Friday 5 August 1664

Up very betimes and set my plaisterer to work about whiting and colouring my musique roome, which having with great pleasure seen done, about ten o’clock I dressed myself, and so mounted upon a very pretty mare, sent me by Sir W. Warren, according to his promise yesterday. And so through the City, not a little proud, God knows, to be seen upon so pretty a beast, and to my cozen W. Joyce’s, who presently mounted too, and he and I out of towne toward Highgate; in the way, at Kentish-towne, showing me the place and manner of Clun’s being killed and laid in a ditch, and yet was not killed by any wounds, having only one in his arm, but bled to death through his struggling. He told me, also, the manner of it, of his going home so late [from] drinking with his whore, and manner of having it found out. Thence forward to Barnett, and there drank, and so by night to Stevenage, it raining a little, but not much, and there to my great trouble, find that my wife was not come, nor any Stamford coach gone down this week, so that she cannot come. So vexed and weary, and not thoroughly out of pain neither in my old parts, I after supper to bed, and after a little sleep, W. Joyce comes in his shirt into my chamber, with a note and a messenger from my wife, that she was come by Yorke coach to Bigglesworth, and would be with us to-morrow morning. So, mightily pleased at her discreete action in this business, I with peace to sleep again till next morning. So up, and… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

16 Annotations

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Interesting that he didn't note earlier when he'd appointed to pick up Elizabeth. I thought she wouldn't be back for at least another couple of weeks...

Interesting, too, to see "discreete" used in this manner. Could someone with OED access give some background on the word's meanings?

Australian Susan   Link to this

"not a little proud, God knows, to be seen upon so pretty a beast," The 17thc equivalent of the 7 series BMW?

Will Joyce's fascination with the scene of the grisly murder is similar to attitudes today with the success of tabloid journalism, exclusive pictures of murder scenes and those dreadful TV shows of car chases and so on. But he gets it first hand. Yuck.

Terry F   Link to this

Samuel sallies forth to meet Elizabeth's coach

"by night to Stevenage" -- nearly halfway to Brampton on the western road from London -- ", and there to my great trouble, find that my wife was not come, nor any Stamford coach gone down this week, so that she cannot come." Stamford, in Lincolnshire, is north by northwest of Huntingdon, probably where she would usually have boarded it. "So...after a little sleep, W. Joyce comes in his shirt into my chamber, with a note and a messenger from my wife, that she was come by Yorke coach to Bigglesworth, and would be with us to-morrow morning." York, the county seat of Yorkshire, of course, is far to the north of Huntingdon. She is now at Biggleswade (or Bigglesworth), Bedfordshire, not terribly far north of Stevenage, where Samuel will stay. Delightful that she sends a note to him on this dark and stormy night!

Terry F   Link to this

discreet
1340, from O.Fr. discret, from L. discretus "separated, distinct," in M.L. "discerning, careful," from pp. of discernere "distinguish" (see discern). Spellings discrete and nativized discreet co-existed until after c.1600, when discreet became the common word for "careful, prudent," and discrete was maintained in philosophy, medicine, music and other disciplines that remembered L. and tried to stick close to it.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=discreet

cape henry   Link to this

"...7 series BMW?" Probably more like a 3 series. A coach-and-four would have been the 7 of the day. Keeping any horse in London would have been an expensive proposition, though, to be sure. This loan from Warren is a remarkable gesture it seems to me, and a lot of responsibility for Mr. Pepys.

Cumsalisgrano   Link to this

Interesting, too, to see "discreete" used in this manner. Could someone with OED access give some background on the word's meanings?

[L. dis- was related to bis, orig. *dvis = Gr. twice, from duo, two, the primary meaning being 'two-ways, in twain'.]

Forms: 4-6 discret, 4-7 discrete, 6-7 discreete, 5- discreet, (5 discrett, dyscrete, 5-6 Sc. discreit, 6 disscrete). [ME. discret, discrete, a. F. discret, -ète (12th c. in Littré), 'qui se conduit avec discernement', ad. L. discrtus, in late L. and Rom. sense: cf. It. and Sp. discreto 'discreet, wise, wary, considerate, circumspect' (Florio), 'discreet, wise to perceiue' (Minsheu). A doublet of DISCRETE, differentiated in sense and spelling.
In cl. Lat., discrt-us had only the sense 'separate, distinct', as pa. pple. of discernre, whence the corresponding mod.F. sense of discret, and Eng. DISCRETE. The late L. sense, which alone came down in popular use in Romanic, seems to have been deduced from the cognate n. discrtin-em, originally the action of separating, distinguishing, or discerning, and then the faculty of discernment; hence the adjective may have taken the sense 'possessed of discernment'.
In Eng., discrete was the prevalent spelling in all senses until late in the 16th c., when on the analogy of native or early-adopted words in ee from ME. close , as feet, sweet, beet), the spelling discreet (occasional from 1400) became established in the popular sense, leaving discrete for the scholastic and technical sense in which the kinship to L. discrtus is more obvious: see DISCRETE. Shakespeare (1st Folio) has always discreet.]

A. adj.

1. Showing discernment or judgement in the guidance of one's own speech and action; judicious, prudent, circumspect, cautious; often esp. that can be silent when speech would be inconvenient. a. Of persons.

1660 F. BROOKE tr. Le Blanc's Trav. 251 His wife being very reserv'd and discreet in her husbands presence, but in his absence more free and jolly

2. In Sc. applied more to behaviour towards others; hence, well-spoken, well-behaved, civil, polite, courteous; 'not rude, not doing anything inconsistent with delicacy towards a female' (Jam.).

etc;

Mary   Link to this

the very pretty horse.

No doubt the hired animals that Sam normally has to use on the infrequent occasions when he makes this sort of journey are pretty humdrum beasts, more notable for stolidity than his present mount. Having been ridden by horsemen good, bad and indifferent they are likely to have hard mouths and, whilst presumably durable, yet less than willing rides. Hard work for the rider.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Ah, so we're looking at meaning #2 here. Thanks, Terry and CS!

JWB   Link to this

"...not thoroughly out of pain neither in my old parts,..."

Saddles not ergonomically designed for the rider, but for the horse. The saddle shape carried over to farm machinery seats to consternation of all old farmers with swollen prostrates.

Bradford   Link to this

Plaster! That will affect the acoustics of the musique room---to what effect?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So he'll still have a chance to show off to Bess, our gallant CoA mounted on his most noble steed. Wonder if they'll all head over to see poor Clun's deathplace-Bess seemed eager enough to see Turner hanged earlier.

"Ah, gents. Come to see the sad spot of poor Clun's demise, are we? A most tragic end, almost fittin' for so great an actor."

"Yes indeed, sir." Sam nods. Will Joyce carefully pawing about the spot, rather too obviously looking for some souvenir.

"And yet the curse of bad luck, the thief not havin' intended to kill him." the visitor sighs thoughtfully.

"You've heard that as well?" Will asks, eagerly...

Hmmn...Sam a bit perturbed...They did say...

"Indeed, sir. And from one who was a witness to the tragedic ending. Sure, that's a fine horse you've got there, sir." smile.

"Hands up."

***

Noble steed, brave silver flagons, hit the 1000Ls mark, new companion under consideration, and a new, more or less completed, musique room...Bess ought to be quite impressed...If perhaps a bit annoyed at the room and girl's selection being done without her.

I see she couldn't get out of Brampton fast enough... Though Sam seems very anxious to have her back, perhaps he's dropped some strong hints in his letters urging her to make no delay.

cape henry   Link to this

"...the acoustics of the musique room -" Now there is an interesting question, Bradford. My guess is that "acoustics" as we think of it now - as a scientific quality of design principles and construction - might well have played some role in Pepys' decision to plaster. We can surmise that the discerning ears of musicians would have noted the differing qualities of sound in different spaces and it seems reasonable to conclude that there was a basic appreciation of the fact that rooms with tapestries deadened sound and bare walls brightened it. From there it is an easy step to consider the properties of materials like stone and wood and their individual acoustic qualities. Instrument makers of the period knew a great deal about the acoustic projections of their instruments and how to repeat those essences from unit to unit. I think Pepys, who has certainly played in a variety of settings, may have chosen the surface because it suited his taste, fit his purse, and achieved his acoustic ends neatly.

Terry F   Link to this

"the acoustics of the musique room" should be like a tiled bathroom without lots of toweling -- very "bright", as the term is.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Oh, I don't think so, Terry. It would have to be very hard plaster indeed to have the acoustic properties of tile. Plastered walls offer a nice happy medium between the brightness of stone or tile and the mellowness of wood panel (forget about tapestries, which deaden the room too much for music). And the acoustics of plaster can vary according to how smooth or rough the surface is, so a skilled plasterer can "tune" the room to the owner's taste.

Ant   Link to this

(Stamford coach) Stamford: a lucky escape

In Pepys' time a major staging post on the Great North Road ( which ran through the winding town centre until the early 1960's before the bypass was built).

The town would most likely have become a grim industrial place like Stevenage, Peterborough, Doncaster - had not the then Lord Burleigh refused to let the 19th century railways build on his land, so it still retains a flavour of a pre-Industrial coaching stop, especially by the River Welland, at the George Hotel.

As such, it has often been used for period film location work - eg Middlemarch.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Plastered walls offer a nice happy medium between the brightness of stone or tile and the mellowness of wood panel

A substantial number of modern serious chamber music and small choral recordings are made in plastered interiors, rather than studios, precisely because of their superior sonic qualities.

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