Friday 1 March 1666/67

Up, it being very cold weather again after a good deal of warm summer weather, and to the office, where I settled to do much business to-day. By and by sent for to Sir G. Carteret to discourse of the business of the Navy, and our wants, and the best way of bestowing the little money we have, which is about 30,000l., but, God knows, we have need of ten times as much, which do make my life uncomfortable, I confess, on the King’s behalf, though it is well enough as to my own particular, but the King’s service is undone by it. Having done with him, back again to the office, and in the streets, in Mark Lane, I do observe, it being St. David’s day, the picture of a man dressed like a Welchman, hanging by the neck upon one of the poles that stand out at the top of one of the merchants’ houses, in full proportion, and very handsomely done; which is one of the oddest sights I have seen a good while, for it was so like a man that one would have thought it was indeed a man.1 Being returned home, I find Greeting, the flageolet-master, come, and teaching my wife; and I do think my wife will take pleasure in it, and it will be easy for her, and pleasant. So I, as I am well content with the charge it will occasion me. So to the office till dinner-time, and then home to dinner, and before dinner making my wife to sing. Poor wretch! her ear is so bad that it made me angry, till the poor wretch cried to see me so vexed at her, that I think I shall not discourage her so much again, but will endeavour to make her understand sounds, and do her good that way; for she hath a great mind to learn, only to please me; and, therefore, I am mighty unjust to her in discouraging her so much, but we were good friends, and to dinner, and had she not been ill with those and that it were not Friday (on which in Lent there are no plays) I had carried her to a play, but she not being fit to go abroad, I to the office, where all the afternoon close examining the collection of my papers of the accounts of the Navy since this war to my great content, and so at night home to talk and sing with my-wife, and then to supper and so to bed with great pleasure. But I cannot but remember that just before dinner one of my people come up to me, and told me a man come from Huntingdon would speak with me, how my heart come into my mouth doubting that my father, who has been long sicke, was dead. It put me into a trembling, but, blessed be [God]! it was no such thing, but a countryman come about ordinary business to me, to receive 50l. paid to my father in the country for the Perkins’s for their legacy, upon the death of their mother, by my uncle’s will. So though I get nothing at present, at least by the estate, I am fain to pay this money rather than rob my father, and much good may it do them that I may have no more further trouble from them. I hear to-day that Tom Woodall, the known chyrurgeon, is killed at Somerset House by a Frenchman, but the occasion Sir W. Batten could not tell me.

  1. From “Poor Robin’s Almanack” for 1757 it appears that, in former times in England, a Welshman was burnt in effigy on this anniversary. Mr. W. C. Hazlitt, in his edition of Brand’s “Popular Antiquities,” adds “The practice to which Pepys refers … was very common at one time; and till very lately bakers made gingerbread Welshmen, called taffies, on St. David’s day, which were made to represent a man skewered” (vol. i., pp. 60,61).

23 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"in Mark Lane, I do observe, it being St. David's day, the picture of a man dressed like a Welchman, hanging by the neck upon one of the poles that stand out at the top of one of the merchants' houses, in full proportion, and very handsomely done; which is one of the oddest sights I have seen a good while, for it was so like a man that one would have thought it was indeed a man."

St. David is the patron saint and was a native of Wales. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_David

Dewi, the Welsh name for the saint, is pronounced much like "Taffy," which has long been a nickname that English people gave to Welsh men and used in an old slanderous nursery rhyme.
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiTFFYWLCH.html

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"told me a man come from Huntingdon would speak with me, how my heart come into my mouth doubting that my father, who has been long sicke, was dead."

doubting = fearing

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The French Connection with the Irish
_____

Sir W. Temple to Ormond
Written from: Brussels
Date: 1 March 1667

Much alarm has been excited by the French moving troops towards Namur & Charleroi. ... In the writer's opinion, however, the affair is one rather of marches & musters, than of present action. Colbert, he thinks, is more bent upon continuing the war of Portugal with Spain, & the war of Holland with ourselves, than of beginning a new war. ...

... Answers an inquiry made by the Lord Lieutenant as to Irishmen who have been "practising" with Colbert. ...
_____

Ormond to Sir William Coventry
Written from: Dublin
Date: 1 March 1667

... There is no question but that, as Sir William states the case, a free trade with France must be ill for England. It was held so when traffic lay open, and must be more so whilst it remains hard or difficult with those countries whence we gained money. But, adds the Duke, "I think that we that have no money, & consequently must bring their commodities in truck for our own; and if the value of ours shall prove greater, bring the overplus in money, are secured against that danger. You will find it proposed from hence, that we may have freedom to trade with all enemies as well as friends, a liberty essentially necessary to the being of the Kingdom and support of the Government, at least as long as the war shall last, or the prohibition of transporting our Cattle, at any time of the year." ...

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

JWB   Link to this

Saltwater taffy

Admiral Dewey took Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War. The American fleet which re-took the Philippines from the Japanese in WWII was divided into three task forces: Taffy 1, 2, & 3.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Poor wretch! her ear is so bad that it made me angry, till the poor wretch cried to see me so vexed at her, that I think I shall not discourage her so much again, but will endeavour to make her understand sounds, and do her good that way; for she hath a great mind to learn, only to please me; and, therefore, I am mighty unjust to her in discouraging her so much, but we were good friends, and to dinner,"

I would imagine, that years from now, of all the guilt old Sam felt in re-reading the Diary, somehow this passage made him weep the most. And yet, he did well in the end.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

30000Ls a small sum? Can this be the same young clerk who back in 1660 was desperately trying to figure out how to pay back his office a few borrowed pounds?

Margaret   Link to this

"... the picture of a man dressed like a Welchman..."

Does anyone know what was distinctive about the dress of a Welsh man? These days, Welsh women wear native costumes on St. David's Day, but the men have nothing distinctive to wear (except a daffodil or a leek).

cum salis grano   Link to this

Taff is the river and after accent changes and Castle left there by Men of Rome,it becomes Cardiff.

Caerdydd (the Welsh name of the city), and its anglicised form Cardiff, derive from post-Roman Brythonic words meaning "the fort on the Taff". The fort refers to that established by the Romans. "Dydd" or "Diff" are both modifications of "Taff", the river on which Cardiff Castle stands, with the T mutating to D in Welsh. According to Professor Hywel Wyn Owen, a leading modern authority on toponymy, the Welsh pronunciation of "Caerdyff" as "Caerdydd" shows the colloquial alternation of Welsh "-f" and "-dd".[5]

An explanation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff

Thus Taffy.

andy   Link to this

Cymraes wyf i. A ydych chi'n siarad Cymraeg?
R'wyf i'n rhy Saesnegedd!!

We had a book in our school, for we Anglo-Welsh duffers, I remember, called "O'r Gaergybi i'r Gaerdydd" - from Holyhead to Cardiff - note the mutation of the first letter after a preposition...

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Poor wretch!her ear is so bad..."
She should concentrate on her dancing and painting instead.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

How can Pepys tell Bess's "ear" is bad from how she first fumbles with a flageolet? Are its tones not at intervals the player doesn't control?

cape henry   Link to this

"...Poor wretch! her ear is so bad that it made me angry..." This is another interesting,but boorish, aspect of Pepys' personality. He forces her to sing; she does it badly; he gets angry. There is something pathological in this behavior of often putting her in situations where she will fail (in his eyes, at least)and then berating her for it. I find in this case that "poor wretch" substitutes for something more like "stupid *****." Rather awful.

Mary   Link to this

It's not the flageolet-playing that occasions Sam's irritation. He feels that Elizabeth will find that easy and enjoyable. It is her failure to sing well that annoys him. You would think that by now he would have realised that Elizabeth is just one of nature's 'growlers' when it comes to singing and that no amount of nagging on his part is going to make the situation any better.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Though I'm as ready as anyone to smack him for making her cry, I think in fairness to Sam, he has handled the situation fairly well. He lost his temper, realized he'd behaved very badly, made up with her, concluded he mustn't treat her like that again, and figured out a plan to rectify her deficiencies. He is speaking to the Diary, in guilt after the fact, and after all his love of music is sincere, not feigned. His realization that Bess does the practice and study for his sake and that he behaved unfairly and should focus on her abilities not his desires says a lot about their relationship.

I wonder if a little guilt is surfacing here...Perhaps a subconscious feeling that if Bess would only learn music and especially, to sing, he would be less attracted to the more dangerous (social position, ability, learning) of his amours like Knipp...Which helped to trigger his outburst. It is interesting that the one girl he's shown interest in who's made Bess nervous is Knipp. I rather think Bess asked for the lessons in yet another attempt to prove she could master something Sam loves and equal her suspected rival.

At least I think we can agree he's handling it better than say, Charles Foster Kane.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Does anyone know what was distinctive about the dress of a Welsh man?"

Margaret, ever since you asked that most acute question, I've been doing some searching off and on, and have found...nothing. A kilt, of course, doesn't distinguish a Welshman from a Scot. Perhaps the day itself suggested to Pepys that this kilted figure was a Welshman?

cum salis grano   Link to this

The Eisteddfod should have some records of native Dress as most of the venues come with outfits from all over Europe doing the local singing dancing and old fashioned wooing each year..
The men of Harlech
http://www.data-wales.co.uk/harlech2.htm

Other wise as a conquered group we would be in disguise in London Town, only on the mountains would wear natural garb.
Kept the Language alive but the Dress, do not Know.

Mary   Link to this

native Welsh dress.

According to the National Museum of Wales, there ain't no such thing. The 'traditional' woman's dress is a 19th century invention. Nothing comparable was invented for men and the suggestion of a kilt (by analogy with the Scots kilt, though that is also thought to have been a fairly modern invention) never caught on. All the accoutrements and accessories of the Bardic 'tradition' as it is currently portrayed were invented at the end of the 18th century in London.

As earlier suggested, perhaps the effigy had a leek or a daffodil adorning its hat or elsewhere about its form. Alternatively, it might have sported the device of the Red Dragon or have been holding a Welsh harp.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... a man dressed like a Welchman ..."

For what it it's worth, the earliest depiction I have been able to locate of a male identified as a Welshman on St David's Day is in plate iv in Hogarth's Rakes Progress, 1735:

"A scene in St James's Street (after the painting at Sir John Soane's Museum http://www.soane.org/rakesprogress.htm#arrest ) with Tom emerging from a sedan-chair to be arrested for debt; figures in the foreground include a Welshman, probably the creditor, honouring St David's day (March 1st) with a leek in his hat, Sarah Young dropping her seamstress's box as she offers a purse of money to reprieve her former lover, a lamp-lighter carelessly spilling oil on Tom's head, and a group of street-boys - newspaper vendors (one of whom reads "The Farthing Post") and shoe-blacks - who gamble with dice and cards beside a post labelled "Black" in satirical reference to White's Club further down the street; in the distance is the gate of St James's Palace with a crowd of sedan-chairs approaching to celebrate the birthday of Queen Caroline. 1735. ...Etching and engraving"
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_th...

(All the caricature prints in Frederic George Stephens & M. Dorothy George, 'Catalog of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 1320 - 1832' London: 1870 - 1954, 11 vols., describe a figure identified as a Welshman exclusively by his having a leak in or attached to his hat)

Michael Robinson   Link to this

” … a man dressed like a Welchman …”

For leaks, also Henry V., Act iv, Sc. vii,:

Fluellen. Your majesty says very true. If your majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe, your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy’s day.
http://www.bartleby.com/70/2947.html

and Act V., Sc i

Gower. Nay, that’s right; but why wear you your leek to-day? Saint Davy’s day is past.

Fluellin. There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things: I will tell you, asse my friend, Captain Gower. The rascally, scald, beggarly, lousy, pragging knave, Pistol,—which you and yourself and all the ’orld know to be no petter than a fellow,—look you now, of no merits, he is come to me and prings me pread and salt yesterday, look you, and pid me eat my leek. It was in a place where I could not preed no contention with him; but I will be so pold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my desires.

et seq.
http://www.bartleby.com/70/2951.html

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Yay! I knew someone would get round to Pistol and Fluellin, and their "murderous land-robber" (well, that's how Brannaugh's version was described)of a boss on this one. Thanks.

Glyn   Link to this

What the f...? Just got back to this site to see this attack on my forefathers. I don't know either but, for what it's worth, I imagine they wore the top hats that Welsh women wear now in traditional costume.

Fluellin is a reasonable transcription of Llewellyn for English-speakers.

Anybody else remember the time spent at school chanting out the order of letter mutations depending on the grammar. As I recall the first lines began "Cee, Pee, Tee/ Gee, Bee, Dee/ Double Ell, Em, R H; Becomes Gee, Bee, Dee/ Dash, Eff, Vee/ Ell, Em and R.

I could be mistaken though because it's been a few millennia since I learnt this.

Glyn   Link to this

But compare this with his diary entry for 20 October 1660: “"This afternoon, going through London … I saw the limbs of some of our new traitors set upon Aldersgate, which is a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn and quartered."

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/10/20/

Some things have definitely got better.

JWB   Link to this

"But it would make a stranger laugh
To see th'English hang poor Taff;
A pair of breeches and a coat,
Hat, shoes and stockings, and what not;
All stuffed with hay to represent
The Cambrian hero thereby meant;
With sword sometimes three inches broad,
And other armour made of wood,
They drag hur to some publick tree,
And hang hur up in effigy."

"Poor Robin's Almanac," of 1757
March 1, Every-Day Book
http://www.uab.edu/english/hone/etexts/edb/day-...

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.