Saturday 26 December 1668

Lay long with pleasure, prating with my wife, and then up, and I a little to the Office, and my head busy setting some papers and accounts to rights, which being long neglected because of my eyes will take me up much time and care to do, but it must be done. So home at noon to dinner, and then abroad with my wife to a play, at the Duke of York’s house, the house full of ordinary citizens. The play was “Women Pleased,” which we had never seen before; and, though but indifferent, yet there is a good design for a good play. So home, and there to talk, and my wife to read to me, and so to bed.

26 Dec 2011, 11:40 p.m. - Australian Susan

"my wife read to me" We never hear now of Sam reading books as he travels about, it's either the boy or Bess reading to him before bed. He's stopped reading prayers as well (though maybe that is for other reasons) and he mainly seems to use others to do his office writing even before the "writ fair" final version is done by a clerk with a good hand. This diary seems to be the only substantial writing he does and, of course, it could never be dictated. And yet, Sam seems not down-hearted much, is not bitter and does not complain overmuch. I read the author Sue Townsend's account of her deteriorating eyesight - very poignant, but no trace of bitterness. Pity Sam could not have had access to some modern devices!

27 Dec 2011, 1:05 a.m. - Carl in Boston

Very perceptive, Susan.

29 Dec 2011, 5:32 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"Lay long with pleasure, prating with my wife" prate: to talk long and idly : chatter Origin of PRATE: Middle English, from Middle Dutch; akin to Middle Low German pratten to pout First Known Use: 15th century Synonyms: babble, blab, cackle, chaffer [British], chatter, chin [slang], converse, gab, gabble, gas, jabber, jaw, kibitz (also kibbitz), natter, palaver, patter, chat, prattle, rap, rattle, run on, schmooze (or shmooze), talk, twitter, visit Related Words: gossip, tattle; descant, discuss, expatiate; yak (also yack), yammer, yap

11 Feb 2017, 3:51 a.m. - Terry Foreman

"The play was “Women Pleased,” which we had never seen before" L&M: A tragicomedy by John Fletcher, acted c. 1620, and published in 1647. This is the first record of a post-Restoration performance.

27 Dec 2021, 5:48 p.m. - San Diego Sarah

We are now into the 12 Days of Christmas, and in Pepys' day there were special songs and carols for most of them. 27 December is St. John's Day, and this is its special "carol" -- a 17th Century ballad more about mince pies than St. John (surprisingly?). From "New Carrolls for this Merry Time of Christmas, 1661" Michael Palmer: tenor Eleanor Cramer: bass viol Robin Jeffrey: lute Alison Kinder: recorder "In honour of St. John we thus do keep good Christmas cheer; And he that comes to dine with us, I think he need not spare. The butcher he hath killed good beef, the caterer brings it in; But Christmas pies are still the chief if that I durst begin. Our bacon hogs are full and fat to make us brawn and souse; Full well may I reject thereat to see them in the house But yet the minced pie it is that sets my teeth on water; Good mistress, let me have a bit, for I do long thereafter. And I will fetch your water in to brew and bake withal, Your love and favour still to win when as you please to call. Then grant me, dame your love and leave to taste your pie-meat here; It is the best in my conceit of all your Christmas-cheer. The cloves and mace and gallant plums that here on heaps do lie, And prunes as big as both my thumbs, enticeth much mine eye. Oh, let me eat my belly-full of your good Christmas-pie; Except thereat I have a pull, I think I sure shall die."

28 Dec 2021, 6:12 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

The above should, of course, have been posted tomorrow the 27th ... sorry.