Saturday 20 February 1668/69

Up, and all the morning at the office, and then home to dinner, and after dinner out with my wife and my two girls to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Gratefull Servant,” a pretty good play, and which I have forgot that ever I did see. And thence with them to Mrs. Gotier’s, the Queen’s tire-woman, for a pair of locks for my wife; she is an oldish French woman, but with a pretty hand as most I have seen; and so home, and to supper, W. Batelier and W. Hewer with us, and so my cold being great, and greater by my having left my coat at my tailor’s to-night and come home in a thinner that I borrowed there, I went to bed before them and slept pretty well.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"“The Gratefull Servant,” a pretty good play, and which I have forgot that ever I did see"

Not quite: in fact Pepys never did see it before!

Chris Squire   Link to this

‘ . . lock, n.1 Etym: Old English loc . .
. . 1. b. A lovelock; also, a tress of artificial hair.
. . 1603 By-law Fraternity Eastland Co. of Soc. Eng. Russia Merchant-adventurers 10 Nov. in J. Brand Hist. & Antiq. Newcastle (1789) II. 232 [Apprentices shall not] weare their haire longe nor locks at their ears like ruffians.
1666 S. Pepys Diary 29 Oct. (1972) VII. 346 My wife (who is mighty fine, and with a new fair pair of locks) . . ‘

Jenny   Link to this

It must have been fun for Elizabeth to have the two girls staying. Young people in the house, chat about fashion and the girls' interests. Almost like being a mother.

Also funny to think about Sam spreading his cold far and wide. No idea about viruses then. Not that people are any better today - spreading their germs because of the all important need to stay at work, never mind who picks your germs up.

Jenny   Link to this

"forgot that ever I did see"

I think Sam is saying he can't remember if he's seen it or not.

Mark S   Link to this

On Thursday the girls went to see a play for the very first time, and obviously enjoyed it, and were later 'pretty merry, and very fine with their new clothes'.

The play they saw was 'The Mad Lover', so the next day they went to visit Bedlam to see what mad people are really like.

Now, the following day they are back at the playhouse watching another play. They seem to be having a great time visiting their rich 'uncle'.

languagehat   Link to this

"come home in a thinner that I borrowed there"

Anybody know what a "thinner" is? Neither the OED nor the L&M Companion volume is any help.

Don McCahill   Link to this

re: thinner

This is just a guess, but judging by context he left his heavier coat for repairs, and borrowed something thinner to come home in. London in February would be too chilly to have nothing but a shirt.

martinb   Link to this

a "thinner": I took this to mean a thinner coat than the one he left at the tailor's i.e. one that isn't so thick.

Allen Appel   Link to this

Am I the only one who stumbled over "the Queens tire-woman?" If so. forgive the repetition, but a tire-woman was one of the many women who helped the queen get dressed in the morning, handing out the correct clothes. There was even a queen's under-tire-woman. It is often spelled as one word, tirewoman. I assume the word springs from "attire."

"In the course of the day Madame de Lannoy, in her quality of tire-woman of the queen, looked for this casket, appeared uneasy at not finding it, and at length asked information of the queen. The Three Musketeers by Dumas

"Woe worth me when Agatha the tire-woman sets eyes upon it."
The White Company by Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

arby   Link to this

Thanks, Allen. Saved me from asking.

Allen Appel   Link to this

Which also leads me to ask, do you suppose the tire-woman had a little side business selling used queen's locks to the common folk?

pepfie   Link to this

tire-woman again

OED 2009 tire-woman
Also 7–8 tyre-.
[f. tire n.1 + woman.]
A woman who assists at a lady's toilet; a lady's maid (arch.); †also, a woman employed in the making or sale of women's clothing; a dressmaker, costumier (obs.).

... 1667[sic!] Pepys Diary 20 Feb., To Mrs. Grotier's, the Queen's tire-woman, for a pair of locks for my wife.   

Linda F   Link to this

Doubt the tire-woman was selling anything of the Queen's to anyone. Took "locks" to mean human hair made up into the curly bundles of hair that women of roughly this time period wore on either side of the head. Would save curling and dressing one's own locks each time.

P.S. Happy Mardi Gras to all!

Robert Gertz   Link to this

So it seems Sam is finally over his dislike of false hair on Bess...Or has given it up for the sake of the marital peace pact.

A bit amusing to think of our Sam going to bed before Bess and the guests...Age creeping up, old Samuel?

languagehat   Link to this

Thanks, Don and Martin; "a thinner coat than the one he left at the tailor’s" makes sense and is doubtless correct.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.