Monday 22 February 1668/69

Up, and betimes to White Hall; but there the Duke of York is gone abroad a-hunting, and therefore after a little stay there I into London, with Sir H. Cholmly, talking all the way of Tangier matters, wherein I find him troubled from some reports lately from Norwood (who is his great enemy and I doubt an ill man), of some decay of the Mole, and a breach made therein by the sea to a great value. He set me down at the end of Leadenhall Street, and so I home, and after dinner, with my wife, in her morning-gown, and the two girls dressed, to Unthanke’s, where my wife dresses herself, having her gown this day laced, and a new petticoat; and so is indeed very fine. And in the evening I do carry them to White Hall, and there did without much trouble get into the playhouse, there in a good place among the Ladies of Honour, and myself also sat in the pit; and there by and by come the King and Queen, and they begun “Bartholomew Fayre.” But I like no play here so well as at the common playhouse; besides that, my eyes being very ill since last Sunday and this day se’nnight, with the light of the candles, I was in mighty pain to defend myself now from the light of the candles. After the play done, we met with W. Batelier and W. Hewer and Talbot Pepys, and they follow us in a hackney-coach: and we all stopped at Hercules’ Pillars; and there I did give them the best supper I could, and pretty merry; and so home between eleven and twelve at night, and so to bed, mightily well pleased with this day’s work.

6 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Norwood (who is his great enemy and I doubt [ = fear] an ill man)"

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

"pretty merry; and so home between eleven and twelve at night, and so to bed, mightily well pleased with this day’s work."

I am happy to see Sam is recovering from the blues.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"But I like no play here so well as at the common playhouse; "

L&M note Pepys had this opinion for good reasons. In Whitehall the acoustics were not good. Unlike the public theatres, it had neither an apron stage nor proscenium doors, and as most Elizabethan and Restorayion plays were written for stages equipped with these structures, it would not always be easy to present them there [ and imagine the changes required in the blocking! ].

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

with my wife, in her morning-gown,....where my wife dresses herself, having her gown this day laced, and a new petticoat; and so is indeed very fine.

I know Sam is describing haute couture but I can't escape the image of Bess slipping out to the shops in a dressing gown and slippers.

ONeville   Link to this

Got up early to see the boss, who has gone a-hunting. Sam seems to treat that as being pretty normal and offers no comment. These days the boss would probably be on the golf course and expect you to carry on running things for him.

FJA   Link to this

Sounds like London is beginning to fill up with people named "Pepys".

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