Friday 15 January 1668/69

Up, and by coach to Sir W. Coventry, where with him a good while in his chamber, talking of one thing or another; among others, he told me of the great factions at Court at this day, even to the sober engaging of great persons, and differences, and making the King cheap and ridiculous. It is about my Lady Harvy’s being offended at Doll Common’s acting of Sempronia, to imitate her; for which she got my Lord Chamberlain, her kinsman, to imprison Doll: when my Lady Castlemayne made the King to release her, and to order her to act it again, worse than ever, the other day, where the King himself was: and since it was acted again, and my Lady Harvy provided people to hiss her and fling oranges at her: but, it seems the heat is come to a great height, and real troubles at Court about it. Thence he and I out of doors, but he to Sir J. Duncomb, and I to White Hall through the Park, where I met the King and the Duke of York, and so walked with them, and so to White Hall, where the Duke of York met the office and did a little business; and I did give him thanks for his favour to me yesterday, at the Committee of Tangier, in my absence, Mr. Povy having given me advice of it, of the discourse there of doing something as to the putting the payment of the garrison into some undertaker’s hand, Alderman Backewell, which the Duke of York would not suffer to go on, without my presence at the debate. And he answered me just thus: that he ought to have a care of him that do the King’s business in the manner that I do, and words of more force than that. Then down with Lord Brouncker to Sir R. Murray, into the King’s little elaboratory, under his closet, a pretty place; and there saw a great many chymical glasses and things, but understood none of them. So I home and to dinner, and then out again and stop with my wife at my cozen Turner’s where I staid and sat a while, and carried The. and my wife to the Duke of York’s house, to “Macbeth,” and myself to White Hall, to the Lords of the Treasury, about Tangier business; and there was by at much merry discourse between them and my Lord Anglesey, who made sport of our new Treasurers, and called them his deputys, and much of that kind. And having done my own business, I away back, and carried my cozen Turner and sister Dyke to a friend’s house, where they were to sup, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields; and I to the Duke of York’s house and saw the last two acts, and so carried The. thither, and so home with my wife, who read to me late, and so to supper and to bed. This day The. Turner shewed me at the play my Lady Portman, who has grown out of my knowledge.

15 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

...and there saw a great many chymical glasses and things, but understood none of them..." Ye olde Meth lab eh, Charlie?

A pity we don't get the witty if bratty The Turner's take on "Macbeth" from Sam...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Not to mention Theophilia being a bright girl, I wonder if she'd noticed Sam and Bess having any troubles between them...Though with the Pepys, one day Bess is ready to let rip with hot tongs, the next Sam is expressing puzzlement at how poorly other couples get along when he and the Missus enjoy such contentment.

Stan Oram  •  Link

I never realised that a Laboratory was somewhere one went to 'elaborate' on an idea!

languagehat  •  Link

It's not; it's someplace one goes to work (Latin laborare). "Elaboratory" is a rival that appeared later, had some success, and died out in the nineteenth century.

Odd that he has nothing to say about "Macbeth"; offhand, I can't remember his mentioning a play he's seen without at least a brief commendation or condemnation.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and fling oranges at her"
It must have been orange peels,after all oranges besides being expensive could have hurt.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Interesting uses of the word "undertaker" here -- can anyone provide additional background on it? Likewise, can anyone provide an explanation of "grown out of my knowledge"?

Another example of James's loyalty to, and advocacy of, his man Pepys ... no wonder why Sam stuck by James's side when the going got tough in '88.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“undertaker” = contractor; parliamentary manager (L&M Select Glossary)

Michiel van der Leeuw  •  Link

There's something very wrong with the "oranges" link...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Anglesey...made sport of our new Treasurers, and called them his deputys"

L&M note Anglesey, suspended as Treasurer of the Navy, was not yet dismissed.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Anyone know what "grown out of my knowledge" means?

Thanks in advance...

AnnieC  •  Link

Todd, I took it to mean that she had put on so much weight that Sam didn't recognise her at first. Just guessing.

Bryan M  •  Link

“grown out of my knowledge”

The geneological website below has an entry on Sir John Cutler that states his daughter Elizabeth was probably born between 1643 and 1650. If Sam hadn't seen her for half a dozen or more years she would have grown from a teenager to young married woman.

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