Wednesday 25 January 1664/65

Up, and busy all the morning, dined at home upon a hare pye, very good meat, and so to my office again, and in the afternoon by coach to attend the Council at White Hall, but come too late, so back with Mr. Gifford, a merchant, and he and I to the Coffee-house, where I met Mr. Hill, and there he tells me that he is to be Assistant to the Secretary of the Prize Office (Sir Ellis Layton), which is to be held at Sir Richard Ford’s, which, methinks, is but something low, but perhaps may bring him something considerable; but it makes me alter my opinion of his being so rich as to make a fortune for Mrs. Pickering.

Thence home and visited Sir J. Minnes, who continues ill, but is something better; there he told me what a mad freaking —[?? D.W.]— fellow Sir Ellis Layton hath been, and is, and once at Antwerp was really mad.

Thence to my office late, my cold troubling me, and having by squeezing myself in a coach hurt my testicles, but I hope will cease its pain without swelling. So home out of order, to supper and to bed.

30 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"freaking" also L&M


1563, "sudden turn of mind," probably related to O.E. frician "to dance" (not recorded in M.E., but the word may have survived in dialect), or perhaps from M.E. frek "bold, quickly," from O.E. frec "greedy, gluttonous." Sense of "capricious notion" (1563) and "unusual thing, fancy" (1784) preceded that in freak of nature (1847). The verb freak out is first attested 1965 in Amer.Eng., from freak (n.) "drug user" (1945), but the verb meaning "change, distort" goes back to 1911, and the sense in health freak, ecology freak, etc. is attested from 1908.…

So, Layton has, on occasion, been labile.

Patricia  •  Link

"... there he told me what a mad freaking fellow Sir Ellis Layton hath been..." Startled and amused me in this context, since "freaking" has been a euphemism for "f---ing" and in spite of that association has passed into common usage as an adjective in its own right, independent of expressions like "freaking out". Thanks, Terry, for the etymology.

Margaret  •  Link

"hare pye"
Reminds me that after the WWII, my grandmother used to send a dead rabbit through the mail to my mother every couple of weeks or so. I sometimes wonder what the postman thought--apparently it just had paper wrapped around its middle with the address & stamp!

I wish I could remember this, but I have only my mother's word on it.

jeannine  •  Link

"my grandmother used to send a dead rabbit through the mail to my mother every couple of weeks or so"
Ok, so I am going to be arrested by the Off Topic Police, but Margaret, you made me think of this funny story. My brother in law, a veterinarian, lives in the South and is an avid gardener. He visited us and wanted to try to grow some rhubarb, which grows like a weed for us, but it's hard for him to grow. At the 'right' time of year, we pulled out some very hardy roots to send him this way. We sent them to his office address in a big box. Just to be 'jerks' we wrote on the box "Fragile: Patient enclosed!" Apparently, the box was delivered and the person receiving it screamed and made a dramatic scene in front of customers, etc. My brother in law almost split his side in laughter, but I guess not everyone shares the same sense of humor…..

cgs  •  Link

'hare' should be hung for a few days ;

Jugging [ google : game hanging]
season for Hare ...1 August to 29 February
One disadvantage to wild game is that the meat can be quite tough and dry. To counteract this tendency, it is 'hung' after shooting to break down the tough fibres and help tenderise the meat. Hanging also enables the development of 'gamey' flavours. The longer meat is hung, the more pronounced the flavour will become.

It's important that game is hung in a cool airy place, well out of the way of any cats, dogs, rats or foxes
game hanging
lifted from BBC

'twas why it be safe to send by mail, London pre- WWII, twice a day to the peasants in the country, mailed before 6pm delivered to clodhoppers [my family] before 9 am next morning and the post man only had his shanks pony or modern penny farthing [no junk mail just the good stuff]

Australian Susan  •  Link

Presumably the hare only had three legs.....

I can remember hares hanging up in our cool stone floored larder (shot by friends of my father's) and once catching a gluttonous puss standing on tippy toe to try to reach it. Wonder if the Pepys household had the same problem [vision of Susan playing tug of war with the cat and the hare and telling the other servants not to tell the missus]

Rabbits and the war. For part of WWII my mother lived in the country next door to a farm: she was given so many rabbits to eat and it reminded her so much of that dark, sad period of her life (her only brother drowned in the Atlantic)that we never, ever ate rabbit again.

Martin  •  Link

Hare pie
My mouth waters.
Found this quote about the difference between hare and rabbit, culinarily:
“The hare has always been game, not an adjunct of feudal economy, and highly regarded as a richly flavoured food. That's really the difference - the hare rich and gamey in flavour, the rabbit (good wild rabbit) fresh and succulent. The hare makes one think of port, burgundy, redcurrant jelly, spices and cream; the rabbit needs onions, mustard, white wine, dry cider and thyme.”
Jane Grigson (1928-1990) 'Good Things' (1971)

deepfatfriar  •  Link


OED lists it as ppl. a. and Obs., defines as addicted to freaks, freakish, and gives Sam's usage in this entry as a citation.

"addicted to freaks" is certainly an interesting concept.......

deepfatfriar  •  Link

squeezing myself in a coach

Trouble getting through the door? Too many other people inside? Or a euphemism?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... and having by squeezing myself in a coach hurt my testicles, ..."

Thoughts of next Sunday with, or without, Jane Welsh; or another Monday with Mrs. Bagwell?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"... met Mr. Hill, and there he tells me that he is to be Assistant to the Secretary of the Prize Office ... is but something low, ... but it makes me alter my opinion of his being so rich as to make a fortune for Mrs. Pickering."

" ... of a design I have come in my head this morning at church of making a match between Mrs. Betty Pickering and Mr. Hill, my friend the merchant, that loves musique and comes to me a’Sundays, a most ingenious and sweet-natured and highly accomplished person. I know not how their fortunes may agree, but their disposition and merits are much of a sort, and persons, though different, yet equally, I think, acceptable."…

Mary  •  Link


See also Dryden's 'Absalom and Achitophel"

In the first rank of these did Zimri stand,
A man so various that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome:
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, but nothing long:
But in the course of one revolving moon
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman and buffoon;
Then all for women,painting, rhyming, drinking,
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Blest madman, who could every hour employ
With something new to wish or to enjoy ....

Zimri = George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.

Wiiliam  •  Link

"- There he told me what a mad freaking fellow Sir Ellis Layton hath been and is- and once at Antwerp, was really mad -"

This was in 1652, when he had gone first mad and then Papist:
CSPClar.,ii.162; Nicholas Papers (ed.G.F.Warner),i.321.L+M.Vol.VI.1974

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Some trouble today, Mr. P?" Snip of hair.

"Eh, Jane?"

"You seem uncomfortable, sir." More snips.

"Squeezed in a coach, Jane."

"Ah..." "Well, there's another week's grace praise the Lord..." aside.

"What, Jane?"

"I say, a grace it wasn't worse, praise the Lord, sir."

"Ah, Jane, dear. There seems a dark fate perpetually coming between us. Arghh!"

"Best to restrain, sir, under the circumstance. Indeed, sir. Mayhaps, given me sweetheart and all, we best give it up, eh sir?"

"Never, dear Jane. Until my dying day my affection for your dear...Argggghhh!...self shall...Ohhhhhh!"

"Really best to restrain, sir. Anyways, as to me sweetheart, the fiddler..."

Michael McCollough  •  Link

Can I really be the only one immature enough to have coffee coming out their nose at Sam dining on 'hare pye'? At least he was at home.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

No, Michael, you weren't the only one thinking that ... sometimes you must nurture your inner 14-year-old, after all!

salis  •  Link

view a hung hare.…
M McC and TB:
if thee be a city slicker and did not starve and never allowed to hunt thine own food, and never exposed to Alice in her wonderland then to thee then it could be seen as a periwig, of course jack rarebit comes to mind too, a bit of cheese melted on on welsh toast..
Seriously Our eating habits have changed, no longer have to eat shot gun pellets and seeing game hung in the out house.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hare pye...Sort of Elmer Fudd's dream come true.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This is fun ... a map from 1682, overlaid by a current map. For instance, seeing how the large gardens of Arundal House have been developed, and where Big and Little Tower Green were is fascinating.…

British Rose  •  Link

Dear San Diego Sarah, Thank you so much for the link to the ESRI Map. It's a marvelous site.
I often try to follow Pepys' travels through London and environs.

StanB  •  Link

Hi guys I haven't posted for awhile I've not been very well . I hope I find you all well ok, this might be off topic and for that I apologise so for all our overseas annotators there's a bit of a buzz here in England at the moment
Some of the most famous pieces in King Charles I's art collection are set to be reunited for the first time since the 17th century in an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Curators from the Queen's Gallery, based at Buckingham Palace, and the Royal Academy, have spent two years travelling Europe to persuade some of its most distinguished galleries to let their art travel back to England. The pieces which are set to return for the exhibition from January until April next year
He had been a prolific collector of art, amassing 2,000 pieces including 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures, dating from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century.
But just months after his execution, the King's collection had been scattered across Europe by his successor Cromwell, offered for sale and as diplomatic gifts to foreign states.

Many of the pieces were regained by Charles II following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, but some of them have never come back to England.

The exhibition will run in tandem with a display of the arts bought and commissioned by Charles II, at the Queen's Gallery, in Buckingham Palace, which will run from December to May.

More here…

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Robert Gertz: “Hare pye...Sort of Elmer Fudd's dream come true.”

That would have been “cwazy wabbit pye.”

Mary K  •  Link

Charles I art collection.

The exhibition at The Royal Academy referred to above is on NOW, not next year.

Tonyel  •  Link

Just one more off-topic memory: our London neighbours in the hungry days after WWII were sent a live duck for Christmas from the country. Of course, being townies, they did not know what to do with it and it waddled happily around their garden for several years afterwards.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . what a mad freaking fellow Sir Ellis Layton hath been . . ’

‘freaking, adj. < freak n.*. Addicted to freaks, freakish.
. . 1665 S. Pepys Diary 25 Jan. (1972) VI. 21 He told me what a mad freaking fellow Sir Ellis Layton hath been . . ‘

* ‘freak, n.1 1. A sudden causeless change or turn of the mind; a capricious humour, notion, whim, or vagary.
. . 1661 A. Cowley Vision Cromwell 70 Now the freak takes him, and hee makes seventy Peers of the Land at one clap . . ‘

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