Monday 2 December 1667

Up, and then abroad to Alderman Backewell’s (who was sick of a cold in bed), and then to the Excise Office, where I find Mr. Ball out of humour in expectation of being put out of his office by the change of the farm of the excise. There comes Sir H. Cholmly, and he and I to Westminster, and there walked up and down till noon, where all the business is that the Lords’ answer is come down to the Commons, that they are not satisfied in the Commons’ Reasons: and so the Commons are hot, and like to sit all day upon the business what to do herein, most thinking that they will remonstrate against the Lords. Thence to Lord Crew’s, and there dined with him; where, after dinner, he took me aside, and bewailed the condition of the nation, how the King and his brother are at a distance about this business of the Chancellor, and the two Houses differing.: and he do believe that there are so many about the King like to be concerned and troubled by the Parliament, that they will get him to dissolve or prorogue the Parliament; and the rather, for that the King is likely, by this good husbandry of the Treasury, to get out of debt, and the Parliament is likely to give no money. Among other things, my Lord Crew did tell me, with grief, that he hears that the King of late hath not dined nor supped with the Queen, as he used of late to do. After a little discourse, Mr. Caesar, he dining there, did give us some musique on his lute (Mr. John Crew being there) to my great content, and then away I, and Mr. Caesar followed me and told me that my boy Tom hath this day declared to him that he cared not for the French lute and would learn no more, which Caesar out of faithfulness tells me that I might not spend any more money on him in vain. I shall take the boy to task about it, though I am contented to save my money if the boy knows not what is good for himself. So thanked him, and indeed he is a very honest man I believe, and away home, there to get something ready for the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and so took my wife and girle and set them at Unthanke’s, and I to White Hall, and there with the Commissioners of the Treasury, who I find in mighty good condition to go on in payment of the seamen off, and thence I to Westminster Hall, where I met with my cozen Roger and walked a good while with him; he tells me of the high vote of the Commons this afternoon, which I also heard at White Hall, that the proceedings of the Lords in the case of my Lord Clarendon are an obstruction to justice, and of ill precedent to future times. This makes every body wonder what will be the effect of it, most thinking that the King will try him by his own Commission. It seems they were mighty high to have remonstrated, but some said that was too great an appeale to the people. Roger is mighty full of fears of the consequence of it, and wishes the King would dissolve them. So we parted, and I bought some Scotch cakes at Wilkinson’s in King Street, and called my wife, and home, and there to supper, talk, and to bed. Supped upon these cakes, of which I have eat none since we lived at Westminster. This night our poor little dogg Fancy was in a strange fit, through age, of which she has had five or six.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Interesting ... from reading this entry I've just realized that apparently "dine" was supposed to refer only to dinner (lunch), and "sup" to "supper." Always assumed they were interchangeable terms then, as they (more or less) are now.

Larry Bunce  •  Link

In rural areas of America today the noontime meal is called dinner. Speaking of lunch, a book on grammar from 1904 said "lunch is the verb, luncheon is the noun." This distinction seems to have lost the battle, except for formal occasions.

Also, the word 'farm' for 'form.' Missprint or Pepys spelling the way he pronounced it? He spells 'war' as 'warr,' which sounds Irish to me (and certainly indicates he pronounced the 'R'.) Pronouncing 'form' as 'farm' also has an Irish feel to my ear. The New Globe Theatre does some productions in 'original pronounciation,' (Stratford or London?) which on the example I heard sounds basicly like Irish with some Welsh, Australian, and southern U.S. thrown in.

cum salis grano  •  Link

new OED
1. sup, n.1 View full entry 1543

...A small quantity of liquid such as can be taken into the mouth at one time; a mouthful; a sip. (Also in fig. context.)...

cum salis grano  •  Link


a. intr. To eat one's supper; to take supper.
c1290 Beket 697 in S. Eng. Leg. I. 126 Heo setten bord and spradden cloth, and bi-gonne to soupe [other vers. sopi] faste.
1592 Arden of Feversham iv. iii. 13 If this weather would last‥a man should neuer dyne nor sup without candle light.

1620 T. Venner Via Recta viii. 173 We commonly sup about six houres after we haue dined.

1697 Dryden tr. Virgil Georgics iii, in tr. Virgil Wks. 119 He never supt in solemn State.
1711 Swift Lett. (1767) III. 221, I‥supped with lord treasurer,‥I staid till two;‥I must sup with him, and he keeps cursed hours.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...the change of the farm of the excise." Form, not farm? I would have thought the idea being the excise was "farmed" as in good ole Roman tax farming with Ball getting to keep everything he could squeeze out above what he paid the government for his right to collect the excise himself and he was downcast over a change in policy that could put him out of such a generally lucrative arrangement. Form of course would imply he acted simply as the government collector (Still of course a potentially quite lucrative position). Since true tax farming involves the "farmer" to invest by paying the taxes himself then collecting all he could, if Ball were such it would be easy to see why he'd be exceptionally unhappy. Again, though, of course even a government collector or private collector for the government (paid by fee, generous opportunities for theft and graft but no money of his own up front as opposed to the true "farmer") would not appreciate the ax.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I take it in that poor Fancy is not much, nor expected to be, of a watchdog given the events of the other day.

"Fancy? Fancy? Sam'l? Why is Fancy foaming at the mouth like that?"

B. Timbrell  •  Link

What is a Scotch cake?

Christopher Squire  •  Link

B. Timbrell: I have just (0956 GMT) added a definition from the OED.

Christopher Squire  •  Link

Todd Bernhardt: ‘Dinner’ is/was the main meal of the day, originally taken before or at mid-day by everyone (cf. German Mittagsessen) (‘1620 T. Venner Via Recta viii. 173 Our vsuall time for dinner‥is about eleuen of the clocke.‘ OED) and then by the leisure class later and later in the afternoon and evening, so that they required a light meal during the day, ‘lunch’: ‘ . . a meal (understood to be less substantial and less ceremonious than dinner) taken usually in the early afternoon.’ [OED]

The British middle classes now call their 'dinner' 'supper'; unless it is formal hospitality: a 'dinner party'. This change is not yet full reflected in the OED entry.

And then there’s ‘high tea’, a middle class term for what the working class call ‘tea’ (‘ . . 4. a. . .an ordinary afternoon or evening meal, at which the usual beverage is tea (but sometimes cocoa, chocolate, coffee, or other substitute) . . locally in the U.K. (esp. northern) . .a cooked evening meal . .
1831    F. A. Kemble Rec. Girlhood 14 June (1878) III. 49   We did not return home till near nine, and so, instead of dinner, all sat down to high tea.’

‘ . . 1914    G. B. Shaw Misalliance 80   He calls his lunch his dinner, and has his tea at half-past six. Havnt you, dear?
. . 1938    N. Marsh Artists in Crime vi. 81   ‘We finished tea at half-past eight, about.’ ‘The gentleman is talking of the evening meal. They dine at noon in the Antipodes, I understand.’
. . 1957    N.Z. Listener 22 Nov. 4/3   More than one New Zealander has been invited to ‘tea’ in England and arrived hours too late, the meal finished and the guests gone.’

I hope that’s clear!

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

for that the King is likely, by this good husbandry of the Treasury, to get out of debt,
the Commissioners of the Treasury, who I find in mighty good condition to go on in payment of the seamen off,
Have I missed something? Where has all this money come from?

Don McCahill  •  Link


That is why this forum is the best way to read the diary. When I read the word farm, I wondered how many would be confused by the obsolete usage. Many times I have read things differently in (or been confused by) the diary only to find an annotation cleared things up.

PS: Farm makes sense if you think that one farms soil to raise grain and farms taxes to raise money.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

the Lords’ answer is come down to the Commons, that they are not satisfied in the Commons’ Reasons: and so the Commons are hot, and like to sit all day upon the business what to do herein...
Elegance and power, the hotheaded clamor of the Commons is dismissed with haughty disdain by the House of Lords. That's why we have a US Senate with 6 year terms, to keep a lid on the passions of the House. (And the House has 2 year terms, to keep them hot for the peoples' concerns). It's all worked out scientifically in The Federalist Papers.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"What is a Scotch cake?"

FWIW, L&M say in the Companion's Large Glossary that it's an oatcake.

Fern  •  Link

There's something very satisfying about the spelling of dogg. It looks so much doggier than dog.

DiPhi  •  Link

"An Englishman and a Scotsman were discussing oats. The Englishman, with his nose in the air said "In England we feed oats to our horses, and in Scotland you feed oats to your men...", to which the Scotsman replied "...that's why in England you have such fine horses and in Scotland we have such fine men!"

Spin2Win  •  Link

This is the first mention of his dog that I can recall. Guess Sam doesn't have much to do with her. Maybe Bess is the Alpha.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Thanks for the lunch/dinner/supper definitions, everyone. I actually did know about that already, but what I found interesting was that apparently (an assumption I'm making from reading this entry -- maybe someone like LH can clarify?) "dine" was supposed to refer only to dinner, while "sup" was supposed to refer to supper.

cum salis grano  •  Link

Early definition of sup was to sip, but having a sipper at night did not sound nice and sopping up, not be nice either and as for a sapper well, would not go over at all, so have supper, the last sip of the day.

Linda  •  Link

I named my female tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "Fancy" after the little Pepys bitch. She's been in the picture almost from the beginning of the diary, and I'm happy to see this mention of her and know she's still around.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Ball out of humour in expectation of being put out of his office by the change of the farm of the excise."

John Ball (Treasurer of the London Excise) was later dismissed by the new farmers appointed on 24 June 1668; on petition he was granted a pension of £200 p.a.: CSPD 1667-8, p. 566; CTB ii. 429. (L&M)

Pension debt is the bane of many a government.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Commissioners of the Treasury, who I find in mighty good condition to go on in payment of the seamen off"

By the twelfth it was clear that they had £20,000 for the purpose. They therefore decided ti disburse it in weekly installments of £1500 with a proviso that the payments were to be made to seamen only and not to ticket-brokers: CTB, ii. 145. (L&M note)

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