Monday 21 December 1668

My own coach carrying me and my boy Tom, who goes with me in the room of W. Hewer, who could not, and I dare not go alone, to the Temple, and there set me down, the first time my fine horses ever carried me, and I am mighty proud of them, and there took a hackney and to White Hall, where a Committee of Tangier, but little to do, and so away home, calling at the Exchange and buying several little things, and so home, and there dined with my wife and people and then she, and W. Hewer, and I by appointment out with our coach, but the old horses, not daring yet to use the others too much, but only to enter them, and to the Temple, there to call Talbot Pepys, and took him up, and first went into Holborne, and there saw the woman that is to be seen with a beard. She is a little plain woman, a Dane: her name, Ursula Dyan; about forty years old; her voice like a little girl’s; with a beard as much as any man I ever saw, black almost, and grizly; they offered to shew my wife further satisfaction if she desired it, refusing it to men that desired it there, but there is no doubt but by her voice she is a woman; it begun to grow at about seven years old, and was shaved not above seven months ago, and is now so big as any man’s almost that ever I saw; I say, bushy and thick. It was a strange sight to me, I confess, and what pleased me mightily. Thence to the Duke’s playhouse, and saw “Macbeth.” The King and Court there; and we sat just under them and my Lady Castlemayne, and close to the woman that comes into the pit, a kind of a loose gossip, that pretends to be like her, and is so, something. And my wife, by my troth, appeared, I think, as pretty as any of them; I never thought so much before; and so did Talbot and W. Hewer, as they said, I heard, to one another. The King and Duke of York minded me, and smiled upon me, at the handsome woman near me but it vexed me to see Moll Davis, in the box over the King’s and my Lady Castlemayne’s head, look down upon the King, and he up to her; and so did my Lady Castlemayne once, to see who it was; but when she saw her, she looked like fire; which troubled me. The play done, took leave of Talbot, who goes into the country this Christmas, and so we home, and there I to work at the office late, and so home to supper and to bed.

8 Annotations

Larry Bunce  •  Link

"in the room of"... I hadn't seen this usage before, so I looked it up. I found a dictionary by John Walker published in 1823 that defined "instead" as "in room of."

languagehat  •  Link

It's the same as modern "in the place of."

JKM  •  Link

Not a word about the play? He's too busy looking at who's who, who's where, and who's looking like fire!

Brandon Craig Rhodes  •  Link

Why take a hackney to White Hall, instead of being driven all the way there in his own coach? Because his horses are still being broken and he did not want to push his luck — or because a hackney was a more politic way to approach the Hall than in his own coach at this point?

Carl in Boston  •  Link

And my wife, by my troth, appeared, I think, as pretty as any of them
"By my troth" yea, verily, and a pox and a murrain on all who gainsay this.

Claire  •  Link

Can't help but think of Groucho Marx and Lydia the Tattooed Lady.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The King and Duke of York minded me, and smiled upon me, at the handsome woman near me..."

Apparently Sam is no longer afraid of being seen indulging himself a little...And by the bosses of bosses...

Was that the Castlemaine clone, "the woman who comes into the pit"...Interesting image...Or Bess whom the Stuart boys smiled upon...

"Barbados, your Grace? As the new governor?..."
Sam blinks.

"Only one man in England can put things right there, Pepys...That man is You. Of course we wouldn't expect your lovely and delicate wife to accompany you for the term...We'll see that she's kept...Er, quite comfortably here."

"Quite comfortably, Pepys." Charles nods.

Hmmn...Would have to be Barbados...I still get those threatening anomynous letters from there every month, no doubt Wayneman Birch still nursing vengenance.

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