Sunday 11 April 1669

(Lord’s day. Easter day). Up, and to Church; where Alderman Backewell’s wife, and mother, and boy, and another gentlewoman, did come, and sit in our pew; but no women of our own there, and so there was room enough. Our Parson made a dull sermon, and so home to dinner; and, after dinner, my wife and I out by coach, and Balty with us, to Loton, the landscape-drawer, a Dutchman, living in St. James’s Market, but there saw no good pictures. But by accident he did direct us to a painter that was then in the house with him, a Dutchman, newly come over, one Evarelst, who took us to his lodging close by, and did shew us a little flower-pot of his doing, the finest thing that ever, I think, I saw in my life; the drops of dew hanging on the leaves, so as I was forced, again and again, to put my finger to it, to feel whether my eyes were deceived or no. He do ask 70l. for it: I had the vanity to bid him 20l.; but a better picture I never saw in my whole life; and it is worth going twenty miles to see it. Thence, leaving Balty there, I took my wife to St. James’s, and there carried her to the Queen’s Chapel, the first time I ever did it; and heard excellent musick, but not so good as by accident I did hear there yesterday, as I went through the Park from White Hall to see Sir W. Coventry, which I have forgot to set down in my journal yesterday. And going out of the Chapel, I did see the Prince of Tuscany come out, a comely, black, fat man, in a mourning suit; and my wife and I did see him this afternoon through a window in this Chapel. All that Sir W. Coventry yesterday did tell me new was, that the King would not yet give him leave to come to kiss his hand; and he do believe that he will not in a great while do it, till those about him shall see fit, which I am sorry for. Thence to the Park, my wife and I; and here Sir W. Coventry did first see me and my wife in a coach of our own; and so did also this night the Duke of York, who did eye my wife mightily. But I begin to doubt that my being so much seen in my own coach at this time, may be observed to my prejudice; but I must venture it now. So home, and by night home, and so to my office, and there set down my journal, with the help of my left eye through my tube, for fourteen days’ past; which is so much, as, I hope, I shall not run in arrear again, but the badness of my eyes do force me to it. So home to supper and to bed.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"But I begin to doubt that my being so much seen in my own coach at this time, may be observed to my prejudice...."

"doubt" = fear

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...here Sir W. Coventry did first see me and my wife in a coach of our own; and so did also this night the Duke of York, who did eye my wife mightily."

Oh, the potentially glorious irony...Well, lets hope Bess at least had the fun of being aware of it before Heaven.

Heaven...

"What do you mean the Duke is calling on you for a play tonight...Alone? Bess?"

"It's Heaven, Sam'l...Don't worry."

"Still doesn't feel right...And you're obviously enjoying making me squirm...How can this be Heaven?"
Knock...

"Mrs. Pepys?"

"Hello...Boys..."

"Wait...Is that Pembleton too?"

"Hello, Mr. P. How went your dancing?" Pembleton, beaming.

Pepys...James, offhand...

"Now I know this can't be Heaven..." Sam, sighing...

"Well, Heaven for me, Sam'l...You're only here on my probation."

***

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"a little flower-pot of his doing, the finest thing that ever, I think, I saw in my life; the drops of dew hanging on the leaves, so as I was forced, again and again, to put my finger to it, to feel whether my eyes were deceived or no. "

Vase of Flowers, 1669 Reproduction
by Verelst
http://www.oil-painting-reproduction.com/n/2360...

(There may be better examples showing what attracted Pepys's notice.)

Paul Chapin   Link to this

I trust that future readers will realize that contra the rollover and link for "Our Parson," that person (parson?) was Daniel Milles, not Anthony Deane.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Whoops, I don't know what I was doing there - Daniel Milles is restored.

sue nicholson   Link to this

Verelst later painted a notoriously revealing portrait of Nell Gwyn for which Sam may have been more willing to pay the asking price:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-revi...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I did see the Prince of Tuscany come out, a comely, black, fat man, in a mourning suit;"

L&M note on the 9th he had gone into mourning for his grandmother, the late Grand-Duchess Maria Maddalena http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduchess_Maria_... widow of Cosimo II d'Medici of Tuscany and sister of the Emperor Ferdinand II.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Thanks for the link, TF, to that particular painting. It was only when I saw it that I remembered my grandmother had a print of that - took me right back to being around 8! I loved the print - the original must have been stunning, especially in an age before photography.

GrahamT   Link to this

Having seen some of Simon Verelst's flower paintings close up in the Ashmolean, Oxford, (http://www.ashmolean.org/php/makegall.php?db=wa...) I can attest to their lifelike qualities. However, any attempt to touch a dew drop would have seen me frog-marched to the nearest police station.

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

I envy Sam holding a newly painted Verelst still life in his hands. What a treat!

Mary   Link to this

A newly painted Vereist.

Indeed. A newly put-together Tracey Emin wouldn't have quite the same appeal, I find.

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