Wednesday 5 May 1669

Up, and thought to have gone with Lord Brouncker to Mr. Hooke this morning betimes; but my Lord is taken ill of the gout, and says his new lodgings have infected him, he never having had any symptoms of it till now. So walked to Gresham College, to tell Hooke that my Lord could not come; and so left word, he being abroad, and I to St. James’s, and thence, with the Duke of York, to White Hall, where the Board waited on him all the morning: and so at noon with Sir Thomas Allen, and Sir Edward Scott, and Lord Carlingford, to the Spanish Embassador’s, where I dined the first time. The Olio not so good as Sheres’s. There was at the table himself and a Spanish Countess, a good, comely, and witty lady — three Fathers and us. Discourse good and pleasant. And here was an Oxford scholar in a Doctor of Law’s gowne, sent from the College where the Embassador lay, when the Court was there, to salute him before his return to Spain: This man, though a gentle sort of scholar, yet sat like a fool for want of French or Spanish, but [knew] only Latin, which he spoke like an Englishman to one of the Fathers. And by and by he and I to talk, and the company very merry at my defending Cambridge against Oxford: and I made much use of my French and Spanish here, to my great content. But the dinner not extraordinary at all, either for quantity or quality. Thence home, where my wife ill of those upon the maid’s bed, and troubled at my being abroad. So I to the office, and there till night, and then to her, and she read to me the Epistle of Cassandra, which is very good indeed; and the better to her, because recommended by Sheres. So to supper, and to bed.

11 Annotations

Michael L  •  Link

"I made much use of my French and Spanish here, to my great content."

Hmm, I wonder if this sounded anything like his secret coded diary entries. Robert? Any ideas here?

LindaF  •  Link

"...she read to me the Epistle of Cassandra, which is very good indeed; and the better to her, because recommended by Sheres."

Sam may be more concerned about Sheres than he will directly admit.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"There's a song in the air but the fair comely Spanish countess doesn't seem care...For my song in the air..."

The three Fathers whistle in chorus... (Donkey Serenade)

"So I'll speak in Latin to this Oxford mule if you're sure she won't think that I am just a fool speaking Latin to such a mule..."

"Senior Ambassador, is she listening to my song?"

"Senior Pepys, I sigh to see you do your wife so wrong..."

"Oh, no...My dear senior...My Bess I do adore...It's just ¿usted sabe cómo es compañero...?"

("Bet she costs him mucho dinero..." Allen, Scott in chorus.)

"Your face is a dream..."

"...In your line there's a flaw...Henry Sheres being a dear friend, he mentioned your 'tendencies', and I speak English fluently, Mr. Pepys."

"And all that our Samuel can say...Is pshaw..." Allen, Scott...

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Don Peeeepyssss..."

Uh...oh...Allen, Scott, Carlingford...

"Gentlemen? Why is a large stone statute standing in the parlor? And speaking? Is this some sort of English joke?"

Allen, Scott, Carlingford...Shrug... "'Fraid not..." "Never heard such..." "I'll be leaving now."

Sam eyeing the living statue. Hmmn...Odd how much it looks like my beloved Deb...

"Sir, you...Have me at a disadvantage..."

Countess aside to the Ambassador..."Él es uno dirigido fresco Inglés hesitate? Es él... Casado...?"

"Mortals...Sorry to interrupt your dinner but with apologies, please..." statue points to door...

"Mr.Willett." the statue, fixing glance on Sam... "I believe you...Know...My daughter."


"Not really that well..."

"That's why you're not already in Hell, Pepys."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Sir...You being a supernatural sort...That 'Don' thing doesn't by any chance refer to a long overdue recognition of my services about to be conferred at last?"

"A title? For what you do at your office? I was merely being polite to the Spainards..."


"Now as to the matter of you and your transgressions against Deborah..."

"Yes, a fine girl, sir. And very honest, I warrant. I gave her a good recommendation and a generous farewell bonus, you know."

Chris Squire  •  Link

There are 4 ways to pronounce Latin:

the reconstructed ancient Roman,
the northern Continental European,
Church Latin and
the "English Method."

Example: Julius Caesar:

YOO-lee-us KYE-sahr (reconstructed ancient Roman)
YOO-lee-us (T)SAY-sahr (northern Continental Europe)
YOO-lee-us CHAY-sahr ("Church Latin" in Italy)
JOO-lee-us SEE-zer ("English method")

The northern continental is particularly recommended for scientific terms. Covington notes that it is the pronunciation scientific greats, like Copernicus and Kepler, used. The English method is used for names from mythology and history; however, it is the least like the way the Romans would have pronounced their language.

martinb  •  Link

"The Olio not so good as Sheres’s."

Well, it stands to reason, doesn't it? You can't expect a bunch of Spaniards to make a Spanish dish as well as the English, acknowledged masters of the culinary scene since time immemorial.

The fact is, the poor Spanish can't even get the name right. They insist on calling it something reeeeeeally complicated and unpronounceable like "olla podrida", when every 17th-century Englishmen knows its name is actually "olio" [for goodness's sake].

Ruben  •  Link

You have to be fair with Samuel. He was used to his own palate and not the Spanish one. Today you have Campbell Soup, Maggi and other international providers of food adopting their produce to local taste in all countries were they arrive (or invade). Not different when you are a tourist. In Spain they will cook an Olla Podrida or a Paella for the tourist taste (I mean with no taste at all) and another one, at home, for themself...

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Styles of Latin pronunciation, each in its place.

When studying Latin I was taught the reconstructed Roman method but as a singer I learned Church Latin. Then there is the consideration advanced by Fowler in his essay on French words, and also reflected in his essay on pronunciation. When speaking English in ordinary conversation I think it is more polite to use the English Latin method for Latin words than try to use one of the more technical styles of Latin pronunciation.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

"as a singer I learned Church Latin". Fair Andrew, I heard you sing Fair Harvard, as most Harvard Grads can do. No MIT Grad that I know can sing "Sons Of MIT". (I play either song, if needed). I hear you will be at the Pepys Party in London. They are very lucky, lucky, lucky.

nix  •  Link

The Epistle of Cassandra -- TEN volumes? Is Samuel trying to ruin Elizabeth's eyesight well?

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