Saturday 12 March 1663/64

Lay long pleasantly entertaining myself with my wife, and then up and to the office, where busy till noon, vexed to see how Sir J. Minnes deserves rather to be pitied for his dotage and folly than employed at a great salary to ruin the King’s business. At noon to the ’Change, and thence home to dinner, and then down to Deptford, where busy a while, and then walking home it fell hard a raining. So at Halfway house put in, and there meeting Mr. Stacy with some company of pretty women, I took him aside to a room by ourselves, and there talked with him about the several sorts of tarrs, and so by and by parted, and I walked home and there late at the office, and so home to supper and to bed.

18 Annotations

First Reading

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"...vexed to see how Sir J. Minnes deserves rather to be pitied for his dotage and folly than employed at a great salary to ruin the King's business."

Which, some days, is an accurate description of my own feelings about some of my superiors in a different, latter-day navy.....

cape henry  •  Link

"Lay long entertaining myself with my wife..." No doubt that puppy-dog water is having the desired effect.

Terry F  •  Link

"Sir J. Minnes...employed at a great salary"

Pepys whines about others' relative wealth for a second day running. William Matthews notes that Mennes's salary was £500/yr compared to Pepys's £350.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"It fell hard a raining"
I like that!

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Despite the presence of pretty women, our hero chooses to talk to Mr. Stacy in private about tar -- and without even invoking his oaths. Stout fellow.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...there meeting Mr. Stacy with some company of pretty women, I took him aside to a room by ourselves, and there talked with him about the several sorts of tarrs..."


"You did what?" Bess blinks at the Diary page. Re-reading carefully.

Thank you, God. Sam notes fervently. God nodding benevolently from His big chair.

Now if you could just keep her from reading the Bagwell and 1669 entries...

"'Tarr' is some kind of slang for cheap slut, right?" Bess frowns.

"Ah, Mr. P...I see I have a fellow admirer of the beautiful with me." Mr. Stacy smiles at Sam leaving the door open...Both looking as a lovely young woman passes.




"Pretty women...Fascinating. Slurpping (dishes of) coffee, glancing. Pretty women...Are God's wonder. Pretty women, pretty women."


"Blowing out the candles or...Over a chair...Some thing about them cheers the air."


"Oooohh...Ooooh...Oooh..." Hmmn...When did we become three? Sam looks round.

"Hewer, go back to the coach!"

"Yes, sir."


"We do think alike, Pepys."

"Pretty women stay within you. Breathing lightly, dancing. Pretty women grace forever. Pretty women, pretty women..."


"Towsing them a Monday, peeping through (my holes) to stare. Stacy, they do cheer the air."


"Pre...tty women...They're God's wonder. Strolling round us, smiling. Pretty women grace forever. Pretty women, pretty women."


"Lying bed a'morning, combing out her hair...Something precious and so rare...So...Rare..."

"Pepys?" Stacy looks at a trembling, staring Sam...A tear running down his cheek.


"Pepys? Is something..."

"I think we should be settled for now, Stacy. I must go home now. Yes." he rises.

"Are you quite well, Pepys?"

"Oh, yes. Quite. Stacy?" a brief grimace...Just a vision, not real...God...Not real. "Do you believe in premonitions?"

"Premonitions? My dear Pepys? I should hope the age of such fanatique beliefs ended with the King's return."

"Yes, of course. Just...I thought I saw..." Sam pauses.

Nonsense...Like that day at Ware when for a moment I thought...Lost, forever.


"Nothing, nonsense...I must be off."

"Well, I shall see you later, my friend. And remember..." broad smile as a lovely young lady passes the door. "They are a wonder..."

"...And a treasure we seldom value till they're lost forever." Sam nods. "Oh, my journal notes for today...Where...?"

"Those?" Stacy points. "What are they? Business notes? I say, Pepys, you are a through one."

"Just a way to keep something of what's truly important with one, Stacy." Sam smiles faintly.


Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Gives a new meaning to "tar," what?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"Tarrs" a mistranscription for "tarts?"

language hat  •  Link

"Gives a new meaning to "tar," what?"
"'Tarrs' a mistranscription for 'tarts?'"

I'm not sure where this is coming from. Stacey is a tar merchant, Pepys is researching supplies for the navy, where's the mystery? (In case anyone is thinking this might be the slang word for 'sailor,' that's not attested until 1676: WYCHERLEY Pl. Dealer II. i, Nov. Dear tar, thy humble servant.)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Not absolutely sure, LH but I think they were having fun with my bit about Bess reading the Diary and assuming Sam couldn't not have been up to something with Stacy regards those "pretty women" and so she assumes 'tarr' is some code word. Which of course it is not...And much to the surprise of many of us Sam is innocently focusing on business over his favorite hobby.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Then again, you never know...

"So Pepys..." Stacy leans to look out the open door as a grinning young lady passes coyly by...

"Do you prefer your 'tarr' thin...Or ample and fully formed?"

Sam, likewise leaning to eye the comely young lady and a second passing friend...

"Oh, ample and fully formed, Stacy. Yes. Definitely."

Gerry  •  Link

Yes Robert, I think you are right. In fact Andrew Hamilton pipped an identical posting by me. I was going to add that maybe his activities with Elizabeth had left him unable to carry on in this area.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

It was tongue in cheek, LH, and definitely playing off Gertz.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

That was moving, Robert. I hope Sam does one day display such wisdom as to treasure Bess properly. Maybe, in keeping the Diary and thereby keeping Bess alive when self-interest should have prompted him to destroy it in his old age, he does.

language hat  •  Link

"It was tongue in cheek, LH, and definitely playing off Gertz."

Ah, sorry then.

Pedro  •  Link

On March 12, 1664,

Charles granted to his brother James a patent for Long Island and the whole country between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers. In May a small expedition under Colonel Nicolls set sail from Portsmouth to put the Duke in possession.

By C. H. FIRTH, M.A., LL.D., F.B.A., Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

March 12 1664

Grant of the Province of Maine : 1664
CHARLES the Second by the Grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. to all to whom these presents shall come Greeting

Know yee that wee for divers good causes and consideracons us thereunto moving have of our especiall Grace certaine knowledge and meere motion given and granted and by these presents for us our heires and successors do give and grant unto our dearest brother James Duke of Yorke his heires and assigns all that part of the maine land of New England begining at a certain place called or knowne by the name of St. Croix next adjoyning to New Scotland in America and from thence extending along the sea coast unto a certain place called Petuaquine or Pemaquid and so up the River thereof to the furthest head of ye same as it tendeth northwards from thence to the River Kinebequi and so upwards by the shortest course to the River Canada northward and also all that Island of Islands commonly called by the severall name or names of Matowacks or Lond Island scituate lying and being towards the west of Cape Codd and ye narrow Higansetts abutting upon the maine land between the two Rivers there called or knowne bv the several names of Conecticutt and Hudsons River together also with the said river called Hudsons River and all the land from the west side of Conecticutt to ye east side of Delaware Bay and also all those severall Islands called or knowne by the names of Martin's Vinyard and Nantukes otherwise Nantuckett together with all ye lands islands....…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... it fell hard a raining."

The month of March has an interesting name history. It is the only month to have had alternative names in different English dialects until relatively recently.
March owes its current name to the Roman god Mars, because festivals in his honour used to be celebrated at this time.
Like the other month-names now used in British English, this name was established during the Anglo-Saxon period as part of the Julian calendar.

In the Middle Ages, March had another name in some regions of England: Lide.
Lide is recorded mostly in southwest England sources. In the 13th century it appears in the "South English Legendary", a collection of saints’ lives. It was also used by the chronicler Robert of Gloucester.

Lide also seems to have featured in proverbs about March weather.
One 14th-century poet, lamenting the evil times he felt had befallen England under Edward II, comments on the suppression of the Knights Templar by saying they are an example of how wealth ‘cometh and goeth as weathers do in Lide’. By this he meant that earthly prosperity is as changeable, as unpredictable, as the storms of March.

‘Lide’ was still in common use in the southwest in the 17th century. The antiquarian John Aubrey, a Wiltshire man, observed that: ‘The vulgar in the West of England do call the month of March, Lide.’
He also recorded a proverb about how to ward off illness: ‘Eat leeks in Lide, and ramsins [wild garlic] in May, and all the year after physicians may play.’
Other 17th-century sources record the name ‘Lide-lily’ for the daffodil, appropriate for this flower of early spring.

In Cornwall, the first Friday in March was known as ‘Friday in Lide’ and was a holiday for tin-miners (it falls near the feast of St. Piran, patron saint of miners, on 5 March).

‘Lide’ dates back to the Old English name Hlyda. By the late Middle Ages it was the only survivor of what had been a variety of names for the months in the many Anglo-Saxon dialects.
Hlyda seems to be connected to the Old English word hlud, ‘loud, noisy’, so it might be a reference to the blustery winds of March.
An Old English poem refers to March as ‘hlyda healic’, ‘loud-voiced Lide’, and says that this month journeys through the world will be accompanied by frost and hail-showers.
In Anglo-Saxon sources, Hlyda references are concentrated to what was then Wessex. Elsewhere in England the month seems to have been called Hreðmonað (perhaps named after the goddess Hreða).

There is no obvious reason why Lide and Hlyda should have survived long after the other Old English month-names were forgotten.

Extracted from…

So remember to eat some leeks this month!

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