Thursday 6 December 1666

Up, but very good friends with her before I rose, and so to the office, where we sat all the forenoon, and then home to dinner, where Harman dined with us, and great sport to hear him tell how Will Joyce grows rich by the custom of the City coming to his end of the towne, and how he rants over his brother and sister for their keeping an Inne, and goes thither and tears like a prince, calling him hosteller and his sister hostess. Then after dinner, my wife and brother, in another habit; go out to see a play; but I am not to take notice that I know of my brother’s going. So I to the office, where very busy till late at night, and then home. My wife not pleased with the play, but thinks that it is because she is grown more critical than she used to be, but my brother she says is mighty taken with it. So to supper and to bed.

This day, in the Gazette, is the whole story of defeating the Scotch rebells, and of the creation of the Duke of Cambridge, Knight of the Garter.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

So what did they do about personal hygeine? Sam and 'her' after being very good friends obviously did not have access to a shower. He never seems to mention cleaning himself, or having access to cleaning facilities like a bathroom, private or public. I can't believe they did nothing, unless I've missed something.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"So what did they do about personal hygeine? "

Clearly it has untoward consequences:
' ... and then home to supper and bed, having a great cold, got on Sunday last, by sitting too long with my head bare, for Mercer to comb my hair and wash my eares."…

is even the 'cause' of serious discomfort:
" ... and so to bed in some pain and in fear of more, which accordingly I met with, for I was in mighty pain all night long of the winde griping of my belly and making of me shit often and vomit too, which is a thing not usual with me, but this I impute to the milke that I drank after so much beer, but the cold, to my washing my feet the night before."…

to be viewed with skepticism:
"...then my wife being busy in going with her woman to a hot-house to bathe herself, after her long being within doors in the dirt, so that she now pretends to a resolution of being hereafter very clean. How long it will hold I can guess.…

and only undertaken under duress:
" ... and to clean myself with warm water; my wife will have me, because she do herself, and so to bed."…

L&M footnote the last "one of the rare occasions on which Pepys records having washed."

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

Thank you Michael, very interesting. So they did have public baths or 'hot-houses' then.

It is strange to think Sam needed duress considering how people always feel so much better after having a hot bath or at least a good 'clean' with warm water.

CGS  •  Link

The House of Commons is finishing up on the details of providing the King with monies so that his sailors can go back to sea and get more prize ships from the Hollanders.
Meanwhile the House Of Lords is chastising Constables and others for not respecting the wishes of the Lords. Also finalising the the legality of Lady Roos's children, they be bastardized.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my wife and brother, in another habit; go out to see a play"

L&M clarify: " (in another habit) go out to see a play" -- i.e., John in layman's dress suitable for attending the theatre.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...but I am not to take notice that I know of my brother’s going." Curious...Sounds like a little plot of Sam and Bess' to improve relations between Bess and John. Rather cute too the bit about Bess telling Sam she'd been rather more critical of the play, presumably thanks to their joint theatergoing, than she'd let onto John. A bit of couple's secret we don't get from Sam too often. Hopefully Sam will make a little of that coming Xmas pleasure a shared one.

Nate  •  Link

The early Christian church actively discouraged bathing. Someone, St. Jerome?, declared that cleanliness of the soul and body were inversely related. Queen Isabella is said to have related that she had only two baths in her life: on birth and the day of her marriage.

Soap was not widely available and it and fuel were expensive, too.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I remember an account of St. ("Saint",right) Peter Damian's where he practically drools with delight describing the hideous death from disease of a Byzantine princess who'd unfortunately married her way into the ninth century pesthole of Italy and whom "Saint" Peter D. despised for her offensive habits of bathing constantly (once a day, oh the vanity of this woman!) and using a gold fork instead of her hands. Fortunately God, being much like St. Peter D., showed his disgusted wrath on the poor kid and visited her with an agonizing death that disfigured her and left her unbearable to approach except for one loving servant girl. Damian didn't mention whether he dared approach her to offer sneering "consolation".

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Extra!! Extra!! Scot rebels defeated!! Cambridge gets the Garter!!"

"Paper, boy!"

"Here, ye go, sir...Mr. Pepys, is it?"

"Aye, lad. You know me?"

"You're on page two, sir. The story about the renewed investigation of the corrupt practices of the Navy...Very nice likeness, sir."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Worst of it is, the whole article is basically cobbled from my great letter to the Duke." Sam sighs to Hewer, offering Gazette.

"Sir, what's this?" Will holds up page five.

"Hmmn?...'The Play's the Thing'? This week's review by Elisabeth St. Michel?!"

"Nice copy of the engraving of Mrs. P., sir." Will notes.

C.J.Darby  •  Link

"tears like a prince, calling him hosteller and his sister hostess"
In Ireland there is a slang saying "to go on the tear" which means to get really drunk on purpose. I know that this is not the meaning in the current context, it probably means to behave as if he were a prince. Maybe CGS might have some explanation.

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

re: changing attitudes to hygiene, have a look at "The Dirt on Clean" by Katherine Ashenburg (ISBN 13: 9780865476905). Apparently Europeans got very interested in bathing after they saw those lovely bathhouses while on Crusade, and built some in London, Paris, etc. But then the Church decided that it was evil & sybaritic, so we had a few centuries of annual baths if/only, which only changed when Semmelweis & Pasteur figured out the connection between dirt and transmission of disease. And now we're obsessed with bathing, smells, etc.

Sort of how the Victorians decided that sex didn't officially exist, and as a result we believe no one knew about it til we discovered it in the 20th century.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Re bathing, I'm reminded of the friend who decorated her claw-foot bath-tub with the motto, in script, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness," but somehow the last word came out reading "Goatiness."

Don McCahill  •  Link

> Soap was not widely available and it and fuel were expensive, too.

Fuel yes, but not soap. Soap can be made in the home, as the pioneers did, by rendering animal fats.

I think one aversion to baths would be the fact that there was no central heating and one would be cold quickly in winter after the bath.

Sam also worries that getting chilled might cause his stone to recur.

djc  •  Link

" brother, in another habit" [...] but I am not to take notice that I know of my brother’s going.”

Wouldn't do for a member of the clergy to be seen at a playhouse. So dress in mufti and we all pretend that we never saw nothing.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"personal hygiene"
Queen Isabela went too far, but one could make a case against too many soap baths particularly in cold dry climates;the skin gets too dry ,itchy and prone to invading bacteria.

CGS  •  Link

“tears like a prince, calling him hosteller and his sister hostess”
????"ye bunch of ignoramuses"
blusterer??? as in ranting on, needs an academic to clarify.

I dothe not think it means eye drops of liquid , or torn dress or best quality of weed.

OED: tear v1
[another possible entree for the OED}
II. 8. intr. To rant and bluster as a roisterer (obs.); {to vociferate (obs.); to ‘go on’ violently, to rave in anger or excitement, to rage (dial.).
tear vs tear [ rip vs eyedrop]
1. With adv., forming ns. or adjs., as tear-away, usu. (written tearaway), an unruly young person, a hooligan, ruffian, or petty criminal (formerly applied spec. to.....

tear n1
1. a. A drop of the limpid fluid secreted by the lachrymal gland appearing in or flowing from the eye; chiefly as the result of emotion, esp. grief, but also of physical irritation or nervous stimulus: usually in pl.

tear 2
leading into many connections like tear gas.

tear n2
1. An act of tearing or rending; the action of tearing; hence, damage caused by tearing (or similar violent action); usually in phr. tear and wear, wear and tear, including damage due both to accident and to ordinary wear: see WEAR; also used fig. in reference to body or mind.

1666 PEPYS Diary 29 Sept., The wages, victuals, wear and tear..will come to above £3,000,000.

2. concr. a. A torn part or place; a rent or fissure.

3. An act of tearing, in senses 8 and 9 of the verb.

a. A rushing gallop or pace; esp. in advb. phrase full tear, full tilt, headlong.

b. A spree (U.S. slang).
c. A rage or passion; a violent flurry.

d. Here may belong the Irish interjectional phr. tear and ages (? aches), wounds, expressing astonishment.
1838 DICKENS O. Twist xxxiii

tear, a. and n.3
A. adj. Fine, delicate; of the best quality. (Said esp. of flour and hemp.) Obs.

B. n. (The adj. used absol.) Something of the finest or best quality:
a. The finest wheaten flour. Obs.

b. The finest fibre of flax or hemp.
a. c1440

tear, v.1
c1430 Hymns Virg. 49 To teer him from {th}e top to {th}e toon.
1552 HULOET, Teare in pieces, delacero. Ibid., Tear, lacero.
1567 Satir. Poems Reform. xi. 58 With glowing gunne that man to teir.
1662 Rump Songs (1874) I. 192 To tare the Rochet to such rags as these.
1611 BIBLE 2 Sam. xiii. 31 The king arose, and tare his garments.
1653-4 WHITELOCKE Jrnl. Swed. Emb. (1772) I. 378 Three Dutch men of war.., whom she tore, and killed many of their men.

B. Signification. I. 1. a. trans. To pull asunder by force (a body or substance, now esp. one of thin and flexible consistence, as cloth or paper), usually so as to leave ragged or irregular edges; to rend. (Expressing either partial or complete separation of parts; in the latter case usually with adv. or advb. phr., as to tear up, to tear in (or to) pieces, etc.)
1592 SHAKES. Rom. & Jul. V. iii. 35 By heauen I will teare thee ioynt by ioynt.
1649 BP. REYNOLDS Serm. Hosea i. 32 The Serpent can sting, but he cannot teare in pieces.
II. 8. intr. {dag}To rant and bluster as a roisterer (obs.); {dag}to vociferate (obs.); to ‘go on’ violently, to rave in anger or excitement, to rage (dial.).

1601 B. JONSON Poetaster III. iv, Hee will teach thee to teare and rand, Rascall, to him.

1672 DRYDEN Marriage à-la-Mode III. i, Three tailors..who were tearing out as loud as ever they could sing

tear, v.2

1. a. intr. To shed tears, to weep. Obs. or dial.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Will Joyce as Henry VIII...

Or better yet like Napoleon's sisters... That famous remark when the girls raved at not being immediately raised with Josephine. "Judging by your pretensions, anyone would think I had just deprived you of the inheritance of the King our father."

CGS  •  Link

"Tear" as in tear off a strip, 'twas what 'me' old CO would do when I got a royal reaming and he got his decibels up to the 3 figures and was showing the start of an apoplexy.
"You good for nutin piece of dah dah "
'twas 'wot' we called being torn off a strip or reamed out.
“tears like a prince, calling him hosteller and his sister hostess”

Daniel Jones  •  Link

Robert's quote led me to what appears to be a very interesting book: The Court of the Empress Josephine by Imbert de Saint-Amand. I am sure that Pepys would nod his head in agreement.
"In essentials all courts are alike. On a greater or smaller scale they are rank with the same pettinesses, the same chattering gossip, the same
trivial squabbles as the porter's lodge, ante-chambers, and servants' quarters. If we examine these things from the standpoint of a philosopher, we shall find but little difference between a steward and a chamberlain, between a chambermaid and a lady of the palace. We may go further and say that as soon as they have places and money at their disposal, republicans have courtesies, as much as monarchs, and everywhere and always there are to be found people ready to bow low if there is anything on the ground
that they can pick up. Revolutions alter the forms of government, but not the human heart; afterwards, as before, there exist the same pretensions, the same prejudices, the same flatteries. The incense may be burned before a tribune, a dictator, or a Caesar, there are always the same flattering genuflections, the same cringing."

Nix  •  Link

My impression is that in the U.S. the daily bath or shower was pretty much unheard of until at least the mid-20th century, and is still not the custom in most other parts of the world. Ditto for the daily change of clothing. A recent trip to Italy confirmed Mr. McCahill's observation of the importance of central heating (and plumbing) to the pleasures of a hot bath.

CGS  •  Link

Re bath: this was a fact:
In 1946, fabricated housing known as prefabs was provided by the government and every village got their share, for the bombed out Londoners and they had bathrooms in these luverly little bungalows, not available to the ordinary folks of the village, so when the coalman delivered the coal he had to dump the sacks into the very large enamel scuttle in the bathroom. [ of course not all did this, just the uninitiated ]
The local Gentry did their noodle.

Many of the big cities had the toilets outside along with taps for washing near the back alleys, indoor plumbing be only available for upper sort. Urinals for men where usually walls near the stables.

We have come a long way in the hygiene arena in the last 50 years.

What was normal for 4 generations ago be considered totally 5th world today not even third.

For the American visitors to Europe in the 40's and 50's, was a source of great amusement and disgust, in a fancy Manor, to have only a jug of hot water and then go and prim, mosey down a hallway or even down stairs in the nightwear, how primitive, of course if they wanted primitive should stay at the bottom rung inns, it was such a nightmare.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In "The Maltese Falcon" there is a bit of an ode to indoor plumbing when Spade takes a hot shower without a thought as to how revolutionary such a thing is.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Royalty and bathing

Queen Elizabeth I was supposed to have taken a bath every month, "whether she needed it or not".

Napoleon famously asked Josephine in a letter to desist from bathing until after he had arrived (after a long absence), presumably because he liked her to smell of herself and not soap.

Royalty and Courtiers have always changed outer clothes frequently, often during the same day, but not the undergarments.

Second Reading

James Morgan  •  Link

Thinking of Mr. Gunning's comment "It is strange to think Sam needed duress considering how people always feel so much better after having a hot bath or at least a good 'clean' with warm water.", I think this might just be something we learn to like. Little children and pets clearly don't take naturally to bathing, and some people are just as happy roughing it as they are bathing.
I imagine Sam is quite in keeping with the practices of his day, and has obviously not been subjected to modern advertising campaigns for perfumed soap.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Aussie Susan's comment surprised me: "Royalty and Courtiers have always changed outer clothes frequently, often during the same day, but not the undergarments." She cites Napoleon, so maybe habits changed over the decades?

Dr. Thomas Moulton's "This is the Mirror or Glass of Health" (1545) recommends: ‘Also use no baths or stoves; nor swet too much, for all openeth the pores of a man’s body and maketh the venomous ayre to enter and for to infect the blood.’

His advice was to avoid places where the air was stagnant, or vapors rose (marshes, pools, tan yards and muck heaps); keep the air fresh and sweet-smelling; keep the pores of the skin tightly sealed, and to fully cover the body.

Sickness was viewed as an imbalance within the body, but infection was seen as an outside agency that arose from places of putrefaction and drifted in the air, like seeds or spores.

There were several ways noxious fumes could enter the body, the main infection route being through the mouth and nose. The pores of the skin were a secondary route, but one could guard against this by adopting a sensible personal hygiene routine that maintained the skin as a solid barrier.

Clean clothes were essential for health, in particular the layer that touched the skin.

Ideally no wool, leather or silk would be in direct contact with your body, as these items were difficult to clean. Linen shirts, smocks, under-breeches, hose, ruffs, cuffs, bands, coifs (skull-caps) and caps could be combined by the two sexes to give total coverage in a form that permitted regular vigorous laundry.

Every time this linen layer was changed (or ‘shifted’), accumulated dirt, grease and sweat was removed. The more you changed your underwear, the healthier and cleaner you would be.

Especially effective for this was linen, as it was absorbent, and drew the grease and sweat away from the skin into the weave of the cloth, like a sponge soaking up liquid.

Linen was also employed to clean the body. Sir Thomas Elyot’s "The Castel of Helth" (1534) recommends the morning routine include a session when a man should ‘rub the body with a course lynen clothe, first softly and easily, and after to increase more and more, to a hard and swyft rubbyng, untyl the flesh do swelle, and be somewhat ruddy, and that not only down ryght, but also overthwart and round’. This ensured ‘his body is clensed’.

Vigorous rubbing, especially after exercise, drew out the body’s toxins through the open pores, with unwanted bodily matter being removed away by the coarse linen cloth. ‘Rubbing cloths’ or ‘body cloths’, despite low financial value, can be found in the inventories of people’s goods.

Someone tried this regime for a month, and reported no one complained:…

I think the King changed outerwear to show off his wealth, not for hygiene.

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