Sunday 26 July 1663

(Lord’s-day). Up and to the Wells,1 where great store of citizens, which was the greatest part of the company, though there were some others of better quality. I met many that I knew, and we drank each of us two pots and so walked away, it being very pleasant to see how everybody turns up his tail, here one and there another, in a bush, and the women in their quarters the like. Thence I walked with Creed to Mr. Minnes’s house, which has now a very good way made to it, and thence to Durdans and walked round it and within the Court Yard and to the Bowling-green, where I have seen so much mirth in my time; but now no family in it (my Lord Barkeley, whose it is, being with his family at London), and so up and down by Minnes’s wood, with great pleasure viewing my old walks, and where Mrs. Hely and I did use to walk and talk, with whom I had the first sentiments of love and pleasure in woman’s company, discourse, and taking her by the hand, she being a pretty woman.

So I led him to Ashted Church (by the place where Peter, my cozen’s man, went blindfold and found a certain place we chose for him upon a wager), where we had a dull Doctor, one Downe, worse than I think even parson King was, of whom we made so much scorn, and after sermon home, and staid while our dinner, a couple of large chickens, were dressed, and a good mess of cream, which anon we had with good content, and after dinner (we taking no notice of other lodgers in the house, though there was one that I knew, and knew and spoke to me, one Mr. Rider, a merchant), he and I to walk, and I led him to the pretty little wood behind my cozens house, into which we got at last by clambering, and our little dog with us, but when we were among the hazel trees and bushes, Lord! what a course did we run for an hour together, losing ourselves, and indeed I despaired I should ever come to any path, but still from thicket to thicket, a thing I could hardly have believed a man could have been lost so long in so small a room. At last I found out a delicate walk in the middle that goes quite through the wood, and then went out of the wood, and holloed Mr. Creed, and made him hunt me from place to place, and at last went in and called him into my fine walk, the little dog still hunting with us through the wood. In this walk being all bewildered and weary and sweating, Creed he lay down upon the ground, which I did a little, but I durst not long, but walked from him in the fine green walk, which is half a mile long, there reading my vows as I used to on Sundays.

And after that was done, and going and lying by Creed an hour, he and I rose and went to our lodging and paid our reckoning, and so mounted, whether to go toward London home or to find a new lodging, and so rode through Epsum, the whole town over, seeing the various companys that were there walking; which was very pleasant to see how they are there without knowing almost what to do, but only in the morning to drink waters. But, Lord! to see how many I met there of citizens, that I could not have thought to have seen there, or that they had ever had it in their heads or purses to go down thither.

We rode out of the town through Yowell beyond Nonesuch House a mile, and there our little dogg, as he used to do, fell a-running after a flock of sheep feeding on the common, till he was out of sight, and then endeavoured to come back again, and went to the last gate that he parted with us at, and there the poor thing mistakes our scent, instead of coming forward he hunts us backward, and runs as hard as he could drive back towards Nonesuch, Creed and I after him, and being by many told of his going that way and the haste he made, we rode still and passed him through Yowell, and there we lost any further information of him.

However, we went as far as Epsum almost, hearing nothing of him, we went back to Yowell, and there was told that he did pass through the town. We rode back to Nonesuch to see whether he might be gone back again, but hearing nothing we with great trouble and discontent for the loss of our dogg came back once more to Yowell, and there set up our horses and selves for all night, employing people to look for the dogg in the town, but can hear nothing of him. However, we gave order for supper, and while that was dressing walked out through Nonesuch Park to the house, and there viewed as much as we could of the outside, and looked through the great gates, and found a noble court; and altogether believe it to have been a very noble house, and a delicate park about it, where just now there was a doe killed, for the King to carry up to Court.

So walked back again, and by and by our supper being ready, a good leg of mutton boiled, we supped and to bed, upon two beds in the same room, wherein we slept most excellently all night.

49 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

I "halloed Mr. Creede and made him hunt me from place to place;" - so L&M

Michael Robinson  •  Link

our little dogg, ... he hunts us backward

To trace its own scent backwards when lost in the field and separated from the pack, in this instance Pepys & Creed, is typical hound behavior. Familiar or new country regardless by the following morning practically all lost hounds will turn up at the exact place they were started out for the day, unless "dog-napped".

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Halloed -- hallowed

Do ye ken Sam Pepys with his coat so gay ...
For a Pepys "view holloa" would awaken the dead
Or a Creed from his lair in the morning.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"it being very pleasant to see how everybody turns up his tail, here one and there another, in a bush, and the women in their quarters the like"

Given Terry's annotation yesterday about the purgative properties of the waters, *please* tell me this doesn't mean what I think it does...

TerryF  •  Link

The purgative properties was the Mennes-Smith sendup of the water's alleged benefits - SO, this seems to me to be a peacock and peahen display; albeit some, ah, light might be shed some on this by the OED.

If Creed is "hallowed", is he then to be trusted?

aqua  •  Link

Dogs have been known to be shot for harassing sheep, one of the great pests of sheep herding.

salsus purgatio  •  Link

"hallowed", I dothe thing it be hollowed i.e called, He hollowed "where be thee Creed" It dothe appear another of the "a-o " switch in the accent:
Creed be ye in the grounds hallowed
or just found some hollow ground,
so that I can just wear out me tonsils hollowing
while ye be upping ye old derriere.
No wonder the Blackberries be so healthy on them there downs [dawns].

TerryF  •  Link

L&M's "hallowed" surprised me! - see the CORRECTION above.

TerryF  •  Link

(Any hint of its meaning more than "Yo!!" was facetious.)

Patricia  •  Link

I finally caught up with you guys! *puff, puff*
How could Samuel find it "pleasant" to see everybody relieving themselves in the bushes? Perhaps he means "amusing"?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

finally caught up with you guys! *puff, puff*

Patricia, welcome to the everyday life of the "Hello!" blog of the mid seventeenth century.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"And I-like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking the way and straying from the way,
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out-"

-Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III) in Henry VI, Part Three, Act III.ii 118-122

Sam never did mention that I recall being a fan of the Henry VI plays and Crookedback Dick but I wonder if this bit occurred to him as he toiled on through the woods...

Benvenuto  •  Link

where Mrs. Hely and I did use to walk and talk
Does anyone know anything of this Mrs Hely, who she was, why she and Sam used to walk together?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Does anyone know anything of this Mrs Hely?

Tomalin (Pepys biographer) gives only today's entry as any evidence of her, so apparently not...

alanB  •  Link

So Sam ends the day with a good leg of mutton boiled - following an episode of sheep worrying: say no more!

Is it not time Mr Gertz revealed to us why Sam spends so much time with Creed, here playing hide and seek in the woods, lying on the ground with him and specifically, today having separate beds where he finally enjoys a 'good night's sleep?'

Roger  •  Link

I took holloed as hollered, as in shout.
These woods on Epsom Downs I played in as a boy. You can still nearly get lost there. I lived in Ewell for several years but don't recall any sheep! Nonsuch park and House are still there but under threat from suburbia.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The more I read of the fascinating Mr. Creed the more I think Ralph Finnes is the actor to play him should we ever get a truly well done Pepys miniseries or film. Have Creed's entrance with a shot of him pre-Restoration as the stern, unyielding Puritan loyalist grimly threatening to all backsliding thought criminals...And let him be the cynical commentator/guide to Sam with Coventry as his reform-minded, upright foil as the world turns upside down.

Barry P. Reich  •  Link

“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost."

Unlike Dante, Sam never seems to lose his way.

language hat  •  Link

"it being very pleasant to see how everybody turns up his tail"

The OED sheds no light on this, but a couple of slang dictionaries say "to turn up one's tail" means 'to have sexual intercourse.'

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but by the middle of the eighteenth century had entirely lost its vogue"
I still occasionally bathe with Epsom salts.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: “to turn up one’s tail”

Thanks, LH. But wouldn't "and the women in their quarters the like" work against that theory? 'tis a puzzlement...

Bradford  •  Link

The question seems to be, if it isn't a testimony to the efficacy of Epsom Salts---still quite available at your local pharmacy---what else could it conceivably (tip to LH's research) mean? Does L&M not extend their helpfulness that far?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

re:"to turn up one's tail"
Todd the theory would make perfect sense if he was talking of Gays and Lesbians; remember that Sam was amazed at the type of people he found there.:)

Joe  •  Link

"I met many that I knew, and we drank each of us two pots and so walked away, it being very pleasant to see how everybody turns up his tail, here one and there another, in a bush, and the women in their quarters the like."

I was first inclined to read this, with Terry F, as proud social display: spa strolling. But then, why "in a bush"? Now, if you have just slammed down "two pots" of purgative well water, it isn't going to go through you that fast, and if it did, you would have to squat, right? I think it's coming back up, and these folk are doing their best to maintain decorum, using shrubbery as a shield, while pointedly not noticing one another's momentary, urgent pause. Could "very pleasant" here be an extremely dry and ironic way of saying "hysterically funny"?

Stolzi  •  Link

I dunno.

I think they _are_ purging, having perhaps stayed out strolling too long; maybe "turns up his tail" means getting their long coattails, or in the case of the women, long skirts, out of the way.

These are "citizens," which I take to mean Londoners out for the day, and perhaps they have no rented chambers, with chamberpots, to go to.

TerryF  •  Link

Perhaps the answer to the tails-up displays -

Is Epsom Salt safe to ingest?
Epsom Salt is an FDA-approved laxative. Consult the package for directions. It's always a good idea to consult your doctor before ingesting any over-the-counter medication, however.…

So I correct myself. A. De Araujo, watch what you drink!

ludem stercus  •  Link

Thee who never got caught short on a wander through countryside, may not know the pleasure of finding cover from the other wonderers, from personal experience , having had the joys of eating natures finest blackberries and enjoying the purgative purification effect, they not understand that thy backside has to free of encumbrances, there by allowing the fauna to be the victim of seeing the unseeable.
Cats seek privacy from prying eyes, along with humans but when there be so many that indulge in the milk of magnesia, with an attitude, more be better, there bound to be many that cannot make it back to the carriage and use the hidden chamber pot under the back seat, so they have to seek the thorny bushes.

Judith Boles  •  Link

"...employing people to look for the dogg in the town, but can hear nothing of him." Now, I get to worry about a three hundred year old dog all night.

aqua  •  Link

"how everybody turns up his tail" todays expression be turn tail and head for the bushes for the discharge. But Sam be killing two sayings with one word.

Clement  •  Link

"three hundred year old dog"

I had the same reaction. Today's entry is a gem, and paints the scenes so vividly and personally that the years between melt in the telling.

When reading old commentaries about the diary I sometimes get a disorienting sense that the 19th c commentaries are older and more removed from us than the diary itself.

Thanks to all working over the "tail" puzzle. I don't remember that we've ever positively identified sarcasm or a clearly ironic comment from Sam, but Joe's interpretation of a "very pleasant" view of Epsom's purative effect makes the most sense to me.

Pedro  •  Link

“turns up his tail”

It would still be well understood in England today, if you said something like…

“After being given a dose of Epsom Salts he turned tail and scarpered to the nearest bush.”

Pedro  •  Link

Turned up tail.

Also perhaps the term “hightailed”.

dirk  •  Link

The original "Well" -- restored…

From the same page, about the Epsom waters:
"The practice of the drinking of the water is early in the is drunk on an empty stomach from mugs holding one pint...some drink (up to) sixteen pints in one journey. And one must then go for a walk, works extraordinarily excellent, with various funny results...putting down sentinels in the shrub in every hot and dry summers the water...has more strength...people come in such large crowds that the village which is fairly large and spread at least 300 beds is still too small..." [the dots are not mine!]

dirk  •  Link

Maybe it was not such a good idea to drink the Epsom water in Sam's case -- considering his "stone" history... Cf. John Evelyn's diary for 10 March 1670, about his brother's autopsy:
[I don't think this can be considered as a *spoiler*.]

"My Bro: being opened, a stone was taken out of his bladder, not much bigger than a nutmeg, somewhat flatt, & oval, not sharp, one part excepted, which was a little rugged: but his Livar so faulty, that in likelyhood [it could not] have lasted much longer, and his kidnis almost quite consum’d: all of this doubtlesse the effects of his intollerable paine proceeding from the stone: & that perhaps by his drinking too excessively of Epsom Waters, when in full health, & that he had no neede of them, being all his lifetime of a sound & healthy constitution, &c:"

Joe  •  Link

Stolzi, dirk, and everyone else--you (and the "sentinels") have convinced me: I withdraw my spewing interpretation.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Patricia, welcome.
It's been fun watching you steadily approaching from the rear, at an amazing pace. I can imagine how much of your time it's taken to cover 3 1/2 years of diary in as many months, or less. Puff, puff indeed.

language hat  •  Link

"But wouldn’t 'and the women in their quarters the like' work against that theory?"
Yes, it would, and I wasn't saying that was the solution -- just that that's all I was able to turn up in the way of lexographical assistance. But I think Stolzi's "getting their long coattails, or in the case of the women, long skirts, out of the way" makes more sense, especially in light of dirk's comments.

Pedro: "Turned tail" is a completely different idiom.

Aqua  •  Link

'...everybody turns up his tail,..." The OED goes into lots of detail: Sam uses many versions of taile , He dothe tally, he be involved in Intaile[law] and of course be a son of a Tailor.
taille tail tayle: in OE. the tail was also called steort, START. = Du. staart.]
tails also the skirt . The train or tail-like portion of a woman's dress (in later use colloq.); the pendent posterior part of a man's dress-coat or a peasant's long coat; the loose part of any coat below the waist; (often in pl.) the bottom or lower edge of a gown, a skirt, etc., which reaches quite or nearly to the ground; in pl., a tail-coat; a dress suit with tail-coat; dial. the skirt of a woman's dress; tails, skirts. Also (in sing. or pl.), the back part of a man's shirt that reaches below the waist.
1690 CROWNE Eng. Friar v. Wks. 1874 IV. 111 Madam, speak to the ladies now I am here, to let down their trains; 'tis not manners in the presence of a man o' my quality, to cock up their tails.
the Idiom d. to turn tail (orig. a term of falconry), to turn the back; hence, to run away, take to flight.
a1586 SIDNEY Arcadia II. (1629) 109 Would shee..turne taile to the Heron, and flie out quite another way. 1587
1611 MARKHAM Countr. Content. I. v. (1668) 34 Short winged Hawks..will many times neither kill their Game, nor flie their mark; but will give it over..and (as Faulconers term it) turn tail to it. 1639 LAUD in Rushw. Hist. Coll. (1721) II. II. 899 For him to turn tail against my Lord Deputy must needs be a foul Fault.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam and well water

As I mentioned earlier, Sam never liked to drink a great deal of cold water as he attribued this to his first attack of the stone, after drinking cold water when hot as an undergraduate in Cambridge. (See Tomalin, pp42-43).

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Minnes’s house"

Woodcote House had been the property of George Mynne (d. 1652), whose daughter, Elizabeth, had married John Evelyn's brother, Richard Evelyn, whose property it now is. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Durdans and walked round it and within the Court Yard and to the Bowling-green, where I have seen so much mirth in my time; but now no family in it (my Lord Barkeley, whose it is, being with his family at London), and so up and down by Minnes’s wood, with great pleasure."

The gardens at Durdans were judged by Evelyn to be among the best in England. The Berkeleys had a town house in St John's St, Clerkenwell.
(Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Mr. Minnes’s house"

Of course, Pepys recalls who owned these places -- whose family's they were -- 10+ years ago. The last George Mynne (d. 1652) to own this house was the son of George Mynne (d. 1648), the son of George Mynne (d. 1581), who acquired it by marriage. This reminds me of "the Ihrig place" inherited by an aunt 30 years ago at the death of her father, whose forebears first settled it in the early 19th century. This land was farmed for her father by my uncle, a Foreman; it is still called "the Ihrig place" -- in the neighborhood and its far-flung families.

Bill  •  Link

“and then went out of the wood, and holloed Mr. Creed, and made him hunt me from place to place”

HALLOO, A word of encouragement when dogs are let loose on their game.
To HALLOO, To cry as after the dogs.
1 To encourage with shouts.
2 To chase with shouts.
3 To call or shout.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Halloo me like a hare.
---Coriolanus. W. Shakespeare

The use of hello as a telephone greeting has been credited to Thomas Edison; according to one source, he expressed his surprise with a misheard Hullo.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . it being very pleasant . . ‘

‘pleasant, adj. and adv. < Anglo-Norman . .
. . 5. Amusing, comical; ridiculous. Now arch. and rare.
. . 1688 S. Penton Guardian's Instr. 48 It was pleasant to see how my Son trembled to see the Proctour come in . . ‘
Re: ’ . . everybody turns up his tail, . . ’

‘turn, v. < Old English . .
. . turn up . .
. . 11. To turn the stomach of (see 12*); to nauseate; also fig.
1892   Chambers's Jrnl. 11 June 375/2   Men who have never known what sea-sickness is..get thoroughly ‘turned up’ with the awful motion and vibration . .

*turn . .  12. a. To cause (the stomach) to reject or revolt against the food . . ; to turn the stomach of, to nauseate, to disgust extremely.
1622   J. Mabbe tr. M. Alemán Rogue ii. 355,   I may not giue it a worse word, for feare of turning thy stomake.
1738   Pope Epil. to Satires ii. 12   This filthy Simile..Quite turns my Stomach . . ‘

Third Reading

Seething Phoenix  •  Link

L&M footnote cites Sir J Mennes's poem 'To a friend upon a journey to Epsam Well' from Musarum Deliciae (1656) as a "ribald commentary" on the purgative properties of the well. I've found the original poem here:…

It makes for quite an entertaining read and I think leaves no room for doubt as to what Sam meant by "everybody turning up their tails"!

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