Sunday 19 July 1663

(Lord’s day). Lay very long in pleasant dreams till Church time, and so up, and it being foul weather so that I cannot walk as I intended to meet my Cozen Roger at Thomas Pepys’s house (whither he rode last night), to Hatcham, I went to church, where a sober Doctor made a good sermon. So home to dinner alone, and then to read a little, and so to church again, where the Scot made an ordinary sermon, and so home to my office, and there read over my vows and increased them by a vow against all strong drink till November next of any sort or quantity, by which I shall try how I can forbear it. God send it may not prejudice my health, and then I care not. Then I fell to read over a silly play writ by a person of honour (which is, I find, as much as to say a coxcomb), called “Love a la Mode”.

And that being ended, home, and played on my lute and sung psalms till bedtime, then to prayers and to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and increased them by a vow against all strong drink"

I wonder if this includes wine? Or only spirits?

Bradford  •  Link

Pretty fancy: a poetical collection for those of a devout and a licentious nature by turns, "Psalms à la Mode.”

Clement  •  Link

Sam's vows apparently contain no prohibition against sexually licentious conduct, since he hasn't made a compensatory payment to his poorbox for yesterday's bout with Mrs. Lane.

Considering the absence of something like clean drinking water in London I think "strong drink" must be in a different class than the wine Sam has casked below, or the occasional draught pulled in a pub.

Clement  •  Link

...though he has successfully sworn off drinking wine to excess, to our occasional regret.

TerryF  •  Link

But he hasn't drunk so much in a while that his head "aked", which shows the prudence of vows against extreme drink of any kind.

TerryF  •  Link

Drink and plays lead to inefficiency at work, but sexual license?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Lay very long in pleasant dreams till Church time..."

"Oh, Samuel...Tell me we'll never be separated again."

"Now, Barbara." Sam sighs at Castemaine's lovely face, she draped about him. "You know not only that I'm happily married, but also that I never know when the King's Duty may call me."

"Oh, let me deal with silly old Charles, darling..." Frances Stewart to his other side now pouts.

"I'll deal with Charles." Castlemaine glares.

"Now, now..." Catherine, at Sam's head, nibbling on his ears, cuts in. "I am ze Queen and I will..."

A somewhat flustered Hewer appears at the bedroom door...

"Excuse the intrusion, sir? Mr. Coventry's man at the door. The Nation has an emergency only its top operative agent...And finest administrator can solve."

"Oh..." all three ladies pout.

"As I expected...No doubt the French again." Sam nods, coolly. "Hewer, my best suit. My sword, cloak...And dagger. I'm on His Majesty's Secret Service and Duty calls, ladies." Ultra cool firm stare.

Say what is that music? Hewer wonders as he heads off, hearing the James Bond theme playing faintly on the air...

"Oh, but Sam. Your Queen needs you more...Right now." Catherine tries, insistent.

"Catherine. Barbara...Dear little Frances. You know I'll return soon."

Hmmn...He turns over and finds himself rolling into a firm, warm object...And suddenly awake.

"Return soon from where? And who may I ask are Catherine, Barbara, and dear little Frances?" Bess asks, coolly.

"Ah, ha...ha. Bess, darling! You're back! What a pleasant surprise."

"In the nick of time, I suspect." she frowns.

"I see I'll have to give you one of our most pleasant mornings." she eyes him.

Ultra cool, literally...Look.


"Sir? Mr. Pepys?" Hewer tapping him, Sam wakes, blinking...

"Bess?..." he looks round.

"You wanted to be woken for church, sir. It's getting on time."

TerryF  •  Link

I wonder what the sermons were - at least they didn't put him

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Brilliant, Robert - the dream within a dream - and the substance of it!! Thanks for that; 'twill give me something to work on; and Mrs. Gertz...?

Shane  •  Link

Ah... What a nice, relaxing day for our Sam.

What with all the events of the past few days, he needed it!


Michael Robinson  •  Link

"sung psalms till bedtime, ..."

Sternhold and Hopkins had great qualms
When they translated David's psalms,
To make the heart full glad.
But had it been poor David's fate
To hear thee sing, and then translate,
By God! 'twould have made him mad.

Spoken Extempore to a Country Clerk after having heard him Sing Psalms
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Thomas Pepys’s house [at] Hatcham"

Near Deptford. Thomas Pepys of Westminster ('the Executor'), Pepys's cousin, had recently moved to Hatcham from Covent Garden. (L&M footnote)

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"a person of honour (which is, I find, as much as to say a coxcomb)"

makes me think of our (Rt) "honourable MPs today! 😡

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a person of honour" was a way to identify an author as "Anonymous but worthy of reading" in the 17th-18th centuries:…

Can someone [else] supply an OED definition of "a person of honour"?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"person(s) of honour" are also identified as such by Pepys a score of times in the diary (search it) from 20 April 1660 aboard the Naseby in the Nour on the way to fetch Charles Stuart from Holland.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has (my emphases):

‘person n. < Latin . .
II. A human being, and related senses.
. . 2. b. A man or woman of high rank, distinction, or importance; a personage. Usually (and now only) with modifying word or phrase.
. . 1604 E. Grimeston tr. J. de Acosta Nat. & Morall Hist. Indies v. viii. 348 If it were a person of QUALITIE, they gave apparrell to all such as came to the interrement.
1673 Dryden Assignation i. i. 1 A man of my parts and tallents, though he be but a Valet de Chambre, is a person.
. . 1769 W. Robertson Hist. Charles V II. vi. 417 Immediately the chief persons IN THE STATE assembled.
1804 ‘E. de Acton’ Tale without Title II. 26 Their ultimatum was obtained, and they were considered as persons OF CONSEQUENCE.
1882 Harper's Mag. Mar. 550/1 The administrator..has..various lands and casitas of his own—a person OF SUBSTANCE, in fact.
1922 S. Lewis Babbitt iii. 28 Babbit felt himself a person OF IMPORTANCE, one whose name even busy garagemen remembered.
. . 2004 Boston Herald (Nexis) 8 Jan. 1 The prosecutor called Connelly's actions as a person OF RANK in a police department ‘offensive.’

but NOT ‘person of honour’; the word ‘honour’ is not to be found in the 8,000 word+ entry for ‘person’. As for ‘honour’ itself:

‘honour < Latin . .
. . 2. a. Quality of character entitling a person to great respect; nobility of mind or spirit; honourableness, uprightness; a fine sense of, and strict adherence to, what is considered to be morally right or just.
. . 1548 Hall's Vnion: Edward IV f. ccxxxiiiv, The king of England had so great the honor & promise of the French kyng.
1649 R. Lovelace Poems (1864) 27, I could not love thee, dear, so much, Lov'd I not Honour more.
. . 1705 G. Stanhope Paraphr. Epist. & Gospels II. 94 What is Honour, but a greatness of mind which scorns to descend to an ill and base thing?
1755 Johnson Dict. Eng. Lang. Honour, nobleness of mind; scorn of meanness; magnanimity . . ‘

so it is surprising not to find it in the ‘person’ list, in both its literal sense and the pejorative as used byPepys: ‘ . . which is, I find, as much as to say a coxcomb . . ’ = ‘3. a. A fool, simpleton (obs.); now, a foolish, conceited, showy person, vain of his accomplishments, appearance, or dress; a fop; ‘a superficial pretender to knowledge or accomplishments’ (Johnson)’.

The distinction between the honourable title ’Man of Honour’ (bestowed on someone by his peers) and ’Person of Honour’ (claimed by coxcombs, scrubs and scoundrels) is well explained starting at p 79 of ‘An Essay on Honour’ by John Hildrop in ‘The Miscellaneous Works . . ’ (London, 1754). This is the 11th item listed by TF’s google search.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The distinction between the honourable title ’Man of Honour’ (bestowed on someone by his peers) and ’Person of Honour’ (claimed by coxcombs, scrubs and scoundrels) is well explained starting at p 79 of ‘An Essay on Honour’ by John Hildrop in ‘The Miscellaneous Works . . ’ (London, 1754). This is the 11th item listed by TF’s google search."

Thanks for finding this, Chris Squire UK.

The author of A letter from a person of honour, relating the slaughter of a party of 300 horse, by the forces under the command of the Earle of Holland, July 7. 1648.… surely intended to be thought honourable..

Pepys's "coxcomb" is apparently an early record of a trend to the dishonourable for the "person of honour" (and its replacement by "Man of honour") that's nearly complete by 1754 as noted by John Hildrop.

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