Wednesday 28 December 1664

I waked in the morning about 6 o’clock and my wife not come to bed; I lacked a pot, but there was none, and bitter cold, so was forced to rise and piss in the chimney, and to bed again. Slept a little longer, and then hear my people coming up, and so I rose, and my wife to bed at eight o’clock in the morning, which vexed me a little, but I believe there was no hurt in it all, but only mirthe, therefore took no notice. I abroad with Sir W. Batten to the Council Chamber, where all of us to discourse about the way of measuring ships and the freight fit to give for them by the tun, where it was strange methought to hear so poor discourses among the Lords themselves, and most of all to see how a little empty matter delivered gravely by Sir W. Pen was taken mighty well, though nothing in the earth to the purpose. But clothes, I perceive more and more every day, is a great matter. Thence home with Sir W. Batten by coach, and I home to dinner, finding my wife still in bed. After dinner abroad, and among other things visited my Lady Sandwich, and was there, with her and the young ladies, playing at cards till night. Then home and to my office late, then home to bed, leaving my wife and people up to more sports, but without any great satisfaction to myself therein.

19 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

28th December John Evelyn...

Some of my poor neighbours dined with me, and others of my tenants, according to my annual custom.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Poor Sam ... doesn't even have a pot to piss in.

He and Elizabeth are certainly living separate lives lately, aren't they? But "without any great satisfaction to myself therein" ... Sam is no doubt (I hope) embarrassed by his actions, and I'm sure Elizabeth's friends don't exactly approve.

Something tells me that the black eye has been a defining point in their relationship. In a twisted kind of way, this is a good thing, because it shows that such violence is not an everyday occurrence between them.

cape henry   Link to this

"But clothes, I perceive more and more every day, is a great matter." Again the instincts of the middle manager are noted. There is a line that must be approached, addressed, but never crossed. Finding that line is the skill.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

“But clothes, I perceive more and more every day, is a great matter.”

Yes, cape henry, from time to time SP does sound like the great comic creation Charles Pooter.

http://www.authorama.com/book/diary-of-a-nobody...
available as a daily weblog also:-
http://www.diaryofanobody.net/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“But clothes, I perceive more and more every day, is a great matter.”

'So, you see, Bess, "Clothes make the man" (note, not the woman. Queen Bess? Ah, everyone knows she was a man).'

Hmmmm, a new fur-lined cloak, perchance, but of a different color? "Midwinter spring is its own season." -- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Little Gidding, I. http://www.ubriaco.com/fq.html

---
(cape henry, Michael R, the same sentence in Pepys seems to have singled us all out!)

Martha Wishart   Link to this

Piss in the chimney? I suppose he means in the ashes of the fire. That'd be a nasty mess for someone else to clean up.

cape henry   Link to this

I'm afraid using the fireplace for that purpose was quite common.

cape henry   Link to this

(Note to MR: I have bookmarked the 'Pooter.' Just the name Weedon Grossmith was enough for a chuckle. Thanks.)

Patricia   Link to this

Sam has risen a lot in the world since he began this diary, but here he is without a pot to piss in.

cgs   Link to this

"...and bitter cold.[too].." not too many lurking here will know the bitterness of London early morn without the blessing of a good fireplace with a fire well banked fire, heating a back-boiler.
I can empathise with poor old Sam in his night cap and night shirt not wanting to face the run on the cold staircase to the house of Honors.

That Eliza be not telling the girls to get up and do the normal maydes worke of putting out the nights replacement potties and getting the coles from the basement and have a nice roaring fire to welcome the master of the house, you better believe it. She and the girls be letting that ************ blank ******** stew, for wot 'e did to the Mistress,no wonder they be gambolling and gambelling the nite away.
Elizabeth is no push over.

cgs   Link to this

Playing of cards and placing money was not known as gambling until the next century if the word was spoken it be considered slang.

The vb. has not been found till about 1775-86; the apparent derivatives GAMBLER, GAMBLING ppl. a., occur earlier, and in the 18th c. were regarded as slang. The word is prob. a dialectal survival of an altered form of ME. gamene-n, OE. gamenian to sport, play, f. gamen GAME n.; cf. ‘gamel, to gamble, to gambol; gamler, a gambler’ (Northumb. Gloss.); cf. also the rare 16-17th c. gameling ppl. a. and vbl. n., which seem to imply a vb. *GAMEL. Continental Teut. words of similar meaning and form are MHG. gämeln to jest, sport, play (still in various Ger. dialects), Swiss Ger. gammeln to make merry, whence gammler buffoon, jester.]

1. a. intr. To play games of chance for money, esp. for unduly high stakes; to stake money (esp. to an extravagant amount) on some fortuitous event.
As the word is (at least in serious use) essentially a term of reproach, it would not ordinarily be applied to the action of playing for stakes of trifling amount, except by those who condemn playing for money altogether.
1775 ASH, Gamble [printed Gamblet], to game, to cheat; to make a practice of gaming.

Jesse   Link to this

"forced to rise and piss in the chimney"

Don't you hate when that happens? Interesting that Pepys bothers to record this - as entertaining as it is to some of us.

Mary   Link to this

the Pepys's quarters at the Navy Office.

If Sam has been able to sleep through the gambolling and general merrymaking of the rest of his household, then the building in which he lives must be very solidly built with stout walls and doors.

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

my wife to bed at eight o’clock in the morning, which vexed me a little, but I believe there was no hurt in it all, but only mirthe, therefore took no notice.

Either Sam has suddenly become naive or his guilt about the black eye doesn't allow him to even think about criticising Bess. I favour the latter.

JWB   Link to this

Another famous fireplace abuser was Jackson Pollock, whose dribbling in the ashes were abstractly expressionistic.

jeannine   Link to this

“Journal of the Earl of Sandwich” edited by R.C. Anderson

28th Wednesday. Mr Pickering and Mr Creed came hither on board. In the evening I saw the Blazing Star again in the Eye of the Whale, Cor Leonis being about 7 degrees high. He was then distant from Upper Horn of Aries - 18°33’, Aldebaran - 30° 28’, Pleiades - 23° 37’, Os Baleni - 5° 53’, 2d. Star in Ore Baleni - 3° 50’. His stream of light was almost right upon the Bull’s Eye, 12° 00’ towards it, reaching unto 2 small stars that stand close together at that distance from the Comet. Methought this night he looked as pale a colour as any of the other stars.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

It's mot as though Sam really had an alternative...
***

I suspect "clothes" refers to clothing for the seamen being now a major issue...And potential source of profit.

Capt. Petrus.S. Dorpmans   Link to this

28 December 1664.

"I abroad with Sir W. Batten to the Council-Chamber, where all of us to discourse about the way of measuring ships and the freight fit to give for them by the Tun-where it was strange methought, to hear so poor discourses among the Lords themselfs: and most of all, to see how little empty matter, delivered gravely by Sir W. Penn, was taken mighty well, though nothing in the earth to the purpose".

The measuring of ships by tonnage was a diffcult matter, on which shipwrights often differed among themselves, as well as from their own Company and from the Navy Board. Pepys claimed in 1683 that the memorandum he now wrote formed the basis of a Council order of 2 January 1665, effective for over a generation: Naval Minutes, pp.210-II; MB, Add.36782, ff.23-4.

Pedro   Link to this

28th December.

Back in 1661 Allin heads his Jourmal for this day as Innocents' Day.

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