Tuesday 17 April 1666

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon dined at home, my brother Balty with me, who is fitting himself to go to sea. So after dinner to my accounts and did proceed a good way in settling them, and thence to the office, where all the afternoon late, writing my letters and doing business, but, Lord! what a conflict I had with myself, my heart tempting me 1000 times to go abroad about some pleasure or other, notwithstanding the weather foule. However I reproached myself with my weaknesse in yielding so much my judgment to my sense, and prevailed with difficulty and did not budge, but stayed within, and, to my great content, did a great deale of business, and so home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that Moll Davis, the pretty girle, that sang and danced so well at the Duke’s house, is dead.

10 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day I am told that Moll Davis, the pretty girle, that sang and danced so well at the Duke’s house, is dead."

The tale is untrue: Pepys records her on the scene again 7 March 1667 http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Terry Foreman  •  Link


"sense (n.) Look up sense at Dictionary.com
" c.1400, "faculty of perception," also "meaning or interpretation" (esp. of Holy Scripture), from O.Fr. sens, from L. sensus "perception, feeling, undertaking, meaning," from sentire "perceive, feel, know," prob. a fig. use of a lit. meaning "to find one's way," from PIE base *sent- "to go" (cf. O.H.G. sinnan "to go, travel, strive after, have in mind, perceive," Ger. Sinn "sense, mind," O.E. sið "way, journey," O.Ir. set, Welsh hynt "way"). Application to any one of the external or outward senses (touch, sight, hearing, etc.) first recorded 1526....The verb meaning "to perceive by the senses" is recorded from 1598. Senses "mental faculties, sanity" is attested from 1568." http://www.etymonline.com/index.p…

It seems to me "sensuality" is intended here.

Mary  •  Link


From the 16th to the 18th centuries the singular form 'sense' was occasionally used where we would more commonly expect to find the plural 'senses'.

Pepys uses the term here to allude briefly to the conflict between the rational faculty (judgment) and the more instinctive, less worthy human capacity to seek pleasure through the senses.

In philosophical, religious and poetic traditions one finds many elaborate expressions of this kind of human conflict, frequently depicted as a debate between the soul and the body.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Miss Eliza Bennet, you have sense, and we expect you to use it.

Second Reading

David G  •  Link

We all know what it’s like when we have work to do and are searching for a distraction.

mwainer  •  Link

I notice that he is now referring to Balty as "my brother" instead of "my wife's brother." Maybe now that Balty has demonstrated responsibility in accepting the Muster-Master position rather than holding out for something more grand as befitting the Seigneur St. Michel, Pepys feels more accepting of him.

ignaciodurant  •  Link

Much more convenient to see whether one of your regular booksellers might not be able to provide a small loan against future trade with a good customer.

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