Friday 4 September 1668

Up, and met at the Office all the morning; and at noon my wife, and Deb., and Mercer, and W. Hewer and I to the Fair, and there, at the old house, did eat a pig, and was pretty merry, but saw no sights, my wife having a mind to see the play “Bartholomew-Fayre,” with puppets. Which we did, and it is an excellent play; the more I see it, the more I love the wit of it; only the business of abusing the Puritans begins to grow stale, and of no use, they being the people that, at last, will be found the wisest. And here Knepp come to us, and sat with us, and thence took coach in two coaches, and losing one another, my wife, and Knepp, and I to Hercules Pillars, and there supped, and I did take from her mouth the words and notes of her song of “the Larke,” which pleases me mightily. And so set her at home, and away we home, where our company come home before us. This night Knepp tells us that there is a Spanish woman lately come over, that pretends to sing as well as Mrs. Knight; both of which I must endeavour to hear. So, after supper, to bed.

11 Annotations

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"did eat a pig"
Deb,Mercer,W.Hewer and Sam,each ate a quarter of a pig;amazing!

Mary  •  Link

"did eat a pig"

I suppose that it could have been a very small sucking pig, though I should have thought that such a delicacy might have been specified.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the more I see [Bartholomew Fayre ] , the more I love the wit of it; only the business of abusing the Puritans begins to grow stale, and of no use, they being the people that, at last, will be found the wisest "

Life imitates art, Pepys having seen the play 4 times in 1661 and once in 1664

"On stage, the Puritan is a hypocritical, judgmental, and long-winded figure, masking his lusts behind a vocal obsession with trivialities; Busy [a Puritan], for example, announces his intention to eat pork at the fair merely to refute the charges of "Judaism" he claims are leveled at Puritans, and he ends up consuming two whole pigs."

john  •  Link

"the Puritans [...] being the people that, at last, will be found the wisest."

What is this in reference to?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"the Puritans[...]being the people that,at last,will be found the wisest."
Well, the Salem,MA,witch trials would have been in the future.

JKM  •  Link

Wasn't Pepys himself a bit of a Puritan in his youth? This may be the source of his remark.

Mary  •  Link

Pepys was, of course, brought up in Puritan/republican times and retained into adulthood some of the attitudes and opinions that he had absorbed in youth. He was, for example, very shocked at the discovery that his own brother had fathered an illegitimate child. He also acknowledged (as here) that the plain dealing of the best of the Puritans had much to comment it when compared with the vanity of the Restoration court and government.

However, he gives no indication of ever having been amongst the straitest-laced of Puritans (cf. his delight in music and his experience of the kind of rapture that it could afford him) and demonsrated that the strict religious views of his mother could cause great disharmony in the household. Essentially he appears as a middle-of-the-road man in both politics and religion.

cgs  •  Link

The first 7 years leave their mark.

Australian Susan  •  Link

It was only music in worship services that Puritans objected to : Cromwell at his "Court" had music and dancing. They objected to all plays as well (which usually included singing and dancing preludes or postludes) as tending to lewdness: and, they were right about that - many of the plays of Charles II's reign were quite rude. Sam probably concealed his views from many, but his disgust at the behaviour of people at Court is mentioned many times in the Diary and his frustration that too often, Charles was distracted from "business" by silly frivolities.

Cactus Wren  •  Link

Does "pretends" in this context mean "claims"?

Mary  •  Link

Yes, as in The Old Pretender and The Young Pretender = claimant.

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