Sunday 17 December 1665

(Lord’s day). After being trimmed word brought me that Cutler’s coach is, by appointment, come to the Isle of Doggs for me, and so I over the water; and in his coach to Hackney, a very fine, cold, clear, frosty day. At his house I find him with a plain little dinner, good wine, and welcome. He is still a prating man; and the more I know him, the less I find in him. A pretty house he hath here indeed, of his owne building. His old mother was an object at dinner that made me not like it; and, after dinner, to visit his sicke wife I did not also take much joy in, but very friendly he is to me, not for any kindnesse I think he hath to any man, but thinking me, I perceive, a man whose friendship is to be looked after. After dinner back again and to Deptford to Mr. Evelyn’s, who was not within, but I had appointed my cozen Thos. Pepys of Hatcham to meet me there, to discourse about getting his 1000l. of my Lord Sandwich, having now an opportunity of my having above that sum in my hands of his. I found this a dull fellow still in all his discourse, but in this he is ready enough to embrace what I counsel him to, which is, to write importunately to my Lord and me about it and I will look after it. I do again and again declare myself a man unfit to be security for such a sum. He walked with me as far as Deptford upper towne, being mighty respectfull to me, and there parted, he telling me that this towne is still very bad of the plague. I walked to Greenwich first, to make a short visit to my Lord Bruncker, and next to Mrs. Penington and spent all the evening with her with the same freedom I used to have and very pleasant company. With her till one of the clock in the morning and past, and so to my lodging to bed, and [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

8 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link


See language hat on Sat 26 Jul 2003, 08:40pm.

OED To talk, to chatter: usually dyslogistic, implying speaking much or long to little purpose; formerly also to speak insolently, boastfully, or officiously; to tell tales, blab.

I think “yakking” would be a good current equivalent. Not necessarily implying “idle chatter,” just an attitude on the part of the narrator…

Beryl Timbrell  •  Link

I am completely mystified about all the money transactions with Sandwich - could someone try and explain it simply.

A.Hamilton  •  Link

Follow the link to Thos. Pepys of Hatcham and then to Annotations. There you will find that Pepys's cousin had loaned money to Montague (Sandwisch) in 1658.

JWB  •  Link

"At his house I find him with a plain little dinner, good wine, and welcome."

Then its all downhill from this great sentence.

JKM  •  Link

Sam doesn't seem to have a high opinion of anybody today. This entry doesn't make him very likeable, but hats off to him for honesty. We've all thought this kind of thing (this guy is sucking up to me because of my job; oh gawd I don't want to visit this sick person; how boring my cousin is) but how many of us would write them down in our diary, even in cipher?

Bradford  •  Link

Quite agreed, JKM: he finds everyone disagreeable. But have we ever heard Pepys disparage himself, even to get out of an unpleasant job? "I do again and again declare myself a man unfit to be security for such a sum." As for having to visit the sick wife after eating the hospitable husband's food, I recall what my folks told me when I was small (and what I told them once they were old): "We all have to do things we don't want to do." No doubt the Moral Imperative rears its head from time to time in the Diary, but an entry like today's makes you forget the occasion.

Roger  •  Link

...'and in his coach to Hackney, a very fine, cold, clear, frosty day'...

This(1665) was indeed a cold December, ranked 45th coldest in the last 349 years. The mean daily temperature of 2C for that whole month compares with a running mean so far in this December 2008 of about 2.8C, and it's been the coldest start to December in London for about 17 years(often damp too).
I've had both my central heating and coal fires going in London this month and still felt cold! My heart goes out to the poor, plague-ridden Londoners of those times. No wonder Sam and co seemed to sleep with a lot of clothes on!(from earlier refs in the diary).

cgs  •  Link

!Sleep with ones clothes on for 17C!, how about sleeping with ones clothes on in 20C London town when there be a "cole" shortage and no shilling for the [gas] meter, even the 'ot water bottle freezes, dah!!, popular method of dressing for the occasion, was to get into bed fully clothed, less the wellies, when warm, take off outer clothing and put them between the blankets ready for the early morning dash to the out house.

Samuell never mentions chilblains or that sweet mayde warming his bed with a bed warming pan, and stoking and banking up all those fireplaces with all those Newcastle coles,but doth mention that the king being desperate to get more coles by having his captives moved to the land so that the the populace will have enough energy to keep the city humming.
SP also never mention how he slaps his hands or stamps his feet waiting for his carriage ride, oh! how things change as I wait for the seat of my carriage horseless to warm up before I climb aboard.

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