Thursday 6 February 1667/68

Up, and to the office, where all the morning,, and among other things Sir H. Cholmly comes to me about a little business, and there tells me how the Parliament, which is to meet again to-day, are likely to fall heavy on the business of the Duke of Buckingham’s pardon; and I shall be glad of it: and that the King hath put out of the Court the two Hides, my Lord Chancellor’s two sons, and also the Bishops of Rochester and Winchester, the latter of whom should have preached before him yesterday, being Ash Wednesday, and had his sermon ready, but was put by; which is great news: He gone, we sat at the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, and my wife being gone before, I to the Duke of York’s playhouse; where a new play of Etherige’s, called “She Would if she Could;” and though I was there by two o’clock, there was 1000 people put back that could not have room in the pit: and I at last, because my wife was there, made shift to get into the 18d. box, and there saw; but, Lord! how full was the house, and how silly the play, there being nothing in the world good in it, and few people pleased in it. The King was there; but I sat mightily behind, and could see but little, and hear not all. The play being done, I into the pit to look (for) my wife, and it being dark and raining, I to look my wife out, but could not find her; and so staid going between the two doors and through the pit an hour and half, I think, after the play was done; the people staying there till the rain was over, and to talk with one another. And, among the rest, here was the Duke of Buckingham to-day openly sat in the pit; and there I found him with my Lord Buckhurst, and Sidly, and Etherige, the poet; the last of whom I did hear mightily find fault with the actors, that they were out of humour, and had not their parts perfect, and that Harris did do nothing, nor could so much as sing a ketch in it; and so was mightily concerned while all the rest did, through the whole pit, blame the play as a silly, dull thing, though there was something very roguish and witty; but the design of the play, and end, mighty insipid. At last I did find my wife staying for me in the entry; and with her was Betty Turner, Mercer, and Deb. So I got a coach, and a humour took us, and I carried them to Hercules Pillars, and there did give them a kind of a supper of about 7s., and very merry, and home round the town, not through the ruines; and it was pretty how the coachman by mistake drives us into the ruines from London-wall into Coleman Street: and would persuade me that I lived there. And the truth is, I did think that he and the linkman had contrived some roguery; but it proved only a mistake of the coachman; but it was a cunning place to have done us a mischief in, as any I know, to drive us out of the road into the ruines, and there stop, while nobody could be called to help us. But we come safe home, and there, the girls being gone home, I to the office, where a while busy, my head not being wholly free of my trouble about my prize business, I home to bed. This evening coming home I did put my hand under the coats of Mercer and did touch her thigh, but then she did put by my hand and no hurt done, but talked and sang and was merry.

16 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Feb: 6. 1667/8. Dr. Lower of Horses blindnesse Registred)

Dr Crone [ ] wind[-gathering] vessell) which was Examind and orderd to be Improued according to the suggestions made by mr Hook and to be brought in thus improued the next meeting.

Letter About clays from Worcestershire) committed to the care of mr Hooke. enterd)( curator produced a Letter sent from Balsora Ian: 6. 1665/6. written by mr Henry powell giuing account of a strange earthquake in those parts orderd to be entred. (Norwood to be written to)

Oldenburg produced Stenos book calld musculi Descriptio Geometrica
[ ] deliuerd to Crone) Printed account of transfusion on madman at Paris.

E[xpts] for N[ext] D[ay]. Gold heauier by [mercury] penetrating its pores. 2 timpanum of Doggs care to be cutt 3 compression on shin fish .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

William Sydenham to Ormond
Written from: Chilworthy
Date: 6 February 1668

Lord Andover [ in MS.: "Lord Andever" - i.e. Charles Howard then Viscount Andover by courtesy, who in 1669 became Earl of Berkshire on his father's death ], in conversation with the writer (after many preliminary inquiries about the Duke of Ormond) ... told him that he "had, in his hands, many depositions against his Grace; the main drift" of which was to "divide [so in MS.] him and the Duke of Buckingham". ... If his Grace will write him, Andover, a letter (through the hands of this present writer) he will give "all the particulars". ... "My Lord", adds Sydenham, "these are times to neglect no opportunity of self-preservation; especially when we see great men's ruin is almost every man's aim." ...


My Lord", adds Sydenham, "these are times to neglect no opportunity of self-preservation; especially when we see great men's ruin is almost every man's aim." ...


"Ormonde soon became the mark for attack from all that was worst in the court. Buckingham especially did his utmost to undermine his influence. Ormonde's almost irresponsible government of Ireland during troubled times was open to criticism. He had billeted soldiers on civilians, and had executed martial law. He was threatened by Buckingham with impeachment.",_1st_...

Moreover, Buckingham's large land-holdings in the West of England made him a natural protectionist against importing cattle from Ireland, of which Ormond was Lord-Lieutenant.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"The ruines"

Large tracts of Brisbane are similarly ruined and deserted awaiting rebuilding at present. I find it very sad to drive past them, but Sam is more robust - it's just a nuisance to be driven around.

Margaret  •  Link

"This evening coming home I did put my hand under the coats of Mercer and did touch her thigh..."


Eric Walla  •  Link

"... but no hurt done ..."--how sure are we that the women don't just wait for a favourable moment to share details of the men's misdeeds? The recipient of this intelligence may not take action on each report, but could collect grievances for a future date, when they may be used for best effect ...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Mercer is being really sensible here. Let's hope Sam understands and leaves her alone. On past evidence, of course........

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"the coachman by mistake drives us into the ruines from London-wall into Coleman Street: and would persuade me that I lived there."
Sounds like material for an excellent Monty Python sketch.

martinb  •  Link

"the ruines... just a nuisance to be driven around".

On the evidence of this entry, the ruins may be more than a mere nuisance to Pepys. They seem to loom in his mind as an ideal or "cunning place to have done us a mischief in", a kind of extended unlit corner or criminals' den right in the centre of town. A heart of darkness, even: not just a reminder of what happened and could happen again, but also the scene of all sorts of uncivilised behaviour. His reaction to getting a sudden glimpse of it on this dark and rainy night is characteristic too -- the thigh, the talk, the song, the merriness...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the King hath put out of the Court the two Hides, my Lord Chancellor’s two sons, and also the Bishops of Rochester and Winchester"

L&M note Clarendon "sons Henry, Viscount Cornbuty, and Laurence Hyde -- resp. Lord Chamberlain to the Queen and Mast of Robes to the King -- were dismissed the court, but, thanks to the Duke of York, did not lose their posts. The bishops -- Dolben of Rochester (Clerk of the Closet) and Morley of Winchester (Dean of the Chapel Royal) -- were both dismissed from their court offices...."

Australian Susan  •  Link

"the ruines" to me represent so many, many lost homes and wrecked lives - i suppose all this is very sharp to me at the moment living in Brisbane with 20,000 ruined homes - several of my friends have lost their homes or businesses to the terrible flood last month. It makes the devastation wrought by the 1666 fire very clearly in focus.

Mary  •  Link

the ruines.

Sam's distrust of venturing through the ruins at night is hardly surprising. The bombed-out remains of parts of London's East End could seem similarly threatening in the 1940s.

martinb  •  Link

Pepys would've understood Rose Macaulay's The World My Wilderness, or parts of it at least. Come to that, so would many other bombed-out Europeans living in ruined towns and cities from 1618 on...

nix  •  Link

the ruines.

My thoughts run to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

And my sympathy to Australian Susan -- with thanks for your safety.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, a pity Wayneman Birch wasn't lurking in that out-of-the-way patch of ruins, awaiting his chance to turn Sam into a meat pie but there must be quite a few neat tales, mostly legends but some true or partly true, particularly of naive out-of-London-towners, come to see the tourist attraction of ruins and then robbed or gutted.

"So then ladies, the carriage turns...Mr and Mrs. Grumpetkit completely unaware that they are being led to their gorey doom. Actually there's quite a neat ballad making the rounds now... 'O, Bloody Mike, the cabman...'"

"Enough, Sam'l! It's not funny here. And why are we going this way anyway?"

"What way?" Sam looks out... Oh, my...Whacks the roof.

"Driver? Why are we going this way?"

"This isn't the way." Mercer shakes head. Bess looking out...Oh, my...Nothing but devastation...

"Sam'l?! This can't be the way?!"

"Driver! Say, driver...This isn't the way to our house."

"This be yer way..." laconically grim reply.

"Oh, I want to get out..." Mercer, nervously.

Deb simply blanching...

"Sam'l? Do something..." Bess hisses.

"What? Drive? Driver!! I say, driver!! You're going the wrong way!!"

"Tis the right way fer ye..." laconically grim reply...

"You had to tell us that story..." Bess, fuming... "I want to go home now!"

"Driver?!!! Be ye deaf?!! I say you are going the wrong way!!!"

"Oh, we're sure to be murdered!!" Mercer, anxiously.

"Stop!!! Stop right now, I say!!!" Sam cries. "Do I have my sword?" to Bess...

"Remember...You were stabbing yourself with it so I put it under the seat?..." Bess, dryly. Roll of eyes at though of Sam engaging coachman and accomplices.

Coach stops...Hmmn...

Sam out, loud words with now apologetic driver...Was quite sure, sir...

"All right..." Bess nods to Mercer who moves to her side.

"Thanks...And thank the driver later for me?" Mercer sighs.

"Ole Harry's a lamb. Thanks for giving me the signal my little octopus is on the grabbus again." Bess nods.

Deb staring...

"Was it wrong for Mr. Pepys to be puttin' his hand on Mary's thigh, mum?"

"Only if he wants to keep his hand, dear." Bess, grimly.

Mercer eyeing the solemnly still Deb...Hmmn...So, it's wrong?



Robert Gertz  •  Link

Mercer's very kind...Especially considering she's had trouble with Bess in the past. On the other hand, I can imagine she'd rather not blow her relationship with the free-spending Pepyses...Free plays, coach rides, dinners out...Simply to hurt Bess so long as Sam takes hints without too much trouble.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam's behavior of picking on women on a sliding scale of social position/protection makes a great plug for sexual harassment laws with teeth. He'd never even think of approaching Lady Jemina...Lady Batten, no way (though it's reasonable to assume she's attractive#...Betty Pierce, just on the opposite side of the social spectrum, hands off but if she lacked those constant pregnancies or if James passed on, I'd say there'd be a far chance...Meg Penn, just on the edge, with the pleasure of revenge on Admiral Sir Will by hitting on his daughter perhaps pushing Sam over #but nothing too dangerous or without some degree of consent#...Knipp, independent and placed well enough to say no or at least require consent but willing and definitely low enough on the scale to be pursued safely...Mercer, her servant position once made her more vulnerable, now she finds it easier to say no, thanks #and Sam reluctantly backs off)...Betty Martin, similar to Knipp but less likely to be able to defend if Sam really wanted to force himself...Burroughs, poor Bagwell, almost no defence or protection and Sam takes all he can get. While social position is important, the bottom line is protection...If Sam thinks a woman has protection (whether a well-placed husband or a long hatpin) and do him harm, he'll back off...If not, well...He's not a brute but he can come dangerously close. Sexual harassment laws with real threat of punishment would work very well on our hero.

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