Sunday 25 December 1664

(Lord’s day and Christmas day). Up (my wife’s eye being ill still of the blow I did in a passion give her on Monday last) to church alone, where Mr. Mills, a good sermon. To dinner at home, where very pleasant with my wife and family. After dinner I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there received so much good usage (as I have of late done) from him and my Lady, obliging me and my wife, according to promise, to come and dine with them to-morrow with our neighbours, that I was in pain all the day, and night too after, to know how to order the business of my wife’s not going, and by discourse receive fresh instances of Sir J. Minnes’s folly in complaining to Sir G. Carteret of Sir W. Batten and me for some family offences, such as my having of a stopcock to keepe the water from them, which vexes me, but it would more but that Sir G. Carteret knows him very well. Thence to the French church, but coming too late I returned and to Mr. Rawlinson’s church, where I heard a good sermon of one that I remember was at Paul’s with me, his name Maggett; and very great store of fine women there is in this church, more than I know anywhere else about us. So home and to my chamber, looking over and setting in order my papers and books, and so to supper, and then to prayers and to bed.

18 Annotations

Ruben  •  Link

1) Samuel: "To dinner at home, where very pleasant with my wife and family."
2) Jeannine: "All of the best to you and your families."

I understand the intention in case 2) and say thanks to you, Jeannine, and same to you.

But in Pepys, Samuel (case N. 1) I am not so sure. Who else is family, after discounting "wife", redundant here?
Is it possible he invited the French crowd?
Or is it that "family" includes his servants?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"(Lords Day and Christmas day). … a good sermon”

Mr. Mills or Mr. Meggot may have been inspired by the comet. ‘Vidimus stellam,’ Lancelot Andrews sermon preached on Christmas Day 1622 before King James at Whitehall, celebrated and popular at the time:-

[The Pepysian library contains:-

XCVI. sermons by the Right Honourable and Reverend Father in God, Lancelot Andrewes, late Lord Bishop of Winchester. Published, by His Majesties speciall command. The fourth edition. With an alphabeticall table of the principall contents. Whereunto is added, a sermon preached before two kings, on the fift of August. 1606.
London: printed by Richard Badger, printer to the Prince His Highnesse, MDCXLI. [1641]
Wing (2nd ed., 1994), A3142. The collected edition of Andrew’s Sermons was published in 1629, 1631, 1632, 1635, 1641 & 1661.]

The sermon is better known today as the paraphrased source of Eliot’s:-

“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”

Recording of Eliot reading:-

AussieRene  •  Link

The very best to all for the festive season and may there be peace for all in the New Year.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

I was in pain all the day, and night too after, to know how to order the business of my wife’s not going

Hah! Sam, be sure your sins will find you out. Bess apparently cannot be trusted to go along with the old "I walked into a door" excuse for her black eye.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Just blame it on the eagle, Sam...

By the way, what are you getting her?

"My dear sir, tis far, far better to receive than to give."

"I agree..." Bess socks him above eye. "And the eagle idea isn't bad. Say, though..." pounds him over other eye.


"I wouldn't want the Battens to think you didn't confront the eagle bravely Sam'l."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Possible excuses at the Battens...

Naturally, the eagle... "Vicious bird, ill-tempered." "I'll say." Bess nods.

"Rough sex." "Very rough sex." Bess nods. Both Pepys smiling as they head off, Lady Batten eyeing Sir Will a bit coolly.

"Walked into a door in the dark." "Sir, we have all the doors secured at night." "Shut up, Hewer."

"Chamber pot accident." "You must watch those." Sir John nods wisely.

"Dropped the turkey I was about to spend the whole day cooking cause Sam got it as a stupid gift from some fawning reprobate who wants favors right on my eye..." "On her eye, Pepys?" "Yes, quite a thing...Hmmn...Fine bird, though."

"We were using our telescope to look at the Comet...And..."

"Dropped my novel reading in bed..." "Very large one, yes."

"You were what...?" "Yes, we were stopping these Dutch spies from stealing plans from the naval archives and we were each fighting one and mine just..." Bess, eagerly. "Yes, most ungentlemanly fellow..." "Yeah..." Bess, coolly. "Yes, I was going to mention it to Coventry tomorrow."

"My old dancing master came by...The one who mysteriously disappeared before...And while we were practicing..." "You never said Pembleton had come by...Did he escape...come back from Barbados?"

"This crazed woman broke into the house claiming Sam had promised her husband a job in exchange for sexual favors..." "Yes, horrible...Woman's clearly demented. I'm arranging for her to be shipped off to the colonies for her health." (Nothing like killing two birds with one...) "Sam'l, why would they believe this one? Has some woman been coming to your office...?" "Oh, that would be Mrs. Bagwell, Mrs. Pepys. Right, sir?" "Shut up, Hewer."

Bradford  •  Link

Has Elizabeth's eye reached the asparagus-green-and-purple stage of recovery yet? Had this injury happened to Our Lady Castlemaine, think of Samuel's shock and indignation. . . .

"And ye who bask in Fortune's ray,
And all the year is Holiday,
Forget us not, upon this day,
For the poor have only Christmas."

cape henry  •  Link

There is some satisfaction in knowing that Sam spends the day squirming over his perfidiousness, but in such a tightly woven and leaky society as his, does he really imagine his act is not already generally whispered about? Witness the chain of "folly" and such he lists running from Minnes to Carteret. These people really have no secrets from one another, just various depths of veneer.

Rex Gordon  •  Link


Ruben - L&M's glossary defines "family," as used by Sam, to mean "household (including servants)."

Best wishes for a wonderful 2008 to everybody.

mary mcintyre  •  Link

Happy/Merry Christmas, everyone.

Especially to Phil, who brings us this excellent gift 365 times a year!

Mary in Toronto

Mary  •  Link


The 17th century maintains much of the original, Latin, meaning of 'familia', which is ' a house and all those belonging to it.'

The cognate 'famulus' is used for the whole number of slaves belonging to one master; a household establishment; domestics. Also used to refer to the slaves belonging to a particular temple.

Mary  •  Link

A very merry Christmas to Phil

to all Lurkers and all Annotators, wherever they may be.
An alternative kind of 21st Century familia.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I to Sir W. Batten’s, and there received so much good usage (as I have of late done) from him and my Lady, obliging me and my wife, according to promise, to come and dine with them to-morrow with our neighbours...."

Sounds like the Battens may not be as Scroogish as Pepys has been making out, or else this appearance of migrating toward a Dickensian Christmas is another plot. Even if the last, let all share in what good cheer of the season there be!!

For my part, I continue to hydrate as though my life depends on it -- which it does, dear friends; as do yours likewise! (Time for some more cyder, do you not agree?)

andy  •  Link

and very great store of fine women there is in this church,

breathtaking. Merry christmas all!

Pedro  •  Link

On 25 December/4 January...

De Ruyter reaches Cape Three Points on the Gold Coast. There they met the wild Oraques who, says one member of the expedition were entirely naked, and rubbed their bodies with grease which spread an abominable stench. Negroes were taken on board and-interrogated about the Dutch trading settlements along the Coast. Nobody in Holland knew anything about them. It appeared that along a stretch of about forty miles of coast, a number of Lodges were to be found, Dutch and English next to each another one of these settlements was Danish.

(Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Words from Poor Robin's Almanac, 1664

Provide for Christmas ere that it do come
To feast thy neighbour good cheer to have some;
Good bread and drink, a fire in the hall,
Brawn, pudding, souse and good mustard withal;
beef, mutton, pork, and shred pies of the best,
Pig, veal, goose, capon, and turkey well drest;
Apples and nuts to throw about the hall,
That boys and girls may scramble for them all.
Sing jolly carols, make the fiddlers play,
Let scrupulous fanatics keep away;
For oftentimes seen no arranter knave
Than some who do counterfeit most to be grave.

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