Monday 20 July 1668

Up, and to the office, where Mrs. Daniel comes … All the morning at the office. Dined at home, then with Mr. Colvill to the new Excise Office in Aldersgate Street, and thence back to the Old Exchange, to see a very noble fine lady I spied as I went through, in coming; and there took occasion to buy some gloves, and admire her, and a mighty fine fair lady indeed she was. Thence idling all the afternoon to Duck Lane, and there saw my bookseller’s moher, but get no ground there yet; and here saw Mrs. Michell’s daughter married newly to a bookseller, and she proves a comely little grave woman. So to visit my Lord Crew, who is very sick, to great danger, by an irisipulus; —[Erysipelas.]— the first day I heard of it, and so home, and took occasion to buy a rest for my espinette at the ironmonger’s by Holborn Conduit, where the fair pretty woman is that I have lately observed there, and she is pretty, and je credo vain enough. Thence home and busy till night, and so to bed.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

It's been almost a month since an ellipsis; L&M provide what's omitted:

"Up, and to the office, where Mrs. Daniel comes and I could not tocar su cosa, she having ellos sobre her."

Mae  •  Link

I think this is the first mention of Sam playing a piano-like instrument. He plays a few instruments now, doesn't he?

Why does Sam not write 'Je Credo' in English? It simply means 'I belive' doesn't it?

Margaret  •  Link

"Why does Sam not write ‘Je Credo’ in English? It simply means ‘I belive’ doesn’t it?"

I think he's thinking lecherous thoughts, and lecherous thoughts lead him naturally to write in bits of foreign languages!

Art perry  •  Link

What is "rest" for a piano like instrument that is made by an ironmonger? Is it a stand to support the instrument or something else?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"What is “rest” for a piano like instrument that is made by an ironmonger? "

REST : wrest, tuning-key. (L&M Select Glossary)

Larry Bunce  •  Link

Je pence que Sam was about to write some of his innermost thoughts about the woman, then changed his mind and just wrote "vain enough." The wording could also mean he had high hopes, but she rejected his advances.

jd baltassat  •  Link


"Je pense" in french,

Io credo, full spanish

"je credo" ful Sam in hubris,

and why, Mae? because to think a sin is, at least, worst (and sometimes a lot more agreeable) than to commit it…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M transcribe "yo creo." Methinks Larry caught Pepys's sudden turnabout right.

Mae  •  Link

Ah, true...thankee kindly!

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Rest for a piano
Sam's piano was likely a little box meant to be laid on a tabletop. The iron rest would have provided legs and a way to sit at the piano comfortably. You see these little pianos and virginals in Dutch paintings resting on a carpet on a table, with a young lady posing agreeably in front.

Mary  •  Link

Not so sure that it is a stand for the 'piano' that Sam has bought. Such an item would probably have to be made specifically to fit the particular instrument rather than being available off the shelf, so to speak. These keyboard instruments did not necessarily come in standard sizes. The ironmonger is more likely to have provided the rest/wrest/tuning key that the L&M glossary proposes and Terry mentions.

Mary  •  Link


Poor Crew: a painful, disfiguring and dangerous (potentially lethal) infection in pre-antibiotic times.

jeannine  •  Link

Holy Toledo when Sam says “Je Credo”
His brains taken over by his libido!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"here saw Mrs. Michell’s daughter married newly to a bookseller"

L&M: The Mitchells were themselves booksellers.

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