Thursday 31 January 1660/61

This morning with Mr. Coventry at Whitehall about getting a ship to carry my Lord’s deals to Lynne, and we have chosen the Gift. Thence at noon to my Lord’s, where my Lady not well, so I eat a mouthfull of dinner there, and thence to the Theatre, and there sat in the pit among the company of fine ladys, &c.; and the house was exceeding full, to see Argalus and Parthenia, the first time that it hath been acted: and indeed it is good, though wronged by my over great expectations, as all things else are. Thence to my father’s to see my mother, who is pretty well after her journey from Brampton. She tells me my aunt is pretty well, yet cannot live long. My uncle pretty well too, and she believes would marry again were my aunt dead, which God forbid. So home.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

Argalus and Parthenia --

The play is by Henry Glapthorne, based upon a portion of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia.

Emilio  •  Link

Argalus and Parthenia

Further info per L&M: written between 1632 and 1638, published in 1639, and now presented for the first time since the Restoration (seemingly not the first time ever).

Emilio  •  Link

Uncle Robert

L&M also note that Sam is uncle Robert's heir, and the health of that branch of the family is thus a vital concern for him. Sam is in an awkward position - God forbid anything should happen, but if it did . . .

I'm sure this has been discussed before on the site, but I can't quite find where.

vincent  •  Link

lots of info google to sought who plagurised who.
Francis Quales 1592 1644 (Christs Coll: Camb B.A., 1608)
quote "..Milton was forces to wait until the world had done amiring Quarles Horace Walpole ..."
Argalus and Parthenia `1629 written by Quarles. It was long versed romance derived from Sidneys [Sir Philip Sidney 1554 1586]Arcadia
for details see……
plot summary books I,II,III…

segment book III at…

for the play…
"...Hos ego versiculos
Like to the damaske rose you see,
or like the blossome on the tree,
or like the dainte flower in may,..."
to see the cover page…

Lawrence  •  Link

"Ah ha Emilio?" if aunt Ann was to depart this world and uncle Robert re-married
might that not introduce new heirs to the will, which I guess uncle Robert is still at liberty to change when it should suit him? (poor Sam having such things to worry him.)

Xjy  •  Link

good, though wronged by my over great expectations, as all things else are

Here we have a tremendous clue to Sam's relationship to his diary. A new age is dawning full of possibilities for precisely someone like Sam -- and he's exploring it for all he's worth -- as if it's the end of the rainbow hiding his pot of gold. Eager, curious and energetic beyond the bounds of his social-climbing bourgeois self-centredness! When he masters his expectations, he'll stop writing...

J A Gioia  •  Link

...wronged by my over great expectations

i was struck by this line too, but in regards to dickens' novel of the little country boy raised up several notches in the class system by powerful friends whom he then must struggle to come to terms with.

sound familiar?

clearly dickens did not have access to the diary and it is remarkable that two such giants of english letters should find the same words, 200 years apart, to describe what was perhaps for the gaining british empire a fundamental sensibility.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"great expectations" Oh come on, he was expecting the play to be better than it actually was; and this happen to all of us a lot of times!

Bardi  •  Link

Why was Thomas referred to as both "The Red" and "The Black"? To do with his trade? Hair? Politics? And in the genealogy, dates for the Pepys family run from 1273-1887. Had the entire family died out by 1887, or is it because further descendants were no longer of any prominence?

Judith Boles  •  Link

What are "deals", that need a ship to be carried to Lynne? Is this the first mention of the ship, "Gift"?

Lawrence  •  Link

Judith I think you'll find that they are lengths of timber being carried to King's Lynn, and from there via the Ouse to Hinchingbrooke, My Lord is doing some alterations to the house. I think also the making of a new staircase to, hope somebody might add to this and also mention the Guift.

mary  •  Link

The deals

are the timbers that are being transported to Sandwich's country seat. They will be used for renovation work. This was discussed on 29th December and 8th January.

Stewart  •  Link

The "Gift" (also "Gift Minor") was a 16 gun ship of the Royal Navy, of 128 tons by measurement. She was the former Spanish "Bon Jesus" captured in 1658, and eventually sold in 1667.

This dramatically demonstrated how effective transportation of any heavy goods was by water rather than on the roads of the time.

Hic retearius  •  Link

"Deal" and square rig.

In maritime matters, the expression "deal" had a specific meaning in the great days of sail and that might illuminate Sam's entry.

Some readers will have seen 19th century photographs of square riggers being loaded. Those moored bows on to the shore will often be seen with some of the bow planking removed. Such vessels are not undergoing maintenance. The reason for the bows being opened up was that stevedores were loading the vessel with "deal" or off loading the same.

"Deal" was, as least for mariners in square rig, cargo that consisted of long planks about 10 inches by about two inches or a bit more and intended for resaw at the destination. My aged informant of many years ago said that the dimensions were selected for convenient, waste free resaw into the then standard sizes of lumber in Great Britain (he tapped his astonishing memory anew and reeled off what those had been and showed how they fitted into the deal dimensions!). Unsaid but obvious to us both was that such planks constituted a compact cargo, one quickly loaded by stevedores and one free of unusable material as would be the case with the alternative, raw logs. (The latter were, by the way, sometimes loaded and shipped in like manner.)

We might conclude that what Sam is talking about, then, is raw material which later was to be made into dimension lumber.

vincent  •  Link

Ah no more spittal," I eat a mouthfull of dinner there, and thence to the Theatre, and there sat in the pit among the company of fine ladys, &c.; and the ..." no sneaking peaks? pay a fair price and enjoy the ambiance and perfume.

Bradford  •  Link

"good, though wronged by my over great expectations, as all things else are"

Sam hopes for great things from life, in matters large and small, and (endearingly) keeps on hoping for them---since, as another Sam said a century later, "Yet it is necessary to hope, though hope should always be deluded; for hope itself is happiness, and its frustrations, however frequent, are less dreadful than its extinction."
(Johnson, "The Idler," 58)

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Bardi: Thomas 'The Red'/'The Black'

Somebody who knows more about Pepys' family than I do will probably answer your question in full, but the need to distinguish people in this manner stems from the curious (to us) practice of giving the same name to two or more children. This gave rise to a need for 'descriptives', e.g. John the Fair, John the Short and so on. Strange but true.

Glyn  •  Link

I think that giving different children the same name was a reflection on the high rate of child mortality at this time: if you were to name your offspring after the father/grandfather or favoured relative it would be better to do it more than once in the hope that at least one would grow into adulthood. If they both did, then that was a bonus.

Captain Caveman  •  Link

Can someone cite some evidence that parents would give the same name to two living children? I know that if a child died his name might be reassigned to a child born after his death, but I've never heard of a family in which two brothers were given the same first name.

Jackie  •  Link

Two Centuries earlier, the Paston family (whose letters illuminate the 15th Century) had two brothers both called John, as was their father.

Not common, but it definitely seemed to happen sometimes.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: children with the same name

Lest we forget (I know, you were probably *trying* to), pugilist and pitchman George Foreman has five sons who share the same name ... their father's. Yes, they are George Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI. I'll leave it up to you lot to make jokes about the madness of George III, the wanton ways of George IV, etc., etc.

He even has a daughter named Frieda George Foreman. I ain't lyin.

vicente  •  Link

Bardi: Thomas "The Red"/'The Black" Remember the records are incomplete, even in this day and age of computers ,tighter controls, names do not always cross references properly, identifiying people even now correctly ,becomes an emense task. The Experts do not have 100% proof which gran pa was sam’s, the red or the black, ‘tis a game of roulette..

Pedro  •  Link

The Gift.

The Gift, Stewart says, and repeated in the background by the Vincente, is a ship of I6 guns and 128 tons. Also that there is a "Gift Minor", but no source information is given.

I can only find warships called the Great Gift and Little Gift both listed in the fleet for April 1665.

As Sam is looking for a ship to take Sandwich's deals would this be a warship or a merchantman? There are several merchantmen and warships that share the same name. Perhaps our nautical annotators may have a view?

I will put more information on the "Gifts" in the background.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

A DEAL, Board
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

william wright  •  Link

I work as a volunteer in the maritime museum which is on the footprint of the old fort overlooking the dock in King's Lynn. I have always known of the ship and its cargo but never been able to find any records of it. Bishop's Lynn before it was King's Lynn.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

I had some cousins called by their middle names because both brothers had the first name Samuel. My grandfather called them "First and Second Samuel".

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

A minor note of the difference between "stevedore" and "longshoreman" that I learned early on in the US Merchant Marine (aka Merchant Navy in GB). A longshoreman actually does the labor of loading and unloading vessels and is employed by a stevedore who represents or owns the company that provides those services. The words are often confused.

In my experience in foreign ports the stevedore would provide baksheesh in the form of perhaps some wine or whisky to the captain, and also sometimes to the chief engineer and first mate.

Long Memory  •  Link

A floorboard is still referred to in modern German as a 'Diele' (pronounced 'dealer'), plural 'Dielen' (meaning planks).

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Pepys' Diary was first published in 1825. Dickens' Great Expectations was published in 1861.

John Matthew IV  •  Link

"and indeed it is good, though wronged by my over great expectations, as all things else are."

I loved this line as it can be used so often by me today. I am going to see a play tonight with great expectations.

The universality of Sam's writing is one reason I keep coming back to it.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I think we can assume it was the Little Gift that took Sandwich's deals to Kings Lynn in February 1660/61.

Interesting that Sandwich bought his wood in France/Flanders/Dutch Republic -- depending on where he delivered the Queen Mother and Minette (I suspect France since they were French Catholics and therefore welcome).

RLB  •  Link

@Stewart "This dramatically demonstrated how effective transportation of any heavy goods was by water rather than on the roads of the time":

It still is. That's why Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and London are so important. Bulk goods (like coal, oil and gravel, but also like, in this case, uncut wood) are still more efficiently shipped by, well, ship. Not everything needs to be Alibaba'd to your doorstep within three working days; the only difference between Pepys' days and ours is than some things can be, not that everything has to be.

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