Tuesday 29 January 1660/61

Mr. Moore making up accounts with me all this morning till Lieut. Lambert came, and so with them over the water to Southwark, and so over the fields to Lambeth, and there drank, it being a most glorious and warm day, even to amazement, for this time of the year. Thence to my Lord’s, where we found my Lady gone with some company to see Hampton Court, so we three went to Blackfryers [actually, Whitefriars; see Emilio’s note, below. P.G.] (the first time I ever was there since plays begun), and there after great patience and little expectation, from so poor beginning, I saw three acts of “The Mayd in ye Mill” acted to my great content. But it being late, I left the play and them, and by water through bridge home, and so to Mr. Turner’s house, where the Comptroller, Sir William Batten, and Mr. Davis and their ladies; and here we had a most neat little but costly and genteel supper, and after that a great deal of impertinent mirth by Mr. Davis, and some catches, and so broke up, and going away, Mr. Davis’s eldest son took up my old Lady Slingsby in his arms, and carried her to the coach, and is said to be able to carry three of the biggest men that were in the company, which I wonder at. So home and to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

This passage reminds me, apropos
manly feats including hard riding, which we discussed recently, that today's hardest-riding billionaire sheikhs manage less than 11 mph on the best mounts - one more sign that Sam rides well. I cite the following item from the Khaleej Times- Gulf News of September 17, 2002 (condensed):

"Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was crowned world champion after he won the World Endurance Championship in Jerez, Spain, yesterday. Sheikh Ahmed crossed the finish line three minutes ahead of his nearest challenger... The brilliant UAE rider ... took his 13-year-old gelding Bowman [over] the 160 kilometre race in 9 hours, 19 minutes and 29 seconds." (I work that out to 10.64 mph, including rests. The Maktoums own the best horseflesh available, and it is superbly trained. Sam was riding rental horses, and did nearly as well, although his ride of Jan 16 was considerably shorter - 3-plus hours vs. 9-plus.)

language hat  •  Link

"The Mayd in ye Mill":
This "ye" is, of course, a graphic representation of "the," and would not have been pronounced with a y; the OED says:

Another value of y arises from the assimilation of y and Þ, the runic thorn (see th), which had become indistinguishable from each other in some MSS. of the early 14th century (e.g. the Cotton MS. of Cursor Mundi). After 1400 Þ fell more and more out of use, and in some scripts was represented only by the y-form in the compendia ye, yt or yat, yei, ym, yu = the, that, they, them, thou, and the like, many of which continued to be extensively employed in manuscript in the 17th and 18th centuries. Two of these, ye or &672., yt or &673., were retained in printers’ types during the 15th and 16th centuries, but often with a form of y somewhat different from that used in other positions. (In Sir John Cheke’s translation of the New Testament, a dotted y stands for th.) In manuscript (e.g. in letter-writing) ye lasted well into the 19th century. It is still often used pseudo-archaically, jocularly, or vulgarly (pronounced as ye), e.g. in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Ye Carpette Knyghte’, and in shop-signs like ‘Ye Olde Booke Shoppe’.

Mary House  •  Link

What is meant by "some catches?" Does this refer to music or games?

The Bishop  •  Link

Catches are what we now call 'singing in the round'.

vincent  •  Link

"Catches" Just how my mind works ? Reading between the lines, there was a little gamboling going on, frisky maybe, Fresh maybe, note the weather spring like , It does bring out the best in men? at least the word is impertinent
"...and after that a great deal of impertinent mirth by Mr. Davis, and some catches, and so broke up..."
[disrespectful,] the synonym, being saucy,insolent,impudent, pert, fresh, rude,audacious, cheeky, sassy. Take your pick?

The Bishop  •  Link

'The Maid in the Mill' was actually by Fletcher and Rowley (Wm. Rowley).

It was licensed for publication in 1623 (and presumably performed about then), long after Beaumont was dead. It was, however, included in the 1647 collection of Beaumont and Fletcher's plays, which is what dirk's 1647 date refers to.

Emilio  •  Link

"we three went to (White)fryers"

Sam has goofed here: "Pepys cannot be referring to the famous Blackfriars Theatre used by the King's Men from c. 1608 until 1642, because it had been pulled down on 5 August 1655. His 'Blackfryers' is an error for 'Whitefriars', i.e. the Salisbury Court Theatre, at which the Duke of York's company was performing at this time. Cf. below [on 9 Feb], where Pepys again makes the error but corrects it." (L&M footnote)

I'm surprised that Wheatley didn't footnote this fact as well--it seems exactly the sort of historical detail he would revel in. The upcoming Feb 9 entry should confirm the situation by reading 'Whitefriers' rather than 'Black-'.

From a later L&M footnote: "Not the Whitefriars Theatre opened c. 1605, but the Salisbury Court Theatre (opened in 1629), situated in the Whitefriars district east of the Temple and south of Fleet St. The Duke of York's company, managed by Sir William Davenant, played here before he transferred it to a new theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields in June 1661."

vincent  •  Link

Bishop's comment on Rowley, William
(b. 1585?, London, Eng.--d. 1642?), English dramatist and actor who collaborated with several Jacobean dramatists, notably Thomas Middleton
appears to be correct.
Fletcher, John and Rowley, William The maid in the mill..com/shakespeare/micro/511/9…

press release of the day about one of Fletchers works.
: Poets lives; wonder not how or why
Fletcher revives, but that he er'e could dye:
Safe Mirth, full Language, flow in ev'ry Page,
At once he doth both heighten and aswage;
the most famous line from the play a song [poem]

How long shall I pine for love? /
first staged: (performed 1623) The Maid in the Mill (licensed 1623 ... The Elder Brother (printed 1637)

dirk  •  Link


"... what would nowadays be called 'coarse music' was not left out of an evening's entertainment in the seventeenth century. Both in tavern and home, the 'catches', normally written for three unaccompanied voices in canon as a round, were widely heard. The words of many or most catches have been thought unsuitable for mixed company in most ages between the seventeenth century and our own century, but their musical invention is often remarkable"

There is a CD available with some of these 17th c. catches:
"The Art of Bawdy Song" by the Baltimore Consort and the Merry Companions, CD Ref: DOR 90155
You can hear some samples from this CD on:

Mary  •  Link

..by water through the bridge home....

Bearing in mind our earlier discussion of the perils of 'shooting' London Bridge, it's interesting that Sam finds it noteworthy that he achieved passage through the bridge rather than around it. Presumably the benign weather and a slack tide allowed this.

Leslie Silberhans  •  Link

The defining characteristic of a 'catch' (as opposed to a 'glee'), is that words from, say, the second line insert themselves into the first, thereby changing the meaning, commonly in a ribald manner. they are very clever and ofttimes beautiful. I recommend Purcell's, in particular.

Hic retearius (ut fluminis nauta!)  •  Link

Mary, catching the tide.

The impression Sam created here was just the opposite, he was in a rush to get home and took advantage of the current in the river. To this reader; the facts of "it being late", that he had to leave a play that he was enjoying early and in the doing abandon congenial company meant that he was under time pressure. He zoomed home by the fastest means possible, catching the flood or ebb so that he could nip over to Turner's house in time for a power dinner (followed by a roaring good time, a great way to network then as now!)

Rex Gordon  •  Link

For a great collection of English song lyrics, many of them bawdy, visit this site:


Songs from Sam's era are particularly featured in the "Cavalier Ballads" section. Although bawdy songs are always the ones I enjoy the best, the satirical, political songs commenting on the momentous events of the era and how people perceived and felt about them are also fascinating. (The Baltimore Consort, mentioned above, hails from my hometown, Baltimore, in the state of Maryland in the USA. Maryland was founded and settled by English Catholic families in the first part of the 17th century: Calverts, Howards, Somersets, Crosslands and others ... Cavalier ballads must have been familiar to the first English-speaking Marylanders.)

Brian McMullen  •  Link

From a later L&M footnote: Not the Whitefriars Theatre opened c. 1605, but the Salisbury Court Theatre (opened in 1629), situated in the Whitefriars district east of the Temple and south of Fleet St.

The Rocque map reference is:


White Fryers is on one side of Water Lane and Salisbury Court is on the other side. The map bears no indication of a theatre in the area.

mary  •  Link

Catching the tide?

It's not many weeks since Sam got an unwelcome soaking when passing beneath the bridge. He's on his way to dinner and certainly wants to get there quickly, but surely isn't going to risk another soaking en route if the river looks less than calm. We noted earlier that passage beneath the bridge, through the very narrow waterways between the stanchions, could be uncomfortable and dangerous when the tide was either ebbing or flowing. Hence my surmise that it was slack when Sam needed passage; he was lucky to be able to avoid the delay normally incurred when leaving one boat, walking past the bridge and taking another on the other side.

vincent  •  Link

Catch as catch can: no doubt catching the tide [rising ]singing bawdy songs especially those rugger songs { Rolling in the h.... oh! sweet memories}

PHE  •  Link

{memories sweet oh!...h the in Rolling}
songs rugger those especially songs bawdy singing [rising] tide the catching doubt no : can catch as catch.
Any better? Worth a try.

john lauer  •  Link

re: Catches and Glees
The three 12" LPs I find still in my collection are
allegro 107 (3008), Catches and Glees of the English Restoration, Purcell, et al.;
allegro 3046, More Catches and Glees, the Glee Singers, John Bath, Dir. (1953); and
EA-0312, Catch That Catch Can (1958), the NY Catch Club.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"took up my old Lady Slingsby in his arms"

Perhaps this was not Robert Slingsby's wife but his mother?

Margaret, daughter of Sir William Water, an alderman of York. She was mother of the Comptroller, widow of Sir Guildford Slingsby, and, perhaps, related to Major Water, Pepys's deaf friend.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Maj. Waters: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo…

Bill  •  Link

"so we three went to Blackfryers [actually, Whitefriars; see Emilio’s note, below. P.G.]"

I wonder if perhaps Sam went to "Blackfryers" after all. William Davenant did this particular play and his theatre was in Cobham House, Blackfriers in January 1661..

Pepys went to see Davenant's company for the first time on 29 January 1661, and it may be presumed that this devotee of the theatre went on or near the opening date. The manager was having teething troubles: the performance started late, and Pepys had to exercise ‘great patience’ and endure ‘poor beginnings’. He did eventually, to his ‘great content’ see three acts of The Maid in the Mill by Fletcher and Rowley.
---Davenant [D'Avenant], Sir William (1606–1668). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009. http://www.oxforddnb.com/template…

Davenant's Company first performed at the Cockpit, Drury Lane. They began to play at Salisbury Court Theatre on November 13th, 1660, and went to Cobham House, Blackfriars, on the site afterwards occupied by Apothecaries' Hall, in January, 1661.
---Memorials of Old London. P.H. Ditchfield, ed., 1908.

MarkS  •  Link

The point about catches is that there is a 'hidden' phrase, usually bawdy, which only appears when the overlapping voices combine.

Here are two non-bawdy modern examples to give the idea:

Liverpool Street Station

University of Michigan Men's Glee Club
http://ummgc.org/public/audio/ugl… [direct link to mp3]

Keep listening, because the hidden catch phrase only appears towards the end of each song.

Mary K  •  Link

Many thanks to MarkS for a delightful demonstration of the workings of the catch.

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