Monday 26 May 1662

Up by four o’clock in the morning, and fell to the preparing of some accounts for my Lord of Sandwich. By and by, by appointment comes Mr. Moore, and, by what appears to us at present, we found that my Lord is above 7,000l. in debt, and that he hath money coming into him that will clear all, and so we think him clear, but very little money in his purse. So to my Lord’s, and after he was ready, we spent an hour with him, giving him an account thereof; and he having some 6,000l. in his hands, remaining of the King’s, he is resolved to make use of that, and get off of it as well as he can, which I like well of, for else I fear he will scarce get beforehand again a great while. Thence home, and to the Trinity House; where the Brethren (who have been at Deptford choosing a new Maister; which is Sir J. Minnes, notwithstanding Sir W. Batten did contend highly for it: at which I am not a little pleased, because of his proud lady) about three o’clock came hither, and so to dinner. I seated myself close by Mr. Prin, who, in discourse with me, fell upon what records he hath of the lust and wicked lives of the nuns heretofore in England, and showed me out of his pocket one wherein thirty nuns for their lust were ejected of their house, being not fit to live there, and by the Pope’s command to be put, however, into other nunnerys.

I could not stay to end dinner with them, but rose, and privately went out, and by water to my brother’s, and thence to take my wife to the Redd Bull, where we saw “Doctor Faustus,” but so wretchedly and poorly done, that we were sick of it, and the worse because by a former resolution it is to be the last play we are to see till Michaelmas. Thence homewards by coach, through Moorefields, where we stood awhile, and saw the wrestling. At home, got my lute upon the leads, and there played, and so to bed.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

"my Lord is above 7,000l. in debt"

So the 1,400l. present from the Portuguese the other day will come in useful.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"the lust and wicked lives of the nuns"
"she was merely a woman trapped in a way of life that held no appeal for her.When she damned Archbishop Henry for burying her in a convent shuddering under the weight of celibacy preached by other nuns,she must have still felt the blood of her lover's genitals on her fingers."
cf A History of Celibacy-Elizabeth Abbott

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus", eh? What a shame it was a bad production, though I get the impression Sam had seen it...better done...Before.

"Sam'l...Now I would normally never suggest we break one of our solemn vows, my darling."

"Bess?" Samuel is shocked...Shocked!

"But that play stunk so badly, darling...Couldn't we see just one more? Michelmas is so far off..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ah, hell Sam...You got up at four in the morning to do Sandwich's accounts, probably for free. Go see another play, we absolve you.

Bradford  •  Link

First Whitsun, now Michaelmas: quarter-oaths, as it were.
For two or three centuries one could always depend upon nuns to provide illicit thrills---in the popular Protestant imagination. Discuss.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Naughty Nuns
Funny to see such a stalwart old chestnut of soft porn having an early airing. Tales like this (also debauched friars) were happily spread about by reformers from the 1500s onwards: anti-Catholicism took many forms. Sounds as if Sam was torn away from all this breathless discussion to go to the theatre only reluctantly. And then the play was a dud production. And no more until the end of September. Wonder if he sticks to this?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

oh! Peter, oh! Paul: Co mingling, very dodgy?"and get off of it as well as he can, which I like well of, for else I fear he will scarce get beforehand again a great while."
Will he Lord S. pay the interest for the loan?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

PHILLIP MARLOWE: Doctor Faustus…
Pride Covetousness Envy Wrath Gluttony Sloth Lechery
"... Doctor Faustus,... but so wretchedly and poorly done…"
"What doctrine call you this? Che sera, sera:" Where was D Dies when she be needed ?
then Sam does need to be reminded of his :
Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth, Lechery."…
or he was he thinking of Lady C.
FAUSTUS. Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium—
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.—
[Kisses her.]
Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!—
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,…

Jesse  •  Link

" be put, however, into other nunnerys"

Transferring wayward clergy to other locales, alas, echoes to our present day.…

Ruben  •  Link

got my lute upon the leads, and there played
First fiddler on the roof?

Tom Burns  •  Link

Wicked nuns!

If I remember correctly, it was common in those days for girls to be put into a convent by their families, so not all of the ladies were there willingly (I'm pretty sure this was true for priests as well). So is it any wonder that vows of celibacy were not rigorously adhered to?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

In re Philip Marlowe

Some dialogue from "The Big Sleep," starring Bogart and Bacall

Marlowe: You've got a touch of class, but I don't know how, how far you can go.
Mrs. Rutledge: A lot depends on who's in the saddle.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

In re Kit Marlowe

Could the end of Dr. Faustus have given a bit of a frisson to the future member of the Royal Society? Or was he already sufficiently modern to have an emotional distance from this medieval moment?

Faustus: O soul be changed into little water drops,
And fall into the ocean ne'er be found.
My god! my God! Look not so fierce on me;

Enter devils

Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile.
Ugly hell, gape not; come not Lucifer!
I'll burn my books! Ah, Mephistophilis!

Exeunt Devils with Faustus.

Enter Chorus

Cho. Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, And burned is Apollo`s laurel bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.
Faustus is gone; regard his hellish fall,
Whose fiendfull fortune may exhort the wise
Only to wonder at unlawful things,
Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits
To practise more than heavenly power permits.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

In re the possible confusion between Philip and Kit:

As Alfie Bass, playing a Jewish inn-keeper-turned vampire, says to Roman Polanski's character in The Fearless Vampire Killers, who is frantically holding up a cross to ward off his attack, "Oy, haf you got the wrong vampire!"

A. Hamilton  •  Link

the lust and wicked lives of the nuns

Ah, Prynne, thy name is scandal! As Aus. Susan says, typical anti-Catholic propaganda. Amusing that it comes from a man whose fictional namesake Hester is forced by contemporary New England Puritans to wear the scarlet letter A.
As Adikos Logos says is Aristophanes' "The Clouds," everyone, even the most pious, is a sinner.

Steve  •  Link

"Up by four o’clock in the morning,"

Sunrise in London is about 4:50AM right now.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

re: vocations, careers, presting, eating, apprenticeships, sleeping, and surviving.
One does what one can do. Many a young person became involved in preaching , as a better way of eating, unlike so many others that were pressed into service with many differing groups, especially groups that required plenty of leg work. Vocation and education was dangled as a better way of life than being a emptieer of the waste of the richer types.
Ones choices were limited by the availability of a meaningful career as an Admiral, Knight and other high status opportunities.
Even back in the forties some were offered a good education to be paid for by service of indocrinating others. We still offer education for making oneself available for slaughter. Not every one was borne with a [] Spoon in ones mouth.
So many had a choice of life in a choice of bedchambers.
Just travel the world to see how the lower 50% live and survive.

Mary  •  Link

Pepys sunrise.

We currently 'benefit' from British Summer Time (one hour ahead of GMT). Thus Pepys could have risen and worked shortly after sunrise at 3.50 am. without needing to light candles in an east-facing room.

Bradford  •  Link

Light enough to pumice your face by?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"saw the wrestling"
What does L&M have to say about this? Were they Cornish wrestlers? Gypsies? Was this a regular entertainment? Or especially for the Whit holiday period?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Lives of Nuns and Monks
Norman Cantor in his book "In the wake of the Plague" (how society was changed by this biomedical disaster), reports on analysis of the records of an Abbey in London in the early 14th century (pre-black death). They had what he describes as a gentry diet: meat, meat and more meat. If this richness is repeated in most or even in only many monastic communities up and down England, this would have provoked envy from the majority of the population living on - as I quoted in a previous post "Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old". All sorts of tales circulated, based on kernels of truth about the lives of the inhabitants, but the food envy aspect is supported by facts.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Totally off the mark (sorry Phil) but I was reading Harold Bloom's book on Shakespeare (Invention of the Human) and he insists that Christopher Marlowe was murdered by Elizabeth I's Secret Service (under Walsingham). Anyone ever hear or read confirmation of that?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

erata:PHILLIP MARLOWE: Doctor Faustus wrong version.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Marlowe was stabbed to death in a Greenwich pub (through the eye - nasty), ostensibly in a row over the payment, but rumours that he was mixed up with spying began early, but i don't think were ever substantiated. Just think, if Shakespeare had died in the same year (1594)of plague or something, he would only have been remembered for henry VI, Loves labours Lost, 2 gentelmen of Verona, Taming of the Shrew (I think), also C of Errors. Marlowe would have been judged by far the better playwright. One of history's great what if's? What if Marlowe had not gone to that tavern.....

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

A Great Reckoning in a Little Room

Shakespeare seems to allude to Marlowe's murder by Ingram Frizier (am I remembering right?) in, as Susan says, a private room of a tavern, where they had a quarrel over the reckoning. Frizier had been employed by HM Secret Service. I'm not sure there's any evidence this was business, rather than personal, however.

Nostrildamus  •  Link

Marlowe was not killed in a 'pub', nor was it Greenwich. It was a boarding house for agents who habitually did work for the crown abroad. If memory serves, it was Deptford.

Clement  •  Link

Deptford--there's the Pepys' link.
"The playwright was brought before Star Chamber (the royal court of equity) on 20 May 1593 for undisclosed crimes'probably relating to blasphemy or atheism. He was told to report back every day. Ten days later, Marlowe died during a tavern brawl in Deptford, London, when he was stabbed through the eye with his own dagger by a man named Ingram Friser. Marlowe had gone to the tavern to meet some men who, like himself, were suspected of espionage or traitorous activities. Interestingly, Friser was pardoned on the excuse that his actions were in self- defense, spawning rumors of a high-level cover-up that have survived to this day."…

Araucaria  •  Link

Remedial time conversion, yet again.

Add 10 days to Pepys' date.

Use caculator such as to calculate time in London on that date.

Take special care to note the Transit Time. This is the time at which the sun crosses the meridian. Subtract (Transit time - 12Noon) from the sunrise/sunset times.

For example, for 05 June 2005, we have

Sunrise = 04:41:48 AM
Sunset = 09:05:42 PM
Transit = 12:53:45 PM

We subtract 53 minutes from 04:41 to get an adjusted sunrise of 3:48 AM. Figure a few minutes later for the sun clearing the tops of various buildings, and we see that Sam got up just as the sun was peeping in his window.

There was as yet no "mean time" standardization, so noon was defined as the time the sun crosses the meridian. Since the adoption of mean time, the sun will be at different longitudinal positions at the same (standard) time (search for "analemma"), because we have averaged the 24 hour length of a day over the entire year.

There is an entry in the background info on Clocks and Watches, but none on Time. I'll have to ask Phil to make one.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"saw the wrestling"
What does L&M have to say about this? Were they Cornish wrestlers? Gypsies? Was this a regular entertainment? Or especially for the Whit holiday period?

Australian Susan, L&M refer to Pepys's visit to the Moorfields Bartholemew Fair wrestling 28 June 1661… and a note there that exponents of the Cornish-Devon and Cumberland-Westmorland styles of wrestling often competed in this way in London parks etc. [ like pickup games of any sort ]

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Interesting that Sam is having a conversation with William Prynne, the man who did so much to help inflame passions in the lead-up to civil war. Above all things, he is remembered for his persecution by, and then prosecution of, Archbishop William Laud, leading to Laud's being attainted and beheaded.

Now the fanatically puritan Prynne, though an occasional thorn in its side, is well in with the new regime and, amongst other things, an elder brother of Trinity House, entertaining young Sam Pepys with lascivious tales of naughty nuns!

Lex Lector  •  Link

Marlowe was killed by Ingram Frizer, apparently. I think it at least possible that the murderer's name was "Frazer" (Ingram and Frazer are both scots names, are they not?) and that "Frizer" is a cockneyfication.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘ . . (In 1633) He was nevertheless found guilty of sedition, sentenced to have his ears cut off (they were only trimmed), fined £5000, and sentenced to life imprisonment . . Four years later, in 1637, he came for a second time before Star Chamber. Once more he was accused (and found guilty) of sedition . . His ears . . now received the full treatment, his nose was slit, and the initials ‘S. L.’ burnt into his cheeks . . He described his sufferings in a pamphlet in 1641.

The executioner had heated the iron very hot, and burnt one of his cheeks twice. After this he cut one of Prynne's ears so close that he cut off a piece of cheek, and cut him deep in the neck near the jugular vein. Then, hacking the other ear until it was almost off, he left it hanging and went down from the scaffold. He was called back by the surgeon, who made him perform a complete amputation . . ‘ [DNB]

He died in 1669 aged 69.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"thence to take my wife to the Redd Bull, where we saw “Doctor Faustus,” "

L&M: A tragedy by Marlowe, acted c. 1592, and published in 1604. Pepys probably saw the version ptinted in 1663, which contained several new scenes. It was probably acted by a minor company managed by George Jplly; vertainly not the King's Company or the Duke of zyork's Company.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A book has come out about Christopher "Kit" Marlowe:

"Localizing Christopher Marlowe:
His Life, Plays and Mythology, 1575-1593
446 pages

"This study punctures the stereotyped portrayals of Marlowe, first created by his rival Robert Greene, and, yet, which still colour our view. In doing so, Ide reveals the social and cultural discourses out of which such myths emerged.

"We know next to nothing about the life of the playwright Christopher Marlowe (b.1564 - d. 1593). Few documents survive other than his birth record in the parish register, a handful of legal cases in court records, Privy Council mandates and reports to the Council, the coroner's examination of his death, and a few hearsay accounts of his atheism. With such a limited collection of biographical documents available, it is impossible to retrieve from history a complete sense of Marlowe. However, this does not mean that biography cannot play a significant role in Marlowe studies.

"By observing the details of the specific places and communities to which Marlowe belonged, this book highlights the collective experiences and concerns of the social groups and communities with which we know he was personally and financially involved. Specifically, 'Localizing Christopher Marlowe' reveals the political and cultural dynamics in the community of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, into which Marlowe was deeply integrated and through which he became affiliated with the circle of Sir Francis Walsingham, mapping these influences in both his life and works."

December 2023

Ebook (EPDF) --
December 2023

Ebook (EPUB) --
December 2023

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