Sunday 20 September 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and to set some papers to rights in my chamber, and the like in my office, and so to church, at our own church, and heard but a dull sermon of one Dr. Hicks, who is a suitor to Mrs. Howell, the widow of our turner of the Navy; thence home to dinner, staying till past one o’clock for Harris, whom I invited, and to bring Shadwell the poet with him; but they come not, and so a good dinner lost, through my own folly. And so to dinner alone, having since church heard the boy read over Dryden’s Reply to Sir R. Howard’s Answer, about his Essay of Poesy, and a letter in answer to that; the last whereof is mighty silly, in behalf of Howard.1 Thence walked forth and got a coach and to visit Mrs. Pierce, with whom, and him, I staid a little while, and do hear how the Duchesse of Monmouth is at this time in great trouble of the shortness of her lame leg, which is likely to grow shorter and shorter, that she will never recover it. Thence to St. Margaret’s Church, thinking to have seen Betty Michell, but she was not there. So back, and walked to Gray’s Inn walks a while, but little company; and so over the fields to Clerkenwell, to see whether I could find that the fair Botelers do live there still, I seeing Frances the other day in a coach with Cary Dillon, her old servant, but know not where she lives. So walked home, and there walked in the garden an hour, it being mighty pleasant weather, and so took my Lady Pen and Mrs. Markham home with me and sent for Mrs. Turner, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen and supped with me, a good supper, part of my dinner to-day. They gone, Mrs. Turner staid an hour talking with me … So parted, and I to bed.

  1. The title of the letter is as follows: “A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honourable Ed. Howard, Esq., occasioned by a Civiliz’d Epistle of Mr. Dryden’s before his Second Edition of his Indian Emperour. In the Savoy, printed by Thomas Newcomb, 1668.” The “Civiliz’d Epistle” was a caustic attack on Sir Robert Howard; and the Letter is signed, “Sir, your faithful and humble servant, R. F.” — i.e., Richard Flecknoe.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Pepys 'business' elided above.

"They gone, Mrs. Turner staid an hour talking with me and yo did now the first time tocar her cosa with my hand and did make her do the like con su hand to my thing, whereto neither did she show any aversion really, but a merry kind of opposition, but yo did both [*] and yo do believe I might have hecho la cosa too mit her.[*] So parted, and I to bed. "

* garbled shorthand. (L&M)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honourable Ed. Howard, Esq., occasioned by a Civiliz'd Epistle of Mr. Dryden's before his Second Edition of his Indian Emperour. In the Savoy, printed by Thomas Newcomb, 1668."
http://catalog.huntington.org/search~S0/X?A+let...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...particularly to my cozen Roger, who, W. Hewer and my wife writes me, do use them with mighty plenty and noble entertainment."

"I've just heard, from my poor Sam...
Says office politics have got him slammed..."

"Well, did you ever? Say, what a swell party this is..."

(Roger, aside)
“Have you heard the story of…
Pepys, a girl , and somewhat requitted love?
Now, did you ever?
What a swell party this is!” (ah, cousin Bess…Ahem...Ummn...)


"We've had the fire, we've had the plague...Now we're likely to be governed from the Hague."

"Well, did you ever? (Hic...Will, another ale.) What a swell party this is"

“Have you heard, amoung our Naval clan
Peter Pett is called 'The forgotten man'?"

"Well, did you evah? (Hic)
What a swell party this is!”


“What frills, what frocks!
Those patches, they rock!” (Bess, pointing)
(Ma’am…Hewer, nervously…What will Mr. P. say?)

“What gaiety!
It's all to exquis!
That French champagne!
So good for the brain!
That bands, it's the end!
Kindly don't fall down, cousin.”

“Have you heard? Robert Hooke…
Read his wife and divorced his book.
Well, did you ever?
What a swell party this is!”

“Have you heard? The actress Knepp
Crossed the bridge when the bridge was dipped.” (Hewer, trying to join in, wincing at Bess’ glare.)

“Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!”

“It's great, it's grand!
It's wonderland!
What soup, what fish!
That beef, what a dish!
That venison pasty, so neat!
Pity Sam missed the treat!”

“Have you heard that widowed Lady Batten
Has gone to the somewhat fatten?"
(Mingo likes em plump, I hear)

“Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!”

“And have you heard? It's in the stars,
Next July we collide with Mars!”(Only thing left to do us in, after all)
“Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!”

“Yes, what a swellagent, elagent party this is!”
(Will! Pot!! Oh!!!)

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"the shortness of her lame leg,which is likely to grow shorter and shorter"
I am not aware of any pathology that will do that!

Chris Squire   Link to this

DNB has: ' . . The Monmouths had in common only financial extravagance and a particular excellence in dancing, which was unhappily ended in May 1668 when Anna sustained a dislocated hip which lamed her for life . . '.

I think the leg-shortening is no more than ill-informed gossip. She died aged 80 in 1732, by which time the 1660s must have seemed as distant as the late '40s do to us now.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Thanks for the great musical interlude, Robert -- some very inventive rhymes!!

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Literary volleys

Dryden's "An Essay of Dramatick Poesie" for rhyme in drama
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/dram...

Robert Howard's reply to Dryden's essay
http://goo.gl/Ca7SF

Dryden's riposte was "A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honourable Ed. Howard, Esq., &c." read by his boy to Pepys after church.

Glyn   Link to this

"walked to Gray’s Inn walks a while, but little company"

The gardens around Gray's Inn were a place where people promenaded on Sunday in their most fashionable clothes, so Sam is going there to see if there are any pretty ladies to look at. I'm fairly sure that he and Elizabeth have occasionally gone there together on Sunday afternoons to see the latest fashions. Because there aren't any fashion magazines this was probably a popular thing to do, although not on this particular day.

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