Sunday 28 March 1669

(Lord’s day). Lay long talking with pleasure with my wife, and so up and to the Office with Tom, who looks mighty smug upon his marriage, as Jane also do, both of whom I did give joy, and so Tom and I at work at the Office all the morning, till dinner, and then dined, W. Batelier with us; and so after dinner to work again, and sent for Gibson, and kept him also till eight at night, doing much business. And so, that being done, and my journal writ, my eyes being very bad, and every day worse and worse, I fear: but I find it most certain that stronge drinks do make my eyes sore, as they have done heretofore always; for, when I was in the country, when my eyes were at the best, their stronge beere would make my eyes sore: so home to supper, and by and by to bed.

12 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

smug

1550s, "trim, neat, spruce, smart," possibly an alteration of Low Ger. smuk "trim, neat," from M.L.G. smücken "to adorn," and smiegen "to press close" (see smock). The meaning "having a self-satisfied air" is from 1701, an extension of the sense of "smooth, sleek" (1580s), which was commonly used of attractive women and girls.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=smug&a...

Jenny   Link to this

I use the word "smug" to describe someone self satisfied and very pleased with themselves. That is how it is used in New Zealand. I'm sure Tom did look "smug", he was now a man and now knows all about the ways of the world with his lovely wife by his side. It's an inspired word and probably describes most newly married couples today.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Jenny, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, you are post-1701.

Jenny   Link to this

Oops. lol

Well, I'm sure Tom looked smug as we know it!

Peter Last   Link to this

I have had to read entries for two days, but it isn't too late to point out that it was the practice then and for a long time beforehand for the family and guests to put a newly wed husband into bed with his bride, often with a posset of wine to inspire his ardor.

A topical note is the declaration Charles II made to William of Orange when putting him to bed with his sister Mary: "Now, nephew, bestride her well, and do your best, for England and Saint George!"

They produced no surviving children and the throne thereby passed to the next sister, Queen Anne. She had a huge brood, poor thing, but the Prince of Denmark's syphilis led to most dying young. The only one to get to adolescence was killed when thrown from a horse.

The outcome was the Hanoverians, and England missed the aged Princess Sophia to acquire George I.

Just as at our weddings cans and other clattering objects are tied to the car the newlyweds drive away in, so then it was held to be very funny to tie bells to the bedclothes

Katherine   Link to this

Every time Sam mentions his eyesight, I dread the end of the diary. I realize eyeglasses were uncommon, but he was a member of the Royal Society. Wouldn't they have known about corrective lenses?

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...when I was in the country, when my eyes were at the best, ..." Did pollution in the city affect his eyes, I wonder? Smoke from coal fires??

Chris Squire   Link to this

OED offers:

‘smug, adj. Etym: Of doubtful origin . .
1. a. Of male persons: Trim, neat, spruce, smart; in later use, having a self-satisfied, conceited, or consciously respectable air. The word has been in very common use from the 16th cent., and the earlier sense shades imperceptibly into the later, so that quotations cannot be separated.
. . 1669 S. Pepys Diary 28 Mar. (1976) IX. 500 To the office with Tom, who looks mighty smug upon his marriage.’

Mary   Link to this

"but I find it most certain that stronge drinks do make my eyes sore, as they have done heretofore always; for, when I was in the country, when my eyes were at the best, their stronge beere would make my eyes sore:"

This just sounds to me like Sam trying to fix on some reason (any mundane reason) for the worsening weakness of his eyes. Most people try to rationalize the reasons for this ill or that in the hope that the actual cause may not prove to be something irreversible.

martinb   Link to this

"Every time Sam mentions his eyesight, I dread the end of the diary."

Katherine probably speaks for us all. But there is another way of looking at it: his eyes have been giving him so much trouble that perhaps we should be grateful Pepys has got as far with this diary as he has. He could easily have given up months ago, but he didn't and as a result we've had a long succession of "bonus" entries for some time now.

I know it's not much consolation in the face of an imminent ending.

Frank G   Link to this

A topical note is the declaration Charles II made to William of Orange when putting him to bed with his sister Mary: “Now, nephew, bestride her well, and do your best, for England and Saint George!” "

In fact Charles' sister married the father of the William of Orange who failed to have children with Charles' niece, the daughter of the Duke of York.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

In her book Claire Tomalin suggests at this point that a peeved Sam, annoyed at Tom and Jane's wedding preventing his stone feast from being properly celebrated, deliberately set up his schedule to keep him away from home for the day of the wedding. I don't really see it from the recent and current entries, but one could also note that Bess could equally be accused of deliberately punishing Sam by ignoring his beloved feast day.

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