Friday 9 September 1664

Up, and to put things in order against dinner. I out and bought several things, among others, a dozen of silver salts; home, and to the office, where some of us met a little, and then home, and at noon comes my company, namely, Anthony and Will Joyce and their wives, my aunt James newly come out of Wales, and my cozen Sarah Gyles. Her husband did not come, and by her I did understand afterwards, that it was because he was not yet able to pay me the 40s. she had borrowed a year ago of me.1 I was as merry as I could, giving them a good dinner; but W. Joyce did so talk, that he made every body else dumb, but only laugh at him. I forgot there was Mr. Harman and his wife, my aunt, a very good harmlesse woman. All their talke is of her and my two she-cozen Joyces and Will’s little boy Will (who was also here to-day), down to Brampton to my father’s next week, which will be trouble and charge to them, but however my father and mother desire to see them, and so let them. They eyed mightily my great cupboard of plate, I this day putting my two flaggons upon my table; and indeed it is a fine sight, and better than ever I did hope to see of my owne. Mercer dined with us at table, this being her first dinner in my house. After dinner left them and to White Hall, where a small Tangier Committee, and so back again home, and there my wife and Mercer and Tom and I sat till eleven at night, singing and fiddling, and a great joy it is to see me master of so much pleasure in my house, that it is and will be still, I hope, a constant pleasure to me to be at home. The girle plays pretty well upon the harpsicon, but only ordinary tunes, but hath a good hand; sings a little, but hath a good voyce and eare. My boy, a brave boy, sings finely, and is the most pleasant boy at present, while his ignorant boy’s tricks last, that ever I saw. So to supper, and with great pleasure to bed.

  1. Pepys would have been more proud of his cousin had he anticipated her husband’s becoming a knight, for she was probably the same person whose burial is recorded in the register of St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate, September 4th, 1704: “Dame Sarah Gyles, widow, relict of Sir John Gyles.” — B.

15 Annotations

Cum Grano Salis   Link to this

'decayed' now 'relic of': that says it all:
"...relict of Sir John Gyles." -- B...."

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"a dozen of silver salts"
I.e., small silver dishes for serving salt, one for each diner.

Bryan M   Link to this

"a great joy it is to see me master of so much pleasure in my house, that it is and will be still, I hope, a constant pleasure to me to be at home".

There's nothing quite so fine as being happy and knowing that you are, which, I suppose, is one one of the benefits of keeping a diary. If only John Gyles had come to dinner and repaid that 2 quid the day would have been perfect.

Mark Geraghty   Link to this

L&M have a comma after the word "dinner" in the first sentence instead of a full stop. This makes more sense, as the second sentence then flows on logically from the first.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Hmmn... Sarah's husband-Tom Gyles who owes money vs John Gyles who becomes a knight? Doesn't seem the footnote is correct unless perhaps Sarah later married a brother of her earlier husband? In any case there must have been a number of Sarah Gyleses in London at that period.

***

Sounds like quite a pleasant evening... So far, so good. I note Sam doesn't mention Mercer's appearance which usually is an item of highest import to him, nor does he seem especially attracted...So far. I wonder if Will Hewer might have been deliberately careful in that regard to pick a pleasant, intelligent, accomplished but not especially beautifully young lady.

Terry F   Link to this

relic? CGS, you jester!

rel·ict
Pronunciation: 're-likt
Function: noun
Etymology: in sense 1, from Middle English relicte, from Late Latin relicta, from Latin, feminine of relictus, past participle of relinquere; in senses 2 & 3, from relict residual, adjective, from Latin relictus
1 : WIDOW
2 : a surviving species of an otherwise extinct group of organisms; also : a remnant of a formerly widespread species that persists in an isolated area
3 a : a relief feature or rock remaining after other parts have disappeared b : something left unchanged
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/relict

Lurker   Link to this

I have the worst urge to suggest the boy's "bravery" is one of freely singing for Pepys' enjoyment and recording.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

The Boy
I have a lingering doubt that The Boy's age can really be nineteen, as L&M have it. Nineteen seems rather old to be fresh from school, and to be starting an apprenticeship, as he essentially is. Plus, SP always writes of him in an amused and indulgent tone as of someone very young and charmingly naive.

Cum Grano Salis   Link to this

There could be a connection , At least this John Gyles did not go to wilds of Massachusetts and have this adventure.
This ladd could a nephew.
The adventure of a ladd being enslaved for leaving Boston, One John Gyles in the Archives that can be read.
?
http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5912119

Cum Grano Salis   Link to this

Other stories of the wild Americas and good reason to stay safe in Bedlam:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Cambridge_His...

Pedro   Link to this

"The Boy...I have a lingering doubt that The Boy's age can really be nineteen,"

It is puzzling when you consider that from Pauline's background for Wayneman...

Claire Tomalin reports that when he joined the household he was 10-12 years old, and he is drinking wine and having his whey with the maids!

Martin   Link to this

In all his excitement about the company eyeing the silver, Sam forgot to tell us what was for lunch.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

They eyed mightily my great cupboard of plate, I this day putting my two flaggons upon my table; and indeed it is a fine sight, and better than ever I did hope to see of my owne.
This is one of my favorite phrases from Pepys, and I'm glad to see it come around again in the cycle of readings. Living well is the best revenge. Further, living well is good for you.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Picture of what Sam's salts might have been like
http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:M1YU85UwgXk...

Cum salis grano   Link to this

salt Cellar [sellar] I dothe not thinke it be this grand as annotated on
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/04/27/

"...who showed us the present they have for the Queen; which is a salt-sellar of silver, the walls christall, with four eagles and four greyhounds standing up at the top to bear up a dish; which indeed is one of the neatest pieces of plate that ever I saw..."

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.