Monday 6 January 1667/68

Up, leaving my wife to get her ready, and the maids to get a supper ready against night for our company; and I by coach to White Hall, and there up and down the house, and among others met with Mr. Pierce, by whom I find, as I was afeard from the folly of my wife, that he understood that he and his wife was to dine at my house to-day, whereas it was to sup; and therefore I, having done my business at court, did go home to dinner, and there find Mr. Harris, by the like mistake, come to dine with me. However, we did get a pretty dinner ready for him; and there he and I to discourse of many things, and I do find him a very excellent person, such as in my whole [acquaintances] I do not know another better qualified for converse, whether in things of his own trade, or of other kinds, a man of great understanding and observation, and very agreeable in the manner of his discourse, and civil as far as is possible. I was mightily pleased with his company; and after dinner did take coach with him, and my wife and girl, to go to a play, and to carry him thither to his own house. But I ’light by the way to return home, thinking to have spoke with Mrs. Bagwell, who I did see to-day in our entry, come from Harwich, whom I have not seen these twelve months, I think, and more, and voudrai avoir hazer alcun with her, sed she was gone, and so I took coach and away to my wife at the Duke of York’s house, in the pit, and so left her; and to Mrs. Pierce, and took her and her cozen Corbet, Knepp and little James, and brought them to the Duke’s house; and, the house being full, was forced to carry them to a box, which did cost me 20s., besides oranges, which troubled me, though their company did please me. Thence, after the play, stayed till Harris was undressed, there being acted “The Tempest,” and so he withall, all by coach, home, where we find my house with good fires and candles ready, and our Office the like, and the two Mercers, and Betty Turner, Pendleton, and W. Batelier. And so with much pleasure we into the house, and there fell to dancing, having extraordinary Musick, two viollins, and a base viollin, and theorbo, four hands, the Duke of Buckingham’s musique, the best in towne, sent me by Greeting, and there we set in to dancing. By and by to my house, to a very good supper, and mighty merry, and good musick playing; and after supper to dancing and singing till about twelve at night; and then we had a good sack posset for them, and an excellent cake, cost me near 20s., of our Jane’s making, which was cut into twenty pieces, there being by this time so many of our company, by the coming in of young Goodyer and some others of our neighbours, young men that could dance, hearing of our dancing; and anon comes in Mrs. Turner, the mother, and brings with her Mrs. Hollworthy, which pleased me mightily. And so to dancing again, and singing, with extraordinary great pleasure, till about two in the morning, and then broke up; and Mrs. Pierce and her family, and Harris and Knepp by coach home, as late as it was. And they gone, I took Mrs. Turner and Hollworthy home to my house, and there gave wine and sweetmeats; but I find Mrs. Hollworthy but a mean woman, I think, for understanding, only a little conceited, and proud, and talking, but nothing extraordinary in person, or discourse, or understanding. However, I was mightily pleased with her being there, I having long longed for to know her, and they being gone, I paid the fiddlers 3l. among the four, and so away to bed, weary and mightily pleased, and have the happiness to reflect upon it as I do sometimes on other things, as going to a play or the like, to be the greatest real comfort that I am to expect in the world, and that it is that that we do really labour in the hopes of; and so I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take pleasure in it, and so fill myself with vain expectation of pleasure and go without it.


23 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...by whom I find, as I was afeard from the folly of my wife, that he understood that he and his wife was to dine at my house to-day..."

Folly, eh? Perhaps she just preferred a seated to a dancing Betty Pierce.

***
"...where we find my house with good fires and candles ready, and our Office the like..."

Good ole Jane...

Quite a nice time...

"...and so away to bed, weary and mightily pleased, and have the happiness to reflect upon it as I do sometimes on other things, as going to a play or the like, to be the greatest real comfort that I am to expect in the world, and that it is that that we do really labour in the hopes of; and so I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take pleasure in it, and so fill myself with vain expectation of pleasure and go without it."

Wise and life-affirming words from our boy.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"an excellent cake"

L&M note this is a Twelfth-Night cake.

7 January 1660, the first such party recorded in Pepys's Journall, they noted that the cake served at supper on such occasions usually contained a bean and a pea, the recipients of which were King and Queen of the celebration, respectively.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"with much pleasure we into the house"
"By and by to my house"
"I took Mrs. Turner and Hollworthy home to my house"

As I read this passage, after the play Sam went into his house three times without ever leaving it. Clearly he was happy to be there.

Spin2Win  •  Link

Great party! Great description! Too bad we no longer have a Twelfth Night.

And trust Sam to note the price of everything.

Ruben  •  Link

"Sam went into his house three times"

"all by coach, home, where we find my house with good fires and candles ready, and OUR OFFICE THE LIKE":
So the celebration was all over the place not just at Samuel's residence, probably including the garden in between.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

so I took coach and away to my wife at the Duke of York’s house, in the pit, and so left her; and to Mrs. Pierce, and took her and her cozen Corbet, Knepp and little James, and brought them to the Duke’s house; and, the house being full, was forced to carry them to a box, which did cost me 20s., besides oranges, which troubled me,
Do I read this right? Sam has already made a hasty excuse to leave the coach in the hope of groping Mrs Bagwell. Then he catches up with Bess in the pit but leaves her, only to reappear in an expensive box with the women she is jealous of. He really is playing with fire.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam, master of efficiency, felt there was no reason not to make full use of his trip to take Harris home by combining it with a brief rendezvous with his mistress.

As for Pierce and co, apparently the play rendezvous was planned but Bess must have fumed at being left, especially after learning he got the guests a box. Betty as usual brought anti-Sam protection in the form of Jamie Jr, though Knipp's presence must have raised Bess' hackles. I can't help feeling Betty must regard Sam and his manuevers with considerable amusement, though poor Knipp seems desperate for anything to allow her to escape her marriage for a few hours.

nix  •  Link

Note the absence of disparaging comments on La Belle Pierce painting her face -- was there a no-makeup-on-Twelfthnight rule, or is she forgiven (at least for the season)?

Either way, wassail and carpe diem, Samuel!

Fern  •  Link

A wonderfully entertaining entry. An action-packed day in prospect, with business to be done in the morning, then the dash home to dinner in case a guest arrives due to Bess's "folly" (no opportunity for an argument as to whose folly it was), then the chance of a quickie with Mrs Bagwell to be hastily slotted in amongst all the other comings and goings to and from the theatre. And then, at nightfall, the partying begins. What a lovely, lively bunch of people.

Marquess  •  Link

A full and exciting day and night. I liked how Sam complains of spending money on oranges and a box, at the theatre, it being full. Hard to believe that it's been over a year since we saw Mrs Bagwell.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"But I ’light by the way to return home, thinking to have spoke with Mrs. Bagwell, who I did see today in our entry, come from Harwich, whom I have not seen these twelve months, I think, and more, and voudrai avoir hazer alcun with her, sed she was gone, ..."

Is this the first time Pepys has taken one of his amours in his home? I suppose Jane et al were too busy to notice or hear what was going on in Pepys' closet, but this seems like he has just taken a grave new risk. No mention of a quid pro quo ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Plus I didn't remember that the Bagwells had moved to Harwich. He last saw her on March 6, 1666/67, and she was living at Deptford, but on March 4, 1666/67 Pepys says:

"... and then to Bagwell’s, where I find his wife washing, and also I did ‘hazer tout que je voudrais con’ her, and then sent for her husband, and discoursed of his going to Harwich this week to his charge of the new ship building there, which I have got him, and so away, ..."

https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/03/04/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"And so with much pleasure we into the house, and there fell to dancing, having extraordinary Musick, two viollins, and a base viollin, and theorbo, four hands, the Duke of Buckingham’s musique, the best in towne, sent me by Greeting, and there we set in to dancing."

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham is Charles II's favorite again. I assume he and the Duchess, Anne Fairfax Villiers, are attending whatever celebrations the Court has put together tonight.
Therefore the Duke's private quartet were free to accepted a side gig for some extra money. 15 shillings a piece, not bad.
I wonder if they had to pay Greeting a finder's fee?
Maybe Greeting runs a referral service on the side?

JayW  •  Link

SDS - Sed = but. Sam’s cryptic note re Mrs Bagwell translates more or less as ‘I wanted to try it on but she was gone’. Nothing happened at home or abroad as he couldn’t find her later on.

JayW  •  Link

Above posted too quickly. I should also have said that ‘in our entry’ means somewhere close to the house or office, perhaps by a gate or path leading to it rather than actually inside. Mrs Bagwell was spotted but had gone before Sam could get to her.

Carmichael  •  Link

He is a wise man. As I age (just hit 60), I find inspiration in his words today: " I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take pleasure in it."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks JayW, my Fractured French and Specious Spanish failed me.

Harry R  •  Link

There have been some wonderful diary entries of late. In Sam's descriptions of the High Mass in the Park on Dec 24 and of the gamblers at Groome-Porters on Jan 1 he closely observes the behaviour of others. In today's diary entry Sam is so wrapped up in his own enjoyment of his party that he doesn't give us that detail. Instead his "hav(ing) the happiness to reflect upon" and other thoughts at the end of his day are an observation of himself.

Rene B  •  Link

and there fell to dancing, having extraordinary Musick, two viollins, and a base viollin, and theorbo, four hands, the Duke of Buckingham’s musique,

Four hands? Is it an instrument? Do they play the theorbe four handed? Puzzling...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Rene B ... in the text "theorbe" is linked to the Encyclopedia, which has pictures and links to recordings of it being played. I can't see how two people played it, but it is almost 6 ft. long, so may have taken someone to hold it while the other person played it. I really don't know.

You bring up a good point. In my reading I had associated four instruments to four hands (as in sailing, a hand is a person -- a Pepysian naval allusion). So I read the sentence to mean Pepys had hired Buckingham's sting quartet.

Now you suggest a different meaning, I find my assumption to be a linguistical stretch.

JayW  •  Link

SDS - I think you are correct about the quartet of players. Towards the end of the entry it says -
‘I paid the fiddlers 3l. among the four‘

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: January 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 153-204. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

@@@
Jan.6. 1668
Deposition of John Ayres.

Was told by one Joan, an English woman, taken prisoner by the Spaniards, that she was taken into the castle of St. Jago, and there a negro told her that he belonged to Prince Maurice;
that the Prince was cast away in a hurricane at Porto Rico, kept in a dungeon there till demanded by the English, and then sent to the castle of St. Jago, in Porto Bello, where he remains in a dungeon without attendance;
the negro begged her not to tell this till she came to some English government.
Being very cruelly treated by the Spaniards, the deponent, with some others, escaped to Jamaica.
Taken 27 Dec. 1667, and certified 6 Jan. 1668, by Sir Thos. Modyford [governor of Jamaica].
[2 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 232, No. 45.]
---
Prince Rupert never accepted that Maurice was dead. Reports like this kept his hope alive of finding his kid brother.

And it is 'interesting' (coincidental) to note that Henry Morgan will attack Porto Bello in July of 1668 ... I bet he checked the dungeons.
https://goldenageofpiracy.org/history/buccaneerin…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"she was taken into the castle of St. Jago, and there a negro told her that he belonged to Prince Maurice;"

This creates a little confusion, because Fort St. Jago is opposite Elmina, Ghana, so slaves could meet here, but it's a bit out of the way for a story about the Caribbean.

SPOILER: In July 1668 Henry Morgan and many buccaneers attack Porto Bello:

Morgan writes "... we took our canoes, 23 in number and rowing along the coast, landed at 3 o'clock in the morning and made our way into the town, and seeing that we could not refresh ourselves in quiet we were enforced to assault the castle ..."
When they had captured the fort of San Geronimo they made their way to the dungeon and there found 11 English prisoners covered with sores caused by the chafing of their heavy chains.
http://www.data-wales.co.uk/morgan.htm

I suspect he was looking for Prince Maurice; I wonder who he rescued?

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