Sunday 2 May 1669

(Lord’s day). Up, and by water to White Hall, and there visit my Lord Sandwich, who, after about two months’ absence at Hinchingbroke, come to town last night. I saw him, and very kind; and I am glad he is so, I having not wrote to him all the time, my eyes indeed not letting me. Here with Sir Charles Herbert [Harbord], and my Lord Hinchingbroke, and Sidney, we looked upon the picture of Tangier, designed by Charles Herbert [Harbord], and drawn by Dancre, which my Lord Sandwich admires, as being the truest picture that ever he’s saw in his life: and it is indeed very pretty, and I will be at the cost of having one of them. Thence with them to White Hall, and there walked out the sermon, with one or other; and then saw the Duke of York after sermon, and he talked to me a little; and so away back by water home, and after dinner got my wife to read, and then by coach, she and I, to the Park, and there spent the evening with much pleasure, it proving clear after a little shower, and we mighty fine as yesterday, and people mightily pleased with our coach, as I perceived; but I had not on my fine suit, being really afeard to wear it, it being so fine with the gold lace, though not gay. So home and to supper, and my wife to read, and Tom, my Nepotisme, and then to bed.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the picture of Tangier, designed by Charles Herbert [Harbord], and drawn by Dancre, which my Lord Sandwich admires, as being the truest picture that ever he’s saw in his life:"

See pepsie's 18 Jan 1669 post about such ventures:

The drawings of Tangier by Wenceslaus Hollar in the British Museum show why he was sent to do them later in 1669 (see the one linked by peopsie, then click forward for more to get a sense of the terrain there).

Peter Easton (PHE)  •  Link

Entries of today and yesterday show the unique charm of Sam's diaries. His concerns about looking too flashy or 'gay' in his new suit and coach again show his honest self-reflection. They are feelings most of us have had when buying something a bit flashy (clothes / new hair cut / car). We want to show off; but worried people will think us vain or ridiculous; but irritated if no-one seems to notice!

Australian Susan  •  Link

I wonder if Sam thought his rich attire might attract thieves or beggars?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think there's a dollop of practical career fear here too. Sam is likely concerned lest the Duke or the "Cabal" members see him sporting his wealth...Let alone some of the angrier members of Parliament. It could make Jamie wonder, give Buckingham's new people in the Navy something to hit at Sam with, or make him the subject of criticism in Parliament. All devoutly not to be wished, just as modern politicians fear being seen living too high a style. ("I am proud to be the husband of the originator of the new household economy for millionaires..." FDR to Eleanor Roosevelt after a disasterous New York Times article during WWI.} We still see Sam occasionally nervous to be seen at a play by Jamie or Charles, though less so these days.

Claire  •  Link

"...though not gay." Heaven help me, my 21st c. knee-jerk reaction was, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"
I mourn the loss of the original meaning of the word.

Claire  •  Link

And I now must correct myself. It nagged at me that, almost certainly, "happy or cheerful" was NOT the meaning of gay in Pepys' time.
In 1637, the Oxford English Dictionary defined “gay” as being addicted to the pursuit of physical and social pleasures.
Sam does well to worry.

Don McCahill  •  Link

I wonder what Sandwich thinks. 10 years ago, Sam was his assistant, barely grubbing by. Now he attracts the attention of the King's brother!

And does Sandwich still own Sam money?

How things change.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link


By "not gay" I think Sam means not too showy. See OED, gay, adj. 4.

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