Tuesday 24 December 1667

Up, and all the morning at the office, and at noon with my clerks to dinner, and then to the office again, busy at the office till six at night, and then by coach to St. James’s, it being about six at night; my design being to see the ceremonys, this night being the eve of Christmas, at the Queen’s chapel. But it being not begun I to Westminster Hall, and there staid and walked, and then to the Swan, and there drank and talked, and did banter [L&M say “besar”. P.G.] a little Frank, and so to White Hall, and sent my coach round, I through the Park to chapel, where I got in up almost to the rail, and with a great deal of patience staid from nine at night to two in the morning, in a very great crowd; and there expected, but found nothing extraordinary, there being nothing but a high masse. The Queen was there, and some ladies. But, Lord! what an odde thing it was for me to be in a crowd of people, here a footman, there a beggar, here a fine lady, there a zealous poor papist, and here a Protestant, two or three together, come to see the shew. I was afeard of my pocket being picked very much … Their musique very good indeed, but their service I confess too frivolous, that there can be no zeal go along with it, and I do find by them themselves that they do run over their beads with one hand, and point and play and talk and make signs with the other in the midst of their masse. But all things very rich and beautiful; and I see the papists have the wit, most of them, to bring cushions to kneel on, which I wanted, and was mightily troubled to kneel. All being done, and I sorry for my coming, missing of what I expected; which was, to have had a child born and dressed there, and a great deal of do: but we broke up, and nothing like it done: and there I left people receiving the Sacrament: and the Queen gone, and ladies; only my Lady Castlemayne, who looked prettily in her night-clothes, and so took my coach, which waited, and away through Covent Garden, to set down two gentlemen and a lady, who come thither to see also, and did make mighty mirth in their talk of the folly of this religion. And so I stopped, having set them down and drank some burnt wine at the Rose Tavern door, while the constables come, and two or three Bellmen went by… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]


21 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, folly, perhaps Mr. Pepys. But it's kind of you to show such an interest in our doings. Yes, I am, sir. Though one does like to keep it quiet these days, sir. Oh, saw you there tonight at the Queen's chapel, sir. Hope your wife is better, sir...Oh, yes, I have heard she was ill.

Seems a bit late to be out tonight, sir. Might do well to head home. Much as your Bess may need her rest she needs you more on Christmas Eve, if you let a humble Bellman beg pardon, sir.

That said, you've been a good fellow this Xmas and if one may take the liberty, one hopes your respective Father Christmases...Gawden, Warren, etc will be large and generous.

Oh, one hears things about, sir. Not suggestin' any malice. Just the hope that you'll also appreciate the greatest thing you have in your life, sir. Time does march along, sir and your happiness may be shorter than you know. Best to enjoy it while you can, sir.

My name, sir?...Er, Dudley, sir. Dudley the Bellman, if you like, sir. But I fear you won't be remembering me tomorrow to enter in your Diary, sir. There's your carriage home, sir. My best to the lady, sir.

"How the devil...? Driver? Where'd that Bellman, that Dudley disappear to?"

"Bellman, sir? The two passing left sometime ago, sir. Whereto, Mr. Pepys?"

"Home, driver, quickly."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"I was afeard of my pocket being picked very much ... Their musique very good indeed, ..."

From L&M:
" ... But here I did make myself to do la cosa by mere imagination, mirando a jolie mosa and with my eyes open , which I never did before – and God forgive me for it, it being in the Chapel. ..."

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

everything wrapped, house cleaned... off to bed at 12:25 Toronto time.

merry (happy) christmas to all pepysians, everywhere!

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

The coach waited from nine at night until two in the morning on Christmas eve - some things have changed!
Merry Christmas to Sam and Bess (then) and the rest of us (now).

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Arlington to Ormond
Written from: London
Date: 24 December 1667, 8 o'clock

Will keep the very project of the Lord Lieutenant's coming hither a secret, because the writer knows that nothing can prejudice his Grace more than the opinion that he is coming; especially, whilst [his friend] the Earl of Clarendon's case is depending - which will be, as the Bill shews, until the second of February.

... Meanwhile, the Lord Lieutenant's humble servants here will study his case as faithfully as they can. ...

... We hear from France, it is added, that the King of France has warned Lord Clarendon to leave that Kingdom.

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Art Perry  •  Link

>> ... – and God forgive me for it, it being in the Chapel.

It must have been pretty boring at times during a 5 hour service in the chapel!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Thanks, Jeannine. Though Bess, I would avoid those sweets.

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"But here I did make myself to do la cosa by mere imagination, mirando a jolie mosa and with my eyes open , which I never did before – and God forgive me for it, it being in the Chapel..."

'Tis the season to be jolly, Sam.

cum salis grano  •  Link

"...It must have been pretty boring at times during a 5 hour service..."
It is all relative, what else was there really to do,but use ones imagination and let the thoughts/prayers be illuminating along with memorable ghosts of Sermons past.
Now, we no longer need to rely on ones deepest unmentionable thoughts, just get bluetoothed.

Marquess  •  Link

Start of Advent tomorrow, I hope Sam I going to be enjoying Christmas in Heaven despite his transgression in the church.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"We hear from France, it is added, that the King of France has warned Lord Clarendon to leave that Kingdom."

Louis the Grinch.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I sorry for my coming, missing of what I expected; which was, to have had a child born and dressed there, and a great deal of do: ..."

Pepys evidently didn't know much about childbirth.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... I left people receiving the Sacrament: and the Queen gone, and ladies; only my Lady Castlemayne, who looked prettily in her night-clothes, ..."

No, not her nightgown. I know that because Pepys said "we find my Lord newly up in his night-gown very well." https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/09/18/

My guess is she was wearing warm, evening clothes and a cloak. And she was the only one to stay for communion? If it was anyone other than Barbara Villiers Palmer, I'd think this was a sign she was maturing into a decent person. With her, I know better!

Arthur Perry  •  Link

“ a child born and dressed there”

Is he referring to the sacrament of baptism?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Is he referring to the sacrament of baptism?"

I didn't read it like that ... he was expecting a woman to give birth to a baby and see it dressed [in swaddling clothes?] ... in other words, a Nativity Pageant.
Instead he got Mass with the beautiful people saying their beads in one hand and pointing and waving with the other.
Nice music, while worrying about getting his pocket picked in the crowd, and enough time to do The Thing and no one notices.

Midnight service aint like that any more, fortunately, Mr. Pepys. We would definitely notice today, and you would be out on your ear.

JayW  •  Link

Sam had an office lunch and was crushed in a crowd of people at the Midnight Mass. This morning my husband and I will be masked in a socially distanced church with no more than 60 in the congregation then home to spend the day together instead of the house party with all of the family. What a difference. Still, Merry Christmas 2020 everyone! Keep safe.

Mary K  •  Link

the question of pockets.

Anyone with a keen interest in the history of pockets might wish to try the following:
"The Pocket: a hidden history of Women's Lives - 1660 - 1900" by B. Burman and A. Fennetaux.
Yale University Press 2020.
NYT Art book of the Year.

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