Tuesday 26 July 1664

All the morning at the office, at noon to Anthony Joyce’s, to our gossip’s dinner. I had sent a dozen and a half of bottles of wine thither, and paid my double share besides, which is 18s. Very merry we were, and when the women were merry and rose from table, I above with them, ne’er a man but I, I began discourse of my not getting of children, and prayed them to give me their opinions and advice, and they freely and merrily did give me these ten, among them (1) Do not hug my wife too hard nor too much; (2) eat no late suppers; (3) drink juyce of sage; (4) tent and toast; (5) wear cool holland drawers; (6) keep stomach warm and back cool; (7) upon query whether it was best to do at night or morn, they answered me neither one nor other, but when we had most mind to it; (8) wife not to go too straight laced; (9) myself to drink mum and sugar; (10) Mrs. Ward did give me, to change my place. The 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 10th they all did seriously declare, and lay much stress upon them as rules fit to be observed indeed, and especially the last, to lie with our heads where our heels do, or at least to make the bed high at feet and low at head. Very merry all, as much as I could be in such sorry company. Great discourse of the fray yesterday in Moorefields, how the butchers at first did beat the weavers (between whom there hath been ever an old competition for mastery), but at last the weavers rallied and beat them. At first the butchers knocked down all for weavers that had green or blue aprons, till they were fain to pull them off and put them in their breeches. At last the butchers were fain to pull off their sleeves, that they might not be known, and were soundly beaten out of the field, and some deeply wounded and bruised; till at last the weavers went out tryumphing, calling 100l. for a butcher. I to Mr. Reeves to see a microscope, he having been with me to-day morning, and there chose one which I will have. Thence back and took up young Mrs. Harman, a pretty bred and pretty humoured woman whom I could love well, though not handsome, yet for her person and carriage, and black. By the way met her husband going for her, and set them both down at home, and so home to my office a while, and so to supper and bed.

26 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

"At noon to Anth. Joyces to our gossips dinner;"

So L&M: to celebrate the birth of the Joyces' child, they note.

"Great discourse of the fray yesterday in Moorefields, how the butchers at first did beat the weavers (between whom there hath been ever an old competition for mastery)" L&M note the fray was between the apprentices of rival companies on the St. James's Day election day for the Weavers' Company.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"tent and toast" What is tent? Or is this a mistranscription by Wheatley?

Keeping the legs elevated post coitus is advice still given to those finding it hard to conceive today. And the "cool holland drawers" are the loose boxer shorts of today and also sound advice. Not sure about the other advice. I find this quite surprising that Sam would be so open about all this in a fairly large company. If I was Bess, I'd be mortified. Good, though, that Sam does not (as most 17th century men would) blame Bess for the childlessness.
Not sure how sage was supposed to help. Here is some information about it: http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/go/index.php...

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Tent

See Clement's note on Jan 11 1663/4
"Tent \Tent\, n. [Sp. tinto, properly, deep-colored, fr. L.
tinctus, p. p. of tingere to dye. See Tinge, and cf.
Tint, Tinto.] A kind of wine of a deep red color, chiefly from Galicia or Malaga in Spain; -- called also tent wine, and tinta.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)"

and CGS on December 3 1663:-
"Tent: it be a little more than tinta vino:
A Spanish wine of a deep red colour, and of low alcoholic content. Also tent wine. (Often used as a sacramental wine.)
1542
1612 in Halyburton's Ledger (1867) 335 Sackes Canareis Malagas Maderais..Teynts and Allacants.
c1645 HOWELL Lett. (1650) II. lv. 74 The Vinteners make Tent (which is a Name for all Wines in Spain except white) to supply the place of it.
This Tent not be a habitat or a surgical instrument.
lifted from OED"

Michael Robinson   Link to this

I had sent a dozen and a half of bottles ...

"Thence to Mr. Rawlinson's and saw some of my new bottles made, with my crest upon them, filled with wine, about five or six dozen."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/10/23/

jeannine   Link to this

"and prayed them to give me their opinions and advice"
Just recently I got a laugh when reading "Health" magazine where a new study (I think it was a Harvard study) found that full fat ice cream (and not the reduced fat type) increased a woman's likelihood to conceive. I am sure that many a lady in desire went home and started munching on super duper chunk peanut butter, caramel, chocolate chip and vanilla swirl. I suppose if it didn't help one conceive it's a great way to drown one's sorrows.....

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...a dozen and a half of bottles of wine thither, and paid my double share besides, which is 18s. Very merry we were, and when the women were merry and rose from table..."

No doubt they were merry...But how did they manage to rise from the table.

Kudos to Sam for his commonsense, direct approach to the problem and willingness to risk a few laughs from the males. While Bess might be embarrassed to have it discussed like that, one hopes she heard of the affair and was properly touched.

***
"...(7)upon query whether it was best to do at night or morn, they answered me neither one nor other, but when we had most mind to it; (8) wife not to go too straight laced;..."

No problem with 7 I'm sure and Bess always seemed rather easy going...(yes, I know).

***

"Very merry all, as much as I could be in such sorry company."

Jerk. They ought to have laughed his Pretentiousness out of the place.

***
"Thence back and took up young Mrs. Harman, a pretty bred and pretty humoured woman whom I could love well, though not handsome, yet for her person and carriage, and black. By the way met her husband going for her..."

Best you didn't love her too well just then...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"(10) Mrs. Ward did give me, to change my place."

Bess will like that... "Mr. Pepys?! Samuel?! What are you doing?" "Take me, you French vixen, you..."

You think Mrs. Ward went home grinning?

***

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

"...Kudos to Sam for his commonsense..."
Curious as a cat is our Samuel, when in doubt ask;
silence in a man may look like wisdom.
Wisdom and good sense, does not, will not come with age, ask any man that is enamoured with lust.
May be now that Samuell has few pounds of the yeller stuff, he is listening to Plautus , Curculio, 201
show me a lover with self control, and I will give you his weight in gold?.
or be it Ovid , ars amatoria, II, 358

Jesse   Link to this

"at night or morn, they answered me neither one nor other"

Interesting that other timing aspects don't figure at all. I'd have expected at least lunar phase if not offsets from that other 'lunar' cycle. However, looking at the ten again they're all rather more causal, based on more direct existential effects (viz. food, drug, temperature, pressure &c.) Even having "most mind to it" can fit this method.

Pedro   Link to this

"At last the butchers were fain to pull off their sleeves, that they might not be known, and were soundly beaten out of the field, and some deeply wounded and bruised;"...

till at last the weavers went out tryumphing, calling "we ate all the pies."

(English football humour)

andy   Link to this

Shame about Mrs Harman, her husband turning up at just the wrong moment.

I'm intrigued by Sam buying a microscope and also discussing conception at the same time. Although he has a personal interest he does have an enquiring mind and of course records everything - an early scientist. In the history of science, when were individual sperm first identified? Could he be buying a microscope to look at (or for) his own?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and 10th.........and especially the last"
Indeed that is closest to ovulation!!!Amazing!!!; I am assuming they are saying the 10th day after menses.

language hat   Link to this

"I am assuming they are saying the 10th day after menses."

No, he's referring to his list of numbered suggestions. Number 10 (and last) is "to change my place," i.e., "to lie with our heads where our heels do, or at least to make the bed high at feet and low at head."

ann   Link to this

Austrialian Susan writes: ""tent and toast" What is tent? Or is this a mistranscription by Wheatley?" and Michael Robinson provides: Tent is "A kind of wine of a deep red color, chiefly from Galicia or Malaga in Spain; -- called also tent wine, and tinta."

Call me crazy, but could the two be one and the same? A little something to lighten the mood and get the motors running?(with the toast being the light, early supper?)

Poor Sam (and Bess!). Did they ever figure out that it was due to the "cutting of the stone?"

Bradford   Link to this

Along with feet higher than heads, surely the best advice is "when we had most mind to it": you may not win the lottery, but you won't have wasted your nickel either.

But is it not rich to set the hens cackling about such a subject, and then hold oneself as merry "as I could be in such sorry company"? Will Pepys perhaps learn to put his motives under microscopic scrutiny?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

thanks language hat

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"tent and toast"
Probably something to do with pole and sheets and toast probaly something to do with hot.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"I began discourse of my not getting of children"
I think it interesting that a number of directives have to do with Sam changing his behavior, since I had been told that, in olden times, infertility was always blamed on the woman.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"When the women were merry and rose from table, I above with them, ne'er a man but I"
From reading too much Trollope and Mitford and such, I'm familiar with the custom of the ladies withdrawing to the drawing room after dinner, while the men stay at the cleared table and pass the port and smoke and tell louche stories. Does anyone know when this became enshrined? It seems to have already developed here, though Pepys feels free to withdraw when the ladies do.

(I've seen a New Yorker cartoon from the '30s showing a matron, the only lady at a table of men in white tie, looking pie eyed, holding a cigar, and saying to the butler who is proffering the port, "No, thank you, I think I've had enough." The men are glaring at her. I'm sure very few these days would get the humor.)

Terry F   Link to this

"yesterday in Moorefields...the butchers...were soundly beaten out of the field, and some deeply wounded and bruised; till at last the weavers went out tryumphing, calling 100l. for a butcher."

Socially-destabilizing in early modern London were riots of apprentice gangs, esp. the weavers. Pepys recorded an example this past March 26-27. See Rex Gordon's note on some ways young apprentices in London tested limits
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/03/26/#c10... He does not mention the London apprentice riots of the 1590s, esp. 1595, which elicited law enforcement sweeps and tighter regs. See, e.g. The London apprentice riots of the 1590s and the fiction of Thomas Deloney
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2220/is_...

"[Shrove Tuesday] was a customary day for apprentices to storm the brothels, make mischief, and storm around the town creating chaos. It would have been normal for an apprentice such as Rafe in Beaufort's 'The Knight of the Burning Pestle' to take part in this...." http://www.duke.edu/web/emt/student_projects/ch...

Rafe. Then I took up my bow and shaft in hand
And walked into Moorfields to cool myself;
But there grim cruel Death met me again,
And shot this forked arrow through me head,
And now I faint. Therefore be warned by me,
My fellows every one, of forked heads.
Farewell, all you good boys in merry London;
Ne'er shall we more upon Shrove Tuesday meet
And pluck down houses of iniquity. http://www.duke.edu/web/emt/student_projects/ch...

At least today's fray was also in Moorfields, beyond the Artillery Ground and Moorgate, north of Bedlam Hospital, on the last expanse of empty land still within the city Walls.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Weavers and butchers
I'm kind of surprised the weavers beat the butchers, since the butchers got more vigorous exercise in their trade, and presumably ate better, at least more meat.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

The weavers, lean and sinewy, their bodies hardened by constant attendance at their looms...The butchers, an idle lot, swelled and slow, used to but an occassional swing of the ax and cleaver, their bellies heavy with beef, pork, and lamb. The weavers, eagle-eyed, shrewdly attentive to each move from laborious hours of minding each thread...The butchers, sleepy and garrulous in the heat, puffing and red-faced after a few minutes.

language hat   Link to this

Mass fistfights are (or were) a traditional pastime in many countries; I've read about them in prerevolutionary Russia, and Richard C. Trexler's Public Life in Renaissance Florence talks about mass fistfights organized in April 1393.

Pedro   Link to this

Apothecaries v Physicians.

For a little more about Livery Companies in an interesting site (Earle, Peter. The Making of the English Middle Class: Business, Society and Family Life in London 1660-1730.)

"The apothecaries were very much on the crest of a wave in the late seventeenth century, just about to win their long running battle with the physicians" (About half way down under Livery Companies.)

Sam is also mentioned concerning the family and servants...

"the nature of their relations with their employers. For these subjects, one can turn to the diary of Samuel Pepys, which provides a marvellous running commentary on domestic servants in the household of an upwardly mobile public servant.

http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft8489p...

The Worshipful Company of Weavers.

The Weavers' Company is the oldest recorded City Livery Company...

http://www.weavers.org.uk/default.asp?section=109

J A Gioia   Link to this

"yesterday in Moorefields...the butchers...were soundly beaten out of the field, and some deeply wounded and bruised; till at last the weavers went out tryumphing, calling 100l. for a butcher."

Add an inflated pig's bladder to the fray, which Thomas Arnold did 150 years on, and you've got rugby.

In the U.S. 100 years ago, baseball games between urban amateur clubs were commonly expected to end in brawling.

Australian Susan   Link to this

For traditional team violence, you can't overlook the Ashbourne Shrovetide Football, which has been played for hundreds of years, despite bans, the first being in the 14th century. See http://www.carryontours.com/Calendar/februarycu...

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