Thursday 28 August 1662

I observe that Will, whom I used to call two or three times in a morning, would now wake of himself and rise without calling. Which though angry I was glad to see. So I rose and among my workmen, in my gown, without a doublet, an hour or two or more, till I was afraid of getting an ague, and so to the office, and there we sat all the morning, and at noon Mr. Coventry and I dined at Sir W. Batten’s, where I have now dined three days together, and so in the afternoon again we sat, which we intend to do two afternoons in a week besides our other sitting.

In the evening we rose, and I to see how my work goes on, and so to my office, writing by the post and doing other matters, and so home and to bed late.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F,  •  Link

Last night's lingering anger tempered by Will's growth; both of which are surely written about this night -- one of the "other matters" done at the office before retiring

dirk  •  Link

"So I rose and among my workmen, in my gown..."

Sam in his gown, his hair in a mess, just out of bed, harassing the workmen.

I would have loved to see that. (Actually I had a similar experience recently with a plumber coming to fix my shower - finally, after 49 days of waiting...)

Australian Susan  •  Link

In my gown
Sam would have probably slept naked, but had a loose gown, a night gown, to put on quickly. He may have slept in his shirt - which was a muich more substantial item than the shirts of today. Mind you, I can remember from the 50s that my father's smart business shirts in those days (with detachable heavily starched collars,) had long shirt 'tails' front and back, which were deemed necessary to keep the kidneys from a chill and were tucked into trousers *always* held up with braces, never a belt and then you buttoned a thick waistcoat (US: vest) over that. All this was prior to widespread central heating which was regarded with slight suspicion and held to encourage the catching of colds. My father used to point out that SP always keep his outside clothes on inside buildings and only added a cloak outside if the weather was really awful. Heating in buildings is not much referred to.

Terry F,  •  Link

"in my gown, without a doublet...till I was afraid of getting an ague"

"Ague: A fever (such as from malaria) that is marked by paroxysms of chills, fever, and sweating recurring regular intervals. Also a fit of shivering, a chill. Hence, ague can refer to both chills and fevers.

"Pronounced 'A-(")gy? with the accent solidly on the “A”, the word “ague” is an example of how medical terminology changes with time. Not only are new terms introduced (with great speed these days) but old terms such as “ague” may decline in usage (become archaic) and eventually may be dropped entirely (be obsolete).

“Aigue” entered English usage in the 14th century, having crossed the channel from the Middle French “ague”. The word share the same origin as “acute.” It descends from the Latin “acutus” meaning “sharp or pointed”. A “fievre aigue” in French was a sharp or pointed (or acute) fever.”…

A. Hamilton  •  Link

In the evening we rose, and I to see how my work goes on, and so to my office, writing by the post and doing other matters, and so home and to bed late.

Taking care of business and working overtime.

gerry  •  Link

With a nod, A Hamilton to BTO.

Terry F,  •  Link

"In the evening we rose,
and I to see
how my work goes"

Very singable -- nods to A.Hamilton and Gerry.

andy  •  Link

Maths problem from 1536:

remembering Sam's mastery of maths and the presence of his "Catte" I thought you'd like to read this, from Sunday's newspaper -

The rule and questyon of a catte.

There is a catte at the fote of a tre the length of 300 fote / this catte goeth upwarde eche daye 17 fote, and descendeth eche nyght 12 fote. I demaunde in how longe tyme shall she be at ye toppe.

Answere Take vp and abate the nyght of the daye / that is 12 of 17, and there remayneth 5, therfore the catte mounteth eche daye 5 fote / deuyde now 300 by 5 & therof cometh 60, dayes then she shal be at the toppe.

Nix  •  Link

In my gown --

I'm curious about AusSus's observation that Samuel probably would have slept naked. In a chilly climate I would have assumed he'd wear a night shirt of some sort -- in case he kicked off the blankets, or to get up to use the chamber pot, or to yell out the window at noisy neighbors. Can't London nights get pretty chilly even in August (September new style)?

Lovely recollections, by the way.

Pauline  •  Link

" my gown, without a doublet...."
From Liza Picard's "Restoration London":
"In bed, men wore long night-shirts, and elegant embroidered night-caps--to judge from the survivors in museums--to keep their heads warm, especially if they had shaved their scalps so as to wear wigs comfortably.

"Men, too, had their 'morning gowns', also known as 'night-gowns', 'dressing gowns' or just 'gowns'. They were descendants of the long, warm medieval robes whose wearers were so shocked when naughty young me displayed themselves in buttock-hugging hose, which eventually turned into breeches. To call these robes 'dressing gowns' in the modern sense would be misleading."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

No comments on the dinner food or Lady Batten, what a pity...It would be interesting to know if she's likewise avoiding Sam. Curious he's never had much of an eye for her, I wonder if he subconsciously senses too much danger (even if only of making a fool of himself) that way, her being a neighbor, and so has made her an object of dislike.

Sjoerd  •  Link

I'm rather glad Pauline has set our minds at ease concerning the sleeping "au naturel". With the house being rather draughty and the wife away and an aigue lurking i would say a nightshirt at least, and maybe some flannels with a button-up flap ?

dirk  •  Link

Mathes problem

re - andy

Curiously, the solution proposed by the author (60 days) is not correct.

Look at it this way:
* after 57 days the cat has reached a height of 57 x 5 ft = 285 ft
* the next (58th) day the cat first climbs 17 ft ... and reaches the top which is only 15 ft away - whether or not the cat decides to climb down 12 ft overnight is irrelevant: it has reached the top

Mathematically this result can be reached by:

(300 - 17)/5 = 56.6 rounded to next integer = 57 days

57 days x 5 ft/day = 285 ft

300 - 285 = 15 ft to climb the last 58th day

Terry F,  •  Link

"the catte mounteth eche daye 5 fote"

Dirk, how can it climb 15 on day 58?
I am puzzled.

dirk  •  Link

how can it climb 15

Terry, it's confusing, but the cat climbs 17 ft everyday, and then slides dow 12 ft.

The net difference is of course 5 ft - but before reaching that "daily net" value, on the 58th day it has effectively climbed its daily 17 ft (well 15ft, because there are no 17ft left) and thereby reached the top.

Terry F,  •  Link

Aha! So it is not the net but the gross on day 58 that brings it to the toppe!

Touché Old Poser! Thanks, Dirk.

gerry  •  Link

dirk, this type of problem is still very common in simple quizzes nowadays and its amazing how many people still make the same old mistake!

Terry F,  •  Link

I sent this to a friend who is a math professor and chess master, and he responded "Terry,
Of course the cat will be at the top in 58 days.

Pauline  •  Link

'No comments on...Lady interesting to know if she's likewise avoiding Sam’
Robert G, I was thinking that the Battens had retreated to their country house for the summer, with Sir Wm back and forth a bit, but mainly in town. Women and children in families of means and possessing a country estate usually left the city for the hot months. This, of course, encouraged Sam to send Elizabeth to Brampton—status as well as the house being pulled all apart.

Vincent identifies the Batten country house in Background:
The Rectory Manor House, Church Hill, Walthamstow, Essex.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Where be the better ladies be? Out to pasture while the the men be creating wealth. The Norse did love to leave home in the spring looking for opportunities to increase wealth, while the wives lazed around looking after the homestead waiting for the harvest.
Summer cottage [Sandringham Estate e.g.] be part of the purifying the chest of the lung disorders. New Yorkers, the Catskills or better it be Maine with a fresh sea breeze. The Men doth love to have the still of a summers evening, enjoying the View down at the Hide Park, veddy invigorating.

Pauline  •  Link

'Out to pasture while the the men be creating wealth.'
Surely some relief from domesticity, but also a health (mental and physical) decision for your children/progenitors. And may even re-spark the marital connection.

Pauline  •  Link

returning to correct myself for a trailing sense of something wrong: postgenitors? Progeny.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

I observe that Will, whom I used to call two or three times in a morning

I enjoy this little glimpse of the Pepys household of a morning. Sam arises and rouses Will -- and Jane, I would think, unless she anticipates Sam's rising and is already busy about the kitchen. Does Sam ever mention breakfast? And when does Elizabeth (when not rusticating) arise? Sam doesn't linger over such detail, does he?

Bradford  •  Link

How can a dead cat continue to climb a tree, after say, oh, forty days and forty nights, or so?

Pepys hitherto has clued us in by saying he's going "to my naked bed."

Bradford  •  Link

All right, maybe it caught some birds on the wings, or perhaps a bat or two. Do cats eat bats?

Peter  •  Link

The cat was obviously Schroedinger's....Sometimes it's dead and sometimes it's alive.

Dave  •  Link

Peter, if you superposition the cat, all answers are correct.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"to my naked bed." it dothe surely mean without a heating pad?

Australian Susan  •  Link

I always thought naked bed meant a four poster without hangings.
Re cats and bats - I'm sure cats (if ours are anything to go by) will eat anything going, but I doubt they'd catch one! Some bats here in Queensland of course have a metre wingspan........(but are vegetarian).

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Four poster be nicer, but poor old Samuell be lost with out 'is Eliza, [being a male will never admit it] that be why he gives one and all a hard time. When I be spending time away on the road I would pack as many meetings in to a 18 hour day so I could be be back in my four poster.
Cats love to catch dinner, to pay the rent with a live one , they needed a mother cat to teach them to fillet one, ready for dinner.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Why Cumgranissalis...My wife says to say you have become a true romantic.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Will, whom I used to call two or three times in a morning

Do we know how old Will is at this stage? I have to do this all the time with my 19 year-old son, and it's comforting to know that teenagers were ever thus!

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Will was born sometime in 1642, so he's 19 or 20 now.

Bridget Davis  •  Link

Will, whom I used to call two or three times in a morning...

In most jobs today that would get you fired. Is it normal for people to be so lenient with their servants back then? Is it Will's young age that excuses him? Or our Sam's young age, for that matter?

john  •  Link

"Is it normal for people to be so lenient with their servants back then?" No -- corporal punishment was the norm and Pepys has doled out his fair share to Will. But Will has become more than servant and closer to son. (I would recommend obtaining a copy of Lisa Picard's wonderful summary of Pepys.)

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.