Culture, General Things, Food and Drink, Food, Deserts, Sweetmeats

Sweetmeats is in Deserts.

Pepy's Diary. 04 Jan 1661. Office all the morning, my wife and Pall being gone to my father's to dress dinner for Mr. Honiwood, my mother being gone out of town. Dined at home, and Mr. Moore with me, with whom I had been early this morning at White Hall, at the Jewell Office1, to choose a piece of gilt plate for my Lord, in return of his offering to the King (which it seems is usual at this time of year, and an Earl gives twenty pieces in gold in a purse to the King). I chose a gilt tankard, weighing 31 ounces and a half, and he is allowed 30; so I paid 12s. for the ounce and half over what he is to have; but strange it was for me to see what a company of small fees I was called upon by a great many to pay there, which, I perceive, is the manner that courtiers do get their estates. After dinner Mr. Moore and I to the Theatre [Map], where was "The Scornful Lady", acted very well, it being the first play that ever he saw. Thence with him to drink a cup of ale at Hercules Pillars, and so parted. I called to see my father, who told me by the way how Will and Mary Joyce do live a strange life together, nothing but fighting, &c., so that sometimes her father has a mind to have them divorced. Thence home.

Note 1. Several of the Jewel Office rolls are in the British Museum. They recite all the sums of money given to the King, and the particulars of all the plate distributed in his name, as well as gloves and sweetmeats. The Museum possesses these rolls for the 4th, 9th, 18th, 30th, and 31st Eliz.; for the 13th Charles I; and the 23rd, 24th, 26th, and 27th of Charles II B.

Pepy's Diary. 29 Apr 1662. At the pay all the morning, and so to dinner; and then to it again in the afternoon, and after our work was done, Sir G. Carteret (age 52), Sir W. Pen (age 41) and I walked forth, and I spied Mrs. Pierce and another lady passing by. So I left them and went to the ladies, and walked with them up and down, and took them to Mrs. Stephens, and there gave them wine and sweetmeats, and were very merry; and then comes the Doctor, and we carried them by coach to their lodging, which was very poor, but the best they could get, and such as made much mirth among us. So I appointed one to watch when the gates of the town were ready to be shut, and to give us notice; and so the Doctor and I staid with them playing and laughing, and at last were forced to bid good night for fear of being locked into the town all night. So we walked to the yard, designing how to prevent our going to London tomorrow, that we might be merry with these ladies, which I did. So to supper and merrily to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 16 Jul 1662. By and by we went to Mr. Creed's lodging, and there got a dish or two of sweetmeats, and I seeing a very neat leaden standish to carry papers, pen, and ink in when one travels I also got that of him, and that done I went home by water and to finish some of my Lord's business, and so early to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 03 Aug 1662. Lord's Day. Up early, and with Captain Cocke (age 45) to the dock-yard, a fine walk, and fine weather. Where we walked till Commissioner Pett (age 51) come to us, and took us to his house, and showed us his garden and fine things, and did give us a fine breakfast of bread and butter, and sweetmeats and other things with great choice, and strong drinks, with which I could not avoyde making my head ake, though I drank but little. Thither came Captain Allen of the Foresight, and the officers of the yard to see me.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Jul 1663. Thence by boat ashore, it raining, and I went to Mr. Barrow's, where Sir J. Minnes (age 64) and Commissioner Pett (age 52); we staid long eating sweetmeats and drinking, and looking over some antiquities of Mr. Barrow's, among others an old manuscript Almanac, that I believe was made for some monastery, in parchment, which I could spend much time upon to understand. Here was a pretty young lady, a niece of Barrow's, which I took much pleasure to look on.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Aug 1663. Thence to the Temple [Map] and by water to Westminster; and there Morrice and I went to Sir R. Long's (age 63) to have fetched a niece of his, but she was not within, and so we went to boat again and then down to the bridge, and there tried to find a sister of Mrs. Morrice's, but she was not within neither, and so we went through bridge, and I carried them on board the King's pleasure-boat, all the way reading in a book of Receipts of making fine meats and sweetmeats, among others to make my own sweet water, which made us good sport.

Pepy's Diary. 01 May 1665. Thence back by coach to Greenwich, Kent [Map], and in his pleasure boat to Deptford, Kent [Map], and there stopped and in to Mr. Evelyn's (age 44)1, which is a most beautiful place; but it being dark and late, I staid not; but Deane Wilkins (age 51) and Mr. Hooke (age 29) and I walked to Redriffe [Map]; and noble discourse all day long did please me, and it being late did take them to my house to drink, and did give them some sweetmeats, and thence sent them with a lanthorn home, two worthy persons as are in England, I think, or the world.

Note 1. Sayes Court [Map], the well-known residence of John Evelyn (age 44).

Pepy's Diary. 09 Jul 1666. Home with them, and there find my aunt Wight (age 47) with my wife come to take her leave of her, being going for the summer into the country; and there was also Mrs. Mary Batelier and her sister, newly come out of France, a black, very black woman, but mighty good-natured people both, as ever I saw. Here I made the black one sing a French song, which she did mighty innocently; and then Mrs. Lovett play on the lute, which she do very well; and then Mercer and I sang; and so, with great pleasure, I left them, having shewed them my chamber, and £1000 in gold, which they wondered at, and given them sweetmeats, and shewn my aunt Wight (age 47) my father's picture, which she admires.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Dec 1666. Lord's Day. Up, and to church, and after church home to dinner, where I met Betty Michell and her husband, very merry at dinner, and after dinner, having borrowed Sir W. Pen's (age 45) coach, we to Westminster, they two and my wife and I to Mr. Martin's, where find the company almost all come to the christening of Mrs. Martin's child, a girl. A great deal of good plain company. After sitting long, till the church was done, the Parson comes, and then we to christen the child. I was Godfather, and Mrs. Holder (her husband, a good man, I know well), and a pretty lady, that waits, it seems, on my Lady Bath (age 53), at White Hall, her name, Mrs. Noble, were Godmothers. After the christening comes in the wine and the sweetmeats, and then to prate and tattle, and then very good company they were, and I among them. Here was old Mrs. Michell and Howlett, and several married women of the Hall, whom I knew mayds. Here was also Mrs. Burroughs and Mrs. Bales, the young widow, whom I led home, and having staid till the moon was up, I took my pretty gossip to White Hall with us, and I saw her in her lodging, and then my owne company again took coach, and no sooner in the coach but something broke, that we were fain there to stay till a smith could be fetched, which was above an hour, and then it costing me 6s. to mend.

Pepy's Diary. 06 Jan 1668. By and by to my house, to a very good supper, and mighty merry, and good musick playing; and after supper to dancing and singing till about twelve at night; and then we had a good sack-posset for them, and an excellent cake, cost me near 20s., of our Jane's making, which was cut into twenty pieces, there being by this time so many of our company, by the coming in of young Goodyer and some others of our neighbours, young men that could dance, hearing of our dancing; and anon comes in Mrs. Turner (age 45), the mother, and brings with her Mrs. Hollworthy, which pleased me mightily. And so to dancing again, and singing, with extraordinary great pleasure, till about two in the morning, and then broke up; and Mrs. Pierce and her family, and Harris (age 34) and Knepp by coach home, as late as it was. And they gone, I took Mrs. Turner (age 45) and Hollworthy home to my house, and there gave wine and sweetmeats; but I find Mrs. Hollworthy but a mean woman, I think, for understanding, only a little conceited, and proud, and talking, but nothing extraordinary in person, or discourse, or understanding. However, I was mightily pleased with her being there, I having long longed for to know her, and they being gone, I paid the fiddlers £3 among the four, and so away to bed, weary and mightily pleased, and have the happiness to reflect upon it as I do sometimes on other things, as going to a play or the like, to be the greatest real comfort that I am to expect in the world, and that it is that that we do really labour in the hopes of; and so I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take pleasure in it, and so fill myself with vain expectation of pleasure and go without it.

Pepy's Diary. 07 Apr 1669. Thence to my cousin Turner's, and thence with her and her daughters, and her sister Turner, I carrying Betty in my lap, to Talbot's chamber at the Temple [Map], where, by agreement, the poor rogue had a pretty dish of anchovies and sweetmeats for them; and hither come Mr. Eden, who was in his mistress's disfavour ever since the other night that he come in thither fuddled, when we were there. But I did make them friends by my buffoonery, and bringing up a way of spelling their names, and making Theophila spell Lamton, which The. (age 17) would have to be the name of Mr. Eden's mistress, and mighty merry we were till late, and then I by coach home, and so to bed, my wife being ill of those, but well enough pleased with my being with them. This day I do hear that Betty Turner (age 16) is to be left at school at Hackney, which I am mightily pleased with; for then I shall, now and then, see her. She is pretty, and a girl for that, and her relations, I love.

Evelyn's Diary. 10 Sep 1677. To divert me, my Lord (age 59) would needs carry me to see Ipswich, Suffolk [Map], when we dined with one Mr. Mann by the way, who was Recorder of the town. There were in our company my Lord Huntingtower (age 28), son to the Duchess of Lauderdale (age 50), Sir Edward Bacon, a learned gentleman of the family of the great Chancellor Verulam, and Sir John Felton, with some other knights and gentlemen. After dinner came the bailiff and magistrates in their formalities with their maces to compliment my Lord (age 59), and invite him to the town-house, where they presented us a collation of dried sweetmeats and wine, the bells ringing, etc. Then, we went to see the town, and first, the Lord Viscount Hereford's (age 3) house, which stands in a park near the town, like that at Brussels, in Flanders; the house not great, yet pretty, especially the hall. The stews for fish succeeded one another, and feed one the other, all paved at bottom. There is a good picture of the blessed virgin in one of the parlors, seeming to be of Holbein, or some good master. Then we saw the Haven, seven miles from Harwich [Map]. The tide runs out every day, but the bedding being soft mud, it is safe for shipping and a station. The trade of Ipswich, Suffolk [Map] is for the most part Newcastle upon Tyne [Map] coals, with which they supply London; but it was formerly a clothing town. There is not any beggar asks alms in the whole place, a thing very extraordinary, so ordered by the prudence of the magistrates. It has in it fourteen or fifteen beautiful churches: in a word, it is for building, cleanness, and good order, one of the best towns in England. Cardinal Wolsey was a butcher's son of Ipswich, but there is little of that magnificent Prelate's foundation here, besides a school and I think a library, which I did not see. His intentions were to build some great thing. We returned late to Euston, Suffolk, having traveled about fifty miles this day.

Evelyn's Diary. 04 Dec 1679. I dined, together with Lord Ossory (age 45) and the Earl of Chesterfield (age 45), at the Portugal Ambassador's (age 53), now newly come, at Cleveland House, a noble palace, too good for that infamous.... [Note. Probably a reference to Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 39)] The staircase is sumptuous, and the gallery and garden; but, above all, the costly furniture belonging to the Ambassador, especially the rich Japan cabinets, of which I think there were a dozen. There was a billiard table, with as many more hazards as ours commonly have; the game being only to prosecute the ball till hazarded, without passing the port, or touching the pin; if one miss hitting the ball every time, the game is lost, or if hazarded. It is more difficult to hazard a ball, though so many, than in our table, by reason the bound is made so exactly even, and the edges not stuffed; the balls are also bigger, and they for the most part use the sharp and small end of the billiard stick, which is shod with brass, or silver. The entertainment was exceedingly civil; but, besides a good olio, the dishes were trifling, hashed and condited after their way, not at all fit for an English stomach, which is for solid meat. There was yet good fowls, but roasted to coal, nor were the sweetmeats good.

Evelyn's Diary. 24 Jan 1682. This evening I was at the entertainment of the Morocco Ambassador at the Duchess of Portsmouth's (age 32) glorious apartments at Whitehall [Map], where was a great banquet of sweetmeats and music; but at which both the Ambassador and his retinue behaved themselves with extraordinary moderation and modesty, though placed about a long table, a lady between two Moors, and among these were the King's (age 51) natural children, namely, Lady Lichfield (age 17) and Sussex (age 20), the Duchess of Portsmouth (age 32), Nelly (age 31), etc., concubines, and cattle of that sort, as splendid as jewels and excess of bravery could make them; the Moors neither admiring nor seeming to regard anything, furniture or the like, with any earnestness, and but decently tasting of the banquet. They drank a little milk and water, but not a drop of wine; they also drank of a sorbet and jacolatt [Note. This may be chocolate?]; did not look about, or stare on the ladies, or express the least surprise, but with a courtly negligence in pace, countenance, and whole behavior, answering only to such questions as were asked with a great deal of wit and gallantry, and so gravely took leave with this compliment, that God would bless the Duchess of Portsmouth (age 32) and the Prince (age 9), her son meaning the little Duke of Richmond. The King (age 51) came in at the latter end, just as the Ambassador was going away. In this manner was this slave (for he was no more at home) entertained by most of the nobility in town, and went often to Hyde Park [Map] on horseback, where he and his retinue showed their extraordinary activity in horsemanship, and flinging and catching their lances at full speed; they rode very short, and could stand upright at full speed, managing their spears with incredible agility. He went sometimes to the theaters, where, upon any foolish or fantastical action, he could not forbear laughing, but he endeavored to hide it with extraordinary modesty and gravity. In a word, the Russian Ambassador, still at Court behaved himself like a clown compared to this civil heathen.