Sunday 2 November 1662

(Lord’s day). Lay long with pleasure talking with my wife, in whom I never had greater content, blessed be God! than now, she continuing with the same care and thrift and innocence, so long as I keep her from occasions of being otherwise, as ever she was in her life, and keeps the house as well.

To church, where Mr. Mills, after he had read the service, and shifted himself as he did the last day, preached a very ordinary sermon. So home to dinner with my wife. Then up into my new rooms which are, almost finished, and there walked with great content talking with my wife till church time, and then to church, and there being a lazy preacher I slept out the sermon, and so home, and after visiting the two Sir Williams, who are both of them mending apace, I to my office preparing things against to-morrow for the Duke, and so home and to bed, with some pain, … [in making water – L&M] having taken cold this morning in sitting too long bare-legged to pare my corns.

My wife and I spent a good deal of this evening in reading “Du Bartas’ Imposture” and other parts which my wife of late has taken up to read, and is very fine as anything I meet with.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

Du Bartas’ 'Imposture' was part of his poem about the Creation

Guillaume de Salluste, seigneur du Bartas
b. 1544, Montfort, near Auch, France; d. July 1590, Coudons

Author of La Semaine (1578), an influential poem about the creation of the world.
Though he tried to avoid participating in the Wars of Religion, du Bartas was an ardent Huguenot and a trusted counsellor of Henry of Navarre. His aim was to use the new poetic techniques introduced into France by the literary group known as La Pléiade for the presentation of distinctively Protestant views. He was himself dissatisfied with his first biblical epic, Judith (1574). On the publication of La Semaine, however, du Bartas was hailed as a major poet. His prestige was all the greater because Pierre de Ronsard, his contemporary, had failed in his ambition to compose a first-class epic in French. La Semaine did not remain popular in France for long; its style is marred by numerous neologisms and ungainly compound adjectives, and the didactic intent is too obvious. In fact, the poem made a more lasting impression in England, where its Protestant teaching was more generally acceptable. Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton were among the English poets influenced by du Bartas.…

Josuah Sylvester
b. 1563, Kent, Eng.; d. Sept. 28, 1618, Middelburg, Neth.

English poet-translator, best known as the translator of a popular biblical epic, the Divine Weekes and Workes. Translated from a French Protestant poet, Guillaume du Bartas, (1544–90), it appeared in sections in 1592 and complete in 1608. This epic on the creation, the fall of man, and other early parts of Genesis was extremely popular in England through the first half of the 17th century. Sylvester had some small influence on Dryden, Milton, and other poets.……

Bradford  •  Link

The pain will, no doubt, prove to be in the cods, where Elizabeth kneed him after learning the shorthand on the sly and reading his remarks. . . . Well, one can dream; but he who prides himself on taming another will be all the more defenseless when the untamed soul reasserts itself.

Jeannine  •  Link

"in sitting too long bare-legged to pare my corns" perhaps there are certain parts of the diary that one would rather not visualize?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"slept out the sermon"
Wonder how many others did this. Poor preacher.
In the new film of Pride and Prejudice, there is a delightful glimpse of the appalling Mr Collins (lovely understated performance by Tom Hollander) in action, preaching in church, with his congregation, either asleep, bored rigid or gossiping. Nice touch. It wasn't until Victorian times or later that sleeping through a dull (and very long) sermon became socially unacceptable.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary:

"A cheerful time, and a quiet Sabbath. Mr Crosman preaching actually sent to prison and some others in danger thereof, yet through mercy I am quiet. this day a wonderful deliverance to Mary and Betty falling down stairs with knives in their hands. lord accept my thankfulness. searching in London for meeters in private with fear that they will send such out of the nation."

Some trouble still with the Act of Conformity...

CGS  •  Link

All laws that tell the populace that must believe or must adapt to a belief structure that has no physical proof, will bring out in many a strong reaction and resentment, as Newton points later in his laws of motion.[action gets a reaction, be they words or deeds, of course many will puff "wot do thee expect from He that is addled"],The dissenters are not united, as most want the dissent to be a positive force before uniting unless there is a viable alternative to take the path of least resistance. There an out for many, it be called America.

Terry F  •  Link

"My wife and I...reading “Du Bartas’ Imposture” and other parts [of his poem, I presume] which my wife of late has taken up to read"

I was surpised that the Elizabeth (and now Sam'l) seems to be reading Du Bartas in English, "Divine Weekes and Workes," translated by Josuah Sylvester, which is why I posted a bit about him.

Perhaps she is abjuring a poem whose French form was notoriously bad, for the sake of the content?

Terry F  •  Link

Better: I was surpised that Elizabeth (and now Sam’l) seems to be reading Du Bartas' “Divine Weekes and Workes,” translated into English by Josuah Sylvester, which is why I posted a bit about him.

Perhaps she is abjuring the notoriously bad French form of the poem for the sake of its content?

Pauline  •  Link

“Du Bartas’ Imposture”
I assumed they were reading it in French. But is this title a translation? If so it seems to indicate they are reading it in English.

Xjy  •  Link

"she continuing with the same care and thrift and innocence, so long as I keep her from occasions of being otherwise"
Patterns of Paternalism in Restoration England - Discuss...

Mary  •  Link

"paring my corns"

This must have been a common practice at a time when shoes were still made not in complementary pairs but in identical pairs; i.e. both left and right shoe were made to exactly the same pattern and only acquired their characteristic left-or-right-foot shapes as a result of wear.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"Then up into my new rooms which are, almost finished, and...."
There have been a few examples of odd punctuation recently. Is this the original Sam or have they crept into later editions?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"paring my corns"
Thanks for the information Mary;the guy
who first made complementary pairs of shoes,should be considered a Hero even if me made a lot of money.

T. Carr  •  Link

with some pain, . . .

From L&M:
"...with some pain in making water..."

JWB  •  Link

Mary-Mary Rose
Shoes found on the Mary Rose (1549) were cut for left & right feet. I suppose the better paid the cobbler, the better fit the shoe.

Mary  •  Link

Those Mary Rose shoes would have been quite exceptional.

Up until the middle of the 19th century, most shoes were made upon a straight last.

Terry F  •  Link

Msyhap reading Du Bartas offsets today's lousy sermons; it also provides SP a fix of Calvinism absent the Presbyterian preachers.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"... a few examples of odd punctuation recently."

Sam used very little punctuation. Almost all the punctuation that we see in the Diary is courtesy of later editors.

Terry F  •  Link

L&M note: "'The Imposture' on the 'fall of man, by the provocation of his wife.'"

No wonder Sam'l enjoys it so much; at least his wife isn't (today) provoking him.

Pauline  •  Link

‘The Imposture’…is on the ‘fall of man, by the provocation of his wife.’
Lacking an OFD, but have the French 'imposture' meaning 'deception'. (Note that Sam doesn't give the title the article that L&M does.) I'm still thinking S & E might be reading this in French. They have been enjoying each other's company these days; and reading together, with her spoken French and his book-learnt French, sounds an enjoyable translation and reading exercise. Beats TV.

Terry F  •  Link

Pauline, helas! In a note L&M say Sam DOES give the title of "The Second Part of the First Day of the II Week" of *Divine weekes and workes," pp. 89-94; so they ARE reading it in English, perhaps not as romantic for you, but they are together in this. (As for the French, see above.)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

No wonder Sam’l enjoys it so much ...

"Mounting his canons, subtly he assaults
The part he finds in evident defaults:
Namely poor woman, wavering, weak, unwise,
Light, credulous, news-lover, given to lies ...

Cunningly adding her quaint smiling glances,
Her witty speech, and pretty countenances,
She so prevails that her blind lord at last
A morsel of the sharp-sweet fruit doth taste.

And more to be found at…

This certainly is his variety of Protestantism!

Ruben  •  Link

"Those Mary Rose shoes would have been quite exceptional.

Up until the middle of the 19th century, most shoes were made upon a straight last."

All true.
To make a more comfortable initial fit, shoes had a bigger toebox, so they did not press on the forefoot. That was also one of the reason they had those enormous buckles (at least the man).
Two years ago, I think, I (or someone else) posted a site with pix of nice sandals and shoes from Pepys time.

Noel Heather  •  Link

Delighted to come across this reference to Du Bartas in Pepys -- I had no idea this existed. It's intriguing to see him and his wife reading Du Bartas (and indeed to many modern tastes perhaps a less interesting part of the Sepmaines) with such unalloyed pleasure as late as 1662. I'm one of a (slowly) growing number of specialists -- in the UK and France -- on Du Bartas (doctorate, book). His once vast popularity is of course well known, but we're starting to realize that he appears to be a much more subtle, complex, and even playful writer than has generally been thought in the past. Anybody interested could perhaps start with my article on Du Bartas/Milton recently put on-line in the US at:… . A further nice touch for me is that of the 9 English translators of the Week(e)s, the main one, Joshua Sylvester, attended my school (King Edward VI) in Southampton. This would have been the version through which Pepys (as well as Milton) would have known the Sepmaines.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys slept through the sermon! Be very happy you don't live in New England, Pepys, where the vergers were employed to wake people up -- sometimes with comic results, and sometimes painful results,

In 1662 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they considered building a cage to imprison and shame churchgoers who fell asleep.

Third Reading

Ruslan  •  Link

Pauline wrote: "They (Samuel & Elizabeth) have been enjoying each other's company these days; and reading together, with her spoken French and his book-learnt French, sounds an enjoyable translation and reading exercise."

Is there any evidence that Elizabeth actually spoke French? Her father came to England ca. 1625 and Elizabeth was born in Devon in 1640. Her mother also appears to have been English.

Ruslan  •  Link

Having read a little further, there seems to be evidence in this entry:…

"She [Elizabeth] now read it, and it was so piquant, and wrote in English, and most of it true, of the retiredness of her life, and how unpleasant it was;"

The fact that Elizabeth's letter was written in English is worthy of comment, makes one think that she could speak a second language, i.e. French.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Is there any evidence that Elizabeth actually spoke French?"

In Pepys' will signed March 17, 1660, he left all his French language books to Elizabeth. She was born near Bideford, Devonshire, to immigrant French Huguernot parents. If anything, English was her second language, but I think of her as bilingual.…
Elizabeth might have played up the French part these days, as everything French was "fashionable" under the Stuarts: however, everything foreign, especially French, remained very suspect to the average English person. See specifically the second quote from Cosmo's travelogue on the subject:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

OOOOppps -- Mrs. Margaret Pepys wasn't a French immigrant.

Wheatley goes so far as to say: "Being a handsome man with courtly manners, Mons. St. Michel gained the affections of the daughter of Sir Francis Kingsmill (lately left a widow by an Irish squire), who married him against the wishes of her family, and, with £1,500 which they raised, the newly-married couple started for France, in the hope of recovering, if possible, some part of the family estates.
"Unhappily, they were taken prisoners at sea, with all their goods, by the Dunkirkers, and when released they settled at Bideford, in Devonshire.
Here, or near by, Elizabeth and Balthasar and the rest of the family were born."

Wheatley cites no documentation showing Margaret to be a Kingsmill daughter. L&M and Phil have her maiden name as being Kite, which means she was a relative of the Kingsmills on the female side, OR she was Margaret Kingsmill Kite Pepys.
Sadly the Cromwellians didn't enforce parish registries -- probably every man who could write was fighting? -- so tracking things like this is at best hard, often impossible.

Wheatley also says Elizabeth was in the Catholic convent for only 12 days, so its influence was only passing.…

Bryan M  •  Link

"Is there any evidence that Elizabeth actually spoke French?"
Yes there is evidence. Pauline quotes from Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys: The Unequaled Self.
"Elizabeth and her brother Balthasar were both likely born in Devon. The family's fortunes and bad luck were such that in 1652 Madame de St. Michel was alone in Paris with her two children. She was persuaded to hand them over to Catholic friends, who placed Elizabeth in an Ursuline convent and Balthasar as page to the papal nuncio, ... The children were rescued by their indignant father, who carried the whole family off to London; this was shortly before Elizabeth met Pepys."…

If Elizabeth was in Paris when she was 11 or 12 (1652) and married Samuel (December 1655) within 12 months of meeting him, Wheatley's claim that Elizabeth was only in the convent for 12 days is doubtful.

BTW, it was Elizabeth's mother, Dorothea, who was the daughter of Sir Francis Kingsmill. Samuel's mother was born Margaret Kight (Kite).

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you for correcting my addled memory, Bryan.

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