Sunday 4 September 1664

[The Project Gutenberg version of the 1893 edition misses the first part of today’s entry, so the following is taken from Latham & Matthews. P.G.]

Lords day. Lay long in bed; then up and took physique, Mr Hollyard[‘s]. But it being cold weather and myself negligent of myself, I fear I took cold and stopped the working of it. But I feel myself pretty well.

All the morning looking over my old wardrobe and laying by things for my brother John and my father, by which I shall leave myself very bare in clothes, but yet as much as I need and the rest would but spoil in the keeping.

Dined, my wife and I, very well. All the afternoon my wife and I above, and then the boy and I to singing of psalms, and then came in Mr. Hill and he sung with us a while; and he being gone, the boy and I again to the singing of Mr. Porter’s mottets, and it is a great joy to me that I am come to this condition to maintain a person in the house able to give me such pleasure as this boy doth by his thorough understand of music, as he sing[s]

[Here we continue with the Project Gutenberg 1893 edition, mistakenly attributed to 3rd September. P.G.]

any thing at first sight. Mr. Hill came to tell me that he had got a gentlewoman for my wife, one Mrs. Ferrabosco, that sings most admirably. I seemed glad of it; but I hear she is too gallant for me, and I am not sorry that I misse her. Thence to the office, setting some papers right, and so home to supper and to bed, after prayers.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...Hill came to tell me that he had got a gentlewoman for my wife, one Mrs. Ferrabosco..."

Sigh...The time we could have had with that name.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Not to mention the pairing of Sam with an Italian singing gentlewoman...

But would it have been comic or tragic opera?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"This Saturday on 'Opera at the Met' a presentation of the tragic opera 'Pepys' including the famed aria in which the wronged singer Ferrabosco sings out the shames of her lover's diary to his assembled family and friends and together his wife and lover stab their betrayer to death. To be followed as a double bill by the beloved light-hearted comic operetta 'Diary' which includes the equally famed 'Exposed' duet sung by both angry wife and lover."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"...I hear she is too gallant for me ..."

Sigh...The time we could have had with that name.

Yes, her maternal great aunt was almost certainly Emilia Lanier, nee Bassano, also spelled Aemilia Lanyer, (1569-1645) A. L. Rouse's candidate for the 'Dark Lady' of Shakespeare's 'Sonnets'!…

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

" Mrs. Ferrabosco, that sings most admirably. I seemed glad of it; but I hear she is too gallant for me..." His Paduan trained cuzon may have given Peeps a bad translation of the name. Mrs Iron wood.

Mary  •  Link

Mrs. Ferrabosco.

Ferrabosco was a name well known in English musical circles in the 17th Century. The family came originally from Bologna. About half a dozen Ferraboscos established reputations for themselves in England, but the identity of this particular lady is uncertain. L&M Companion speculates that she may have been Elizabeth Ferrabosco, a niece of Alfonso Ferrabsoco III, whose brother Henry had been a Court musician and Royalist soldier.

andy  •  Link

One week to go before the date with Jane at the Abbey...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"One week to go before the date with Jane at the Abbey..."

Likewise potential comic or tragic opera... "The Barber's Assistant"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam picks the wrong girl to hit on...

"Ummn...Jane. It's not that I'm one to object to new experiences. But some might find you tying me up like this a bit..."

"Oh, they'd soon see there's nothing objectionable...That way...Here, sir. You see Mr. Pepys I came here under false pretenses." Jane, cold stare.

"False pretenses, Jane? Ummn, why did you bring all those tools of Mr. Gervais? Are you having them sharpened or something?"

"Ay, they be his surgeon's tools, sir. I already had them sharpened, sir. Specially. You see, sir, there's nothing I hates more than a man who betrays his sacred vows, sir." Hard stare.

"As do I, dear Jane. I make my own vows constantly and adhere to them religiously. Eh, Jane...Would you not wave that cleaver by my face?"

"And the marriage vows be the most important...To me, sir. Tis a sad thing to me in me work, sir, to see how many a man will turn from their wives, sir, and try to delude an innocent girl like me, sir. I've had it come to me, meself, sir. God forgive me weakness. It angers me something awful, sir. But thanks to me work with Mr. Gervais, I's a way to release me anger, sir."

"Indeed, Jane...Monsterous. And always best to talk out one's anger. Of course, I myself had no such intention. Did I mention Mr. Gervais had asked me to speak to you about finding you a good husband?"

"I prefers acts to talk, sir. I'm sorry for your weakness, sir. But for your good wife's sake I think I best help you find grace, sir."

"Yes, I'm sure. Perhaps we could sing a few hymns together, Jane? After you put that saw away and untie me, of course?"

"Don't think that'll quite do it, sir."

"Jane? You really ought to think this though. This sort of thing could leave you in a spot of trouble, girl."

"Kind of you to worry for me, sir. I knews you were a little better than most, sir. But it's never been trouble, don't you worry. The Thames has plenty of room left and this being London, no one ever asks many questions, sir."

Gertzed  •  Link

Robert - have a day off once in a while !

ann  •  Link

How old is "the boy?" If he's young and still has to go through puberty, will he still be "of use" as a singer?

Mary  •  Link

The boy.

We have established that he was about 19 years old at this time, so his voice should have settled by now, even allowing for puberty to have arrived slightly later in the 17th century than it does in the developed world nowadays.

jeannine  •  Link

"The time we could have had with that name" -(for Robert!)

At the Loss of Mrs. Ferrabosco

The time we could have had with that name
Ah her loss to some seems such a shame

Now our writers will surely dismay
She won't be the focus of their plays

Our musicians would have been so delighted
Her reputation had them all excited

We'll never know the extent of her talent
You see our hero has found her too gallant

But those folks who delight in the rhyme
Would have had such a miserable time

As all that rhymes with Ferrabosco
Seems to be the city of Moscow!

Bradford  •  Link

There's always the city of Glossgow,
And that warehouse of bargain buys, Costco.

Even in the 1660s, a boy of 19 would be likely to have attained his full height; so, growth aside, when did the transition to Man take place?

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Gertzed, no way! Robert, you are not allowed time off until the Diary ends, but consider it flattery that this sculking fellow keeps finding new names "Sam Peeps", "Fred Bloggs", etc.

Thanks Jeannine,

Oh, my goshco, no Ferrabosco?!

Bradford  •  Link

And then there will be the revised hardback edition to prepare.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

when did the transition to Man take place?

In England, circa 1500-1640,on average 13 1/2 - 15:-

"I am grateful to Dr. leHuray for kindly placing at my disposal his unpublished paper entitled "The Cathedral Music at Chichester during the 16th and 17th Centuries," which contains the following statement: "nowadays most boys will spend six or years in a cathedral choir, having been admitted at the age of eight or nine. At Chichester from 1545 to 1603, the boys seemed to have spent an average of 6 years in the choir, and in the the latter period [1603-42] 4 1/2 years." It follows from this that an average voice broke between the ages of thirteen-and-a-half and fifteen at the latest, if one assumes that the ages of admission were the same then as they are today. (Old Foundation statutes often do not refer to age at all; and even those of New Foundations only specify "boys of tender years" (pueri tenerae aetatis).) Roger Bowers, "The Vocal Scoring, Choral Balance and Performing Pitch of Latin Church Polyphony in England, c.1500-58," Journal of the Royal Musical Association (JRMA), 112 (1987),pp.38-76, (p.48 note 23),offers conclusive evidence (from, inter ailia, chantry certificates of the 1540's) that boys' voices broke at about fourteen or fifteen." This is supported by the known ages of admission of eight out of a total number of seventy Lincoln choristers admitted between 1576 and 1639: they range from eight to fourteen years (see LAO D&Ca/3/7, fol. 118r; A/3/9, fols 11v, 78v, 86v, 1414r, 142v,159r)."

Ian Payne 'The Provision and Practice of Sacred Music at Cambridge Colleges and Selected Cathedrals C.1547-C.1646, A Comparative Study of the Archival Evidence' Garland, 1993 p. 14

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... able to give me such pleasure as this boy doth by his thorough understand of music, as he sing[s]"

Pepys himself could read a single line of music but apparently was not able to attains sufficient skill to cope with the harmonic 'infiling' required by a figured bass nor to read 'pricke song' (staff notation) then used mainly by Cathedral choirs. In his own playing Pepys was limited to tablature - a particular interpretation written out to provide the exact finger placement required.

For a detailed discussion see L&M Companion 'Music' @ pp. 275 -279

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The Dark Lady's relative as well as an Italian singer?...Oh... This is just not fair, Sam. Get her back!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

And, Robert, I assume that after Jane has had her way with Sam, he'll become an ingredient in Gervais' pies (a side business of his)?

"Try the Pepys!"

Cactus Wren  •  Link

"by which I shall leave myself very bare in clothes, but yet as much as I need ... " Sam, giving away the clothes you don't wear give you a great opportunity to BUY MORE CLOTHES!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

She serves Andrea Dworkin's god...

But though Jane actually does like men, she renders them incapable of hurting again...

As Sam may learn to his discomfiture...

She's Janey, the avenging barber's assistant of [where is Gervais based anyway?] Street...

Second Reading

James Louder  •  Link

If I may amend a couple of Michael Robinson's remarks of ten years ago:

MUSIC: Pricksong (var. pricke song, prick song) is nothing other than music written out in mensural notation, as distinct from the equal note-values of plainsong (chant). If Pepys could read a single part then ipso facto he could read pricksong and carry a voice in a part-song--as we infer that he could and often did. His satisfaction at young Tom's ability to sing at sight suggests that Sam is glad to have someone who can keep up with him.

Pepys would have read tablature for his lute--as did all lutenists. As for his beloved viol, viol parts were often written in tablature, but by no means always. John Dowland's famous "Lachrymae, or Seven Teares etc." (1605) has all the viol parts in staff notation. Music for the lyra viol, a solo instrument meant for polyphonic music was usually printed in tablature. But music for the division viol, used for improvising variations, normally was written in staff notation. In the case of the virginals, the English seem to have written keyboard music in staff notation right from the beginning.

Sam also wrote some tunes of his own, copied out music, and was generally as conversant as an amateur with little formal training can be. His musical perplexity was with descanting and thorough-base, because for those one needs to know the rules of composition--quite a different kettle of fish.


MRS. FERRABOSCO: This lady's relationship to the putative Dark Lady, Emilia Lanier (née Bassano) turns on her exact parentage and age. One thing seems clear: since she was *Mrs.* Ferrabosco, she must have been a widow. A married woman would not have been looking for a place as a lady's maid/companion.

Emilia Lanier was married to her first cousin once-removed, Alphonse Lanier. Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger had married A. Lanier's sister, Ellen, so he was Emilia's brother-in-law by marriage. A. Ferrabosco and Ellen had three sons: Alfonso III, Henry, and John--all musicians, like their father and grandfather. Alfonso III's date of death is given various as 1552 or 1562. If the second date is accurate and he left behind a young widow, then she could be the singing gentlewoman.

Henry died in Jamaica in 1658, apparently on military service. If he left a wife behind in England, she too could be the too-gallant Mrs. Ferrabosco. However, Henry had a daughter named Elizabeth, who was indeed Emilia Lanier's grand-niece by marriage. She would fit the bill if Pepys is mistaken about her marital status, i.e. not a widow but a maiden lady.

The third brother, John, lived until 1682, so his wife, Anne, isn't a candidate.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

And nobody defined 'gallant' in this case...

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘one Mrs. Ferrabosco . . ’

‘Mrs, n.1 . .
. . 1. b. A title prefixed to the name of an unmarried lady or girl; = miss n.2 2a. Now rare except as a title of courtesy applied, with or without inclusion of the first name, to elderly unmarried ladies (this use seems to have arisen in the late 18th cent.).
. . 1645 J. Howell Epistolæ Ho-elianæ v. xxxv. 40 An ill-favoured quarrell..about Mrs. Baker, the Mayd of honor . . ‘

‘Miss n. . . 2. In form Miss, as a title.
a. Preceding the name of an unmarried woman or girl without a higher or honorific professional title.
1667 S. Pepys Diary 7 Mar. (1974) VIII. 101 Little Mis Davis did dance a Jigg after the end of the play . . ‘


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