Wednesday 4 January 1664/65

Lay long, and then up and to my Lord of Oxford’s, but his Lordshipp was in bed at past ten o’clock: and, Lord helpe us! so rude a dirty family I never saw in my life. He sent me out word my business was not done, but should against the afternoon.

I thence to the Coffee-house, there but little company, and so home to the ’Change, where I hear of some more of our ships lost to the Northward. So to Sir W. Batten’s, but he was set out before I got thither. I sat long talking with my lady, and then home to dinner. Then come Mr. Moore to see me, and he and I to my Lord of Oxford’s, but not finding him within Mr. Moore and I to “Love in a Tubb,” which is very merry, but only so by gesture, not wit at all, which methinks is beneath the House.

So walked home, it being a very hard frost, and I find myself as heretofore in cold weather to begin to burn within and pimples and pricks all over my body, my pores with cold being shut up.

So home to supper and to cards and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

John Evelyn on this day...

I went in Coach (it being excessive sharp frost & snow) towards Dover, & other parts of Kent, to settle Physitians, Chirurgeons, Agents, Martials & other offices in all the Sea-Ports, to take care of such as should be set on shore, Wounded, sick or Prisoner &c in pursuance of our Commission, reaching from the North foreland in Kent, to Portsmouth in hampshir: the rest of the Ports in England, from thence, to Sir Will: D’oily, to Sir Tho Clifford [afterwards L: Tressurer of England], Bulleyn Rhemes: so that evening I came to Rochester, where I delivered the Privy Councils letter to the Major to receive orders from me:

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Eagerly, Samuel Pepys "up and to my Lord of Oxford’s, but his Lordshipp was in bed at past ten o’clock: and, Lord helpe us! so rude a dirty family I never saw in my life. He sent me out word my business was not done, but should against the afternoon."

Compare yesterday's impression: "his lodgings, in but an ordinary furnished house and roome where he was, but I find him to be a man of good discreet replys."…

These are impressions and they are his, after all.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Too bad we cannot identify "the Coffee-house" to which SP so oft repairs.

tg  •  Link

"Mr. Moore and I to “Love in a Tubb,” which is very merry, but only so by gesture, not wit at all, which methinks is beneath the House." A cheap porno play in the afternoon? Oh my, and which house is he referring to?

cgs  •  Link

"...which methinks is beneath the House..."
Does this not mean not fit for gents but ok for the man on the street.

cape henry  •  Link

"Love in a Tubb" I took it to mean that it was poorly written, well acted in a slapstick fashion, and not the type of work normally seen in that theater.

Martha Wishart  •  Link

Is Sam getting sick? Signs of the onset of illness must have been cause for dread.

Bryan M  •  Link

The Comical Revenge or Love in a Tub

The play was the first written by Thomas Etherege (1636-89) and was performed at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1664. It starred one of Sam’s favourite actors, Thomas Betterton. “The play is important in the history of drama because of the unique way in which Etherege employs two separate language styles” (Lewcock). It was written partly in colloquial language and partly in rhyming couplets.

Apparently not everyone Sam’s views about the play. report that it “brought £1000 to the house in the course of a month, and gained the company more reputation than any preceding comedy.” And it was the start of something big: '"In the underplot, the gay realistic scenes which give the play its sub-title, Etherege," E.W. Gosse thinks, "virtually founded English comedy, as it was successively understood by Congreve, Goldsmith, and Sheridan."' say the following of Etherege: “In a dull and heavy age, he inaugerated a period of genuine wit and sprightliness; he invented the comedy of intrigue, and led the way for the masterpieces of Congreve and Sheridan. Before his time the manner of Ben Jonson had prevailed in comedy, and traditional "humours" and typical eccentricities, instead of real characters, had crowded the comic stage. Etherege paints with a light, faint hand, but it is from nature, and his portraits of fops and beaux are simply unexcelled.”


Bryan M  •  Link


Apparently not everyone *shared* Sam’s views about the play.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“…which methinks is beneath the House.”

Methinks Pepys judges “Love in a Tubb,” as he calls it, beneath the standards of the Duke's House, where the play was premiering.

However, as Brian M noted, it was "[a]n immediate success, [and] was novel in its exploitation of contemporary manners, especially in the intrigue of the stylish Sir Frederick Frollick."…

That is to say, there's no accounting for taste.

Bryan M  •  Link

"Oh my, and which house is he referring to?"

The Duke's House. On 2 December Sam also saw "The Rivalls" there. Thomas Betterton, his wife Mary and Henry Harris were in both plays.

Sean  •  Link

Poor Sam, his pores were shut up with cold.

Funny that today people splash cold water on themselves to close up their pores.

We can always assume we have a better idea of what's healthy than people of times past... but they thought the same thing, too.

Pedro  •  Link

For Jeannine

I saw the Blazing Star at about 6 in the evening, being a little below the ecliptic to the southward almost touching it in the 29th degree of Aries. Then distant from Os Baleni 15° 26´, Star in Ligatura Piscium 9° 38´. His body weak of light and confused, and his stream not much to be discerned, little better than a star of the 2nd magnitude.

The Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson

Robert Gertz  •  Link

" rude a dirty family..."

"And 'ho mit yeou be, varlet?" the nine year old heir in filthy if expensive dress removed a grubby finger from nose to address Pepys in haughty tone, his young sisters, in equal state of dress, eyeing Pepys scornfully.

Sam quietly informed the future lord of his business with his father.

"Clark o' the Acts?! Wir' business of the King's Navy for my Lord?!" my would-be lord exploded. "Yeou look mor' like a prick-louse's boy!"

The sisters dissolve in titters...All clearly informed of Sam's origins by their father.

Sam carefully dons a bland look, vowing a heartfelt eternal vengeance on the one-day-to-be (with a little guidance from a one-day-to-be older 'friend') drunken, penniless fop and his pater.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

The Blazing Star and where it was, near Aries and off from the Pleiades:
Stand in your back yard facing east and swing your arm up 1/3 to vertical. The red star you are pointing at, at 6 PM on Jan 5, is Aldebaran, the red one, and is the red eye of Taurus the bull. Extend your little finger and thumb apart at arm's length, this is a measure of 25 degrees. Go 25 degrees southwest to a smudge in the sky. These are the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters, and they look spectacular through binoculars. That's about where the Blazing Star was on Jan 5, 1664. So I stared at the spot and said "Time is a river, time is a river". Presently I saw the Blazing Star, and there was Edward Montagu upon the deck, singing "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, it's good to sail the sea". I looked to the left and there were Seven Sailors, newly joined the ship, with Queen Jeannine in front. I asked "What do you think of sailing on HMS Samuel Pepys?", and they all waved their quill pens and said "Arrrrgggghhh!"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

More cards...I wonder if Sam is teaching Bess to play so as to make her more acceptable company in "good" society.

Oh, right...The vengeance...

20 years later (1684)...

"So...hic...Pepys...The bo'nder says I wuz a scoundrel dog and wo'd I not do ri' by his sister, he sho' go and tell the King of my frag'nt behav'r."

"Indeed, my Lord. My council is to take no notice of such a man. No matter how close to the King he is, he cannot be of consequence to my Lord of Oxford."

"Oh? Wha' man? Oh, yess..."

"As to the other matter, my dear Lord...Girl, more brandy for his Lordship."

"Yea...Oh, say old Povy seys I sho'd lay off the spirits a bit..."

"Nonsense, my Lord. As you say, Tom Povy is an old man and you, sir, are young and strong. A bracing glass is medicinal to a lusty, strong fellow."

"Ri' yeou are, Pepys...hic...Wha' about the udder matta?...Yes, my loan..."

"Yes." faint smile. "I should see no problem with another loan, my Lord."

"Thankee, old friend...You know that old fo'l Pov' goes and tells me, the new Lord a' Oxf'rd, 'I don' think another loan on your estate wo'd be wise, me Lord'...Is that lik' a friend?"

"Well...Povy is not so close to you as I, my Lord. We being such old friends. Yes, how well I remember that morning I came to your father, my Lord's home..."

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I found out why Pepys thought the Oxford household "dirty":

Taken from https://thehistoryofparliament.wo…

Sometime in the early 1660s, Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford, married the popular actress, Hester Davenport. Or did he? There is little doubt that a wedding took place; the question is, was it sufficient to create a legally-valid marriage?

Actresses had a dubious moral reputation at the time, but Hester Davenport refused to give in to Oxford’s advances unless they were married. She wore a white satin gown decorated with silver ribbons for their wedding in the dining room of a chandler’s shop in a somewhat insalubrious street near what is now London’s Northumberland Avenue.

The wedding was conducted by a man dressed as a clergyman. Later rumors suggested he was actually one of Oxford’s servants, described as his groom or trumpeter.

The couple lived together as man and wife, and they had a son together. Hester Davenport was acknowledged as the Countess of Oxford.

Until recently historians believed that before the passage of Hardwicke’s Marriage Act in 1753 such a union constituted a genuine marriage – one that would be recognized as legal under common law. (That belief has been exploded by the research of Rebecca Probert.)

Accordingly when Oxford married Diana Kirk at Whitehall in January 1672, in an Anglican ceremony conducted by his chaplain, no one questioned that this was a legal marriage even though Hester Davenport was alive and still calling herself the Countess of Oxford.

An action in the church courts in the mid-1680s confirmed that Hester Davenport and Oxford had gone through a ceremony, but failed to establish that it had been performed by a genuine clergyman.

Hester Davenport was unable to prove she was anything other than a discarded mistress. She did not accept the result, even after losing an appeal to the court of arches, and continued to call herself the Countess of Oxford and, insist their son was legitimate, attempted to establish him as the heir to the earldom.

Hester Davenport remained single until Oxford died in the spring of 1703 when she married the Flemish merchant Peter Hoet.

Sadly the earldom died with Aubrey de Vere -- I wonder why he did not recognize Hester's son before he died? Oh, that would have admitted he was a bigamist, I suppose.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This morning I find this detail from our own Encyclopedia:

"Ashmole records the birth of the Earl of Oxford's son by [Hester Davenport], April 17, 1664, which shows that the liaison continued. The child was called Aubrey Vere. — Ward's Diary, p. 131."

So, considering Pepys own words, "Lay long, and then up and to my Lord of Oxford’s, but his Lordshipp was in bed at past ten o’clock: and, Lord helpe us! so rude a dirty family I never saw in my life."

I think Pepys yesterday saw the Earl and not much else besides a small house. Today he finds his Lordship and "the Countess" in bed, and baby Aubrey creating a ruckus upstairs. After a few (in)discrete words with the groom at the front door, Pepys discovers this household isn't what it should be. I don't say "footman" because a small house probably wouldn't accommodate one, but Oxford would have one to look after his horses.

If the actress-Countess wasn't big on housekeeping, that would explain "rude and dirty family".

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Perhaps “so rude a dirty family” did not refer to actual dirt, but to illegitimacy and low manners.

Matt Newton  •  Link

Anyone any thoughts on Sam's condition?
I suffer from urticaria and there is a type induced by cold weather.
Not yet able to find the cause of my own but this could be Sam's problem.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a kind of skin rash with red, raised, itchy bumps. They may also burn or sting. Hives frequently occur following an infection or as a result of an allergic reaction such as to medication, insect bites, or food. Psychological stress, cold temperature, or vibration may also be a trigger. In half of cases the cause remains unknown.…

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