Thursday 22 May 1662

This morning comes an order from the Secretary of State, Nicholas, for me to let one Mr. Lee, a Councellor, to view what papers I have relating to passages of the late times, wherein Sir H. Vane’s hand is employed, in order to the drawing up his charge; which I did, and at noon he, with Sir W. Pen and his daughter, dined with me, and he to his work again, and we by coach to the Theatre and saw “Love in a Maze.” The play hath little in it but Lacy’s part of a country fellow, which he did to admiration. So home, and supped with Sir W. Pen, where Sir W. Batten and Captn. Cocke came to us, to whom I have lately been a great stranger. This night we had each of us a letter from Captain Teddiman from the Streights, of a peace made upon good terms, by Sir J. Lawson, with the Argier men, which is most excellent news. He hath also sent each of us some anchovies, olives, and muscatt; but I know not yet what that is, and am ashamed to ask.

After supper home, and to bed, resolving to make up this week in seeing plays and pleasure, and so fall to business next week again for a great while.

50 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam quietly passes over the move on poor Sir Harry Vane. He's being asked to furnish any documents in hopes that some may incriminate one of the more respected and tolerant members of the old regime who's refused to fall in line in Charles I's execution.

Anonymous  •  Link

There are a number of plays called "Love in a Maze", but only one was written in 1632 and revised in 1662. It's a comedy by James Shirley,… .

It's not available online, but here's a summary from
"The farce consists in dressing up a page as a rich widow, who is wooed by the foolish knight, Sir Gervase Simple. An amusing piece of satirical literary criticism is introduced in the scene where Caperwit, the poetaster, discusses the function of adjectives in verse."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Vane's main crime was that he opposed the return of the monarchy and favored a Parliamentary republic, preferably with a written constitution and far worse did not immediately turn his coat and abandon his beliefs on Restoration. He did not support the execution of the king and was an advocate of religious tolerance far ahead of his time, even to supporting Ann Hutchinson during his time in colonial New England.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Changes, or Love in a Maze" was a comedy of manners by James Shirley (9/1596 - 10/1666). Here's an excerpt:

Melancholy, hence ! go get
Some piece of earth to be thy seat;
Here the air and nimble fire
Would shoot up to meet desire;
Sullen humor, leave her blood,
Mix not with the purer flood,
But let pleasures swelling there
Make a springtide all the year.

A short biography of the playwright at:

General discussion of Shirley's comedies may be found in "The Cambridge History of English and American Literature" at:…

Louis  •  Link

And Shirley's ditty is another example of the "seven-syllable trochaics" discussed a couple of days back. Now, note the reference to the old "four humours" in the adjective "sullen.". . .

A. De Araujo  •  Link

The muscat grape is the oldest wine grape variety.Samuel doesn't want his friends to know he is not a wine connoisseur.

Pauline  •  Link

I think Sam doesn’t even know what kind of connoisseur he doesn’t want his friends to know he isn’t.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Barrel of anchovies. Check.
Barrel of olives. Check.
and........????? I agree with Pauline - it sounds as though he doesn't have a clue even what muscatt is!

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

a nail for Nane:"At the Restoration Vane was imprisoned in the Tower of London by the king's order. After several conferences between the houses of parliament, it was agreed that he should be excepted from the indemnity bill, but that a petition should be sent to Charles asking that his life might be spared. The petition was granted. On the meeting, however, of the new parliament of 1661, a vote was passed demanding his trial on the capital charge, and Vane was taken back to the Tower in April 1662 from the Isles of Scilly, where he had been imprisoned"

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Errata : Nane be Vane:
Re: Musket balls be "muscatt" balls as both be of grape, one be shot, one be sopped.
Sam may be trying to remember a poem with mustum vinum;
just a tort.

dirk  •  Link

"a peace [with Algiers] made upon good terms"

For the full text of the treaty with Algiers (and other treaties), downloadable as PDF, see…
The treaty is generally to the disadvantage of the Algerians, but strangely enough Article VII states that "If any Algerine ships happen to meet any English merchant ships at sea the skipper shall be obliged to deliver up any Spaniards, Genoese, or Portuguese or their goods." - so including the Portuguese (and Charles II just married a Portuguese queen)!

For an in depth discussion, see

A. Hamilton  •  Link

resolving to make up this week in seeing plays and pleasure

A very diferent resolution from those we are accustomed to read in the diary. Will Sam keep this Allegro-like pledge any better than his more melancholy Puritan pledges?

"HENCE loath'd Melancholy
Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born,….
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonsons learn'd Sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespear fancies childe,
Warble his native Wood-notes wilde….”
John Milton

GrahamT  •  Link

muscat vs muscadet:
The previous entry refererred to muscadine which is probably what we now call muscadet, a dry white wine. Muscat is a sweet dessert wine

Harry  •  Link

muscat vs muscadet

Muscadet, a dry somewhat acid white wine, comes from the Nantes region south of the Loire river. It usually accompanies oisters and seafood, although I have the feeling that it is not as popular in France (or at least in Paris) as it was 40 years ago. I doubt that Mr Lawson would have had access to any in the Mediterranean.

Ruben  •  Link

"muscatt; but I know not yet what that is, and am ashamed to ask"
Nutmeg (or in Spanish Nuez Moscada) was reintroduced to the West by the Portuguese. In Pepys days it was already grown in Jamaica and other Western Indies. A very expensive spice in those days. The Dutch tried to corner the market and the other European countries to open it.
I do not think what Sam got was wine.I am sure Sam knew what to do with wine when he got a bottle!...
But there is a possibility that what Samuel got were a few "Muscat nuts". May be Sir Lawson traded them in Lisbon (from the old Indonesian or Ceilon origin) or got them from an English ship coming from Jamaica.
In his days Pepys could not Google it!
What could he do with these small exotic balls without asking someone? (and lossing face)

Araucaria  •  Link

Ruben, you are one perspicacious fellow! The nutmeg connection would never have occurred to me.

Hmm, I wonder what sort of recipes would have used nutmeg in those days ... pumpkin pie was a long way off, surely?

Ruben  •  Link

Hot wine with nutmeg shaves, mmmm...
Goat chesee, chopped, some olive oil and nutmeg powder, mmmm...
The new hot chocolate drink, with some sweetener and nutmeg, delicious...

Mary  •  Link


If, when it eventually arrives, the Muscatt proves to be nutmeg, then Sam will probably recognise it and Elizabeth almost certainly will. Nutmeg had been in use in England since at least the second half of the 14th century (mentioned by Chaucer in Sir Thopas).

It would have been used in spiced wine, caudles, cakes and custards, to name but a few.

Ruben  •  Link

The Romans did use nutmeg already, but it was a very very expensive spice.
May be people knew the taste of the spice as a powder, mostly because it was easy to adulterate the powder with other substances.
Not so if it was in the form of a nut.
So I pressume Sam knew the taste of the nutmeg powder, but may be he never saw a muscat nut before.
Lets imagine what will happen tomorrow: Sarah sees the nuts and wonders: why, where did you got this expensive Indian nuts?! I saw them in Lady Montagu's kitchen. I have a recipe for a very tasty cake baked with the powder of this nuts, if your Lorship likes.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Nutmeg, Muscat: French, from Old French, from Old Provençal *muscat, from musc, musk, from Late Latin muscus ; see musk.
Muscat in Arabic ” Place of Falling”
“…Nutmeg:- Nutmeg is an evergreen tree that is native to the Moluccas area of east Indonesia. Today it is widely cultivated in southern Asia, the West Indies, and Brazil for its fruits, which yield two spices, and for its timber. The fruit is fleshy and yellow having a diameter of about 5 centimeters (2 inches), popularly called the nutmeg apple, which splits into two halves, thereby revealing the seed surrounded by an outer coating resembling a fleshy, reddish net. This seed is dried to form the spice popularly known as nutmeg. The fleshy reddish coat around the seed is peeled off and dried to form the spice known as mace. Nutmeg trees grow to a height of about 15 meters (50 feet).
Portugal built a Fort at Muscat in Oman Was a nice place to gather all the spices.
Muscatel: Wine made from Muscat grapes,… usally sweet and usually high in alcohol.
musky falling nut ???

enough to a make Linguist cry.

A. Hamilton  •  Link


OED gives several definitions, including a wine, a variety of grape and the vine that produces it, a kind of peach and a kind of pear.

Pedro  •  Link


According to a couple of Portuguese sites nutmeg, Noz-moscada, originated from the Banda Islands in the archipelago of the Moluccas. First discovered by one Antonio Abreu in 1511 or thereabouts.

"In 1621 Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the governor-general of the V.O.C. in the Dutch East-Indies, gave order to kill all the Bandanese people on the Banda-Islands because they were not willing to allow the Dutch getting a trademonopoly for nutmegproduction on Banda. An enormous tragedy. 15.000 Bandanese people were killed by the Dutch."…

Michael L  •  Link

This day's page sure looks like... muscat love.

Bradford  •  Link

Side-issue: distinguishing 3 entirely different types of grapes

Not to be confused with Muscat or Muscatel, this is another name for the Melon de Burgogne grape. The vineyards using Muscadet are in the lower Loire, in Brittany, France. The wines are crisp, and light . . . used to compliment the seafood of the same region in which they were grown."

Native North American grape, found originally in the southeast. The most common variety of this class is Scuppernong. Although it has its followers among home winemakers, the Scuppernong has not excited anyone in the Vinifera wine world because of its very intense flavor"---i.e., it's "foxy."

Wine made from Muscat grapes, usually sweet and usually high in alcohol."…

Happily, L&M Companion's "Large Glossary" clears up the whole mystery:

"MUSCADINE, MUSCATT: muscatel wine: the use 'muscatt', which puzzled P, OED 1747, though 'musticat' 1578 (Scotland) and 'muscat' for 'muscat grape' 1655; muscatel is strong and sweet, and the description was accorded to strong sweet wines even when not products of the muscat grape"

Sjoerd  •  Link

"Nathaniel's Nutmeg, How one man's courage changed the course of history", by Giles Milton
is a very enjoyable read about the discovery of the source of Nutmeg on the Banda Islands.

But Pedro is right about the massacres.…

Ruben  •  Link

nutmeg cake that Sam ate. From one of Pepys sites:
and from "our" diary in March 1660:
"Here I lay and took a thing for my cold, namely a spoonful of honey and a nutmeg scraped into it, by Mr. Bowyer's direction, and so took it into my mouth, which I found did do me much good.”

more on history of nutmeg? big apples? who rules the sea? in…
“Yet 370 years ago, Run’s harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland but in return was given Manhattan. This led not only to the birth of New York but also to the beginning of the British Empire.”
and also
” The British transplanted the trees to colonial Bencoolen and Singapore and Ceylon, and, oh yes, nutmeg didn’t cure the plague either.”

May be all this nutmeg annotations should be in Background information, where there is a Nutmeg entry already.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

THE VACATION OF THE 17C."...resolving to make up this week in seeing plays and pleasure, and so fall to business next week again for a great while..."

language hat  •  Link

Thanks for clearing that up, Bradford. Ruben's nutmeg theory was clever but unsupported by any evidence that "muscat" has been so used in English (the OED provides none). Which is yet another reason that nutmeg material should go in the Background section, since it turns out to be irrelevant here.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...and muscatt; but I know not yet what that is, and am ashamed to ask...."
reviewing this statement leads me to ask, why does doth he sayeth this:
He has eaten and seen a Nutmeg;……
he has drunk Muscatel,
was it because it was called in PORTUGUESE as Noz moscada. the Portuguese accent makes it a strange sound [need a Portuese guy to rit it in accent'd anglais]
"Muscadine or muscadel, a rich sort of wine. "Vinum muscatum quod moschi odorem referat.”…]
So it leads me to think the words in this Kandelarum that be used were strange sounding and because there be the elapse in time there by the translation presented be more modern than the wot he doth rote.
little editorial???
Sam knows the latin words of nux and muscus.But the portuguese version may floor him.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...In his days Pepys could not Google it!...: nor find a dictionary in any Language, to speak of except Latin, Greek, Hebrew

Ruben  •  Link

May I insist that Pepys knew the nutmeg from his taste in his food or drink or medicine and probably saw the nutmeg POWDER, but may be he never saw a NUT. Old nuts have no scent until you grind them. Considering the long voyage (months) from wherever Indies they came from, it sounds to me that this where nuts and not any wine or powder.

Another point is that (I learnt) English grammar was not definitive in those days and more than that, as Pepys wrote in his peculiar code, we do not know for sure the exact pronunciation of what he intended to write.

Having Moscat Nuts in his pocket was for Samuel a way to go upstairs in the social ladder. He, the son of a tailor, was now the owner of this expensive nuts. Not that he knew what to do with them.

GrahamT  •  Link

As Pepys talks about gooseberries "as big as nutmegs" and a spoonful of honey "with nutmeg scraped into it" I think we can assume he knows what a nutmeg looks like and how it is used. (See Cumgranissalis' links above)

language hat  •  Link

Ruben, "muscat" does not mean 'nutmeg' in English.

Ruben  •  Link

Ruben, "muscat" does not mean "nutmeg" in English.

Of course not.
This world is interesting because of some inherent inconsistencies.
I do not expect Pepys to raise from his tomb, as I would like, and tell us what he intended to remember in his diary. I am sorry for this. I love this young man.
So, like a Talmudic scholar, I have to speculate.
As they say in Italy: “Si non e vero, e ben trovato”.(if it’s not the truth, at least it’s well made up!).
If you can rule out that Pepys was using the Spanish or Portuguese word for Moscada wrongly spelled, languages he did use sometimes, then I will agree with you.
In the meantime let me imagine the long journey in Captain Teddiman’s ship made by this Muscatt thing
(whatever it was).

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The English Language is a de-light with it's absorption of obscure words that appear to contradict, gives work to the purists and others that try to make sense of 'wot be sed'. Naturally there others that enjoy being a obfuscator

Araucaria  •  Link

A way out of the muscat dispute --

Perhaps we can read the entry as saying that he had received word in the letter from Captain Teddiman that the gifts were on their way, but that they have not actually arrived yet.

So Sam doesn't have the items in hand and has been foxed by an unfamiliar name for a familiar thing -- maybe Teddiman intentionally used 'moscat' to heighten their anticipation? Sam might very well recognize the nutmegs when they arrive.

Mary  •  Link

"a way out of the muscat dispute".

Araucaria's premiss (that the letter announcing the gifts arrived before the goods themselves) has always seemed to me the natural interpretation of the events here.

Rabbi geoffrey Hyman  •  Link

Thanks to your website I found some information on a Hebrew name that I was researching in connection with blessings recited on spices. There is a reference to the work of Rabbi Mordechai ben Hillel Ashkenazi, (died 1298)known as the "Mordechai",who quotes his teacher Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (died 1293)about the appropriate blessing to recite on a spice which transliterated from the Hebrew is Muscata or Muscada, (as in the Spanish). These Rabbis lived in Germany in Rhineland so it indicates that the muscat nut was used there.

pat stewart cavalier  •  Link

I don't think it could have been muscat grapes, a# because they wouldn't travel well ; and b) because in any case they don't ripen until September or perhaps late August at the earliest. So nutmeg #called noix de muscade in French) is a good suggestion.
As for recognising a nutmeg : had he actually seen what he had been sent, or just been told what had been sent ?

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

" a peace made upon good terms, by Sir J. Lawson, with the Argier men"

The articles of peace between Charles II. and Algiers, concluded 30th Aug. 1664, by Admiral Thomas Allen, according to instructions from the Duke of York, being the same articles concluded by Sir John Lawson, 23rd April, 1662, and confirmed 10th November following. They are reprinted in Somers's Tracts, vol. vii., p. 554, Sir W. Scott's edition.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

E  •  Link

Wondering now whether Dorothy Sayers (who would have been familiar with the history of this period) named her heroine Harriet Vane after the Harry Vane mentioned here. The stubborness and adherence to principles in Harriet Vane's character certainly echo Harry Vane's.

Bill  •  Link

"some anchovies, olives, and muscatt"

MUSCAT, a delicious Grape of a musky Taste.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Charles was not naturally bloodthirsty, so he had previously been quite happy to agree to clemency for Vane. However, Vane had made personal enemies because of his Commonwealth role sitting on both the 'Sequestration Committee ' and the 'Committee for Compounding with Delinquents', which dealt with confiscations and fines levied upon the estates and persons of defeated Royalists. Although the latter had lost the war, they were now elevated back to office due to the power vacuum after Oliver's death. As Vane had fallen out with all sides and had no powerful protectors, his persecutors were in a position to exact revenge, and did so with relish.

Like his father before him, Charles was prepared to allow Parliament to claim its chosen quarry if that was to his (Charles') benefit.

One must see these events in the context that that the loyalty of most members of the Cavalier Parliament was not unconditionally to the King, but to their own perceived collective interest as the landed ruling class. The King was their figurehead, tool, and ally, but as the years went on, divisions grew, both within Parliament, and between Parliament and the King. Thus the English Party system was born

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"muscatt; but I know not yet what that is, and am ashamed to ask." I have no doubt that it was nutmeg (noix de muscade): if it were wine or grapes, Sam would certainly know.

Interestingly, from about 1500, the word "mace", previously referring to various spices, came to be used for the rind of the nutmeg. The (full) OED quotes a source referring to "the rynde of the nux musticata, the notmygge, "

Teddiman obviously sent a labelled package, and they all nodded and smiled wisely whilst wondering something like "what the Deuce is this?" :)

There may well be an etymological link to the muscatel grape, so named because of its musk-like perfume.

john  •  Link

"This morning comes an order [...]" I cannot infer what the thought of the matter but he could hardly refuse the order (or worse, falsify the record).

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

The reason that Lee was trawling through the Navy office archive is that Vane was firstly, under both King and Commonwealth, a former Treasurer of the Navy (the post now being held by Sir George Carteret); secondly, he sat on a series of Commonwealth committees to oversee and reform the Navy, including the drafting of articles of war.

This search for incriminating evidence did not really concern Sam, as the relevant events were well before his time. It may well have been of more concern to Penn and Batten, who were in the Navy under Cromwell. The "Sir Williams" were not a target, but they would not want to get caught in the crossfire.

It seems taht the "Sir Williams" dealt with the situation in different ways. Batten kept his distance ("nothing to do with me Guv!"), but Penn joined the "Councellor"* and Sam for lunch, not forgetting to bring his attractive daughter, both to distract the gentleman, and to restrict the conversation to polite topics, ie not potentially treasonous activities!

*I guess that the word "Councellor" here means in the sense of a lawyer.

eileen d.  •  Link

"...even to supporting Ann Hutchinson during his time in colonial New England." [Robert Gertz re: H. Vane (above)]

"Anne Hutchinson was a Puritan spiritual adviser, mother of 15, and an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy which shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638." Wikipedia

eileen d.  •  Link

"...named her heroine Harriet Vane after the Harry Vane..." ( E, above)

yes! I was wondering the same thing, esp. considering Sayer's background as a religious scholar. :))

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

" and at noon he, with Sir W. Pen and his daughter, dined with me, and he to his work again, and we by coach to the Theatre and saw “Love in a Maze.” The play hath little in it but Lacy’s part of a country fellow, which he did to admiration."

12 year old Pegg Penn enjoys another trip to the theater with that fun man who lives next door.

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