Saturday 6 February 1668/69

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and thence after dinner to the King’s playhouse, and there, — in an upper box, where come in Colonel Poynton and Doll Stacey, who is very fine, and, by her wedding-ring, I suppose he hath married her at last, — did see “The Moor of Venice:” but ill acted in most parts; Mohun, which did a little surprise me, not acting Iago’s part by much so well as Clun used to do; nor another Hart’s, which was Cassio’s; nor, indeed, Burt doing the Moor’s so well as I once thought he did. Thence home, and just at Holborn Conduit the bolt broke, that holds the fore-wheels to the perch, and so the horses went away with them, and left the coachman and us; but being near our coachmaker’s, and we staying in a little ironmonger’s shop, we were presently supplied with another, and so home, and there to my letters at the office, and so to supper and to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the bolt broke, that holds the fore-wheels to the perch, and so the horses went away with them, and left the coachman and us"

New details about Samuel Pepys's carriage (there are glass windows).

He took great care in buying those two black horses. I'm surprised he seems to see them run off with such apparent equanimity, or do I read this wrong?

GrahamT   Link to this

If the horses went away with the fore-wheels, the coachman is lucky he wasn't dragged or pitched from his seat. There must have been quite a jolt when the front end dropped to the ground. As Terry says, Pepys' equanamity is surprising. I hope the bolt was covered by his warranty!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Perhaps the horses were well trained enough by now to stop almost immediately after losing contact with the driver...That might have left Sam a bit more willing to bear all patiently. We know Bess has some sense of humor about these little disasters (the chamber pot incident early on) so perhaps she too took it in stride as no one seems to have been seriously hurt. After plague, fire, and Medway this has to seem rather minor to both Pepys though Sam would surely be troubled by the expense if the horses had been injured or done serious damage.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Heaven...

"You could have told them how the horses ran down Mr. Pembleton in the street and that the dragged carriage wheels went right over Admiral Sir Will Penn's gouty foot as he passed in the street." Bess notes.

"Who'd've believed my good fortune that day?" Sam, beaming.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"we staying in a little ironmonger’s shop, we were presently supplied with another"

An anecdote, brought to mind by the wait at the ironmongers until a loaner coach could be supplied. Related to me by the great nephew of the protagonists.

The poet Amy Lowell was an early adopter of the automobile and used one to travel around areas outside Boston. On one occasion the car broke down, fortuitously near a garage. When repairs were complete, she offered the mechanic a check for the bill. He protested, saying he did not know her and had no way of knowing if he would be paid when he presented the check. "My brother is president of Harvard," she replied. "Call him and he will verify my identity." So the garageman called Harvard and was (hard to believe) immediately put through to President Lowell. "There's a woman here who claims to be your sister and she wants to give me a large check in payment for repairs to her auto," he said. "Describe her to me," Mr. Lowell responded. "What is she doing at this moment?" The garageman, evidently both embarrased and offended, said, "She is sitting on the running board of her car, smoking the biggest, blackest cigar I've ever seen." "That's my sister!" said Mr. Lowell.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

and so the horses went away with them
The coachman still held the reins, and the horses wouldn't get very far before the bits in their mouths convinced them to stop. If the coachman dropped the reins, that's a different matter and we would have heard about it.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

So, we have an uncoupling of the joint and a jolt and a separation as "the horses went away with" the fore-wheels -- an event likely not as dramatic as I envisioned. I suppose, had the more dramatic event taken place, Pepys might have said "the horses ran away" or "ran off" with the fore-wheels (and the reins, perish forbid).

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Well, the Roman Empire was good for the Romans but it was hell for the Gauls,Lusitanians,Britons,Lusitanians,Egyptians etc.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Sorry that should have been yesterday.

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