Thursday 9 November 1665

Up, and did give the servants something at Mr. Glanville’s and so took leave, meaning to lie to-night at my owne lodging. To my office, where busy with Mr. Gawden running over the Victualling business, and he is mightily pleased that this course is taking and seems sensible of my favour and promises kindnesse to me. At noon by water, to the King’s Head at Deptford, where Captain Taylor invites Sir W: Batten, Sir John Robinson (who come in with a great deale of company from hunting, and brought in a hare alive and a great many silly stories they tell of their sport, which pleases them mightily, and me not at all, such is the different sense of pleasure in mankind), and others upon the score of a survey of his new ship; and strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody, Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Robinson being now as kind to him, and report well of his ship and proceedings, and promise money, and Sir W. Batten is a solicitor for him, but it is a strange thing to observe, they being the greatest enemys he had, and yet, I believe, hath in the world in their hearts. Thence after dinner stole away and to my office, where did a great deale of business till midnight, and then to Mrs. Clerk’s, to lodge again, and going home W. Hewer did tell me my wife will be here to-morrow, and hath put away Mary, which vexes me to the heart, I cannot helpe it, though it may be a folly in me, and when I think seriously on it, I think my wife means no ill design in it, or, if she do, I am a foole to be troubled at it, since I cannot helpe it. The Bill of Mortality, to all our griefs, is encreased 399 this week, and the encrease generally through the whole City and suburbs, which makes us all sad.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

In this entry Pepys makes at least three very keen observations about human nature that include himself.

"a great many silly stories they tell of their sport, which pleases them mightily, and me not at all, such is the different sense of pleasure in mankind)"

"strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody"

"I am a foole to be troubled at it, since I cannot helpe it"

Splendid!

cape henry   Link to this

"...which pleases them mightily, and me not at all, such is the different sense of pleasure in mankind..."
To understand this fully, one has only to have spent a Christmas with relatives. But here, in his remarkable way, Pepys sketches in a bit over a dozen words something which each of us has undergone, like surgery without benefit of aesthetics.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...the King’s Head at Deptford, where Captain Taylor invites Sir W: Batten, Sir John Robinson (who come in with a great deale of company from hunting, and brought in a hare alive and a great many silly stories they tell of their sport, which pleases them mightily, and me not at all, such is the different sense of pleasure in mankind)..."

Perhaps we now know why Lady Robinson spends her time with Captain Cocke and those so-commandment-breakable Dutch prisoners. I can't help visualizing Sir John as our own Nigel Bruce character.

***
Sam is so vexed I wonder if it was actually Mercer, not Mary the chambermaid as the link suggests.

***

Australian Susan   Link to this

Never talk about field sports!
".. 'Been hunting at all,' Anthony asked Linda. "Oh, yes, we were out yesterday. ''Good day?'Yes, very. We found at once and had a five mile point and then - 'Linda suddenly remembered that Lord Merlin had once said to her: 'Hunt as much as you like, but never talk about it, it's the most boring subject in the world.'
'But that's marvellous, a five mile point! I must come out with the Heythrop again soon, they are doing awfully well this season I hear. We had a good day yesterday too.' He embarked on a detailed account of every minute of it, where they found, where they ran to, how his first horse had gone lame, how, luckily, he had then come upon his second horse, and so on. I saw just what Lord Merlin meant....."
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, pp62-63.

Pedro   Link to this

Never talk about field sports!

"Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear."

Auguries of Innocence, William Blake (1757-1827),

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“I am a foole to be troubled at it, since I cannot helpe it”

A version of the saying of Epictetus we have seen Pepys cite often before (*Encheiridion* 1.1): * τών οντων τά μέν έστιν εκ εφ ήμιν, τά δε ουκ εφ ώμιν” (‘Of things, some are in our power, others are not’).

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

The link to Captain Taylor seems to have been hijacked.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam's remark quoted by Terry also is reminiscent of the serenity prayer, which we have talked about before. This link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer
has a nursery rhyme citation from 1695 - the sentiment seems to have been around for a long time, even if the prayer was only formalised in the mid-20th century. And Sam would have known the Latin quotation (probably?) cited by TF.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

SP surely read Epictetus in school and quoted him in Greek in the Diary, 9 September 1662: "The more fool am I, and must labour against it for shame, especially I that used to preach up Epictetus’s rule: [A phrase in Greek is omitted from the transcript. P.G.]1 [This is the phrase I supplied above. T.F.]

1“Some things are in our power, others are not” Pepys means, “I ought not to vex myself about what I cannot control.” http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/09/09/

A. Hamilton   Link to this

The link to Capt. Taylor remains hijacked.

language hat   Link to this

You should drop Phil a line about it -- he often doesn't have a chance to read all the comments.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

I happened to notice the comments, thanks all (as Language Hat suggested, my attention is often too thinly spread). The Captain Taylor link was wrong due to me mis-typing it. It's fixed now.

JonTom in Cambridge   Link to this

"Never talk about field sports!"

AS, like you, I immediately thought of that passage from PoL. I also thought of Wilde's description of "the English country gentleman galloping after a fox [as] the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable."

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