Tuesday 29 September 1663

Took two pills more in the morning and they worked all day, and I kept the house. About noon dined, and then to carry several heavy things with my wife up and down stairs, in order to our going to lie above, and Will to come down to the Wardrobe, and that put me into a violent sweat, so I had a fire made, and then, being dry again, she and I to put up some paper pictures in the red chamber, where we go to lie very pretty, and the map of Paris. Then in the evening, towards night, it fell to thunder, lighten, and rain so violently that my house was all afloat, and I in all the rain up to the gutters, and there dabbled in the rain and wet half an hour, enough to have killed a man. That done downstairs to dry myself again, and by and by come Mr. Sympson to set up my wife’s chimney-piece in her closett, which pleases me, and so that being done, I to supper and to bed, shifting myself from top to toe, and doubtful of my doing myself hurt.

17 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link

" my wife’s chimney-piece in her closett"

picture over a fireplace
(L&M Select Glossary)

also "The English chimneypieces of the early 17th century, when the purer Italian style was introduced by Inigo Jones, were extremely simple in design, sometimes consisting only of the ordinary mantel piece, with classic architraves and shelf, the upper part of the chimney breast being paneled like the rest of the room. In the latter part of the century the classic architrave was abandoned in favor of a much bolder and more effective molding, as in the chimneypieces at Hampton Court, and the shelf was omitted." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mant…

Interior decoration today!

Jon-o  •  Link

What was he doing up in the gutters?

A fleeting thought of Pepys hauling on a halyard to trim the sails of his literally 'afloat' house passed through my mind, but that's probably not *quite* accurate, albeit picturesque.

Maybe the gutters were just clogged, and he had to clean them out to keep the water from trickling through the roof? Easy to have happen with all the leaves blowing around this time of year...

Daniel  •  Link

"put me into a violent sweat,'

Goodness! I won't be needing any of those pills, Mr Pepys, thanks!

in aqua  •  Link

de gutting: "...What was he doing up in the gutters?..." Samuell be out on the leads, leading the fight to un-stopper the pipes and the gutter that runs around the roof. As the rain failed to leave the roof in a correct manner , it came through his Roof door and cascaded down the Stairs.
Dabbled eh! with some old tarred Sail clothe?

Mary  •  Link

shifting myself from top to toe.

This complete change of every stitch of clothing is plainly both notable and perilous in Sam's eyes.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

keeping house & doing (unexpected) penance

Sam becomes aware of the perils of staying home, becoming Elizabeth's furniture mover and Harry (ied) Homeowner. And all because of the draughty broken window during his Lambeth rendezvous. He'll awaken with a stiff back and a worsened chill, I suspect.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

map of Paris

My father purchased a large section (several sections, in fact) of the 1615 Plan de Merian from the Musee de la
Ville de Paris) and fixed them to a large
board that hung in our living room and also served to enlarge our dinner table when needed. I still have it. It has wonderful detail, as you can see by following Terry's second link above.

alanB  •  Link

"enough to have killed a man"
but not Our Sam who is no mortal man. He laughs in the face of danger. Broken windows..puh!, standing on the roof in a thunderstorm ..nothing to it. God can try his best or worst.

Bradford  •  Link

And a whole half-hour, too!---"doubtful [fearful] of my doing myself hurt." No sandbag duty for Sam, another big-as-a-skinned-mule hypochondriac, like Boswell.

TerryF  •  Link

So the plan is to get the Pepys's upstairs and the obstreperious Will down. Is the "Ward-robe" where Will goes the "King’s Great Wardrobe" or the Pepys's downstairs?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Does seem strange about Will...I wonder if the maids live upstairs and Sam seeks to separate Will from the maids he so likes to chat up.

"Map of Paris"...Subtle, (or not so subtle) hint on Bess' part?


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Mr. Sympson came at night? In the pouring rain?

I don't suppose his descendants might be available?

"Sam..." Bess hisses as Sympson works away. "Why does he keep saying "Doh!"?"

Second Reading

Gerald Berg  •  Link

I assume 'lighten' is lightening. So up Sam goes onto the roof during a thunder storm. A lead roof no less! Slippery and very much a conductor of electricity. Ignorance is bliss.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

SEPTEMBER 29 is Michaelmas, a day for settling one's debts. Strange no one owed Pepys anything, and Pepys owed nothing to anyone else.

"And when the tenauntes come
To paie their quarter's rent,
They bring some fowle at Midsummer
A dish of fish in Lent
At Christmas, a capon,
At Michaelmas, a goose,
And somewhat else at New Yere's tide
For feare the lease flie loose."
-- George Gascoine, English poet, 1577

“Michaelmas” is the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of the sea and boats, horses and horsemen. “Michaelmas Day” is the final day of the Harvest Season, and it was also the first day of the winter night curfew and the church bells would ring once for each night of the year until that point.

There are four “quarter days” in a year (Lady Day [25 March], Midsummer [24 June], Michaelmas [29 September] and Christmas [25 December]). They are spaced three months apart, on religious festivals, usually close to the solstices or equinoxes.

They were the four dates on which servants were hired, rents due or leases begun. It was said that harvest had to be completed by Michaelmas, almost like the marking of the end of the productive season and the beginning of the new cycle of farming. It was the time at which new servants were hired or land was exchanged, and debts were paid. This is how it came to be for Michaelmas to be the time for electing magistrates and also the beginning of legal and university terms.

Michaelmas Superstitions
– The devil stomps or spits on bramble bushes so don’t pick Blackberries after Michaelmas.

– In Northern England and Ireland if you eat goose this day you will have good luck for the rest of the year.

– In Ireland if you found the ring hidden in the Michaelmas pie you would soon marry.


Meanwhile, over at Whitehall Palace, the Lord Steward, James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, dismisses 300 courtiers without compensation ... including nobles who had paid for their places at Court. Economies of scale, I suppose.

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