Wednesday 24 February 1663/64

(Ash-Wednesday). Up and by water, it being a very fine morning, to White Hall, and there to speak with Sir Ph. Warwicke, but he was gone out to chappell, so I spent much of the morning walking in the Park, and going to the Queene’s chappell, where I staid and saw their masse, till a man came and bid me go out or kneel down: so I did go out. And thence to Somerset House; and there into the chappell, where Monsieur d’Espagne used to preach. But now it is made very fine, and was ten times more crouded than the Queene’s chappell at St. James’s; which I wonder at. Thence down to the garden of Somerset House, and up and down the new building, which in every respect will be mighty magnificent and costly. I staid a great while talking with a man in the garden that was sawing of a piece of marble, and did give him 6d. to drink. He told me much of the nature and labour of the worke, how he could not saw above 4 inches of the stone in a day, and of a greater not above one or two, and after it is sawed, then it is rubbed with coarse and then with finer and finer sand till they come to putty, and so polish it as smooth as glass. Their saws have no teeth, but it is the sand only which the saw rubs up and down that do the thing. Thence by water to the Coffee-house, and there sat with Alderman Barker talking of hempe and the trade, and thence to the ‘Change a little, and so home and dined with my wife, and then to the office till the evening, and then walked a while merrily with my wife in the garden, and so she gone, I to work again till late, and so home to supper and to bed.

15 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

"Their saws have no teeth, but it is the sand only which the saw rubs up and down that do the thing."

THE ART OF MARBLE WORKING IN GENERAL.

SAW, OF THE MARBLE WORKER.-It is without teeth; with a different frame from common saws, and proportioned to the pieces to be cut up. The blade of this saw is large, and strong enough to saw the Marble slowly, with the aid of sand and water which the sawer pours into the cleft. There are also two kinds of hand saws, one of which is notched, and the other smooth.

http://www.cagenweb.com/quarries/articles_and_b...

Lawrence   Link to this

Nice site Pedro.
The water keeping the sand in the cleft, much as it sticks to your bum on the beach. The sand I'd choose would be sharp, so having silica in it, it being more abrasive, and of course the sand we use to make glass.

Paul Dyson   Link to this

he could not saw above 4 inches of the stone in a day

A vision of craftsmanship combined with immense tedium! Maybe the sawyer was glad of Sam's company - and even of his customary inquisitiveness. Sam also remains curious about Catholic liturgy and practice, though not so much so as to join in.

jeannine   Link to this

" spent much of the morning walking in the Park, and going to the Queene's chappell, where I staid and saw their masse, till a man came and bid me go out or kneel down: so I did go out.

Spoiler after the Diary ends.. I can't help but thinking that when Sam falls under fire in the Popish Plots that his curiosity in all religions, including Catholicism somehow will work against him when false accusations fly.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Typical of Sam, isn't it? To see something he's not seen before (man working marble) and to stop and find out all about it and then write it all down at home. Good he gave the man money as Sam no doubt interrupted his work!
At this time, Anglicanism did not have special Ash Wednesday services with Imposition of Ashes - this is what Sam (ever the curious, although in this case it will arise to haunt him many years later, as Jeannine remarks)goes to see at the Queen's Chapel and then at the Queen Mother's which he observes to be much better and her dwelling place and gardens being made "mighty magnificanet" and "costly" (very Sam to comment on that!)
"walked a while merrily" - wish we knew what they'd talked about.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Here is a modern Anglican liturgy for Ash Wednesday from New Zealand.
http://www.liturgy.co.nz/html/ashwedliturgy.html

Robert Gertz   Link to this

C'mon, Sam...You want to kneel. Don't fight it, man.

Your wife is already one of us...

Sort of like that SNL skit years ago "Night of the Moonies" with the Pope standing in for Rev. Moon.

alanB   Link to this

Phil tells us in background notes that the Somerset House building of Pepys' time was replaced by the current building in 1776-86, with TerryF supplying the link to current image
http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/UK/England/Lo...

Evidently, the marble work did not last long.

JWB   Link to this

"till a man came and bid me go out or kneel down"

-surprisingly stiff-necked. Makes one wonder how successful the counter-reformation would have been if it had been more Christian.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sam seems attracted to things like the whores on (Fleet, was it?-can't remember for sure)street, the Portuguese Jewish synagogue, Lady Castlemaine, Catholic ceremonies, etc like an overcurious moth to a very dangerous flame...

The lure of the forbidden...I suppose nowadays he'd be hanging cautiously round some dangerously scuzzy nightclub and from afar observing some protest frowned on by the government.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Though they don't really have much in common I often think of Sam Lowry from "Brazil" during entries like this, poking his nose into very dangerous corners... Perhaps it's just that a younger Jonathan Pryce would have made such a great Pepys.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Re: Jeannine's slight spoiler ...

When Sam took his seat in the House of Commons in 1674, he was attacked almost immediately by the followers of James II's great enemy, Lord Shaftesbury. It was said that Sam was a Catholic; that he had an altar and crucifix in his house; that he had broken his wife's heart by trying to convert her to Catholicism (an allegation, writes Claire Tomalin, that must have amused and enraged him privately). Someone remembered him saying that the Anglican religion "came out of Henry VIII's codpiece."

Sam spoke in his own defense on February 10, 1674. Contrary to today's and some earlier entries, he said he had never in his life been at mass. Claire Tomalin points out that "we know that what took Pepys to mass was curiosity and a liking for the music, not religious faith."

See Tomalin's "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self," pages 292-97.

Terry F   Link to this

The Q is: What is the meaning of "to be at Mass"?

Pepys at the Queen's first mass in her Chapel at St. James,
21 September 1662 http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/09/21/

...the throng of players and onlookers having been such on that spectacular occasion ("Lady Castlemaine,...tho' a Protestant," attendant to the Queen, among the eye-candy) that Our Spectator was not singled out, and (leaving Pedro) wandered away when the Portuguese homily began.

jeannine   Link to this

"And thence to Somerset House; and there into the chappell, where Monsieur d'Espagne used to preach. But now it is made very fine, and was ten times more crouded than the Queene's chappell at St. James's"...
In addition to the Mass at somerset House being in a grander setting and more populated than the St. James chapel--often times in Charles' court the courtiers, etc. were quite finicky. When an individual was popular they would swarm around that person like bees attracted to ...hmmm... honey. Recently Sam pointed out that the King was sullen towards Catherine, so, it would be unlikely that people would be interested being seen at her mass. Most likely the Queen Mother was in better standing and the grander setting and being seen with the "right" people on the "right" day most likely added to her attendance level and took away from Catherine's.

Also, an interesting note, and after the Diary is over, Catherine will move into Somerset Home and live there, in what we'd probably call today a "separation" from Charles II. She will make that her home for about 8-10 years, returning back to live in the same location as Charles only during the time of the popish plots.

Pedro   Link to this

"till a man came and bid me go out or kneel down: so I did go out."

Could this give an idea as to the why Sam said that he had never in his life been at mass, and his idea of being "at mass". By kneeling he would have been taking part in the mass, and not observing as he had done previously, and also did at the synagogue?

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