Thursday 12 September 1667

Up, and at the office all the morning till almost noon, and then I rode from the office (which I have not done five times I think since I come thither) and to the Exchequer for some tallies for Tangier; and that being done, to the Dog taverne, and there I spent half a piece upon the clerks, and so away, and I to Mrs. Martin’s, but she not at home, but staid and drunk with her sister and landlady, and by that time it was time to go to a play, which I did at the Duke’s house, where “Tu Quoque” was the first time acted, with some alterations of Sir W. Davenant’s; but the play is a very silly play, methinks; for I, and others that sat by me, Mr. Povy and Mr. Progers, were weary of it; but it will please the citizens. My wife also was there, I having sent for her to meet me there, and W. Hewer. After the play we home, and there I to the office and despatched my business, and then home, and mightily pleased with my wife’s playing on the flageolet, she taking out any tune almost at first sight, and keeping time to it, which pleases me mightily. So to supper and to bed.

12 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"it will please the citizens . . . my wife’s playing on the flageolet, she taking out any tune almost at first sight, and keeping time to it, which pleases me mightily." We all have our little pleasures, Mr. Pepys, even if we are just citizens. Was there some narrower definition of that term at the time? or wouldn't that also include Sam?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Indeed, Bradford: what did Pepys regard himself if not "a citizen"?

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=citi...

JWB   Link to this

"...but it will please the citizens."

But will it play in Peoria?

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘ . . it will please the citizens.’ = the opposite of ‘Caviar to the general’:

‘Hamlet: Come give us a taste of your quality, come, a passionate speech.
1st Player: What speech, my good lord?
Hamlet: I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted, or if it was, not above once; for the play, I remember, pleas'd not the million, 'twas caviare to the general. But it was, as I receiv'd it —and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of mine—an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. (Hamlet Act 2, sc 2)

"Caviar to the general" is not a delicacy prepared for the commanding officer. Like "pearls before swine," it refers to quality unbefitting those who partake in it. The "general" are the multitude—Hamlet's "million," too numerous and too vulgar to grasp the "quality" of an excellent stage play.
http://www.enotes.com

Paul Chapin   Link to this

THANK YOU, Christopher Squire. I have been misinterpreting that phrase my entire life.

cum salis grano   Link to this

OED
1. The roe of the sturgeon and other large fish obtained from lakes and rivers of the east of Europe, pressed and salted, and eaten as a relish.

({alpha}) cavialy, caviarie, and allied forms:
1591 G. FLETCHER Russe Commw. (1857) 12 Of Ickary or cavery, a great quantitie is made upon the river of Volgha
....
a1616 BEAUM. & FL. Passion. Madm. v. 353 (N.) Laugh{em}wide{em}loud{em}and vary{em}..One that ne'er tasted caveare.
1616 BULLOKAR, Cauearee, strange meate like blacke sope.
1620 SKELTON Quix. IV. xiii. 103 Black Meat called Caviary, made of Fishes Eggs.

1626 BACON Sylva §835 Red-Herrings, Caueary, Parmizan, &c.
1639 NABBES Spring's Glory, Anchoves & Caveary.
1655 MOUFET & BENNET Health's Improv. (1746) 264 As for Cavialy..the Italian Proverb will euer be true..He that eateth of Cavialies, Eateth Salt, Dung, and Flies.

....
({beta}) caviare, caviar, etc., of 3 or 2 syllables.
1620 E. BLOUNT Observ. & Disc. (N.), That the only delicacies be mushrooms, caveare, or snails.
1624 CAPT. SMITH Virginia VI. 211 Cauiare and Puttargo. 1628 WITHER Brit. Rememb. I. 345 Caveär, and twenty such like bables.

1663 R. HEAD Hic et Ubique 24 Potargo, Cavere, Olives and such like.

............ b. The circumstance that caviare is generally unpalatable to those who have not acquired a taste for it, is referred to by Shakespeare in a phrase which has become one of the commonplaces of literary quotation and allusion.

1602 SHAKES. Ham. II. ii. 457 For the Play I remember pleas'd not the Million, 'twas Cauiarie to the Generall: but it was..an excellent Play.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...time to go to a play..."?

Sam awarding himself this after distinguished service during wartime or what?

“Tu Quoque” and its "citizens" appeal...Oh, I dunno Addison de Witt Pepys, some Bardolators might think a bit snooty from a fellow who perfers "Adventure of Five Hours" to "Othello", but to each his own.

***
Mrs. Martin's...

"Sir..." Polite tap at window from the forgotten clerks tagging along.

"Oh, go back, lads." Sam sighs, waving the group off.

"Not much to see today anyway with Betty not at home..." one notes.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...and then I rode from the office #which I have not done five times I think since I come thither#..."

Heigh-ho, Samuel...I wonder if he did mean on horseback rather than coach...And if so, how'd he happen to do it? Obviously you don't just have a rent-a-horse outside Seething Lane...Or do you? And if Minnes, Batten, Penn, or perhaps Sir Richard Ford was in a lending horse mood, seems odd Sam didn't comment on it. "Sir W. Penn lent me a horse, a mean thing, barely standing, and with saddle and bridle so poorly furnished that I took no pleasure in it."

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Take your choice of rides, Robert: there are stables and coach yards aplenty off Poor Jewry. just a stroll NE of the Navy Office, which is in the next segment W of the Rocque map.

http://www.motco.com/map/81002/SeriesSearchPlat...

cum salis grano   Link to this

This was the up an coming century for providing new toys for the up and coming, there be many enterprising people that found ways for making a living , gone are the days when you could get a crust at "Me Lauds", had to find new schemes for becoming the next millionaire..

Literature then as now is usually interested only in the shenanigans of the "riche and the infamous", not the practical means of living.
They even had windows for carriages with blinds to prevent the hoi polloi from staring with evil lenses of eyes on the undoings of human.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... but the play is a very silly play, methinks; for I, and others that sat by me, Mr. Povy and Mr. Progers, were weary of it; but it will please the citizens."

Povy and Rogers both held posts associated with the Court, as did SP, and I assume Pepys attributes to all three a degree of reflected gentility and sophistication greater than that of the average freeman; the 'type' of the dashing courtier versus the dull cit was a commonplace of the stage of the day. Pepys himself was also a 'citizen and Clothworker of London'
http://www.clothworkers.co.uk/The-Company/Compa...

cgs   Link to this

not all Angle Saxons that walk the streets and slept in there own house need be one, there be those that have more privileges and those with less privileges , bumkins.

citizen
OED
1. An inhabitant of a city or (often) of a town; esp. one possessing civic rights and privileges, a burgess or freeman of a city.
c1314...
1556 Chron. Gr. Friars (1852) 16 The kynge [Hen. VI.] came to London, & there was worchippfully reseved of the cittesens in whytt gownes & redde whoddes.
1596 SHAKES. Tam. Shr. IV. ii. 95 Pisa renowned for graue Citizens.
a1674 CLARENDON Hist. Reb. (1704) III. xv. 472 You, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of the House of Commons.

c. A townsman, as opposed to a countryman.
1514 BARCLAY Cyt. & Uplondyshm. Prol., Faustus accused and blamed cytezyns, Amyntas blamed the rurall men agayne.

d. A civilian as distinguished from a soldier; in earlier times also distinguished from a member of the landed nobility or gentry. Johnson says ‘a man of trade, not a gentleman’.
1607 SHAKES. Cor. III. iii. 53 When he speakes not like a Citizen You finde him like a Soldier. 1871 [see CITIZENHOOD].

.....
1625 BACON Ess. Goodness, etc. (Arb.) 207 If a Man be Gracious, and Courteous to Strangers, it shewes, he is a Citizen of the World.
4. adj. = CITIZENISH, city-bred. nonce-use.
1611 SHAKES. Cymb. IV. ii. 8, I am not well: But not so Citizen a wanton, as To seeme to dye, ere sicke.
...
a1699 A. HALKETT Autobiog. (1875) 20 Furnished by an honest Cittisen.

4. adj. = CITIZENISH, city-bred. nonce-use.
1611 SHAKES. Cymb. IV. ii. 8, I am not well: But not so Citizen a wanton, as To seeme to dye, ere sicke.

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