Friday 26 February 1663/64

Up, and after dressing myself handsomely for riding, I out, and by water to Westminster, to Mr. Creed’s chamber, and after drinking some chocolate, and playing on the vyall, Mr. Mallard being there, upon Creed’s new vyall, which proves, methinks, much worse than mine, and, looking upon his new contrivance of a desk and shelves for books, we set out from an inne hard by, whither Mr. Coventry’s horse was carried, and round about the bush through bad ways to Highgate. Good discourse in the way had between us, and it being all day a most admirable pleasant day, we, upon consultation, had stopped at the Cocke, a mile on this side Barnett, being unwilling to put ourselves to the charge or doubtful acceptance of any provision against my Lord’s coming by, and there got something and dined, setting a boy to look towards Barnett Hill, against their coming; and after two or three false alarms, they come, and we met the coach very gracefully, and I had a kind receipt from both Lord and Lady as I could wish, and some kind discourse, and then rode by the coach a good way, and so fell to discoursing with several of the people, there being a dozen attending the coach, and another for the mayds and parson. Among others talking with W. Howe, he told me how my Lord in his hearing the other day did largely tell my Lord Peterborough and Povy (who went with them down to Hinchinbrooke) how and when he discarded Creed, and took me to him, and that since the Duke of York has several times thanked him for me, which did not a little please me, and anon I desiring Mr. Howe to tell me upon [what] occasion this discourse happened, he desired me to say nothing of it now, for he would not have my Lord to take notice of our being together, but he would tell me another time, which put me into some trouble to think what he meant by it. But when we came to my Lord’s house, I went in; and whether it was my Lord’s neglect, or general indifference, I know not, but he made me no kind of compliment there; and, methinks, the young ladies look somewhat highly upon me. So I went away without bidding adieu to anybody, being desirous not to be thought too servile. But I do hope and believe that my Lord do yet value me as high as ever, though he dare not admit me to the freedom he once did, and that my Lady is still the same woman. So rode home and there found my uncle Wight. ‘Tis an odd thing as my wife tells me his caressing her and coming on purpose to give her visits, but I do not trouble myself for him at all, but hope the best and very good effects of it. He being gone I eat something and my wife. I told all this day’s passages, and she to give me very good and rational advice how to behave myself to my Lord and his family, by slighting every body but my Lord and Lady, and not to seem to have the least society or fellowship with them, which I am resolved to do, knowing that it is my high carriage that must do me good there, and to appear in good clothes and garbe.

To the office, and being weary, early home to bed.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"...I eat something and my wife -- I told all this day's passages...."

L&M's transcription is a tad clearer, but does not render the entry less fraught.

Glyn  •  Link

Three uses of "high" in this entry.

"The young ladies look somewhat highly upon me" (Is this bad?)

"My Lord do value me as high as ever" (Definitely good)

"Knowing that it is my high carriage that must do me good there" (What does this mean?)

Glyn  •  Link

When he writes that he's going around the bush and through bad ways to Highgate, I think he means that they rode through the outer part of Hampstead Heath. It would have been full of gorse and other bushes.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Three uses of "high" in this entry

Glyn, I took "the young ladies look somewhat highly upon me" to be bad, meaning angry looks (ala "high words"). As for "my high carriage," I took that to mean that he must carry himself like a gentleman if he is to be perceived as one.

'Tis an odd thing indeed that self-interest continues to blind him to jealousy, even as he talked about his green-eyed monster yesterday!

Time to head home, so I can eat something and my wife...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...Creed's new vyall, which proves, methinks, much worse than mine..."

"...discarded Creed and took me to him..."

In yor face, John...

"'Tis an odd thing as my wife tells me his caressing her and coming on purpose to give her visits, but I do not trouble myself for him at all..."

Unc must be a most comical would-be suitor...

Hmmn...You know, Watson. Bess' complaint at his "caressing her" is the odd thing.

Odd? But Holmes...(scans entry) Bess made no complaint that Samuel recorded.

That was the odd thing...

Sadly...(major spoiler)

...The Bagwells will not be in the happy situation of the Pepys. (Not that they'll necessarily be as innocent as at least the lady will seem.) Imagine had Sam cautiously sold the clerkship as he'd considered on receiving the position and now found himself not so well sited when wealthy suitors came calling on Bess.


"Pepys?" Poldy gives careful scrutiny. Ah, welcome to the club, poor fellow.


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...she to give me very good and rational advice how to behave myself to my Lord and his family, by slighting every body but my Lord and Lady, and not to seem to have the least society or fellowship with them, which I am resolved to do..."

Her Sam's better than the whole lot of 'em, 'ceptin' of course my Lady and Lord (when he comes to his proper self again). The (would-be) Sieuress de St. Michel'll show 'em how to play the grand lord and lady. Gave that "Lady" Batten the air right well.

And her advice follows well with Hugh Aubry's chapter sixty-two... "So...Tis Time to Give Your Former Patron the Aire..."

Somehow it always adds up to treating poor Moore and Howe like dirt, though...

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"...but I do not trouble myself for him ..." Sam be no Palmer, not even for a title "Lord Ouse" or "Lord Granta"
as "Lord Avon" be taken

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The young ladies look somewhat highly upon me..."

"Ohhh. Mr?....Peeps again, is it?" Jemina Jr. offers a stiff hand, eyeing the bowing Sam through her monacle on holder, haughty head thrown back, despite some loss of effect owing to crooked back. "Yes...So it is. How...Nice to see you hanging about again."

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

The 3 highs be a positive in my 'umble opinion- High Esteem, and he left without touching 'is forlock with 2 fingers, or showing his under cap.
A Man is only as good as his taylor lets him. Tis strange; why does Sam never mentions his Valet ?.
Shiny boots speaks volumes. Now it matters not as long as thee have thy gold plated Merc..

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

uncle Wight. 'Tis an odd thing as my wife tells me his caressing her and coming on purpose to give her visits, but I do not trouble myself for him at all

No Sam, your unconscious mind is troubled, as you noted yesterday.

Roboto  •  Link

"we set out from an inne hard by" More nautical lingo (hard by) from Sam.

pk  •  Link

...and round about the bush through bad ways to Highgate.

Is it possible that 'about the bush' is a slimmer version of the current expression 'beating about the bush', meaning 'not going directly to the point'? Hence, they took a round-about route.

More picturesquely it would be nice to think that there might be a connection to the 'Old Bull and Bush', the pub of music hall song fame (although my brief websearch traces the Inn back only to 1710). The current 'Bush' lies across the north edge of Hampstead Heath from Highgate and in Pepys' day the overland route between the two might well have been through 'bad ways'.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...but he made me no kind of compliment there; and, methinks, the young ladies look somewhat highly upon me." I think the more complete line suggests he felt slighted by the Montagu girls...Rough treatment, if so, for one who does have good reason to expect to be properly remembered for past kindnesses and devotion. Still, he's probably a bit hypersensitive to anything even remotely like a slight and (spoiler)

events will prove whatever happened today, young Jemina and the others still regard him highly and will turn to him in difficult situations.

tel  •  Link

Nice example Robert G of how difficult it can be to define familiar sayings out of their time. You see 'look somewhat highly' as derogatory but use 'regard him highly' as a compliment in the next para!
Sam experiences the social instability of all middle management. His CEO may regard him as an excellent employee and be prepared to relax with him in private. But in front of other staff, and particularly other middle managers, he has to maintain a certain distance.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I still believe he took the first use negatively, tel. Highly in the first meaning in a distant manner; highly in the second, with regard. It is interesting that the word can be used in such opposing ways but joined with his remark on Sandwich's manner, I can only see a negative sense.

Lawrence  •  Link

"looking upon his new contrivance of a desk and shelves for books"
I wonder if Creeds new desk is made in the same manner as Coventry's, which he sat in, rather than at?

Lawrence  •  Link

I agree with Robert, I think they looked down their nose's at him, but surely they can't know what has coursed this cooling between Sandwhich and Pepys, can they?
after all he did go with his wife and visit the ladies on the 19th of this month, when it was Paulina's birthday.
Still nothing stranger than folk!

Bryan M  •  Link

The following negative meanings for "high" and "highly" from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary,1828 edn, might help:


9. Difficult; abstruse.
They meet to hear, and answer such high things.
10. Boastful; ostentatious.
His forces, after all the high discourses, amounted really but to eighteen hundred foot.
11. Arrogant; proud; lofty; loud.
The governor made himself merry with his high and threatening language.
12. Loud; boisterous; threatening or angry. The parties had very high words.
13. Violent; severe; oppressive.
When there appeareth on either side a high hand, violent persecution. &c


2. Proudly; arrogantly; ambitiously.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I suppose young Jem and the others veer as Papa's favor waxes and wanes on different subordinates. Surprising that Montagu would let anything slip out about this though perhaps he's merely indicated that Sam has "failed" to show him proper gratitude and has become a tad too "familiar".

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but hope the best and very good effects of it"
Sam, you shameless Pimp!

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

for "High" Samuell gets three entrees:
high adv: c. Richly, luxuriously; to excess.
1667 PEPYS Diary 29 July, Where it seems people do drink high.
other meanings
1660-1 PEPYS Diary 20 Mar., Indeed the Bishops are so high, that very few do love them.
1664 PEPYS Diary 28 Feb., His lady a very *high-carriaged, but comely big woman.

High used as adverb /noun OED
in a general sense it seems to mean "x" to the extreme versus low.

"...the young ladies look somewhat highly upon me. So I went away without bidding adieu to anybody, being desirous not to be thought too servile...."
High, really needs noun /verb to modifiy;
rereading text, It does seem Samuell be a highly sensitive to the vibes, yet he travels from "High Gate" with his Laudship in a congenial way, but I guess his conscience is sending him signal.

Bradford  •  Link

Now, discuss whether Elizabeth's advice is in itself good, or just the moral support of a loving wife.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

familiarity breeds content: never show all thy Cards, so I dothe thinke Elizabeth be on the right track.
Be polite, not uppity but firm.
from who never was.

cape henry  •  Link

It would seem that there were a number of colloquial usages for the word "high" as Pepys understood it. Think of the modern usage, "She is looking very bad." Under some circumstances that is a negative, and under others, it is a distinct positive. To anyone outside this particular colloquial circle, the meaning would be unclear.

ruizhe  •  Link

"Hi hon, how was your day?"
"All right. Rode with my lord and ladies; think I was dissed by them, but not sure why. Yours?"
"Same old. Your Uncle Wight came and caressed me."
"Ah. Well, hope some good comes out of it."

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn & his "Sylva"

10 February: To Lond: my Sylva being now in the presse:

16 February: I went to Lond: presented my Sylva to the Society. &

17 February: To his Majestie to whom it was dedicated, to my Lord Treasurer, & Lord Chancellor:

and finally, today ...

26 February: Din'd at my Lord Chancellors who invited me. Thence to Court, where I had greate
thanks for my Sylva & long discourse with him of divers particulars.

Lawrence  •  Link

Shouldn't that be the 17th February for presenting to the Society, as Pepys drops creed of on that day for his meeting there?…

dirk  •  Link

Re - Lawrence

The 16th according to Evelyn's Diary - I checked. I guess the meeting lasted several days - more like a seminar or a congress nowadays.

Pedro  •  Link

John Evelyn may have been to the Royal Society on a number of occasions to discuss the publication...

Prolonged consultation with the Royal Society Council delayed publication of the first official publication until February 1664...

His dedication to the King was dated the 29 May 1663 and the Boscabel Oak, where the King sheltered after the Battle of Worcester, was given iconic importance, "that Holy-Oak which you consecrated with your Presence"...A second dedication was to the Earl of Southampton, the Lord High Treasurer, who held the national purse strings.

(Summary from John Evelyn, Living for Ingenuity by Gillian Darley)

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Caressing! Sounds like Uncle Wight is getting a bit too friendly with Elizabeth, still the thought of his money may be going a long way to placate the situation.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Highgate at the time could have been a dangerous place for travelers:


Islington and beyond

Islington in the 17th century was a rural area made up almost entirely of fields and cow sheds.

The northern approaches to London, especially Holloway, between Islington and Highgate, were the haunt of the famous highwayman, Claude Duval. When travelling through rural areas on horseback or by coach you were in danger of being robbed by highwaymen. Travelling on foot presented another danger, that of being apprehended by the local watch as a "wandering rogue".

Duval was a Frenchman who came to England as a valet shortly after the Restoration, then took to the road, leading a gang of robbers.

He became a romantic figure due to a story circulated about him, that he had stopped a woman's coach in which there was a booty of four hundred pounds but only took one hundred, allowing "the fair owner to ransom the rest by dancing a coranto with him on the Heath".

Claude Duval was captured in 1669, at Mother Maberley's tavern in Chandos Street, "The-Hole-In-The-Wall", and was brought to trial. His hanging at Tyburn was the scene of much loud lamentation from the crowd in attendance. He was 27 at the time of his death.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It seems the Earl of Sandwich and family, plus maids and parson, William Howe and Mr. Povy are off to Hinchingbrooke. Some miles further on from Barnet, Sandwich owns an unnamed house at which they stop for the night. Despite being warmly welcomed by the Earl and Countess in their coach, and hearing he has been well-spoken of, Pepys leaves in a dudgeon and returns to London on Coventry's horse without saying goodbye.

What a peculiar outing. Why didn't Pepys -- in his finest riding outfit -- travel with the family from Lincoln's Inn, instead of the elaborate meet-up arrangements with Creed? Did Creed continue with the Montagus to Hinchingbrooke or go back to London with Pepys? Coventry must have thought the errand important, or he wouldn't have loaned Pepys the horse. I wonder if he took Towser with him, to be delivered to his father?

If old Uncle Wight hadn't been fondling Elizabeth, I bet this outing would have been explained better. I hope we can figure out the motivation in the next few days.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Elizabeth's advice translated: "You're not M'Lord's servant any more Sam, don't spend your time gossiping in the servants' quarters, and don't be seen doing it; it's not good for your image!"

It makes me think of Prince Hal's speech from Henry IV part 2

"Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn’d away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company."


Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . his caressing her . . ‘

‘caress, v. < French . .
. . 2. a. fig. To treat with kindness of favour, pet, make much of. arch.
1682 Addr. from Chester in London Gaz. No. 1764/4 [We] do further resolve and promise not to Caress or Encourage any person who shall obstinately persist in courses disliked by Your Majesty.
1694 E. Phillips tr. Milton Lett. of State 325 For the sweetness of his Disposition caress'd by all Men . . ‘


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