Saturday 16 February 1660/61

To my Lord in the morning, who looked over my accounts and agreed to them. I did also get him to sign a bill (which do make my heart merry) for 60l. to me, in consideration of my work extraordinary at sea this last voyage, which I hope to get paid.

I dined with my Lord and then to the Theatre, where I saw “The Virgin Martyr,” a good but too sober a play for the company. Then home.

17 Annotations

First Reading

J. Bailey  •  Link

Not a bad bonus. And if I remember correctly, most of Pepy's shipboard time was spent waiting for better weather, playing various card games, playing music and engaging in sing-a-longs, and getting splashed with scrub water thrown through his window. Not to mention all the barrels of oysters and the wine and other food consumed!

David A. Smith  •  Link

"60l. ... in consideration of my work extraordinary at sea"
I have to admit, Sam's not the only one for whom Montagu's gesture 'do make my heart merry.' But I like as well Sam's careful cautious caveat, '(which I hope to get paid)'. Methinks he knows his lord not wisely but too well ....

vincent  •  Link

oh! What does he mean? :...a good but too sober a play for the company. ..."

Susan  •  Link

"too sober a play..." What came to my mind with this comment was that the audience was in mind for a jolly farce and got serious stuff instead and started misbehaving - shouting comments and throwing things on the stage etc. This can still happen. Apparently, there was a dire production of the Diary of Anne Frank put on in Ireland a few years back. The actress playing Anne (Pia Zadora) was very bad. So much so, that in one performance, when the Nazis first come to search the house, someone from the audience (hoping to get home early) yelled out "She's in the attic!"

dirk  •  Link

The Virgin Martyr

Maybe a slight spoiler, but worth mentioning: Sam will see the play again on Feb 27 1668, and after hearing the recorders will go and buy one himself and learn to play it.

"...thence with my wife (...) to see Virgin Martyr (...) that which did please me beyond anything in the whole world was the wind musique when the Angell comes down, which is so sweet that it ravished me; and endeed, in a word, did wrap up my soul, so that it made be really sick, just as I have formerly been when in love with my wife; that neither then, nor all evening going home and at home, I was able to think of anything, but remained all night transported, so as I could not believe that ever any music hath that real command over the soul of a man as this did upon me; and makes me resolve to practise wind-music and to make my wife do the like."

An article on Dekker & Massinger:…

mary  •  Link

Will Sam actually get his bonus?

The cause of Sam's caveat is not any tight-fistedness on Sandwich's part, but doubts about whether he can extract the promised sum from the government coffers.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

"...too sober a play..."

Susan's interpretation seems plausible to me. The only other one I can think of is that "the company" refers to the players, and that Sam thought their talents more suited to lighter stuff.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Pia Zadora as Anne Frank?!?!?

The only role I can think of that she's less suited for is that of the Virgin Martyr...

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Pia Zadora as Anne Frank

Susan, funny as that story is, I've just found that it's -- like so many things in life -- apocryphal. Not only has Pia never graced the stage as Anne Frank (*shudder*), but Nazis soldiers don't appear in the play, either. You were thinking of "Springtime for Hitler," maybe? ;-)

See… for more info.

Susan  •  Link

Re Sam's comments on the performance of the play. On re-reading this, I think Keven is correct and that "the company" refers to the actors, whom Sam (becoming increasingly sophisticated as a playgoer) thought not the right sort of players for such a piece - they were the ones more suited to jolly farce, not the audience. Sorry about the Pia Zadora anecdote - it came from The Guardian no less - shame on them for not checking sources.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M note Pepys already had received £50 as pay for 90 days' service.

Third Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

That £60 would be worth more than £6,000 today.

LKvM  •  Link

I love his wonderfully immediate description of how the music had transported him into an ecstasy like what he had felt at his first love for his wife. Re whether he is a good writer or not, this proves he is.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“… work extraordinary …”
I believe that “extraordinary” here means not that he did his work in an extraordinarily effective manner, but that he did work “extra” (outside) the work which he “ordinarily” did. The equivalent in today’s Royal Navy is “Additional Duties” pay, for example a warfare officer teaching GCSE maths and English.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.