Wednesday 10 February 1668/69

Up, and with my wife and W. Hewer, she set us down at White Hall, where the Duke of York was gone a-hunting: and so, after I had done a little business there, I to my wife, and with her to the plaisterer’s at Charing Cross, that casts heads and bodies in plaister: and there I had my whole face done; but I was vexed first to be forced to daub all my face over with pomatum: but it was pretty to feel how soft and easily it is done on the face, and by and by, by degrees, how hard it becomes, that you cannot break it, and sits so close, that you cannot pull it off, and yet so easy, that it is as soft as a pillow, so safe is everything where many parts of the body do bear alike. Thus was the mould made; but when it came off there was little pleasure in it, as it looks in the mould, nor any resemblance whatever there will be in the figure, when I come to see it cast off, which I am to call for a day or two hence, which I shall long to see. Thence to Hercules Pillars, and there my wife and W. Hewer and I dined, and back to White Hall, where I staid till the Duke of York come from hunting, which he did by and by, and, when dressed, did come out to dinner; and there I waited: and he did tell me that to-morrow was to be the great day that the business of the Navy would be discoursed of before the King and his Caball, and that he must stand on his guard, and did design to have had me in readiness by, but that upon second thoughts did think it better to let it alone, but they are now upon entering into the economical part of the Navy. Here he dined, and did mightily magnify his sauce, which he did then eat with every thing, and said it was the best universal sauce in the world, it being taught him by the Spanish Embassador; made of some parsley and a dry toast, beat in a mortar, together with vinegar, salt, and a little pepper: he eats it with flesh, or fowl, or fish: and then he did now mightily commend some new sort of wine lately found out, called Navarre wine, which I tasted, and is, I think, good wine: but I did like better the notion of the sauce, and by and by did taste it, and liked it mightily. After dinner, I did what I went for, which was to get his consent that Balty might hold his Muster-Master’s place by deputy, in his new employment which I design for him, about the Storekeeper’s accounts; which the Duke of York did grant me, and I was mighty glad of it. Thence home, and there I find Povy and W. Batelier, by appointment, met to talk of some merchandize of wine and linnen; but I do not like of their troubling my house to meet in, having no mind to their pretences of having their rendezvous here, but, however, I was not much troubled, but went to the office, and there very busy, and did much business till late at night, and so home to supper, and with great pleasure to bed.

This day, at dinner, I sent to Mr. Spong to come to me to Hercules Pillars, who come to us, and there did bring with him my new Parallelogram of brass, which I was mightily pleased with, and paid for it 25s., and am mightily pleased with his ingenious and modest company.


10 Feb 2012, 11:38 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"to daub all my face over with pomatum" pomatum = pomade, i.e. an ointment http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pomatum

10 Feb 2012, 11:43 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"Navarre wine" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navarra_%28DO%29

11 Feb 2012, 1 a.m. - pepfie

Magnificent vinaigrette OED magnify 1 trans. To speak or act for the honour or glory of (a person or thing); to glorify, extol. arch. ... 1668–9 Pepys Diary 10 Feb., Here he dined, and did mightily magnify his sauce. The Spanish ambassador is taking revenge on British palates by omitting oil from his recipe, I suspect.

11 Feb 2012, 1:10 a.m. - Dorothy Willis

I wonder what happened to the life mask and/or the model made from it?

11 Feb 2012, 10:41 a.m. - Tony Eldridge

"...so safe is everything where many parts of the body do bear alike." Can anyone translate this?

11 Feb 2012, 11:13 a.m. - Mary

"what happened to the life mask ..." L&M note that the cast did not survive. The artist concerned has been identified as William Larson, caster and modeller. As for the model itself, we shall have to wait and see.

11 Feb 2012, 11:31 a.m. - andy

but it was pretty to feel how soft and easily it is done on the face, and by and by, by degrees, how hard it becomes, that you cannot break it, and sits so close, that you cannot pull it off, and yet so easy, that it is as soft as a pillow, Interesting that Sam doesn't comment on the heat that you might expect to be given off as the plaster dries.

11 Feb 2012, 3:29 p.m. - Carl in Boston

made of some parsley and a dry toast, beat in a mortar, together with vinegar, salt, and a little pepper. Seems like a pretty dull sauce to me.

11 Feb 2012, 5:34 p.m. - Allen Appel

I'm with Carl and pepfie, I'll bet there was a bit of oil and even possibly, gasp!, a clove of garlic or a bit of onion? I'll bet the Duke didn't whip this up tableside, but had the cook prepare it earlier. And then he left out a couple of ingredients when passing the recipe along to Sam. After all, what good is a special sauce if everyone else is making and eating it as well?

11 Feb 2012, 8:06 p.m. - Michael Wright

“…so safe is everything where many parts of the body do bear alike.” I take it to mean, roughly: It's all safe when the load is spread over a large part of the body. That is, he doesn't feel the constricting pressure on his face that he was expecting.

13 Feb 2012, 5:22 p.m. - Robert Gertz

Wonder if Bess got a cast made as well? *** Universal Sauce... Hmmn... The Duke's Universal Sauce... Sounds like a way to cut the Navy's deficit. I wonder if Sam's meats tended more to the sweet sauces at this time, like the Romans. If so, a more sour, salty vinegar sauce mixed with drippings might have been a welcome change.

14 Feb 2012, 7:01 p.m. - Jenny

I have downloaded the whole book to my Kindle but this is the book online. Wonderful insight into the food of the 17th century. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22790/22790-h/cook1.html

20 Feb 2017, 6:47 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"Navarre wine" L&M: Possibly Jurançon, a rare orance-color dessert win, made near Pau. (L&M) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juran%C3%A7on_AOC http://www.cavedejurancon.com/la-cave/vignoble.html?___store=uk

9 Feb 2022, 2:51 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

"... the King and his Caball, ... Did Pepys or did Wheatley not know how to spell CABAL (coincidentally the acronym of the initials of the men in this "administration")? Has anyone a working knowledge of Pepys' shorthand? I have read that he wrote out names in longhand, making it Pepys' error.

11 Feb 2022, 4:59 p.m. - JayW

SDS - I think it’s no coincidence that CABAL contains the initials of the people involved. I have previously heard that is how the word developed.

12 Feb 2022, 4:03 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

Sorry, Jay ... it was around long before these blokes. "... these five names are not the source of the word cabal, which was in use decades before Charles II ascended the throne. The term traces back to cabbala, the Medieval Latin name for the Kabbalah, a traditional system of esoteric Jewish mysticism. Latin borrowed Cabbala from the Hebrew qabbālāh, meaning "received or traditional lore." -- https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cabal How it travelled from Medieval Jewish mysticism to a what is typically a "political intrigue involving persons of some eminence: a cabal among powerful senators" [same citation] would make an interesting story.