Tuesday 6 March 1665/66

Up betimes and did much business before office time. Then to the office and there till noon and so home to dinner and to the office again till night. In the evening being at Sir W. Batten’s, stepped in (for I have not used to go thither a good while), I find my Lord Bruncker and Mrs. Williams, and they would of their own accord, though I had never obliged them (nor my wife neither) with one visit for many of theirs, go see my house and my wife; which I showed them and made them welcome with wine and China oranges (now a great rarity since the war, none to be had). There being also Captain Cocke and Mrs. Turner, who had never been in my house since I come to the office before, and Mrs. Carcasse, wife of Mr. Carcasses. My house happened to be mighty clean, and did me great honour, and they mightily pleased with it. They gone I to the office and did some business, and then home to supper and to bed. My mind troubled through a doubtfulness of my having incurred Sir W. Coventry’s displeasure by not having waited on him since his coming to towne, which is a mighty faulte and that I can bear the fear of the bad effects of till I have been with him, which shall be to-morrow, God willing. So to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"My mind troubled through a doubtfulness of my having incurred Sir W. Coventry's displeasure "

"a doubtfulness"

We would say "fear" (L&M Large Glossary)

cgs  •  Link

doubtfulness OED
2. The quality of giving ground for fear. Obs.
1576 ...1606..

cgs  •  Link

"...China oranges (now a great rarity since the war, none to be had)..." good old boys network, under the table for cash only. Poor Nell Gwyn and Pals, no work?

JWB  •  Link

China oranges

The old German name for oranges is Apfelcine=China apple. Sweet china oranges are Mandarin. The Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/index.p… states the name comes from the color of robes worn by Mandarin. Looking at derivation of the word Mandarin itself, I see it does not jibe with Mr. Li, my Chinese instructor for a summer's intensive course a long time ago. He said the word derived from Man=Manchu + da=big + ren=man. Who ye gonna believe?

JWB  •  Link

The Carcasses
What a tough time little Jimmy must have had in school.

cape henry  •  Link

"...though I had never obliged them (nor my wife neither) with one visit for many of theirs..." Oddly, this is something I had been pondering recently. Over the years, Pepys have received far more hospitality than he has rendered. (This occurred to me most lately when he was doing his accounting. The meals he has eaten in the homes of others would amount to a terrific savings over the course of time.)When he has entertained, it has been primarily family and on special days. It is probable that in the early days of the diary the differential in status accounts for much of the reason for this. It will be interesting to see - now that he is wealthy and has a clean home and rare oranges - if this begins to change.

Mark Peaty [aka xodarap]  •  Link

"China oranges"

[many thanks to an old [gain of?] salt]:

mandarin Look up mandarin at Dictionary.com
"Chinese official," 1589, via Port. mandarim or Du. mandorijn from Malay mantri, from Hindi mantri "councilor, minister of state," from Skt. mantri, nom. of mantrin- "advisor," from mantra "counsel," from PIE base *men- "to think" (see mind). Form infl. in Port. by mandar "to command, order." Used generically for the several grades of Chinese officials; sense of "chief dialect of Chinese" (spoken by officials and educated people) is from 1604. The type of small, deep-colored orange so called from 1771, from resemblance of its color to that of robes worn by mandarins.

... which segues harmoniously to ...

tangerine Look up tangerine at Dictionary.com
1842, from tangerine orange (1841) "an orange from Tangier," seaport in northern Morocco, from which it was originally imported to Britain. The place name is from L. Tinge.
As a color name, attested from 1899.

which all hints at divers subtle connections and the possibility that even in 1665/6 most of the knowable universe was already within just 6 degrees of separation from the inimitable Samuel Pepys Esq.

... and from Wikipedia:
The modern Tanjah (Anglicised as Tangier) is an ancient Phoenician town, founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC. Its name is possibly derived from the Berber goddess Tinjis (or Tinga), and it remains an important city for the Berbers. Ancient coins call it Tenga, Tinga, and Titga with Greek and Latin authors giving numerous variations of the name.

Nate  •  Link

Mandarin Orange, apfelcine, or tangerine: I bought a tree Friday, will prepare ground today, plant it tomorrow (Sunday), and harvest a few next year, I hope. It will remind me of Christmas during WWII when we get a few as a special treat for children.

Nate  •  Link

The meals he has eaten in the homes of others would amount to a terrific savings over the course of time.

I think that the savings has been primarily in not having to prepare special, and possibly expensive, meals for guests. His everyday fare was probably more simple and cheaper most of the time.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Social/political obligations weigh on Sam

To entertain Lord Brouncker; to be appropriately solicitous of Sir William Coventry.

Comes with the territory

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Coventry the technocrat strikes me as one more interested in hearing provisions and munitions are going out on time rather than having his bottom kissed, but he probably expects regular reports from his fair-haired boy in the office.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"China oranges (now a great rarity since the war, none to be had)."

L&M: Many were imported from France: Kalendarium hortense, or, The gard'ners almanac directing what he is to do monethly throughout the year, and what fruits and flowers are in prime / by John Evelyn. (1679). p. 34.
Wood in his Life and Times mentions the purchase of oranges in 1659, 1661 and 1662 but none during the war period. http://archive.org/stream/lifetim…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Spring Cleaning underway -- glad it wasn't laundry day. He's forgotten that detail before and found no lunch prepared.

Mary K  •  Link

"my house happened to be mighty clean..."

The sort of statement that might be construed as passive-aggressive nowadays.

Tonyel  •  Link

Dining obligations, as with so many things in Britain past and present, were probably governed by social standing. The great houses were permanently open to equals and deserving lessers (like Sam). Sam, being lower on the social scale - but climbing - usually entertained his friends and useful folk beneath him like the clerks.
Brounker, by inviting himself round, is probably indicating a social promotion for Sam which he passed with flying colours.
Of course, such things are very subtle, no fixed rules.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Oranges! How expensive would they be? Could the household help eat some? Would this be a perk of working in the household? I wonder when bananas make an appearance?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Bananas are native to Southeast Asia. However, by 500 BC they were being grown in India. Alexander the Great ate them and his men took them back to the Western World. By 200 AD bananas were grown in China. Bananas were probably taken to Madagascar by the Arabs and spread from there to mainland Africa. In the 16th century the Portuguese took bananas to the New World.

The first recorded sale of bananas in England was in 1633 however they were expensive until the end of the 19th century.

Bananas have been grown in the Canary Islands since the 16th Century and were mainly used for animal feed or fertilizer.

Bananas were considered exotic in the UK, but steadily became commonplace in the British diet as the banana boats became more frequent.

Gleaned from http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/2…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Oranges are native to China and they were grown in that country as early as 2,500 BC. The Romans imported oranges but after the fall of Rome they were forgotten in Western Europe. When the Arabs conquered Spain in the 8th century they introduced oranges. Later they were introduced into Italy. In the 16th century Spaniards took oranges to the Americas. In the 17th century rich Englishmen began growing oranges.

Grinling Gibbons built an orangerie at Kensington Palace in 1704 for Queen Anne. But there were earlier ones when they were built by wealthy landowners to house orange and other citrus trees in the winter to protect them from weathering elements.

It is thought that orangeries began to be developed in the 17th century in England because of the development of better glass-making technology so glass could be produced in large sheets. But initial 17th century orangeries were grand structures that were exclusive buildings for wealthy families. The outside would feature external stone and brickwork, while the interior would be decorative and plastered. Surprisingly they had a small amount of glass and were heated by a stove or fire in the walls. Unfortunately these fires often produced fumes that killed plants, so orangeries were not particularly effective at fulfilling their purpose!

They did have south-facing windows so the maximum amount of sunlight could flood through and the walls facing north were thick, to protect against the British cold.

The first Englush orangeries were built during James I and VI's reign, but they didn't become efficient enough to be adopted until William and Mary (the Dutch were better at it than the English). And they took off in the 18th century.

More at https://www.orangeries-uk.co.uk/t… -- and from visiting Ham House and other places with orangeries.

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