Saturday 30 January 1663/64

Up, and a sorry sermon of a young fellow I knew at Cambridge; but the day kept solemnly for the King’s murder, and all day within doors making up my Brampton papers, and in the evening Mr. Commander came and we made perfect and signed and sealed my last will and testament, which is so to my mind, and I hope to the liking of God Almighty, that I take great joy in myself that it is done, and by that means my mind in a good condition of quiett. At night to supper and to bed. This evening, being in a humour of making all things even and clear in the world, I tore some old papers; among others, a romance which (under the title of “Love a Cheate”) I begun ten years ago at Cambridge; and at this time reading it over to-night I liked it very well, and wondered a little at myself at my vein at that time when I wrote it, doubting that I cannot do so well now if I would try.

22 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link


Just reminding everyone that in such contexts it means "thinking."

jeannine  •  Link

"we made perfect and signed and sealed my last will and testament"
L&M says that neither the will nor the note of his estate survive. Such a pity, as it would have been very interesting to see how he intended to provide for Elizabeth.

jeannine  •  Link

"under the title of "Love a Cheate"

hmmm, isn't that Elizabeth in the next room writing her version called "I Love a Cheate"...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Love, a Cheate? Or "Love a Cheate?"

Sadly the world will never know...

"Well?" Sam eyes Bess who looks up from the faded sheets, nodding...Whoa...

"I know my French novel club would buy it." Eagerly.

"And if the Duke and Coventry found me writing nonsense..."

"You know, you could always publish under another name. Or have one of those drunks who tries to pass themselves off as the next Shakespeare down by the Duke's House publish it in their name."


"There was that young poet whose play flopped last year..." he muses. "Remember? "The Wide...Wild Guy...Something like that."

"'The Wild Gallant'...John Dryden." Bess, archly. "And speaking of flopping, he nearly fell over me when he stumbled by us at the Duke's House before we went into 'Henry VIII'."

"Right. Not a bad poet but after that disaster the kid might be willing to consider any collaborative deal."

"No cash backing..." Bess, sternly, wagging finger. "I have faith in you but I've not scrimped and saved under your vows and mine like this to see it all go on a theatrical flop."

"My love...Who are you talking to?" Sam notes. "You know I think I already have another one in the brain-pan. How's this for a title? 'Marriage A'la Mode'."


Benvenuto  •  Link

Love, a Cheate
Heh, I suspect that if I dug out my own writings on this theme from when I was an angst-ridden student, I wouldn't be quite as impressed by them as Sam is here.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Would not we want to be able to read Sam's juvenile phantasies?
Also it is nice that Sam is still appreciating them; in my work (etching) I sometimes 'admire' things I did 20 years ago, after not having seen it for a long time.

Bradford  •  Link

Yes, it's like that earlier work was done by a different person; and oftentimes it was.

Glyn  •  Link

He likes it, but still gets rid of it after keeping it for ten years, that's pretty ruthless cleaning.

Laura  •  Link

"L&M says that neither the will nor the note of his estate survive"

Does Sam make multiple drafts of his will over time, so that only this version doesn't exist? His will is included in other old versions of the diary, including the "Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1660 N.S. Complete" available through project Gutenberg online.
[EBook #4125]…

ann  •  Link

"the day kept solemnly for the King's murder," So, I guess this is like a day of mourning for Chuck I? Did Sam go to church to hear yet another "sorry sermon?" (has Sam ever met a sermon he DID like?), or, as I'm surmizing, read a printed version?

ann  •  Link

Laura, in reference to preparing this will, Sam says earlier he wanted to provide for his wife (in response to her concerns about that very thing). Since we know Elizabeth predeceases him, it would have been necessary at that time to prepare another will. Even if he had made a provision in this will disposing of his property in another fashion if Liz died first, its still prudent to remake it. Even though a new will would have specifically revoked the old one (usually language revoking and and all previous wills), its still best to destroy the previous ones. Otherwise, what would keep a dishonest person who inherits in the first, but not the second, from destroying the second and probating the first? Unfortunately, that's probably why we will never know how Liz was provided for.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

spoiler * multiple drafts of his will over time

"Once he heard he could not recover, he set about a complete revision of his will, dictating two enormous codicils on successive days, 12 and 13 May." [1703]

Tomalin, NY: 2003, p. 367

A. Hamilton  •  Link

"that I take great joy in myself that it is done, and by that means my mind in a good condition of quiett"

I think Sam's protestant ethic and conscience here have a very positive psychological aspect: he sees a need to anticipate his own death and (with his vexing experience with his uncle's will in the background) to make a clear statement of how he wants things ordered on his death. His conscience won't let him rest til it is taken care of, and then rewards him with feelings of happiness and peacefulness. Good, positive reinforcement. Of course, it (he) still has trouble in some other areas....

Rex Gordon  •  Link

On "Love, a Cheate" ...

Claire Tomalin, in The Unequalled Self: "The disappearance of this first evidence of Pepys's literary ambition, and of his early narrative voice, is lamentable; but it is worth knowing that he was trying his hand at fiction when he was twenty, because it tells us that the skills displayed in the Diary were built on something he had already worked at."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

day kept solemnly for the King's murder,

"Form of Prayer to be used yearly on the xxx. day of January, being the day of the Martyrdom of K. CHARLES the First." -- used between 1662 and 1844…

jeannine  •  Link

In regards to the will... Perhaps Sam realized if he didn't put a will in place to provide for Elizabeth then perhaps Will would put himself in place to provide for Elizabeth upon Sam's death!

Michael Robinson  •  Link

the day kept solemnly for the King's murder,

1659/60 " ... his Majesty died ..."
1660/61 "(Fast day). The first time that this day hath been yet observed: ..."
1661/2 "Fast-day for the murthering of the late King ..."
1662/3 "A solemn fast for the King's murther, and we were forced to keep it more than we would have done, ..."

Might these changes in expression over the five years mark the cognitive changes as Pepys comes to identify his interests and himself with the regime.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Execution of Charles I
I had noticed Sam's changing references to this event also and Sam's method of passing the time on January 29th: he now feels it necessary to stay quietly at home on this day. Look out in succeeding years to references to "martyrdom" maybe?? For information about the cult of Charles the Martyr see…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry, January *30th*

Nix  •  Link

Elizabeth and the will --

If Samuel had died before Elizabeth she would have been entitled to one third of the income from his property for the balance of her life. This was called "dower" -- same root as "dowry". Under English law of the period, she could not hold title to real estate, even if he tried to will or deed it to her. He could leave her personal property, such as the famous "second best bed".…

Second Reading

Gerald Berg  •  Link

"that I take great joy in myself that it is done"

I have achieved the possible and it is commendable.

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