Monday 13 January 1661/62

All the morning at home, and Mr. Berkenshaw (whom I have not seen a great while, came to see me), who staid with me a great while talking of musique, and I am resolved to begin to learn of him to compose, and to begin to-morrow, he giving of me so great hopes that I shall soon do it.

Before twelve o’clock comes, by appointment, Mr. Peter and the Dean, and Collonel Honiwood, brothers, to dine with me; but so soon that I was troubled at it. But, however, I entertained them with talk and oysters till one o’clock, and then we sat down to dinner, not staying for my uncle and aunt Wight, at which I was troubled, but they came by and by, and so we dined very merry, at least I seemed so, but the dinner does not please me, and less the Dean and Collonel, whom I found to be pitiful sorry gentlemen, though good-natured, but Mr. Peter above them both, who after dinner did show us the experiment (which I had heard talk of) of the chymicall glasses, which break all to dust by breaking off a little small end; which is a great mystery to me. They being gone, my aunt Wight and my wife and I to cards, she teaching of us how to play at gleeke, which is a pretty game; but I have not my head so free as to be troubled with it. By and by comes my uncle Wight back, and so to supper and talk, and then again to cards, when my wife and I beat them two games and they us one, and so good night and to bed.

28 Annotations

Stolzi  •  Link

Game of gleek

The following is also posted now at the "Cards" link:

gives brief information on the game which Sam is playing with his wife and Aunt Wright on Monday 13 January 1661/62.

This page

gives more information and some charming names for the cards:

"If the turn-up is a Four (Tiddy), the dealer receives 4p from each opponent - or, similarly, 5 for the Five (Towser) or 6 for the Six (Tumbler), but only by prior agreement."

Trumps are mentioned, but a good deal of the game and the betting and bluffing involved sounds like poker. A page of a near-contemporary manual (The Compleat Gamester, 1674) is shown, where it declares that the game must only have three players, as we see happening here in the Pepys family.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

See this website:
for information about the 'chymicall glasses' - it's a pdf so I can't cut and paste. Scroll down to the last paragraph on p129 and the top of the following page.

Vincent Bell  •  Link

Below is some info cut & pasted from Jenny "chymicall glasses" hyperlink - more info on Chemistry theories of the 1600 can be found by following the link - all very interesting…

Philipot's final support for his tidal chemistry was the phenomenon of Prince Rupert's drops, otherwise known as "chymical glasses". These objects were introduced to England in the 1640s by Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619-1682), and were teardrop shaped glass beads, made by dropping molten glass into cold water. The solid glass object had a bulbous end that tapered into a curved glass tail, and these objects exhibited unusual properties of strength and fragility. The formation of the drops created considerable stresses between the outside layers, cooled by the water, and the inside that was warm; owing to the large surface tension of the glass, the head withstood hammering on an anvil.

However, breaking the tail resulted in the shattering of the entire drop into fine powder because the glass released the internal stresses with such power. Charles II utilised these drops in practical jokes; the king would have a subject hold the bulb end in the palm of his hand, and then break off the top, giving the victim a small but harmless explosion in a closed hand. Indeed, Philipot referred to these drops as "Greatricks [great-tricks] glasses".

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "I am resolved to begin to learn of him to compose"

One of Sam's most charming attributes to me is his eagerness to take on new challenges, and to seek out instruction about them. Many people his age, and of his experience (he's already a capable musician, after all), wouldn't show such an enthusiasm for learning.

Is Sam the Iggy Pop of the 1660s? He's got a lust for life, yeah, a lust for life...

daniel  •  Link

"a lust for life...”

…and in particular this passion for music, which would not be seen in gentlemen of his standing a century later where music-making would then be solely for young ladies and professionals.

Bradford  •  Link

Since someone as musically inclined as Sam is perfectly capable of making up a melody, one wonders if being taught to "compose" comprises, rather, composing an accompaniment to said melody, say for the lute; or some rules of text-setting (avoid real high notes on long "ee" sounds); or the difficult art of learning to notate what you make up so a stranger can play it too.

Mary House  •  Link

I can sympathize with Sam's dismay in seeing the Honiwood brothers arrive too early for a planned meal. "What am I going to do with these people until the food is ready?" One can only pretend to be merry.

vicenzo  •  Link

written about by J Evelyn at an earlier date "of the chymicall glasses, which break all to dust by breaking off a little small end; which is a great mystery to me" the drawing had a similar shape to tadpole.

JWB  •  Link

Greatorex, note # 42/

Dan  •  Link

"In the 1660s John Birchensha claimed to have developed a system of "easy, certain, and perfect Rules" by means of which "not only those, who skilfully can sing or play on some Instrument, may learn to compose but also those, who can neither sing nor play". His pupils included Silas Taylor, Thomas Salmon, and (memorably) Samuel Pepys. But his treatise Syntagma musicae - in which he promised to include "directions how to compose artificially and skilfully in a few weeks" - was never published, despite encouragement from the Royal Society.”…
Link is an abstract of a paper presented at Manchester last July.

vicenzo  •  Link

"a lust for life" A busy man is always ready for more, idle hands be devil hands. If you want something done always look to the busy one, even been in a cafe and the waitress/waiter is a sitting , you will always be a waiting , the busy one never keeps ye waiting or a waisting if it can be helped.

Peter sillett  •  Link

Peter Carey has an excellent description of the the effect of Prince Rupert's drops in Oscar and Lucinda. The rest of it is pretty good too!

Jackie  •  Link

Interesting that in 1662, 20 years after Prince Rupert introducted them, Sam did not call them Prince Rupert's Drops, whilst they are always called that now. Does anybody know when they started to be called this?

Doug  •  Link

"...the dinner does not please me..." -- The guests come early, then they're "pitiful sorry gentlemen," they started dinner without waiting for the Wights, and the cook is a lazy slut. Sometime's it's just hard to act merry.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thank you Katharina for the lovely photographs. And I, too, immediately thought of Oscar and Lucinda, where the use of these glass objects by the author becomes mystical, challenging and a metaphor for Lucinda's life choices and her gambling passion - if she twists off the tail of the drop, it will be gone for ever, but for how long can she resist not doing it, just as when she loses vast amounts of money, now gone for ever, there is a sense of cathartic release. Carey is an amazing author.

Bill  •  Link

"comes, by appointment, Mr. Peter and the Dean, and Collonel Honiwood, brothers"

These three brothers were the sons of Robert Honywood, of Charing, Kent, who had purchased the estate of Mark's Hall, in Essex ; and whose mother, Mary Attwaters, after forty-four years of widowhood, died at ninety-three, having lived to see three hundred and sixty-seven of her own lawful descendants. Colonel Honywood and Peter seem, from subsequent notices in the Diary, to have been both knighted: but we find no particulars of their history. Michael Honywood, D.D., was rector of Kegworth, co. Leicester, and seeking refuge at Utrecht during the Rebellion, was, on his return, made Dean of Lincoln, and died in 1681, aged 85, having been generally considered a learned and holy man. The widow of Dean Honywood left his library to the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln. Many early printed books of great rarity contained in this collection were dispersed under the auspices of Dean Gordon in 1817, and replaced by the purchase of modern works comparatively of no value. See Botfield's Account of our Cathedral Libraries. In the Topographer and Genealogist, No. V., there is a printed account of "Mary Honywood and her posterity," taken from a MS. of Peter Le Neve's, in the Lansdowne Collection, in the British Museum.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Bill  •  Link

"she teaching of us how to play at gleeke, which is a pretty game"

A game at cards played by three persons, each hand having twelve cards, and the rest being left tor the stock.—Halliwells Dictionary. "Whatever games were stirring at places were he retired, as gammon, gleek, piquet, or even the merry main, he made one."—Life of Lord Keeper Guildford, vol. i., p. 17. See Feb. 17, 1661-62, post.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"whose mother, Mary Attwaters, after forty-four years of widowhood, died at ninety-three, having lived to see three hundred and sixty-seven of her own lawful descendants"

I wonder how that worked out exactly. Seems impossible.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

@Louise: the lady was widowed at 49, certainly old enough to have had ten surviving children. At ninety-three, some of her descendants might well have been great-great grandchildren. say on average each generation had 6 offspring: 6x6x6x6 = 1296.

I remember once on a coach tour in Ireland, our guide pointed out a farm where the wife had had 25 children: "all of them alive": the mind boggles!! :)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED offers:

‘ . . 10. h. (Prince) Rupert's Drops : see quots.

1662 C. Merrett tr. A. Neri Art of Glass 353 An Account of the Glass drops. These Drops were first brought into England by His Highness Prince Rupert out of Germany.
1753 Chambers's Cycl. Suppl. Rupert's Drops, a sort of glass drops with long and slender tails, which burst to pieces, on the breaking off those tails in any parts.
1833 N. Arnott Elem. Physics (ed. 5) II. i. 24 A toy called a Prince Rupert's Drop (a pear-shaped lump of glass with a slender stalk).’

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Prince Rupert's Drops (also known as Dutch or Batavian tears)[1][2] are toughened glass beads created by dripping molten glass into cold water, which causes it to solidify into a tadpole-shaped droplet with a long, thin tail. These droplets are characterized internally by very high residual stresses, which give rise to counter-intuitive properties, such as the ability to withstand a blow from a hammer or a bullet on the bulbous end without breaking, while exhibiting explosive disintegration if the tail end is even slightly damaged. In nature, similar structures are produced under certain conditions in volcanic lava.

The drops are named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who brought them to England in 1660, although they were reportedly being produced in the Netherlands earlier in the 17th century and had probably been known to glassmakers for much longer. They were studied as scientific curiosities by the Royal Society and the unravelling of the principles of their unusual properties probably led to the development of the process for the production of toughened glass, patented in 1874. Research carried out in the 20th and 21st centuries shed further light on the reasons for the drops' contradictory properties.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Michael Honywood, D.D., was rector of Kegworth, co. Leicester, and seeking refuge at Utrecht during the Rebellion, ..."

Inland Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until it was overtaken by the port city of Amsterdam during the 17th century, in the Dutch golden age of trade and advances in science, art and military power. Oud-Amelisweerd Palace and Castle Duurstede are both near Utrecht.

Beautiful photos at…

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