Saturday 16 February 1666/67

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. Among other things great heat we were all in on one side or other in the examining witnesses against Mr. Carcasse about his buying of tickets, and a cunning knave I do believe he is, and will appear, though I have thought otherwise heretofore. At noon home to dinner, and there find Mr. Andrews, and Pierce and Hollyard, and they dined with us and merry, but we did rise soon for saving of my wife’s seeing a new play this afternoon, and so away by coach, and left her at Mrs. Pierces, myself to the Excise Office about business, and thence to the Temple to walk a little only, and then to Westminster to pass away time till anon, and here I went to Mrs. Martin’s to thank her for her oysters … Thence away to my Lord Bruncker’s, and there was Sir Robert Murray, whom I never understood so well as now by this opportunity of discourse with him, a most excellent man of reason and learning, and understands the doctrine of musique, and everything else I could discourse of, very finely. Here come Mr. Hooke, Sir George Ent, Dr. Wren, and many others; and by and by the musique, that is to say, Signor Vincentio, who is the master-composer, and six more, whereof two eunuches, so tall, that Sir T. Harvey said well that he believes they do grow large by being gelt as our oxen do, and one woman very well dressed and handsome enough, but would not be kissed, as Mr. Killigrew, who brought the company in, did acquaint us. They sent two harpsicons before; and by and by, after tuning them, they begun; and, I confess, very good musique they made; that is, the composition exceeding good, but yet not at all more pleasing to me than what I have heard in English by Mrs. Knipp, Captain Cooke, and others. Nor do I dote on the eunuches; they sing, indeed, pretty high, and have a mellow kind of sound, but yet I have been as well satisfied with several women’s voices and men also, as Crispe of the Wardrobe. The women sung well, but that which distinguishes all is this, that in singing, the words are to be considered, and how they are fitted with notes, and then the common accent of the country is to be known and understood by the hearer, or he will never be a good judge of the vocal musique of another country. So that I was not taken with this at all, neither understanding the first, nor by practice reconciled to the latter, so that their motions, and risings and fallings, though it may be pleasing to an Italian, or one that understands the tongue, yet to me it did not, but do from my heart believe that I could set words in English, and make musique of them more agreeable to any Englishman’s eare (the most judicious) than any Italian musique set for the voice, and performed before the same man, unless he be acquainted with the Italian accent of speech. The composition as to the musique part was exceeding good, and their justness in keeping time by practice much before any that we have, unless it be a good band of practised fiddlers. So away, here being Captain Cocke, who is stole away, leaving them at it, in his coach, and to Mrs. Pierce’s, where I took up my wife, and there I find Mrs. Pierce’s little girl is my Valentine, she having drawn me; which I was not sorry for, it easing me of something more that I must have given to others. But here I do first observe the fashion of drawing of mottos as well as names; so that Pierce, who drew my wife, did draw also a motto, and this girl drew another for me. What mine was I have forgot; but my wife’s was, “Most virtuous and most fair;” which, as it may be used, or an anagram made upon each name, might be very pretty. Thence with Cocke and my wife, set him at home, and then we home. To the office, and there did a little business, troubled that I have so much been hindered by matters of pleasure from my business, but I shall recover it I hope in a little time. So home and to supper, not at all smitten with the musique to- night, which I did expect should have been so extraordinary, Tom Killigrew crying it up, and so all the world, above all things in the world, and so to bed. One wonder I observed to-day, that there was no musique in the morning to call up our new-married people, which is very mean, methinks, and is as if they had married like dog and bitch.

24 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Brodrick to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 16 February 1667

His Majesty in Council declared Lord Holles & Mr Henry Coventry his Ambassadors for the approaching Treaty, & the Hague as the place ... in order "to undeceive the long-abused people of those Provinces of his readiness to embrace Peace, the consequences whereof, if refused, we hope may beget an insurrection in De Witt's [in MS.: "Du Witt"] party." ...

Adds the mention of other incidents of diplomacy & politics. .
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

deepfatfriar   Link to this

...to thank her for her oysters...

If that's not a euphemism, it should be.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"…to thank her for her oysters…" in context.

“And here I went to Mrs. Martin’s to thank her for her oysters and there yo did hazer tout ce que je would con her, and she grown la plus bold moher of the orbis ­ so that I was almost defessus of the pleasure que ego was used para tener with ella.”

http://www.pepys.info/bits5.html

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...musique in the morning to call up our new-married people,...."

Ah, a shivaree!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charivari

cum salis grano   Link to this

a scenario:
" here me hearties, sell me thy tickets, I'll give thee a 1d on the shilling,?????? ye cannot get fat on paper, ale and cheese be better, better than nowt.

"...we were all in on one side or other in the examining witnesses against Mr. Carcasse about his buying of tickets, and a cunning knave I do believe he is, and will appear, though I have thought otherwise heretofore...."

Carl in Boston   Link to this

their justness in keeping time by practice much before any that we have, unless it be a good band of practised fiddlers
Sam has quite a musical ear to notice this. It's called riding the beat, important in dance music as fiddlers who play for dancing would do, but more classical music has other considerations.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and then to Westminster to pass away time till anon..." Well, thank God there's nothing important going on, like say...A war.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...a cunning knave I do believe he is, and will appear, though I have thought otherwise heretofore..."

Sir Will Coventry might well have similar thoughts should he ever get his hands on this Diary.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...one woman very well dressed and handsome enough, but would not be kissed..."

Outrageous. To think that such a thing should occur in the seventeenth century, to our hero.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"What mine was I have forgot;"

Possible options:

"Sneaky, conniving little..."

"Beware God's wrath."

"Daddy says he'll cut off what's left of your parts if he ever finds you touching Mama."

"I saw what you did..."

"Our agent is empowered to offer you, Mr. Pepys, fifty thousand guilders should your efforts bring about a peace acceptable to the Republic."

***

"...but my wife’s was, “Most virtuous and most fair;” which, as it may be used, or an anagram made upon each name, might be very pretty."

Ambivalent statement, especially since he's never offered any hint outside wild jealousy that Bess has ever been untrue. And as the "most fair" bit is certainly true. What is it, Sam? Cheating so easy you can't help a little cynical suspicion? Or is this a subtle dig at her less than perfect housekeeping, surely the highest Pepysian virtue for a wife?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Lest it go unnoticed, actually "there was no musique in the morning to call up our new-married people"

No shivaree at all.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"I could set words in English, and make musique of them more agreeable to any Englishman’s eare (the most judicious) than any Italian musique set for the voice, and performed before the same man, unless he be acquainted with the Italian accent of speech."

I don't think so, Sam. There's a reason why Monteverdi's madrigals are performed more often than "Beauty, Retire" - even in England.

Sam   Link to this

Translation please of:
And here I went to Mrs. Martin’s to thank her for her oysters and there yo did hazer tout ce que je would con her, and she grown la plus bold moher of the orbis ­ so that I was almost defessus of the pleasure que ego was used para tener with ella
Thanks

Ruben   Link to this

"And here I went to Mrs. Martin’s to thank her for her oysters and there yo did hazer tout ce que je would con her, and she grown la plus bold moher of the orbis ­ so that I was almost defessus of the pleasure que ego was used para tener with ella"

And here I went to Mrs. Martin's to thank her for her oysters and there I did what I would with her, and she grown the more bold women of the world so that I was almost tired of the pleasure that I was used to have with her.

This translation cannot translate the wrongdoer's sweet remembrance when reading these secret lines years later, in his old age, when the sex fire abated, but the sounds and smells of this encounter were recalled to his memory...

Ruben   Link to this

may be that "weary of the pleasure" is better than "tired of the pleasure" in this context.

Mary   Link to this

defessus.

This past participle (but not other parts of the verb) can also mean "grow faint."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...she grown the more bold women of the world so that I was almost tired of the pleasure that I was used to have with her."

I'm reminded of that scene in "Rome" set in Egypt where old school Roman Lucius is shocked to find Princess Cleopatra demanding he "perform" for her.

Heaven...

"Yes, thank God you've never taken pleasure in it, Bess. Except that time..."

"Well, generally not with you, certainly..."

Dean Barnes   Link to this

Oyster was indeed a euphemism, whether Sam intended it in this case or not.
Certainly as used in these Yankee Doodle lyrics from the 18th century :

"Hey Ho for Old Cape Cod,
Hey Ho Nantaskett,
Don't let those Boston lads,
Steal your oyster basket.

Chorus: Sheepshead & Vinegar,
Buttermilk and Tansy
Boston is a Yankee town,
Sing Hey Doodle Dandy

Him and Her may go to bed
Two ,and Two Together,
If there is not room enough
Lie One atop the other"

Phoenix   Link to this

Another entry that hints at the little core of meanness that forms a part of Pepys' character. The pleasure we might feel in being a child's valentine is seen as an opportunity to spend less than he would otherwise have to. The absence of music for the newlyweds an opportunity to vent a little spleen. And why? Because there is no seductive potential in a child's valentine - least until she reaches thirteen or fourteen? Because he might not now be able to feel up his neighbor's daughter? Because he wasn't invited to the wedding? Because the music was perhaps better than he's willing to admit? Boasting he could do better because he knows he couldn't?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I'm still troubled by that handling of the "most virtuous and most fair". Sam couldn't make a nasty crack at poor "virtuous" Bess to lessen his guilt, suggesting he has nothing on her, and yet couldn't praise her for her steadfastness and beauty without casting blame...Even in his own diary...Upon his unfaithful self.

And yet I remember the happy and loving young man who on his 28th birthday expressed his joy in wife and friends as well as good fortune in the most winning terms. How much the world and its corrosives are affecting Sam is hard to say but he has closed up a bit.

He will do better, though...And all of us could be caught in pretty petty mode at the wrong moment on the wrong day.

cape henry   Link to this

There are many scenes in the Diary each of us would like to attend in person, but this particular evening at Lord Brunkner's with Wren, Hooke, Ent, et als, plus the music... That would be matchless.

cum salis grano   Link to this

OED has no rude connections to Oyster, except
b. to drink to one's oysters: to get the worst of a deal; to have a bad time of it. Obs.
1470 J. PASTON in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) I. 557 For and I had not delt ryght corteysly..I had drownk to myn oystyrs

or
2. slang. A lump of phlegm or spittle.
1785 F. GROSE Classical Dict. Vulgar Tongue 119 Oyster, a gob of thick phlegm, spit by a consumptive man.

or
oyster kiss n.
[a1640 in R. Burton Anat. Melancholy (1850) III. iii. 562 Gentle youths, go sport yourselves betimes. Let not the doves outpass your murmurings, Or ivy-clasping arms, or oyster-kissings.]
or

oyster bed n.
1591 ...1675 J. CROWN Countrey Wit IV. i. 54 Oh Sir, a witty man's Head is a Similies Bed, and breeds Similies as fast as an Oysterbed breeds Oysters

Of course there be many a lass that be hawking fresh Colchester Oysters, and had a poor reputation like many a hawker of lemons.

cum salis grano   Link to this

Lady Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
poet:

Satire shoud, like a polish'd Razor keen, [25]
Wound with a Touch, that's scarcely felt or seen.
Thine is an Oyster-Knife, that hacks and hews;
The Rage, but not the Talent of Abuse;
And is in Hate, what Love is in the Stews.
'Tis the gross Lust of Hate, that still annoys, [30]
Without distinction, as gross Love enjoys:
Neither to Folly, nor to Vice confin'd,
The Object of thy Spleen is Human Kind:
It preys on all, who yield, or who resist:
To Thee 'tis Provocation to exist. [35]
from
Verses Addressed to the Imitator of
the First Satire of the Second Book
of Horace
by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/mont...

cum salis grano   Link to this

NB: "stew" be a house of ill repute according to Johnson
"spleen" anger

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