Saturday 7 September 1667

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, where Goodgroome was teaching my wife, and dined with us, and I did tell him of my intention to learn to trill, which he will not promise I shall obtain, but he will do what can be done, and I am resolved to learn. All the afternoon at the office, and towards night out by coach with my wife, she to the ’Change, and I to see the price of a copper cisterne for the table, which is very pretty, and they demand 6l. or 7l. for one; but I will have one. Then called my wife at the ’Change, and bought a nightgown for my wife: cost but 24s., and so out to Mile End to drink, and so home to the office to end my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Kiviet's pitch to Evelyn is, methinks, in prospect of the rebuiling of the City and perhaps an Embankment on the Thames. (For the latter see Broderick to Ormond, 27 October 1666: ...The Lord Mayor, Aldermen & Council of the City of London “do not agree to any of the models designed by Dr Wren, Mr Hugh May, and Mr Pratt. [They are], however, content that a wharf [meaning a quary or embankment], be made from the Tower to the Temple, carrying eighty feet in breadth”....…

A little reminder of the ruin that London still is.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...I did tell him of my intention to learn to trill, which he will not promise I shall obtain, but he will do what can be done, and I am resolved to learn."

I weep for you, Goodgroome.

JWB  •  Link

Real navy men trill only on a boatwain's pipe.

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘trill v.
1. intr. To sing with vibratory effect; to sing a trill or shake, to ‘shake’; of a voice, etc.: To sound with tremulous vibration.
1666-7 PEPYS Diary 7 Feb., My wife..proud that she shall come to trill, and..I think she will.
1667 Ibid. 7 Sept., I did tell him of my intention to learn to trill.
1841 D'ISRAELI Amen. Lit. (1867) 402 This consonance trills in the simple carol of the African women.
1856 E. CAPERN Poems (ed. 2) 54 And music trilled o'er moor and mead.
1884 St. James' Gaz. 29 May 6/2 At least four nightingales..trilling in whole-hearted chorus.’ [OED]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Samuel Pepys...Licensed to Trill.

Henceforth I shall forever imagine Sam as the Queen of the Night...

"Quiet, Bess...This trilling is most difficult. Man's work, girl. Continue, maestro..."

"Oh, please...It was 'nothing so difficult, even for a woman' when you had me slaving at it. If I'd known then you'd never trilled yourself before..."


"Take this..." high level trill in short bursts.

"Oh, really..." countering trill with lengthy burst at end.

"Mr. Pepys...Mrs. Pepys..." Goodgroome tries.

"Lets see you manage this..." sonic boom trill...Short to long bursts, up and down scale.

My God...Sam blinks.

Well, must give it the Magdalene College try...Fires off counter-trill.

"People, the windows are vibrating...And I think my ears are bleeding..." Goodgroom tries.

Chorus at high pitch. Sound of windows shattering...

"Fascinating..." Robert Hooke observes his study shaking to pieces as screams of fright come from street.

Margaret  •  Link

What would Pepys have used "a copper cisterne for the table" for? Water? (seems unlikely). Wine? Beer? Six or seven pounds seems expensive; I suppose it was highly decorated.

tg  •  Link

and I to see the price of a copper cisterne for the table, which is very pretty, and they demand 6l. or 7l. for one; but I will have one.
Yes I wondered too. Is it a model for collecting fresh water? Or as Margaret suggests something like a carafe to hold your drink? And thank you Robert for licensed to trill. You are the punniest man here.

Mary  •  Link


The OED has two suggestions: a large, often highly decorated vessel which held water - used for rinsing plates as necessary during the course of a meal. Alternatively, a vessel to hold a large quantity of liquor.

The former sounds the more likely in this instance.

Bob Peden  •  Link

Elizabeth Pepys visits the Exchange.

It was destroyed by the fire exactly one year ago.

So it seems that a very rapid rebuild has taken place.

Mary  •  Link

The Exchange ('Change') that Elizabeth visits is not the Royal Exchange (which was, indeed destroyed in the fire) but the New Exchange in The Strand, which was not touched by the Great Fire.

The New Exchange is a 17th century shopping mall that specializes in luxury goods.

Mary  •  Link

Elizabeth's new nightgown.

This would indeed have been a gown, not a nightdress. The equivalent of the modern nightdress would have been a (night)shift, a much simpler garment. One might compare the nightgown to a housecoat or something similar. A bit more dressy than the modern dressing-gown.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"He's gone mad, Will! Mad!"

"Mrs. P? Mr. P, bonkers? No..."

"7Ls for a copper cistern..."

"He always likes to pretty up the house..."

"He wants to learn to trill..."

"That is a bit more serious...But Mr. P, he loves music...And mum, he does always believe he can perform anyone's part better than anyone else."

True enough...Bess muses...

Oh! But...

"Will, he just laid out 24s on a nightgown for me. Didn't even complain."

"Good God! He's either mad or been replaced by a Papist doppelganger agent."


cum salis grano  •  Link

Night gown elaborate and adding stature for keeping the mystery in the closet for entertaining in demure ways People of stature and being relaxed.
or to have thy portrait.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

I've changed the link for the Change to the New Exchange.

The Royal Exchange has moved to Gresham College since the fire, so there is still activity going on there, and maybe Pepys would still refer to it the same way? Unless I've missed the reference, L&M don't mention this date for either the Royal or New Exchanges in the Index, so I'm guessing they weren't sure either.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... a copper cisterne for the table, which is very pretty, and they demand 6l. or 7l. for one; but I will have one."

Example of a copper wine cistern, described as Northern European 'possibly' late C17th. or early c 18th.…

Silver gilt, by Ralph Leake, London 1698-9…

" ...Cisterns were used with fountains and coolers in the service of wine. Glasses were filled at the sideboard, offered to guests on a salver, and brought back for rinsing at the fountain. The cistern below served to catch the water used for rinsing the glasses. Larger silver wine coolers were filled with ice to chill the bottles in preparation for serving the wine."

They were clearly in mode by the Restoration, Vyner had made one for the Coronation of Charles II, but the substantial number of surviving examples appear to date from after 1700.

Bradford  •  Link

Does the idea of putting wine in a metal container make anyone else queasy?

cum salis grano  •  Link

This cistern was a way of having on tap, water duly obtained from the water bearer, claiming it to be fresh water from the River Lee or from Hampsted heath spa or Barnet, like now I could get "luverly evian aqua sin gas" , tainted with C5H12 .
We all be suckers for the latest in upper crust follies, have the latest in gizmos, like reading this site on "me old dah dah diddly dum".

Brian  •  Link

"and so out to Mile End to drink."

Time to get some more of that Bides ale!

Second Reading

john  •  Link

L&M saw fit to include "trill" in the diary volume's local vocabulary (with the same meaning as today). I would not have thought trill to be uncommon.

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