Sunday 3 December 1665

It being Lord’s day, up and dressed and to church, thinking to have sat with Sir James Bunce to hear his daughter and her husband sing, that are so much commended, but was prevented by being invited into Coll. Cleggatt’s pew. However, there I sat, near Mr. Laneare, with whom I spoke, and in sight, by chance, and very near my fat brown beauty of our Parish, the rich merchant’s lady, a very noble woman, and Madame Pierce. A good sermon of Mr. Plume’s, and so to Captain Cocke’s, and there dined with him, and Colonell Wyndham, a worthy gentleman, whose wife was nurse to the present King, and one that while she lived governed him and every thing else, as Cocke says, as a minister of state; the old King putting mighty weight and trust upon her. They talked much of matters of State and persons, and particularly how my Lord Barkeley hath all along been a fortunate, though a passionate and but weak man as to policy; but as a kinsman brought in and promoted by my Lord of St. Alban’s, and one that is the greatest vapourer in the world, this Colonell Wyndham says; and one to whom only, with Jacke Asheburnel and Colonel Legg, the King’s removal to the Isle of Wight from Hampton Court was communicated; and (though betrayed by their knavery, or at best by their ignorance, insomuch that they have all solemnly charged one another with their failures therein, and have been at daggers-drawing publickly about it), yet now none greater friends in the world. We dined, and in comes Mrs. Owen, a kinswoman of my Lord Bruncker’s, about getting a man discharged, which I did for her, and by and by Mrs. Pierce to speake with me (and Mary my wife’s late maid, now gone to her) about her husband’s business of money, and she tells us how she prevented Captain Fisher the other day in his purchase of all her husband’s fine goods, as pearls and silks, that he had seized in an Apothecary’s house, a friend of theirs, but she got in and broke them open and removed all before Captain Fisher came the next day to fetch them away, at which he is starke mad. She went home, and I to my lodgings. At night by agreement I fetched her again with Cocke’s coach, and he come and we sat and talked together, thinking to have had Mrs. Coleman and my songsters, her husband and Laneare, but they failed me. So we to supper, and as merry as was sufficient, and my pretty little Miss with me; and so after supper walked [with] Pierce home, and so back and to bed. But, Lord! I stand admiring of the wittinesse of her little boy, which is one of the wittiest boys, but most confident that ever I did see of a child of 9 years old or under in all my life, or indeed one twice his age almost, but all for roguish wit. So to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"by and by Mrs. Pierce to speake with me (and Mary my wife's late maid, now gone to her) about her husband's business of money"

See 18 September: "I did aske it my Lord, and he did consent to have us furnished with 500l., and I did get it paid to Sir Roger Cuttance and Mr. Pierce in part for above 1000l. worth of goods, Mace, Nutmegs, Cynamon, and Cloves....."

Pepys is still up to his knees in the Prize Goods.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ho, apothecary!

The amazing adventures of the ever-pregnant Betty Pierce...While Sam and Cocke fume, worry, and muddle about she takes the practical approach to saving the Pierce family's investment.

Nothing like having a true helpmate as your life's partner, eh James?

Hmmn...Hiding the goods in the local apothecary's, even if a 'friend'?...And James Pierce is well connected at Court. Sure doesn't sound like this trade in prize goods is something one can own proudly as Sandwich would have Sam do. I suppose Jamie is sternly vowing to get to the bottom of it all while Charlie is mildly amused at the antics and chuckling at all the fuss...At least until he learns no cut has been left for him.

cape henry  •  Link

"...vapourer..." I take this to mean he is a nervous fellow.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Like cape henry I wondered about "vapourer." OED gives Sam a mention:

1. One who vapours; a bragging, grandiloquent, or fantastical talker.
1653 Gauden Hierasp. 223 This pusillanimous and frothy generation of vapourers+are the greatest enemies to+our Religion. 1665 Pepys Diary 3 Dec., A fortunate, though a passionate and but weak, man as to policy,+and one that is the greatest vapourer in the world. 1771 Fletcher Checks Wks. 1795 III. 238 That vapourer in favour of your perseverance, fairly and consistently builds on+the foundation of the Calvinists. 1816 J. Gilchrist Philos. Etym. 214 We might show how applicable to certain rhetorical metaphysical vaporers the descriptions are. 1843 Tait's Mag. X. 344 Not one of your old serene metaphysical vapourers.

Terry W  •  Link

Great Fire of London

Readers may be interested to know that there will be an in-depth discussion of the Great Fire of London on BBC Radio 4 at 9:00AM GMT next Thursday, 11th December. The programme is called "In Our Time" and will also be available as a podcast. No doubt our Sam will get a mention.

Jesse  •  Link

"the greatest vapourer in the world"

Obligatory assocation w/today's vaporware which also has an association w/overambitious hype (see Wikipedia).

Terry Foreman  •  Link


A gasbag. L&M's Select Glossary defines vapouring as "pretentious, foolish."

JonTom in Cambridge, Mass  •  Link

"the King’s removal to the Isle of Wight from Hampton Court"

This refers to Charles I's unsuccessful attempt to escape from Parliamentary custody by fleeing from Hampton Court Palace to the Isle of Wight.

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