Wednesday 26 March 1662

Up early. This being, by God’s great blessing, the fourth solemn day of my cutting for the stone this day four years, and am by God’s mercy in very good health, and like to do well, the Lord’s name be praised for it. To the office and Sir G. Carteret’s all the morning about business. At noon come my good guests, Madame Turner, The., and Cozen Norton, and a gentleman, one Mr. Lewin of the King’s LifeGuard; by the same token he told us of one of his fellows killed this morning in a duel. I had a pretty dinner for them, viz., a brace of stewed carps, six roasted chickens, and a jowl of salmon, hot, for the first course; a tanzy and two neats’ tongues, and cheese the second; and were very merry all the afternoon, talking and singing and piping upon the flageolette. In the evening they went with great pleasure away, and I with great content and my wife walked half an hour in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed.

We had a man-cook to dress dinner to-day, and sent for Jane to help us, and my wife and she agreed at 3l. a year (she would not serve under) till both could be better provided, and so she stays with us, and I hope we shall do well if poor Sarah were but rid of her ague.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

Good site with medicinal and culinary information - including a recipe.…

Happy Easter, everyone! (except Orthodox Christians - not till May 1st this year).

A. De Araujo  •  Link

26 march 1662
Is sister Pall still in the household?
If so how come she is so totally ignored by SP in his diary; it is as if she never existed!

dirk  •  Link


Sister pall left (was sent away) on sunday 25 August 1661.

Jesse  •  Link

"killed this morning in a duel"

What, no background link on dueling? Seems to be making a comeback as 'by accounts, however, there was a dearth of dueling in England from 1642-1660'.…

vicenzo  •  Link

ref in the Commons to duell:Privilege-A Member put under restraint by the King.
Mr. Speaker informing this House, That the King's Majesty was pleased to send a Message to him, that he had restrained Mr. Lovelace, one of the Members of this House, who was going to fight a Duel;
Resolved, That those Members of this House, who are of his Majesty's honourable Privy Council, do return to his Majesty the humble Thanks of this House, for his Grace and Favour, in being so tender of the Privileges of this House, as to acquaint Mr. Speaker therewith.
Resolved, That the Serjeant attending this House, or his Deputy, do repair unto the Officer in whose Custody Mr. Lovelace, one of the Members of this House, now is, to demand the said Mr. Lovelace: And the said Officer, in whose Custody he is, is accordingly to deliver the said Mr. Lovelace to the Serjeant of this House, or his Deputy; who is to bring him to this House To-morrow Morning.
Supply Bill.

From: British History Online
Source: House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 9 December 1661. Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8, (1802).
Date: 27/03/2005

vicenzo  •  Link

on 12th june 63:Intentions to fight a duel [Challenged in writing] between two peers, the Earl of Middlesex and Earl of Bridgewater, and their Punishment.…

Pauline  •  Link

"...and so she stays with us..."
Sounds a lovely celebration; and to top it off Jane is back!

But what does "till both could be better provided" mean?
"...she agreed at 3l. a year...till both could be better provided..."

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Till both could be better provided"
I took the "both" to mean Elizabeth and Jane, but I'm not sure what to make of the rest of the sentence, unless it means Elizabeth will pay Jane more when the household income is greater and when either Jane has more skills or when Jane is moved into better quarters within in the household. Any other ideas?

Mary  •  Link


Nice link above to a herbal site. NB this tansy is tanacetum vulgare, NOT senecio jacobaea (ragwort tansy) with which it has sometimes been confused. The latter is highly toxic in all its parts.

These tansy puddings/custard tarts were particularly popular in spring, when it was the youngest shoots and leaves that were used to flavour the dish and when chickens were coming into full lay again after the winter slow-down.

Harry R  •  Link

"a jowl of salmon"

I was puzzled by this, because I thought 'jowl' meant (via "The flesh under the lower jaw, especially when plump or flaccid."

But this site says it means "the head of a fish":…

I'd still be interested to know how they cooked it, though.

Mary  •  Link

jowl of salmon

OED, with specific reference to salmon, ling and sturgeon, defines the jowl as 'the head and shoulders of certain fish'. Examples are quoted from 1430 to 1859. The fish was probably poached, possibly with the addition of some sweet herbs to the poaching-water.

Although fish-head is not a popular dish in UK these days, fish-head soup is still relished in many parts of the world and in south-east Asia and China the 'cheeks' from the fish-head are amonst the most prized pieces of flesh on the whole fish.

Ruben  •  Link

they had a pretty 2 courses dinner.
This was the French way of serving dinner, that I understand was adopted by the English a century later.
How come?

JWB  •  Link

A teasing em-brace...
A brace of pheasant, yes
A brace of rabbits, pretentious
A brace of carp, a joke.
Seems to me Sam composed this menu to tease The., &/or his favorite women- folk altogether. The 6 roasted chickens, one apiece mind you, to show all in good humor. And, indeed, a very merry time was had by all.

Al Pinkham  •  Link

The jowl of the Salmon is the area behind the head. This is some of the best of the fish especially salmon and tuna. You can order this in sushi bars grilled.

jan  •  Link

When I read "till both could be better provided" I thought that Elizabeth would pay more if she had more(or in the future gets more) but that Jane would be looking for a better paying job while working for the Pepys' for 3l.

vicenzo  •  Link

Re: Jane: Dinnae forget the Perks. Some be so mean that they begrudge the marrow from the bone. Jane 'members the good old days, all scrunched up in a few rooms and plucking the squabs after their necks be rung, for the big Dinner.

language hat  •  Link


Actually, JWB, this is not a joke but a perfectly normal usage for the time. The word formerly referred to two of anything; see the OED entry (and note particularly the "brace of Trouts" and "brace of... fish" under 15b):

III. 15. Two things taken together; a pair, a couple. Often a mere synonym for two, as, in cricketing language "A hit B for a brace"; see c.
In this sense the plural is also brace, as in two or three brace, several brace.
a. orig. of dogs. (Perhaps the band or cord with which dogs were coupled in coursing was called a brace; cf. sense 13 and LEASH.)
1430 LYDG. Chron. Troy I. vi, This ylke lease of thre.. All sodeynly was tourned to a brase. c1440 Promp. Parv. 46 Brace of howndys. 1593 SHAKES. 3 Hen. VI, II. v. 129 Edward and Richard like a brace of Grey-hounds.. Are at our backes. [&c]

b. of other animals, esp. certain kinds of game.
1570 LEVINS Manip. 6 A Brace of Deere, duo damae. 1651 FULLER Abel Rediv. Erasmus (1867) I. 83 Hammond and Urswick sent him a brace of geldings. 1715 Lond. Gaz. No. 5371/4 A brace of Trouts. […] 1867 F. FRANCIS Angling v. (1880) 178, I rose and hooked six brace of capital fish.

c. of things. (More correctly when united or paired, as in a brace of pistols.) a brace of shakes: see SHAKE n.1 2h. Hence in Cricket: a brace (of ducks), a score of nought in both innings of a match; to bag a brace, to score nought in both innings.
1583 STUBBES Anat. Abus. (1877) 75 Their Parents owe a brase of hunndred pounds more than they are worth. 1630 M. GODWYN Annales England 232 Robert Ket.. had gathered a fortune of a brace of thousands. 1642 FULLER Holy & Prof. St. III. vii. 167 Borrowing of thy neighbour a brace of chambers for a night. 1719 DEFOE Crusoe 200 The two Muskets I loaded with a Brace of Slugs each. 1725 Lond. Gaz. No. 6372/3 Shot through the Left Arm with a Brace of Bullets. 1755 MRS. C. CHARKE Life 45 A heavy Blunderbuss, a Muscatoon, and two Brace of Pistols. 1832 H. MARTINEAU Ireland v. 85 Three brace of pistols. [&c]

language hat  •  Link

"the fourth solemn day of my cutting":

More or less equivalent to "holiday"; OED s.v. "solemn":

2. Of days or seasons: Marked by the celebration of special observances or rites (esp. of a religious character); distinguished by, or set apart for, special ceremonies.
c1325 Prose Psalter cxvii. 25 Stablis the solempne daie. [...] 1387 TREVISA Higden (Rolls) VI. 29 He.. forbeed hem mete and drynkenge of wyn but it were in certeyne solempne dayes in the yere. [...] 1422 tr. Secreta Secret., Priv. Priv. 194 In hey festis & solempne dayys. 1533 FRITH Mirror (1829) 295 The Jews.. were commanded to keep the seventh day solemn. 1611 BIBLE Numb. x. 10 Also in the day of your gladnesse, and in your solemne dayes. [...] a1700 EVELYN Diary 23 Apr. 1646, To this there joynes a spacious Hall for sollemn dayes to ballot in.

Pauline  •  Link

"...(she would not serve under) till both could be better provided..."
Maybe Jane negotiated to come in over Sarah, and the "both" refers to the two maids.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

my wife and she agreed at 3l. a year (she would not serve under) till both could be better provided,

My reading: Jane would not serve for less than 3 pounds a year, and Elizabeth's budget could not support a greater wage, but Elizabeth recognized Jane was worth more and promised to raise her pay when she could.

vicenzo  •  Link

tuppence a day or 8 farthings: [I still pick up pennies too]

vicenzo  •  Link

In the spirit of LH; Jane gets a brace of coppers each and every day, to brace her morn. with ale.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting that The (Theophilia Turner) who's about 11 now seems to be included with a quite adult group where a fatal duel is discussed. Of course she's a very precocious young lady as a daugher of the formidable Jane Turner would be.

I wonder what she thought of Jane's time with the minister a while back...Would've been interesting to see whether she was amused or horrified to see her mother falling under the man's spell for a bit following her illness.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

A JOWL, Head of a Salmon, &c.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

arby  •  Link

The cheeks of a salmon are very good indeed. Darker meat, high fat content, and very tasty.

HRW  •  Link

A local restaurant serves Lake Erie Pickeral cheeks. They are to die for.

Clark Kent  •  Link

Halibut cheeks are the most prized part of the prized halibut here in Alaska, particularly fine when fresh caught yourself in the icy waters of Kachemak Bay. Bake in butter, grated parmesan, chopped macadamia nuts, and a touch of paprika and lemon juice, serve with crusty sourdough bread, a crisp green salad and a flagon of pilsner and enjoy the blessings of the Far North.

Edith Lank  •  Link

Giving a talk about Pepys (to the English-Speaking Union here) I mentioned his celebration of anniversaries of being cut for the stone -- that he had a special box made to hold said stone etc.
when a man in the audience said he'd seen that stone. I can't remember where he said it's kept, but it was in London. Anyone know if that's true?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's stone

Edith, there appears to be no record of the stone's survival where one would expect it: either the Wikipedia article on Pepys or such scholarly articles as "Samuel Pepys: a patient perspective of lithotomy in 17th century England" J Urol. 2006 Apr;175(4):1221-4.…

Bill  •  Link

Here is an entry from John Evelyn's diary, June, 1669.

"I went this evening to London, to carry Mr. Pepys to my Brother Richard, now exceedingly afflicted with the stone, who had been successfully cut, and carried the stone as big as a tennis-ball, to show him and encourage his resolution to go through the operation."

Neal Stephenson used this tidbit in his novel "Quicksilver":

"Did you bring it?"
"I always have it with me," Pepys said, producing an irregular nodule about the size of a tennis ball, "as you have all your parts."
"To remind you of your mortality?"
"Once a man's been cut for the stone, 'tis hardly necessary."
"Why, then?"
"It's my conversation starter of last-resort. It gets anyone talking: Germans, Puritans, Red Indians . . ." He handed the object to Daniel. It was heavy. Heavy as a stone.
"I cannot believe this came out of your bladder," Daniel said.
"You see? Never fails!" Pepys answered.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘jowl n.3
†1. The head of a man or beast.
. . 1783 J. Wolcot More Lyric Odes to Royal Academicians vi. 14 St. Dennis, when his jowl was taken off, Hugg'd it, and kiss'd it.

. . 2. spec. The head of a fish; hence (as a cut or dish), the head and shoulders of certain fish, as the salmon, sturgeon, and ling.
c1430 Two Cookery-bks. 61 Jollys of Samoun.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 20 Jan. (1970) I. 24 the Swan in Fishstreete..where we were very merry at our Jole of ling . . ‘

jimmigee  •  Link

"Best brace" is a competitive event at many AKC dog shows.

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