Monday 25 June 1666

Up, and all the morning at my Tangier accounts, which the chopping and changing of my tallys make mighty troublesome; but, however, I did end them with great satisfaction to myself.

At noon, without staying to eat my dinner, I down by water to Deptford, and there coming find Sir W. Batten and Sir Jeremy Smith (whom the dispatch of the Loyall London detained) at dinner at Greenwich at the Beare Taverne, and thither I to them and there dined with them. Very good company of strangers there was, but I took no great pleasure among them, being desirous to be back again. So got them to rise as soon as I could, having told them the newes Sir W. Coventry just now wrote me to tell them, which is, that the Dutch are certainly come out. I did much business at Deptford, and so home, by an old poor man, a sculler, having no oares to be got, and all this day on the water entertained myself with the play of Commenius, and being come home did go out to Aldgate, there to be overtaken by Mrs. Margot Pen in her father’s coach, and my wife and Mercer with her, and Mrs. Pen carried us to two gardens at Hackny, (which I every day grow more and more in love with,) Mr. Drake’s one, where the garden is good, and house and the prospect admirable; the other my Lord Brooke’s, where the gardens are much better, but the house not so good, nor the prospect good at all. But the gardens are excellent; and here I first saw oranges grow: some green, some half, some a quarter, and some full ripe, on the same tree, and one fruit of the same tree do come a year or two after the other. I pulled off a little one by stealth (the man being mighty curious of them) and eat it, and it was just as other little green small oranges are; as big as half the end of my little finger. Here were also great variety of other exotique plants, and several labarinths, and a pretty aviary. Having done there with very great pleasure we away back again, and called at the Taverne in Hackny by the church, and there drank and eate, and so in the Coole of the evening home. This being the first day of my putting on my black stuff bombazin suit, and I hope to feel no inconvenience by it, the weather being extremely hot. So home and to bed, and this night the first night of my lying without a waistcoat, which I hope I shall very well endure. So to bed.

This morning I did with great pleasure hear Mr. Caesar play some good things on his lute, while he come to teach my boy Tom, and I did give him 40s. for his encouragement.

22 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"here I first saw oranges grow"

L&M remind us that Pepys had first seen orange trees (unfruited, apparently) on 19 April 1664: "I to walk with Creed and Vernaty in the Physique Garden in St. James’s Parke; where I first saw orange-trees, and other fine trees."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the man being mighty curious of them"

curious = careful, painstaking, discriminating....(L&M Select Glossary)

JWB  •  Link

This mention of Tom and his lute reminds me that Mercer played the viol. Perhaps it was the sawing at that instrument that developed her pectoral muscles, sine qua non for "...the finest that ever I saw in my life."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Mr. Caesar play some good things on his lute,,,,, and I did give him 40s. for his encouragement.
Hot dogge, ye lute player is pllnking away at the morning ablutions, with 40 s in hand. Nice work if you can get it. But where is Mercer in all of this? Time was in burlesque when the girls won, and the bands and comedians lost, and everyone came to see the Mercers of the 1950s. Oh the Town Line of Dayton, it was beautiful (it changed my life, believe me), but now the tables are turned and Sam is listening to the lute player. Much more better, and improving. It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing. The Boston Early Music Festival is running now, with 16th Century lute players in every corner. No Mercers, pity.

cgs  •  Link

" in the Coole of the evening home...."
Why there be a capital C ? not very Pepsian mistake , I'm sure.

cgs  •  Link

for the curious:OED:
curious, a.
[a. OF. curius (Ch. de Rol., 11th c.) = Pr. curios, Sp. and It. curioso:{em}L. c{umac}ri{omac}s-us used only subjectively ‘full of care or pains, careful, assiduous, inquisitive’; French has also the objective sense in 14th c. (robes curieuses).
A word which has been used from time to time with many shades of meaning; the only senses now really current are 5, 16, and (in some applications) 9.]

I. As a subjective quality of persons.

1. a. Bestowing care or pains; careful; studious, attentive. Obs.
b. Anxious, concerned, solicitous. Obs.

2. Careful as to the standard of excellence; difficult to satisfy; particular; nice, fastidious. Obs. a. esp. in food, clothing, matters of taste

b. generally. Particular; cautious. Obs.
c. Particular about details, or as to manner of action. Obs.

3. a. Careful or nice in observation or investigation, accurate. Obs.
b. Said of the eye, ear, etc.
4. Ingenious, skilful, clever, expert. Obs.
5. a. Desirous of seeing or knowing; eager to learn; inquisitive. Often with
condemnatory connotation: Desirous of knowing what one has no right to know, or what does not concern one, prying. (The current subjective sense.)
b. Minute in inquiry or discrimination, subtle.
c. Devoting attention to occult art. Obs.
d. Of actions, etc.: Prompted by curiosity.
6. a. Taking the interest of a connoisseur in any branch of art; skilled as a connoisseur or virtuoso. Const. of, in and inf. Obs.
1644 EVELYN Mem. (1857) I. 69 Monsieur of the most skilful and curious persons in France for his rare collection of shells, flowers, and insects. 1693 {emem} De la Quint. Compl. Gard. I. 24 Gentlemen that are Curious in Gard'ning.
b. In this sense often absolutely in pl.
1634 SIR T. HERBERT Trav. 115 Her Caravans lodge exceeds her Mosque, yet neither, of power to beget admiration with the curious.

II. As an objective quality of things, etc.

7. a. Made with care or art; skilfully, elaborately or beautifully wrought. Obs.
b. Of food, clothing, etc.: Exquisitely prepared, dainty, delicate, recherché. Obs. or arch.
8. Carefully worked out or prepared; elaborate. Obs.
9. Of actions, investigations, etc.: Characterized by special care, careful, accurate, minute.
1526 Pil
10. Characterized by minute inquiry or treatment: a. Unduly minute or inquisitive. Obs.
b. Intricate, abstruse, subtle. Obs.
c. Recondite, occult. Obs.
11. Minutely accurate, exact, precise. Obs.
1672 PETTY Pol. Anat. Pref., Curious Dissections cannot be made without variety of proper Instruments.
12. Of materials: Fine, delicate. Obs.
1665 HOOKE Microgr. 4 Even the most curious Powder that can be made use of..must consist of..rough particles. Ibid. 5 The finest curious that the threads were scarce discernable by the naked eye. 1669 A. BROWNE Ars Pict. (1675) 87 Draw the lines of the Eyelids..with a pencil somewhat more curious and sharp then before.
13. Of or pertaining to the exercise of care, skill, or ingenuity; skilled, skilful. Obs. (Cf. 4.)
1681 J. CHETHAM Angler's Vade-m. Pref., It is not fine, curious, and skilful Angling, that destroys the breed of Fish. a1687 PETTY Pol. Arith. i. (1691) 33 As Trades and curious Arts increase; so the Trade of Husbandry will decrease. 1776 ADAM SMITH W.N. I. xi. (1869) I. 163 He decides, like a true lover of all curious cultivation, in favour of the vineyard.

14. Without explicit reference to workmanship: Exquisite, choice, excellent, fine (in beauty, flavour, or other good quality). Obs. or dial. (Cf. mod. use of nice.)
1665 PEPYS Diary 24 Sept., A very calm, curious morning.
15. Calling forth feelings of interest; interesting, noteworthy. Obs. or arch.
16. a. Deserving or exciting attention on account of its novelty or peculiarity; exciting curiosity; somewhat surprising, strange, singular, odd; queer. (The ordinary current objective sense.)
b. Used as a euphemistic description of erotic or pornographic works.
c. Phr. curiouser and curiouser, more and more curious; increasingly strange.
1865 ‘L. CARROLL’ Alice in Wonderland ii
17. Such as interests the curioso or connoisseur. Obs.
1665 BOYLE Occas. Refl. (1669) 359 The number of fine things that make up this curious collection. 1719
18. quasi-adv. Curiously. Obs.
1593 SHAKES. Lucr. 1300 This is too curious-good, this blunt and ill. a1644 QUARLES 11 Pious Medit. (1717) 64 They were not wise enough, and yet too wise; Too curious wise.

Margaret  •  Link

"...and it was just as other little green small oranges are; as big as half the end of my little finger.

This seems very small to me. Pepys implies that larger oranges were available in those days--but does anyone know how large oranges were in the 17th century? Has cultivation made oranges grow larger since his day?

Mary  •  Link

I pulled off a little one by stealth.....

Pity the poor gardener. Now he's going to have to explain to the Master the loss of one of his precious fruit. In my experience the owners of such gardens are keenly alert to the theft of any material, fruit, flowers or cuttings, particularly where exotics are concerned.

GrahamT  •  Link

Re: "chopping and changing of my tallys " It is interesting to see a literal use of this phrase. I have used the figurative sense, of something constantly being changed, as in "He's forever chopping and changing his plans.", without ever thinking of its literal meaning.

Ruben  •  Link

Oranges are harvested in winter. No oranges in June...
Who knows what Sam tasted? All the citrus trees have their fruit in winter. If that tree was a citrus, then it was out of season. Mandarine, orange, kumquat, lemon?
Size: in Pepys days the size of an orange was, well, the size of an orange, see:…
a "Still Life of Fruit and Oysters" by Joris van Son
(1623-1667 Flemish painter.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So got them to rise as soon as I could, having told them the newes Sir W. Coventry just now wrote me to tell them, which is, that the Dutch are certainly come out."

"What?! They're coming you say?!! The Dutch!!"

"I have it on the authority of Sir William Coventry, sir." solemnly.

"Good God! And we major officials of the Navy! De Ruyter will hang us all!!" Batten rises.

Screams from large crowd of strangers... "The Dutch!!! He says the Dutch be coming!!!" Panicky rout, Batten and Smith leading the way.

Ah...At last...Sam contentedly smiles at the empty dining room, nodding politely to innkeeper as he heads out.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"little green small oranges"
They would have grown larger and orange in color in a few days.

ONeville  •  Link

Oranges (and lemons for that matter) take about 9 months from flower to ripe fruit. Sam would be tasting fruit that had barely set. Here in Spain they are harvested from January onwards, although you can now buy lemon trees which fruit continuously. It is doubtful that the climate in England would allow for full-size fruit, unless grown indoors (an Orangery). Oranges in general like a milder climate than lemons, although the Seville type is more hardy.

Ruben  •  Link

North to the Mediterranean basin, citrus trees were kept in the gardens in boxed carts, and moved inside, to the Orangery, in winter.
An orangery was a status simbol. The French monarch kept thousands of citrus trees in Versailles.

cgs  •  Link

London, name only, Queen Anne's image still to be had with a nice cuppa of char.
see google if thee need a vitamin shot
The Orangery is set in a Kensington Park...‎

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Brooke’s, where the gardens are much better, but the house not so good, nor the prospect good at all."

According to Evelyn (8 May 1654) the garden of Brooke House was 'one of the neatest, & most celebrated in England', but the house in itself was 'a despicable building' Mulberry trees survived in the garden as late as 1954. The house (on the upper side of Upper Clapton Rd and Kenninghall) has been demolished. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" the Taverne in Hackny by the church"

L&M: Probably the tavern on the east side of Church St (now Mare St) known in the 19th century as The Old Mermaid.

arby  •  Link

And don't forget the "orange girls", including Sam's "pretty, witty Nell".

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Ah -- Nell was beyond being an orange girl now.
By November 1664, Nell Gwyn was on the stage at the Theater Royal in Drury Lane, and she was a famous household name by March 1665. It's thought she went to Oxford with the King's Players during the plague. SPOILER: However, it wasn't until March 1667 that George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham decided to use Nell to wean Charles away from Lady Castlemaine (George's cousin, no less -- so much for family loyalty).

One of the sad things about Pepys' vows and the war largely keeping him away from the theater is that he missed all this. Personally, I'd rather be reading about the theater and plays than hemp negotiations and accounting, but it is what it is.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Most likely kumquats raised in an orangery. Such plants were often taken outside in warm weather.

Mary K  •  Link

Just possibly kumquats ( if stock had been obtained as a curiosity from a traveller to far eastern lands) but hardly "most likely." Kumquats were largely unknown in Europe before the middle of the nineteenth century.

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