Samuel Pepys (1633-02-23 – 1703-05-26) was an English naval administrator, Member of Parliament and Fellow of the Royal Society, but is now best remembered for the diary which he kept through the 1660s. It was first published in 1825, and has ever since been considered a unique historical source and human document.
- Music [is] a science peculiarly productive of a pleasure that no state of life, publick or private, secular or sacred; no difference of age or season; no temper of mind or condition of health exempt from present anguish; nor, lastly, distinction of quality, renders either improper, untimely, or unentertaining.
- Letter to the Master of University College, Oxford; published in J. R. Tanner (ed.) Private Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Samuel Pepys, 1679-1703 (1926) p. 109. (1700)
- I went out to Charing Cross, to see Major-general Harrison hanged, drawn and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition.
- A good honest and painfull sermon.
- Methought it lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain.
- Then to the King's Theatre, where we saw Midsummer's Night's Dream, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.
- But Lord! to see the absurd nature of Englishmen, that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at every thing that looks strange.
- This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension.
- To church in the morning, and there saw a wedding in the church, which I have not seen many a day; and the young people so merry one with another, and strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition, every man and woman gazing and smiling at them.
- The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world, do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it with any pleasure.
- And so to Mrs. Martin and there did what je voudrais avec her, both devante and backward, which is also muy bon plazer.
- We to a little ale-house on the Bankside, over against the Three Cranes, and there stayed till it was dark almost, and saw the fire grow; and, as it grew darker, appeared more and more, and in corners and upon steeples, and between churches and houses, as far as we could see up the hill of the City, in a most horrid malicious bloody flame, not like the fine flame of an ordinary fire. Barbary and her husband away before us. We stayed till, it being darkish, we saw the fire as only one entire arch of fire from this to the other side the bridge, and in a bow up the hill for an arch of above a mile long: it made me weep to see it.
- Did satisfy myself mighty fair in the truth of the saying that the world do not grow old at all, but is in as good condition in all respects as ever it was.
- "By god", says he, "I think the Devil shits Dutchmen"
- Up, and at my chamber all the morning and the office doing business, and also reading a little of L'escholle des filles, which is a mighty lewd book, but yet not amiss for a sober man once to read over to inform himself in the villainy of the world.