Sunday 27 July 1662

(Lord’s day). At church alone in the pew in the morning. In the afternoon by water I carried my wife to Westminster, where she went to take leave of her father, and I to walk in the Park, which is now every day more and more pleasant, by the new works upon it. Here meeting with Laud Crispe, I took him to the farther end, and sat under a tree in a corner, and there sung some songs, he singing well, but no skill, and so would sing false sometimes. Then took leave of him, and found my wife at my Lord’s lodging, and so took her home by water, and to supper in Sir W. Pen’s balcony, and Mrs. Keene with us, and then came my wife’s brother, and then broke up, and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

daniel  •  Link

"he singing well, but no skill, and so would sing false sometimes. "

I imagine in my mind's ear that this means Laud sang with vigor and enthusiasm but quite out-of-tune.

Sam has a wonderful way of bringing us all right in the moment!

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

In-Laws: Does Sam drop Eliza off at the end of the alley and scoots off leaving Elizabeth to say " Sam be busy and says hi". It dothe appear to be very little Communication with the would be inventor cum French "Scion" of a Comte ? Or Dothe it be la belle-mere fit the standard old wives tale ?.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

If only Sam could see Rotton Row now. "...I to walk in the Park, which is now every day more and more pleasant, by the new works upon it..." there would be a few more lines of prose.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam sitting in state all alone in the Navy Office pew listening, no doubt, to a very ordinary sermon (did he doze through it, I wonder) from Mr Mills.
About the singing: we take excellent performance for granted these days because of wonderful recordings and performances easily available to us electronically. In Sam's day, people had much less to go on, but in his singing, as in all aspects of his life Sam liked things to be right and proper. He must have had a good ear, maybe perfect pitch? Does L&M comment on his musical skills?

Mary  •  Link

Sam and the in-laws.

In general, annotators have assumed that it is Sam who eschews the company of his wife's parents. The boot could, of course, be on the other foot; possibly the in-laws originally gave him the cold shoulder for being an unsuitably low match for their 'nobly-descended' daughter. He was a struggling clerk and the son of a common, and not too prosperous, tailor, after all and in the first years of his marriage appears to have been living in fairly straightened circumstances. The antipathy may well have been one-sided to begin with and then have become mutual

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"he singing well but no skill so would sing false sometimes"
May be he couldn't deliver the high Cs like that other guy that likes to sing in the parks,so he would resort to falsetto.

Stolzi  •  Link

"singing well but no skill"

I take it to mean that Mr. Crispe didn't know the songs by heart, or had no innate sense of the harmony, so he occasionally hit a wrong note despite having a full and pleasing voice.

I was going to suggest that he couldn't read music, but Sam would surely not have carried any song book or Ms. to the park.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

...And so would sing false sometimes...
In most cases singing does not come naturally. Almost all people need singing lessons to simply learn the techniques to sing in tune and with the correct intonations etc. So I think Laud Crispe simply has an untrained voice.

JohnT  •  Link

A good snapshot of a difference between our cultures, then and now. A chance meeting in a park on a Sunday afternoon, and a couple of acquaintances find a quiet spot and sing ! Would we do that ? OK , I can envisage a keen guitar carrying musician strumming away. But most of us would not have that spontaneity. You meet someone and you chat at most or nod and pass by. There has been a sea change in the English psyche.

Jeannine  •  Link

"Singing well but with no skill"....Obviously Sam has forgotten the most important element to ensure a most successful experience of singing in the park..... a nice bottle of wine! This would certainly have made the singing less "false" and the memory of hearing it more enjoyable......

Pedro  •  Link

The version of the Diary on Gutenberg adds to today's entry...

[Mrs. Pepys's father was Alexander Marchant, Sieur de St. Michel, a
scion of a good family in Anjou. Having turned Huguenot at the age
of twenty-one, his father disinherited him, and he was left
penniless. He came over in the retinue of Henrietta Maria, on her
marriage with Charles I., as one of her Majesty's gentlemen carvers,
but the Queen dismissed him on finding out he was a Protestant and
did not go to mass. He described himself as being captain and major
of English troops in Italy and Flanders.--Wheatley's Pepys and the
World he lived in, pp. 6, 250. He was full of schemes; see
September 22nd, 1663, for account of his patent for curing smoky

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I still find it one of the great regrets of the Diary that Sam and Alex didn't get along for whatever reasons. To see Sam "with child" fiddling about with dad-in-law's perpetual motion machine and other toys would have been great fun. Though perhaps the explaination is partly there-He quickly saw dad-in-law's wild schemes and attempts to put over his inventions would leave his son-in-law bankrupt.

It does seem Bess is no more anxious to have Sam visit the in-laws than he is. That would suggest her father did something fairly harsh and that she sides with Sam while maintaining connections at least with Mom and Balty. Sam's remark about Balty's pretensions... "he wants bread"... and unwillingness to tout his father-in-law's aristocratic grandeur about the office suggest he has little awe towards his in-laws' heritage. And then there's the little matter of no dowry...

I would guess that Sam sold himself as Montagu's cousin to get his foot in the Marchant door after meeting Bess. He quickly learned "Sieur St Michel" was penniless but was willing to take Bess in any case. Marchant learned in turn that Sam was more Montagu's servant than cousin and a tailor's son...Mon Dieu! and used a more or less phony rage at the idea to cover the embarrassment of having nothing to give with Bess.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, my wife takes a different view and one I like, especially based on the events of the Great Pre-Diary Quarrel when our Bess ran out on Sam for several months. She thinks our romantic Elisabeth was carried away and ran off with her gallant wooer Sam, pure and simple. Fortunately, Sam had the decency and desire to marry rather than abandon her...And we have no reason at all to believe he was forced to marry her. Naturally Alexander would have refused to have anything to do with him, though Balty, a somewhat less rigid fellow, would rapidly accomodate himself, (along with a decent desire to keep an eye on sis).

Sadly we'll never know the full details...Unless...Now that time-travel is theoretically possible...

Nix  •  Link

About the singing --

Did anyone see a recent article in the New Yorker, quoting a new book on recording vs. concerts:

> Philip begins his book with a riveting
> description of concerts at the turn of
> the last century. "Freedom from
> disaster was the standard for a good
> concert," he writes.…

Pedro  •  Link

"perpetual motion machine... He quickly saw dad-in-law's wild schemes and attempts to put over his inventions would leave his son-in-law bankrupt."

Summary from John Evelyn, Living for Ingenuity, by Gillian Darley

(John Evelyn was for some time in search with others to patent one of these machines, but decided not to add to his original investment)

These machines, which fascinated, promised much and never delivered, consumed many fortunes and dashed many exaulted hopes...Of his Father-in-law Pepys said..."grew full of wheemsis...and brought all our family low."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to supper in Sir W. Pen’s balcony, and Mrs. Keene with us,"

L&M read "and Mr. Keene with us," and say (in the Companion) "Possibly Edward Keene, who with his wife Margaret had been living in St Olave's parish since at least 1648.

Ivan  •  Link

Who is Laud Crispe? He hasn't been mentioned before, has he?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ivan, a click on his link reveals who Laud Crispe is. A further click on "References" shows it's been awhile since Pepys mentioned him: he was referred to five times in 1660. The dates of each Reference has a live link that takes you to the diary entry for that date:…

Phil has designed fiendishly clever ways to answer questions about this enormous cast of characters.

Ivan  •  Link

Thank you very much for this info, TF. My old brain let me down!!

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