Friday 25 October 1661

To Whitehall, and so to dinner at the Wardrobe, where my wife met me, and there we met with a venison pasty, and my Lady very merry and very handsome, methought. After dinner my wife and I to the Opera, and there saw again “Love and Honour,” a play so good that it has been acted but three times and I have seen them all, and all in this week; which is too much, and more than I will do again a good while. Coming out of the house we met Mrs. Pierce and her comrade Mrs. Clifford, and I seeming willing to stay with them to talk my wife grew angry, and whether she be jealous or no I know, not, but she loves not that I should speak of Mrs. Pierce. Home on foot very discontented, in my way I calling at the Instrument maker, Hunt’s, and there saw my lute, which is now almost done, it being to have a new neck to it and to be made to double strings. So home and to bed. This day I did give my man Will a sound lesson about his forbearing to give us the respect due to a master and mistress.

28 Annotations

First Reading

RexLeo  •  Link

"...I seeming willing to stay with them to talk my wife grew angry, and whether she be jealous or no I know"

Oh, the feeble male mind-Sam, Liz reads you like a book! Stop ogling Mrs. Pierce.

"...This day I did give my man Will a sound lesson about his forbearing"

Another instance of domestic discontent finding another outlet through which the pent up frustrations flow.

Bradford  •  Link

Foodies, do not fail to follow the Pasty Link and read the recipe and commentary so richly provided.

I'd give a 1661 pound to know what Will said, or how he comported himself, during Sam's Sermon, which naturally is not vouchsafed to posterity.

Glyn  •  Link

Best Friends

Everywhere that Mistress Pierce goes, Mistress Clifford goes as well.

According to her Biographical Page, here are some of the times that Mrs Pierce has been recorded in the Diary so far, and it might be useful to recap them:

Jan 26 1660: "And I did perceive that Mrs. Pierce her coming so gallant, that it put the two young women quite out of courage."

Feb 24: "I rode to Mr. Pierce's, who rose, and in a quarter of an hour, leaving his wife in bed (with whom Mr. Lucy methought was very free as she lay in bed)"

Aug 30: "This afternoon my wife went to Mr. Pierce's wife's child's christening, and was urged to be godmother, but I advised her before-hand not to do it, so she did not, but as proxy for my Lady Jemimah. This the first day that ever I saw my wife wear black patches since we were married!"

Oct 4: "and by the way I met upon Tower Hill with Mr. Pierce the surgeon and his wife, and took them home and did give them good wine, ale, and anchovies, and staid them till night, and so adieu."

Jan 26 1661: "There dined with me this day both the Pierces and their wives, and Captain Cuttance, and Lieutenant Lambert, with whom we made ourselves very merry by taking away his ribbans and garters, having made him to confess that he is lately married." [Strange that they also dined together exactly a year earlier.]

March 26: "After dinner Mrs. Pierce and her husband and I and my wife to Salisbury Court, [a theatre] where coming late he and she light of Col. Boone that made room for them, and I and my wife sat in the pit."

May 5: "Then to supper in the banquet house, and there my wife and I did talk high, she against and I for Mrs. Pierce (that she was a beauty), till we were both angry."

June 9: "After dinner I left my wife there, and I walked to Whitehall, and then went to Mr. Pierce's and sat with his wife a good while (who continues very pretty) till he came," [Does he mean she continues to be very pretty even though she is heavily pregnant? - her second pregnancy in the Diary so far.]

Aug 9: "I took some wine with us and went to visit la belle Pierce, who we [i.e. Pepys and a colleague] find very big with child."

Aug 18: "so I went to la belle Pierce and sat with her;"

Sept 1: "At Whitehall we parted, and I to Mrs. Pierce's, meeting her and Madam Clifford in the street, and there staid talking and laughing with them a good while," [Out in the street 2 days before giving birth.]

Sept 4: "(calling at Mrs. Pierce's, who we found brought to bed of a girl last night) and there staid and drank,"

Sept 27: "By coach to Whitehall with my wife (where she went to see Mrs. Pierce, who was this day churched, her month of childbed being out)."

Oct 9: "at home I found Mrs. Pierce, la belle, and Madam Clifford, with whom I was forced to stay, and made them the most welcome I could; and I was (God knows) very well pleased with their beautiful company, and after dinner took them to the Theatre, and shewed them "The Chances;" and so saw them both at home."

By the way, when you "meet with a venison pasty" I wonder what you should say (apart from "I'm very pleased to eat you") and whether it's by appointment.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

when you "meet with a venison pasty" I wonder what you should say?

How do you do, my deer?

vicente  •  Link

It should be only a hart to hart meeting.[hind most thought]

daniel  •  Link

nice to know that Sam is modernizing his lute by getting "double-coursing" as it is now technically known.

vicente  •  Link

"Love and Honour," Oh! mama mia: Oh! William, ye should have staid out of the way, never come between Mistress and Master when they are breathing fire. Take fair warning. Sam did you forget the warning ye had when you were reading Terence’s Phormio, 744.
Quid has meuis fores? Conclusam hic habeo uxorem saevam.
or Matey, why does that door give you the jitters? ans: Because me better half is right behind it.

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

Dirk and others bored by yesterday's (and previous entries) should certainly be more satisfied now. Plenty of meat in this one.

And the end of the month is nigh -- we might anticipate a long summation.

andy  •  Link

Meeting a venison pasty must be like meeting an old friend, how many has he eaten now?

And I feel for "Fire-at" Will getting the brunt of Sam's frustration.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"she loves not that I should speak of Mrs. Pierce"
Sam, Sam, Sam, will you please shut up about Mrs. Pierce? Not only can it do you no marital good to keep babbling on that you think she's hot, she is also a walking baby factory, and Elizabeth is not.
Have you not heard the sound advice, "when you're in a hole, stop digging"?
You're going to gain no traction on either point, my boy, and would you, for your own good, in the immortal words of Archie Bunker, "just *stifle* it"?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

It should be only a hart to hart meeting.[hind most thought]

O brave Vincent! "Whoso list to hunt..."

JWB  •  Link

Coy Sam
He's being disingenuous. Starts entry calling notice to his merry & handsome wife and then meeting Mrs Pierce w/ Mrs. P's rx, he writes, "...whether she be jealous or no I know not". He knows. And he's reveling in it.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"wheather she be jealous or no I know not"
Oh yes you do;methinks you are getting even because of that Frenchman with feathers.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"sound lesson about his forbearing to give us the respect"
Being the boss must be learned -- it's not instinctive. And the relationship of an employer and employee is, fundamentally, economic and therefore neither social nor equal. Employers can be friendly with staff but only when both employer and employee have internalized their economic fundamentals.
That said, there is a bit of the cock-of-the-walk (to quote Hedda Gabler) in Sam's dual entries here, first his drooling over Mrs. Pierce, then his leash-tug on poor Will.
As the Greeks tiresomely reminded us, hubris is inevitably folllowed by nemesis ...
And no, I haven't read ahead. But Sam is cruisin' for a bruisin' here.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"my Lady very merry and very handsome, methought"
JWB, that's not Elizabeth to whom he's referring, but Lady Jemima Montagu, his boss's wife and longtime admirata (to invent some Latin).
Which doesn't make it any better, Sam's strewing compliments on everybody but the woman next to whom he goes 'and so to bed'.

Nix  •  Link

We met with a venison pasty --

How much doe did it cost?

vicente  •  Link

"sound lesson about his forbearing to give us the respect" 'tis why publick [not so common]schools were invented. Leadership for some, it be natural, for others [never enough natural centers of attention], it would be to be trained in the art of fagging then prefecting the art. Normally in large Organisations, when was elevated to a position of authority [i.e. one stripe or pip or other token of being put on the fast track], one was moved to a location, where one was not known, there by able to issue commands without the hoi polloi taking advantage of previous stupidities.
Sam for much of his late teens and early manhood was on the receiving end of leadership, his coz was thrust in to band of brotherhood of dashing leaders at the age of 17, leading a band of faithfull men into the mud and blud of life endangering endeavours.
'Tis a little awkward to try and learn these skills at 28, but having control of purse is a major weapon of control.

Al Day  •  Link

We met with a venison pasty -

How much doe did it cost?

In the US you might say; a buck or two.


Another Judy  •  Link

We met with venison pasty
Stag-er-ing entries.....

dirk  •  Link

We met with venison pasty

And what a meating that was...

Nix  •  Link

"An Entrancing Ego: Samuel Pepys" --

A wonderful profile of Samuel and appreciation of the diary and Tomalin's biography, in the Hudson Review:…

Louis  •  Link

Re Will vs. Mr. Pepys:

"An inch in the eye of a servant is a foot in the eye of a master."

Mary House  •  Link

Thank you Nix for the wonderful profile.

JWB  •  Link

"merry & handsome"
My Lady of course. Sorry for my carelessness. The greater the distance from Sam's entry to the annotation box, the greater I'm likely to be mistaken.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"nice to know that Sam is modernizing his lute by getting "double-coursing" as it is now technically known." -- Indeed, daniel, though L&M note this was Pepys's theorbo: see…

The Wikipedia article on Theorbo says (in part): "The string "courses", unlike those of a Renaissance lute or archlute, were often single, although double stringing was also used."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M also note because Pepys's theorbo was to be provided with two strings per course instead of one, and perhaps more diapason strings, it would have required more pegs and thus the new neck.

Liz  •  Link

Such a pity the Hudson review is no longer available.

Nicolas  •  Link

“ Such a pity the Hudson review is no longer available”

It’s still online but the archives don’t go back as far as the Summer 2004 issue in which the article appeared. The website states you may contact them to inquire if the back issue is still available for purchase.

The Hudson Review
33 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023

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