Monday 8 April 1667

Up, and having dressed myself, to the office a little, and out, expecting to have seen the pretty daughter of the Ship taverne at the hither end of Billiter Lane (whom I never yet have opportunity to speak to). I in there to drink my morning draught of half a pint of Rhenish wine; but a ma doleur elle and their family are going away thence, and a new man come to the house. So I away to the Temple, to my new bookseller’s; and there I did agree for Rycaut’s late History of the Turkish Policy, which costs me 55s.; whereas it was sold plain before the late fire for 8s., and bound and coloured as this is for 20s.; for I have bought it finely bound and truly coloured, all the figures, of which there was but six books done so, whereof the King and Duke of York, and Duke of Monmouth, and Lord Arlington, had four. The fifth was sold, and I have bought the sixth. So to enquire out Mrs. Knipp’s new lodging, but could not, but do hear of her at the Playhouse, where she was practising, and I sent for her out by a porter, and the jade come to me all undressed, so cannot go home to my house to dinner, as I had invited her, which I was not much troubled at, because I think there is a distance between her and Mrs. Pierce, and so our company would not be so pleasant. So home, and there find all things in good readiness for a good dinner, and here unexpectedly I find little Mis. Tooker, whom my wife loves not from the report of her being already naught; however, I do shew her countenance, and by and by come my guests, Dr. Clerke and his wife, and Mrs. Worshipp, and her daughter; and then Mr. Pierce and his wife, and boy, and Betty; and then I sent for Mercer; so that we had, with my wife and I, twelve at table, and very good and pleasant company, and a most neat and excellent, but dear dinner; but, Lord! to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant; for I made the best shew I could, to let them understand me and my condition, to take down the pride of Mrs. Clerke, who thinks herself very great. We sat long, and very merry, and all things agreeable; and, after dinner, went out by coaches, thinking to have seen a play, but come too late to both houses, and then they had thoughts of going abroad somewhere; but I thought all the charge ought not to be mine, and therefore I endeavoured to part the company, and so ordered it to set them all down at Mrs. Pierces; and there my wife and I and Mercer left them in good humour, and we three to the King’s house, and saw the latter end of the “Surprisall,” a wherein was no great matter, I thought, by what I saw there. Thence away to Polichinello, and there had three times more sport than at the play, and so home, and there the first night we have been this year in the garden late, we three and our Barker singing very well, and then home to supper, and so broke up, and to bed mightily pleased with this day’s pleasure.

23 Annotations

Michael McCollough   Link to this

Showing off the china so he can make his guests envious; Going on about how rare his new book is and all the high muckety-mucks who own the other copies.... The more I read of Sam's diary the happier I am not to have a closer acquaintance with him. Can't fault his self-understanding, though.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

The books, the books. They're beautiful, and Sam has the last of 6 elegant copies. Drool, drool.

cum salis grano   Link to this

all for naught.
"...and I sent for her out by a porter, and the jade come to me all undressed, so cannot go home to my house to dinner, as I had invited her,..."

Best china.
"...upon all my fine plate was pleasant;..."
not earthenware?

L. K. van Marjenhoff   Link to this

Sam and the airs he puts on -- not for nothing did Claire Tomalin name her book about him "The Unequalled Self." For Sam, it's all about Sam.

Linda   Link to this

The morning draught is back! We haven't heard about that for years.

cum salis grano   Link to this

Samuell leaves out the fillers of the day except if it be an excuse for a little palpitation or PVC.

Mary   Link to this

Earthenware?
Certainly not, nor china, but real plate from the goldsmiths.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...to the office a little, and out, expecting to have seen the pretty daughter of the Ship taverne at the hither end of Billiter Lane #whom I never yet have opportunity to speak to#."

"There he be again...Bastard!"

"Who, Father?"

"That little pervert from the Naval Office, strutting round in his finery, up and down the road, tryin' to look like he has business round here. Daughter, you'll not be at the door or leavin' the family rooms this morning."

"Aye, Father...I'd be afeared of coming across that man's bow."

"He'd give a broadside that's for sure. That's it, Mr. Pepys, you bug-eyed little freak, walk, walk, walk...Take a good, long leer at me place, that's right. There'll be no manhandling my little one. Me name ain't Mitchell...Nor is it Bagwell, let alone Tooker."

"Isn't he charged with the King's business for the fleet, Father? What's he doing strollin' round our place all morning?"

"Showin' us why we be losing this miserable war, daughter, that's what. Lord, he's changed course and is preparin' to board. Out, the back way, girl...Get your mother, we'll be going abroad. Francis?!!"

"Anon, anon, sir!"

"Take care of Mr. Pepys and tell him the family's out. In fact, tell him I've sold the place to you and we're bound for God known where. And Francis? The 'Rhenish' wine for him..."

"But, sir? The rats have been swimming in that."

"He'll appreciate the extra flavor, with his fine palate. Come, daughter."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and a most neat and excellent, but dear dinner; but, Lord! to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant; for I made the best shew I could, to let them understand me and my condition, to take down the pride of Mrs. Clerke, who thinks herself very great."

What could make for a more delightful meal than to watch your 'friends' fume over your glorious possession? Like portentiously pulling out the latest gadget nowadays just to show the fellas you have it...First.

But I don't quite get Tooker strolling in and sitting down to dinner, given that she must have made the 12th person. I suppose Bess would grudgingly accept Sam's not wanting to turn the kid away from the table but what would have been her reason for stopping by in the first place? And why would our socially conscious to a fault Sam tolerate a young girl of dubious rep at his table? Even if he would happily lure her up to his office anytime...

Knipp came to him all undressed...Interesting mental picture. Followed by even more interesting mental picture of morose Chris Knipp coming, fully dressed, with cleaver in hand.

C.J.Darby   Link to this

"Up, and having dressed myself" He does leave some unimportant details in or I presume he was not in the habit of going out undresseed and there should be a sin of occasioning envy in others as it is such a guilty pleasure.

Bradford   Link to this

"the jade come to me all undressed,"---doesn't "undressed" mean, at this time, "not properly or formally attired"? One imagines her, as ze French so delightfully term it, en deshabille, i.e., in a dressing gown with merely a shift or nightgown beneath. And how long would it take, even given her stage experience with the quick-change, Knipp Undressed to mount the proper foundation garments, apply some discreet cosmetics (ars est celare artem, to be sure), "dress" her hair (which can be a complex task all in itself), don her gown plus any outerwear (surely the evenings in London are still chilly in April 1667), and thus be fittingly "dressed" for the festive board? Answers on a postcard, please.

Michael McCollough   Link to this

Mary- I suspected it was probably gold or silver; 'China' has just become my catch-all term for 'good dishes'. Thanks for clearing that up, though- I'd sort of forgotten what china actually was.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

“Up, and having dressed myself”

noting to his Diary that he didn't wait for his boy (Tom) to come and do it.

Linda   Link to this

CSG -- what is "PVC"? All that comes to my mind is polyvinyl chloride.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Do you suppose CSG meant a premature ventricular contraction?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premature_ventricu...

Linda   Link to this

Yes, that pairs well with "palpitation." Thanks!

jeannine   Link to this

Dinner Is Served…..

When Sam gives you an invite to dine
You’ll be served on his plate, oh so fine

As you arrive at his great table
Pick your seat with this warning label

Best stay far from Little Miss Tooker
Elizabeth swears she’s a hooker

If you desire the overly great
Mrs. Clerke believes she is first rate

There’s the Doctor and Mrs. Peirce
Who’ll delight with gossip most fierce

If it’s the young ones you most enjoy
Sit yourself beside their charming boy

If music makes your head swoon
Mercer can carry a tune

If you think that you ought ‘ta
There is Worship or her daughter

If you have nothing to lose,
Sit by Betty if you so choose

Best stay away from Sam’s lovely wife
Who is spirited and full of life

If your eyes to his wife do gaze
You’ll ignite Sam’s hot jealous craze

But if you tend to like self absorbed creeps
Sit yourself beside our boy Sam Pepys!

cape henry   Link to this

Bradford, I think you have it with "en deshabille."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Heaven...

"Bess!? '...self absorbed creeps...'?"

"Well...What else would rhyme with Pepys, dearest? I think it a very fine poem, Sam'l. Except, of course..."

"Just so..." Ah, the blessing of a supportive...

"I could carry a tune as well as Mercer by then..." frown at screen.

"Oh, shut up..."

Fern   Link to this

"but, Lord! to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant"

Envy is often mixed with suspicion and disdain, but perhaps Sam is enjoying himself too much to notice it.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"but,Lord!to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plates was pleasant"
It is said that on one of these occasions Sam invented the expression:"Eat your heart out"

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Mr. Pepys? Samuel Pepys, esq.?"

"Sir?"

"You are served, sir." hands document. "Insufficent payment of poll tax, sir."

"What?"

"Yes, sir. Seems a Mrs. Clerke reported you as having quite an excess of 1000Ls in silver plate. One of our best agents, that Mrs. Clerke." smile.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Wasn't Sam's plate gold? he had really splashed out in conspicuous consumption some time ago, i think. Sam arrives home sans Knipp, but then finds he's got Little Miss Tooker, so "sends for Mercer" to make up an even number. Presumably as she had previously been a companion to Bess, she can still be summoned to make up numbers at the last minute.
I love Sam's glee over what he thinks he sees in his guests' faces over his ostentatious table and then his dismay when, having decided to treat his company to an afternoon at the playhouse, he finds he might have to take them on a (much more expensive) jaunt somewhere else - penny counting going on here.
And then Sam has the honesty to admit that the farcelike Ponchinello is more pleasing than the play.
Is the book he refers to in the Pepys collection still - if so, probably one of the most valuable items in it, if it is truly as rare as Sam makes out. Or has the bookseller sold the sixth [sic] copy to countless people?

I wonder if the new man in the Ship tavern, having taken note of Sam's enquiry, spent the afternoon interviewing buxom barmaids?

Log in to post an annotation.

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