Saturday 5 May 1666

At the office all the morning. After dinner upon a letter from the fleete from Sir W. Coventry I did do a great deale of worke for the sending away of the victuallers that are in the river, &c., too much to remember. Till 10 at night busy about letters and other necessary matter of the office. About 11 home, it being a fine moonshine and so my wife and Mercer come into the garden, and, my business being done, we sang till about twelve at night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements opening, and so home to supper and to bed.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"sending away of the victuallers that are in the river, &c.,"

SP is overseeing resupply. L&M note the Fleet is now at the Nore.

Glyn   Link to this

I do wonder how much pleasure their neighbours got from the Pepys family singing in the garden until almost midnight, however sweetly. But it's a nice image of the Pepyses innocently enjoying themselves.

And they were definitely good singers, so perhaps the neighbours really did enjoy listening to some gentle music in those days without television or radio.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Bess to Sam:

Mercer tells me that the Battens and Penn have had another delivery of soft cotton to their households. We were wondering what on earth they want it for?........

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... we sang till about twelve at night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements opening, ..."

How many repeats were there of 'Gaze not on Swans,' ' It is decreed,' and then encores of 'Beauty Retire'?

Michael L   Link to this

It seems like a great excuse for the Penns to accidentally dump another chamberpot.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

we sang till about twelve at night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves
Ah yes, inspiring, I shall go into the back yard, this being a fine evening at 10 PM, and sing mightily with pleasure to myself and confusion to my neighbors.

GrahamT   Link to this

"…with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements opening …”
The fact that the neighbours opened the casements, rather than slamming them shut, suggests that they enjoyed the free entertainment.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Wonder if Bess has learned to trill...

I imagine considering how rough this past year has been-war, pestilence, Charlie and company running the State into debt...A little free night music is a pleasant diversion.

"Are those drunken carousers from last night at it again?" Admiral Sir Will asks Lady Penn.

"Well, these sound a little cleaner as to lyrics..."

"Boy..." Turns to Will Jr. "Take this..." hands pistol. "...and let's deal with the rogues."

"Now, Dad... Thou knowst I cannot shoot my brother in Christ..."

"Well 'thou' canst shoot in the air over their miserable heads, canst 'thou'? Come on..."

"I think it's the Pepys..." Lady Penn, listening at window.

"Even better." Admiral Sir Will notes. "Come, boy."

***

Phoenix   Link to this

Out my window watching a tom trot and display all puffed and proud and thought of Sam. Thoughtful of him to display for his neighbors. An artisan at the table? Well!

Geoff Hallett   Link to this

I prefer to put the absolute best interpretation on all of that scene. It is marvellous. Even the smells are not there.

Nix   Link to this

As a choral singer, I find this entry delightful. In our day of ubiquitous entertainment media, we forget that until the phonograph became widespread, group singing was probably the primary form of domestic entertainment. Even today, my choral director delights in pointing out, on any given Sunday there are more people singing in choirs than attending pro sports contests.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

RG's latest scenario reminded me of an old joke about Quakers. A Quaker surprised a burglar in his house. He picked up his hunting rifle and said, "Friend, I would not harm thee for the world, but thou standest where I am about to shoot."

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