Sunday 26 April 1668

(Lord’s day). Lay long, and then up and to Church, and so home, where there come and dined with me Harris, Rolt, and Bannister, and one Bland, that sings well also, and very merry at dinner, and, after dinner, to sing all the afternoon. But when all was done, I did begin to think that the pleasure of these people was not worth so often charge and cost to me, as it hath occasioned me. They being gone I and Balty walked as far as Charing Cross, and there got a coach and to Hales’s the painter, thinking to have found Harris sitting there for his picture, which is drawing for me. But he, and all this day’s company, and Hales, were got to the Crown tavern, at next door, and thither I to them and stayed a minute, leaving Captain Grant telling pretty stories of people that have killed themselves, or been accessory to it, in revenge to other people, and to mischief other people, and thence with Hales to his house, and there did see his beginning of Harris’s picture, which I think will be pretty like, and he promises a very good picture. Thence with Balty away and got a coach and to Hide Park, and there up and down and did drink some milk at the Lodge, and so home and to bed.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Having forgotten why Pepys wanted to pay to have Harris painted, I found the "why" of it in this Journal entry in March:
"Harris do so commend my wife’s picture of Mr. Hales’s, that I shall have him draw Harris’s head; and he hath also persuaded me to have Cooper draw my wife’s, which, though it cost 30l., yet I will have done."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

the pleasure of these people was not worth so often charge and cost to me
These people came to sing with Sam, and charged him for it, especially the court composer, I'm sure. Sam could think of the charge as the same for a music lesson, he probably learned a lot by singing with these pros. These days rock bands have to pay a venue to get on stage and play a set. Gone are the days when a small startup rock band could earn money by playing in a bar, now they have to pay to play.

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

re: "pretty stories" of Capt. Grant -- one would have to be in a particular frame of mind to be regaled by such...

Mary  •  Link

"charge and cost to me"

Are we sure that Sam is referring to professional fees here? Banister is the only one of the group who is a professional musician; Harris is an actor and friend of Sam's; Rolt comes from a family with connections with the Pepys and Mountagu families in Brampton and also seems (per L&M) to be a friend of Harris's and Bland is a successful local (to St. Olave's) merchant who is shortly to be appointed Mayor of Tangier.

I had assumed that Sam was referring to the charge and expense of entertaining "these people" to what one presumes was a good dinner. Sam has been spending pretty freely whilst Elizabeth is away in Brampton - theatres (with oranges), dinners at The Pillars of Hercules and elsewhere, coaches hither and yon. He's starting to think about the cost of all this pleasure.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...dined with me Harris, Rolt, and Bannister, and one Bland..." sounds like a singing law firm.

Mary  •  Link

Indeed, especially if you add Rushforth and Bindtheboy to the company.

djc  •  Link

"charge and cost to me"

compare with three days ago (23 Apr)
"pleased at my day’s pleasure, but yet displeased at my expence, and time I lose."

It is the expense of entertainment rather than professional fees he regrets.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Maybe he's missing Bess, but not really admitting it and a round of entertainment without her is just so much money spent and time lost. Think we're in for a round of diary entries centred around the office or his closet at home and much "dined alone".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Aussie Susan, I've been wondering when he "dines alone," is that not usually with Bess?

An historian said recently George Washington dined with his wife Martha alone after having been at Mount Vernon for four months -- as though to suggest their intimacy was impaired; -- but was the custom then not to entertain?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yes, when Sam says "dined alone", I have always assumed he means with no guests, so when Bess is away - dining alone really means alone. Wonder if he read as he ate?

Glyn  •  Link

The owner of the Crown, Thomas Blagrave, may or may not have been a relative of Pepys' musician friend who is also a Thomas Blagrave. Thomas Blagrave the tavern owner is a very prosperous man and probably richer than the musician.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Captain Grant telling pretty stories of people that have killed themselves, or been accessory to it, in revenge to other people, and to mischief other people"

John Graunt, pioneer demographer, had written and published 'Natural and political observations made upon the bills of mortality' (1662)

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