Monday 7 March 1663/64

Up betimes, and the Duke being gone abroad to-day, as we heard by a messenger, I spent the morning at my office writing fair my yesterday’s work till almost 2 o’clock (only Sir G. Carteret coming I went down a little way by water towards Deptford, but having more mind to have my business done I pretended business at the ’Change, and so went into another boat), and then, eating a bit, my wife and I by coach to the Duke’s house, where we saw “The Unfortunate Lovers;” but I know not whether I am grown more curious than I was or no, but I was not much pleased with it, though I know not where to lay the fault, unless it was that the house was very empty, by reason of a new play at the other house. Yet here was my Lady Castlemayne in a box, and it was pleasant to hear an ordinary lady hard by us, that it seems did not know her before, say, being told who she was, that “she was well enough.” Thence home, and I ended and sent away my letter to Mr. Coventry (having first read it and had the opinion of Sir W. Warren in the case), and so home to supper and to bed, my cold being pretty well gone, but my eye remaining still snare and rhumey, which I wonder at, my right eye ayling nothing.

23 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"my right eye ayling nothing"
So, probably not allergic conjunctivitis.

Clement  •  Link

Appropriate to Lady Castlemayne's presence at the play (1643) is a poem therein by Sir William Davenant, called


'IS, in good truth, a most wonderful thing
(I am even ashamed to relate it)
That love so many vexations should bring,
And yet few have the wit to hate it.

Love's weather in maids should seldom hold fair:
Like April's mine shall quickly alter;
I'll give him to-night a lock of my hear,
To whom next day I'll send a halter.

I cannot abide these malapert males,
Pirates of love, who know no duty;
Yet love with a storm can take down their sales,
And they must strike to Admiral Beauty.

Farewell to that maid who will be undone,
Who in markets of men (where plenty
Is cried up and down) will die for even one;
I will live to make fools of twenty.

Terry F  •  Link

"my Lady Castlemayne in a box"

A bon bon? Is Pepys pleased at a lukewarm appraisal of her beauty by the "ordinary lady"? Is the earlier lust gone?

L&M suggest that the play at the Drury Lane -- "the other house" -- might have been *The Cardinal* by Thomas Porter.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Sir...Sir George...I... Bess, you know..."

"You told me you had business at the Exchange, Pepys!! What the devil are you doing, wasting the afternoon at the playhouse?!!"

"What's he doing?" Bess glares. "My poor husband is taking care of his terrible cold..."


"It's fine, Sam'l..." she brushes off his restraining hand." "An illness taken in his office's service I might add...Look at his poor eye. And by the way, Sir George...What are you doing here? Perfectly healthy as you clearly are."

Feisty...I like that, Carteret notes. Hmmn...True Pepys is valuable to the Navy, but if I were to dismiss him and hint to his pretty missus that a visit from her might soften my adamant heart...


AussieRene  •  Link

Congratulations on the new look web site...a credit to you all.

Bryan M  •  Link

"I ended and sent away my letter to Mr. Coventry (having first read it and had the opinion of Sir W. Warren in the case)"

After Jeannine's informative post yesterday on the contents of Sam's letter to Coventry, I guess we can assume that Sam wasn't really after Sir W's impartial opinion on the matter of the masts. Could there be another pair of gloves on their way? Or perhaps a nice pair of boots?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...Had the opinion of Sir W. Warren in the case..."

Our Georgia State Public Utilities Board is just now trying to pass a regulation requiring that the members not reach decisions on utilities and rates in private meetings with industry officials.

And, of course...Halliburton...

The more things change...

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

but my eye remaining still snare and rhumey

Striking language. "Snare" probably means "snared" entangled, unless it is an editorial misreading. It is tempting, but probably too far-fetched, to think Sam is importing a meaning from his work on masts,where "snar" means "ruggedness in any tree or wood," such as a knot (OED), suggesting swollen.

jeannine  •  Link

"my Lady Castlemayne in a box"
Opening this page today, blurry eyed & before caffeine, the first thing I saw was "My Lady Castlemaine in a box". My immediate vision was that she was in one of those McDonald's "happy meals" and some kid was tearing into the box, pulling out a little toy and screaming with joy, "look mom, I got Lady Castlemaine in the box".....thank goodness they didn't have that kind of marketeering those days. Today we'd see Sandwich's picture (where else) on loaves of bread, Carteret's on real estate ads.......

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Or perhaps a lost Spaulding Gray monologue...

Paul Dyson  •  Link

I know not whether I am grown more curious than I was or no

Does Sam mean that he is more critical than he used to be about plays, less easily impressed?

language hat  •  Link

"she was well enough."

That seems... ambiguous. Is Sam pleased that she's being complimented, or that she's being damned with faint praise?

Lawrence  •  Link

"I went down a little way by water towards Deptford"
Then he gets into another boat, gets back to his wife, has a bite to eat, then up to the Theatre, he must have had his skates on, I think most plays started at about 4 in the afternoon?, bit like pulling a sicky to watch the football.

Don McCahill  •  Link

> my Lady Castlemayne in a box

Brings up all kinds of old "Prince Albert in a can" jokes.

Bardi  •  Link

After my too-hasty complaint, yesterday it all came up roses! The new site is truly wonderful. Our thanks.

Bradford  •  Link

The Companion's Large Glossary, citing this entry, gives "curious" as meaning "discriminating"; but doesn't explain "snare," which you think they would, if the reading were right.

Perhaps Pepys is savoring the very ambiguity of "She is well enough"---a foretaste of Darcy's first appraisal of Elizabeth Bennett, is it not?

Clement  •  Link

"she was well enough."

Assuming that Sam still finds Lady C ravishing I think that he means that it was amusing to hear the woman give grudging and perhaps catty respect to Castlemayne's looks.
So "pleasant" would mean "pleasingly amusing" in that context. Is there any OED ore to be mined supporting that?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

... pleasant to hear an ordinary lady ...

Could "pleasant" include also Pepys pleasure in his own awareness of having become an insider, one who knew the court people by sight without needing to be told?

Mary  •  Link

sore and rhumey the reading given in L&M.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Sore makes sense as snare be a loop for entrapment or just entrapment.
a Selection for runney eye:
Rhumey: rhewme, r(h)ume, 8 rhum, 6- rheum. [a. OF. reume (13th c.), mod.F. rhume, = Pr., Sp., It., Pg. reuma, ad. L. rheuma, a. flow.
With the forms reem (Promp. Parv. 429/1), ryme (Palsgr. 263/1), cf. med.L. r(h)ema (It. rema), obs. F. ryme, rime.]

1. Watery matter secreted by the mucous glands or membranes, such as collects in or drops from the nose, eyes, and mouth, etc., and which, when abnormal, was supposed to cause disease; hence, an excessive or morbid 'defluxion' of any kind.

b. poet. Used for: Tears.
1593 SHAKES. Rich. II, I. iv.
d. transf. and fig. Applied to pernicious moisture or humour, or something resembling it. 1501

rume;2. spec. A mucous discharge caused by taking cold (sometimes distinguished as hot or cold rheum); hence, a cold in the head or the lungs; catarrh. Chiefly pl. (occasionally used = Rheumatic pains).

d. transf. and fig. Applied to pernicious moisture or humour, or something resembling it. 1501

2. spec. A mucous discharge caused by taking cold (sometimes distinguished as hot or cold rheum); hence, a cold in the head or the lungs; catarrh. Chiefly pl. (occasionally used = Rheumatic pains).
1377 LANGL.

1656 EVELYN Mem. (1819) I. 297 A mist falling as I returned, gave me such a rheume as kept me within doores neere a whole moneth after.

1667 MILTON P.L. XI. 485 [488] Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums.
1752 HUME Ess. & Treat. (1777)

II. 197 Old
The generic name for the Rhubarbs

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . I am grown more curious than I was . . ‘

‘curious, adj. < Old French . . a word which has been used from time to time with many shades of meaning . .
. . 2. Careful as to the standard of excellence; difficult to satisfy; particular; nice, fastidious. Obs.
a. esp. in food, clothing, matters of taste.
. . 1605 W. Camden Remaines i. 232 There was one that was very curious in keeping of his beard . .

†6. a. Taking the interest of a connoisseur in any branch of art; skilled as a connoisseur or virtuoso. Obs.
. .1644 J. Evelyn Mem. (1857) I. 69 Monsieur of the most skilful and curious persons in France for his rare collection of shells, flowers, and insects.
. .1740 tr. C. Rollin Anc. Hist. (ed. 2) VII. 293 He was exceedingly curious in pictures and designs by great masters . .
Re: ‘ . . pleasant to hear an ordinary lady … . .’

‘pleasant, adj. < Anglo-Norman . .
5. Amusing, comical; ridiculous. Now arch. and rare.
. . 1688 S. Penton Guardian's Instr. 48 It was pleasant to see how my Son trembled to see the Proctour come in.
. . 1760 S. Foote Minor ii. 73 They took him off at the play-house, some time ago; pleasant, but wrong. Public characters shou'd not be sported with . . ‘

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