Monday 30 December 1661

At the office about this estimate and so with my wife and Sir W. Pen to see our pictures, which do not much displease us, and so back again, and I staid at the Mitre, whither I had invited all my old acquaintance of the Exchequer to a good chine of beef, which with three barrels of oysters and three pullets, and plenty of wine and mirth, was our dinner, and there was about twelve of us, among others Mr. Bowyer, the old man, and Mr. Faulconberge, Shadwell, Taylor, Spicer, Woodruffe (who by reason of some friend that dined with him came to us after dinner), Servington, &c, and here I made them a foolish promise to give them one this day twelvemonth, and so for ever while I live, but I do not intend it. Here I staid as long as I could keep them, and so home to Sir W. Pen, who with his children and my wife has been at a play to-day and saw “D’Ambois,” which I never saw. Here we staid late at supper and playing at cards, and so home and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

"which I never saw"
Surely this is a first! Elizabeth seeing a play before Sam! Wonder how long it will be before he manages to see it?
"which do not much displease"
He doesn't sound very enthusiastic about the paintings, does he? No record of what Elizabeth thought.

Alan Bedford  •  Link wife has been at a play to-day and saw "D'Ambois," …

Presumably that’s George Chapman’s “Bussy D’Ambois” (1604) a tragedy set in the court of the French king, Henri III, or possibly the sequel “The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois”.

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature discusses these plays at:…

Stolzi  •  Link


Do you suppose any bread, vegetables, or whatever was served with the beef, oysters and chicken?

What a rascal to promise them a sumptuous dinner yearly but not "intend to keep it."

vicenzo  •  Link

a quote from Chapman's Busy D'Ambois that might have amused Sam "speed his plough"
... GEORGE CHAPMAN. English poet and dramatist (c. 1559 - 1634). ... Bussy d'Ambois [Opportunity]
His deeds inimitable, like the Sea That shuts still as it opes, and ...

"...His first play, Bussy d'Ambois was performed by Paul's Boys in 1604. Chapman collaborated with Ben Jonson on the comic drama Eastward Ho!, in 1605. Because of some vague slurs about Scots in Eastward both Jonson and Chapman were briefly imprisoned...."

Conrad  •  Link

"which do not much displease us"
is a double negative, meaning that really the paintings are, to them pleasing. We now see that two paintings have been produced & they even have their friend Sir W Penn over to the artist's studio to view them.

Mary  •  Link

For "Mere I staid" read "Here I staid".

Clement  •  Link

George Chapman

is also the translator famously honored by Keats' "On first reading Chapman's Homer."
Though some modern critics sniff that his pentameter couplets are too tightly constrained to be as lucid as modern free-verse translations of the Greek dactylic hexameter, his work often soars, and preserves the feel of oral presentation better than free verse.

But another quote from Bussy D'Ambois suited for Sam's experience, "O what is man Unless he be a Politician?"

Australian Susan  •  Link

"which do not much displease us"
I took this to mean that he was displeased with them, but not very much - not that the phrase contained a double negative - Sam has been unhappy with his portrait, but now is feeling a bit better about it (but only a bit).

Australian Susan  •  Link

It is 1.55am here, so Happy New Year to everyone!

Douglas Robertson  •  Link

Thomas Shadwell
Is this the same Thomas Shadwell who was lampooned by Dryden in Mac Flecknoe?

JWB  •  Link

"... but I do not intend it."
I suppose Sam's smoozing with the old crowd at the Exchequer to assist him with the Navy debt estimates he's been assigned. "O what is man Unless he be a Politician?…

Nate  •  Link

Stolzi, I don't think there would be much available in the way of vegetables as it was winter and the art of canning was still in the future. Roots and tubers could be stored for later consumption. Cabbage could be fermented and stored but I don't think that was the custom in England.

vicenzo  •  Link

" see our pictures, which do not much displease us..." At least there be no worts, that could be seen by anybody [pre peri winkle days {nick name for covering the spot of tonsure}periwig] there fore no wigging of the painter.
Painting be better than modern digital pics. Even a good portrait photographer has to find ways to disguise those little details that be annoying to the subject under the lights. Ah! for the art of disguise to reveal the real you.
Nothing has changed, vanity goes on. It was said latter by a poet " oh! to have the gifte to see oneself as others see us"
misquote of Rabbi Burnes;

vicenzo  •  Link

Mr. Faulconberge: there was sitting in the House of L one Viscount Fouconberg. Any connection? as the name be old Yorkshire, maybe one of the branches that be way out on a limb. Family trees be like regular trees infested . Names be corrupted by the dulcet tones of the times. See the Peppis spellings, no computer to spell check.

wembley  •  Link

Even in the hideous winter climate of England, it is still possible to harvest curly kale, winter cauliflower, cabbage and - of course - Brussels sprouts!

Pedro  •  Link

On this day…

Allin is now on his way to Cadiz and east of Tavira…

"We had one Robt Luines a foremast man taken upon one Cook's chest and being asked what he did there by Cook he said nothing. He having picked the lock took out 16 biscuits, cheese and butter and question him for them he denied them, but looking upon his bed found them turned into his blanket. So this morning he was whipped for his theft as an example to others. He had 20 lashes, but never shed a tear, a graceless rouge and an old thief."

Second Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"If you were living in London around the time of the Great Fire on 1666 WHAT would you be eating and drinking?

Firstly the city of London – and elsewhere – would contain a number of Chop Houses. Chop houses were places where city folk, traders and businessmen discussed their commercial affairs over plates of traditionally cooked meats such as steaks and chops, which were usually grilled. These were consumed with beers or fine wines.

The 17th century is when the forks began to be used in Britain. They were introduced from Italy and were seen as unmanly at the start but gradually became accepted over the next century.
This was also the century when many new foods were introduced into England. By and large these were only for the wealthy. These new foods included fruits from exotic locations in the new world such as bananas and pineapples.

For the majority of the population food was basic and boring like bread, cheese and onions. Pottage was an almost daily part of the diet. This was a stew that was prepared by boiling grain in water to make a kind of porridge. If you could obtain it you might add some meat or vegetables.

For the better off pies, pastries and puddings were popular – in many cases richer than what we would eat today. Due to the fact that Prince Charles I had a French wife more elaborate dishes with strong sauces were introduced and were called kickshaws, after ‘quelquechose’, the French word for ‘something’. Charles II married a Portuguese princess and so the fashion for European food remained strong in his reign. So we see the use of anchovies, capers and wine, roux, ragouts and fricassees. Salads using raw uncooked vegetables started to be eaten as well in this time.

It is interesting that when Samuel Pepys saw the fire approaching in 1666 the items he choise to bury and save was a large parmesan cheese and his wine – showing what he valued."…

I think Pepys was not exaggerating when he spoke almost exclusively of meat, fish and oysters at most meals. I suspect that if vegetables were snuck in we would have heard about it. bread. Of course, was not worth mentioning. It was what everyone ate when there was nothing else available, even by the relatively well-off.

Interesting notes about forks.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

" I made them a foolish promise to give them one this day twelvemonth, and so for ever while I live, but I do not intend it. "

What's Sam up to here? Promises with no intent to keep. Forever and ever. Go figure!

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