Thursday 18 February 1663/64

Called up to the office and much against my will I rose, my head aching mightily, and to the office, where I did argue to good purpose for the King, which I have been fitting myself for the last night against Mr. Wood about his masts, but brought it to no issue. Very full of business till noon, and then with Mr. Coventry to the African House, and there fell to my Lord Peterborough’s accounts, and by and by to dinner, where excellent discourse, Sir G. Carteret and others of the African Company with us, and then up to the accounts again, which were by and by done, and then I straight home, my head in great pain, and drowsy, so after doing a little business at the office I wrote to my father about sending him the mastiff was given me yesterday. I home and by daylight to bed about 6 o’clock and fell to sleep, wakened about 12 when my wife came to bed, and then to sleep again and so till morning, and then: [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

27 Annotations

First Reading

Lawrence  •  Link

"wakened about 12 when my wife came to bed," probably to tell him, the dog had messed, and that he'd best clean it up in the morning!

djc  •  Link

All these late nights!
All this quite contrary to the impression that people without electric light went to be when it was dark and rose at dawn.

Terry F  •  Link

Inspiration for "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?!

Called up to the office and much against my will I rose,
my head aching mightily,
and to the office,
where I did argue to good purpose for the King,
which I have been fitting myself for the last night against Mr. Wood about his masts,
but brought it to no issue.

Precocious, Samuel Pepys! Simply precocious.

Terry F  •  Link

Or better....

Called up to the office and much against my will
I rose,
my head aching mightily,
and to the office,

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Mastiff: Dad here be dog for thee to keep, makes a good bedwarmer, keeps all unruly bulls in their pasture, so that thee can chat up the milk maids. It can even pull thee free from the ousing waters if thee slip on some ice. luv S.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

I did argue to good purpose for the King ...

... and SP's own "gift" account

jeannine  •  Link

"I wrote to my father about sending him the mastiff was given me yesterday"

Hmmm, this is the second letter to his father this month. I can't help but wonder if the offer of the dog is a 'peace offering" after writing to him in anger on the 13th :

"And there wrote fair my angry letter to my father upon that that he wrote to my cozen Roger Pepys, which I hope will make him the more carefull to trust to my advice for the time to come without so many needless complaints and jealousys, which are troublesome to me because without reason".…

or perhaps "revenge", depending upon how one looks at being offered a gift that one has to feed, clean up after, etc.

Nate  •  Link

All this quite contrary to the impression that people without electric light went to be when it was dark and rose at dawn.

He had lanterns, fire, and candles but I expect that those to poor to afford them probably did go to bed early or discoursed in the dark.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Early to bed
Yes, all depends on the money. Up until the end of the 18th century/beg of 19th, the dinner hour was most often kept within daylight hours to save on articifial light: only the wealthy could afford to have fashionably late dinner hours. Jane Austen lampoons this in her unfinished novel fragment The Watsons, where a very smart young man calls on a household of impoverished gentry to be asked to stay for supper, but he retreats to his own home because he has not yet had dinner! In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte demonstrates knowledge of the condition of the rural poor when she has her hero knocking up a cottage family (to ask directions). It is a winter morning, but quite late: he is surprised to find them all in bed still. This is because (as Anne knew) there was no work, so they were staying in bed to keep warm and save on precious, expensive fuel (not all cottagers had the right to collect kindling or forewood from their landlord's land).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

What was Bess doing till midnight?

JWB  •  Link

"What was Bess doing till midnight?"

Talking of Michelangelo & counting the spoons.

ruizhe  •  Link

The luncheon meal is called "dinner" even today in rural parts of Illinois (at least by a Mormon family who's son I'm acquainted with), dinner being the main meal of the day, and lunch being a well-needed energy boost for the farming types.

jeannine  •  Link

The Love Song of Samuel Pepys

(For Terry F -your welcome back!)

Oh us women we come and go
Talking of Michelangelo

Of our Sam Pepys women oft have their say
Sharing female insights many a day

But to dare disturb Sam's universe
Fine female comments we intersperse

We're no prophets--and here's no great matter
Women join male friends in this idle chatter

We measure Sam's life daily in coffee spoons
Stringing thoughts in air in a festive festoon

We squeeze Sam's universe into a ball
Sharing our great insights with one and all

Is it impossible to say just what we mean
The findings so vast from the Dairy we glean

Full of high sentences, but a bit obtuse
In all this writing that Sam did oft produce

We've time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions

As Sam's attendants, this chatty writing we do
Will it swell a progress, start a scene maybe two

At times, we're indeed, almost ridiculous
Then politic, cautious, and meticulous

Almost, at times, the Fool we all may be
At times writing with dreaded uncertainty

Unraveling Sam's words as a Diary sleuth
A moment of clarity when I see the truth

Do I dare risk writing my thoughts all down
When others debate me, I fear I'll drown

Have I strength to force the moment to its crisis
My findings so fruitful my mind is now Isis

Should I let precious Diary secrets unfold
Gather my bravery now, before I grow old!

Dear friends who are reading I'd now make my speech
But I'm too busy eating my lunch, a peach........

Lawrence  •  Link

I know this is a silly question????
But will we be dead centre of the Diary on 24th of this month? hope somebody out there will work it out for me, because maths is not my strong point!

EKmathcountschamp  •  Link

Sam started the Diary on Jan 1, 1660 and stopped on May 31, 1669, for a total of 3439 days (there are 3 leap years -in 1660, 1664 and 1668). The midpoint of his Diary would be 1719.5 days which (including the 2 leap years of 1660 and 1664) would bring us to the September 14/15 date.

(EK is 10 years old!)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Dead Centre of diary

By "length" of text, end May 31st. / start June 1st 1665; -- quick and dirty method based on a page count of a Wheatley edn. reprint. (1667 is a long text year, about 50% more than the average, which skews the result)

Lawrence  •  Link

Thanks EK, (Jeannine)
Bit early to start celebrating Then!

Pedro  •  Link

Further Correspondence...

"I send you an excellent mastiffe, his name Fido..."

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"length" of text" unci cum aut vacuus

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

How do you ship a mastiff? If dad agrees to take him, I suppose Pepys will have to pay someone to hold the dog in the pannier on the back of the coach (cheapest, and probably safest way) for 2 days going there, leave him with dad, and take another 2 days to come back to London. Or maybe a Sandwich servant will be going to Hinchingbrooke sometime soon, and be coerced into taking the dog. Either way ... what a nightmare.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Pepys often works in his office until midnight or later. He must have had some kind of light--candles or lanterns, perhaps, though oil lamps didn't come into use until the late 1700s. Pepys would probably have had candleholders with a shiny metal panel behind the candle to increase the candlelight. It couldn't have been easy to read anything after dark until gaslight was invented in the 1800s.

Jonathan V  •  Link

"The luncheon meal is called "dinner" even today in rural parts of Illinois (at least by a Mormon family who's son I'm acquainted with) ... " and wisconsin, by way of Kansas, at least (but not Mormons). My wife always gets confused when I say "dinner".

And, thanks again for the reference to "At Day's Close." I read it based on a recommendation here, great book.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: dinnner vs. lunch vs. supper: in England this is a matter of class (of course) and it is important to get it right if in a strange milieu:
dinner, n. < French dîner . . The chief meal of the day, eaten originally, and still by the majority of people, about the middle of the day (cf. German Mittagsessen), but now, by the professional and fashionable classes, usually in the evening; particularly, a formally arranged meal of various courses; a repast given publicly in honour of some one, or to celebrate some event.

. . 1620 T. Venner Via Recta viii. 173 Our vsuall time for about eleuen of the clocke.
1712 T. Hearne Remarks & Coll. (1889) III. 372 At eleven Clock this Day, I being then at Dinner in Edmund Hall Buttery
luncheon, n.< Related in some way to lunch n.2. The ordinary view, that the spelling lunching represents the etymological form, appears somewhat unlikely. In our quots. the earliest form is luncheon, and this appears in our quots. earlier than lunch; and there is no evidence of a derivative verb in the 16–17th cent. It is possible that luncheon might have been extended < lunch on the analogy of the relation between punch, puncheon, trunch, truncheon.
. . 2. a. Originally, a slight repast taken between two of the ordinary meal-times, esp. between breakfast and mid-day dinner. The word retains this original application with those who use dinner as the name of the mid-day meal; with those who ‘dine’ in the evening, luncheon denotes a meal (understood to be less substantial and less ceremonious than dinner) taken usually in the early afternoon. Now somewhat formal: cf. lunch n.2 2.

a1652 R. Brome Madd Couple Well Matcht v. i, in Wks. (1873) I. 92 Noonings, and intermealiary Lunchings.
1655 tr. C. Sorel Comical Hist. Francion iii. 71 For our Breakfast and after-noons Lunchins [Fr. à gouster].
1706 E. Ward Writings (ed. 3) II. 125 Then others more Hungry, their Stomachs to please, Sit down to their Luncheons of House-hold and Cheese.
lunch, n.2 < . . In sense 2 lunch was an abbreviation of luncheon, first appearing about 1829, when it was regarded either as a vulgarism or as a fashionable affectation.
. . 2. a. A synonym of luncheon n. 2. (Now the usual word exc. in specially formal use, though formerly objected to as vulgar.) Also: a light meal at any time of the day.

1829 H. D. Best Personal & Lit. Mem. 307 The word lunch is adopted in that ‘glass of fashion’, Almacks, and luncheon is avoided as unsuitable to the polished society there exhibited.
. . 1968 New Society 22 Aug. 265/2 Though the U still have lunch (not dinner) in the middle of the day and U-dogs still have their dinner then, U-children have changed; they no longer have mid-day dinner, in the nursery, but have lunch with their mothers.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

supper, n. < Anglo-Norman
. . 2. The last meal of the day . . The time and style of ‘supper’ varies according to history, geography, and social factors. For much of its history, ‘supper’ was simply the last of three daily meals (breakfast, dinner, and supper), whether constituting the main meal or not . . Where both ‘supper’and ‘dinner’ can be applied to the last of three meals, supper is often a lighter or less formal affair than dinner . . Where four meals a day are recognized, ‘supper’ is a light late meal or snack following an early evening dinner or a late afternoon or early evening ‘tea’.
. . 1694 W. Westmacott Θεολοβοτονολογια 3 Sweet Almonds..are commonly allowed by Physicians, to be eaten with a few Raisins..for a Supper.
1723 T. Hearne Diary 18 Jan. in Reliquiae Hearnianae (1857) II. 486 'Tis usual with the fellows and their friends to have a supper, and to sit up all night drinking and singing . .
The ambiguities of ‘tea’ will have to wait for another day . .

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"supper is often a lighter or less formal affair than dinner"

Chris Squire has given us a 21th century rule of thumb here. It wasn't so in the 17th century. Allowing for the following story to be maybe 20 years after the end of the Diary, and for regional differences, here's a decription of how Louis XIV ate what we would consider dinner:

'“The Sun King” loved to eat. Supper, anyway. His breakfasts and lunches were moderate, but around 10 P.M. he and his retinue pigged out. These banquets usually consisted of four different soups, a whole pheasant, partridge, chicken, or duck (stuffed with truffles), a large salad, mutton and ham slices, pastries, compotes (fruit desserts cooked in syrup), and jam (eaten straight, not on toast).
'Hundreds of spectators would witness this “grand couvert” (big service). Louis loved his orange juice. He had over 1,000 orange trees in tubs on wheels so they could be wheeled outside to get sunlight and rain. He cultivated over 500 types of pears in his gardens. They also grew pineapples and coffee beans. Wheat was grown at Versailles for fresh bread.'


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