Friday 16 April 1669

Up, and to my chamber, where with Mr. Gibson all the morning, and there by noon did almost finish what I had to write about the Administration of the Office to present to the Duke of York, and my wife being gone abroad with W. Hewer, to see the new play to-day, at the Duke of York’s house, “Guzman,” I dined alone with my people, and in the afternoon away by coach to White Hall; and there the Office attended the Duke of York; and being despatched pretty soon, and told that we should not wait on the King, as intended, till Sunday, I thence presently to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there, in the 18d. seat, did get room to see almost three acts of the play; but it seemed to me but very ordinary. After the play done, I into the pit, and there find my wife and W. Hewer; and Sheres got to them, which, so jealous is my nature, did trouble me, though my judgment tells me there is no hurt in it, on neither side; but here I did meet with Shadwell, the poet, who, to my great wonder, do tell me that my Lord of [Orrery] did write this play, trying what he could do in comedy, since his heroique plays could do no more wonders. This do trouble me; for it is as mean a thing, and so he says, as hath been upon the stage a great while; and Harris, who hath no part in it, did come to me, and told me in discourse that he was glad of it, it being a play that will not take. Thence home, and to my business at the office, to finish it, but was in great pain about yesterday still, lest my wife should have sent her porter to enquire anything, though for my heart I cannot see it possible how anything could be discovered of it, but yet such is fear as to render me full of doubt and disgust. At night to supper and to bed.


16 Apr 2012, 10:48 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"the 18d. seat" L&M say this was in the middle gallery, between the boxes and the upper gallery.

17 Apr 2012, 1:09 a.m. - Robert Gertz

When you dine alone with your people...You go to Whitehall. When you go to Whitehall, you attend the Duke of York. When you attend the Duke of York, you go to the Duke's playhouse and sit in the 18d seats. When you sit in the 18d seats you go to the pit. When you go to the pit you meet your wife with Henry Sheeres. When you meet your wife with Henry Sheeres you get jealous. When you get jealous you meet the poet Shadwell. When you meet the poet Shadwell, you help him write comedy. Don't help Shadwell the poet write comedy.

17 Apr 2012, 2:39 a.m. - Robert Gertz

Seems Will is no longer deligated to follow about with Sam everywhere...I wonder if Tom has been assigned the watchdog role or if Bess is giving Sam a little freedom on trust?

17 Apr 2012, 3:36 p.m. - Andrew Hamilton

A most uneasy trip to bed, "full of doubt and disgust." A la R. Gertz I see an angel perched on Sam's right shoulder worried that he is losing the argument to the devil perched on his left one.

17 Apr 2012, 10:31 p.m. - Maurie Beck

I see an angel perched on Sam’s right shoulder worried that he is losing the argument to the devil perched on his left one. I think the devil's perched elsewhere past the argument stage.

18 Apr 2012, 8:45 a.m. - Robert Gertz

I guess the question now is will Deb succumb or will she choose to break free of him. It will take a lot to drive Sam away and I'd guess he's been not only her first love, in some way, to some extent...But a father figure to a lonely girl. A little shock, say Will spying something and getting upset, wouldn't hurt right now to jolt Sam out of this bad behavior pattern. With Sam, fear is a great inducer of virtue. Still, with all its terrifying selfishness, Sam's affair has its pathetic side...Especially in that in his calmer moments he's fully aware he's behaving idiotically and badly and does experience remorse for Bess and Deb. His honesty, at least to himself, can't be denied.

18 Apr 2012, 10:44 a.m. - Mary

I'm betting on Deb failing to show up on Monday in Westminster Hall. Could be wrong, of course, but I'm not at all sure that even 20s is going to be enough to entice her back into Sam's clutches.

18 Apr 2012, 11:47 p.m. - Robert Gertz

"I’m betting on Deb failing to show up on Monday in Westminster Hall. Could be wrong, of course, but I’m not at all sure that even 20s is going to be enough to entice her back into Sam’s clutches." In that case...He'll have to use... Charm... "Charm, Mr. Pepys?..." "That's right, Mr. Howe...Charm." "Oh, Charm..." Uhhhh... "Mr. Pepys has a little job for you." Uhhhhh.... "He won't...Break her, will he?" "No...He'll do a nice, quiet job."

6 Mar 2017, 12:43 a.m. - Terry Foreman

"Harris, who hath no part in it, did come to me, and told me in discourse that he was glad of it, it being a play that will not take." Downes, on the other hand, records (p. 28) that the play 'took very well'. (L&M) John Downes (died ca. 1712) worked as a prompter at the Duke's Company, and later the United Company, for most of the Restoration period 1660—1700. His "historical review of the stage", Roscius Anglicanus (1708), is an invaluable source for historians both of Restoration and of Stuart theater. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Downes_(prompter) Roscius Anglicanus, or, An historical review of the stage from 1660 to 1706 by Downes, John, fl. 1661-1719 London, J.W. Jarvis & son (1886) https://archive.org/details/rosciusanglicanu00downrich

18 Apr 2022, 6:23 p.m. - Vincent Telford

'but yet such is fear as to render me full of doubt and disgust' Sam is a very intelligent extrovert brought up in puritanical times now beginning to enjoy the sexual freedom modelled by the similarly extrovert King Charles II but simultaneously experiencing guilt due to having internalised the repressive religiously driven culture he experienced as young person .. this all creating internal unresolved conflicts in his mind leading to him feeling 'full of doubt and disgust'. Sam's struggles to deal with the internal forces driving him and the conflicts they cause in his external reality are fascinating because they are recorded so honestly and but all the more so since the action all takes place in 1660s London - another culture and another time - and yet we recognise and identify with so easily Sam, Deb and Elizabeth's points of view and feelings.. that we can with some confidence infer from Sam's private diary entries. Ultimately Sam, Deb and Elizabeth are human (apes - I would say) just like us just in different circumstances in a different time and place dealing as best as they can with the challenges each day brings.

19 Apr 2022, 6:23 p.m. - San Diego Sarah

I like what you say, Vincent. I just finished watching HARLOTS on Hulu (I know, I'm years behind the times!), and it has changed my thoughts on Pepys' behavior. He was a man of his times. Yes, it's set 150 years after Pepys, but there was nothing portrayed in it I hadn't read about in Pepys' Diary, happened at the Hellfire Club, and things like Harris's List (the booklet the girls are reading in the opening scenes) existed, which catalogued the talents and attributes of London's prostitutes. "The sex industry was one of the most significant economic forces in Georgian Britain, particularly in its cities and most notably in London. Its very high value is suggested by the astonishing claim – repeated consistently in the 18th century – that one London woman in five was engaged in the capital’s sex industry. The income generated played a key role in the construction of the capital since money made by harlots, bawds or their pimps was either invested in speculative house building, which was the process by which the vast majority of the fabric of Georgian London was created, or used to pay high rents and thus encourage house building." ONE LONDON WOMEN IN FIVE. Given the manpower shortage after the English Civil Wars, in Pepys' day there were presumably more jobs open to women (e.g. all his cooks are female ... by Georgian times professional cooking had returned to being a male occupation), so my guess is that the official prostitution rate would be a bit lower. Of course, Pepys' women were not prostitutes. They were bored housewives and storekeepers. He takes a bottle of wine or some gloves if anything; no mention of payment for services rendered. So I think our frequently-expressed outrage shows how far society has progressed. We just cannot imagine living like that. But hundreds of millions did, and they had a tested courage, comraderie and fellowship we have lost. By the end of the series I had come to see the men as being the Harlots, not the women. https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/drama/sex-in-the-city-how-the-georgian-london-of-itvs-harlots-was-built-on-the-profits-of-prostitution/ https://www.madamegilflurt.com/2015/08/the-regency-sex-trade.html