Wednesday 1 April 1668

Up, and to dress myself, and call as I use Deb. to brush and dress me …, and I to my office, where busy till noon, and then out to bespeak some things against my wife’s going into the country to-morrow, and so home to dinner, my wife and I alone, she being mighty busy getting her things ready for her journey, I all the afternoon with her looking after things on the same account, and then in the afternoon out and all alone to the King’s house, and there sat in an upper box, to hide myself, and saw “The Black Prince,” a very good play; but only the fancy, most of it, the same as in the rest of my Lord Orrery’s plays; but the dance very stately; but it was pretty to see how coming after dinner and with no company with me to talk to, and at a play that I had seen, and went to now not for curiosity but only idleness, I did fall asleep the former part of the play, but afterward did mind it and like it very well. Thence called at my bookseller’s, and took Mr. Boyle’s Book of Formes, newly reprinted, and sent my brother my old one. So home, and there to my chamber till anon comes Mr. Turner and his wife and daughter, and Pelling, to sup with us and talk of my wife’s journey to-morrow, her daughter going with my wife; and after supper to talk with her husband about the Office, and his place, which, by Sir J. Minnes’s age and inability, is very uncomfortable to him, as well as without profit, or certainty what he shall do, when Sir J. Minnes dies, which is a sad condition for a man that hath lived so long in the Office as Mr. Turner hath done. But he aymes, and I advise him to it, to look for Mr. Ackworth’s place, in case he should be removed. His wife afterwards did take me into my closet, and give me a cellar of waters of her own distilling for my father, to be carried down with my wife and her daughter to-morrow, which was very handsome. So broke up and to bed.

17 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The ellipsis hides how Pepys began this day

"Up, and to dress myself; and called, as I use, Deb to brush and dress me and there I did again as I did the last night con mi mano, but would have tocado su thing; but ella endeavored to prevent me con much modesty by putting su hand there about, which I was well pleased with and would not do too much, and so con great kindness dismissed la; and I to my office, where busy till noon, and then out to bespeak some things against my wife's going into the country tomorrow."

L&M text.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Does Sam never worry that one of these girls will tell Bess?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

And, Robert, Deb and Bess are about to embark on a long and possibly stressful stay in the country with Sam'l's Papa and who knows who else, where the interpersonal dynamics might get revelatory.

He is sooooo clueless.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

According to "The Century dictionary and cyclopedia," by William Dwight Whitney, a "cellar" in this case can be "A receptacle or case for bottles." He cites the Pepys passage above as a usage of this sense.

Found it here (sorry for the long URL):
http://books.google.com/books?id=U_FOAAAAYAAJ&p...

Mary   Link to this

The modern cellaret: a set of three spirits bottles, usually of cut glass, on a small, wooden stand. Designed to stand on a sideboard or side table.

Christopher Squire   Link to this

‘cellar, n.1 < Anglo-Norman celer . . classical Latin cellārium storeroom,
. . 3. A box, esp. one for holding drinks and glasses; a case of bottles, a cellaret. Obs. Cf. salt-cellar n., and note in etymology.
1603    Accts. Treasurer Scotl. f. 275v, in Dict. Older Sc. Tongue at Sellar,   Twa glas selleris coverit with selch skins to carie the drink in xxviii li.
. . 1668    S. Pepys Diary 1 Apr. (1976) IX. 145   His wife afterward did‥give me a cellar of waters of her own distilling.’ [OED]

It is pleasant to note that the word for this very important part of the civilised life has barely changed since it was coined 2000 years ago.And it has been very widely borrowed by the other non-Romance languages:

‘ . . Old Dutch kelleri, Old Saxon kellari, Old High German kellari, Old Icelandic kellari, Old Swedish, källare, Old Danish kæller . . ’

The cellaret is also called a tantalus, because it can be locked to stop the servants getting at it.

Iwan Griffiths   Link to this

Hello, I don't know if this is the place to ask this, I'm currently writing a dissertation on the significance of Pepys. I'm wondering if anyone is aware of a historian or and historiographical text which question the significance of Pepys and his diary?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Carl in Boston   Link to this

His wife afterwards did take me into my closet, and give me a cellar of waters of her own distilling
A noble experiment, worthy of the Royal Society. I wonder if she was making brandy or whiskey? I think brandy, as wine would have been easy to find and easy to distill. Whiskey would have been more difficult as she would have to make a mash of corn or rye, to make a beer, then distill the beer. She would have quite a good size still, to be producing enough spirit to give away. Maybe this is a test market for her.
if anyone is aware of a historian or and historiographical text which question the significance of Pepys and his diary?
As for this preposterous thought, I can't imagine any barbarian historian who would question the significance of Samuel Pepys. Impossible.

john   Link to this

"Does Sam never worry that one of these girls will tell Bess?"

This goes back to my ongoing query about the expected norms of behaviour towards domestics in that era. Is Sam an aberration or was this common with every young master?

Mary   Link to this

I don't think one could say that this was common with every young master, but was certainly an occupational hazard for many living-in maidservants and would remain so for another 200+ years.

A girl such as Deb Willet (an orphan whose sole family support seems to have been the aunt who arranged her employment at Seething Lane) would plainly be at greater risk of persistent moves of this sort than the better connected and supported Mary Mercer.

Mary tolerated a certain amount of personal attention from Sam but was not (or,rather, her mother was not) about to let herself be treated like a common apprentice when it came to a question of absenting herself from the house without permission. She, though dismissed by Elizabeth on this point, left the Pepys's employ with her dignity intact and the two families retained social ties.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Mercer is likewise a curious case...She actually seems to have become a close family friend, suggesting Bess regretted her burst of temper with her and made some sort of amends. I can't believe one of the household girls Sam's dallied with hasn't dropped a word or two which suggests Sam and Bess have a tacit agreement that so long as his fooling is not threatening to her status she'll close eyes to it. On the other hand, she must cherish the fact that Sam married her for wild, uncalculated passion and love and perhaps she really is nervous but uncertainly clueless as to his "activities". If so, Mary Mercer and several Pepysian household maids are very kind ladies indeed.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Too bad about the cellar...It conjured such visions of John Sr. with enough moonshine to turn the Brampton place into an inn.

***
So all that gold is still waiting patiently at Brampton, isn't it? Amazing that Sam hasn't freaked and raced there before long now to dig it up. Rather touching that he hasn't the sightest concern that any of those who are in the know would consider betraying him...Hey, men and women have killed for much less.

Of course it might explain why Bess seems surprisingly willing to go to Brampton this spring...One would think it would take wild horses to drag her after last time.

"You seem very eager to see Brampton again, Bess?"

"Oh, I just love being in the country, Sam'l...Ummn will Dick Gibson being coming up with me?"

"No...'Dick' will not." Mental note to Hewer cancelling Mr. Gibson's trip to guide Bess to Brampton.

Damn...I'll just have to kill the old man alone and carry the gold myself to the coast, then send for sweet Dick, Bess sighs.

"I do believe I have good news, Bess. I think I can accompany you this time. I need to look the place over." And get my gold, you scheming...

Damn...Now I'll have to kill two men. Still...Narrow look at Sam followed by beaming smile...There's surely be a certain pleasure in at least one of them. And I know someone who'd be only too glad to assist for a share...

"Perhaps Mary Mercer could ride up with us as well...She's such good company, Sam'l."

And handy with a club and a shovel...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Uh...Bess?"

"Sam'l...I'm busy getting things together with Deb."

"Yes...Ummn...I was wondering. Deb...Didn't by any chance happen to mention...Ummn?"

"Sam'l?"

"I mean, just by any chance...Some foolishness...The other night that I engaged in...That such a young girl might possibly...By chance...Taken in a completely wrong way?"

"Sam'l..." fond smile... "You know I would never take such foolishness seriously...Even if Deb took it in a completely wrong way. Don't let it trouble you..." pat.

At least until we get to Brampton and I get my hands on that gold and an ax...You little...Grim look as Sam happily heads for his study, all concerns fled...Such a lucky man, am I to have such an understanding spouse.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Meanwhile, in Brampton...

A dignified visiting Pall takes queenly tone as befitting a married woman.

"So, me esteemed brother and his wife should be comin' soon to spend time, Father?"

"Tis so, daughter." John Sr. nods.

"'ll be a good thing to have Mr. Pepys with us from London. News of the world and the great city, eh? And the family all together." Jackson notes respectfully.

"Ay." John nods.

"Tis a wicked place, London but he has prospered there...As did you, certainly, Father Pepys."

"Ay. Well enough."

"But good Mr. Pepys'll be seein' to the land here, as he is due to come into the place one day, eh, Father Pepys?"

"Ay. When I be laid in my grave."

"Long years for that, we pray, eh Pall? But, Father Pepys, I would speak with Mr. Pepys as to the look of the ground in the garden...Tis not lookin' to my mind as it should."

"In the garden?"

"Aye, FAther Pepys...Has a bad look to it the ground does...You bein' a man of the city most of yer life, you may not be noting it but to a local man, a farmer like me..."

"I'm sure there's nothing serious there..."

"Oh, but my John reads the land like a book, Father..." Pall beaming at Jackson. "You ought to see him on our land..."

"Ay? Well, there's no need to trouble yourself, Mr. Jackson. I'll mention it to Samuel when he comes."

"It's as if there be something foul in the land herself, Father Pepys. Perhaps I should dig it up a bit and..."

"No need, boy...No need. Samuel will see to it when he comes. Now I see it's gettin' on and you two should be..."

"Tis hard work for a city man...I should be glad to help with it. Just a little turning over the soil to see if there's something foul beneath...Mayhaps an animal carcasse or..."

"Yes, yes...I'll mention it to Samuel. Now you two should be off before it gets too late..."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Of course most came up in October 67 but he'd thought there was still a bit left.

Mary   Link to this

Sam's peccadilloes

I'm not sure that our friend would have had the gall to preempt the attitude of Winston Churchill's father. When detected in 'crime' by his wife, Lord Randolph Churchill protested,
"But what does the occasional cook or housemaid matter?"

nix   Link to this

"but it was pretty to see how coming after dinner and with no company with me to talk to, and at a play that I had seen, and went to now not for curiosity but only idleness, I did fall asleep the former part of the play, but afterward did mind it and like it very well" --

The First Act Nod -- another aspect of life that hasn't changed in 350 years. Happens to me pretty much every time I go to the theater or concert hall (unless one of my kids is performing, of course).

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