Saturday 25 February 1659/60

[continued from yesterday P.G.] …who we left here the next morning upon his going to Hinchingbroke to speak with my Lord before his going to London, and we two come to Cambridge by eight o’clock in the morning.

To the Falcon, in the Petty Cury, where we found my father and brother very well. After dressing myself, about ten o’clock, my father, brother, and I to Mr. Widdrington, at Christ’s College, who received us very civilly, and caused my brother to be admitted, while my father, he, and I, sat talking. After that done, we take leave. My father and brother went to visit some friends, Pepys’s, scholars in Cambridge, while I went to Magdalene College, to Mr. Hill, with whom I found Mr. Zanchy, Burton, and Hollins, and was exceeding civilly received by them. I took leave on promise to sup with them, and to my Inn again, where I dined with some others that were there at an ordinary. After dinner my brother to the College, and my father and I to my Cozen Angier’s, to see them, where Mr. Fairbrother came to us. Here we sat a while talking. My father he went to look after his things at the carrier’s, and my brother’s chamber, while Mr. Fairbrother, my Cozen Angier, and Mr. Zanchy, whom I met at Mr. Merton’s shop (where I bought ‘Elenchus Motuum’, having given my former to Mr. Downing when he was here), to the Three Tuns, where we drank pretty hard and many healths to the King, &c., till it began to be darkish: then we broke up and I and Mr. Zanchy went to Magdalene College, where a very handsome supper at Mr. Hill’s chambers, I suppose upon a club among them, where in their discourse I could find that there was nothing at all left of the old preciseness in their discourse, specially on Saturday nights. And Mr. Zanchy told me that there was no such thing now-a-days among them at any time. After supper and some discourse then to my Inn, where I found my father in his chamber, and after some discourse, and he well satisfied with this day’s work, we went to bed, my brother lying with me, his things not being come by the carrier that he could not lie in the College.

37 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

" ordinary."
"Brit: a meal served to all comers at a fixed price." (merriam webster)
Used currently? Never heard it this side.

language hat  •  Link

"Elenchus Motuum":

From… :
"Dr. Bate, one of the physicians of Oliver Cromwell, has given an account of his last sickness in the work entitled 'Elenchus Motuum Nuperorum in Anglia.' The Protector, encouraged by the assurances of this chaplains, imagined to the last that he should recover, and, with this expectation, consented to be removed from Hampton Court to London. On examination, there was increased vascularity of the brain and slight inflammation of the lungs, but the spleen was a mass of disease, and filled with matter like the lees of oil."

From a book site (…):
Title: A Short Narrative of the Late Troubles in England

Author: (Bate, George)

Description: First written in Latin by an Anonymous, for the information of Ferreners, and now don into English, for the behoof and pleasure of our Country-man. 1649. London: F. E. Robinson and Co., 1902. Translation of Bate's Elenchus Motuum nuperorum in Anglia. One of 350 numbered copies on handmade paper. 8vo. Full vellum gilt, top edge gilt. Portrait of Charles I. Note on the binding by Cyril Davenport. Occasional spotting and rubbing of the vellum else a very good copy. The binding is a reproduction of one made for Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1624.

Pauline  •  Link

Wow! I though I was bumping into something when I clicked Post.

Keith Wright  •  Link

"Magdalene College . . . , where a very handsome supper at Mr. Hill’s chambers, I suppose upon a club among them, where in their discourse I could find that there was nothing at all left of the old preciseness in their discourse, . . . Mr. Zanchy told me that there was no such thing now-a-days among them at any time."

Pepys is always on the qui vive for good serious talk, but has his expectations disappointed at his old college---made the keener, perhaps, because the dinner suggested a club had organized it. By his standards, decay would seem to have set in during the mere six years since he took his B.A. there.

Bob T  •  Link

"a club among them", probably means that they "clubbed together" and bought the supper. Here "club" is a verb and not a noun.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"...there was nothing at all left of the old preciseness in their discourse, specially on Saturday nights."
I take this as a joke, meaning that the folks he was visiting at the college, like Sam, "drank pretty hard" on Saturday, with consequent loss of precision in conversation. At least it made me laugh.

Pauline  •  Link

Paul, I like your take...
I was reading it with a laugh too: that everyone leaves their formal education to look back and disparage the slippage in standards. 343 years later, it is amazing that there is anything left to admire.

Andrea  •  Link

"After dressing myself, about ten o’clock”

Either Sam is getting up rather late or he just changes his clothes at 10am. I suspect - since he is going to the colleges - that he puts on his graduate gear to show off his education.

Grahamt  •  Link

Re:“After dressing myself, about ten o’clock”
As was said yesterday, this is a continuation of yesterday’s entry. Reading them together, he arrived in Cambridge at 8 o’clock, went to the Falcon Inn, where he changed from his travel clothes to his good clothes, at 10 o’clock, for visiting Mr Widdrington. (looks like the “n” got transcribed to “ri” in the name) Dressing here I think is used in the sense of dressing up, into something smarter.

Django Cat  •  Link

Pauline, 'Ordinary' to describe a meal has long since fallen out of usage here in the UK - you'd get a very blank look if you walked into a pub and asked for a pint and the ordinary. I've always assumed it to mean something like the 'plat de jour' in a modern french cafe - the cheap and cheerful standard meal prepared for that day. If we had such a thing I'm sure modern marketing speech would deplore the negative connotations of the word 'ordinary' and come up with something like 'regular meal' anyway...

Emilio  •  Link

Scanning errors
Perhaps this way lies madness (and please forgive me if I'm reopening a can of worms), but I wonder if the occasional correction of scanning errors in the journal entries might be possible. My reasoning is that this site follows the text of the 1893 ed., and errors due to the scanning for Project Gutenberg have nothing to do w/ the diaries either as they were written or edited. Such errors can also occasionally stand in our way of interpreting what Pepys wrote, as we saw a few days ago when the number 100 appeared as "too" instead.
In order to save time and effort for everyone, what I have in mind is limiting corrections to substantial errors we can pretty reasonably trace to the transfer from print to an electronic medium. The purpose wd be to bring the text here to more closely reflect the 1893 text, absolutely not to make any enhancements or additions to it. I also propose that such corrections be made only if they are noticeable and important enough for readers to note in these annotations.
This proposal still leaves a fair-sized grey area around what constitutes a "substantial" change, of course. I imagine some number of the stray commas in the entries are due to scanning glitches, but they don't interfere with interpreting the sentences, and in any case they appear too regularly to be worth checking individually. "Too" for "100" obviously qualifies, but "Widdririgton" for "Widdrington" is debatable - on the one hand the name is still easily recognizable, but on the other, someone doing a search for the name would not pull up today's entry.
Actually, the longer I continue, the more time and confusion it sounds like this proposal could cause. I do keep thinking back, though, to reading "too" in the 23 Feb entry; if I were a casual reader who did not follow the annotations, I would absolutely not have been able to interpret what Sam was reporting there. At any rate, the thought is now submitted for consideration.

Phil  •  Link

I've answered this point before Emilio, but I'm happy to do so again!

Yes, there are errors in the text. The problem for me is that while some may obviously be due to the digitisation process, others might be more ambiguous. I don't have the time or facilities to compare the digital text with the 1893 original and verify every word. And rather than create yet another version of the diaries I'm simply posting the Project Gutenberg version.

I have contacted David Widger, the guy who digitised the diary for PG, and if anyone *emails* me corrections to the entries I will be periodically forwarding them on to him.

Rita  •  Link

"there was nothing at all left of the old preciseness in their discourse": in Claire Tomalin's biography of Pepys she explains this as a change since the days when Cambridge was controlled by the Puritans, which would have been when Sam was there. Puritan speech was very "godly", and in the educational setting involved "precise" discussions of biblical texts etc. This has already devolved into a more casual, worldly form of discourse, presaging the change to the distinctly "ungodly" character of the Restoration court.

David Bell  •  Link

I'm not up on the details of which faction controlled Cambridge, though Oxford was the Royalist capital for most of the First Civil War and Cambridge was securely in Parliamentarian territory.

What does seem to be significant is that Sam also records that people are drinking toasts to the King. It's not just a fading of Puritan Godliness in how people talk, it's change in what they're willing to talk about.

Dormouse  •  Link

I thought that he was actually relieved, not disappointed, that the dinner conversation turned out to be informal and not the 'precise' academic or (as Rita points out above) Puritan-influenced style of discussion he remembers from his own time as a student.
Imagine the alternative: being stuck at a dinner table on a Saturday night with your old teachers as they hold forth about the finer points of some obscure academic point after you've been busy at the pub all afternoon... phew!

Hhomeboy  •  Link

Annotational dialectic: vis à vis the restoration and its eventual counter-reformation of public morals and manners on the occasion of Sam’s return to his old haunts…

If I may attempt to “parse’ and then re-synthesize from Rita, David Bell, Claire Tomalin, Paul Chapin, Pauline…

From his pre-visit diary comments, Sam was prepared to discern notable differences and departures from the no-doubt more rigid regime in place when he was an undergraduate…

Also, note that no person, institution or privilege in the land was safe from retribution with regard to views expressed or advocated, esp. by office holders, etc. during the first and second civil wars, regicide, etc.

I think that this must also be the case re: Widdrington—the tutor whom Sam wanted for his brother —who has been the object of ostracism by the fellows. We shall need to find some more information on Widdrington. Could someone please post some background on Widdrington and the possible reasons/causes for his seeming, recent unpopularity?

As regards a departure or perceptible deterioration in the high tone and temper of the times at Cambridge, which had been a Puritan redoubt, I think Sam is experiencing (and reacting to) the tangible swinging of the pendulum in public morals and manners, just as he has been doing of late in his conversational rounds at the pubs, clubs and Whitehall surrounds.

As we are reading this account, everything is in flux politically and it is a disquieting time…

I would also hazard a guess that during such periods of uncertainty and societal shifts—when some men’s fortunes and livelihoods are on the wane while still others’ are on the cusp—would serve to dampen fulsome debates on the great questions until such a time as can be seen who shall emerge as the leading figures and power-brokers.

Cambridge was therefore a place of even more uncertainty than Oxford.

And it might well have been dangerous to be heard passing moral judgement’s or making emphatic criticisms re: a gamut of subjects and persons.

Although Sam frequents the circles of men who are in the ascendant, his diary is likely more frank on certain aspects than he himself may have been, as can be gleaned from his cursory references to the frequently circumspect conversations he conducts with his own contemporaries, who are themselves on the make and striving for security.

Also, note that this is not the first disappointment for Sam of late re: a lack of strenuous or vigorous debate; viz the fizzled coffeeklatsch gatherings he had paid to attend.

Sam’s quotidian role as one of Montagu’s professional observers in the City—while Monk has been buffetted by the general unrest and Montagu himself has been sequestered in political purdieu at Hinchinbrooke— is a secretive one. Also, one suspects that many who knew him would know of Sam’s professional duties, affiliations and reportage, which might provoke a good deal more caution and discretion when in Sam’s presence.

What may also be true is that the moral imperatives of the age of Cromwell have receded considerably already, thereby prompting a good deal more effusive public alcohol consumption at Cambridge of late than was previously the custom— especially on festive social occasions or Saturday evening songfests, which must have been suppressed or at least frowned upon during Cromwell’s protectoracy.

I’m sorry Sam was not overly prone to sociological descriptions as I would have loved to have had a portrait of the denizens of the High Street and the goings on around the Inns where they stayed.

Were there chaste serving women or brazen bawds in the taverns?

Finally, we are reacting a tad summarily to snippets and glimpses recorded rapidly in the midst of a busy life at a time of continuous changes by a young man not overly prone to contemplation.

Sam’s own unexamined ‘passing-scene’ impressions often merely serve as a painter’s daub or coloratura’s tremolo.

As for Sam’s puportedly risible remarks, I have not been overwhelmed so far by Sam’s proclivity to poke fun at himself…that he is good humoured, empathetic and mainly interested in people’s lives, characters and doings, there is ample evidence; but there is yet a considerable reservoir of earnestness which imbues Sam’s narration with a predominant sense of seriousness of purpose and industriousness.

Re: alcohol consumption, Sam’s habitual daily intake surely exceeds those of his Cambridge acquaintances.

steve h  •  Link

precise and precisians

Rita (along with 'Dormouse') is right. I believe; the preciseness that Pepys is talking about was a formalized manner of speaking adopted by the Puritans, so-called precisians. i don't have an OED handy, but the American Heritage Dictionary defines precisian as "1. One who is strict and precise in adherence to established rules, forms, or standards, especially with regard to religious observance or moral behavior. 2. a Puritan. See precise"

Note this quote about the early life of John Bunyan, the Puritan author of Pilgrim's Progress: "God left him to himself, as he puts it, and gave him over to his own wicked inclinations. He fell, he says, into all kinds of vice and ungodliness without further check. The expression is very strong, yet when we look for particulars we can find only that he was fond of games which Puritan preciseness disapproved. He had high animal spirits, and engaged in lawless enterprise."

Various sources talk of Puritan preciseness with derision. So does Pepys mean that he liked the new less sanctimonious discourse or did he find that speakers were less careful philosophers and rhetoricans?

language hat  •  Link

precise, precisian (OED)

Strict or scrupulous in religious observance; in 16th and 17th c., puritanical.

1566 Abp. Parker Corr. (Parker Soc.) 278 These precise folk would offer their goods and bodies to prison, rather than they would relent. 1589 Marprel. Epit. (1843) 7 In assaulting the fort of our precise brethren. 1657 Sanderson Serm. (1674) 17 The hottest precisest and most scrupulous nonconformer. 1693 Wood Life 15 June (O.H.S.) III. 424 He was too precise and religious. 1694 Atterbury Serm., Prov. xiv. 6 (1726) I. 195 How did they deride that Grave Preacher of Righteousness [Noah], and his Precise Family. 1827 Hallam Const. Hist. (1876) I. iii. 167 Those.. who favoured the more precise reformers, and looked coldly on the established church.

One who is rigidly precise or punctilious in the observance of rules or forms. a spec. One who is precise in religious observance: in the 16th and 17th c. synonymous with Puritan.

1572 J. Jones Bathes of Bath iii. 24 The Puritanes, but better we may terme them piuish [peevish] precisians. 1598 B. Jonson Ev. Man in Hum. iii. ii, He's no precisian, that I'm certain of, Nor rigid Roman Catholic: ..I haue heard him swear. 1612 Drayton Poly-olb. vi. 94 Like our Precisions.. Who for some Crosse or Saint they in the window see Will pluck downe all the Church. 1652 Brome Eng. Moor v. iii, Forgiv' me for swearing, and turn Precisian, and pray I' the nose that all my brethren.. spend no worse. 1725 Watts Logic i. vi.

Nix  •  Link

Excellent colloquy on "the old preciseness"! Many thanks: you have cast light in the darkness. So -- what do you suppose they wound up talking about? If they had been out toasting the king, they presumably didn't have to be especially circumspect about their views -- or perhaps, in the turmoil of the times, in a public place like the Three Tuns such a toast was suddenly de rigeur. But back in Mr. Hill's chambers at Magdalen? Do we know anything about Hill, Zanchy, Burton and Hollins? I don't find them in the annotation index.

gerry  •  Link

According to a note in L&M Sam seems to be remembering the bad old days for"it was in Hill's chamber on Fri 21 October 1653,in the presence of all the fellows then resident,that Pepys and a companion, Hind,had been solemny admonished by Wood and Hillfor having been scandalousy overseene in drink the night before"
Plus ca change......

language hat  •  Link

Hill, Zanchy, Burton and Hollins
The Companion entries begin:

Hill, Joseph (1625-1707). A biblical scholar 'very knowing in the affairs of state'; elected a Fellow of Magdalene in Nov. 1649, and one of the dons whom Pepys came to know well.

Sankey, [Clement] (?1633-1707). A Cambridge graduate (B.A. 1652); elected Fellow 1652, re-elected 1660.

Burton, [Hezekiah] (d. 1681). Fellow of Magdalene College 1651-60, 1660-67.

Hollins, [John] (d. 1712). Physician and Fellow of Magdalene 1656-c.65.

Hhomeboy  •  Link

And how about Widdrington l.h. ?

language hat  •  Link

Somehow I thought he'd been covered, but I guess not. (He was mentioned in the Feb. 4 entry --… -- and roundly ignored by all commentators.) So here's what the Companion has to say:

Widdrington. Ralph Widdrington (d. 1688) was John Pepys's tutor at Christ's College, Cambridge; Public Orator 1650-73; Regius Professor of Greek 1654-60; Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity 1673-88.

Incidentally, I find it curious that the term "Regius [='royal'] Professor" was kept during the republican period, but I guess that's English conservatism for you.

andy thomas  •  Link

An "Ordinary" is now a "Special" as in "Today's Special"!

Hhomeboy  •  Link


From Sam's Feb. 21 entry:

"This morning I met in the Hall with Mr. Fuller, of Christ’s, and told him of my design to go to Cambridge, and whither. He told me very freely the temper of Mr. Widdrington, how he did oppose all the fellows in the College, and that there was a great distance between him and the rest, at which I was very sorry, for that he told me he feared it would be little to my brother’s advantage to be his pupil.”

I.h.—as the Regius Professor and later of Divinity, there will be much more on Widdrington than the bare bones in the companion…

I assumed from Sam’s rueful description of his old tutor that Fuller was referring to far more than Widdrington’s temperament or reputation for severity.

Even in lax times, severe and demanding scholars were often popular as tutors…

Methinks the key to the puzzle can be found in his near quarter century as “Public Orator”; perhaps a Cambridge history buff or an historian familiar with university life at Cambridge (eg. the just deceased Christopher Hill’s works) can expand upon the Public Orator’s role in college and university life…

Secondly, I suspect Widdrington must have been something of a Puritan purist and perhaps an unrepentant republican, although his 1673 (the year his post as Public Orator expired) appointment as Lady Margaret professor of Divinity would suggest that republicanism was not a political passion of Sam’s tutor.

P.S. I also think we can all do better than the Companion entries re: Hill, Hollins, Zanchy and Burton, n’est ce pas?

Hhomeboy  •  Link

Response to l.h.:

Widdrington will have plenty of stuff on him, albeit not necessarily much on the internet...

We must be resourceful and/or 'proactive' and go to Cambridge web site(s) and solicit or prod/pry info. contributions from likely sources via e-mail outreach.

After all, why we don't have a 17th century scholar or two plus Pepys experts aboard yet is a Q for our Phil to ponder; maybe Phil could set up some 'chat' appearances by Pepysians and others for E-mail Q 'n A sessions?

I'm not sure whether there are any 17th century chat fora...

michael f vincent  •  Link

Cor blimey me old china's. We are getting rather parliamentary about these different views. For we hoi poloi I find this so edifying.

Pauline  •  Link

Joseph Hill and Christopher Hill
(1625-1707 and 1912-2003)

The first was know well by Sam, the second wrote extensively of Sam's era--limning the revolutionary nature of these years that culminate in the Restoration. Because the monarchy is restored (is this really a "spoiler"?), the revolutionary changes can be minimized, but we are seeing them in our daily readings and discussions of Sam's diary.

Martin K. Foys  •  Link

It might be worth pointing out (if not already, I'm playing catch up) that Cambridge students of the time were expected to converse in Greek or Latin. Pepys had an excellent grasp of Latin (he could read it quite easily) -- there stands a good chance that at least some of his dinner talk was also in Latin, not English.

Linda Camidge  •  Link

Time for a new round of annotations? I started reading the diaries daily in 2003, but lapsed (because i was trying to read them at work...) Now I'm trying again, with better home Internet access, keeping exactly 350 years behind - anyone else doing the same? I suspect so..

Anyway, I was going to suggest that we could link "precise" with the modern "prissy" or even "precious" rather than the modern "precise": is this helpful?

Carolyn H  •  Link

Linda: Ditto and ditto to your comment about lapsing and now catching up again. I am also attemtping to read but a single entry a day so I can read the diary on the same day as the current day. So I'm reading the Friday Feb 24 1659/60 entry on Friday Feb.25 2011. I am jumping a few days ahead right now as I probably won't be on my home computer much this weekend.

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

I am also reading an entry a day, thanks to Phil's email alerts. I didn't start until halfway through so this is all new.

John Matthew IV  •  Link

I too am reading one entry a day on the anniversary of the Pepys writing it.

The spoiler from Pauline above about the monarchy being restored is disappointing. There was a plea earlier to avoid such things. The author requesting for no one to say if England is a monarchy to this very day or not.

It is fun to live in 1659/60!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"To the Falcon, in the Petty Cury"

On the s. side of Petty Cury, on the site now marked [in 1971] by Falcon Yard: a large inn -- probably the best in Cambridge: Cambridge...etched by R. Farren, p. 3, pl. vi; R. Comm. Hist. Mon. , City of Cambridge, ii.329. (L&M footnote)

Petty Cury is an old street that first appeared in documents around 1330.[2] and appears as Petycure, the residence of Thomas Furbisshour and his wife Agnes, in 1396. The unusual name most likely derives from petit (meaning "little") and cury (meaning "cooks' row"). Originally there were a number of bakers' stalls here. The derivation is mentioned in the Diary of Samuel Pepys,[4] who had been a student at Magdalene College, Cambridge. From the 15th century, there were inns on this street, with yards behind [incl. Falon Yard].…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Meanwhile in Westminster, in Parliament:

Genl Monck, Commander in Chief.

A BILL, ingrossed, for constituting George Monck Esquire Captain-General, and Commander in Chief, under the Parliament, of all the Land-Forces, in England, Scotland, and Ireland, was this Day read the Third time.

¶Resolved, That this be the Title of this Act; viz. An Act constituting George Monck Esquire, Captain-General, and Commander in Chief, under the Parliament, of all the Land Forces in England, Scotland, and Ireland.…

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