Tuesday 25 June 1661

Up this morning to put my papers in order that are come from my Lord’s, so that now I have nothing there remaining that is mine, which I have had till now.

This morning came Mr. Goodgroome to me (recommended by Mr. Mage), with whom I agreed presently to give him 20s. entrance, which I then did, and 20s. a month more to teach me to sing, and so we began, and I hope I have come to something in it. His first song is “La cruda la bella.” He gone my brother Tom comes, with whom I made even with my father and the two drapers for the cloths I sent to sea lately.

At home all day, in the afternoon came Captain Allen and his daughter Rebecca and Mr. Hempson, and by and by both Sir Williams, who sat with me till it was late, and I had a very gallant collation for them.

At night to bed.

33 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"La cruda la bella" If my italian serves me right cruda means raw;bella of course means beautiful(feminine).is he talking about vegetables:salsa cruda? or perhaps apples,like beautiful raw apples?If the song is about women,which I think it is most likely, then I would have trouble translating it.

dirk  •  Link

Tu mi lasci, o cruda, o bella (canzonetta)

"Tu mi lasci, o cruda, o bella!
Ah, dove vai,
O fatal mia cara stella?
Ohim?, che fai?
De tuoi lumi i dolci rai
Nieghi a gli occhi, e doni al core,
Empia, l’ardore.

Torna Clori, e mira almeno
Come si strugge
Al bel guardo tuo sereno
Chi t’ama. E fugge
Pur costei, che ‘l fiore adugge
Di mia speme: e di lei privo
Pur anco vivo?

O d’Amor legge severa:
L’anima mia
Fugge, et ei non vuol ch’io pera
Ah, sorte ria!
Seguir? per questa via
La mia vita, dimmi, o sorte,
O la mia morte?”

Francesco Bonardo de Perissone
Comp. Sigismondo d’India, from Palermo, Sicily (1582? - 1629)



You are leaving me, o cruel, o beautiful one!
Ah, where are you going,
o my fatal, beloved star?
Alas, what will I do?
You deny me your sweet glances
and inflame my heart,
wicked one, with ardor.

Return, Clori, and see at least
how your carefree air
torments him who loves you.
And still she flees,
she who lets wither the flower
of my hope: and can I go on living without her?

O Love’s harsh law:
my soul flees,
and yet I am not allowed to die.
Ah, cruel fate!
Following this path, will I find
my life, tell me, fate, or my death?

dirk  •  Link


Does anybody know if Sam spoke Italian? Did he understand the text of the song he was learning, or was he just fascinated by the sweet sounds of the Italian language - as many opera lovers today?

daniel  •  Link


as we will find out later in this diary, Sam is familiar with Latin, French and Spanish as he forms his own code out of it when he needs to be extra discreet. His Italian skills might have been less developed.

vicente  •  Link

"...brother Tom comes, with whom I made even with my father and the two drapers for the cloths I sent to sea lately..." Splitting the Commission, I wonder? 8 percent??? not telling now his extras. Must be using his other little black book[receipt book for keeping tally of his financial transactions.].

Ruben  •  Link

Thank you for the wonderful song and the site.
When you speak Latin and some Spanish and French you understand most Italian, believe me...

Xjy  •  Link

Understanding Italian
Very close to Spanish, not to mention Latin. I've watched Spanish speakers (not only Argentines :-) conversing directly in Spanish with Italians speaking Italian. Almost as close as Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Finnish-Estonian?? Bulgarian-Russian? That sort of thing. Probably not quite the same for non-native speakers, mind.

Pedro.  •  Link

When you speak Latin

Sam's great knowledge of Latin would help him understand all the Romance Languages quite quickly.
One interesting point, as I have been led to believe, is that Spanish speakers can understand written Portuguese, but are flummoxed by the pronunciation.

language hat  •  Link

"not only Argentines"

Heh. I used to live in Argentina and it's quite true that Buenos Aires is like one huge Little Italy (best pizza I ever had, too). We had a plumber who'd immigrated from Italy years before and forgotten Italian without really learning Spanish; I was the only one in the family who could understand him.

language hat  •  Link

"Spanish speakers can understand written Portuguese, but are flummoxed by the pronunciation"

This too is quite true. I have little problem reading Portuguese, but hearing it spoken is mind-boggling (either variety) -- especially with the version of the mother country, I have to hear it for a couple of minutes before I even realize it's Portuguese. Weirdest vowels I've ever heard.

dirk  •  Link

Spanish, Italian etc

One Romance language was overlooked here: Catalan - which *is* a language, not a dialect of Spanish. Actually Catalan of all the Romance languages is the closest to the original popular Latin.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Overloked Romance Languages
Isn't there also a language spoken in Switzerland by Italians, which is a language in its own right? (and not like Swisserdeutsch)

vicente  •  Link

LH shoosh

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks, Jenny! Is it also spoken in northern Italy and/or south west Austria? Is it like Italian? And is Brazilian Portuguese different from that spoken in Portugal? I used to work with someone from Portugal. He reckoned the *Spanish* had funny vowel sounds, and couldn't play football as well as the Portuguese. [On that latter point, and going off topic, sorry, he's probably feeling very top-of-the-heap now]!
Will courtiers be learning Portuguese in England at this time of the diary? Or was it just expected that Catherine would learn English - sink or swim. ??

Pedro.  •  Link

Conversing in different languages.

Catarina could speak Spanish, and Charles could also speak a little, and so initially they would converse in Spanish. I don't know yet if she was fully comfortable with English, even by the time she went home, but she had a good education and would be able learn enough. I have not seen much evidence that anyone learnt Portuguese, although many could get by in Spanish.
Brazilian Portuguese is more predictable, whereas in Portugal many vowels can be unpronounced or weakened. The difference in pronunciation of the letter "d", and "te" at the end of a word, make it much more musical and sexy!

Ruben  •  Link

Conversing in different languages.
I see almost all the languages derived from Latin were mentioned, so we cannot forget Romanian, and then the list is complete.

Harry  •  Link

Conversing in different languages

and then the list is complete.

How about special versions of French spoken in the New World: in Quebec (not only is the accent different, but the vocabulary can vary)and Haiti, and more generally Creole?

Ruben  •  Link

Conversing in different languages
Harry: those you cite are more local variants than languages. I would say more grandchildren of Latin than children.
They are more than a dozen such dialects.
Creole languages instead are composed of French or English words and an African or other (depends on the country) local grammar.
You cannot say that they are direct children of Latin.
If not so, then English itself contains a lot ot Latin and still I think it is more Germanic than Latin.
What do English experts think ot this?

Mary  •  Link

Yet another kind of Portuguese

is that language (Cristao) spoken in the Portuguese Colony of Malacca, Malaysia. Speakers of Cristao say that they have great difficulty understanding the 'deep Portuguese' of Portugal, but they anxiously keep all possible elements of their European heritage alive.

vicente  •  Link

English: is it latin based or Germanic ?: My [non macadamia]view is that the basic single or 2 syllable tend to be Germanic, where Latin-French tend to higher inscrutable officious or officiary for specialised documatary communication: 'tis great, to be able to tell someone that they are procrastinating or they B***** L*** ------

dirk  •  Link

Is English a Germanic language?

Definitely. The origin of languages is determined by structural similarities, and not the origin of individual words or phrases. And the syntax of English is definitely Germanic. (Think for instance of the common feature of Germanic languages to form compound words by simply "adding them up" instead of connecting them by a preposition, e.g. English: dining + room = dining room - French: salle + manger = salle a manger, with a preposition.) As such the structures of English derive directly from Old Saxon and related languages. Of course if we go back all the way, we find that both Germanic and Romance languages all go back to Indo-European - but that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Grahamt  •  Link

English is a Nordic Language as much as Germanic.
Beowolf, the oldest known Anglo Saxon poem, is much closer to Scandinavian than to German. Of course now it is a hybrid of Anglo-saxon-jute-nordic-latin-norman-gaellic-indo-sino-franco-judo-afro-everything. All the early invasions and the breadth of the British empire (that includes North America) ensured that it became a unique melting pot of languages. Sentence structure is not Germanic; we do not at the end of sentences secondary verbs put. We also do not capitalise all Nouns. You could find examples showing English was descended from almost any language group: no split infinitives (latin), adjective before noun (Germanic) -son suffix on names (nordic), etc.
In reality it descended from them all, but became a language in its own right with its own grammer and structure long before Pepys and Shakespeare.

Phil  •  Link

As interesting as this is, can we try snd keep on-topic please - we were originally disucssing Sam's ability to speak Italian. Please use the discussion group http://www.smartgroups.com/groups… for stuff like this. Many thanks.

dirk  •  Link

Sam's knowledge of Italian

Browsing through the entire diary, I found several passages that seem to suggest that Sam's knowledge of the Italian language was very limited - he certainly had difficulty understanding people who spoke it (but then again that may have been due to the accent of the speaker).

Some examples:
(I don't think these are spoilers, as the are given here without the context.)

"the Italian Signor Baptista, who hath composed a play in Italian for the Opera (...) The words I did not understand, and so know not how they are fitted"
12 February 1666/1667

"though it may be pleasing to an Italian, or one that understands the tongue, yet to me it did not"
16 February 1666/1667

Still, when he starts using his own variety of lingua franca, it will contain some Italian words - but he may have picked them up here and there without really mastering the language.

tjcarr  •  Link

20s. entrance fee
Its interesting to note that such "sign up" fees are nothing new. It will be interesting to see how his vocal talent develops.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Brazilian Portuguese" Aussie Susan, the Portuguese spoken in Brazil has many African and Indigenous words, also the pronunciation is different from Portugal since they tend not pronounce the vowels the way Brazilians do.

tom  •  Link

Portuguese and Spanish are without question the closest romance languages having an 89% similar vocabulary. Italian and Spanish may sound more alike, but a deep and meaningful conversation between speakers of these two languages gets muddled in no time.

Juan Pablo  •  Link

I am from Colombia and I agree with you completely Tom. I can converse with any Portuguese speakers almost perfectly, but with the italian speakers the meanings and context get mixed up.

pat stewart cavalier  •  Link

No, Ruben, the list is not complete : you've all forgotten Occitan, the native language spoken in Languedoc (one of the French provinces# until early 20th century, and which still remains as a language for intellectuals. The main 19th century poet was Frédéric Mistral #1830-1914). It was said in the middle ages that the count of Toulouse, whose mother language was Occitan, was writing poetry when the king of France was still signing with a cross.

Second Reading

eileen d.  •  Link

off topic comment about off topic comments:

despite Phil's plea that we move the romance language discussion elsewhere, it continued even 10 years later! unusual, since we're generally a respectful crowd, appreciative of Phil's amazing project and all his work. I think it points to the preponderance of linguists (professional and amateur) that follow this site. the passion could not be contained...

the parsing and sourcing of Sam's vocabulary is truly one of the highlights of the annotations.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He gone my brother Tom comes, with whom I made even with my father and the two drapers for the cloths I sent to sea lately."

L&M: The cloth (which included £50-worth of fine linens) was to be used as gifts: .

Samuel Pepys to Sandwich

Written from: Navy Office

Date: 25 June 1661

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 73, fol(s). 538

Document type: Holograph

Sends further particulars of purchases for the Admiral, having been advised that it would be well to add fine linens to the fine cloths [see MS. Carte 73, fol(s). 525]. Alderman Blackwell will wait upon his Lordship in the Downs.

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