Friday 22 January 1668/69

Up, and with W. Hewer to White Hall, and there attended the Duke of York, and thence to the Exchange, in the way calling at several places on occasions relating to my feast to-morrow, on which my mind is now set; as how to get a new looking-glass for my dining-room, and some pewter, and good wine, against to-morrow; and so home, where I had the looking-glass set up, cost me 6l. 7s. 6d. And here at the ’Change I met with Mr. Dancre, the famous landscape painter, with whom I was on Wednesday; and he took measure of my panels in my dining-room, where, in the four, I intend to have the four houses of the King, White Hall, Hampton Court, Greenwich, and Windsor. He gone, I to dinner with my people, and so to my office to dispatch a little business, and then home to look after things against to-morrow, and among other things was mightily pleased with the fellow that come to lay the cloth, and fold the napkins, which I like so well, as that I am resolved to give him 40s. to teach my wife to do it. So to supper, with much kindness between me and my wife, which, now-a-days, is all my care, and so to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

E.  •  Link

Very wise of Sam. Pay a man to fold your napkins and the table looks great for a party. Pay a man to teach your wife to fold your napkins and the table looks great every day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Of course there is a downside to impressing Lord Sandwich with your material prosperity...

"Mr. Moore writes to request of me that I lend my Lord 1000Ls...And notes that my lord noted my flagons alone should fetch an easy 300."

And of course it is a pity he isn't inviting Uncle Wight, Captain Ferrers, Coleman, Pembleton...

"Thank ye for coming gentlemen...Now that we've enjoyed dinner, I'll be stringing my bow. One moment..."

"Ah, music, Nephew...Delightful."

"Shall I have Ferrers fetch my guitar, Cousin?" Sandwich to Bess at table.

"Won't be necessary, my lord. Sam'l will play solo on this instrument." thumbs book in hand.

Sam reappears, lugging large object...

"Here, Pepys, want a hand?" Ferrers. "What is this, a harp or something?" eyes composite reflex bow in Sam's hand.

"Only one string, Pepys?" Sandwich leaning to look.

"All it needs, my lord." Sam notes, stringing bow with a little difficulty.

"And what are we reading, dear Niece?...Ah, 'The Odyssey'? Rather heavy stuff...Is my nephew again running you a school?"

"Sam'l is always trying to further my education, uncle. But I like the last chapter. Excuse me, I need to move to the side a bit to fully appreciate the effect but you stay right here..."

"I don't understand..." Wight, as Sam pulls out first arrow...

"You'll soon get the point."


Mark S  •  Link

Note the very high price of the looking glass, although Pepys doesn't give the size.

Manufacture of mirrors was a very complex, time-consuming and laborious task at this time.

ONeville  •  Link

In our house many years ago, breaking a mirror would bring you 7 years bad luck. Perhaps this reflected the cost of the item.

sue nicholson  •  Link

Terry thank-you so much for posting the link to these paintings. Indeed thank-you for all your helpful and informative links.
To the modern eye it is striking to observe how beautiful the royal palaces look when not surrounded by modern urban sprawl. Greenwich in particular must have been lovely in the 17th century. The park is still there of course, along with what is now the Maritime Museum and the Queen's House but the skyline is now dominated byCanary Wharf and all the other city skyscrapers.
Rye, for those who don't know it, is still a charming little seaside town.

sue nicholson  •  Link

PS I have always wondered what the triangular box on the map chest is for. I am now thinking that it might be the pentograph (parallelogram) purchased recently from Mr Spong. Pictures of early brass examples are exactly that shape.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I am resolved to give him 40s."

Interesting that Sam puts it this way -- why wouldn't he simply say £2, I wonder?

Mary  •  Link

40 shillings.

Perhaps the napkin-folding gentleman was normally paid a certain number of shillings for his work and Pepys is proposing this increased sum in the manner stated to demonstrate how many times normal rate he is willing to pay for the tuition.

GrahamT  •  Link

In my youth, before decimalisation of the currency, 30 bob (shillings) was far more common usage than £1:10s (one-pound-ten), at least it was where I lived. Perhaps 40s is similar familiar usage from when a shilling was a significant sum and 40 of them sounded better than 2 measly pounds.

AnnieC  •  Link

There used to be a chain of shops called The Fifty Shilling Tailors, founded in 1905 according to Wikipedia.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I met with Mr. Dancre, the famous landscape painter, with whom I was on Wednesday; and he took measure of my panels in my dining-room, where, in the four, I intend to have the four houses of the King, White Hall, Hampton Court, Greenwich, and Windsor."

L&M: On 31 March Pepys decided to have a view of Rome instead of the picture of Hampton Court.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Danckerts' view of Hampton Court still survives in the royal collection (O. Millar, Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian picture in coll. H.M. Queen, no. 397) and he is known to have painted Windsor and Hampton Court for the Crown There is a view of Greenwich almost certainly by him in the National Maritime Museum there.

Carl  •  Link

My first suit came from Burtons, cost a little more desite the nickname "50/- tailors"

Carl  •  Link

"Fifty bob"

JB  •  Link

Terry, I admire the perseverance with which you posted the updated links to the Danckerts' paintings. Thank you.

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