Sunday 4 March 1659/60

Lord’s day. Before I went to church I sang Orpheus’ Hymn to my viall. After that to Mr. Gunning’s, an excellent sermon upon charity. Then to my mother to dinner, where my wife and the maid were come. After dinner we three to Mr. Messum’s where we met Mons. L’Impertinent, who got us a seat and told me a ridiculous story how that last week he had caused a simple citizen to spend 80l. in entertainments of him and some friends of his upon pretence of some service that he would do him in his suit after a widow. Then to my mother again, and after supper she and I talked very high about religion, I in defence of the religion I was born in. Then home.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Phil  •  Link

Sorry for the lateness of posting this entry!

sharon  •  Link

Any ideas about the religious disputation with Mom? Claire Tomalin (p.13,n.33) cites this entry to support the notion that Margaret Pepys has puritan leanings despite maintaining her own Anglican pew. Is Sam just (dare I say cavalierly?) honing his bright new royalist credentials, or is something else going on?

Keith Wright  •  Link

Latham in the Companion (p. 319) characterizes Margaret Pepys as "tetchy" and less likeable than husband John. "She was apparently a sectarian" (citing Vol. 1, p. 76, no doubt this very entry). Some of her relations were Quakers, and "before marriage she worked in the household of Lady Vere, a prominent Puritan".
Here Pepys seems to be championing not so much his personal faith as his loyalty to tradition.

Roger Miller  •  Link

Orpheus' Hymn

O King of Heaven and Hell, of Sea and Earth!
who shak'st the world when thou shout'st Thunder forth;
Whom Devils dread, and Hosts of Heaven praise;
whom Fate (which masters all things else) obeys:
Eternal Cause! who on the Winds doth ride,
and Nature's face with thick dark Clouds dost hide;
Cleaving the Air with Balls of dreadful Fire;
Guiding the Stars which run, and never tire.
About thy Throne bright Angels stand, and Bow
to be dispatch'd to Mortals here below.

Thy early Spring in Purple robes comes forth;
Thy Summers South does conquer all the North:
And though thy Winter freeze the Hearts of Men:
Glad wine from Autumn cheers them up again.

Text by Sir John Birkenhead (1616-1679)
Set by Henry Lawes (c1595-1662)

This is the most likely candidate for Sam's song.

j.a. gioia  •  Link

more music

thanks for the lyrics! so sam is accomplished-it is hard to sing and play at the same time unless one is-on the viol (given his singing, probably more a cello than fiddle) the lute and flageolet. i like him more every day.

what are the odds Mons. l’Impertinent is a lawyer?

mary  •  Link

..defense of the religion I was born in

Presumably Pepys is asserting his allegiance to the Anglican church into which he was baptised. His mother, therefore, appears to have been urging a narrower, Puritan, faith. Tomalin states that Margaret's faith had become more Puritan over the years, but cites no evidence for this. Can anyone supply chapter and verse for this conclusion?

Keith Wright  •  Link

Henry Lawes, older brother of the more famous William, was known mainly for his more than 400 songs, some published by John Playford. See the Background page on “Music > Songs” for Roger Miller’s notes on both men, and on how Pepys accompanied himself, in connection with this entry:….

Emma Kirkby’s recent CD of 17th-century songs to texts on classical themes, Classical Kirkby: Orpheus and Corinna, with Anthony Rooley on the theorbo, includes the Hymn (BIS 1435).
The 1984 disc by the Consort of Musicke (of which Kirkby and Rooley are part) devoted to Henry Lawes, “Sitting by the Streams,” Hyperion 66135, also includes it---all 2 minutes 25 seconds of it:…

Roger Miller  •  Link

More Lawes

Orpheus' hymn to God is in the volume of Lawes' music that I link to in my annotation in the music section.

Try this link:… (It may not work first time.)

Hhomeboy  •  Link

I spliced a response covering March 3rd & 4th into my previous annotation for march 3rd, which was in response to Alan Bedford...

Here is the part which picks up on Sam's visit to his ailling mum:

Sam’s everlasting value is that he personifies and epitomizes in many ways the soul of John Bull: a nice example from “today’s” entry is the allusion to his religious debate with his Quakerish mother, whom he is visiting in order to comfort her during her recent bout of illness.

Despite this filial mission, he and his disputatious mother soon disagree–remember that Sam has been attending Parliament’s leading Presbyterian faction grandee, Manchester, at Manchester’s wife’s ancestral pile–Sam’s diary entry signals his bedrock instincts for the Church of England and that instinctually & spiritually Pepys eschews the views of dissenters.

Whether those views be of the northern elites or redolent with the levelling precisions of the Quakers and their ilk—who will soon be mightily oppressed for the better part of the century to follow.

In Charles II, England is about to get a King very much in the cultural traditions of Henry VIII and of the cunning political legacies of the Founder of the Church of England’s extraordinary daughter.

As we all know, Sam will be a success financially , culturally and politically (although not in his personal and family life).

What are are revealed in X-ray like telling details in these early entries are the private thoughts and reflexes which are the true underpinnings of Sam’s subsequent material and worldly success as a man held in high esteem by his countrymen.

Paul Miller  •  Link

"For the most part I escaped wonderfully from these dangers, either by proceeding boldly and without deliberation to the goal, as is recommended to those who run the gauntlet, or by keeping my thoughts on high things, like Orpheus, who, "loudly singing the praises of the gods to his lyre, drowned the voices of the sirens, and kept out of danger." Sometimes I bolted suddenly, and nobody could tell my whereabouts, for I did not stand much about gracefulness, and never hesitated at a gap in a fence."
---- Walden, Thoreau

Martin K. Foys  •  Link

"I in defence of the religion I was born in . . ."

Don't forget that Sam has throughout been going to Mr. Gunning's, who, as Susanna reminds us in the entry for Jan. 8 (see… for details), likely had to hold service in his house, not a church, because he celebrated using the older form of the Common Prayer book, which Cromwell had forbidden.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Sam's mother may have been puritan, but I doubt very much whether she was "Quakerish", and I would certainly want some evidence before I used that adjective. Puritans were generally quite hostile to Quakers, whose beliefs and practices were mutually incompatible.

For example, in contrast to the Calvinist tradition, Quakers believe that there is no distinction between the "elect" and the rest of the population, and that the Divine spirit dwells within everyone. For more, see this link below:…

From a version of the traditional "The Pilgrims and the Puritans"

They didn't care for Quakers but
They loathed gay cavaliers
And what they thought of clowns and plays
Would simply burn your ears
While merry tunes and Christmas revels
They deemed contraptions of the Devil's.

But Sunday was a gala day
When, in their best attire,
They'd listen, with rejoicing hearts,
To sermons on Hell Fire,
Demons I've Met, Grim Satan's Prey,
And other topics just as gay.

All of this, whilst Puritan, is completely un-"Quakerish".

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: 'she and I talked very high . . ' the meaning is:

‘ . . 14. a. Showing . . resentment, or the like; . . angry. Of words, actions, feelings, etc.
. . 1710 R. Steele Tatler No. 231. ⁋2 [She] had from her Infancy discovered so imperious a Temper (usually called a High Spirit) that [etc.] . . ‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Sam has throughout been going to Mr. Gunning's, who, as Susanna reminds us in the entry for Jan. 8 (see… for details), likely had to hold service in his house, not a church, because he celebrated using the older form of the Common Prayer book, which Cromwell had forbidden."

Gunning apparently did not hold service in his house: see language hat's post:
"Description of Gunning and pre-Restoration Anglican churchgoing
from Bryant's Pepys bio:…
"...[Pepys] now [1658-59] transferred his affections to that Church in which he had been born... In one or two obscure corners of London there were still cellars and upper rooms... where the ministers of the banished Church defied the law and read the old Prayer Book to Anglican congregations. These Pepys now began to patronize, setting out on a Sunday morning from Westminster to hear Mr Gunning at Cary House by Exeter 'Change... read his Church's glorious and forbidden liturgy...."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Before I went to church I sang Orpheus’ Hymn"

L&M: 'O king of heaven and hell' -- Henry Lawes's setting of Sir John Birkenhead's words; headed 'Orpheus Hymn to God' in Lawes's Second book of ayres and dialogues (1655), pp. 47-8; not in the PL.

Third Reading

Scube  •  Link

Sam often comments on the quality of the sermon. I have not gone ahead (or gone back) to his reviews of other sermons, but I get the sense that as time goes by, he offers more unfavorable reviews (a "lazy sermon" or a "dull sermon.")
Wonder if his appreciation for sermons changed or if there were simply worse sermons, or perhaps he felt obliged to record his more negative impressions. Or perhaps my impression is not accurate.
It would be fun to have a tally of good vs. mediocre vs poor sermons attended to by Sam.

Ensign Tom  •  Link

Reading the Diary, my impression is that Pepys took the same critical artistic attitude to the Sunday sermons he heard as to the plays he enjoyed on other days of the week. In both performance venues he looked for good speaking voices, variety of expression, poise and self-confidence, a good appearance, originality of content or skill in making old material new again, and the ability to hold the attention of the audience.

Also important to Pepys at church or the theatre was the chance to see and be seen and to appreciate the charms of the women in attendance. Alas, no orange-girls at Sunday services.

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