Saturday 20 February 1668/69

Up, and all the morning at the office, and then home to dinner, and after dinner out with my wife and my two girls to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Gratefull Servant,” a pretty good play, and which I have forgot that ever I did see. And thence with them to Mrs. Gotier’s, the Queen’s tire-woman, for a pair of locks for my wife; she is an oldish French woman, but with a pretty hand as most I have seen; and so home, and to supper, W. Batelier and W. Hewer with us, and so my cold being great, and greater by my having left my coat at my tailor’s to-night and come home in a thinner that I borrowed there, I went to bed before them and slept pretty well.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"“The Gratefull Servant,” a pretty good play, and which I have forgot that ever I did see"

Not quite: in fact Pepys never did see it before!

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘ . . lock, n.1 Etym: Old English loc . .
. . 1. b. A lovelock; also, a tress of artificial hair.
. . 1603 By-law Fraternity Eastland Co. of Soc. Eng. Russia Merchant-adventurers 10 Nov. in J. Brand Hist. & Antiq. Newcastle (1789) II. 232 [Apprentices shall not] weare their haire longe nor locks at their ears like ruffians.
1666 S. Pepys Diary 29 Oct. (1972) VII. 346 My wife (who is mighty fine, and with a new fair pair of locks) . . ‘

Jenny  •  Link

It must have been fun for Elizabeth to have the two girls staying. Young people in the house, chat about fashion and the girls' interests. Almost like being a mother.

Also funny to think about Sam spreading his cold far and wide. No idea about viruses then. Not that people are any better today - spreading their germs because of the all important need to stay at work, never mind who picks your germs up.

Jenny  •  Link

"forgot that ever I did see"

I think Sam is saying he can't remember if he's seen it or not.

Mark S  •  Link

On Thursday the girls went to see a play for the very first time, and obviously enjoyed it, and were later 'pretty merry, and very fine with their new clothes'.

The play they saw was 'The Mad Lover', so the next day they went to visit Bedlam to see what mad people are really like.

Now, the following day they are back at the playhouse watching another play. They seem to be having a great time visiting their rich 'uncle'.

languagehat  •  Link

"come home in a thinner that I borrowed there"

Anybody know what a "thinner" is? Neither the OED nor the L&M Companion volume is any help.

Don McCahill  •  Link

re: thinner

This is just a guess, but judging by context he left his heavier coat for repairs, and borrowed something thinner to come home in. London in February would be too chilly to have nothing but a shirt.

martinb  •  Link

a "thinner": I took this to mean a thinner coat than the one he left at the tailor's i.e. one that isn't so thick.

Allen Appel  •  Link

Am I the only one who stumbled over "the Queens tire-woman?" If so. forgive the repetition, but a tire-woman was one of the many women who helped the queen get dressed in the morning, handing out the correct clothes. There was even a queen's under-tire-woman. It is often spelled as one word, tirewoman. I assume the word springs from "attire."

"In the course of the day Madame de Lannoy, in her quality of tire-woman of the queen, looked for this casket, appeared uneasy at not finding it, and at length asked information of the queen. The Three Musketeers by Dumas

"Woe worth me when Agatha the tire-woman sets eyes upon it."
The White Company by Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

arby  •  Link

Thanks, Allen. Saved me from asking.

Allen Appel  •  Link

Which also leads me to ask, do you suppose the tire-woman had a little side business selling used queen's locks to the common folk?

pepfie  •  Link

tire-woman again

OED 2009 tire-woman
Also 7–8 tyre-.
[f. tire n.1 + woman.]
A woman who assists at a lady's toilet; a lady's maid (arch.); †also, a woman employed in the making or sale of women's clothing; a dressmaker, costumier (obs.).

... 1667[sic!] Pepys Diary 20 Feb., To Mrs. Grotier's, the Queen's tire-woman, for a pair of locks for my wife.   

Linda F  •  Link

Doubt the tire-woman was selling anything of the Queen's to anyone. Took "locks" to mean human hair made up into the curly bundles of hair that women of roughly this time period wore on either side of the head. Would save curling and dressing one's own locks each time.

P.S. Happy Mardi Gras to all!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So it seems Sam is finally over his dislike of false hair on Bess...Or has given it up for the sake of the marital peace pact.

A bit amusing to think of our Sam going to bed before Bess and the guests...Age creeping up, old Samuel?

languagehat  •  Link

Thanks, Don and Martin; "a thinner coat than the one he left at the tailor’s" makes sense and is doubtless correct.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"after dinner out with my wife and my two girls to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Gratefull Servant,” a pretty good play, and which I have forgot that ever I did see."

L&M: The play was a tragicomedy by James Shirley, licensed in 1629 and published in 1630. There is no previous notice of it in the diary. Downes (p. 27) notes that the title-role, Dulcino, was played by Mrs Long, and that this, her first appearance 'in Man's Habit, prov'd as Beneficial to the Company, as several succeeding new Plays' Roscius Anglicanus by Downes, John, fl. 1661-1719;…

LKvM  •  Link

" . . . thence with them to Mrs. Gotier’s, the Queen’s tire-woman . . . ."
"Mrs. Gotier" is glossed as "Mrs.
Gaultier," which would be "Mrs. Walter" to us (and to Italians: Gualtier is the first name of the lecherous Duke of Mantua's "poor student" alter ego in "Rigoletto").
The "tiring" room at a theater of that period was the costuming area. (I believe there was also already a "green room" back then too, where actors waited for their cues to go onstage, same as "the talent" waits to go on in a "green room" (it doesn't have to be green!) today.

LKvM  •  Link

At the King’s play-house, March 19, 1665-66:
"[M]y business here was to see the inside of the stage and all the tiring-rooms and machines; and, indeed, it was a sight worthy seeing."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and to supper, W. Batelier and W. Hewer with us ..."

We know Elizabeth and Sam are very fond of both of the Williams, but you suppose they might be match-making the Pepys girls???

Nothing comes of it, as we know from their biographies, but I was thinking what fun these dinners must have been for Babs and Betty.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Jenny's comment on Pepys not knowing he was spreading his cold virus strikes me as more profound than she knew when she wrote her comment.
We are all older and wiser now, aren't we?

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