Wednesday 26 February 1661/62

Mr. Berkenshaw with me all the morning composing of musique to “This cursed jealousy, what is it,” a song of Sir W. Davenant’s.

After dinner I went to my Bookseller’s, W. Joyce’s, and several other places to pay my debts and do business, I being resolved to cast up my accounts within a day or two, for I fear I have run out too far.

In coming home I met with a face I knew and challenged him, thinking it had been one of the Theatre musicians, and did enquire for a song of him, but finding it a mistake, and that it was a gentleman that comes sometimes to the office, I was much ashamed, but made a pretty good excuse that I took him for a gentleman of Gray’s Inn who sings well, and so parted. Home for all night and set things in order and so to bed.

16 Annotations

Mark Ynys-Mon  •  Link

"This cursed jealousy, what is it,"

Heh, Sam should know!

Mary  •  Link

"gentleman that comes sometimes to the office"

L&M suggests that this may be William Pritchard, a ropemaker.

Even a mere stripling of 29 can have a senior moment, it seems

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"the Theatre musicians........finding it a mistake,and that it was a Gentleman"
About one century later Mozart was not considered a gentleman either!

Carolina  •  Link

I was much ashamed, but made a pretty good excuse!

This is one of those passages that makes you wonder again if the diary was meant to be read by anyone else.

daniel  •  Link

"the Theatre musicians......finding it a mistake, and that it was a Gentleman"

Well into the nineteenth century and on, a mere “theatre musician” would have been considered from a substandard class and something no gentleman would want to be confused with.

Bradford  •  Link

Hail fellow, well met! Depend on Sam to give fresh meaning to the phrase "never met a stranger."

Clement  •  Link

"I being resolved to cast up my accounts within a day or two..."
He's been threatening to do so since New Year's Eve. Paying off outstanding debts is a good way to prepare.
Per previous discussion on 17th c. accounting practices I don't think this would have been more involved than tallying value of his assets and rating them versus his liabilities, which would have been outstanding debt with or without interest expense. Without reading ahead I'm guessing that pragmatic Sam would acknowledge some fee for usury in his "casting up."

Philip  •  Link

"...finding it a mistake,and that it was a Gentleman...."
Formerly a performer's income was tied to the gate proceeds paid by an immediate audience in attendence at a performance. Mass media multiplied the paying audience to include potentially all of mankind, even the unborn. So now we are inflicted with Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. The theatre class has not changed since Pepys's day. They just have more money--and perhaps less education!

Ruben  •  Link

I do not like fast generalization.
Shakespeare was a performer and so were Moliere or in our own time Olivier or Guinness.
Then, of course they are the others...
Performers were and are like the rest of us.

language hat  •  Link

"Performers were and are like the rest of us."

Well, yes and no. But nobody here is saying performers are low-class; the point is that they were considered such in Pepys' day.

vicenzo  •  Link

"Performers not considered low class," Before The power of cloning, i.e. making hard copies for universal enjoyement[?], the Majority of them just made a living travelling from location to location with the same repertoire for season after season,and barely making a living, unfortunately some had to make the ends meet, there by they gathered a bad reputation.

Laura K  •  Link

"Mass media multiplied the paying audience to include potentially all of mankind. . . So now we are inflicted with Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson."

Generations past, including Sam's, had their share of low-quality entertainment (assuming that is what you mean by the above names). But those did not survive through the ages. We shouldn't think there was only quality arts and entertainment in any given era.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

JEALOUSY (The Siege of Rhodes. 1656)

This cursed jealousy, what is't?
'T is love that has lost itself in a mist;
'T is love being frighted out of his wits;
'T is love that has a fever got;
Love that is violently hot,
But troubled with cold and trembling fits.
'T is yet a more unnatural evil:
'T is the god of love, 't is the god of love, possessed with a devil.
'T is rich corrupted wine of love,
Which sharpest vinegar does prove;
From all the sweet flowers which might honey make,
It does a deadly poison bring:
Strange serpent which itself doth sting!
It never can sleep, and dreams still awake;
It stuffs up the marriage-bed with thorns.
It gores itself, it gores itself, with imagined horns.…

Bill  •  Link

@Clement above. I think SP's attempts to "cast up" accounts will indeed be a bit simple. It may be a bit of a spoiler alert but in a few months SP will make his "first attempt being to learn the multiplication-table".

Bill  •  Link

To CAST, to fling or throw; also to think or contrive
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘cast, v. . . Middle English cast-en , < Old Norse kasta . .
. . 37bc. esp. in to cast accounts , originally to sum up or reckon accounts (so to cast reckonings ); now, to perform the ordinary operations of arithmetic.
. . 1655 T. Stanley Hist. Philos. I. i. 53 Counters used in casting accompts,..sometimes stand for a great number, sometimes for a lesser . .

cast up
10. To add up, reckon up, calculate.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 10 Dec. (1970) I. 315 Did go to cast up how my cash stands . . ‘

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