Sunday 7 February 1663/64

(Lord’s day). Up and to church, and thence home, my wife being ill … [of those – L&M] kept her bed all day, and I up and dined by her bedside, and then all the afternoon till late at night writing some letters of business to my father stating of matters to him in general of great import, and other letters to ease my mind in the week days that I have not time to think of, and so up to my wife, and with great mirth read Sir W. Davenant’s two speeches in dispraise of London and Paris, by way of reproach one to another, and so to prayers and to bed.

16 Annotations

First Reading

Cactus Wren  •  Link

What's in the ellipsis? Anyone know?

I take it Bess is having a "personal" illness.

But Sam did sit with her and keep her company, and read her something that (we may hope) made her laugh. And her illness gave him an excuse to miss afternoon service (and thus avoid another boring sermon from the Scot).

Michael Robinson  •  Link

two speeches in dispraise of London and Paris

"These two speeches are in the 'Entertainment at Rutland House,' with which Sir William Davenant tried in 1656 to revive dramatic performances. We read, "The curtains are suddenly opened, and in the Rostras appear siting a Parisian and a Londoner, in the livery robes of both cities, who declaim concerning the pre-eminence of Paris and London." After the Parisian has declaimed, and "after a concert of Music, imitating the Waits of London, the Londoner rises and answers."

Wheatley edn., note Feb 8 1663/64

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Edition Pepys must have been reading:-

The first days entertainment at Rutland-House, by declamations and musick: after the manner of the ancients. By Sr VV.D.
London : printed by J[ohn]. M[acock]. for H. Herringman, and sold at his shop at the Anchor, in the New-Exchange, in the Lower Walk, 1657. [i.e. 1656]
[10], 86, [8] p. ; 8⁰. The first leaf and last leaf are blank.
Wing (CD-Rom, 1996), D323 Thomason, E.1648[2] Greg, II, 770
Annotation on Thomason copy: "nouemb 22:"; the 7 in the imprint date has been crossed out and replaced with a "6"
Information from ESTC database

jeannine  •  Link

What's in the ellipsis? Anyone know?

Cactus Wren--I think that this is too harsh for our modern ears! The missing words are as follows (but any Victorian readers should proceed with caution)...

my wife being ill 'of those' ,kept her bed all day....

Bryan M  •  Link

Tom's illness

As Robert observed yesterday, Sam did not comment on Tom's health after his visit, although he did indulge in a brotherly rant. I suspect that if Sam believed that Tom's condition was as dire as suggested by his cousins on 29 Jauuary he would have mentioned it in his letter to his father and in today's entry. The description "matters to him in general of great import" sounds more like a lecture on fiscal responsibility.

Bergie  •  Link

"my wife being ill 'of those"
Oh, thank goodness! I was afraid she'd had something specific.

PK  •  Link

Some extracts to give a flavour of 'W Davenant's Parisian and Londoner piece, accessed via (this is a subscription service)

Parisian speaking:

Oh the goodly Landskip of old Fish-street...... where the Garrets (perhaps not for want of Architecture, but through abundance of amity) are so made, that opposite Neighbours may shake hands without stirring from home...

You boast that your servants feed better then Masters at Paris; and we are satisfi'd when ours are better taught then fed...

We plant the Vinyard, and you drink the Wine; by which you beget good spirits, and we get good money...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Bess...Always hard to say if it's those sores bothering her or just the menses, though Sam usually lets us know if she's having major sore trouble. I wonder if Hollier's treatment has helped any.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Another good day for Sam...Bess must have been pleased by all the attention.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Parisian speaking "we get good money" then maybe adding it be L, s, d too, not pound, shillings and pence, no, just good old Livre, Sol, Denier, we even have an accounting machine the Pascaleine so thee do not cheate us.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

You boast that your servants feed better then Masters at Paris

certainly not today. Could it have been true in Sam's day?

Charlene  •  Link

Could it have been true in Sam's day?

Absolutely. What we now know as "French cooking" really began in the early 1700s. Before then French cooking could be overly heavy and sweet, and not at all to the taste of most English or other Europeans.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Davenant's "opera" (a "stage-play" being illegal) at Rutland House

In order to avoid the strict laws of censorship in force in all public places at the time, he turned a room of his home, Rutland House, into a private theatre where his works, and those of other writers considered seditious, could be performed. A performance of his The Siege of Rhodes at Rutland House in 1656 is considered to be the first performance of an English opera, and also included England's first known professional actress, Mrs Coleman.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The first days entertainment at Rutland-House, by declamations and musick: after the manner of the ancients. By Sr VV.D."

The first days entertainment at Rutland-House, by declamations and musick: after the manner of the ancients. / By Sr VV.D.
D'Avenant, William, Sir, 1606-1668.
London,: Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, and sold at his shop at the Anchor, in the New-Exchange, in the Lower Walk., 1657. [i.e. 1656]
Early English Books Online…

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

That the ordinary man was better off and ate better than his French counterpart was common knowledge 80 years after Our Day:

' . . Hogarth was not impressed when he visited France in 1748, and decided to return home early. While waiting at Calais for a boat, he sat down to sketch the city gate - only to be arrested in error for espionage and sent home. O The Roast Beef of Old England was his revenge.

In the centre a waiter buckles under the weight of a sirloin destined for British tourists. The ultimate symbol of English red-blooded heartiness, it is envied by the feeble-looking French soldiers - one in fact is an Irish mercenary - who sup at gruel. A fat monk salivates too: this is a country where the priests alone are well fed.

In the foreground a Jacobite Catholic soldier . . makes do with a raw onion. Hogarth depicts himself sketching, the heavy hand of the French law about to land on his shoulder. The message: French, Scottish and Irish Catholics, our enemies, are a pathetic lot. Rosbifs rule.'…

Was it true in the 1660s? No doubt specialists in the period know the answer but I don't.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Chris, no one was eating well in the 1600's ... it was cold and wet and the corn rotted in the fields:…
Sunday 6 September 1663 (Lord’s day).
The Rev. Josselin's diary today:
"God good to us in manifold mercies, in the season, sabbath, my heart warmed in the sense of god's mercy wherein my soul delights. Fears of famine ride in plenty(,) corn falling much again."…
Thursday 18 September 1662
Among other discourse, speaking concerning the great charity used in Catholic countries, Mr. Ashburnham did tell us, that this last year, there being great want of corn in Paris, and so a collection made for the poor, ...

John Evelyn's Diary
21 October, 1666. This season, after so long and extraordinary a drought in August and September, as if preparatory for the dreadful fire, was so very wet and rainy as many feared an ensuing famine.

"The severe famines of 1674 and 1675 might have prompted the initial decision to formalize the existing association of gardeners in the area [OF HADDINGTON, SCOTLAND]." This is from a site about the start of the Freemasons in Scotland, but I can't find the link right now.

Scientifically speaking, they were experiencing Climate Change (a cold one) ... the Pentagon thinks it was probably one reason for so many wars in the 17th century. They also had big refugee problems in the 17th century.

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