Thursday 24 January 1666/67

Up, and to the office, full of thoughts how to order the business of our merry meeting to-night. So to the office, where busy all the morning. [While we were sitting in the morning at the office, we were frighted with news of fire at Sir W. Batten’s by a chimney taking fire, and it put me into much fear and trouble, but with a great many hands and pains it was soon stopped.] At noon home to dinner, and presently to the office to despatch my business, and also we sat all the afternoon to examine the loss of The Bredagh, which was done by as plain negligence as ever ship was. We being rose, I entering my letters and getting the office swept and a good fire made and abundance of candles lighted, I home, where most of my company come of this end of the town — Mercer and her sister, Mr. Batelier and Pembleton (my Lady Pen, and Pegg, and Mr. Lowther, but did not stay long, and I believe it was by Sir W. Pen’s order; for they had a great mind to have staid), and also Captain Rolt. And, anon, at about seven or eight o’clock, comes Mr. Harris, of the Duke’s playhouse, and brings Mrs. Pierce with him, and also one dressed like a country-mayde with a straw hat on; which, at first, I could not tell who it was, though I expected Knipp: but it was she coming off the stage just as she acted this day in “The Goblins;” a merry jade. Now my house is full, and four fiddlers that play well. Harris I first took to my closet; and I find him a very curious and understanding person in all pictures and other things, and a man of fine conversation; and so is Rolt. So away with all my company down to the office, and there fell to dancing, and continued at it an hour or two, there coming Mrs. Anne Jones, a merchant’s daughter hard by, who dances well, and all in mighty good humour, and danced with great pleasure; and then sung and then danced, and then sung many things of three voices — both Harris and Rolt singing their parts excellently. Among other things, Harris sung his Irish song — the strangest in itself, and the prettiest sung by him, that ever I heard. Then to supper in the office, a cold, good supper, and wondrous merry. Here was Mrs. Turner also, but the poor woman sad about her lodgings, and Mrs. Markham: after supper to dancing again and singing, and so continued till almost three in the morning, and then, with extraordinary pleasure, broke up only towards morning, Knipp fell a little ill, and so my wife home with her to put her to bed, and we continued dancing and singing; and, among other things, our Mercer unexpectedly did happen to sing an Italian song I know not, of which they two sung the other two parts to, that did almost ravish me, and made me in love with her more than ever with her singing. As late as it was, yet Rolt and Harris would go home to-night, and walked it, though I had a bed for them; and it proved dark, and a misly night, and very windy. The company being all gone to their homes, I up with Mrs. Pierce to Knipp, who was in bed; and we waked her, and there I handled her breasts and did ‘baiser la’, and sing a song, lying by her on the bed, and then left my wife to see Mrs. Pierce in bed to her, in our best chamber, and so to bed myself, my mind mightily satisfied with all this evening’s work, and thinking it to be one of the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world, and did content myself therefore with the thoughts of it, and so to bed; only the musique did not please me, they not being contented with less than 30s.

19 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

24th January, 1666-67. Visited my Lord Clarendon, and presented my son, John, to him, now preparing to go to Oxford, of which his Lordship was Chancellor. This evening I heard rare Italian voices, two eunuchs
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castrato ] and one woman, in his Majesty's green chamber next his cabinet.

CGS   Link to this

All's well that ends well.
Inter resting
"...Knipp fell a little ill, and so my wife home with her to put her to bed,'''"
,,,,,,,,
"... I up with Mrs. Pierce to Knipp, who was in bed; and we waked her, and there I handled her breasts and did ‘baiser la’, and sing a song, lying by her on the bed, and then left my wife to see Mrs. Pierce in bed to her, in our best chamber, and so to bed myself, my mind mightily satisfied with all this evening’s work, and thinking it to be one of the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world,..."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"and it proved dark, and a misly night, and very windy."

Mis´ly
a. 1. Raining in very small drops; drizzling.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Misly

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...I up with Mrs. Pierce to Knipp, who was in bed; and we waked her, and there I handled her breasts and did ‘baiser la’, and sing a song, lying by her on the bed, and then left my wife to see Mrs. Pierce in bed to her, in our best chamber..."

Well, it is the 60s...And while our playboy's place is not a bachelor pad, it doubtless is currently one of the coolest digs in London.

Must've been hell to be Penn, Turner, or another neighbor with that wild Pepys couple carrying on all night...Mit der musik, mit der drinking.

"Meg! What the devil are you doing on the floor?!"

"I...Can't feel me feet, father. Can you feel your feet, Tony?"

"I think...I feel...One of them. But it's very large." Anthony eyes foot.

"Damnit, Lowther, pull yourself together! Margaret! I told you never to stay when they start burning hemp during those parties!! Oh! There goes that damned 'Beauty Retire' again."

"It's beautifullll, Father. Beauty, retire... Oh, listen Tony...Isn't it beauuutiful? Les go back to the party, Tony?"

"Go to bed, Meg!"

"Oh, Father!!! The biggest stars from the King's and Duke's playhouse are there tonight...I think Neil Gwyn is coming later."

"My God, they've all gone over to the office now! Using the King's Naval Office as his personal dance hall?! Who the devil does that man think he is?!"

"Oh, les go, Tony!!"

"Go to bed, Margaret! Not you, Lowther!"

"Admiral Sir William...." a maid calls him to the front door.

"Ah, Penn."

"Sire?" Penn blinks at Charles and Castlemaine in finery.

"Can you direct us to Pepys' place?"

"We'll take you, Sire!" Margaret calls.
***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I notice Sam made no attempt to put Pierce to bed in his unique way but left it to Bess. Since from the entry it seems Mrs. Pierce had a ringside seat to what she missed out on, there's the usual strong hint she can handle our boy.

"I'd let you put me to bed, Pepys but James would remove your hands tomorrow."

"I think Bess would be happy to attend you. Bess!!"

***

Heaven...

"I might have known...'Oh, you've nothing to worry about, Bess. Betty Pierce is chaperone.' Poor Knipp was a silly idiot but I knew that Pierce woman couldn't be trusted."

"Yes, all her fault..." Sam nods.

"Shut up."

Bradford   Link to this

"only the musique did not please me, they not being contented with less than 30s": i.e., "the musique" being not the music, which seems to have given pleasure all round, but the musicians, who no doubt held out for scale.

(What is this figure of speech? It's not quite metonomy (one thing associated with another standing in for it, e.g. "the Bench" being the judge presiding over a court)---just a change in vocabulary?)

L. K. van Marjenhoff   Link to this

Am I the only one who finds it odd that Sam is having this bash at the office?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I home, where most of my company come of this end of the town...." Not a bash at the office after all, but, "thinking it to be one of the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world, and did content myself therefore with the thoughts of it, and so to bed".

"I...did content myself therefore with the thoughts of it...." -- sweet dreams.

Kate Bunting   Link to this

"Music" meaning a group of musicians was common usage at this period. The "Master of the King's/Queen's Music", now an appointment honouring a distinguished composer, was originally the leader of the monarch's private band.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Heaven...

"I hope you know we're never having a party like that in our place here."

"Aw, Bess...I had the guest list sent out already."

Arggh...Hmmn...

"Is Jean-Paul Belmondo coming?" slight eagerness...

"I don't think he's here yet."

"When's the damned thing for?"

"Next...Month..."

"He'll be here."

Not if Samuel Pepys has anything to say about it...Sam thinks.

(No offense, Jean-Paul...A long and happy continued life)

Mary   Link to this

My reading is that the party began in the Pepys's accommodation, but that it then moved to the office where Sam had already seen to getting the place swept, a good fire made and abundance of candles.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Mary's reading is correct.

cape henry   Link to this

Just wondering aloud, mind you, but has anyone noticed those pesky "vows" popping up anywhere lately? Of course it may be that partying until 3.30 a.m. in the Navy Office wasn't in that mix?

JWB   Link to this

"...and sing a song, lying by her on the bed..."

"Beauty Retired", no doubt.

Australian Susan   Link to this

The Vows

Sam may be stretching the concept of Christmas Season to cover the entire period up until Candlemas (Feb 2nd).

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"By the way, Samuel, you've been keeping a light under a bushel basket." Knipp eyes him.

"What?"

"Your wife, you silly goose...She's a talent, Samuel. I loved her play. Though..." reflecting... "I doubt Betterton would ever put it on..."

"Play?" Sam blinks...Releasing...

"'How to Murder Your Husband'...Such a droll title..." Knipp beams.

"How to...?"

"It's so delightful with the wife leaving her sketches to instruct all women who feel themselves similarly trapped...All the women in England following the plot as she gets the idiot husband to put up her sketches in their house...And the women visiting copy them to bring them to their sisters."

Sam eyes watercolor sketch on wall...Him, giving necessary instruction to Bess on music...

Never really noticed...They do follow a pattern through the last year or so...

Is that me instructing her on the household accounts?

"I especially loved the part where the wife lets the idiotic, unfeelingly selfish dolt of a cloddish husband believe he's fooled her and pretends to be angry about the party he wants to give. The perfect scene for her crime...So that she can get back to plans for a religious vocation mingled with her art..."

"Idiotic dolt? Party?"

"Religious vocation?..."

"When the fool is so busy philandering he never notices that she's spiked his wine with something from the New World to make him sleep after making him rather over-excited. 'Burrpt, right up the wall...' Something the apothecary tells her...You seem flushed, Mr. Pepys?"

Sam eyes wine flagon...Feeling forehead.

"And with the help of her faithful, long-suffering-herself-from-the-fool's-clumsy-attentions-and-all-round-doltish-behavior maid..."

"Everything well, sir?" Jane appears. Eyeing Sam carefully.

"What, Jane?"

"More wine, sir?"

"No!"

"Long day, sir. Should get yourself to bed, sir."

"Good night, Jane."

"Yes, dear girl..." wave. "Anyway, then when they bury the fool in the goop of the new sidewalk outside...You know, the one employing that new method of Mr. Hooke's with that machine that makes such an odd sound?"

"Glopida, glopida?"

"Yes, that's it." Knipp beams. "So they bury the fool in the goop from the glopida, glopida machine and...Then..."

"Then?"

"Well, eventually someone wonders where the little fool's gone off to as he supposedly has some position of minor importance and someone else notices the sketches and the apothecary remembers the wife and the drug 'Burrpt, right up the wall, then pow, right down again.' So amusing to have Mr. Betterton do that part if he would...Anyway she goes to trial...You're sure she didn't tell you about this work?"

"Not a word." Blinking...

"Modesty, delightful. Naturally the men of the jury intend to hang her..."

"Naturally."

"But she makes this remarkable speech appealing to women everywhere and the women of England all come to liberate her..."

"She doesn't even hang?"

"No, isn't it wonderful? Of course, I rather feel the ending is spoilt."

"Spoilt? What do you mean spoilt? How could it be more 'spoilt'? Bess!!!"

"Mr. Pepys? Samuel?" tries calling as Sam rushes out "Turns out it was only fantasy...The idiot's quite all right, sleeping it off in a back room. Does learn a lesson or two. Still...I think it would have been better if she'd really...Mr. Pepys?! Mr. Pepys?!!"

***

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"two eunuchs"
One of them could have been Baldassari Ferri,56 years old by then.

Nix   Link to this

No one has commented on the Return of Pembleton!

I have a picture in my mind of him chasing Elizabeth and Betty Pierce while Samuel was occupied with Knipp . . . . something out of Feydeau.

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