" is something you can count on....

Terry F  •  Link

"This day, by the blessing of God, I have lived thirty-one years in the world;"

Celebrating a new time-mark (how to avoid spatial figures of speech?), a brief self-assessment and summing-up: What is the life of this survivor of Ye Stone amounting to?!

A model for all of us who have survived near-death events....

I keep forgetting how young Pepys is - perhaps it's the periwigg....

Bryan M  •  Link

"and of a sudden knowing what I had at home"

Sam and his compound sentences and lack of punctuation. This is the way I read it: "and of a sudden (knowing what I had at home) brought him and Mr. Cutler and Mr. Cooke,"

Our man has shown us he knew the importance of appearances. Here Sam takes the opportunity to impress three fairly influential associates with his ability to put on an impromptu but "pretty" dinner. He knows what he has at home because Bess has been stocking up. From yesterday's vast entry: "there found my wife at pretty Doll's, and thence by coach set her at my uncle Wight's, to go with my aunt to market once more against Lent"

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Celebrations are encouraged by those that want you to part with thy monies, and Samuell is hell bent in going for the magic number of a 1000 quid, 'tis like those now be going for the Million/ Billion /Trillion. He be still watching his little sacks stacking up.
Stone is a trigger to his psychy, that life be good, thats the day he started living again , a rebirth. The Church had so many holy days to celibrate, allowing more excuses to collect fathings or for failing to attend, to get shillings, 'tis like a parking meter, a small coin or if forgot then pay up with a wad of notes.

P.S Terry F. a belated great to hear thy dulcet tones again.

Jesse  •  Link

"heart to fear a fall"

I'm guessing this is courage to accept the fear that a sudden change of circumstances - not for the better - is possible. Does Pepys position, rate of promotion and/or ambition put him in such a precarious position or is this a little political hypochondria?

ruizhe  •  Link

By the standards of our time, 31 is young, but as my father was fond of reminding me when I was in my early 20's, many men were fathers before they were 20 and running businesses, farms, and supporting generations of family before they were 30 back in the day. In Sam's day, most people's lives would be over halfover by the time they were 31.

People were expected to mature quickly back then (or by some of today's standards, not at all; especially the men).

tel  •  Link

of a sudden knowing what I had at home
"Surprise, Bess - I've brought my good friends to share our larder!"
"But Samuel," (hisses),"that was supposed to last all through Lent."
Happy Birthday Sam.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"...Does Pepys position, rate of promotion..." There was no formal structure for getting thy due reward, only opportunity to take what be available, with connivance of Royal acceptance. He is the man that starts the civil service. The Navy until Cromwell, was created as needed and it required a Merchant [with ships] to be persuaded to part with his investment.
Soldiers were the property of the landed ones until Cromwell changed the organisation. It be noted that the Army not be Royal only those regiments that pass the test of standing guard to the Royality. The Gents did not trust the landless ones with doses of dung in the form of gunpowder, but could not stop rich merchants raising armed trainded bandes of warriors.

J A Gioia  •  Link

But I pray God give me a heart to fear a fall, and to prepare for it!

A prayer for prudence and humility, two qualities which Sam finds mainly lacking among those he meets at the Navy office and at court.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess' present...She didn't kill him and smiled all through the "dinner on a sudden."

Can't help thinking of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" when Ford has to beg his much-put-upon Missus to whip up a dinner for the boys he'd invited to search his home for Falstaff.

A.De Araujo  •  Link

"Shrove Tuesday"
Mardi Gras and I am in Brazil :)

djc  •  Link

But I pray God give me a heart to fear a fall, and to prepare for it!
He has grown up during a civil war, seen regicide and restoration. There is a mediaeval sense of 'revolution' in this: the wheel of fortune, what goes around comes around. His position truly is 'early modern', he is neither merchant, nor artisan: he lives by what is knows. He has no job security and no trade to fall back on if he falls out of favour.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

djc, nice summary of life in the trenches, 'tis why the collection of sacks of hard coin, not enough diamonds to be had, must have monies to be get thy meals when thee lie in state at one of the Gaols or as a resident at the tower.
Life be full of hurdles. It still be the same , never rely on hope , try Hezekiah 6:1.

Lawrence  •  Link

"But I pray God give me heart to fear a fall, and prepare for it!"
Gossip about possible redundancy, layoffs, with office and factory wage slaves, always bring a dread to any person who happens not to have bags of cash salted away, sam having some bags of cash, can at least can prepare for it.

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