Saturday 19 December 1663

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and I laboured hard at Deering’s business of his deals more than I would if I did not think to get something, though I do really believe that I did what is to the King’s advantage in it, and yet, God knows, the expectation of profit will have its force and make a man the more earnest. Dined at home, and then with Mr. Bland to another meeting upon his arbitration, and seeing we were likely to do no good I even put them upon it, and they chose Sir W. Rider alone to end the matter, and so I am rid of it. Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas. To Mrs. Turner’s, whom I find busy with Sir W. Turner, about advising upon going down to Norfolke with the corps, and I find him in talke a sober, considering man. So home to my office late, and then home to supper and to bed. My head full of business, but pretty good content.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

"God knows, the expectation of profit will have its force and make a man the more earnest."

As Mae West might have put it, "Godliness has nothing to do with it, dearie."

Terry F  •  Link

Mr. Bland (wonderful name!), Mr. Custis, his "antagonist", and Mr. Clerke, his arbitrator must be the "they" who turn the matter over to Sir W. Rider, today's attempt ending the same as the last.

The first go-'round was Wednesday 16 December - " our arbitration of Mr. Bland's business, and at it a great while, but I found no order like to be kept in our inquiry, and Mr. Clerke, the other arbitrator, one so far from being inquire and to take pains in searching out the truth on both sides, that we parted without doing anything, nor do I believe we shall at all ever attain to anything in it."…

Maura Moran  •  Link

"...and gave something to the boys' box against Christmas"

Presumably this is an early reference to the "boxes" (presents) given out to workmen and servants at Christmas. At some point this became associated with the day after Christmas, which is still known as "Boxing Day".

cumgranosalis  •  Link

To box or not: word that could contain you in so many ways Latin buxus boxwood: OED: Boxing day the day with that name was recorded in 1833 , official by Law ?
The first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box. So also Boxing-night, Boxing-time. 1833
also known as box-day = BOXING-DAY; also one of the days in the vacation appointed in the Court of Session (Scotl.) for the lodgment of papers ordered to be deposited

Sam would complain later in 1668
1668 PEPYS Diary 28 Dec., Called up by drums & trumpets; these things & boxes having cost me much money this Christmas.
6. A box under the driver's seat on a coach; hence in general the seat on which the driver sits.
1625 Knappe's Patent No. 31 A devise whereby the coachman without comyng from his boxe shall..keepe the hinder wheeles from turninge. 1669 EVELYN Mem. (1857) II. 42 Our coachmen so drunk, that they both fell off their boxes on the heath.

1833 in A. MATHEWS Mem. C. Mathews (1839) IV. viii. 173 To the completion of his dismay, he arrives in London on boxing-day.
1837 DICKENS Pickw. xxxii. 343 No man ever talked in poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin' day.
1. A genus (Buxus) of small evergreen trees or shrubs of the family Euphorbiaceæ; specially B. sempervirens, the Common or Evergreen Box-tree, a native of Europe and Asia; a shrub with deep-green leaves of a thick leathery texture. It is much used in ornamental gardening, esp. in a dwarfed variety (dwarf or ground box) for the edgings of flower-beds.
Box n2 I. 1. A case or receptacle usually having a lid; a. orig. applied to a small receptacle of any material for drugs, ointments, or valuables; b. gradually extended (since 1700) to include cases of larger size, made to hold merchandise and personal property; but (unless otherwise specified) understood to be four-sided and of wood. a1000
1592 SHAKES. Rom. & Jul. V. i. 45 And about his [the apothecary's] shelues A beggerly account of emptie boxes..thinly scattered, to make vp a shew.
4. a. esp. A money-box, containing either private or public funds, often with a defining word added. c1386 CHAUCER Cook's
5. Short for CHRISTMAS-BOX, q.v.
a1593 H. SMITH Serm. (1866) II. 240 The law is like a butlers-box, play still on till all come to the candestick.
1611 COTGR., Such a box as our prentices beg before Christmas.
1621 W. MASON Handf. Ess. Cij, As an apprentices box of earth, apt he is to take all, but to restore none till hee be broken

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So Mr. Curtis...On the matter at hand, do you deny the fact that on the 21st you did in fact allow your animal, the aforementioned horse, Hubert, to inflict the damage to my client's, er party, the said Mr. Bland..."

"Pepys...You've been making the same point for three hours. We concede it. And there's no need..."

Cold look to the inept Mr. Clerke...

"The State, your honor, is concerned with the Truth in these procedings..."

"Samuel..." Bland sighs. "You are neither a lawyer nor a crown prosecutor. And Clerke is quite right, this matter did not require five long and exhausting cross-examinations of milkmaids and passers-by. Pepys, while I do appreciate your bringing your expertise into the matter, I think it might be best to let Sir. Will Ryder here decide for us."

"I see." Sam stares. "Well, Sir William, perhaps I could acquaint you with the facts of the case I've managed to gather over the past weeks and..."

"Judgement for Bland." Ryder notes.

Pedro  •  Link

Thence by coach to my shoemaker's and paid all there, and gave something to the boys' box against Christmas.

From Brewers Phrase and Fable...

Christmas Box A small gratuity given to servants, etc., on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day). In the early days of Christianity boxes were placed in churches for promiscuous charities, and opened on Christmas Day. The contents were distributed next day by the priests, and called the "dole of the Christmas box," or the "box money." It was customary for heads of houses to give small sums of money to their subordinates "to put into the box" before mass on Christmas Day. Somewhat later, apprentices carried a box round to their master's customers for small gratuities. The custom since 1836 has been gradually dying out.

"Gladly the boy, with Christmas-box in hand,
Throughout the town his devious route pursues,
And of his master's customers implores
The yearly mite."

Sam usually states how much he has spent, so did the devious apprentice have Sam by the Cobbler's?

GrahamT  •  Link

In my childhood home, the Christmas tip for the delivery men - of which there were many; bread, milk, newspapers, groceries, etc. - was always called the Christmas box, though never given in an actual box.

pepf  •  Link

"To Mrs. Turner’s, whom I find busy with Sir W. Turner, about advising upon going down to Norfolke with the *corps*,..."

Joining the army(as our poor German translator takes the spelling at face value)? Or just wishing to conduct the *corpse* of the late Mr. E. Pepys? L&M?…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"To Mrs. Turner’s, whom I find busy with Sir W. Turner, about advising upon going down to Norfolke with the *corps*,..."

Thanks for the correct spelling, pepf. Pepys's cousins, Jane and Edward, had Norfolk roots and spouses. Wim van der Meij notes Edward Pepys, the deceased, was buried in the church of Tattersett St. Andrews, Norfolk.…

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Bradford on 19 Dec 2006
"God knows, the expectation of profit will have its force and make a man the more earnest."

As Mae West might have put it, "Godliness has nothing to do with it, dearie."

It was "goodness," not "godliness."

"Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie", was her response to the exclamation, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!" in Night After Night (1932). She later used Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It as the title of her autobiography in 1953.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

This is the first confirmation in the diary of the connection between "Mr Turner the Draper" (no Sir William) and his brother, Jane's husband John.

As Sir William died very wealth and without issue, it was Jane's descendants* who inherited the loot!

*Via her grandson Cholmley, great-nephew of Sir Hugh Cholmley, with whom Pepys has regular dealings over the Mole in Tangier.…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas. . . ‘
‘box, n.2 probably < classical Latin pyxis . . < Hellenistic Greek πυξίς box < ancient Greek πύξος box-tree . .
. . 5. Short for Christmas-box* n., q.v.
. . 1668 S. Pepys Diary 28 Dec. (1976) IX. 403 Called up by drums and trumpets; these things and boxes having cost me much money this Christmas.

* 1. A box, usually of earthenware, in which contributions of money were collected at Christmas, by apprentices, etc.; the box being broken when full, and the contents shared.
. . 1634 Bp. J. Hall Contempl. Hist. New Test. (STC 12640.5) 165 It is a shame, for a rich Christian to be like a Chistmas boxe, that receives all, and nothing can be got out, till it be broken in peeces.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . going down to Norfolke with the corps . . ’

‘corpse, n. < Middle English corps . . < Latin corpus body. In the 14th cent. the spelling of Old French cors was perverted after Latin to corps , and this fashion came also into English . . and became gradually . . the prevalent, and at length the ordinary form . . in French the p is a mere bad spelling, which has never affected the pronunciation. In English also, at first, the p was mute . . .

But apparently by the end of the 15th cent. . . the p began to be pronounced, and this became at length the ordinary practice; . . The spelling with final e, corpse . . was . . rare . . before the 19th cent., in which it has become the accepted form in the surviving sense 2, which is thus differentiated < corps n.1, used with French pronunciation in the military sense..

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