Friday 30 August 1661

At noon my wife and I met at the Wardrobe, and there dined with the children, and after dinner up to my Lady’s bedside, and talked and laughed a good while. Then my wife end I to Drury Lane to the French comedy, which was so ill done, and the scenes and company and every thing else so nasty and out of order and poor, that I was sick all the while in my mind to be there. Here my wife met with a son of my Lord Somersett, whom she knew in France, a pretty man; I showed him no great countenance, to avoyd further acquaintance. That done, there being nothing pleasant but the foolery of the farce, we went home.

36 Annotations

First Reading

RexLeo  •  Link

".. a pretty man; I showed him no great countenance, to avoyd further acquaintance."

Jealous, aren't we Sam?

daniel  •  Link

Lord Somersett
indeed, it would seem so. It might simply be that this shows that Liz has social contacts outside her hubbie's circle.

Bob T  •  Link

to avoyd further aquaintance.
Jealousy, maybe. It also shows that Sam feels a lot more secure about himself, and doesn't have to bother with people that he doesn't like. Would he have done this three years ealier?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"up to my Lady's bedside, and talked and laughed a good while.”
I know Sam is supposed to be keeping an eye on Sandwich affairs whilst Lord S is in Italy/Africa, but he does rather enjoy it, doesn’t he?
Health Note: Shouldn’t Lady S be up and about by now? She runs the risk of blood clots in the legs if she doesn’t get some post-natal exercise soon!

Eric Walla  •  Link

With no explanation offered (as he has done in previous entries) I would think that Sam and Elizabeth have gone to the Wardrobe with the idea in mind of eating with the children--they may both miss them.

As far as the son of Lord Somersett: is Sam perhaps projecting his own behavior on Elizabeth and what her thoughts might be about "pretty men?"

vicente  •  Link

'my wife end I to'
'end' trust just a scan problem

"...French comedy, which was so ill done, and the scenes and company and every thing else so nasty and out of order and poor, that I was sick all the while in my mind to be there..."

I wonder what he doth mean, I am fairly sure it is not the language[may be wifey complained ?] Maybe be bad acting? doubt it. The In crowd not back at court and showing off at the thertar [darlin'][teatro] from the Estates and not yet season for showing off the latest available daughters with Dowries and fashions, to be shown around for improving bloodlines and cash flow. I do think he was veddy upset by this preety boy, [never made his mark?] laying on the french savoire faire too thick.
He does seem,that he is no longer fooled by titils or fake aires and Fake graces. Just the other day, he no longer he shrivels up by bad comments of his betters.

Mary  •  Link

"the French comedy ... so ill done"

According to L&M footnote, this was played at the Cockpit Theatre in Drury Lane, probably a performance of 'The Marriage of Orpheus and Eurydice' presented by a French company under Jean Channoveau. The first performance by a company of foreign actors recorded after the Restoration.

The farce would have been a humorous little playlet, given after the main drama.

We could, of course, take Pepys at his word; it was a thoroughly bad performance, poorly presented. However, he seems to have stuck it out, presumably for Elizabeth's sake. She, poor soul, will have had a wretched afternoon, either because the play was really bad, or because Sam has ruined what enjoyment she had of it by his adverse criticism.

PHE  •  Link

"I showed him no great countenance, to avoyd further acquaintance"
I presume the reason for this was that he didn't like the idea of his wife developing an acquaintance with another man - for various possible reasons such as jealousy and Sam's own pride in that a 'wife' (in those times) should not have male friends however innocent the relationship. This is an example of the unique nature of Sam's diaries. As a relatively minor personal thought, you wonder why he bothered mentioning it in the diary. However, it is of interest to us for two main reasons. First, it tells us something of Sam's character, and second, it is the sort of thought that many of us have in our heads, but which we would never normally mention to anyone else - and often not even admit to ourselves. In this case, Sam has told 'us' - his diary readers - a thought that he would not have discussed with any one in his own life. There are, of course, many other similar examples throughout the diary.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

That is just how one's day can go: you're having a good time and then something happens and your mood changes.
Sam is exactly pointing out what is triggering this: a rotten play and his wife is meeting an acquaintance she knew before him and whom he dislikes (because of jealousy?).
How human.

E  •  Link

What a wife should do
I imagine the ideas of how a proper wife should behave had changed fairly drastically during the Civil War and Commonwealth years with husbands charging off to the war, or getting arrested, or suddenly going into hiding or even years of exile. No doubt other male relatives usually got involved in runing the household etc (particularly if there were valuable assets, but to be fair also if a family was left destitute), but surely there was an increase in the degree to which many women had to deal directly with the outside world.

I wonder to what extent the laxer morality of the Restoration period was a consequence of fractured family life in the previous years?

Rex Gordon  •  Link

"I showed him no great countenance ..."

How rare a diarist it is who will readily admit that he was deliberately rude and unsociable! (All the more remarkable if you think, as I do, that Sam intended his diary to be read by future generations.) Jealousy, no doubt. But probably envy, too, as this "pretty man" must have been far more pleasing to look upon than our friend Sam.

Ann  •  Link

I'm glad to see that Elizabeth gets to go to the theatre so often now, when she never went the first 18 months or so of the diary. I'm trying to account for this. At first, I thought it was because Sam is moving up in the world, so Liz doesn't have as many drudging household chores. But, since in the last week, they lost both Pall and Jane, this hardly makes sense. Is Sam simply enjoying her company more now?

Stolzi  •  Link

Australian Susan,
they didn't know about the blood clots then, of course.

In fact, the common name for this period, at the time, was "lying-in."

Glyn  •  Link

Ann's raised an interesting point: Sam has taken Elizabeth to the theatre three times in the past eight days, which must be more frequently than he ever has done before.

(Small Spoiler) I thought that Pall had been given a day's notice to leave with her parents for Brampton, but apparently she is still living with Sam and Elizabeth at present.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Health Note: Shouldn't Lady S be up and about by now?

Susan - even fifty or sixty years ago, it was normal for women who could afford to be cared for and who had help with their other children to simply stay in bed for two weeks after childbirth, and in earlier periods for wealthier women to stay abed even longer. I read in Claire Tomalin’s biography of Jane Austen that Mrs Austen used to basically confine herself with the new baby and focus on feeding it and caring for it for the first three months. As Stolzi says, they didn’t know about the risk of blood clots then.

Now, I think we have gone from one extreme to the other, and in our anxiety to get women moving physically we tend to deprive them of comfort and rest after childbirth by expecting them to ‘get back to normal’ rather too quickly.

BradW  •  Link

There's "confined" and then there's "abed".

Maybe Lady Sandwich got the same advice that my wife did from our pediatrician: "Might as well plan to be on the baby's sleep schedule for the first few weeks, and don't try to have a normal life, even if you feel healthy enough. They sleep enough you can still get some things done around the house, and get 8 hours sleep out of every 24, if you just don't insist on your pre-baby time schedules." It also helps the mom be there to nurse on demand. Sam didn't mention any wet nurse, (although I suppose the Montagu's could afford one.)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"my Lady's bedside"
I don't think they knew about post partum depression either,although it existed since there is a physiological cause; it was probably considered normal,although some infanticides could have been explained by it.

Kevin Peter  •  Link

"I showed him no great countenance, to avoyd further acquaintance."

I took this to mean that Sam himself wasn't interested in making further aquaintance with the man, rather than not wanting his wife to know him. Perhaps he found the man uninteresting and didn't wanted to be overly familiar with him, which could mean future periods of boredom and unpleasantness. After all, I'm sure he wished he weren't so well acquainted with the Joyces or Balty, whose presence he clearly does not enjoy.

Lawrence  •  Link

Myself being a fairly young man and married. I would find any good looking fellow that I don't know that stops and enjoys a light hearted chat with my wife, would makes me a little jealous, "wouldn't it?"

Australian Susan  •  Link

"lying in"
Yes, my Lady Montagu is enjoying what could be afforded by ladies of leisure, but it "is" longer than the usual time of a couple of weeks, which is why I was expressing concern. She almost certainly would have had a wet nurse. When Lucy Hutchinson took to feeding her own children (slightly earlier than this) this was taken to be *most* eccentric behaviour. She also had to be an independent lady as "E" refers to during these "fractured times" and is to be muich admired, I think.
[personal peeve: I would have *loved* 2 weeks in bed with each of mine! Women are expected to be superwomen even more these days and get back to work when babe is 6 weeks lest they lose their place on the career ladder]

dirk  •  Link

"Elizabeth gets to go to the theatre so often now" - re Ann

Maybe that's because she's feeling better now. Untill recently the diary entries frequently referred to Liz not feeling well or having medical problems to cope with.

vicente  •  Link

'Elizabeth gets to go to the theatre so often now'
I doth think it could be a touch of "'wot's' good for the Gander maybe good for goose too", and she is making herself heard, or just may be Sam is having a touch of conscience see tomorrows long entry.

Pauline  •  Link

"Elizabeth gets to go to the theatre so often now"
Or that Sam is less busy and isn’t stopping by the theaters as he comes and goes for business. It has been much more of a family time; and more time for Lady Sandwich, more time for Elizabeth. He and E had taken in Lady Sandwich’s children for awhile and have just been spending more time together.

Pedro  •  Link

On the 30th August 1661...

Allin nears the Goodwin after his voyage from Constantinople…

"The wind was WSW. A stiff gale, and in the narrow we sunk our longboat and overwelmed before we could get our topsails down and broke both her fasts and one poor man in her, and by great chance the boatswain's yawl was made fast astern the longboat with one in her, so the man got into the yawl and our ketch took her up with the two men in her, but lost our longboat, grap-iron and hawser and all her oars, windlass and davit. Before we brought St. Peter's Church upon Broadstairs, which is the mark that you are clear of the north head of the Goodwin, the wind was WNW, and stood a mile further and wended."

"The marks to come through the Gulls between the Goodwin and Brake is the lighthouse upon South Foreland upon a broad valley and a church upon the third valley and you have St. Peter's steeple or Church upon Ramsgate, then you are clear of the north head of the Brake, and St. Peter's church upon Broadstairs, then you are clear of the north end of the Goodwin and may run to sea what you please..."

(The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Here my wife met with a son of my Lord Somersett, whom she knew in France"

Lord John Somerset, second son of the first Marquis of Worcester, had himself three sons, Henry, Thomas, and Charles, but it is uncertain which is here meant. There was no other Lord Somerset to whom the passage could apply. It was probably Thomas, as the other brothers were married.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

The definition of a comedy in 1661 may not have been quite the same as ours.

COMEDY, a Play composed with Art either in Prose or Verse to represent some Action agreeable to human Life and not cruel.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Bill  •  Link

"I showed him no great countenance"

COUNTENANCE, Looks, Face, Visage, also Encouragement.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Apart from the probable jealousy, Sam could not afford to socialise with the Somersets, financially or politically. As Beauforts, being descended from John of Gaunt, they were high aristocrats, and were also prominent at court; but they also had papists and priests amongst their number, and so were politically toxic, certainly in the 1660s.…

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Calling a man "pretty" was probably as much a put-down as it would be today.

GrannieAnnie  •  Link

Agree with Louise: "pretty" would have been a snide remark, especially since Sam was feeling jealous.

It is amazing Sam would write these feelings openly unless, and I think this is his reason, he likes to reread his diary at the end of the year and perhaps learn something about himself, how his viewpoint of situations/people may have changed over the course of a year. A way of charting his own growth of understanding, if you will.

Bill  •  Link

"a son of my Lord Somersett, whom she knew in France, a pretty man"

A pretty man in England is a despicable character the words implying beauty of person with scarcely any other accomplishment; But in Scotland, it is often used in the sense of graceful, beautiful with dignity, or well-accomplised.
---Observations on the Scottish Dialect. J. Sinclair, 1782.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Sam is not of course "writing his feelings openly". It's a personal diary in shorthand. One keeps a personal diary to help remember both what was important: events emotions etc, and maybe a snapshot of trivial detail, perhaps decades later.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘pretty adj. . . 3. Used as a general term of admiration or appreciation.
a. Of a person: having all the requisite qualities, etc.; bold, gallant, brave; polite, respectable, etc.; worthy, admirable, splendid. Now chiefly U.S.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 11 May (1970) I. 134 Dr. Clarke, who I find to be a very pretty man and very knowing . . ‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Then my wife end I to Drury Lane to the French comedy"

At the Cockpit Theatre, Drury Lane.; probably Le marriage de orphée et Eurydice (completed by Chapoton, 1648), presented by a French company under Jean Channoveau. This is the first record of a performance by foreign actors after the Restoration. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

""a son of my Lord Somersett, whom she knew in France, a pretty man""

This was probably Thomas, second son of Lord John Somerset, who was second son of the 1st Marques of Worcester, the wealthy royalist. Elizabeth Pepys as a young girl had lived in Paris, c. 1648-53. (L&M footnote)

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