Sunday 7 September 1662

(Lord’s day). Up betimes and round about by the streets to my office, and walked in the garden and in my office till my man Will rose, and then sent to tell Sir J. Minnes that I would go with him to Whitehall, which anon we did, in his coach, and to the Chapell, where I heard a good sermon of the Dean of Ely’s, upon returning to the old ways, and a most excellent anthem, with symphonys between, sung by Captain Cooke. Then home with Mr. Fox and his lady; and there dined with them, where much company come to them. Most of our discourse was what ministers are flung out that will not conform: and the care of the Bishop of London that we are here supplied with very good men.

Thence to my Lord’s, where nobody at home but a woman that let me in, and Sarah above, whither I went up to her and played and talked with her … [Pepys is again up to something disapproved by Wheatley. D.W.] [and, God forgive me, did feel her; which I am much ashamed of, but I did no more, though I had so much a mind to it that I spent in my breeches. – L&M] — After I had talked an hour or two with her I went and gave Mr. Hunt a short visit, he being at home alone, and thence walked homewards, and meeting Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, he took me into Somersett House; and there carried me into the Queen-Mother’s presence-chamber, where she was with our own Queen sitting on her left hand (whom I did never see before); and though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest, and innocent look, which is pleasing. Here I also saw Madam Castlemaine, and, which pleased me most, Mr. Crofts, the King’s bastard, a most pretty spark of about 15 years old, who, I perceive, do hang much upon my Lady Castlemaine, and is always with her; and, I hear, the Queens both of them are mighty kind to him. By and by in comes the King, and anon the Duke and his Duchess; so that, they being all together, was such a sight as I never could almost have happened to see with so much ease and leisure. They staid till it was dark, and then went away; the King and his Queen, and my Lady Castlemaine and young Crofts, in one coach and the rest in other, coaches. Here were great store of great ladies, but very few handsome.

The King and Queen were very merry; and he would have made the Queen-Mother believe that his Queen was with child, and said that she said so. And the young Queen answered, “You lye;” which was the first English word that I ever heard her say which made the King good sport; and he would have taught her to say in English, “Confess and be hanged.”

The company being gone I walked home with great content as I can be in for seeing the greatest rarity, and yet a little troubled that I should see them before my wife’s coming home, I having made a promise that I would not, nor did I do it industriously and by design, but by chance only. To my office, to fit myself for waiting on the Duke to-morrow morning with the rest of our company, and so to my lodgings and to bed.

45 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F,  •  Link

"a good sermon of the Dean of Ely's, upon returning to the old ways”

L&M note: “Francis Wilford was the preacher, and the text presumably Jer., vi. 16. The subject was the return of ecclesiastical unifomity.”

The text: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

Terry F,  •  Link

"a most excellent anthem, with symphonys between, sung by Captain Cooke."

L&M note: "The symphonies were probably played on the organ, perhaps supported by wind instruments: cf. Evelyn.... According to Pepys, 14 September was 'the first day of having Vialls and other Instruments to play a Symphony between every verse of the Anthem...."

Cooke, the Baltic merchant, is a man of many parts (well, vocally, just one at a time, of course).

Bradford  •  Link

Have we heard before of Pepys's promise not to go see the Queen & Co. while Elizabeth is away? Did he promise her he wouldn't, or only make the resolve to himself? And why bother? Merely as a test of self-will?

(Tempting oneself is rarely wise; let the Devil take the blame.)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "the King's bastard"

Mr. Crofts must be "a most pretty spark" indeed to eclipse even Lady Castlemaine in Sam's eyes!

Terry F,  •  Link

Sorry, this Captain [Henry] Cooke is not the Baltic merchant.

(But he traveled in circles in which he *might* have encoutered a Tuvan throat singer....)

Rex Gordon  •  Link

" ... and Sarah above ..."

(L&M): "and Sarah above; whither I went up to her and played and talked with her and, God forgive me, did feel her; which I am much ashamed of, but I did no more, though I had so much a mind to it that I spent in my breeches."

Jeannine  •  Link

Not exactly how one "should" be spending the Lord's Day-- an indiscretion involving Sarah followed by seeing the King parade his mistress and bastard son in front of his new wife.
This is still in the timeline of the "bedchamber incident" and during this time it was believed by historians that there was some attempt on Charles' behalf to establish at least an outward "friendliness" with his wife --why you ask--because his mother had arrived on the scene. Historians speculate and offer 2 totally different views of the Queen Mother and the ladies involved. Some believe she sides with Catherine and provided her support and friendship and "helped" her to understand the role of wife vs. mistress based on the French court ways of life. Other historians imply that there was a relationship between the Queen -Mother and Lady Castlemaine and that Catherine was not really "in" with that two some. Although Catherine and the Queen-Mother shared the same religion, they did not speak the same langauge (in the literal sense here) and communications would be difficult.
Also, of very interesting note, by all reports ---the Queen Mother and Charles I had a monogonous marriage--Charles I is noted as one of the only Kings who never had a mistress during his marriage. He was also intolerant of these types of relationships in others. A sharp contrast to the scene presented by his son King Charles II, who only a few months into his marriage has forced his mistress and illegitimate son upon his wife in such a public (and humiliating) manner.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

thanx Rex Gordon, I was thinking it
should have read"and Sarah above;whither I went up to her and talked with her and played with her..."

Jeannine  •  Link

Todd, "Mr. Crofts a most pretty spark of about 15 years old, who, I perceive, do hang much upon my Lady Castlemaine, and is always with her"..... of interesting note, perhaps Mr. Crofts (soon to be made Duke on Monmouth) has more than just Sam's eye. Many historians will report that he also became a lover of Lady Castlemaine, probably somewhere around this time period, give or take a few months. Charles II never was faithful to anyone and with the sharp exception of his wife, he never expected it in return. Lady Castlemaine was probably the most notorious of his mistresses in entertaining multiple lovers while involved with Charles and throughout her lifetime. In the future this will make her the target of the tongue of many satirists (much of this quite obscene and very accurate), but for now she is sitting pretty and flaunting her status.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "though I had so much a mind to it that I spent in my breeches"

Elizabeth's been gone a long time!

daniel  •  Link

"and yet a little troubled that I should see them before my wife's coming home”

what had he promised her? No Royals before her return?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein" A good line for anyone that wants to remain in good standing and not to be blown up by a political minefield. Soldier on.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The devil be in the details and our Samuell never waffles. "...Sarah above, whither I went up to her and played and talked with her ...- ..."

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

I wonder if the Fenmen ever heard any of his pulpit words. Maybe he be reminded the good old days, by that wee 'huse'* outside his Cathedral's backyard. "...a good sermon of the Dean of Ely's…”
* there be Cromwells dwelling , it be still there for those that like to see how the other ‘arf lived.

andy  •  Link

and Sarah above

as a matter of blind curiosity who is Sarah?

While Elizabeth has been away Sam's life stands as:

Women (adulterous thoughts and/or acts with): 2 (Jane and Sarah -albeit to different extent) Or was it 3 - the fine woman at church the other week

Venison pasty: 3 (or was it 4)

Xjy  •  Link

"spent in my breeches"
No wonder he feels ashamed...
All Sam can do is come in his knickers with good ole Sarah... hope she got some jollies, too...
Good job he got this out of the way before he went Royal. All this open sexuality among his betters! Mistresses, bastards being flaunted...
Still, nice way to "spend" a Sunday afternoon... :-)

Australian Susan  •  Link

The Sermon
A most interesting text which could be taken in various ways: I would love to know how the B of Ely expounded on this and what exactly he meant by the "old ways" and what he had to say about those who said "We will not walk therein". It would have given us more insight into Sam's views on this - what does he think a "good"sermon is.
I can quite see why Elizabeth wants to share a first view of the Royals with Sam and not have him being superior to her in this. It's a bit like seeing a movie without your partner and then talking about it before partner sees it. Seeing Royalty in this manner (public presence chamber) was very akin to watching movies really.

Mary  •  Link

Who is Sarah?

If memory serves, she is the housekeeper at the Sandwich residence.

A.Hamiton  •  Link

he would have taught her to say in English, "Confess and be hanged."

The sense of this passage eludes me. Is this a report of the king’s repartee with the Queen? Is “confess and be hanged” a proverb of the day, and if so, what is the

John Carr  •  Link

I obviously slept through the relevent class 45 years ago, but Paul Chapin's post about two of Sam's co-diners being "Farmers of the Customs" brought me up with a jolt. I know, because Simon Scharma tells me in "Citizens", that this early example of privatisation existed in France prior to the Revolution, and that the Farmers-General there were hated bitterly. I had no idea that the system had operated in England 130 years earlier.
Can someone who didn't doze tell me more about this?

Tom Burns  •  Link

...a little troubled that I should see them before my wife's coming home, I having made a promise that I would not…
He’s more troubled about his wife’s reaction to this than if she should hear of his activities with Sarah?

Peter  •  Link

Interesting thought A. Hamilton...could this have been the king teaching his poor wife to repeat parrot-fashion phrases without telling her the true meaning? (Think Monty Python's English-Hungarian phrasebook). If this is what's going on, it's pretty cruel.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"did feel her; which I am much ashamed of"
Much ashamed of, perhaps ... but "spent in my breeches" is fairly damning evidence of a fall from grace.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"I never could almost have happened to see with so much ease and leisure"
Another significant milestone -- today is full of them! Here is Sam in private company with the King, his boss's boss, and he and they are much at ease and leisure. He is migrating upward onto a plateau, and if I were Sandwich, I might cast a side glance at my energetic assistant who seems so able to swim socially upstream.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"And the young Queen answered, 'You lye' "
Revealing passage with a Shakespeare lack of stage direction. It could mean so much:
1. The Queen's English is limited, so she chooses the simplest phrase.
2. But she must know that saying 'you lie' to his Majesty is an affront, so if she were shy of language, she could simply demur, blush, or stammer a denial.
3. Ergo, this is a barb. A very *public* barb.
4. Charles wants her to be seen as pregnant, for both heir and etiquette purposes.
5. She doesn't allow him this, she steps right on him.

Clearly this is a woman who, if she be spurned in the marital bed, will brook no liberties with her *political* position.

The asymmetric cocksman's warfare is shaping up: he's going to flaunt infidelity (Castlemaine), she's going to vinegar his seed.

pjk  •  Link

"Confess and be Hanged"
seems to be a proverb of the period. Meaning it is foolish to own up.

'' suggests a Portugese origin but gives no details.

Marlowe uses it in 'The Jew of Malta"

Shakespeare plays with it in Othello.


Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when
they belie her. Lie with her! that’s fulsome.
confess, and be hanged for his labour;—first, to be
hanged, and then to confess.—I tremble at it.
Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
passion without some instruction. It is not words
that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.
—Is’t possible?—Confess—handkerchief!—O devil!—

Portugal and jealousy seem appropriate resonances given the scene Pepys describes. Since the queen’s first English words were ‘You lye” perhaps there is a double entendre that the king would find sport in. Hence the link to Othello’s words. Or is all this reading in too much?

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Warrington has some more on the Dean of Ely: "Francis Wilford, D.D., Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, made Dean of Ely 20th May 1662. He died in July 1667 being then vice-chancellor, and was buried in the chapel of his college."

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Was not Sam also ashamed and afraid people at the court would smell the fresh semen on him?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"spent in my breeches"
I don't think he got stained with a load of bills like Monica.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

reading in too much?

Thanks, pjk. The associations you cite certainly enrich the court scene, whether they were in the king's conscious mind or not.

Stolzi  •  Link

Australian Susan,
I would assume the "old ways" were those of the English Church before the Puritans and the Commonwealth came in, to which the church has now returned.

If only Charles' Queen ever had conceived, things could have been very, very different in history...

I think perhaps from his Queen and therefore official equal, "you lye" could pass as an acceptable remark, especially if it was a bit of humor, as appears from His Majesty's amusement.

diphi  •  Link

Sam had to convince Beth to go out to the country where she was sure to be bored silly. He no doubt assured her that he would be doing nothing but working and she would not miss anything fun. Then, through no fault of his own, he has a wonderful, intimate encounter with the family royal! He is right to be worried about her reaction. He is so busted!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting that Victoria's Bertie and Henrietta-Maria's Charlie were both the sons of famously strait-laced men, though of course in Charlie's case he is well aware how Dad's stiff neck played a role in, well, stretching said neck at the block. They'd be an interesting twosome to follow around in the afterlife, Albert and Charles Sr. frowning in the background...

Clement  •  Link

"You lie--confess and be hanged"
Sound like contextually related clauses. Perhaps the King was humoured to teach the Queen the rest of the familiar "courtly" phrase that she initiated (pjk's interesting construction notwithstanding).

Jeannine  •  Link

"You lie-confess and be hanged"--Every biograpahy I've read about the Queen and/or Charles "translates" the comments above (and whatever supplemental history they have on the subject) as follow...Charles has Catherine in front of his mother. He is trying to be pleasant, witty, etc. He teases Catherine and announces that she is pregnant. She is startled and speaks back her first English spoken words "you lie" and everyone laughs. It's a criminal (perhaps even considered treasonable) offense to call the King a liar. He then goes on to tease her by telling her she now must "confess and be hanged", because she committed a crime.
One other well recorded fact is that as Catherine was learning English, Charles (in his on-going great show of maturity and wisdom) took the liberty of "mis-teaching her words". He would bascially teach her some swear, curse or vulgar word/phrase and then she'd say it at an inappropriate time. Court humor at that time could be quite biting, depending upon whose side of the joke that you were sitting on. It's not clear if Charles was just trying to be funny and light hearted or if this was intentionally mean spirited, it just that it happened, and caused the Queen much embarassment.
Antonia Fraser in "King Charles II" will provide an interesting quote on this during the Popish Plots (16 years from now) when she explains the then current relationship of the King & Queen and states...."the Queen herself had changed. She no longer resembled Princess Katherine of France: there was no more talk of 'bilbo', no oaths sworn by mistake" (p 465) refering back to the language taught her by her husband early in the marriage.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The publick face, rarely, be like the private face. 'Tis why it be foolish to record in any fashion the unpolished words before they be polished and published.[has sunk many a popular image] It is amazing how the uninformed like the varnished words from their heroes.
see Downing et al "confess and be hanged " Tis why researchers gleen the private letters for the truth?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I suspect Charles was very pleased with Catherine today. And perhaps not a little above twitting Castlemaine a bit by showing a little amused affection to his Queen in Mom's presence.

Sjoerd  •  Link

Two Sarah's;

I think this is the "mrs. Sarah", housekeeper at the Sandwiches and sister of the butler Archibald, regular provider of gossip about Lady Castlemaine and of a cat when the Pepyses had mouse trouble. And of other relief as well,it seems; she must be an old friend in deed.

The maid Sarah is away with mrs. Pepys at this time, isn't she ?

Maybe "mrs. Sarah" should have her own entry under "people" ?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Sjoerd;Re: The Sals be as described by you.

Patricia  •  Link

Wim, re "spent in my breeches": I would be amazed if anybody could smell anything, given that washing seems infrequent at best. Probably the thing I would notice most about Pepys' London would be the awful smells.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

It's interesting that just because Sam got up early, he did not automatically expect Will to do so too: as a sort of live-in "intern" of a similar social class to the Pepyses, Will Hewer is even now more than a mere servant.

Bill  •  Link

"he would have taught her to say in English, 'Confess and be hanged.'"

One sense of this proverb is, I think, that hanging would be better that the torture and pain that might be inflicted if you don't confess. The King is suggesting, in a "merry" way, that his Queen might be in a bit of trouble unless she agrees with him.

(In the US at the moment we have a politician running for president who should have taken that advice. Probably too late now.)

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Semen doesn't really smell and certainly doesn't go rank. Could get very crispy though...

What I said before I take back. Pepy's is not going blind. He was holding it all in and getting tremendously tremulous. This episode takes me back to my misspent youth.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a most excellent anthem, with symphonys between, sung by Captain Cooke."

L&M: The symphonies were probably played on the organ, perhaps supported by wind instruments: cf. Evelyn, 21 December 1662. According to Pepys, 14 September 1662 was 'the first day of having Vialls and other instruments to play a symphony between every verse of the Anthem':…
In religious music, the verse anthem is a type of choral music, or song, distinct from the motet or 'full' anthem (i.e. for full choir).[1][2]

In the 'verse' anthem the music alternates between sections for a solo voice or voices (called the 'verse') and the full choir. The organ provided accompaniment in liturgical settings, but viols took the accompaniment outside of the church. In the 'verses', solo voices were expected to ornament their parts for expressive effect. The 'full choir' sections providing contrast in volume and texture. The verse anthems were a major part of the English Reformation due to the use of the vernacular. In addition to this, the use of soloists allowed the text to be expressed more clearly.…

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