Monday 22 February 1668/69

Up, and betimes to White Hall; but there the Duke of York is gone abroad a-hunting, and therefore after a little stay there I into London, with Sir H. Cholmly, talking all the way of Tangier matters, wherein I find him troubled from some reports lately from Norwood (who is his great enemy and I doubt an ill man), of some decay of the Mole, and a breach made therein by the sea to a great value. He set me down at the end of Leadenhall Street, and so I home, and after dinner, with my wife, in her morning-gown, and the two girls dressed, to Unthanke’s, where my wife dresses herself, having her gown this day laced, and a new petticoat; and so is indeed very fine. And in the evening I do carry them to White Hall, and there did without much trouble get into the playhouse, there in a good place among the Ladies of Honour, and myself also sat in the pit; and there by and by come the King and Queen, and they begun “Bartholomew Fayre.” But I like no play here so well as at the common playhouse; besides that, my eyes being very ill since last Sunday and this day se’nnight, with the light of the candles, I was in mighty pain to defend myself now from the light of the candles. After the play done, we met with W. Batelier and W. Hewer and Talbot Pepys, and they follow us in a hackney-coach: and we all stopped at Hercules’ Pillars; and there I did give them the best supper I could, and pretty merry; and so home between eleven and twelve at night, and so to bed, mightily well pleased with this day’s work.


11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Norwood (who is his great enemy and I doubt [ = fear] an ill man)"

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"pretty merry; and so home between eleven and twelve at night, and so to bed, mightily well pleased with this day’s work."

I am happy to see Sam is recovering from the blues.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But I like no play here so well as at the common playhouse; "

L&M note Pepys had this opinion for good reasons. In Whitehall the acoustics were not good. Unlike the public theatres, it had neither an apron stage nor proscenium doors, and as most Elizabethan and Restorayion plays were written for stages equipped with these structures, it would not always be easy to present them there [ and imagine the changes required in the blocking! ].

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

with my wife, in her morning-gown,....where my wife dresses herself, having her gown this day laced, and a new petticoat; and so is indeed very fine.

I know Sam is describing haute couture but I can't escape the image of Bess slipping out to the shops in a dressing gown and slippers.

ONeville  •  Link

Got up early to see the boss, who has gone a-hunting. Sam seems to treat that as being pretty normal and offers no comment. These days the boss would probably be on the golf course and expect you to carry on running things for him.

FJA  •  Link

Sounds like London is beginning to fill up with people named "Pepys".

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"besides that, my eyes being very ill since last Sunday and this day se’nnight, with the light of the candles, I was in mighty pain to defend myself now from the light of the candles. "

L&M: these were the chandeliers, which, together with footlights, were the chief means of illuminating the stage in this space.

LKvM  •  Link

" . . . my eyes being very ill since last Sunday and this day se’nnight . . . . "

Okay, this is Monday, and his eyes have been very ill since Sunday and Monday a week ago, which is what "this day [the Monday] se'nnight [seven nights ago]" means.
It's sort of like the German for "a week from today," which is "heute in acht Tagen": "today in eight days [counting this day]."

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“mightily well pleased with this day’s work”.
What does he mean by this? Not office work? Any ideas?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

“mightily well pleased with this day’s work”

Maybe 'work' refers to a day of networking with the "right" people more than "office chores".

Babs and Betty are the pretty daughters of a member of parliament, who is also a distant cousin, whom Pepys seems to be cultivating as a friend these days. A friend, meaning someone of influence who is in your inner circle.
The girls will go back to Roger and report endlessly to the Pepys' country friends about how Sam and Elizabeth took them to Court and the girls saw the King and Queen, and their ability to entertain appropriately. Those rumors will spread in the country where people have a great shortage of news.

Not to mention who at Court saw Pepys and his well-dressed, beautiful wife and extended family.

Rest assured Pepys is laying out the big bucks on Elizabeth's wardrobe for a reason, beyond marital harmony. Unthank's was a lady's club, favored by women like Barbara Villiers Palmer, Lady Castlemaine ... Pepys may have mentally turned the expense of the dressmakers into a political ploy; women talk to each other and to their husbands and to their "others".

"Use all called fortune" says Ralph Waldo Emerson, and this might be a good example.
Pepys is making his image as an up-and-coming successful, connected courtier with a very presentable family ... someone you want in Parliament, not disgraced for malfeasance in far-off Tangier.
A good offense is the best defense.

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