Friday 23 February 1665/66

Up betimes, and out of doors by 6 of the clock, and walked (W. Howe with me) to my Lord Sandwich’s, who did lie the last night at his house in Lincoln’s Inne Fields. It being fine walking in the morning, and the streets full of people again. There I staid, and the house full of people come to take leave of my Lord, who this day goes out of towne upon his embassy towards Spayne. And I was glad to find Sir W. Coventry to come, though I know it is only a piece of courtshipp. I had much discourse with my Lord, he telling me how fully he leaves the King his friend and the large discourse he had with him the other day, and how he desired to have the business of the prizes examined before he went, and that he yielded to it, and it is done as far as it concerns himself to the full, and the Lords Commissioners for prizes did reprehend all the informers in what related to his Lordship, which I am glad of in many respects. But we could not make an end of discourse, so I promised to waite upon [him] on Sunday at Cranborne, and took leave and away hence to Mr. Hales’s with Mr. Hill and two of the Houblons, who come thither to speak with me, and saw my wife’s picture, which pleases me well, but Mr. Hill’s picture never a whit so well as it did before it was finished, which troubled me, and I begin to doubt the picture of my Lady Peters my wife takes her posture from, and which is an excellent picture, is not of his making, it is so master-like. I set them down at the ‘Change and I home to the office, and at noon dined at home and to the office again. Anon comes Mrs. Knipp to see my wife, who is gone out, so I fain to entertain her, and took her out by coach to look my wife at Mrs. Pierce’s and Unthanke’s, but find her not. So back again, and then my wife comes home, having been buying of things, and at home I spent all the night talking with this baggage, and teaching her my song of “Beauty retire,” which she sings and makes go most rarely, and a very fine song it seems to be. She also entertained me with repeating many of her own and others’ parts of the play-house, which she do most excellently; and tells me the whole practices of the play-house and players, and is in every respect most excellent company. So I supped, and was merry at home all the evening, and the rather it being my birthday, 33 years, for which God be praised that I am in so good a condition of healthe and estate, and every thing else as I am, beyond expectation, in all. So she to Mrs. Turner’s to lie, and we to bed. Mightily pleased to find myself in condition to have these people come about me and to be able to entertain them, and have the pleasure of their qualities, than which no man can have more in the world.

21 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I was glad to find Sir W. Coventry to come, though I know it is only a piece of courtshipp."

Recognition and respect are always what it's all about.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I had much discourse with my Lord, he telling me how fully he leaves the King his friend and the large discourse he had with him the other day, and how he desired to have the business of the prizes examined before he went, and that he yielded to it, and it is done as far as it concerns himself to the full, and the Lords Commissioners for prizes did reprehend all the informers in what related to his Lordship, which I am glad of in many respects."

Methinks thou dost protest too much, Ed.

At least this isn't Stalin's Russia or the downward progress would next include a haul back into court, torture, public confession, perhaps a lower post for a year or two under humiliating conditions of forced apology and groveling sycophancy toward the ruler with constant surveillance, another trial, more torture and forced confession with accusation of old friends and family, more public humilation, finally the mercy of an execution.

Hmmn...Actually...

Well, at least no physical torture and it won't be an execution per se...And he won't have to write long articles detailing his abominable errors and the glorious rightness of Comrade Charles.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Anon comes Mrs. Knipp to see my wife, who is gone out, so I fain to entertain her....at home I spent all the night talking with this baggage"

Knepp aka “Barbary Allen” is back! but today Pepys is no “Dapper Dicky.”

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Will Howe seems remarkably back in good graces for a man who was recently heaped with abuse and threatened with calamity. Wonder how he enjoyed his stroll with the old associate who was so ready to condemn, try, and convict him on charges he could so easily have been up before a court for himself.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Mightily pleased to find myself in condition to have these people come about me and to be able to entertain them, and have the pleasure of their qualities, than which no man can have more in the world.

Including, it seems, "this baggage" Mrs. Knipp, who even obliges by singing "Beauty retire"!

"Baggage"

OED offers two possible meanings for "baggage" that might fit this passage:

6. A worthless good-for-nothing woman, a woman of disreputable or immoral life, a strumpet.

or

7. Used familiarly or playfully of any young woman...

I read number seven with a Puritan overtone implying some of number six. After all, she was an actress.

Sam is complacently condescending.

cape henry   Link to this

AH seems to have it about right - it's a private remark modified with all that follows, right up to the part about "qualities." We've probably all known "baggage" - male and female - and enjoyed their company from time to time.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"it being my birthday, 33 years, for which God be praised that I am in so good a condition of healthe and estate, and every thing else as I am, beyond expectation, in all."

Happy Birthday, Samuel Pepys!!

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Indeed -- happy birthday, young Sam.

Bradford   Link to this

Elizabeth "is in every respect most excellent company. . . . Mightily pleased to find myself in condition to have these people come about me and to be able to entertain them, and have the pleasure of their qualities, than which no man can have more in the world." Reasons aplenty for many happy returns, Mr. Pepys.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Hippo birdie two ewes,Sam, in the immortal words of Sandra Boynton

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Today's entry reinforces RG's guess yesterday that it was Hill's portrait that underwhelmed Sam, and not Elizabeth's, "which pleases me well." But it sounds like he is also suspecting Hayls of misrepresentation or even forgery in the portrait of Lady Peters, which is a better painting than Sam now thinks Hayls is capable of.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Sam'l P is thirty-three.

andy   Link to this

...and then my wife comes home, having been buying of things,...

some things never change. Happy Birthday Sam!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So, it seems for the moment Bess is buying Sam's (actually quite sincere) "We know an actress!" inclusion of Knipp to their growing social set. However much she may be getting concerned, it must be quite a rush for her as for Sam to be moving in circles with the folks they've both admired from afar, like any young couple today on the upward swing and starting to hobnob with celebrites. Not quite the top stars yet, but they can hope to someday host Betterton and the like. And of course in Evelyn, Sam has reached the intellectual heights at least. Politically/socially he's not quite there-he won't be going to dinner with the Duke and King or dancing with Castlemaine just yet, but it must be a heady experience for two folks like Bess and Sam who were a quite unknown couple, a junior clerk and his wife, just five years ago.

Not to mention the fact that they now are getting to see how touchingly human these people they only read about or watched on stage are... Poor talented Knipp with her morose husband, Evelyn with his sympathetic heart for the sick and prisoners...

JWB   Link to this

Expecting a cake?

Short history of birthday cakes:
http://www.chowdc.org/Papers/Cherkasky2000.html

cgs   Link to this

Prizes, compensation, bonuses, baksheesh and other methods of scrapping off excess wealth have always been a source of controversy between those that exposed themselves to the tribulations of getting and those that sat on the side lines saying that they too deserve the spoils of excess worth. [Still are, jesters now be called lobbyists]
Sandwiche risked his life, and the jesters at the Palace were looking for ways to share in the spoils and prevent Sandwiche getting his normal share of 'prophets' by usual method of whispers and change life by upsetting the balance of courtly power.
The man in the street used his pen knife to scrape his share of monies but the big guys put a stop to that by serration of the coinage, and have found creative ways to share in the prosperity.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Should we malign jesters? They did at least intentionally entertain and at times tell truths no one else could and the professionals at least generally earned pittances for their efforts. Lobbyists and courtiers at best unintentionally entertain.

Australian Susan   Link to this

can't resist:

Blackadder 2 The Queen(bored and seeking entertainment) to Lord Melchett. " Daddy always used to laugh at those people with the funny faces and the bells. What were they called?"

Melchett: "Jesters, my lady"

Queen: " No, - lepers! That was it" smiles and chuckles in reminiscence. Lord Melchett retains professional dead pan face.

Lawrence   Link to this

Happy Birthday Sam, 33, and yes you have come far! I for one look forward to watching you go farther! you don't just read his Diary, but live his life thru' it! I must say that getting a daily dose of Pepys here on the net is genius, mr Phil Gyford.

jean-paul   Link to this

Australian Susan,
Thanks for the laugh! (And i cannot help thinking reading Samuel's diary every day that his time was indeed the golden age of cunning plans…)

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