Monday 12 August 1667

My wife waked betimes to call up her maids to washing, and so to bed again, whom I then hugged, it being cold now in the mornings … Up by and by, and with Mr. Gawden by coach to St. James’s, where we find the Duke gone a-hunting with the King, but found Sir W. Coventry within, with whom we discoursed, and he did largely discourse with us about our speedy falling upon considering of retrenchments in the expense of the Navy, which I will put forward as much as I can. So having done there I to Westminster Hall to Burges, and then walked to the New Exchange, and there to my bookseller’s, and did buy Scott’s Discourse of Witches; and do hear Mr. Cowley mightily lamented his death, by Dr. Ward, the Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Bates, who were standing there, as the best poet of our nation, and as good a man. Thence I to the printseller’s, over against the Exchange towards Covent Garden, and there bought a few more prints of cittys, and so home with them, and my wife and maids being gone over the water to the whitster’s with their clothes, this being the first time of her trying this way of washing her linen, I dined at Sir W. Batten’s, and after dinner, all alone to the King’s playhouse, and there did happen to sit just before Mrs. Pierce, and Mrs. Knepp, who pulled me by the hair; and so I addressed myself to them, and talked to them all the intervals of the play, and did give them fruit. The play is “Brenoralt,” which I do find but little in, for my part. Here was many fine ladies-among others, the German Baron, with his lady, who is envoye from the Emperour, and their fine daughter, which hath travelled all Europe over with them, it seems; and is accordingly accomplished, and indeed, is a wonderful pretty woman. Here Sir Philip Frowde, who sat next to me, did tell me how Sir H. Belasses is dead, and that the quarrel between him and Tom Porter, who is fled, did arise in the ridiculous fashion that I was first told it, which is a strange thing between two so good friends. The play being done, I took the women, and Mrs. Corbett, who was with them, by coach, it raining, to Mrs. Manuel’s, the Jew’s wife, formerly a player, who we heard sing with one of the Italians that was there; and, indeed, she sings mightily well; and just after the Italian manner, but yet do not please me like one of Mrs. Knepp’s songs, to a good English tune, the manner of their ayre not pleasing me so well as the fashion of our own, nor so natural. Here I sat a little and then left them, and then by coach home, and my wife not come home, so the office a little and then home, and my wife come; and so, saying nothing where I had been, we to supper and pipe, and so to bed.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The really good, heart-wrenching news for the day is in the ellipsis at the top

"My wife waked betimes to call up her maids to washing, and so to bed again; whom I then hugged, it being cold now in the mornings, and then did la otra cosa con her, which I had not done con ella for these tres meses past, which I do believe is a great matter towards the making of her of late so indifferent towards me, and with good reason; but now she had much pleasure, and so to sleep again."

L&M text.

Bradford   Link to this

That is indeed heart-warming, and perhaps accounts for Elizabeth's not asking where he'd been.

"there did happen to sit just before Mrs. Pierce, and Mrs. Knepp, who pulled me by the hair;"

Isn't Pepys still wearing a wig at this point? He'd feel someone tugging on it, of course; but what kept it from coming off? No Velcro.

Eric Walla   Link to this

Thank goodness for cold mornings!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Heaven...

"What do you mean a little rewrite...? Bess, this is my masterpiece. The Diary...Of Samuel Pepys."

"Oh, come on..."

"And what is... 'a certain amount of pleasure' mean?"

"Means what it says...And would you have known I had 'much'? Not like you ever bothered to ask me after we'd finish."

"Is this a fit conversation for Heaven?"

"Oh, yeah." St.Peter, nodding. "The prudes are roasting, feel free. Mr ..."

"Was kind of nice to finally rate a ... " Bess, beaming.

"Bess, you were always a ... in my heart."

Mary   Link to this

"did happen to sit just before Mrs. Knepp and Mrs. Pierce"

Did happen to sit ....?

Sez you! Come off it! Strike a light! Who'd ha' thought it? Lor' love a duck! Pull the other one! (It's got bells on). Garn! ...... and any other London expression of surprise and disbelief that you can think of.

highheeledhistorian   Link to this

It's sad that no-one walks to their booksellers any more! We all either drive there and park in a multi-storey, walking to the global chainstore. Other than that, we'll just buy our discount books online. Shame, there's something so magical about a bookstore

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Thence I to the printseller’s, over against the Exchange towards Covent Garden, and there bought a few more prints of cittys, and so home with them..."
My favorite thing to do when visiting family in Boston is to walk down Charles St. to a wonderful and cheap print shop there. Even got a small print of Sam once.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...my wife and maids being gone over the water to the whitster’s with their clothes, this being the first time of her trying this way of washing her linen..."

"Well?"

"Well...Yes, they are whiter than ever." Sam nods.

"But...?"

"Well, dear...They lack that downy freshness I'm used to. Sorry..."

"Oh, there's no problem...Jane?!"

"Mum?"

"You're right, Mr. Pepys wants the puppy dog's water continued in his linen."

"Knew it, Mum."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Here was many fine ladies-among others, the German Baron, with his lady, who is envoye from the Emperour, and their fine daughter, which hath travelled all Europe over with them, it seems; and is accordingly accomplished, and indeed, is a wonderful pretty woman. Here Sir Philip Frowde, who sat next to me..."

Samuel Pepys, society page reporter...

Tell us the Baron wears a monacle, Sam...Please?

"Husband?"

"Ja?"

"Who ist der mann eyeing our fine daughter? Der bug-eyed little one writing all der time? (Er sieht aus wie pervers)" whisper, nervous smile to Sam as he happens to 'look up' from the said fine daughter.

"Ja." Coldly eyes Sam. "He ist der the Clerk of the Acts. We haf a full dossier on him. Samuel Pepys, assigned his position in 1660 by his famous cousin the Earl of Sandwich. Married to Elisabeth, a beauty, half French...Possibly a closet Catholic. He ist able, mildly corruptable in daily affairs but unlikely to accept a genuine bribe, especially from a foreigner or politically questionable source."

"Dear...I only wanted to know if he is a pervert."

"Sorry. His sexual activities are generally normal, though he is given to some minor fetishes and rather promiscuous. No known venereal diseases but he has never impregnated his wife."

"Franz, someday you must tell me how der devil you get such information."

"I would then haf to kill you, dearest."

language hat   Link to this

"it being cold now in the mornings"

In mid-August?? But I'm glad of the results.

Mary   Link to this

"it being cold now in the mornings"

Like us in 2010, Pepys and 17th century London have been enjoying unusually hot summer weather. When the temperature suddenly drops to 15C (as it has here today) it feels jolly cold. We're frail creatures and only operate comfortably within a narrow range of temperature.

Fern   Link to this

When the cat's away,
It's off to the play.

Log in to post an annotation.

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