Wednesday 6 January 1663/64

(Twelfth day). Up and to my office, where very busy all the morning, being indeed over loaded with it through my own desire of doing all I can. At noon to the ’Change, but did little, and so home to dinner with my poor wife, and after dinner read a lecture to her in Geography, which she takes very prettily and with great pleasure to her and me to teach her, and so to the office again, where as busy as ever in my life, one thing after another, and answering people’s business, particularly drawing up things about Mr. Wood’s masts, which I expect to have a quarrel about with Sir W. Batten before it be ended, but I care not. At night home to my wife, to supper, discourse, prayers, and to bed.

This morning I began a practice which I find by the ease I do it with that I shall continue, it saving me money and time; that is, to trimme myself with a razer: which pleases me mightily.


7 Jan 2007, 1:07 a.m. - A. De Araujo

"it saving me money" Sir W.Batten: Mr Pepys, i have noticed some nicks in your face as of late, methinks you are a cheapstake that is trying to save a penny when this cut can get infected and cost you your life.

7 Jan 2007, 1:42 a.m. - language hat

"to trimme myself with a razer: which pleases me mightily" It gets old fast, Sam.

7 Jan 2007, 10:43 a.m. - alanB

Up to his neck in business, but Sam still finds time to give a geography lecture. What does Bess intend doing with all this new found knowledge in maths and geog? Perhaps she's planning a Caribbean winter cruise.

7 Jan 2007, 11:05 a.m. - MartinK

Did Sam not take up the invitation from Sir W. Pen, to attend his feast today, (12th day of Christmas), mentioned on the 3rd?

7 Jan 2007, 12:04 p.m. - Xjy

Sam walking on air Busy busy morning's business. Bess ever so prettily lets him lecture her. He doesn't give a toss about an impending quarrel with Batten, and he's saving a penny on shaving. Oh, and the late evening: wife, supper, discourse, prayers, bed...

7 Jan 2007, 12:18 p.m. - jeannine

Did Sam not take up the invitation from Sir W. Pen, to attend his feast today, (12th day of Christmas), mentioned on the 3rd? Spoiler -Martin -you'll have to wait until tomorrow's entry.

7 Jan 2007, 1:52 p.m. - Matt Lee

It is entries like this one that give the diary so much humanity and keeps me reading. There is not as much pleasure in knowledge unless you can share it with someone. It is even more pleasure when they delight in the knowledge too. These feelings are timeless and connect the modern reader so well to the 17th Century. Shaving oneself is a matter of control, not just saving a penny or two. Sam likes control. This is a small item that gives him more control.

7 Jan 2007, 3:12 p.m. - jeannine

"I shall continue, it saving me money and time; that is, to trimme myself with a razer" I am sure that his 'joy' in this newfound skill will end shortly after the first 'nick" of his skin. Even worse-without having tissue of some sort to stop the bleeding how will he go on? I have this mental image now of his famous portrait http://www.waterhistory.org/histories/london/pepys1.jpg covered with little white pieces of tissue as he goes through the process of mastering this skill!

8 Jan 2007, 2:24 a.m. - Robert Gertz

To steal that beautiful tune from "Miss Potter"... When you taught me Geography, On the seventh of Jan'ary. Every finger point, each glance... Each new land a sweet surprise. St. Paul's must have taught you well To beguile and entrance, For this day you cast your spell, When you taught me Geography. As you take me round this world, I recall what went before. As I take, I'll learn to give, Cause you've opened up my door. Other lights may light your way You may find other romance. But please don't forget that day... When you taught me Geography.

8 Jan 2007, 8:11 a.m. - Michael Robinson

To steal that beautiful tune from "Miss Potter"... Congratulations Robert; I can see Fred and Ginger -- err, Sam and Elizabeth ... the "globeman" or the "mastman" as a solo tap dance?

8 Jan 2007, 12:40 p.m. - Robert Gertz

My wife points out it's a bit of a stretch to pronounce it "Geographay" but... In any case I imagine these lessons meant a great deal to Bess...

11 May 2015, 6:59 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"my poor wife" is back again.

8 Nov 2016, 4 a.m. - Terry Foreman

"to trimme myself with a razer: which pleases me mightily" It'll get old for Pepys, language hat, autumn, next year: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/09/20/

4 Jan 2017, 5 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

"to trimme myself with a razer:" I'm guessing this was a straight razor like my father used to use, and sharpened on a length of leather (as I recall -- doesn't seem likely) which was hung on the wall? I hope Pepys had some good soap to use. Perhaps Will Hewer had been doing that in the recent past? Now Will was no longer living with Pepys it was complicated getting a shave in every day? Ahhhh, more questions never to be answered.

4 Jan 2017, 7:46 p.m. - arby

It was a leather strop indeed, SDS. Wikipedia tells me a strop can be made of other materials such as canvas too, something I didn't know.

7 Jan 2017, 1:58 a.m. - David G

In response to San Diego Sarah's question, Sam has occasionally referred to visits from the barber, including (at least on one occasion) twice in the same week. It's reasonable to assume that when he wanted a shave, he called in a barber.

7 Jan 2017, 2:25 a.m. - Louise Hudson

The only "razer" Sam could have had was a straght one. You bet he had to be careful! That's a lethal weapon.

13 Jan 2017, 10:50 a.m. - Chris Squire UK

Re: ‘It was a leather strop indeed,’ ‘strop, n.1 < Old English? < Greek στρόϕος . . . . 3. A strip of leather (or of a special textile), or a strip of wood covered with leather or other suitable material, used for sharpening a razor . . 1702 Post Man 3–5 Feb. 2/1 Strops for setting Razors, Pen-knives, &c. upon . . ‘ (OED)

22 Sep 2020, 12:19 p.m. - Liz

Final paragraph: wonderful! I love these little insights.