Sunday 24 February 1660/61

(Sunday). Mr. Mills made as excellent a sermon in the morning against drunkenness as ever I heard in my life. I dined at home; another good one of his in the afternoon. My Valentine [Martha Batten. P.G.] had her fine gloves on at church to-day that I did give her.

After sermon my wife and I unto Sir Wm. Batten and sat awhile. Then home, I to read, then to supper and to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"excellent a sermon ...against drunkenness" since he liked it so much either he is a masochist or he interpreted it as being against drinking in excess because he drinks alcohol almost everyday!

Nix  •  Link

But seldom to excess.

Bob T  •  Link

Sam had to drink something, and a glass of water was a short-cut to the cemetery. If he drank milk, then he ran the risk of getting tuberculosis, so what was he going to do? Wine and beer were the only safe liquids that he could drink. In his times beer was not considered to be a recreational drink, but a food. That meant that brewers fell into the same category as farmers, and could be presented at court, whereas lawyers could not.
Were tea and coffee making their appearances around this time?

William Crosby  •  Link

Bob--this has been discussed throughout the last year. Commercial coffee as a beverage and coffee shops were becoming an important place to meet and be seen as I recall. If you go to background annotations you'll see excellent annotations relating to food and beverages.

Josh  •  Link

Gallant souls all, not to remember those occasions when our toper-by- necessity did not feel so very well come the next morning, his old complaint acting up, usw.
But Pepys has Keats's negative capability avant la lettre, able to hold contrarieties simultaneously---A good Sermon against What I sometimes do Myself anyhow---with aplomb. As who does not, if we were we to tell truths like Sam.

vincent  •  Link

The unspoken words, 'Just like a man', now't said how wifey is going to fiddle?"...Then home, I to read, then to supper and to bed...." oh! what a day cold maybe wet? One good sermon about one of the great distractions facing man, after that a bite to eat [may I say drink] then to another berating of the mind [not worthy of comment?], then to see the possessor of his gloves [very chase, wife around] then back to the Casa, to enjoy a restful evening, indulging maybe in ones those lighter readings in french maybe [no music, so quiet] ? [not inspiring of comment][the cat snoring, the dog sleeping and the monkey ?][the help resting ?]

roberto  •  Link

"My Valentine"

Sam appears to reference St. Valentine Day again and again after St. Valentine's Day is long past. Perhaps I was a longer occasion then than it is today.

skutch  •  Link

sam is drunk all the time when he writes these, remember when he thought there was a monkey loose in the house?

David Goldfarb  •  Link

Tea and coffee were indeed making their appearances around this time, but were still somewhat luxury items. Our Sam had his first-ever cup of "tee" back on 25 September 1660.

Xjy  •  Link

The Valentine references
Maybe it was just Carnival time? Early spring stirrings...
Arranged marriages and a rigid system of property based on them opened the door to a vast subculture (and sometimes not so very sub, depending on the Zeitgeist) of flirtation and sexual intrigue. Rule no. 1, don't get caught. In other words, write about if you must, but do it in shorthand.

Susan  •  Link

Interesting. No mention of whether Elizabeth was wearing her Valentine's gifts??!!

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Roberto, of course Sam is only remembering. On February 18th he spent 40 shilling on six payre of plain white gloves for 'his' Valentine, Mrs Martha Batten, and now he recognizes them as she is chastely wearing them in church.

Pedro.  •  Link

"excellent a sermon in the morning against drunkenness as ever I heard in my life." He drinks every day, but seldom to excess? Well, he has had a few sore heads in the morning, but many times he admits to being "merry!" Perhaps it was the presentation that was excellent.

Scott  •  Link

Sam must think the sermon is for those other folks that can't handle their drink. This is well before Demon Gin causes a national crisis isn't it? I think I need to hear that sermon after living thru another Mardi Gras this year.

Emilio  •  Link

Or, like many of us, he thinks it's wonderful moral advice that he just can't follow most of the time. We've seen (and will see again) Sam vow to give up drink when in the clutches of an especially nasty hangover, but then return to his same old carousing self a few days or weeks later.

vincent  •  Link

St Augustine said it correctly, I want to be good, but not today. [ tomorrow]
Da mihi castitatem et continentiam,sed noli modo. St Augustine, Confessiones,VIII,7
Give me chastity and restraint, but at another time.

StewartMcI  •  Link

And of course Lord Byron...

"Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after."

Rich Merne  •  Link

Hi Skutch, Not so sure about Sam's monkey being a figment. Thinking that there is a monkey, isn't just 'drunk', it's the bottom end of disfunctional delirium. If he was that bad I think we'd have no diarist or diary. Maybe he had a monkey in a cage.

Second Reading

meech  •  Link

Regarding "drunkenness"...
It's a matter of degrees, I think. In my parent's youth, the 30's and 40's, the alcohol flowed freely, and I'm talking about the hard stuff. No Cab or Chardonnay for them. Probably a reaction to Prohibition. Although from stories they've told it doesn't sound like there was much lessening of the flow even then. Having several high balls was fine as long as you could "handle your liquor". Looking back now I'm surprised at how much they drank, so by today's standards they and Sam imbibed overmuch, but in his case, that's all he had to drink. My parents generation didn't have that excuse. However he does occasionally overdo it, and has had a few bad mornings where he's been repentant, but in his mind this probably does not make him a drunkard. A 'drunkard' and 'drunkenness' may be something much worse to him than just having a hangover.

AndreaLouise Hanover  •  Link

Sam drunkeness - I count the number of times he is not feeling well due to his excessive drinking. Actually I delight in it.

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